Saturday, July 18, 2015

Perry Green, a Hoosier Pioneer of Pasadena

Let others stay here and freeze if they wish; I’m going to California.
- Helen Elliott, an original member of the Indiana Colony in 1873[1]

The vibrant city of Pasadena, California, home of the Rose Parade and Caltech, has deep Indiana roots reaching back to the early 1870’s. The brutal winter of 1872-1873 pounded the Midwest with conditions unequaled in recorded history, which left many Indiana residents wishing for a more temperate climate.[2] Moreover, some believed that warmer weather would be beneficial to their health. A group of hopeful families migrated 2,000 miles west to form the quiet farming community that would later become Pasadena. As one of the original Indiana colonists determined to build a new life, Perry M. Green played a vital role in the establishment, growth, and culture of Pasadena, California.

In the spring of 1873, Perry first heard glowing accounts of life in California from a letter that was being passed around a group of his Indianapolis friends.[3] Many of the Hoosiers, including Perry himself, resolved that they would head to California as soon as possible. He joined the company in the hope of improving the health of his ailing wife, Hettie.[4] The small band of investors, calling themselves the “Indiana Colony,” immediately laid out their plans for departure.

However, their endeavors got off to a rocky start when the economy collapsed during the Panic of 1873. Perry Green described the devastating effect the financial depression had on the Indiana Colony:
Alas for the uncertainty of human calculations! The financial crash of 1873 fell upon the country like a clap of thunder from a clear sky, and failure, disaster, and bankruptcy swept like a tidal wave over the land, and the bright hopes of the “California Colony of Indiana” went down into the frightful vortex.[5]
Although they had lost much of their financial backing, Perry Green and those faithful to the cause rallied to form the San Gabriel Orange Grove Association.[6] In essence, their perseverance transformed a dream into reality.

In 1875, the association finally purchased land; Perry Green’s investment secured him 60 acres in the San Gabriel Valley. [7] Before building one of the first homes in the colony, Perry assisted in laying underground irrigation pipes, surveying the land, and planting grape cuttings.[8]  Then, Perry met with other community leaders to discuss a name for the new town. Someone suggested “Pasadena,” a Chippewa word that meant “of the valley.”[9] This name seemed to reflect the character of the beautiful landscape better than all the other proposals.

Many of Pasadena’s original citizens were educated professionals – doctors, lawyers, and journalists – with little to no agricultural experience. One visitor to Pasadena even remarked: “What a highly educated lot of farmers you have out here! Do they all talk so learnedly?”[10] In 1877, the celebrated naturalist, John Muir, wrote a letter which further illustrates this point:
There is nothing more remarkable in the character of the colony than the literary and scientific taste displayed. The conversations of most I have met here is seasoned with a smack of mental ozone, attic salt, which struck me as being rare among the tillers of California soil. People of taste and money in search of a home would do well to prospect the resources of this aristocratic little colony.[11]
Yet Pasadena clearly needed more than scholarly attainment. Those who had even a rudimentary knowledge of agriculture were a huge asset to the community. Perry Green was an educated attorney, but as a boy, he had been employed as a farm hand in rural Indiana.[12] His early familiarity with farming now equipped him to guide his struggling neighbors. Eager to help his fellow farmers succeed, Perry and several others formed a society for the purpose of developing the necessary skills to cultivate fruits such as oranges, figs, and apricots.[13]

The novice farmers soon came to realize that adequate irrigation was the key to their success. As one California pioneer put it: “Water here means gold.”[14] This need resulted in the formation of the Land and Water Company of Pasadena in 1877. Perry Green was on the company’s first board of directors and was selected to fill the position of vice president, a role he continued for 25 years.[15]

Another issue in the early years of Pasadena was the anti-liquor ordinance. In the beginning, the majority of the colony, including Perry Green, was strongly in support of the Temperance Movement, forbidding even the cultivation of certain grapes that could be used in the production of wine.[16] Notably, during the first nine years of the settlement, there was not one single criminal prosecution.[17] However, with the arrival of new settlers who did not share the same sentiments, it became harder to keep the founding principles enforced. In 1888, Perry Green served as chairman of a mass meeting of 1,000 concerned Pasadena citizens. The deliberation resulted in a set of anti-liquor resolutions and an “enforcement committee,” of which Perry was a member.[18]

Perry Green was the driving force in organizing many major financial and business institutions, particularly Pasadena’s first bank. Although he had no previous experience with banking, Perry saw the need for a bank and was willing to contribute his time and money to make the venture succeed. The bank prospered, and by 1886 it received a charter to become the First National Bank of Pasadena.[19] In addition to being the president of the First National Bank, Perry was involved in at least a dozen other civic establishments as a board member, trustee, or treasurer.

In the space of ten years, Pasadena had already outgrown its status as a quaint agrarian community and was well on its way to becoming a bustling city. As a result, it became necessary to create a better form of internal transportation. Perry Green embraced these changes and invested more of his time and money in streetcars and railroads, becoming reasonably wealthy in the process. He became both director and treasurer for the first streetcar company of Pasadena, as well as joining the Los Angeles and Pasadena Railway Company’s board of directors.[20]

With Pasadena’s central transportation system flourishing, Perry turned his attention to a new enterprise that would benefit his city. He had an idea to construct a railway into the Sierra Madre Mountains (now known as the San Gabriel Mountains), allowing adventurous tourists to experience the beauty of the landscape.[21] More importantly for Pasadena, the proposed railway would become a source of revenue. Perry provided some initial funds for the project and commissioned Thaddeus Lowe, a well-known engineer, to oversee the monumental task of building a track up the side of the steep mountain.[22]

On Independence Day 1893, a multitude of spectators attended the unveiling of the Mount Lowe Incline Railway, paying the substantial fee of $5 for a ride to the top of the mountain.[23] The completed railway was an incredible feat of engineering. Perry Green, as vice president of the Pasadena and Mount Wilson Railway Company, gave the opening remarks for the occasion: “The railroad is . . . such a triumph of engineering and construction and skill, as to challenge our unbounded admiration.”[24] Eventually, hotels were built at the top of the mountain, making Pasadena one of the most popular vacation spots of that era. Although the Mount Lowe Incline Railway no longer exists, it ultimately changed the character of Pasadena from an ordinary town into a well-known resort destination.

