My husband’s grandmother was known to everyone as June. The only person who called her Gwendolyn on a regular basis was my husband. He did it just to push her buttons. I think he got away with it because he was the oldest grandson.
June passed away 6 November 2017. June was born 4 February 1925 in Havelock neighborhood, outside of Lincoln, Nebraska. At the time, Havelock was part of the county of Lancaster, Nebraska. Today Havelock resides within the city limits of Lincoln, Nebraska.
June’s parents were Percy Fuller and Lauretta Palmatier. June was born 17 and 15 years after her older brothers (Raymond and Marshall). Her parents were 38 and 36 at the time of her birth.
I realized in 2018 I did not have a copy of June’s birth certificate. With help from my mother-in-law, one was ordered. When the certificate arrived, I was so surprised to see that June was almost not June’s name! I wish I knew the story of how her middle name changed at the last moment. It was a good choice because the name June fit her.
Loretta Elizabeth Palmatier (January 29, 1887- January 21, 1979) is my husband’s great grandmother. She was married first to Percy Fuller and then to Alexander Fraser. Born in Nebraska, she lived there until moving to Chicago, Illinois in her forties. Her last move was to California to be closer to her children, Marshall and Gwendolyn (June).
I know from talking my mother in law that the family brought Loretta to Novato, California a few weeks before her death because she was sick. Clearlake is about a two hour drive from Novato. Loretta’s daughter and granddaughter were both living in Novato at the time of Loretta’s death.
Fraser, Lauretta Death Certificate (1979), Certificate #79-002411, January 21, 1979, Novato, Marin, California. Department of Health, State of California, Sacramento, California.
Cousin Bait is defined by genealogists as putting your research online as bait for unknown cousins to find you and compare information. It works.
Late last fall I found another way for cousin bait to work. This time I was contacted by a man through Ancestry.com regarding my husband’s family. I replied to him with confirmation that my husband is a descendant of John Buchanan Fuller who passed away in 1938 in Custer, Nebraska.
Our next round of emails revealed the twist. This man was not a cousin. He had purchased items from an estate sale. Using the information on the back of a photograph, he had done a search on Ancestry.com to find someone who was researching the family. He had for sale a photograph of the John B. Fuller family together at his funeral.
After a couple of quick checks to ensure this was a legit deal, I purchased the photograph. The original photograph from 1938 arrived approximately a week later. I was thrilled to find that not only were names listed on the back of the photograph but someone had written names on the front to indicate who belonged to each name.
It was time to take a look at the research I had already completed for the family. I was hoping to match up the names on the photograph to the names in my family tree. I was happy to see I had already identified the family unit mostly using census records.
John Buchanan Fuller and his wife Emma Jane Shipman had ten children. The first three did not survive childhood. My husband’s great-grandfather, Percy, was the first child to life to be an adult. He was followed by Gladys, Clara, Clarence, Roy, Irene, and Alma.
The family was based mostly around the towns of Ord and Custer, Nebraska. I also found an obituary for John B. Fuller that painted a fuller picture of the family and their life in Nebraska. You can read the obituary here.
After realizing the names on the photo matched up with the children of John, it was easy to identify the people marked as me and mom. Genevieve, Emma Opal, and Liata are all grandchildren of John B Fuller. Unfortunately, not everyone in the photo is identified. I suspect a couple of the younger people are also grandchildren of John B. Fuller.
My mother-in-law was very excited to see this photo. She did not know her grandfather, Percy. Percy and his daughter did not have a good relationship due to Percy and Lauretta Palmatier divorcing when Grandma June was young. This was the first time my husband’s family knew what their family looked like.
I have added to photo to FamilySearch so it is available for everyone. I want to make sure it will not be lost to history a second time. If you would like a digital copy of this photo without the names added in I am happy to share my tiff file!
Charles Palmatier is my husband’s g-g-grandfather.
I have heard stories from my husband’s grandmother about how her grandfather was a Pony Express rider. There are very good records of who worked for the Pony Express and Charles Palmatier was not one of them. The obituary below proves that although the story was not totally accurate, there was definitely a grain of truth in it. This is the longest obituary I have ever found. Charley must have been a well-known and liked man in town.
