Water, Water Everywhere

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Bathing Beauties 1921

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge this week is “water”.  I thought about this for awhile and all of my ancestors came over to the United States on boats so there is nothing new there.  Then I thought about my mother’s family always seemed to live near water or take vacations that involved water.  I decided on more of a pictorial history of my mother’s family and water. 

My maternal grandmother was born in Ottawa, Illinois and lived there for part of her youth. “Ottawa, Illinois is situated at the junction of the Fox and Illinois rivers, nearly the geographical center of LaSalle County.  The Fox enters the Illinois from the northeast and with its rapid currents feeds the Chicago and Illinois Canal, which follows the banks of the Illinois River.” [1]    Both her mother and father were brought up in Ottawa, Illinois.  Her paternal grandparents lived on Chapel Street in Ottawa and across the street from the river. While still a child her mother moved to Chicago and they lived not far from Lake Michigan and Lincoln Park Zoo.  As adult she and my grandfather moved to Villa Park, Illinois and there is no lake or river near by.  But they did take vacations to lakes.  The one place they went most was to Fox Lake, Illinois. 

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Grandma and her best friend at Fox Lake, Illinois 

They also liked Lake Como, Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Dells was another popular place with them.  In fact my grandparents went to the Wisconsin Dells for their honeymoon.  

Helen at Lake Como

Grandma at Lake Como, Wisconsin

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Grandparents, Mom and ? at Big Smoky Falls, Wolf River, Wisconsin 1929

Starved Rock was another favorite destination. Starved Rock was close to Ottawa, Illinois and on the bank of the Illinois River.  This was the family’s favorite picnic spot.  They still picnicked there when I was growing up.  If we didn’t picnic at Starved Rock we picnicked at Buffalo Rock across the river from Starved Rock.  My grandmother would say that there were at least 2 or 3 drownings a year in the Illinois River because of the undertow. 

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Great Grandparents at the top of Starved Rock

My grandfather liked to fish and some of their excursions involved fishing.

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Grandpa, dog Rudy and friend with 3 Pikes and a Bass at Sand Lake 1929

Copyright © 2020 Gail Grunst


 

  1. Ottawa Old and New: A Complete History of Ottawa Illinois 1823 – 1914 (Ottawa, Illinois: Republican – Times Ottawa, 1912 – 1914), p. 39.

 

Favorite Picture

Dorothy in Center, Left her grandmother (Eva) on right her mother (Helen)

The theme this week for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is favorite picture.  This fits in nicely with what I have been doing lately and that is posting pictures and telling a story to go with the picture.  I have many favorite pictures so it was hard to pick just one. This happens to be one of my favorite pictures because it is three generations of strong women.  The picture  was taken in 1938.  From the left is my great-grandmother, Eva Bowers, my mother, Dorothy Kaiser (age 14), and my grandmother, Helen Kaiser nee Bowers.  I think the picture was  probably taken in front of my great-grandmother’s place in Chicago.  By 1938 my grandparents were living in Villa Park, Illinois and this is not their home.  I wish I could have been in the picture to make it four generations, but I was not born yet and by the time I came along, Eva had already passed away.  I never knew Eva, but heard a lot about her from my mom and grandma.  Eva was born in Heidelberg, Baden, Germany to Johann Konrad Reinhardt and Anna Maria Schwebler on February 14, 1877. [1] Eva came to the United States when she was almost two years old.[2]  Her brother John was born on the boat.[3]  Her first home in the United States was in Amana, Iowa.[4]  They spent a few years in Amana and then moved to Ottawa, Illinois where Eva grew up with her brothers and sisters.[5]   Eva grew into a young woman and sometime around 1896 she married Robert Bowers also of Ottawa, Illinois.[6]  The family story is that Robert and Eva ran off to Chicago to be married.  I have never been able to find a marriage record for them in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. According to family stories, Robert’s family never accepted Eva as his wife or acknowledged that any of the children were Roberts.  I started to wonder if they were ever really married and that is why Robert’s family didn’t want anything to do with Eva or their children.  However, when Robert’s father died, Robert and Eva as his wife signed a quit-claim deed to a piece of property to Robert’s mother.[7]  I was told that if they were not married, Eva would not need to sign the quit-claim deed.  Perhaps they were married somewhere other than Chicago.  Robert and Eva had three children, Ralph born in 1897,[8] Helen in 1898[9] and Frances in 1900. [10]  Shortly after Frances was born Robert left Eva.  Again family stories say they were divorced, however I have never found divorce records for them.  In 1900 Eva was on her own and had to make a living for her and her three kids.  She raised the three kids alone and I believe this made her a strong woman.