As an educated man, Perry Green naturally involved himself with the academic sector of Pasadena. The California Institute of Technology (also known as Caltech), was founded in 1891 as Throop Polytechnic Institute, a vocational and preparatory college. Perry Green, part of the initial board of directors, was elected as the institute’s first treasurer.[25] Furthermore, he took a philanthropic interest in the school, as shown in the following remarks made by his Throop colleagues:
Mr. Green has given the best that was in him for the advancement of this school. He yearned to help the young, frequently paying the tuition of deserving students who were unable to meet that expense, and following their career through the school with watchful interest.[26]
Over time, the California Institute of Technology has emerged as one of the most prominent scientific and engineering schools in the country.

Without a doubt, the Rose Parade is [27] The first parades consisted of horse-drawn buggies ornately decorated with locally-grown roses and orange blossoms.  But by the early twentieth century, some merchants who had previously sponsored the parade no longer saw its potential; they decided to withdraw funding that was crucial to the parade’s operation.[28] As treasurer of the Rose Parade committee, Perry appealed to the community for help. A group of supportive citizens responded by donating the needed $13,000.[29] Perry’s timely intervention was pivotal in preserving the city’s unique celebration.  Pasadena’s most iconic tradition. Even so, it is not widely known that the New Year’s celebration was created to boost morale after a financial depression. By showcasing the best of what sunny Pasadena had to offer, Perry Green and other community leaders also hoped to renew interest in investors from the Midwest.

Perry M. Green’s steadfast guidance was truly essential to the formation, progress, and character of Pasadena. He overcame many obstacles to fulfill the vision that he had for his adopted homeland. Through hard work and careful investing, Perry amassed a great amount of wealth, which he generously poured back into his community. Even toward the end of his life, as his health declined, Perry continued to serve his city in countless ways. On the day of his funeral, all of Pasadena’s businesses closed their doors as a tribute to the city’s beloved founder.[30] The beautiful city of Pasadena, California stands as a legacy of Perry Green’s leadership, dedication, and ingenuity.

[1] James H. Madison, “Taking the Country Barefooted: The Indiana Colony in Southern California,” California History, Fall 1990, 237.
[2] Michael Snyder, “Flower Power,” Indianapolis Monthly, Dec 1998, accessed January 15, 2015, 86.
[3] R. W. C. Farnsworth, A Southern California Paradise (Pasadena: Farnsworth, 1883), 35.
[4] James Miller Guinn, Historical and Biographical Record of Southern California, (Chicago, Chapman Publishing Company, 1902), 227.
[5] Farnsworth, 35.
[6] Guinn, 226.
[7] “Appreciating Pasadena, Garden of the Californian Dream,” Kim Weir, accessed January 19, 2015,
[8] Ann Scheid Lund, Historic Pasadena: An Illustrated History (Pasadena, HPN Books, 1999), accessed January 15, 2015, 20-21.
[9] Snyder, 92.                                                                                                                                       
[10] Lund, 25.
[11] Ibid, 25.
[12] Guinn, 227.
[13] Lund, 25.
[14] Madison, 240.
[15] Guinn, 227.
[16] Farnsworth, 39.
[17] Ibid, 46.
[18] Hiram Alvin Reid, A History of Pasadena, (Pasadena, Pasadena History Company, 1895), 256.
[19] J. W. Wood, Pasadena, California, Historical and Personal: A Complete History of the Organization of the Indiana Colony, (Wood, 1917), 246.
[20] Reid, 430, 434.
[21] Michael A. Patris, Mount Lowe Railway, (Arcadia Publishing, 2007), 8.
[22] Ibid, 9.
[23] Ibid, 45.
[24] Reid, 448.
[25] Ibid, 191.
[26] “Honor His Memory – Citizens Pay Tribute To Late P. M. Green,”Los Angeles Herald, March 25, 1903, accessed January 19, 2015.
[27] Snyder, 92.
[28] Lee E. Johnson and C. W. Taylor, Eminent Californians 1953, (Palo Alto, C. W. Taylor Publishing, 1953), 15.
[29] Ibid, 15.
[30] “Last Honors Paid – Funeral of Late P. M. Green,” Los Angeles Herald, March 27, 1903, accessed January 19, 2015.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #16 Long Live the Lathams!

Princeton Leader, Princeton, Kentucky, 18 July 1912
Elijah Stephen Latham, my 6th great grandfather, was born in North Carolina in 1756.  According the the above article, which appeared in at least three different newspapers, Elijah, as well as my 7th and 8th great grandfathers, Jeremiah and Phillip Latham, lived to be over one hundred years old!  Since I know very little about these three men, I was excited to find this information.

My fifth great grandfather, Stephen R. Latham, broke the trend of Latham longevity.  He died of typhoid at the age of 76.  Unfortunately, Stephen's son, James Harvey Latham, also died of typhoid fever.  He was only 39.  I wonder how long they might have lived if they had not been victims of the disease.

