Friday, November 30, 2007

Past its Prime

Saw this Old School at the intersection of U.S. 160 and 1300 Road, in western Montgomery County, Kansas as I was zipping by at 70 mph. Just had to turn around and go back to take some pictures. There were large rolled "bales" of straw along the fenceline near the road, fencing all around, and a locked gate so I couldn't get too close. Love that 15x zoom on the new camera for "close up" shots! © 2007 Rebeckah R. Wiseman. Photos taken November 26th.

I'm not in Kansas anymore!

Ah, there's no place like home. An old cliché but oh, so true. As much as I enjoyed the brief sojourn in Springfield and roaming around the countryside in eastern Kansas, and even though I was gone only ten days, it sure feels good to be home.

I decided not to go to Iowa. Mixed results and a bit of frustration in Kansas, combined with realizing that there really just wasn't enough time to do full justice to the search, and the fact that I was just plain tired, lead to the decision to head home yesterday. I got home at about 6 p.m. this evening.

On Monday, from Baxter Springs I drove west on US 160 towards Grenola, in southwestern Elk County. I stopped at the library in Moline, but it was closed. I was hoping they had a diagram of the layout of the cemetery in Grenola. On Sunday (11/18) I had found the transcriptions online for Rachel (Fisher) and John Harvey in Greenlawn Cemetery in Grenola, Greenfield Township, along with several of their children, in section "B". Rachel is the sister of my 2nd Great Grandmother, Louisa Fisher Phend. Rachel died February 18, 1899 and John died in September 1899.

Moline is a small town but Grenola is even smaller. It was about 3 p.m. as I drove down Main Street and I felt as though I was in a ghost town. Not a soul was stirring, not an open store in sight. At the end of Main Street was a sign pointing left that said "cemetery" so I turned. It was a narrow road and seemed like miles, but was probably only about one. The cemetery was on the left, on top of a hill. I turned into the cemetery on the first lane. It was huge. The sections weren't marked. I thought there was no way I'd find them. I drove down each lane, slowly, hoping I'd see their stones.

There have been several times when searching for ancestors that I've gone to a cemetery knowing they were buried there but not knowing where and walking directly to their gravesites. But alas, no such luck this time. I stopped and walked around for a while then gave up and drove on to Winfield, county seat of Cowley County. Rachel and John had moved to Harvey Township in Cowley County sometime between 1870 and 1880. Harvey Township is bordered by Greenfield Township, Elk County on the east, which is probably why they are buried in Elk County.

Tuesday morning I went to the Courthouse in Winfield. Their original marriage record books have been moved to the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum in Arkansas City, about 12 miles south of Winfield. The Probate office has the records digitized on CD Rom discs and they charge $12 for a lookup if you don't have the exact date of marriage. Which of course, I didn't have. Just have an approximate year, and several names to lookup. I asked about Guardianship or Probate records since Homer, the youngest son of Rachel and John, was only 16 years old when they died. The index books didn't list them. The clerk didn't seem to know what the transcribed information online for Homer meant.

Next stop was the Winfield Library. They have a nice little local history section but I didn't find anything helpful there. I then went to the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum. If you have ancestors or relatives that lived in the Winfield and Arkansas City areas then this place should definitely be on your list of places to visit. In addition to the Original Marriage Record Books, they have cemetery records, obituary notices, miscellaneous newspaper clippings, etc., etc. for COWLEY county, and lots of neat things on exhibit. I didn't find anything helpful in my search for the Harvey family except that it appears that none of their children were married in Cowley County!

Since it was "sort of" in the direction of my next destination (Iola, Allen County) I decided to go back to the cemetery at Grenola thinking maybe I'd get lucky this time. Nope. I walked through each section, up and down the rows, for about two hours. It was a gorgeous day. Sun shining, blue sky, not cold, just a little windy. Maybe John and Rachel and some of their family are buried there, but I sure didn't find them! Did get some exercise though.