My grandmother and mother did not have easy lives and to survive all their trials and tribulations they had to be strong.  My grandmother died at age 82 and my mother at age 62.  I believe my mother’s early death was caused by some of the problems in her life.

Copyright ©2019 Gail Grunst

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[1] Certificate of Death for Eva Bowers;  State of Illinois, Department of Public health, Division of Vital Statistics, Springfield, Illinois, Registration Number 34633. Date of death: December 23, 1941; Place of death: County of Cook, City of Chicago.

[2] Ira A. Glazier and P. William Filbry, ed., Germans to America: List of passengers arriving at U.S. ports, Volume 34 October 1878 – December 1879; ( Wilmington, Delaware, Scholarly Resources,1993), Page 106.

[3] Ibid

[4] Conrad Reinhardt household, 1880 U. S. Census, Amana, Iowa; Roll 345; Family History Film 1254345; page 146D; Enumeration District 201; Image 0155.

[5] From family stories told to this author.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Quit-claim deed record from Robert Bowers and Eva Bowers, his wife to Alexena Bowers, City of Ottawa, County of LaSalle, state of Illinois; deed book 448, page 167.  LaSalle County Illinois Genealogical Guild collection.

[8] Eva Bowers household, 1900 U. S. Federal  Census, LaSalle County, Ottawa township, ED 76, line 37, page 6, dwelling 557, fmily124, National Archives film publication T623, roll 317.

[9] Delayed Record of Birth for Helen Bowers, State of Illinois, Department of Public Health, Division of Vital Statics, LaSalle County, City of Ottawa, State of Illinois, Date of Birth: December 3, 1898, Dated August  7, 1957.

[10] Eva Bowers household, 1900 U. S. Federal  Census, LaSalle County, Ottawa township, ED 76, line 37, page 6, dwelling 557, fmily124, National Archives film publication T623, roll 317.

 

Grandma’s Grandpa

Helen Bowers and her grandfather

Helen Bowers and Conrad Reinhardt 1918

Here is my grandmother, Helen Bowers, at 19 years old with her maternal grandfather, Conrad Reinhardt, in 1918.  I am wondering why she has an umbrella.  Was it raining?  She isn’t holding it above her head to keep the rain off.  I thought maybe to keep the sun off as women use to carry parasols to keep the sun off. The back of the picture says March 20, 1918, Ottawa, Illinois.  I don’t think the sun in March in Illinois would be a problem. Although, it must have been a fairly warm day since both are not wearing a coat or even a sweater.  The picture was probably taken in the Reinhardt’s backyard at 630 Washington Street, Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois.[1]

Conrad Reinhardt is 66 years old in this picture.  He was born on 18 February 1852 in Nusselock, Heidelberg, Baden, Germany to Johann Friedrich Reinhardt and Philippina Schuh.[2]  He and his wife, his son and one daughter arrived aboard the ship Bergenland in New York on 5 December 1879.[3]   From New York they traveled to Amana, Iowa arriving on 22 December 1879.[4] They settled in the South Amana village.[5]   They left Amana in April of 1883 because they found no basis in the community.[6]  They settled in Ottawa, Illinois where Conrad was a shoemaker and had his own shop.[7]  Conrad died in Chicago at his daughter, Elizabeth’s apartment[8] on 6 July 1922 of Myocarditis and Chronic Intestinal Nephritis.[9]  His body was shipped from Chicago to Ottawa by train for the funeral at the Gladfelter Undertaker establishment.[10]  Conrad is buried at the Ottawa Avenue Cemetery, Ottawa, Illinois alongside his wife Anna.[11]

Copyright ©2019 Gail Grunst

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[1] Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page. Check the directory title page image for full title and publication information.

[2] Germany Birth and Baptisms, 1558 – 1898,  LDS Library, Salt Lake City, Utah,  microfilm # 1183248 Page 377 #2.

[3] Germans to America(Vol. 34). (1993). Wilmington, DE, DE: Scholarly Resources.

[4] Amana Church Membership Records, in archive collection of the Amana Heritage Museum, Amana, Iowa.

[5] Year: 1880; Census Place: Amana, Iowa, Iowa; Roll: 345; Family History Film: 1254345; Page: 146D; Enumeration District: 201

[6] August Koch manuscript, Archives Collection, Amana Heritage Museum, Amana, Iowa.