By the way, Rev. George Washington Latham, the subject of the newspaper article and a Civil War veteran, died a few years after the story was printed, at the age of 91.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #15 Mary Green, Early Pasadena Pianist

1889 Wm. Knabe & Co. piano advertisement
What was to be a joyous birthday present from the late P. M. Green to his daughter now comes to her as a sweet but sad memorial to his love. Some months ago, the millionaire ... gave his order for a specially designed Art Grand Piano to be manufactured by the famous old house William Knabe and Co., Baltimore.  Such special work requires months of patient waiting before the finished product is ready for shipment and this order was no exception to the rule... The piano arrived only yesterday, and is now on display at the Pacific Music company's warerooms... Seldom, if ever, has any show window in this city been decorated by such a magnificent specimen of the piano maker's art.  (Los Angeles Herald, 9 Aug 1903) 

The recipient of that piano was Mary Green, my 1st cousin 4 times removed.  She was born in March 1863 in Shelby County, Indiana and was the only child of Perry M. Green and Henrietta "Hettie" Campbell.  Mary's mother had poor health, which influenced the family's decision to seek a better climate. When Mary was 10 years old, she and her parents, aunt, uncle, and cousins joined a migration of Indiana families to southern California. 

Mary was the founder of the Pasadena Symphony Club, which met for the first time at her parents' house on November 5, 1896.  The club's meetings included papers given on composers and musical forms, orchestral and piano rehearsals, and many public performances.  According to several newspaper accounts, Mary was a remarkable musician and a pianist of great technical ability.  (I wish there was a recording of her playing!)  Among the pieces she performed with the Pasadena Symphony Club were:

Dvorak's Symphony No. 5 in E minor "From the New World"
Saint-Sรคens' Dance Macabre "Dance of Death"
Raff's Symphony No. 5 in E Major "Lenore"
Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" 

After Mary's father died in March of 1903, her mother's health also began to decline.  Hettie, who for a while benefited from the climate change, eventually contracted severe bronchitis and passed away in 1908.  Two years later, on July 22, 1910, Mary Green died from heart failure at the age of 47.  She never married and has no descendants.  I wonder what happened to Mary's beautiful piano.  I like to hope that it is preserved in a museum somewhere.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Slaves of John Nelson Sr. of Fauquier County, Virginia

Schalene Dagutis of Tangled Roots and Trees has initiated a new genealogy project: The Slave Name Roll Project.  It provides a way for genealogists to trace their enslaved ancestors.  By digitizing and recording information about ancestors who owned slaves, others can piece together their ancestor's lost stories.

John Nelson Sr. was born around 1725 in Fauquier County, Virginia.  On December 7, 1745, he married Sarah Whitson at Overwharton Parish in Stafford County, Virginia.  John Nelson died at the age of 59 in Fauquier County.  A transcription of his will, dated August 9, 1784, follows.

1787 Map of Fauquier County, Virginia.  Elk Run is highlighted.
Will of John Nelson 
Fauquier County, Virginia, dated August 9 1784 [Abstract of record].
John Nelson, Sen'r of Elk Run in Fauquier County, being aged and infirm but of a sound mind and disposing memory. 
Sons: Jesse and John Nelson--my tract of land on Dry Run in Shanado [Shenandoah] County to be equally divided between the said Jesse and John. 
Wife: Sarah -- have the use of the plantation and tract of land whereon I now live together with the slaves and stock of all kinds and household furniture thereon during her natural life, provided that as any of my children, namely Jesse, William, Margaret, Jemima, Lettice and Sarah Nelson (who are now single) do marry that each of them shall have four head of neats cattle, a feather bed and furniture and two ewes -- if my daus. Margaret, Jemima, Lettice or Sarah Nelson or any of my said four daughters should remain single till the death of their mother, . . . that the hire or labor of my two slaves, George and Daphne, shall be appropriated to the support and use of all or any my aforementioned four daughters while they remain single after the death of their mother. 
Son: William -- set of Smith's tools, a young sorrel mare, now in his possession -- (after the death of his mother) the plantation whereon I now live --Negro boy named Lymas. . . . at the death of my wife, the whole of my personal or moveable estate (excepting my two slaves George and Daphne)-- shall be equally divided between my children Jesse, John and William Nelson, Lidia Morehead, Nanny Fishback, Mary Rector, Margaret Nelson, Jemima Nelson, Lettice Nelson and Sarah Nelson or the survivor of them. 

Signed: John (his X mark) Nelson, Sen'r. 
Wit. Jno. Matthews, James Gillison, James Blackwell, Thos. Helm, Joseph
 George, John Thomas

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #14 Little Napoleon

James Cyrus Green, c. 1898
H. S. Stephens, Rushville, Indiana
This is my great-grandfather when he was about four years old.  I wonder how he felt about wearing this outfit.  The enormous bow tie and the tall button boots must have been very uncomfortable for him, but perhaps it made him feel special to be all dressed up.  The riding crop and bicorne hat seem unusual to me -- maybe they are props from the photographer.  I think they make him look like a little Napoleon Bonaparte.

James Cyrus Green (called Cyrus) was born on September 12, 1894 in Arlington, Indiana.  His parents were John D. Green, M.D. and Lavanche Emarine Trees.  He had two younger siblings, a sister named Mary Catherine and a brother named Maurice Thomas.  As a young man, Cyrus attended Sewanee Military Academy in Tennessee.  On June 12, 1916, Cyrus married Mary Ida Sefton in Greensburg, Indiana.  He died June 25, 1964 in Rushville, Indiana.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #12 and #13 The Twin Doctors Green

Left to right: William F. Green, Mr. Davis, Mr. Parrish, Thomas G. Green.
On the back of the picture is written "Davis and Parrish, from Illinois." 
This photograph of four young medical students was taken by Sally E. Garrity at her Louisville, Kentucky studio sometime between 1886 and 1889.  Miss Garrity was one of the first female photographers to achieve recognition and success. Often she photographed as many as 150 people a day, while also overseeing the development of every picture herself.  I've always been intrigued by this picture because of the strange way the men are positioned.  While researching Sally Garrity, I found that many of her pictures are charaterized by unusual poses. 