One of Rachel and John's children, Lillian, and her husband Orlando Sellers are buried in Moline Cemetery so I stopped by there on the way to Howard, the county seat of Elk County. I found the cemetery but when I saw how big it was, bigger than Greenlawn, I turned into the first drive to turn around and leave. As I glanced to the right to check traffic, there they were, right up front, next to the road. Now, why couldn't that have happened with John and Rachel?

By the time I got to Howard the courthouse was closed so I went on to Iola. My intent was to spend Tuesday night in Iola then go to the cemetery and library, etc. to see what I could find on William and Minerva (Joslin) Knight. Minerva is a sister of my 2nd Great Grandmother, Malissa Joslin Brubaker Bower. William died in 1902. Minerva then married a J.N. Storey and reportedly died May 12, 1905 in a wheelchair on the street in Hot Springs, Arkansas. William and Minerva are buried in the Iola Cemetery.

It was dark when I got to Iola so I went to find a motel room, but there was no room at the inn. Three motels in town and they were all full. Nothing available in the nearby towns, according to the innkeeper. It was 50 miles or more north to I-35 and Ottawa, which was near my next destination of Lyndon. . . to be continued.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Baxter Springs

The first stop in Kansas was the Johnston Public Library in Baxter Springs, Cherokee County. Apparently an index to the cemetery hasn't been published, at least the girl at the reference desk didn't know anything about it. She did give me directions to the cemetery though.

Gravesite of Jacob Henry Parkison and Roxie Arminta Joslin Parkison at Baxter Springs Cemetery, Cherokee County, Kansas. Jacob is a half-brother of my 2nd Great Grandfather William Brubaker and Roxie is a sister of my 2nd Great Grandmother Malissa Joslin Brubaker Bower.

The marker for Jacob and Roxie is in the lower right corner. Several of their children and grandchildren are buried in rows to the north of Jacob and Roxie. It is quite a large cemetery and it took about an hour to find their graves. I'm really glad it turned out to be a nice day!

Still on the Road...

I had a great time at the Joslin Reunion. A nice little group of 26 devoured a catered traditional Thanksgiving dinner the Friday after Thanksgiving. They came from Virginia, Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, New Mexico and, of course, Missouri. We all stayed at the same motel in Springfield which had a poolside atrium where we gathered most of the time. Kudos to Linda and Kathy for all their time and effort in making the arrangements.

A Joslin Reunion wouldn't be complete without an excursion to some historic family site. One of the places we visited was the area where Virgil Newton Joslin was born on February 21, 1891 “in a tent on the Carry farm in Polk County, Missouri, 12 miles from Bolivar, 4 miles from Dunnegan Springs, 6 miles from Fair Play, while his folks were making a trip by covered wagon.” Virgil is a son of Luther Marion Joslin who is a brother to my 2nd Great Grandmother Malissa Mariah Joslin Brubaker Bower.

George and Jim Joslin, sons of Virgil, were able to determine the approximate location of Virgil's birth from discussions with former and current owners of the property who stated that a small community was established in the area in the late 1800s. Apparently there was a wagon trail through the area. The current owner also told them that the trail was still visible but was not easy to find. Jim said he couldn't find the trail the last time he visited the site. Saturday was a cold, blustery day so we didn't take the time to try to find it then.

George scraped away the moss in an attempt to decipher the name and year engraved on the header stone over what used to be the doorway of the spring house. The name appears to be “C M Racksy” and the year may be 1879. If so, then the spring house may have been built about 12 years prior to Virgil's birth.

Other historic family sites we visited on Saturday were the White Chapel Cemetery, where Virgil and his wife Mary (Hutcheson) are buried, and the house where they lived in Springfield.

The majority of the people left Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning. George and his wife Lorene invited me to their house Saturday, so I stayed with them until this morning. We spent yesterday looking over their Joslin family files. It was a very good day!