Charles E. Palmatier. This photo ran with his obituary 7 June 1951 in The Ord Quiz, Ord, Nebraska, page 1 column 2 and page 2, columns 1, 2, 3 and 4. Digital images accessed 6 February 2015 at www.ordlibrary.org (The Ord Library Township Newspaper Archive).
C.E. Palmatier, Oldest Pioneer of All, Laid to Rest
Ord Resident Dies After Illness of 10 Days; Friends Mourn.
Charles Palmatier, Valley county pioneer and one of the county’s oldest and most highly respected citizens, passed away at the Ord Cooperative hospital early June 1st, at the age of 95 years, three months and twenty-three days. His death was the result of a stroke which he suffered May 23. He was born in New York state in 1856.
He leaves to mourn his passing, his beloved wife, Ettie, whom he married in 1884; three sons, Marshall of Wilmington, Calif., Edmund, of Boise, Ida, and Ellery of Chicago; four daughters, Stella Grindey, Loretta Frazier and Grace Rowe of Chicago and Alice Reed of North Hollywood, Calif.; eleven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild, besides his many friends and acquaintances.
Mr. Palmatier came to Nebraska in 1878, homesteaded at Geranium in 1879. He was a mail carrier of the early days, and ran the post office at Geranium for 17 years. Leaving the farm in 1910, he was a resident of Ord until the time of his death . A man of absolute integrity, he will long be remembered by the old friends and neighbors who knew him best.
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C.E. Palmatier, Oldest Pioneer of All Laid to Rest
Ord Resident Dies After Illness of 10 Days; Friends Mourn.
(Continued from Page 1)
Funeral services were held from the Methodist church at 2:30 Sunday afternoon, Rev. R.E. Daughelee officiating, with Hastings and Pearson in charge of arrangements. Lucille Tolen sang, with Mrs. Viola Kellison at the piano. The pall bearers were Elmer Zlomke, Don Dong, Wilbur Rogers, O.E. Patchen, Robert Noll, and M.B. Cummins. Mr. and Mrs. John Haskell had charge of the flowers. Burial was in Graceland cemetery.
Charles Palmatier was born in New York state, at Youngsville, Sullivan county, March 9, 1856, and first came to Nebraska in 1878. With him came a friend, John S. Wheeler, who once lived north of Elyria. They walked from Grand Island to St. Paul, and the next day got a job off-bearing brick in a brick yard owned by a man named Dory DeVry. This yard was located on the river near St. Paul.
Mr. Palmatier’s next job was working for Zach Leftwich in a mill on Spring Creek, He worked in the mill and also fed hogs. His first work at Ord was teaming in flour for S.S. Haskell, who at that time ran a store in the old Transit House, now located on the corner north of Hotel Ord, but then located about where the U.P. shops used to be.
It was a rather risky trip in those days. It took two days each way and camp was usually made over night near Scotia Junction. He stayed over night on some occasions with as much as $40 to $60 in his pocket, and that was a lot of money in those days. He ran quite a chance of being held up and relieved of it, but happened to be lucky.
It was not far from that time that Palmatier came to Valley county and filed on a homestead where he later located the post office of Geranium. As the law required residence on the land only a small part of the time, he got out and worked wherever he could to get money to live on. He was helping put up hay on the Calamus between the Skull and the Bloody when he got his first mail job.
Another man had the contract but he got Charley to do the carrying for him. She started carrying mail on horse back and carried it until the famous blizzard of 1880 hit on Oct. 15 and 16. His route was between Hartsuff and Fort Niobrara, a distance of 160 miles through the hills. He lost two horses in that blizzard and never went back to the job.
He would sometimes see as many as one hundred Indians on a single mail trip. Mostly they were peaceable, but a mail carrier can take no chances so he had little to do with them. One day he saw an Indian traveling to head him off, and tried to get past him, but got headed off. He asked the red man what he wanted and he answered “Tobac.”