William Frame Green and Thomas Gary Green were identical twins, born on April 6, 1865 in Arlington, Rush County, Indiana.  Their father, James Wilkinson Green, was a doctor; four of their older brothers were doctors as well, including James C. Green and John D. Green.  William and Thomas graduated together from Louisville Medical College in Kentucky in 1889.  

For 10 years William and Thomas both practiced medicine in Shelbyville, Indiana, then William moved his practice to Indianapolis and eventually to Cambridge City, Indiana.  Thomas stayed in Shelbyville until he died in 1929 at the age of 63.  William died in 1931 in Cambridge City.

Both William and Thomas were interested in their family history. William wrote a history of his family that was used for SAR and DAR applications.  I have a letter that Thomas wrote to his fifteen-year-old nephew, James Cyrus Green (my great-grandfather), containing stories about the early Greens in America.  The following is a quote from the letter: "I have looked up the family history for you and will write you a brief copy, which if you will keep may be useful and valuable to you sometime."

Thursday, March 19, 2015

52 Ancestors: #11 Henry Sefton of County Antrim

Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, 2011.
Photo taken by my brother.
Four years ago, my brother spent a whole semester in Ireland.  He even celebrated St. Patrick's Day in Dublin!  I am still jealous.

At the time, I didn't know about my Irish 5th great grandfather, Henry Sefton.  If I had known, I would have asked my brother to do some research for me.  He was probably too busy anyway ... climbing hills and bodhran-drumming and step-dancing and eating at pubs (and maybe studying).

Although I didn't get to travel to Ireland, I was lucky enough to inherit some notes about the Sefton family that were handwritten by Henry Sefton's 2nd great grandaughter, Nettie Ryan Hamilton.

According to Nettie, Henry Sefton was born in Ireland on November 10, 1767.  His father, John Sefton, a Protestant, had fled England due to religious persecution and afterwards became an officer in the Army of Ireland.  Henry married Elizabeth Boyes in 1799 in County Antrim, now part of Northern Ireland.  In 1803, Henry, along with his wife and two children and his brother William, left Ireland to come to America, settling in Butler County, Ohio.  Over the next decade, the Sefton clan grew to include eight more children, including my 4th great grandfather William O. Sefton.

In the early 1830s, a cholera epidemic swept across the midwest.  Henry's young daughter, Charlotte French, and her husband Jeremiah died in June 1834, leaving their infant son an orphan.  Then, on July 27, 1834, Henry Sefton fell victim to the dreaded disease.  He was buried at New Haven Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Monday, March 16, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #10 A Tragic Accident at the Indiana Republican Convention

Dr. James C. Green, son Hugh, and wife Azzie, c. 1892
James C. Green was born March 10, 1860, in Arlington, Rush County, Indiana.  The son of Dr. James Wilkinson Green and Mary Jane Gowdy, he was the seventh of 13 siblings.  Six of those siblings became doctors, including James and his brother, John D. Green (my great great grandfather.)  James attended courses at the newly-formed Medical College of Indiana, which was a department of Butler University. Following his graduation in 1880, James began his practice as a physician alongside his father in Arlington.

On October 23, 1883, James was married to Azzie E. Winship, a young woman from Rushville, Indiana. The couple had two children -- an infant daughter who died in 1885 and a son, Hugh Clifford Green, born on December 31, 1886.

In 1892, James C. Green was chosen to be a delegate to the Indiana Republican convention.  The convention, which was held on June 28 at the Princess Rink in Fort Wayne, lasted for only one day. The event drew such a large crowd that officials threatened to clear the hall to make room for all the delegates waiting to get inside.  In the chaos, James was pushed against a door knob and critically wounded.  Sadly, he died from his injuries a few weeks later.

The Indianapolis Journal, July 17, 1892

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Slaves of Barnaby Worland of Monroe County, Missouri

In the 1840's Barnaby owned land near an area called Old Clinton and Jonesburg.
The town was renamed North Fork and is shown at the top of this 1904 map.
Schalene Dagutis of Tangled Roots and Trees has initiated a new genealogy project: The Slave Name Roll Project.  It provides a way for genealogists to trace their enslaved ancestors during a time when very little documentation of these people existed.  By digitzing and recording information about ancestors who owned slaves, others can help piece together their ancestor's lost stories.

Barnabas Worland (also called Barnaby) was born on January 5, 1777 in Maryland.  From there he migrated with his brother Thomas to Kentucky, settling in the Lexington area.  Sometime after 1828, Barnaby and his family relocated to Monroe County, Missouri.  Barnaby Worland married three times and was the father of 15 children.  His first wife was Theresa Hardy, and they had seven children: Matilda, Stephen, Theodore Sebastian, Vincent, Mary Theresa, Verlinda C., and George.  After Theresa died in 1816, Barnaby married Cecelia Gough and they had three children: John Henry, James Guy, and Mary C.  This second wife lived only ten years after their marriage.  Barnaby's third wife was Catherine Theresa Deerling.  Their children were Cecelia Agnes, Anna Gabriella, Sarah Catherine, Elizabeth Lewellen, and Barniellen (who was born after his death.)