[7] Year: 1920; Census Place: Ottawa Ward 5, La Salle, Illinois; Roll: T625_379; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 141Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data: Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 are on roll 323 (Chicago City).

[8] Daily Republican Times, Ottawa, IL, Vol XLVI, no 5, Friday Evening 7 July 1922 (front page).

[9] Certificate of Death, State of Illinois, Cook County, City of Chicago, Registration # 17200.  Illinois State Archive, Springfield, Illinois.

[10] Daily Republican Times, Ottawa, IL, Vol XLVI, no 5, Friday Evening 7 July 1922 (front page).

[11] Ottawa Avenue Cemetery, Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois cemetery records, Cemetery card CCY-TS, Burial Location BU, 47C (N ½) Record # 5855.

Bearded

2 Ancestors in 52 Weeks topic this week is Bearded.  “There’s been a fad the past few years of “No Shave November” or “Novembeard” – making this the perfect time to feature ancestors with a beard. The popularity of facial hair has waxed and waned over the decades, but the last half of the 19th century and early 20th century saw men sporting all kinds of beards and mustaches. Find a photo of someone in your family tree with a great beard and share his story.”

 

Charles Bowers

Charles Bowers

Charles was born in 1828 in Terrington-St Clements, Norfolk, England to Bonnet Bowers and Eliza Linford.[1]  Charles’ mother died when he was just a little over two years old.[2]  Charles grew up in England with his father and brothers.  One wonders if Bonnet had help with the care of the children.  There were aunts and uncles living in Terrington-St. Clements perhaps they helped.

Charles left England when he was just 21 years old. He left Liverpool, England on February 1, 1851 with his father Bonnet Bowers aboard the sailing ship Conqueror of New York.[3]   If Charles had friends or family already in the United States they might have paid for his passage.  If his passage was not previously paid he would have to pay his passage and make the best bargain he could with the passenger-brokers.  The competition in this trade was very great, and fares varied from day-to-day, and even from hour to hour, sometimes as high as 5 pounds per passenger in the steerage and sometimes as low as 3 pounds 10 shillings.[4]

Charles’ experience immigrating to the United States was probably much like the following description of the typical emigrants experience leaving England through Liverpool.  “Notices were placed though out Liverpool with dates of sailing.  Most of the ships were owned and operated out of New York.   The average number of steerage passengers accommodated by most ships at that time was 400, but some had room for double that amount.  After the emigrant had chosen the ship that he would sail on, he had to bargain with the “man-catchers” a class of persons who received commission from the passenger- brokers for each emigrant they brought to the office of the passenger-broker.

The emigrant’s next duty was to present himself to the medical inspector.  A medical practitioner appointed by the emigration office of the port had to inspect the passengers to check for contagious diseases.  When the emigrant and his family had undergone this process, their passage-ticket was stamped, and they had nothing further to do until it was time to board.

The scene at the Waterloo dock in Liverpool, where all the American sailing ships were stationed was very busy at all times, but on the morning of the departure a large ship full of emigrants was particularly exciting and interesting.  Many of the emigrants boarded twenty-four hours before departure bringing quantities of provisions, although the government supplied the emigrants with liberal provisions to keep them in good health and comfort.

The following is the list of provisions provided by the government per week.

2 and ½ lbs of bread or biscuit

1 lb wheaten flour

5 lbs oatmeal

2 lbs rice

2 oz tea

½ lb sugar

½ lb molasses

3 quarts of water daily

On the day before sailing and during the time that a ship may be unavoidable detained in dock, some of the immigrants played the violin or bagpipes for their fellow passengers.   Young and old alike would dance and party.

A large number of spectators were at the dock-gates to witness the final departure of the ship full with anxious immigrants.  As the ship was towed out hats were raised, handkerchiefs waved, and people shouted their farewells from shore and the emigrants waved back from the ship.  It was at this moment emigrants realized this would be their last look at the old country.   A country in all probability associated with sorrow and suffering, of semi-starvation, never-the-less it was a country of their fathers, the country of their childhood, however little time was left to indulge in these reflections.