It was raining when I left Springfield this morning but by the time I got to Joplin, the rain had stopped and the sky was starting to clear. After a brief stop for gasoline, it was on into Kansas. The sun came out and the clouds disappeared leaving blue skies behind. It even warmed up with the temperature getting up to 50 or so. A nice day for a drive in the country...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

On the Road

As I write this post, I'm in a motel in Terre Haute, Indiana that has verrrrry slooow wireless internet access. Actually, I wasn't sure if I could even get connected tonight due to some problems this morning with the laptop. Lets just say this mornings fiasco did not bode well for the rest of the day! I was not in a good mood when I finally gave up trying to get connected this morning. Then when I booted up the laptop an hour or so ago here at the motel, I got a message that "Windows was unable to start" and it then went into "Repair" mode. It scared the bejeebers out of me. It took a while and several times to go through its thing, but it finally booted up. Then it wouldn't recognize the motel's wireless network. Turns out there's a little switch on the front of the computer that needed to be moved to the right. After that it recognized the network. I don't think that had anything to do with the problems this morning since I was trying to connect via the ethernet card. Oh well, seems to be working now. Though slowly. Hmm, just lost my connection... got it back without losing anything. Whew!

The fiasco with the laptop delayed my start time by about two hours. Had to make a side trip in Fort Wayne to DeBrand's to pick up some fancy chocolates for gifts. That took about an hour or so, then onto I69 and south to Indianapolis. The weather was overcast and dreary. Traffic was heavy and fast. I was going a little above the speed limit and being passed like I was standing still. State Police were out in force though and between Fort Wayne and Indy I saw at least half a dozen people that had been stopped by patrol officers.

By the time I got to Indianapolis the weather was starting to clear and the sun even came out for a few minutes. Of course, the traffic got heavier the closer I got to Indy. It was about 4:30 p.m. and there was some road construction that slowed things down, a lot. But I made it round the "speedway" (I465 to I70) and out of Indy without any problems - except for a bad case of nerves and a headache!

I'm on my way to Springfield, Missouri for a Joslin Family Reunion. Internet connectivity for the next week or so could be iffy so I'll take this opportunity to wish you all a safe, happy, and thankful Thanksgiving holiday.

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1941)

August 31 - 1941

The 32d Annual reunion of the Phend family was held at Nappanee Community Park Aug 31st 1941 with 47 present. The dinner was served at noon a little late but nevertheless seemed to be enjoyed by all.

The meeting or reunion of 1940 was cancelled on account of Infantile Paralys.

Business session then called to order by the Pres. Henry Phend

Officers elected for the ensuing year as follows
Pres Henry Phend
V. Pres Fred Ernest
Sec & Treas F. A. Wehrly

Motion made & 2d that the reunion be held at the same place next year, on the 4th Sun of August

Motion made & 2d that the present Pres. Be retained

Motion made & 2d that the present Sec & Treas be retained.

[page 2]
Motion made & 2d that Fred Ernest be V. Pres. Motion carried.

Motion made & 2d that Evelyn act as chairman of the entertainment committee.

Balance on hand $1.11
Coll 4.40
[balance] 5.57
Expenses last year 1.11
Expenses for park 1.00
Bal of 3.40
Ice Cream 2.00
Bal $1.40

Arrangements made for the use of South End of Pavillion for 1942 the sum of $2.50 for Pavillion.

Marriages for 1939 & 1940, 1941
Madeline Phend & John R. Walters
Josephine Phend & Lowell Poyser
Richard Ernest & Priscilla Kelley
Warren Pletcher & June Bosse
Robert Thornton & Lio Zman [Leona Zeman]
Harry Pletcher & Ruth Lyons
George Ernest & Florence Stickel

[page 3]
Judith & Sally [to] Mr & Mrs Donald Phend
Jerry Lee - to Mr & Mrs Lowell Poyser
Patsy Kay - to Mr & Mrs George Ernest
Judith Ann - to Mr & Mrs Guy Phend
June Ellen - to Mr & Mrs R. O. Bechtel
Edith Patrice - to Mr & Mrs H. L. Wehrly

Lulu Allen and Scott Allen - 1940
Wm Phend July 25 - 1941

A general good visit was had by all and some enjoyed a couple games and the small children had a good time on the slides & rides after which Ice Cream was served. All started for home seeming well pleased with the day well spent.