The following is an excerpt from Barnaby's will, dated May 26, 1842, which I found in One Man's Family by Olive Lewis Kolb.

In the name of God, Amen:  I, Barnaby Worland of Monroe County and state of Missouri, being of sound mind and perfect memory have made this my last will and testament in manner and form viz:

After my just debts and funeral expenses shall have been paid, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife, Catherine Worland, the whole of the land I purchased of James and George Gough and the land I afterward purchased of James Gough, containing three hundred and thirty acres during her life time with an exception herein contained.  This farm shall be for her home and a residence for my unmarried daughters free of charge as long as they may live with her.  I also give to my beloved wife all my slaves viz -- Britt, Granville, Maria and her three children, Henry, George and William, together with every species of my personal property consisting of stock, agricultural implements, house hold and kitchen furniture together with all money in hands and all bonds not collected out of the uncollected funds as above appropriated.  I will and direct that my executrix shall invest the sum of two thousand five hundred dollars in Lands for the use and benefit of my two daughters Cecelia and Gabrilla, the title of which land shall be made to them and their children forever.  Furthermore it is my will and desire that my executrix or executor shall as soon as practicale purchase a Negro girl between the age of ten and thirteen years, the title of which girl shall be invested in my wife forever.

My further will is that at the death of my wife and youngest child being of full age my executor shall then proceed to sell all my personal estate; my slaves, and household and kitchen furniture excepted, of every description and divid the proceeds between my daughters Therese Combs, Verlinda Smith and Mary Worland.  As to my slaves at that time I give to my four daughters by my present wife viz - Cecelia - Gabrilla, Sarah Catharine and Lieu Ellen my negro woman Maria, together with her three children and any increase she (Maria) may in future have -- which slave are to be equally divided between my four daughters as before mentioned.  The remainder of the slaves viz -- Britt and Granville shall be equally disposed of as practicable without public sale between John H. Worland, Therese Combs, Verlinda Smith and Mary Worland, to them and their heirs forever.

On June 19, 1842, the day before he died, Barnaby Worland wrote an addition to his will:

Whereas, I, Barnaby Worland, upon reflection deem it proper to make some alterations in my will hereunto annex in manner and form as hereinafter mentioned viz . . . My further will and desire is that in the event of any of my heirs or legatees making any effort to prevent my will taking effect different from my intention every provision to them in my will shall be withdrawn and they shall be cut off with six and one fourth cents each, their interest or portion in this will to be divided among the other legatees. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Slaves of Abraham Inloes of Fell's Point, Baltimore, Maryland

Fell's Point, Balitmore, Maryland, as it appeared in 1800.
According to his will, Abraham's property faced
Ann Street and reached back halfway to Argyle Alley
Schalene Dagutis of Tangled Roots and Trees has initiated a new genealogy project: The Slave Name Roll Project.  It provides a way for genealogists to trace their enslaved ancestors during a time when very little documentation of these people existed.  By digitizing and recording information about ancestors who owned slaves, others can help piece together their ancestor's lost stories.

For my first contribution to the project, I chose to write about Abraham Inloes, a collateral relative.  I found a transcription of his will in a three-volume family history book about the Inlow/Inloes family, entitled In Old Kentucky, A History of My Forbears.

Born about 1736, Abraham Inloes was the grandson of a Dutch immigrant.  He lived in Fell's Point, Baltimore, Maryland and was one of the first in his family (if not the first) to own slaves.  Fell's Point is the oldest neighborhood in the city of Baltimore.  During and after the Revolutionary War, it became one of the leading harbors in the country. Between 1774 and 1821, over 800 ships were constructed at the Fell's Point shipyards.  In 1835, Frederick Douglass, while still enslaved, worked for a ship builder in Fell's Point.  It was here that he taught himself how to read and write, by copying and memorizing the letters with which the shipyard men labeled boards.

On December 28, 1790, Abraham Inloes died.  He was about 54 years old.  The following is a portion of Abraham's will, dated November 18, 1790.
I give and bequeath unto my Loving Wife [Elizabeth] all my negroes to wit Negro Joshua, Sarah, Thomas, and Ann with their increase to her, her heirs and assigns forever, as it was my Intention to have Manumitted my negroes aforesaid, but by my present Indisposition hinders the same. I have given them to wife to do with them as she pleases, Yet having confidence in her that she will by a sufficient deed of Manumission make them free after my decease, and I look upon them as making no part of my Estate. My Will and desire is that if any of my children hereafter named should or shall hereafter lay any claim to them or any part of their appraisement or by suit or other ways disturb my wife or my Executor or the Slaves themselves in claiming them or any of them or any part of them, then it is my will that such child or children shall take no part in my Estate hereinafter bequeathed unto them and that their part, his or her part so offending shall be divided amongst my other children who obey, and keep my Will.
Further on, Abraham lists his ten children by name: Anthony, Abraham, Elizabeth, Joshua, James, John, Eleanor, Temperance, William, and Margaret.  It seems that in his later years he firmly believed that owning slaves was wrong, since he threatened to disinherit his children if they tried to contest his will.  I don't know what actually happened to Joshua, Sarah, Thomas, and Ann after Abraham Inloes died, but I hope they were given their freedom.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #9 Ada Elizabeth Worland, World-Famous Incubator Baby

Ada Elizabeth Worland, age two.
The Indianapolis News, 24 Jun 1902, p. 3
Little Ada Elizabeth Worland, the 2-year-old daughter of of Edward and Nadia Worland ... enjoys the distinction of being the smallest child who has survived the incubator process.