The ship was generally towed by a steam tug five or ten miles down the Mersey.  During this time the search for stowaways is done and a roll-call of passengers.  All passengers except those in state cabins were assembled on the quarter-deck.  The clerk of the passenger-broker, accompanied by the ship’s surgeon called for tickets.  A double purpose was answered by the roll-call, the verification of the passenger-list, and the medical inspection of the emigrants, on behalf of the captain and owners.  The previous inspection on the part of the governor was to prevent the risk of contagious disease on board.  The inspection on the part of the owners is for a different purpose.  The ship had to pay a poll tax of $1.50 per passenger to the State of New York; and if any of the poor emigrants were helpless and deformed, the owners were fined in the sum of $75.00 for bringing them and were compelled to enter in a bond to New York City so that they did not become a burden on the public.  The emigrants then settle in for the long voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.[5] After almost 3 month of sailing across the ocean, Charles arrived at the Port of New York on April 21, 1851.[6]  Before 1855 there was no immigrant processing center.  The shipping company presented a passenger list to the Collector of Customs, and the immigrants made whatever customs declaration was necessary and went on their way.’[7]

Charles’ brother, Robert and his wife, Rhoda, followed to the United States in November 1851 aboard the ship Emma Field.[8] Robert, his wife, and Bonnet settled in Syracuse, New York[9].  At this time, I cannot find when Charles’ brother, Richard, came to the United States, however he is found living in Syracuse, New York in 1870[10]

In 1855, just one year after Charles arrived in Ottawa, it became a chartered city.   “Ottawa, Illinois is situated at the junction of the Fox and Illinois rivers, nearly the geographical center of LaSalle County.  The Fox enters the Illinois from the northeast and with its rapid currents feeds the Chicago and Illinois Canal, which follows the banks of the Illinois River.  In 1854 Ottawa had about 4,000 to 6,000 inhabitants.  The bridge over the Illinois River was under constriction connecting South Ottawa with the main city on the North.  Ottawa was and still is the LaSalle County seat.  In 1854 Ottawa had a mill on the Illinois River that turned out 100 barrels of flour per day.  Ottawa also had a foundry, two large machine shops, and other large manufacturers.” [11]

The same year(1854) that Charles came to Ottawa, he applied to become a United States Citizen in the LaSalle County Circuit Court. 12]   I often wondered what brought Charles to Ottawa, Illinois when it appears that his brothers and father stayed in New York.  I recently found that his step-brother William Linfor(d) was living in Ottawa, Illinois in 1854.[13]  You can read my post “Finding Brother William” published November 24, 2012 on this blog.  I assume that Charles came to Ottawa because he knew William Linfor.                      

Statue of Lincoln-Douglas Debate

Statue of Lincoln-Douglas Debate

On August 21, 1858 the first Lincoln-Douglas debate took place in Ottawa at the stand in Washington Park.[14]  I wonder if Charles attended and what his thoughts were about the two men.  He was not yet a United States citizen so he could not vote.  He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in January 1859.  He signed his naturalization papers with an X indicating he could not write.[15]

In 1860 Charles is found living in Lisbon, Kendall County, Illinois working on a farm and living with a family by the name of Leach.[16]  Charles bought a house In 1868 on the corner of Chapel and York Streets (543 Chapel Street) in Ottawa, Illinois for $1,000 cash from William K and Ellen M. Stewart of Ottawa, Illinois.  The house sits on a high bluff across the street from the Fox River.  It is located in a rather well-to-do area of Ottawa surrounded by Victorian houses.  Charles’ house is rather modest compared to houses around it.[17]  The house had living room, dining room, kitchen, parlor, storage room, and one bedroom on first floor.  The second floor had four bedrooms and bath (bath may have been added later).[18]

In December 1868 Charles married Alexena Frazer.[19]  They had five children Richard, Elizabeth, Robert, Genevieve, and Ethelyn.[20]   There may have been two children who died as infants.  According to Ottawa Avenue Cemetery records there is an E. E. and a J.A. Bowers buried in grave one.[21]

Charles worked as a janitor for the East Ottawa Public School.[22]  He and Alexena lived at 543 Chapel Street in Ottawa.[23]  He was a member of the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows for over 30 years.  He was a kind-hearted man, patient with children and liked by everyone.[24]  Charles died in 1897 and is buried in the Ottawa Avenue Cemetery, in Ottawa, Illinois.[25

Bowers' Family Headstone

Bowers’ Family Headstone

Copyright © 2013 Gail Grunst                        


[1]Baptism for Charles Bowers baptized on 2 October 1828; Register of Baptisms in the Parish of Terrington St. Clements, Norfolk, England; 1813 – 1841 manuscript on microfilm #13640109 Item 3; Utah: filmed by the Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah at Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Cambridgeshire, England.