F. A. Wehrly Sec. & Treas.

The Phend-Fisher families gathered for a reunion in Northern Indiana almost annually from 1909 until 1943. The events of the day were recorded in an old ledger book. Spelling has been retained as it was in the original though some punctuation and paragraph breaks have been added. To view all articles in this series click on the "Phend-Fisher Reunion Ledger" label at the bottom of this post.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Most Profound Short Speech

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address given on this date in 1863...

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

The Gettysburg Address at The Library of Congress

November 19th - Today in History

A new image has been found of Lincoln at Gettysburg.

Lincoln Picture and Image of First Draft from

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1940)

31st Aug 1940

This reunion was cancelled due to the infantile paralysis epidemic present in the northern section of this state.


The Phend-Fisher families gathered for a reunion in Northern Indiana almost annually from 1909 until 1943. The events of the day were recorded in an old ledger book. Spelling has been retained as it was in the original though some punctuation and paragraph breaks have been added. To view all articles in this series click on the "Phend-Fisher Reunion Ledger" label at the bottom of this post.

Carousel Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy

Jasia has posted the November 18, 2007 edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, 36th Edition, which is a "carousel" edition with no specific theme. With 26 authors, several new participants, and 31 articles on a wide range of topics, this is a very interesting edition.

The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy will be: Wish Lists! Christmas and Hanukkah are just around the corner and these are the seasons of gift giving and receiving. What are you wishing for this Christmas? The Genea-Santa wants to know! Do you have any suggestions for the folks who have to buy a gift "for the genealogist who has everything"?

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form. The deadline for submissions will be December 1st. Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.

And, if you're in the market for another interesting carnival, GreenmanTim at Walking the Berkshires has published the Cabinet of Curiosities #1- PT Barnum Edition with some interesting topics including alien signal receptors, mummy heads, voodoo, counterfeit shrunken heads, and more.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1939)

The 30th annual reunion of the Phend family was held at the Nappanee Community park sun. Aug 27 - 1939

There were 46 present all seemed to enjoy the dinner very much.

Meeting called to order by president Henry Phend.

Election of officers was then in order. Motion made & 2d that the same president be retained for the next year. Motion carried. Motion made and 2d that F. A. Wehrly act as Sec & Treas. Motion carried.

Motion made & 2d that Rob't & Evelyn Bechtel act as entertainment comm..

Coll[ection] was then taken amounting to

[page 2]
Coll $3.11
Bal of .87
[balance] 3.98
Park fee 2.60
Sec exp. .87
Bal. 1.11

There being no further business, meeting then adj[ourned] until next year.

F. A. Wehrly S & T. Protem.

The Phend-Fisher families gathered for a reunion in Northern Indiana almost annually from 1909 until 1943. The events of the day were recorded in an old ledger book. Spelling has been retained as it was in the original though some punctuation and paragraph breaks have been added. To view all articles in this series click on the "Phend-Fisher Reunion Ledger" label at the bottom of this post.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The 161 Meme

Jasia, at Creative Gene, has tagged me for the "161 Meme". I am supposed to open up the book I'm currently reading to page 161 and share the 6th sentence on that page with you. And then, tag five more bloggers to do the same...

The book I'm reading now is "I Hear the Train" by Louis Owens, which was purchased at the FGS Conference in August. This is a collection of stories, some based on fact, some fiction. Guess you could call it "faction". Stories of events in his life as a child working in the fields, fighting fires in the wilderness, the journey to find his brother after thirty years of silence, and reflections of his life as a mixed-blood Indian in America.

page 161, 6th sentence of "I Hear the Train":
"I could've gone to junior college right here in Mississippi of course, but Cole McCurtain thought it'd be good for me to see something else, and he'd liked California pretty well, I guess."

The next two lines are better: "The first thing that happened, naturally, was I fell in love and suffered more than I ever thought I could. Cole McCurtain didn't help a bit when I called him to tell him how bad it was, just grinned over the phone. Adela Camacho was as beautiful as a winter sunrise on the river, when all that new light comes down through the black bones of trees and lays gold on the slow water and you don't hear nothing except maybe a lone dog out there deep in the woods and the air is that kid of sweet cold that makes you dizzy."