At birth [she] weighed but one and one half pounds. She now weighs 16 pounds and is 28 inches tall. Her case is considered one of the most remarkable on record.  She was a 6-months child and so frail and delicate that it seemed that the least breath of air would blow her away.  There seemed no possiblility of saving her life.  The twin brother died at birth.

Dr. Conger... conceived the idea of trying the incubator plan.  A soap box was secured and a can containing one and one-half gallons of water was placed at the bottom.  A board was placed on top of the can and this was covered with cotton.  The top of the box was covered with a pane of glass and holes were bored in each end of the box for ventilation.  A sponge was hung inside to keep the atmosphere moist and a thermometer to regulate the temperature was suspended from the roof.

Nourishment was given the child by inunction [rubbing ointment or oil into the skin] and she lived on in spite of everything and grew stronger and stronger.  The water was changed frequently and the temperature kept at 90 degrees.  The incubator, which had been tried simply as an experiment, proved the means of saving the infant's life. (Indianapolis Sun, 31 Dec 1901, p. 5)

Ada Elizabeth Worland was born in Indianapolis on January 26, 1900 at a time when many premature babies did not survive.  Fortunately, Dr. Charles Conger knew something about infant incubation, a treatment that was not yet widely used.  Elizabeth Conger, Dr. Conger's wife, was also a trained medical doctor and assisted with the case.  Ada's parents expressed their gratitude to the Congers by using "Elizabeth" as their daughter's middle name.

By 1902, Ada was thriving.  About this time, however, Edward Worland contracted an illness that lasted for several months, rendering him unable to work.  To provide for the family, Nadia Worland sought employment.

Mrs. Worland is a pretty and gentle little woman, and not afraid to work...  A firm in the city supplied her with a wagon and horse, and she peddled oil about the streets until she had nearly 150 customers. About two weeks ago her husband was able to return to work, and the young woman abandoned her unusual vocation and is once more looking after household affairs.  (The Indianapolis News, 24 Jun 1902, p. 3)

Tragically, Nadia died of typhoid fever at the young age of 25, a few months after the above article was published.  Ada was not yet three years old.  After her struggle to survive, it is sad to think of Ada being deprived of her mother.  I don't know very much about Ada's life after this point -- I hope things got a little easier for her.  She eventually married, had three children of her own, and lived to be 84 years old.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #8 Gowdy's Good Deed

My 3rd great-grand uncle, John K. Gowdy
A Family History Comprising the Surnames of Gowdy
and the Variant Forms
 by Mahlon Myron Gowdy, 1919, p. 537.
John K. Gowdy's son was born on the last day of November 1867 in the little town of Arlington, Indiana. Given the rather unusual name of Latta Theodore, he was the pride of his father, the joy of his mother, and their first born -- a beautiful and sprightly child.

On March 24, 1870, little Latta Gowdy died.

He was only two years, three months and twenty-four days of age.  Those, who have wept, and still weep over a loss like this -- the death of a first born -- can best sympathize with those who weep.  His [father], mother and sister survive.  (Rushville Republican, 22 Aug 1931, p. 4)

It must have been a terrible shock to the Gowdy family, especially since their daughter Fanny had been born just two weeks earlier. I'm sure that John never got over the loss of his beloved son, yet he found a way to ease his grief and help someone else in the process. Sometime around 1876, John Gowdy took in a boy from the Cincinnati Children's Home.

For three years, the Gowdys provided a caring home for this new son.  Then something completely unexpected happened...

Last week the boy's father, living at Lawrenceburg, heard of his whereabouts, came and claimed him, and they reluctantly gave him up. (Rushville Republican, 16 Oct 1879, p. 3.)

I really wish I knew what the boy's name was so that I could find out more about him.  Hopefully, his father treated him well.  I like to think that John Gowdy's kindness had a lasting impact on the boy's life.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

One Year Blogiversary!

One year ago today I started my blog!  Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my posts.  Here are a few from the past year that are my favorites.

First post:  Mary Ida Sefton and Her 29 Roses

Most viewed post: Carrie C. Fields, Red Skelton's Aunt

Favorite post:  Fanny Gowdy and an American Romance in Paris

Longest post:  The Wartime Diary of Captain Willis E. Hedgecock

Shortest post: Nancy Tombaugh, Midwife of Richland County

Saddest post: Little Mary Catherine Green

Funniest post:  Nancy Oliver, Who Waited 3 Years For Groceries

And finally, the post with my favorite picture:

Dola M. Worland, Gold Star Mother

Thursday, February 12, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #7 Columbus Couple - a CDV Mystery

This carte de visite (CDV) is in a photo album that was owned by my third great grandmother, Sarah Ann Lane Bird (1836-1873.)  The album itself was given to her in 1865 as a Christmas present by a farmer from Greensburg, Indiana named Thomas George Hamilton.  A story has been handed down through my family that Sarah was an orphan and that the Hamilton family raised her. I think the couple pictured might be part of the Hamilton family.

The back of the photograph is undated, listing only the name of the photography studio. I sent a scan of the photo to a librarian from the Decatur County Public Library who was doing some research on the photographer, R.W. Snyder.  She told me that Snyder only operated his gallery in Columbus, Indiana between 1870 and 1879; therefore, the picture had to be taken in that time frame.

Another clue to consider:  Sarah died in June of 1873.  Yet it seems likely that she would have selected at least the first few pictures of her album, and this photo was placed in the third page of the album. So I believe the portrait was taken before her death.

The picture can be further dated by looking at the woman's clothing, so I researched fashions from the 1860's and 1870's.  By the late 1870's, a narrow silhouette coupled with exaggerated bustles, fitted sleeves, and squarish necklines began to take over.  This woman has more of a full-skirted dress, relaxed sleeves, and a v-shaped bodice, which are aspects more in line with the style of the late 1860's.