[2] Burial record for Eliza Bowers (wife of Bonnet Bowers) buried on 22 January 1831. Church of England, Parish Church of Terrington St. Clements, Norfolk, England;  Terrrington St. Clements Parish Register Burials 1813 – 1856; manuscript on microfilm #13640109 Item 8; Utah:  filmed by the Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah 1988 at Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Cambridgeshire, England.

[3]Year: 1851; Arrival: New York, United States; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm roll M237_107; Line: 26; List number: 1664. Ancestry.com. New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006. Original data: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls); Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[4] GEN UKI UK and Ireland Genealogy web site.  Extracts from an article printed in the Illustrated London News on Saturday July 6th 1850. It is a contemporary account of the procedure of Emigration from the port of Liverpool to the New World and the Colonies.

[5] GEN UKI UK and Ireland Genealogy web site.  Extracts from an article printed in the Illustrated London News on Saturday July 6th 1850. It is a contemporary account of the procedure of Emigration from the port of Liverpool to the New World and the Colonies.

[6] Year: 1851; Arrival: New York, United States; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm roll M237_107; Line: 26; List number: 1664. Ancestry.com. New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006. Original data: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls); Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[7] GEN UKI UK and Ireland Genealogy web site.  Extracts from an article printed in the Illustrated London News on Saturday July 6th 1850. It is a contemporary account of the procedure of Emigration from the port of Liverpool to the New World and the Colonies.

[8] Year: 1851; Arrival: New York, United States; Microfilm serial M237; Microfilm roll: M237-107; Line: 26; List number 1664.  Ancestry.com. New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line].  Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006 Original data: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls); Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36; National Archives, Washington D.C.

[9] Year: 1860, Census Place: Onondaga, Onondaga, New York, Roll: M653_829, Page 579; Image: 367. Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA. The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Eighth Census of the United States, 1860.  Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1860. M653, 1438 rolls.

[10]Year: 1870 Census Place: Syracuse Ward 7, Onondaga, New York; Roll M593_1063; Page: 464; Image: 239. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003. Original data: 1870 United States Ninth Census of the United States, 1870. Washington D. C. National Archives and Records Administration, M593, RG29. 1761 rolls.

[11] Ottawa Old and New: A Complete History of Ottawa Illinois 1823 – 1914 (Ottawa, Illinois: Republican – Times Ottawa, 1912 – 1914), p. 39.

[12] Declaration of Intent (naturalization) for Charles Bowers, LaSalle County, Illinois,  Circuit Court, LaSalle County, Illinois Courthouse, Ottawa, Illinois; Book 2, Pg. 227.

[13]  (Google eBook) (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1900), p. 227. 

[14] Ottawa Old and New: A Complete History of Ottawa Illinois 1823 – 1914 (Ottawa, Illinois: Republican – Times Ottawa, 1912 – 1914), p. 45.

[15] Final naturalization record for Charles Bowers.  LaSalle County Illinois, Circuit Court LaSalle County, Illinois  Court House, Ottawa, Illinois; Book E, Pg. 85.

[16] Ancestry.com 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA:  The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census, Eight Census of the United States, 1860, Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration 1860, M653.               

[17] Author’s personal view of the house after visiting the area and seeing the house first hand in July of 2008.

[18] Probate File of Elizabeth A. Bowers Record A-6 page 176.  In possession of the LaSalle County Genealogical Guild, 115 Glover W. Glover, Ottawa, Illinois.

[19] Marriage License and certificate for Charles Bowers and Alexena Frazer.  License issued November 25, 1868, office of the clerk of the county, LaSalleCounty, Ottawa, Illinois.  Marriage date December 2, 1868 by Abraham R. Moore, Minister of the Gospel, filed with the LaSalle Illinois, CountyClerk office, LaSalle County Courthouse, Ottawa, Illinois.

[20] Year: 1880; Census Place: Ottawa, La Salle, Illinois; Roll T9 223: Family History Film 1243112; Page 516.10000, Enumeration District 81; Image: 0553.

[21] Ottawa Avenue Cemetery records; Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois, Record number 8539, Cemetery Card CCY-TS, Burial location OT18-7

[22] Year: 1880; Census Place: Ottawa, La Salle, Illinois; Roll T9 223: Family History Film 1243112; Page 516.10000, Enumeration District 81; Image: 0553.

[23] Ottawa Illinois City Directories 1866 – 1912.

