Surname Saturday – Dean Lawbaugh Family

This is my first Surname Saturday post.  I have decided to start with Dean Lawbaugh’s family because I have a wonderful photo of the family.  Dean Russell Lawbaugh is my great grandfather on my mother’s paternal side.

top: Eugenia, Bill, Clemmie
bottom: Effie, Dean, Eddie

1. Dean Russell Lawbaugh was born 15 December 1888 in Wellington, Kansas to William Henry Lawbaugh and Clementine L Hudson.  He died 30 May, 1950 in Los Angeles, California.  He is buried in Wellington, Kansas.  Dean married Effie Bender on 12 May 1912.

2.  Effie Mae Bender was born 30 December 1892 in Halstead, Kansas to William Henry Bender and Mary Eugenia Bradley.  She died 15 march 1974 in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  She is buried in Wellington, Kansas.

i.  Eugenia Beryl Lawbaugh was born 23 February 1913 in Wellington, Kansas.  She died 11 July 1995 in McMinnville, Oregon.

ii. Clemedean Lawbaugh was born 7 January 1917 in Wellington, Kansas.  She died 23 June 1996 in McMinnville, Oregon.

iii. Edna Mae Lawbaugh was born 11 May 1921 in Wellington, Kansas.  She died 28 August 2001 in  Topeka, Kansas.

iv.  William Henry Lawbaugh was born 12 September 1923 in Wellington, Kansas.  He died 14 October 1965 in Lake Isabella, California.

Tombstone Tuesday – Dudley Mitchell & Opal Strickler

Dudley Moses Mitchell and Opal Blanche Strickler are the parents of my maternal grandmother (great-grandparents).  They were set up on a date by Lawrence Elliott.  Lawrence was Opal’s brother-in-law and Moses’ nephew. Despite a fifteen year age difference, Opal and Moses fell for each other and were married December 20, 1916 in Topeka, Kansas.  They raised five children together, two daughters and three sons.  To find work during the Depression, the family moved to Hutchinson, Kansas.  They remained there the rest of their lives.

Opal and Moses are buried together at the Penwell Gabel Cemetery in Hutchinson, Kansas.  I got the chance to pay my respects last October on a research trip to Kansas.  The morning we visited Hutchinson was a brisk 30 degrees and windy.  These photos were taken very quickly before returning to the warmth of the car!

 

Opal B Mitchell Mar. 1, 1891 – Dec. 2, 1970
Dudley M. Mitchell Oct 20, 1875 – Mar 10, 1957.

 

Sunday’s Obituary – John Bender “Found Dead In His Bed”

John Bender is my third great grandfather on my mother’s side.
(William H. Lawbaugh -> Effie Bender -> William H. Bender -> John Bender)
FOUND DEAD IN HIS BED
Another Pioneer in the Person of John Bender Has Been Taken.
John Bender, one of the old settlers in Lakin township, where he had lived since 1876, or for the past forty-nine years, has answered the final summons, he having been found dead in bed by members of the family about seven o’clock Sunday morning.  The end had come peacefully, as he was lying in a natural position and it was thought he was asleep as the son tried to awaken him at the usual hour.
While he had not been in good health for many years, being a sufferer with stomach trouble and its attendant ailments, it was only a month ago that he had a severe attach of neuralgia of the heart and it was another spell that kind which took him away, according to the decision of the attending physician.  He had been up and about the house the day before and after eating a hearty supper retired at the usual hour with no indication that the early morning would record the time of his death.  It is thought he must have passed away about four o’clock from the condition of his body when he was found.
 John Bender was born in Lyconing County, Pa., Feb. 28, 1845 and died at his home Feb 15, 1925, at the age 79 years, 11 months and 14 days.  He was married to Miss Matilda Sherman[sic] on August 8, 1867.  To this union 8 children were born, four of whom preceded the father to the other Land.  Those surviving are Mrs. Nora Bastin, Irvan [sic] and Lewis Bender, who lived at home and Oliver Bender, of Sedgwick.  He is survived also by the widow, one sister, Mrs. Maggie Garnhart, of Williamsport, Pa., eight grand-children and six great grand-children.
At an early age he united with the Lutheran Church and upon his coming to this vicinity in Feb. 1878 he united with the United Brethren Church at Pleasant Valley and where he had been a regular attendant all of those years when health would permit.  Upon coming to Harvey county he located on a farm five miles south of town and had continuously lived within on half mile of the original home for forty-seven years.
He was one of the oldest and most highly respected residents of Lakin township and his taking away from the scene of an active career is deeply mourned by all who came in close contact with him during that period.
The funeral was held Tuesday afternoon from Pleasant Valley Church and was largely attended by old friends and neighbors.  The service was conducted by the Pastor, Rev. Sill who paid a fine tribute to his memory.  Burial was made in Pleasant Valley Cemetery, where so many of his old friends are taking their last long sleep.  The close relatives have the sympathy  of their many friends over the grief which has entered into their lives.
John Bender Obituary, Halstead Independent, Halstead, Harvey County, Kansas, Volume XLV, No. 8, 19 February 1925, page 1, column 6.