Being Tagged are:

Friday, November 16, 2007

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1938)

The 29th annual reunion of the Phend family was held in the Nappanee community Park, August 28th 1938.

Reunion will be held in Nappanee again next year.

A motion was made to retain same pres for another year. "Henry Phend"
Fred Ernest - Vice Pres.
Bob Bechtel - Sec'y Treas.
Mrs. Cecil Phend - Entertainment Com.

Reservation will be made for the pavilion for next year.

Bal on hand .87
Coll. 3.11
[balance] 3.98

Births this year
Judith Alice Phend daughter of Donald & Henretta

Total 3.98
Park fee 2.00
Notices .87
Bal. 1.11

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1937)

The 28th annual reunion of the Phend & Fisher families was held in the Nappanee Community Park, with 35 present.

It was moved and seconded to retain the same President and Sec'y. Treas. (motion was carried)

Entertainment Com.
Anna May Thornton - It was decided to have the reunion at Nappanee again next year.

Birth reported -
Sharon Elaine Pletcher. Father Warren Pletcher.

1936 Bal .18
Collection 1.75
[balance] 1.93
Park fee 1.00
Bal - .93
Notices .93
[balance] .00

Bob Bechtel
Sec'y Treas.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Plan to Prepare for Disaster

After writing the post Are You Prepared? I'm Not a couple of weeks ago, I've decided to take my own advice and have begun devising a plan to tackle some of those issues. But something else came up this morning that added to the mix. Apple's post Uncertain Future brings up some things that I hadn't really thought about. So, what happens to all this stuff in the future, after I'm gone or incapable of living on my own? Wouldn't it be disastrous if it were all destroyed or lost? Looks like another plan needs to be made, or at the least, added to my list.

I'm posting this list for all to see so that perhaps it will give me some incentive. Time spent on these tasks will, obviously, take away time that might otherwise been spent on research or other more "fun" things, but these are things that really require some attention! With that said, I've identified what I think needs to be done, though I may have forgotten a thing or two. Now I have to prioritize these tasks and start working on them!

1. Inventory Household. Take pictures of stuff. Give a copy to someone else to keep in a safe place.

2. Go through all of the boxes (about 30) in the garage. Dispose of what I don't want (sell, give away or trash, if necessary). Inventory items in each box that is kept.

3. Investigate the various services available for scanning photographs. Do they scan the pictures themselves or send them elsewhere? What is the turnaround time, cost, etc. The Genealogy Insider had a post on Batch Photo Scanning Services in October that I've used as the starting point for my investigation. I have negatives for nearly all of the pictures I've taken, so the negatives could be scanned or printed if the pictures were lost in this process. It would be costly, but not disastrous if something were to happen to these prints.

4. Scan Mom's pictures that are in magnetic album pages. Put those pictures into new archival albums. These don't have negatives so they won't be sent out for scanning.

5. Review and reorganize genealogy files (20+ years worth). They look organized, yes? But appearances can be deceiving. I need to put all information for my ancestors into their own file. Currently my files are organized by record type by location. When entered into Legacy a file number is given to each item so it can quickly be retrieved for reference. However, if something should happen to me, no one else would know which documents are specific to which families. Thus, these files need to be reorganized. I also need to confirm that the data has been entered into Legacy.

6. Scan the documents pertaining specifically to ancestors.

7. Finish scanning the old family photographs that I got from Dad (way back in 1992).

8. Create a CD or DVD to distribute the digital picture and document files to my brothers and cousins and anyone else interested in them.

9. Reorganize the files on my computer so that if something happened to me the "important" files would be easier to access, i.e. not buried in several layers of folders. Similar to my paper files, the organization of my digital files make sense to me but could be confusing to others.

10. Post my genealogy databases online. The Bray-Wiseman data is on WorldConnect but none of my other family data is available in an online database. The databases require some clean-up before they can be posted.

11. Be more conscientious about backing up the data on my computer.

12. Try to come up with an answer to the question: "What happens to all this stuff in the future, after I'm gone or incapable of living on my own?"