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

[25] Ottawa Avenue Cemetery Records: Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois. Record number 8539, Cemetery Card CCY-TS, Burial location OT18-7

Generations Picnic at Starved Rock

My grandmother’s family was from Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois.  Near by is Starved Rock State Park, the site for our family picnics throughout the years.  Since it is summer and August, I’ve been thinking a lot about those picnics.  We would get up early on a Sunday Morning and drive about a two hours to Ottawa to meet family and friends and then drive on to Starved Rock for a picnic.  Starved Rock is located on the south bank of the Illinois River. The park has beautiful hiking trails, canyons, historic lodge, and panoramic views from tall bluffs.  “Starved Rock derives its name from a Native American legend.  In the 1760s, Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa tribe, was attending a tribal council meeting. At this council of the Illinois and the Pottawatomie, an Illinois-Peoria brave stabbed Chief Pontiac. Vengeance arose in Pontiac’s followers. A great battle started. The Illinois, fearing death, took refuge on the great rock. After many days, the remaining Illinois died of starvation giving this historic park its name – Starved Rock.” [1]  If you would like more information click the link Starved Rock State Park .

Here is a pictorial of our family history at Starved Rock.

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Mina and Rudolf Kaiser (Great-Grandparents) on Starved Rock year unknown

 

Eva Bowers (great-grandmother) at Starved Rock 1920 or 21

Eva Bowers (Great-Grandmother) at Starved Rock 1920 or 21

Fred and Helen Kaiser at Starve Rock 1923

Fred Kaiser and Helen Bowers Kaiser (Grandparents) on Starved Rock 1923

Helen Kaiser (Grandma) at Starved Rock 1923

Helen Bowers (Grandmother) at the top of Starved Rock 1923

Helen Kaiser at Starved Rock 1923 (2)

Helen Bowers Kaiser on the path to the top of Starved Rock 1923

Helen Kaiser at Starved Rock 1923

Another view of my grandmother on the path leading up to the top of Starved Rock 1923

Fred and Helen Kaiser at Starve Rock 1939

Helen, son Russell, and Fred Kaiser at the top of Starved Rock 1939

Mom, Grandpa and Uncle Russ at Starved Rock 1939

My Mom (Dorothy), Fred, and Russell Kaiser on Starved Rock 1939

Mom and Uncle Russ at Starved Rock 1939

My Mom and Uncle at Starved Rock 1939

Mom and Friend at Starved Rock 1940 (2)

My Uncle, Mom, and friend 1940

Dorothy Manfroid (Mom) at Starved Rock 1953

My Mom at Starved Rock 1953

Mom, Me, Lynn, Dad, Roy 1953

Mom, Me, Lynn (friend), My Dad and Roy(friend of family) on Starved Rock 1953

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Me, Bruce (husband), Richard (friend) and his daughter at Starved Rock 1971

I realized when looking through photos for pictures of Starved Rock that so many family members were missing from photos including my own children.  I think we will have to make a trip to Starved Rock and take pictures of all of us on Starved Rock.  A few years ago we went there with my brother and his wife.  We climbed to the top of Starved Rock, but did not take any pictures.  Now he is gone, and I don’t have any pictures of him at Starved Rock.  I guess none of us were big picture takers.  

You can see how over the years things have changed there.  Now there are stairs and wooden walk ways to preserve the stone and to keep people from falling.  The path back when my mom was young wound around the outside of the rock.  One time she tried to take me on it when I was little.  I remember the path getting narrow and narrower and below us was the Illinois River.  She said that she didn’t remember it being that narrow and we turned back.  We then went up what was then the new way at that time, but less exciting.  I am also amazed how the women dressed to picnic.  They didn’t exactly have shoes for climbing and walking either.  My grandfather would tell stories of their drive down to Ottawa and Starved Rock back in the 20’s.  He said it would take most of the day, and he would have several flat tires on the way.  Now it’s two or three hour trip from Chicago.

Some times when Starved Rock got crowded we would go to a lesser known park across the river from Starved Rock known as Buffalo Rock State Park.  It was smaller and had a couple of trails.  One trail went along the river on a bluff.  Always hated to see the day end and the good times with family and friends.  After a day of hiking and eating all the great food, I would fall asleep in the back seat before we made it home.  Now after all this reminiscing, I am ready for a picnic there soon!

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

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[1] From website:  Starved Rock State Park www.starvedrockstatepark.org/history/

Ancestor member of the IOOF

Charles Bowers Obit

This week 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme is as follows:

“The federal census that we use in the US is sometimes comprised of more than one schedule. The one that we usually use is called the “population schedule.” However, there are some censuses that have additional schedules, such as:
– 1850-1880 Agricultural schedules

– 1850-1880 Industry and Manufactures schedules

– 1880 Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes

– 1890 Schedule of Union Veterans and Widows

Have you found your ancestor on one of these schedules? What did you find?