Twice Related

Lawrence Elliott has the special distinction of showing up in two different family lines in my family tree.  Here is how:

Lawrence was born Feb 26, 1892 in Hoyt, Kansas to Lewis Elliott and Melinda Mitchell.  On December 12, 1912 he married Ruby Strickler in Fall River, Greenwood, Kansas.  Ruby Strickler was born May 28, 1894 in Narka, Kansas to Abraham Strickler and Effie Amner Flock.

Ruby was the middle daughter in a family of 1 son and three girls.  The brother died as an infant. Opal was born second on March 1, 1891. Emerald was born last on April 1, 1902.  After Lawrence and Ruby were married, Ruby set her older sister up with her husband’s uncle, Dudley Moses Mitchell.  Dudley Moses is the younger brother of Melinda Mitchell, Lawrence’s mother.

Despite a fifteen year age difference, Opal and Dudley hit it off and were married on December 20, 1916 in Topeka, Kansas.

After the marriage, Lawrence became twice related.  He shows up in both the Strickler family line and the Mitchell family line.  Lawrence was related to Dudley Moses as his nephew and brother-in-law at the same time.  He is my 1st cousin twice removed and the husband of my great great aunt.

Mystery Monday – Who was Mary Bradley’s mother?

Mary Bradley is my second great grandmother on my mother’s paternal side (William Lawbaugh ->Effie Bender->Mary Bradley).

Mary Eugenia Bradley was born 18 December 1867 in LaSalle county, Illinois.  Her parents are listed on her death certificate as Charles Bradley and Kate Bradley.  The informant listed on the death certificate was her daughter, Matilda ‘Tilly’ (Bender) Case.

Both my mother and one of her cousins remember their ‘Grandma Bender’ (Effie May Bender), Mary’s older daughter & Tilly’s older sister, telling the story about how her mother, Mary Bradley, was born illegitimately to a Jewish woman and forced onto her father’s new bride to raise.  They both also remember a story that Grandma Bender remembers a visit to Mary by the supposed biological mother.

Here are some of the ideas I have researched in my attempt to find an answer to this family story:

Birth Records

  • Birth Records were not kept in the state of Illinois until 1916.
  • LaSalle County, Illinois starting keeping birth records in 1877 but have no earlier records.

Census
An analysis of the census records is not clear either:

  • 1870 Federal Census – living with John and Kate
  • 1880 Federal Census – living with John and Kate and 3 brothers
  • about 1883 – John Bradley dies
  • 1885 Kansas Census – living with Kate and 3 brothers
  • 1900 Federal Census – living with husband, William Bender.  Kate is living in Chicago with her 3 sons.  She indicates that she has had 5 children and only 3 are living.
  • 1910 Federal Census – Mary is living in Kansas with her second husband.  Kate is living with her oldest son and his family in Chicago.  She indicates that she has had 3 children and 3 are living.

It is very interesting that after moving to Chicago, Kate (Cary) Bradley has indicated only 3 children are living when Mary is clearly alive in Kansas.