It happened that Charley had brought a plug of chewing tobacco at the store. It was about an inch square and four inches long. He broke it in two across his knee and gave the Indian the smaller piece. He looked as though he would like to have the larger piece, but he did not get it.
While living in New York state Mr. Palmatier had taken a fancy to a girl somewhat younger than himself, and in 1881 he went back and persuaded Ettie Conklin to come back with him as his wife and make a home for him on his quarter section of land, which he had proved up on that year. They lived on the homestead and raised a large family of children.
Palmatier also carried mail for “Bill” W.H. Williams from St. Paul to Ord and on to St. Helena. He never had a chance to go to school, but nobody would believe it after visiting him. His mind was clear until the last, and he never was at loss for the answers for any questions friends asked him.
In the early ‘80s solon Pierson, a brother of Perry and uncle of Claence [sic], started the original Geranium post office. Later John Wolfe took it over and then it went to Herbert Losey. Mr. and Mrs. Palmatier got it from Losey and kept it for some time after the turn of the century, when it was discontinued with the coming of rural free delivery. Mrs. Palmatier had much of the work of taking care of the office while her husband was engaged in other work.
There was no salary connected with the office and he got only about $30 for the year’s work, which of course was not worth the trouble. After a while the post office closed at Manderson a few miles north and Geranium got the extra business. H.F. Rhodes was postmaster of the Manderson office.
Palmatier did any kind of work he could get in those days. He worked on the railroad between St. Paul and North Loup before the line was extended to Ord. He says that J.J. “Bud” Shirley case his first vote at the Palmatier house in Geranium. When Mr. and Mrs. R.B. Miller, still living in Burwell, were married at the Dies House in Ord, Charley was at the wedding.
He was one of the few men still living who knew how to build a sod house. He never belonged to any secret society, and did not believe in them. Geranium was on the wagon route from east to west, and people always planned to stop at the Palmatier home over night. They were always welcome. He lived to be the oldest living mail carrier, the oldest Quiz subscriber and probably the oldest living citizen in Valley county.
In 1910 Mr. Palmatier built a home in east Ord and the family has lived there since that time. In 1911 they made a visit to their old home in New York state. He was always a busy man, and had a fine garden at his home when death called him. The fine character of both Mr. and Mrs. Palmatier is shown by the loving care of their children for them.
John Buchannan Fuller is my husband’s great great grandfather.
I do not know much about John B Fuller. What I do know is that after Percy Fuller and Loretta Palmatier split up in 1920’s, the couple’s daughter went to live with her mother in Chicago. The couple’s two older boys, Raymond and Marshall, moved in with their grandparents, John and Emma Fuller. The household was not an easy place for the grandsons to grow up in.
I recently found an index to obituaries in Custer county, Nebraska. Using the index, I contacted the Nebraska State Historical Society to order a copy of the obituary for John B. Fuller. I am so thankful for the archivist who I contacted. Not only did she locate obituary from the Comstock News, she also let me know that there was an additional obituary in the Sargent Leader. Both obituaries have plenty of drama to share.
J B FULLER LAID TO REST MON., DEC. 12
Passed Away Suddenly Thursday Morning at Age of 82 Years.
With the suddenness of a bolt of lightning came the death of J.B. Fuller, occurring about nine o’clock last Thursday morning, December 8, death being attributed to a heart attack.
Mr. Fuller came to work last Thursday morning, evidently in good health, and during the early hours of the morning he joshed with several of his friends. About nine o’clock he was found, by one of the Reckling boys, in his hardware store, sitting in a chair, the boy thinking he was asleep. Being unable to awake him, the boy went for assistance, and it was then found that he had quietly passed away.
Mr. Fuller was one of the pioneer hardware dealers of this community, was the oldest businessman in Comstock, and one of the oldest, if not the oldest, hardware dealers in the state. He began his hardware business in the old town of Wescott in 1898, later moving to Comstock. In 1906 he disposed of his store here and farmed west of town for several years. He opened another hardware store in Comstock in July 1925, and operated this business enterprise until his death Thursday morning. Of him it can be said, “a man who did his work well.”