Another way you could look at this theme is to write about something related to an ancestor, such as a church, school, or organization they were affiliated with.”    

I have not found any of my ancestors in any of the schedules listed above.  I have found them in church, school, and organizations.  Mostly, I find this information in the newspapers through the various digitized newspapers.  For example my one ancestor, Charles Bowers, is listed in the Ottawa Free Trader newspaper as belonging to the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows. 

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a non-political and non-sectarian international fraternal order founded in 1819 byThomas Wildey in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Evolving from the Order of the Odd Fellows founded in England during the 1700s, the IOOF was originally charted by the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity in England but has operated as an independent organization since 1842, although it maintains an inter-fraternal relationship with the English Order. Beyond fraternal and recreational activities, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows promotes the  Ethic of reciprocity and charity, by implied inspiration of Judeo-Christian ethics.”[1]

In December 1879 he is listed as being inducted as an officer[2] and in February 1882 he is listed as the C. P. (Chief Patriarch – presiding officer of encampment) of the Ottawa Encampment #33.[3]  In January of 1883 he is listed as I. G. (Inside Guardian)[4] and in January 1885 he is installed as an officer in lodge #41.[5]  I don’t know if the number changed from 33 to 41 or if it is an entirely different lodge.  This is not the most exciting news, but it does give me a glimpse into his life.  It is just one more component of his life to add to the other parts that make up his whole life. 

I knew he belonged to the IOOF from his obituary, but I did not know the extent of his involvement until I found more information in the newspapers.  His Obituary states that Ottawa Lodge, No 41, IOOF had charge of the obsequies at the cemetery.[6]  It also states that he was a member for over 30 years.[7]

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

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[1] From website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_Order_of_Odd_Fellows

[2] Ottawa Free Trader (Ottawa, Ill.), December 27, 1879,  Image 1.  From: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/search/pages/results/?date1=1789&rows=20&searchType=basic&state=Illinois&date2=1963&proxtext=charles+bowers&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=2&sort=date

[3]  Ottawa Free Trader (Ottawa, Ill.), February 25, 1882 Image 1.  From: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/search/pages/results/?date1=1789&rows=20&searchType=basic&state=Illinois&date2=1963&proxtext=charles+bowers&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=2&sort=date

[4] Ottawa Free Trader (Ottawa, Ill.), January 13, 1883, Image 1.  From: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/search/pages/results/?date1=1789&rows=20&searchType=basic&state=Illinois&date2=1963&proxtext=charles+bowers&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=2&sort=date

[5] Ottawa Free Trader (Ottawa, Ill.), January 3, 1885,  Image 1.  From: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/search/pages/results/?date1=1789&rows=20&searchType=basic&state=Illinois&date2=1963&proxtext=charles+bowers&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=2&sort=date

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

[7] Ibid.

William Linford dies at 100 years old

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme this week is Oldest.  I chose William Linford because he lived to 100 making him the oldest ancestor (by age) that I have found so far.  William belongs to a collateral line and is not a direct ancestor.  He is the half-brother to my 3rd great-grandfather Charles Bowers.  They share the same mother, Eliza Haggerson Linford Bowers.

William Linfor

William Linford was baptized 28 August 1811 in Terrington-St.Clement England to Eliza Haggerson and Robert Linford.[1]  On 14 October 1833 William Linford married Dinah Essaby in Gedney, Lincoln, England.[2]  They had four children John 1837, William 1840, Sarah 1844, and Robert 1846.[3] They came to the United States on 22 August 1849 and to Ottawa, Illinois on 1 October 1849.[4]  In 1851 William applied for citizenship and in 1854 became a citizen of the United States.[5]  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.[6]

After moving to Syracuse, New York, William married for a second time to Elizabeth (last name unknown) around 1882.[7]  Elizabeth was 33 years younger than William.[8]  Perhaps this is why he lived so long!  But William claims there were other reasons for his long life. 

I found a couple of articles written about him and his long life.  The first one is from the Post-Standard, Syracuse, New York, Friday Morning, August 26, 1910.  Below is a transcription of the article followed by the actual newspaper article. 