An Exciting Day

The UPS man delivered my new camera this afternoon. He also brought the Civil War Pension file of my 2nd great grandfather, Eli Yarian, that I ordered about six weeks ago. The camera won out over the pension file as the first to be opened. Nice, lots to learn though. Eli's pension file is "only" 147 pages. So that will take some time to go through.

Oh, and my passport came via snail mail too! It only took about three weeks. Now I'm set to go traipsing around the world when the mood strikes. ;-)

A bit overwhelming, and I now have blurry vision and a headache from reading so much, but I could take a few more days like today!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1936)

The 27th Annual Phend & Fisher reunion was held at Nappanee Aug 30th 1936

It was moved and seconded to have the reunion at the same place next year.

Officers elected were
Pres. Henry Phend
Sec & Tr Bob Bechtel

1935 Bal 2.00
out for cards 1.60
[balance] .40
collection 2.28
[balance] 2.68
For Pavillion 2.50
Bal[ance] .18

The Phend-Fisher families gathered for a reunion in Northern Indiana almost annually from 1909 until 1943. The events of the day were recorded in an old ledger book. Spelling has been retained as it was in the original though some punctuation and paragraph breaks have been added. To view all articles in this series click on the "Phend-Fisher Reunion Ledger" label at the bottom of this post.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Recycle that old Computer - America Recycles Day

In my post Sticker Shock, I mentioned that I had an old laptop that no longer works and I didn't know what to do with it. Well, in a comment on that post, Janice Brown, at Cow Hampshire, linked to an article about Staples and their computer recycle program.

Since I was going to Staples to purchase my new digital camera, I took the old laptop along. I asked the sales clerk who was helping me if they accepted computers for recycling and he responded in the affirmative. When it came time to check out I made a quick trip to the car and got the laptop. The young man was very nice and courteous but didn't know how to handle the recycling charge. Neither did the other cashier. They called the manager. He said there was a code they had to use. It wasn't at any of the registers so he had to go into the back office to get it. In the meantime, I filled out the paperwork identifying what was being turned in and signing my name stating that I understood that they were promising that the equipment would not be resold or used in any other way, that it was really going to be recycled.

What should have been a less than five minute process ended up taking about 20 minutes. Of course, the sales clerk apologized saying it was the first time anyone had actually recycled anything at their store. I wasn't in a hurry or anything so it was no big deal. But if you plan on recycling any electronic stuff, I'd suggest calling ahead to the store to let them know.

This morning, while on the Staples website checking the status of my camera shipment, I did a search for "recycle computers" but nothing came up. In their page on Media Information they have a News Release titled Fewer Than One in Four Americans Recycle Their Technology Waste that provides additional information on the program and what they will accept.

Did you know that Thursday, November 15th, is America Recycles Day? The Material Recovery Center at Columbia City (in Whitley County, Indiana) has a Saturday in November set aside for turning in hazardous materials, batteries, tires, appliances, etc. that they don't normally accept. Fort Wayne also does this. There is a fee involved with these things, but it is minimal. I'm not sure if they accept electronic equipment such as computers, printers, and scanners though. It might be worth checking your local recycling center, especially if you have multiple items (CPU, Monitor, Printer, etc.) as there is a $10 fee at Staples for each item. There is no charge for cell phones, pagers, digital cameras, mice, or keyboards.

It cost $10 to rid myself of a piece of junk, but I feel good about having done so. It got it out of my closet and hopefully some of the precious metals can be retrieved for other uses. As Janice suggested, I opened the laptop, found the hard drive and gave it more than a few good whacks. After putting the cover back on, the insides rattled a bit, but that shouldn't take away any of it's recycling value ;-)

As a side note, I purchased my new digital camera. A Sony Cyber-shot H7. 8.1 megapixal and 15x zoom. The only one they had in-store was the display model. I'm prejudiced against display models so opted for having it shipped to me. It is supposed to arrive tomorrow (Tuesday 11/13). I just want to be able to check it out for a few days before my trip to Missouri. I'm really looking forward to that 15x zoom. Awesome!
Flag image from the America Recycles Day website.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Welcome Home Tribute to Soldiers and Veterans!