John Buchannan Fuller, son of John and Marietta Wilson Fuller, was born in Lapeer, Lapeer county, Michigan, November 5, 1856, and departed this life on December 8, 1938, at the age of 82 years, one month, and three days.
When a small boy he moved with his parents to Illinois. From Illinois he moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he grew to manhood.
In the year 1878 he came to York, Nebraska, where he met and married Miss Emma Jane Shipman on January 8, 1880, and to this union ten children were born, the three elder dying in infancy.
In the year of 1890 he moved with his family to a homestead near Wescott, Nebraska, living there until the spring of 1898 when he moved to Wescott, Nebraska, and engaged in the hardware business. After the railroad came up the valley, he moved his business and family to the new town of Comstock, Nebraska.
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J.B. FULLER LAID TO REST MONDAY, DEC. 12
(Continued from page one.)
Disposing of his business in 1906 he engaged in farming until 1918 at which time he disposed of his farm and moved to Comstock. In July, 1925, he again entered into the hardware business which he owned and operated up to the time of his death.
While living in Wescott he was active in the Congregational church and Sunday school, and after moving to Comstock he transferred his membership to the First Congregational church of Comstock, Nebraska.
He leaves to mourn his loss, his wife, seven children: Percy E. of Divide, Wyoming, Gladys Eggers, Myrtle Point, Oregon, Clara Smelser, Lincoln, Nebraska, Clarence E. of Martin, South Dakota, Roy R., and Irene Day of Comstock, and Alma Mathauser of Omaha, Nebraska. One brother, Irving Fuller of York, Nebraska; 19 grand children; eight great grand children; and many other relatives and a host of friends.
Funeral services were held from the Community church in Comstock Monday afternoon, December 12, conducted by the Rev. E. G. Samuelson of Elmcreek, Nebraska, and internment was made in the Douglas Grove cemetery.
COMSTOCK HARDWARE DEALER DIES FROM HEART ATTACK
Thursday, December 8, John B. Fuller of Comstock passed away while sitting in a chair in his hardware store. Mr. Fuller had arisen that morning and at the usual time went to his hardware store and built the fire and swept out. In the course of time he was arranging some money in its accustomed place for the days use. While doing this he probably felt coming on the heart attack or whatever it was that caused his death, for we are told that he sat down on a nearby chair, placed is arm over the back and then put his hand in his pocket. This kept him from falling to the floor.
Sometime afterwards a small boy went into the store and not being able to get Mr. Fuller to answer his questions, he ran into Orin Mutter’s store and said Mr. Fuller wouldn’t talk to him. Mr. Mutter sensing that something was wrong, sent word to someone else to come and when they entered the store, they found that Mr. Fuller was dead.
Mr. Fuller was 82 years of age. He first entered the hardware business at Wescott in 1898, forty years ago. When the railroad came up the valley in 1899 and the new town of Comstock was started, Mr. Fuller moved his store to Comstock and continued to operate it until 1906 when he sold the business to Tom Arthur and Jason Evans. He then moved to a farm southwest of Comstock and farmed for twelve years and then moved back to Comstock. About the year 1926 he started into the hardware business again in Comstock, being sixty eight or sixty nine years old at the time. He continued to operate this business from then until his death at the age of a little more then 82 years.
Mr. Fuller’s funeral was held Monday, December 12, from the Comstock church and interment was made in the Douglas Grove cemetery.
Fay Spooner was the funeral director. Loy E. Hersh of this city was one of the singers.
Etta May Conklin is my husband’s great-great-grandmother.
I recently pulled out my husband’s grandmother’s bible to use as an example for how to digitize items using a camera. To my surprise, from the middle of the bible, fell a couple of newspaper clippings. Big mistake on my part to not check the rest of the bible to see if there were any hidden gems. At the same time, I am so happy that I did pull out the bible and find these gems!
One of the newspaper clippings was the obituary for Etta Palmatier. While I do not know the source newspaper or date it was published. I can make the educated guess it was from Ord, Nebraska. I will follow-up to see if I can find the exact date it was published.