After piecing together all these clues, I would guess that this picture was taken around 1870-1873, during the beginning of R.W. Snyder's photography career. The man and woman, who both look very young, were probably no older than their early to mid twenties when they sat for this portrait.  That places their birthdates, more or less, around 1850-1853. I think it's reasonable to assume that this picture was taken for their wedding or engagement.

In the 1860 census, a 23 year-old Sarah "Maine" was a domestic servant in the Decatur County household of William Warder Hamilton, the brother of Thomas George Hamilton. Also in the same household with Sarah were William's two sons, Robert Cassius and William Brutus Hamilton. With further research, I found that William Brutus was born in 1847 and was married in December of 1870 -- just the right time frame to fit this photograph.  His wife, Catherine Cunningham,was born in 1851 in Ohio. The part that doesn't quite fit the puzzle is that they were married in Mason, Ohio ... over 100 miles from Columbus, Indiana. However, William and Catherine lived in Greensburg, Indiana after they were married, which is only 30 miles from Columbus.

Of course, much of this is speculation.  If you can help me identify anything about this photo or if you have any idea who the couple might be, please leave a comment -- I would love to know!

Monday, February 9, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #6 Robert Mansfield, U.S. Consul for 19 Years

Consul Robert E. Mansfield
Passport photo
I am experiencing a feeling of relief that comes from the giving up of a very strenuous life, of a public career, for the more quiet, less extracting, home life. I am a Hoosier born, and it is gratifying to feel that after nineteen years spent in other countries, that I have returned to my native state, to live among old friends and associations that are more to be desired than are the varied experiences that are a part of a public career. (Robert E. Mansfield, "Resigns Post at Stockholm", The Daily Republican, Rushville, Indiana, 6 Jan 1917, page 1)

Robert Emmet Mansfield was far away from home quite often.  He served for nearly 20 years as a U.S. consul, beginning with his first appointment by President McKinley in 1899 to Zanzibar.  In 1901, he was transferred to Valparaiso, Chile, where he spent five years.  During that time, he wrote a book, Progressive Chile, about his observations and impressions.

From 1906-1913, Robert Mansfield served as consul in three different locations in Switzerland.  His wife Fanny, whom he married in 1906, lived in Switzerland with him for much of this time.  In 1913, he was given a new post in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where he remained until 1916, when he was transferred to Stockholm, Sweden.  Robert finally retired from his consular career in 1917.

Robert's wife, Fanny Gowdy Mansfield
The Indianapolis News 2 Feb 1901, p. 16
Fanny and Robert quickly settled into their new life in Fanny's hometown of Rushville, Indiana.  Before his consular career, Robert had been a newspaper editor for the Muncie Times, the Indianapolis Journal, and the Marion News.  Soon he began writing articles for the Daily Republican (Rushville), including an article about his personal friend, poet James Whitcomb Riley.

Mansfield became very involved in the civic affairs of his community and was in great demand as a public speaker. He also promoted the work of the Red Cross in Rushville during the first world war.  In the spring of 1924, he sponsored a public speaking contest at the Rushville high school, called the Mansfield Declamation Contest.

Robert Mansfield died on September 18, 1925 at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana at the age of 59 after a long illness involving his heart.  Although he had only been a resident of Rushville for eight years, he made a great impact on the small town.  The following is part of a lengthy tribute written by a group of Rush County teachers after his death:

Born with unsual capacities for serving his country and his neighbors...he always accepted honor as duty and brought to such duties his very highest energies and talents, whether serving as foreign representatives of his government or making an inspirational address in a remote community.  Although accustomed to move with natural ease in the ranks of high social standing, Mr. Mansfield never lost the common touch, which enabled him to win the confidence of even the most timid school-child. His broad-mindedness, his constant  and unceasing effort to understand and appreciate the people with whom he associated, in whatever hemisphere of the world, have been often noted. 

An attempt to enumerate the worthy qualities of this good and genial man would, for their very number, be difficult.  His death calls to mind the truth that the characters of the great are, after all, only a composite of the plainest and simplest virtues.  This group of teachers therefore joins with the entire community and also with the host of friends even in distant parts of the world who are saddened by the death of this gentleman and scholar. ("R.E. Mansfield Funeral Sunday," The Daily Republican, Rushville, Indiana, 21 Sept 1925, page 2)

Robert Mansfield's house in Rushville, Indiana.  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #5 William Holzlider, Plowing Through "Chunks"

William Holzlider, center.  On either side of him are his children, Stella and Russell.
Also pictured is Stella's husband, Mason McCammon, and their dog Fanny.
Photo taken about 1920, along Bear Creek in Jennings County, Indiana.
My great-great grandfather, William Holzlider, was born on January 26, 1855 in Cincinnati, Ohio. His parents, George and Mary Gertrude, were recent immigrants to America.  (Family tradition is that George was a stowaway from Luxembourg.)  William had one older sister, Anna Mary, and three younger siblings: Edward, Julia, and Lena.  I'm not sure when his family moved to Indiana, but the Holzliders were in Jennings County, Indiana by the time the Civil War broke out.  William was working as a farm laborer on someone else's farm in Decatur county when he was 15.

The Holzlider house in Pierceville, Jennings County, Indiana.
On January 30, 1887, William married Ella Dorothy Smith in Jennings County, Indiana. He was 32, and she was 20.  William and Ella lived in Sandcreek Township, Indiana.  They had a family of six children: three boys and three girls.