Marriage Records

  • Mary Bradley’s marriage certificate to William Bender dated 17 December 1877 does not mention Mary’s parents.  There is a certificate signed by John Bender (William’s father) attesting to both Mary and William being of age (18 and 19 respectively).
  • The marriage certificate for John Bradley and Catherine Cary is definitely more interesting.  They applied for a marriage license in LaSalle County, Illinois on November 18, 1867.  The copy of the license I received states that license # 1243 was ‘not returned, missing’.
  • I have also received a copy of the St. Columba Church marriage records (Ottawa, LaSalle, Illinois) for Charles and Kate.  The church records indicate that Charles and Catherine were married November 18, 1867.  The marriage was witnessed by William Edding and Mary Noonan.

The marriage date for Charles and Catherine is only 31 days before Mary was born.  I find it very unlikely that a woman in 1867 would wait until she is 8 months pregnant before marrying the father of her child.  Considering the year, I would expect a woman to have gotten married as soon as possible to hide the fact she was pregnant before marriage.

Conclusions
I have not reached any conclusions about who Mary Bradley’s mother is.

I do find the evidence in favor of Kate Bradley being Mary’s mother on the thin side.  The only person who has stated that fact was Mary’s daughter.  She was obviously did not have first hand knowledge of the birth since she was not there.

There is also no proof yet that another woman is Mary Bradley’s mother.

The only clue I have to the mystery Jewish woman is that her last name might have been Udell.  This name was given to my mother’s cousin by Grandma Bender in a conversation.

I am following up on another research idea right now.  I have sent an inquiry to the Catholic Church, St. Columba, in Ottawa, Illinois to see if they have any birth or baptismal records for Mary Bradley.  This is the church that Charles and Kate got married at just a month before Mary’s birth.

I will keep you updated when I receive a response.

Thriller Thursday – Aunt Laura’s house blew up

Last October, I got the chance to take a genealogy research trip to Kansas to look for information about my mother’s family.  The highlights of the trip include visiting with family on both the maternal and paternal sides of the family.  My mom’s uncle, Raymond, was just shy of 90 when we visited.  He told us so many great stories about the Mitchell family.  We spent an afternoon driving around Topeka, Kansas seeing the family sites when Raymond pointed to a street corner and said “That is where Aunt Laura’s house blew up.”

Of course, my mom and I immediately wanted to hear more.  This is a retelling of the story we heard that afternoon from Uncle Raymond with a little of my research added in.

Aunt Laura is Laura P. Mitchell.  She is one of Dudley Moses Mitchell’s older sisters.  She was born about 1868 in Jackson County, Kansas.  At the time of this story she was living in Topeka, Kansas.

One day Laura smelled gas in her house so she called the gas company.  They came out to the house and let her know that they did not smell anything and she was fine.  Later in the day, Laura still smelled gas and called the gas company again.  She apologized for being any trouble but let them know about the continuing gas smell.  The gas company again sent a man out to her house.  Laura went into the basement with the gas man.  When he turned on his flashlight, the gas in the room ignited.  The house split into two the explosion was so large.  They both somehow miraculously survived with little injuries.  Uncle Raymond continued that if Aunt Laura had been lying in her cot as usual, she would have gone through the roof becaues that is exactly what happened to the cot!  Laura received a settlement from the gas company.  She moved to Downey, California sometime after the explosion happened.  She lived in California the rest of her life.

Sunday’s Obituary – William H. Lawbaugh

William H. Lawbaugh is my second great grandfather through my mother’s paternal line (William Lawbaugh->Dean R. Lawbaugh->William H. Lawbaugh)The People’s Voice, Wellington, Sumner, Kansas