William Linfor No. 1516 Grape St. celebrated his ninety-ninth birthday yesterday by doing the same things he had done for many years in the past. He arose promptly at seven and had a breakfast of bread, milk, and a cup of tea.  After that meal he smoked his usual pipe and then walked in his garden until friends began to arrive with their congratulations.  There was hardly a moment until late this evening when he was without company. 

Mr. Linfor’s dinner menu included meat, potatoes, bread, coffee, and a glass of ale, and for supper he partook of some bread, milk, sauce, and a cup of tea.  In the evening he smoked another pipe, entertained a few more friends, and retired at 10 o’clock.

Today Mr. Linfor will follow the same routine, for it is this regularity to which attributes his long life.  The things which some persons regard as unhealthful are considered harmless by this jolly old man.  Coffee, tea, tobacco, and intoxicants won’t hurt anyone he thinks, if they are used moderately. 

Care in cooking of food and thorough mastication are urged by Mr. Linfor, if a long life is desired.  Don’t worry is another of his maxims.  Mrs. Linfor says he has nothing to worry about except that he hears very little and can see scarcely at all, so he doesn’t know anything about worrying.  So philosophical are the husband and wife, however, that they did not seem to imagine that the loss of sight and hearing would cause most persons to worry.  Mr. Linfor has a remarkable memory and he delights to quote passages from the books he has read and to recite over and over again incidents of his early life and events that are history to the present generation.

Mr. Linfor was born in Norfolk, England and has lived in this country, he says, “only” sixty-one years. Thirty-one of these have been spent in Syracuse and twenty-eight in the house which he now occupies.  When he first reached this city, the manner of reaching Long Branch was by steamer from Salina Pier, the Onondaga County Fair was held here, the R. W. & O. Railroad ran excursions to Frenchmans Island and the Syracuse Opera Company gave performances at the old Weiting Opera House. 

Mr. Linford has two sons, eighteen grandchildren, and sixteen great-grandchildren.  Two Nieces are the only relatives, except his wife, who live near this city.”[9]

Linford 1

The second find is in a book titled Art of Longevity by B. J. Henley, Syracuse, N.Y. 1911 along with a picture of William Linfor (see above).  They have the wrong place of birth and a couple of other facts wrong.  Here is a transcription of that article.

William Linford – 99 Years Old

Born in Linconshire, England, August 25, 1811 – Now living in Syracuse, N. Y.

From the Syracuse Journal

“William Linfor, 1516 Grape St. is beginning to carry a cane.  He is getting ready to celebrate his 99th birthday, August 25th, and his friends have persuaded him that such an ornament is very appropriate for that time of life.  He finds it very awkward, but says that he can do it.

Mr. Linfor is one of the most self-reliant men in Syracuse.  Born in Lincolnshire, England in 1811, he has been a resident of the United States for forty years.  He is a farmer and has never lost interest in his profession.  He bought a farm in Ransom, Ill., when land was worth $1.75 an acre and lived to see it worth $200.  He has three Children, numerous grandchildren, and finds it hard work to keep an accurate census of his great-grandchildren. 

His activity is the wonder of the neighborhood.  He finds plenty to do and always does it thoroughly.  Neighbors could hardly believe last winter that the spry old man they saw climbing a ladder to clean the snow from the roof of his house was almost a centenarian, but he was and he isn’t nearly ready to quit work yet.”

Mr. Linfor’s habits of life have been extremely regular.  He has always been very moderate in eating and never under any circumstances allowed himself to eat beyond what he knew he could properly digest.  The result is a ripe old age, free from many infirmities of extreme age.  Mr. Linfor is still in possessions of all his faculties, exception his hearing which has failed considerably.  He is mentally keen and can readily recall dates and incidents in his long life.

The strictly temperate mode of living, never allowing his system to become gorged with food is responsible for Mr. Linfor’s long life and excellent health.”[10]

 William Linfor died on 28 January 1912 of pleurisy at the ripe old age of 100.[11]

Copyright  © 2018 Gail Grunst

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[1] 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.

[2] England Marriages, 1538–1973 database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NVJ5-JXV : 10 February 2018), William Linfor and Dinah Essaby, 14 “Oct 1833; citing Gedney, Lincoln, England, reference , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 1542146 IT 1.

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

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

[5] 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.

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

[7] Year: 1910; Census Place: Syracuse Ward 18, Onondaga, New York; Roll: T624_1057; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0187; FHL microfilm: 1375070.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.  Original data: Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Syracuse, New York, Post-Standard, August 26, 1910, Friday Morning, page 7.

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

[11] 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 1913.