William purchased 40 acres of woodland for $700 in Pierceville, Indiana in 1902 or 1903. I'm sure it was quite a job to clear the land of trees.  According to a letter written by William's daughter Bertha, the ground was all in "chunks." William and his young sons, Omer and Clyde (my great grandfather), worked hard plowing the land to make it tillable.

William's grandaughter
Martha Holtzlider in 1937.
One day in 1907, William bought a supply of lumber so that he could expand his house. Somehow, the house caught on fire that very night.  The family Bible was destroyed.  The two youngest Holzlider children, Russell and Bertha, were placed outside on a mattress that was saved from the burning house. The following day, neighbors came over and helped rebuild the house.

Ella Holzlider died in 1917 at the age of 51.  In 1920, William was still running a farm at the age of 64, with Russell and Bertha living at home.  William had retired from farming by 1930 and was living with his son Russell and his wife in Indianapolis.

My grandmother, Martha Holtzlider (pictured at right), wrote a letter in 1985 to her uncle Russell Holzlider, describing her only memory of her grandfather William:

I do remember singing to Grandpa Holzlider during what I believe was his last illness.  I was about 6 years old and it was an awesome experience for one so young and I have never forgotten standing by his bed and singing.  I don't remember the name of the song. That is the only recollection I have of Grandpa Holzlider.

William died from heart disease on July 22, 1934, at the home of his son Clyde in Greensburg, Decatur County, Indiana.  He and Ella are buried at Brewersville, Jennings  County, in Bear Creek Cemetery.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Urgent! Indiana Genealogy Department In Danger

Taking the advice of Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small, I wrote the following letter to my local representative:

I am writing to you as an Indiana resident, a high school student, and as one who would be affected by the proposed state budget for 2015.  I am very interested in genealogy and the history of the state of Indiana.  For a number of years, I have participated in the 4-H genealogy project, along with many other young Hoosiers.   By engaging in genealogy research, I’ve felt more connected to the history of our state, learning aspects of history I would never have come across in my history curriculum.  

As I understand, House Bill 1001 would cut funds for the Indiana State Library and eliminate the Genealogy Department as well.   This redistribution of funds, if it takes effect, will be a huge loss for genealogists like myself.   In researching my family, I have requested information from the Indiana State Library, and they have been very helpful.  The Indianapolis Public Library has already made it known that they will not spend resources on maintaining a genealogy collection.   Many records have not been digitized.  For a small portion of the budget, the history of the people of Indiana can be preserved and kept safe. 

The Indiana State Library and the Genealogy Department are not just valuable resources to Indiana residents.  Many researchers come from out of state to view unique records at the state library, generating revenue for our state through their travel expenses.

Indiana’s bicentennial is next year.  With such an important anniversary as this, there should be an effort made in regard to showcasing and making accessible our state’s history.   How would that happen if the Indiana State Library funding is cut and the Genealogy Department is eliminated?

Please vote to restore funding for the Indiana State Library and the Genealogy Department.  We must preserve our history for generations to come.


Brenna G.

Please consider contacting a representative and expressing your opinion on the proposed budget.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

52 Ancestors 2015: #4 Mary Ann Williamson, Who Knitted Her Way To Indianapolis

"Old Woman Knitting a Sock" by Ivan Khrutsky
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Polly [as Mary Ann was also called] decided to go to Indianapolis to trade one day.  So she climbed on her little mule with her knitting.  She rode and she rode and she knitted and she knitted.  Finally, she met a soldier and asked, "How much farther is Indianapolis?"  He answered, "You passed through Indianapolis two miles back!!"

I found this humorous story in One Man's Family, written by Olive Lewis Kolb.  The tale is attributed to Mary Ann's son, Stephen Theodore Worland.

Mary Ann Williamson was born on October 20, 1811 in Kentucky.  (My 4th great grandmother and I share a birthday and a fondness for knitting!)  I don't have any information about her parents. According to Kolb, she may have been an adopted child.

On March 4, 1833, Mary Ann married Stephen Dominic Worland in Marion County, Indiana.  Stephen came from a Catholic family with deep roots in the history of early Maryland.  By 1840, the Worlands had settled in Shelby County, Indiana.  Mary Ann was the mother of 12 children, the oldest of which was my 3rd great grandfather, John William Worland.  Sadly, Mary Ann's three youngest children did not live past infancy.

Sometime between 1859-1860, the Worlands moved to Millwood, Missouri.  At the outbreak of the Civil War, Missouri was divided on the issue of slavery.  By 1863, conditions there were tumultuous and unstable. The Worlands decided to move back to Indiana.  Tilson Vincent Worland, Mary Ann's grandson, recounted the Worland family's return to Indiana from Missouri:

I have heard my father, Stephen Theodore, tell of the trip back to Indiana.  The womenfolk returned by train, but grandfather [Stephen Dominic Worland] and his six sons drove through bringing six horses. They ferried the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and followed the old National Trail from St. Louis through Terre Haute, Indiana, to Indianapolis.  It took a week to travel from St. Louis to Terre Haute and they never saw the sun all week.  They had a dog, and after reaching Indiana ... the dog disappeared and several weeks later showed up at the old Missouri home.  How the dog crossed the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers on his return home is still a mystery.   (One Man's Family by Olive Lewis Kolb, pages 1044-1045.)

In 1879, two of Mary Ann's children, 43 year-old Sarah Ann Oefelein and 35 year-old George Tilson Worland, died within the space of two months.  I wonder if there was an epidemic of some kind in Shelby County, Indiana at that time.

Mary Ann Williamson Worland died on December 23, 1894 at the home of her son Stephen and was buried next to her husband at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Cemetery in Waldron, Shelby County, Indiana.