No. 48, Vol. XXI
26 January 1911, page 1, column 4
“Lawbaugh Died This Morning”
Well Known Painter and Musician Passes Away
Had Undergone Another Operation Yesterday From Which He Failed To Recover.
W.H. Lawbaugh passed away at his home on North Jefferson avenue [sic] this morning at six o’clock.  It was realized yesterday by the physicians and relatives that his condition was critical and there was but little hope felt for his recovery.  Yet death was somewhat unexpected at time it came, as those watching at his bedside thought that they had noticed a rally of strength just a few moments before.  He passed away during a period of unconsciousness.
                A surgical operation on the stomach was performed yesterday morning as the only hopes of saving the patient’s life.  A first operation was performed a few months ago which restored the patient’s health for a time.  But his condition again became serious last week.  The disease of which he suffered was one of the stomach [sic], thought by some of the physicians to be cancer.
                W.H. Lawbaugh has been one fo the best known citizen of Wellington for twenty-three years.  He was a painter and decorator by trade, and one who excelled in his profession.  His eye for colors and careful workmanship marked him an artist in his line.  His work is to be found everywhere about the city.  The interior of the Antlers hotel is one of his notable efforts.  Here he was given the full play of his genius and the work is recognized as one of his best.
                Mr. Lawbaugh was also a musician of marked ability, and has been a leading member of every band organization in Wellington since he came here.  No band was complete without Lawbaugh and his big bass horn, and he was a friend to every ban musician in the city, young and old.  He was one of the charter members of the famous old “Big Six” band of earlier days.  The other members of that organization who will be remembered here by many were Bert Chapman, Chas. Davis, Will Dean, Bert Daniels, H. Teiderman, Claud Sanders and W.H. Caman.  Will R. Stotler was drum major and is the only member now living here. W.H. Caman came down from Beatrice, Nebraska a few weeks ago to see his friend Mr. Lawbaugh, during the latter’s critical illness.
                W.H. Lawbaugh was born in Geneseo, Ill. In 1862 and resided there with his parents until he was 17 years of age.  Then he traveled as a musician with show companies, first coming to Wellington in 1882 with the Simons Comedy Company.  He liked the town and returned in 1887 to take up his residence, having been married in 1886 to Clemie Hudson at LaCygne, Kansas.
                Mr. Lawbaugh was converted in the Williams meetings at the Methodist church a number of years ago and has been a faithful member of the church.  He belonged to the I.O.O.F. and carried insurance.  The deceased leaves a widow and two children, Ione aged 16 and Dean aged 22.  A sister, Mrs. Lou Miles, lives at Geneseo, Ill.  She was here at the time of his first serious attack of illness. 
                The funeral services will be held from the home at 702 North Jefferson at 3 o’clock Thursday afternoon Rev. D.H. Switzer officiating.

Tombstone Tuesday – Bender Family, Sedgwick, Kansas

The Pleasant Valley Cemetery in Sedgwick, Kansas has many Bender’s buried there.  The family patriarch, John, his wife, Matilda, and three of their children are buried around a tree in the middle of the cemetery.  Many members of the immediate family and extended family are buried just to the east of the tree (behind the tree in the photo below). This post includes the tombstones that surround the tree and their inscriptions.

John Bender and Matilda Bender are my third great grandparents on my mother’s paternal line (William H. Lawbaugh ->Effie Bender->William H. Bender ->John Bender)

Two large gravestones in the front and two flat stones in the rear.
 John Bender, 1845-1925; Matilda, his wife, 1847-1932.
Leroy, son of J & M Bender, died April 1, 1884; the rest of the tombstone was too degraded to read.
(Leroy was 9 months old when he died.)
Ella F., daughter of J & M Bender, died Apr 21, 1889, aged 8 yrs 23d’s, she’s waiting for us in the glorious eden land which lies beyone the sunset of life.
W H Bender, born May 23, 1868, died Oct 4, 1902, Dearest father thou hast left us and our loss we deeply feel. But tis god that has bereft us he can all our sorrows heal.
(William was 34 years old when he died.  He was survived by his wife, Mary, and their 5 children.)