Palmatier Rites Are Held Monday Here
Funeral services were held Monday afternoon for Ettie May Palmatier, 87, who died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Stella Grindey, in Chicago, Friday.
The service was held from the Ord Methodist church, with Rev. Keith Shepherd officiating. Glen Auble was soloist, accompanied by Mrs. Orin Kellison.
Bearers were Wilbur Rogers, Robert Noll, O.E. Patchen, Don Long, Orin Kellison, and Leo Long.
Burial followed in the Ord city cemetery.
Mrs. Palmatier was the daughter of John and Senath Conklin. She was born May 2, 1868 in Stevensville, N.Y.
August 13, 1884, she was married to Charles A. Palmatier, of Youngsville, N.Y. The couple came to Valley county, as pioneers. Their home was in Geranium township for several years. Later the family moved to Ord. Thirteen children were born to the couple.
Mr. Palmatier died in 1953. Six children have died.
Mrs. Palmatier was a member of the Ord Methodist church and also a member of the women’s auxiliary of the American Legion here.
Surviving are Lauretta Fraser, Grace Roe, Stella Grindey, Ellery Palmatier, all of Chicago; Marshall Palmatier and Alyce Reed, of California and Edmund Palmatier, of Boise, Idaho. Fourteen grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.
Percy Fuller is my husband’s great-grandfather. He was born 4 June 1885 most likely in Comstock County, Nebraska. He was married to Loretta Palmatier. They divorced when their third child, my husband’s grandmother, was little. After that I have found Percy in Sterling, Colorado and Hood River, Oregon. Percy passed away in Oregon on January 6, 1965. He is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, Hood River, Oregon.
I have learned this tip several times in my research history. I was reminded AGAIN this past week. The scene is me sitting in my family room watching TV with my tablet in hand. I was not watching anything in particular and decided to take a look a look at the Ancestry App. In a tangential genealogist (check out this link for a definition) mood, I let myself be sucked in by those green shaky leaves. I have not put a lot of time into accepting or ignoring the suggestions by Ancestry. Most of the time they lead to records I already have documented in my software. All of my dead people have those shaky green leaves screaming at me to give them attention.
A click into the black hole of green leaves lead to a list of people who have suggestions. I immediately zoned in on Emma Dovel. She was the first wife of my g-g-grandfather, Abraham Strickler. She died young and there are not many records available for her. I have been trying for years to find out where Emma died.
The previous information was light at best. Her son’s obituary said that she had passed away in Kansas City as the family was traveling west. I did not have an exact location or date. I only knew that Abraham and David W (without Emma) were living with Emma’s mother in the 1880 census in Page County, Virginia. Since David Walter was born in 1876 that left a 4 year gap in information.
I have searched Find A Grave in the past with no luck for Emma. Guess what the first hint on that shaky green leaf was?! A link to the gravestone photo for Emma Dovel Strickler.
Died August 11, 1878
Aged 25 yrs
8 mos & 8 dys
Along with birth and death dates, I now know Emma was in Nemaha County, Nebraska when she passed away. She is buried in the Kite family cemetery. This name is familiar to me as one of the usual suspects in Page County, Virginia. My first hypothesis is that Emma has a sibling who married a Kite and they traveled west together. I will have to do some further research of the other burials in the same cemetery to determine just how Emma and Abraham were related to this group. I also need to check what sources are available for Nemaha County. There may be additional information about Abraham and David Walter there.
So check again, and again, and again for information you cannot locate. You never know when and where you will find what you are looking for.
Matthias Flock is my 4th great grandfather. (me->my mom->Roberta Mitchell->Opal Strickler->Effie Flock->John Flock->Matthias Flock). He was born about 1813 in New Jersey. He died between 1860-1870 in either Appanoose County, Iowa or York County, Nebraska. He married Margaret Fankboner in 1835 in Tuscarawas, Ohio. I have documented 11 children born between 1835 and 1860.