Abraham Strickler 1853 – 1910

Abraham Strickler was born at home along the banks of the Shenandoah River South of Luray, Virginia on October 24, 1853.  The Strickler family was one of the original 8 families that settled what is now Page County, Viginia in the 1730’s.  The original Abraham Strickler who settled the area would be this Abraham Strickler’s great-great grandfather.  Abraham’s great-grandfather, John was granted the 230 acre family farm on the Shenandoah river.  John’s son, Martin (Abraham’s grandfather), bought out his brothers upon John’s death to own the entire farm.  He later bought adjoining property to bring the farm to 350 acres.  Abraham’s father, David Strickler, was running the famliy farm at the time of Abraham’s birth even though his father, Martin was still alive.  Abraham’s grandparents, Martin and Anna, lived in the original family home next to the Abraham’s family.  David built the fancy ‘new’ brick family home in the years immediately before Abraham Strickler’s birth (1851-1852).

Abraham was the youngest of 10 children, 5 girls an 5 boys.  The family was wealthy, living on 350 acres of land.  Even though most of the farm work was done by the sons and hired hands, the family did have 1 slave.
Abraham’s first marriage was to Emma Dovel on December 24, 1874.  Abraham and Emma were 22 and 21 years old when they married.  Emma lived on a nearby farm run by her father.  The Dovel’s were another founding family of Page County.  Abraham and Emma had one son, David Walter Strickler, in March 1876.  The son’s obituary indicates that Emma died in Kansas City, Missouri when the family moved there a couple of years after he was born.  I found both Abraham and David living with Emma’s family in the 1880 census in Page County, Virginia.  At the time of the census, Abraham is 26 years old and David is 4 years old.  Apparently, they had decided to head back to Virginia after Emma’s death.
Sometime between 1880 and 1885 Abraham left his son in Virginia with his deceased wife’s family and he headed to Kansas again.  He was enumerated in the 1885 Kansas Census in the town of Albion, Republic County, Kansas as a farmer living with one of Emma’s brothers, Benjamin.  There is no documentation that shows Abraham kept in touch with his son.  David Walter Strickler’s obituary mentions that he moved in with his aunt’s after his mother’s death.
Abraham married his second wife, Effie Flock, about 1888 in Republic County, Kansas.  Abraham is 35 years old at the time of his second marriage.  His wife Effie is 22 years old.  It is unknown if Effie knew of Abraham’s first family.  Abraham and Effie had 4 children, 1 boy and 3 girls between 1890 and 1902.  The son, Earl Jasper, died as an infant.  The three daughters were named Opal, Ruby, and Emerald.  They were Abraham’s ‘three jewels.’
It appears that the family lived on two different farms when the children were little.  Both the Federal census in 1900 and the Kansas Census in 1905 shows that Abraham owned the farms he worked.  The family first lived in Narka, Republic County (about 1888-1900).  They were in Haddam, Washington County when their youngest daughter was born.  They lived in Haddam approximately 10 years before moving in 1908.
In 1908 the family moved to Fall River, Kansas.  This was a big move as Greenwood County, Kansas is approximately 250 miles southeast of Haddam, Kansas.  I have not found any documentation that indicates why the family made the move to southern Kansas.
According to Abraham’s obituary, he quickly became invovled in the community in Fall River.  He purchased the Rodgers Hotel in town and an interest in the Fall River Creamery.  He also purchased a farm outside of town that he worked.  The family lived in a home in the town of Fall River.  Unfortunately, Abraham had a stroke in October 1909 at the age of 56.  He was not well after the stroke and died 4 months later on March 23, 1910.  He was initally buried in the North Pole Cemetery, south of Fall River.
On a trip to Kansas in October 2010, I was surprised to find Abraham Strickler buried next to his wife Effie in Topeka, Kansas.  Effie had remarried in 1914 to John Scott and was widowed a second time before the 1920 Federal Census.  Effie was again remarried in 1931 to her third husband.  She died in 1939 still married to Daniel Hogbin.  The Penwell Gabel Cemetery in Topeka was able to locate records that show when the cemetery opened Effie bought 6 plots on July 1st, 1925.  There is a letter dated January 5, 1926 asking Effie for payment of $5.00 for meeting her husband’s coffin at the train.  Effie had Abraham disinterred from his grave in southern Kansas so that he could be near to her in Topeka.  Abraham was the 50th person buried in the cemetery in Topeka.  Effie and Abraham are buried next to each other.