One of the things that really sticks out to me about this family is how much they moved during their lifetime. I created a timeline in excel to get a better idea of when and where the family lived. As they moved from place to place, they seemed to leave a couple of kids behind in each location. (Not Literally! The kids would stay in a town after they married.)
Using the information I had gathered in the excel sheet, I created a google map to get a better visual idea of how the Flock family moved around the United States. First they moved west, then South.
The excel sheet was pretty long so here is a quick snap shot of the family’s moves:
about 1813 – Matthias Flock is born in New Jersey
about 1815 – Margaret Fankboner is born in Pennsylvania
1835 – Matthias and Margaret marry in Tuscarawas County, Ohio
1835-1850 – The Flock’s live in Tuscarawas, Ohio as seven of their children are born
1850-1854 – The Flock’s live in Coles County, Ohio and have 2 more children
1855-1865? – The Flock’s live in Appanoose County, Iowa and have their last child
1865?- 1878? – Margaret now a widow, lives in York County, Nebraska. One of her son’s remainded behind in Iowa and did not make this move.
1878-1884? – Margaret moves in with son John and his family in Washington County, Kansas. She has left another couple of sons in York, Iowa.
1884- 1904 – Margaret is no longer living with John. She is found again in 1904 in the Cemetery in Ringwood, Oklahoma. One of her sons, Charles, is also buried there with his family. It is possible that she lived her last years in Oklahoma with him. An interesting note is that another son, John, died in Enid, Oklahoma. Enid and Ringwood are only 21 miles apart. For this family, that is a small distance.
When my ancestors moved in the mid and late 1800’s, they were definitely part of America’s great Western Expansion. I took a look at the BLM website to search for any land patents. I was amazed to see that most of Matthias and Margaret’s sons applied for patents in Iowa, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. I will have to spend some time learning more about the Homestead Act of 1862 and my ancestors roll in populating the west.
I am still on the hunt for the death records and probate for Catherine (Carey) Bradley. She is the mother of Mary Eugenia Bradley, my great-great-grandmother. There is a family story that states Catherine is not the biological mother of Mary. I have been trying to prove or disprove this story. You can read my previous posts: Mystery Monday – Who was Mary Bradley’s Mother and Mystery Monday – Mary Bradley Update.
My last plan of action was to:
find death records including death certificate, obituary, and probate records for Catherine Bradley.
research Mary’s siblings (Walter, Norbert, and Charles)
search the 1870 census to identify any Udell’s living in LaSalle County, Illinois
Since that last post, I have done some research in the first two bullet points. I thoroughly searched the Cook County, Illinois death records on Ancestry.com, Familysearch.org, and the Illinois State Death Index for variations of Catherine or Kate Bradley. There were many results but none appear to be my Catherine.
The last place that I can identify Catherine as living is the 1910 census. She is living with her oldest son, Walter and his family in Chicago, Cook, Illinois. Her age is listed as 70.
Since I hit a another wall, I moved on to locating more information about Mary’s brothers starting with Walter. Unfortunately, Walter passed in 1912 from a brain aneurysm. I tried to find his wife, Hannah, and their 4 children (Eugene, Margaret, Walter, and Bernadette) in the 1920 census but have been unable to do so. I have been playing with just listing first names and relationships but this has not worked yet. I do not know if Hannah remarried after Walter’s death. I would like to find the family to see if Catherine was still alive and living with them in 1920.
I moved on to Mary’s younger brothers. I believe that I have found them living in Texas and Nebraska in the 1910, 1920, and 1930 census. Catherine is not listed as living with either of them in these census enumerations.
So where did Catherine die? and when did she die? In order to help myself see the bigger picture, I created a timeline for Catherine with all of the information I know about her. I am glad to have the timeline but it did not produce any “wow” moments. Catherine had lived in Chicago for 25 years at the time of Walter’s death. It is hard to imagine her moving but you never know.
My updated research plan is to find an obituary for Walter Bradley in 1912. Hopefully, it will list more information about his immediate family and if his mother survived him. I will also try to locate a marriage record for Hannah Bradley to see if she remarried.