On August 21, 1919 the Auditorium of City Hall in Columbia City, Indiana was the scene of a "Welcome Home Day" Dinner. Being honored were the World War Solders and Veterans of the Civil War and Spanish American War. The tables were set to serve 600 soldiers and veterans.

The caption on the back of the photos states that the ladies in the pictures are from the various townships and waited on the tables. Photographs are courtesy of the Whitley County Historical Museum. The first picture is from the rear of the room looking toward the stage while the second one was taken from the stage looking toward the rear of the room.

This dinner was held on the same day as the annual Old Settler's Day Celebration. In addition to the dinner there was a grand patriotic parade through town.

As a way of remembering and honoring the 21 Whitley County, Indiana soldiers who died during World War I, their biographies and photographs have been posted on my other blog, Whitley County Kinexxions, at World War I Gold Star Soldiers of Whitley County.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1935)

The 26th Anual Reunion of the Phend & fisher families was held at Nappanee Park in the Pavillion Sunday Aug. 25th 1935

The Presideing Officers were
President Henry Phend.
Vice President Reuben Pletcher
Sec. & Treas. Cecil Phend.

The day was a nice sunshine day. The noonday Prayer was offered by Reuben Pletcher. Then we all enjoyed a good dinner, after which the buissness meeting was called to order by the President Henry Phend.

A song was sung by the group. The Sec Report was read and Approved. Offisers elected for following year were.
Pres. Henry Phend.
Vice Pres. Will Phend.
Sect. & Treas. Reuben Pletcher
Enterainment committee Chairman Evelyn Werely Bechtol

Death Report.
John Earnest - Elkhart
Sam Rinkenberger - North Webster
James Shaw - Elkhart

[page 2]
The History of the Phend & Fisher families was given by Fred Earnest giving a compleat History traced back to Switzerland.

A Special talk was given by Henry Phend.

It was moved and second that we have the Reunion at the same place next year on the last Sunday of Aug.

Treasure report.
Expence cards 1.60
Parks Building 2.50
Bal. In treasure 2.17
Collection 3.93
[balance] $6.10
[expenses] 4.10
Bal on hand. $2.00

Closing song God be with you till we meet again.

Reuben Pletcher Sec & treas

John Ernest died March 12, 1935. He was the husband of Sophia Phend Ernest.
I do not yet have a date of death for Sam Ringgenberg/Rinkenberger (son of Christian and Caroline Fisher Ringgenberg).
James Shaw died July 1, 1935. He was the husband of Sophia Ringgenberg Shaw (sister of Sam Ringgenberg).

The Phend-Fisher families gathered for a reunion in Northern Indiana almost annually from 1909 until 1943. The events of the day were recorded in an old ledger book. Spelling has been retained as it was in the original though some punctuation and paragraph breaks have been added. To view all articles in this series click on the "Phend-Fisher Reunion Ledger" label at the bottom of this post.

Aaron & Lydia Fisher Conroy - Civil War Pension

Civil War Pension Application 1098499 filed March 11, 1892
Aaron Conroy, P.O. Pitkin, Gunnison County, Colorado
Enlisted February 17, 1865 and served as a private in Co. B, 7th Reg't, Illinois Infantry and was discharged at Springfield, Illinois on July 9, 1865

Request for a pension under act of June 27, 1890. Declaration made April 30, 1892.
  • He contracted kidney disease at or near Goldborough, N. Carolina on or about February 1865, caused from exposure.
  • Since leaving the service he resided in Illinois, Kansas, Iowa and Colorado. Peoria Ill, Lawrence Kansas, Des Moines Iowa, Pitkin Colo.
  • His occupation has been that of a Engineer and Machinist.
  • He is partially unable to earn a support by reason of the following disabilities: Neuralgia of the heart and kidney complaint & rheumatism incurred at Aspen Colo in March, April and May 1884 working in Spar Mine, but has had the kidney trouble since 1865.
Surgeon's Certificate. Examination was made on June 22, 1892 at Gunnison, Colorado. Aaron stated he was suffering from neuralgia of the heart, rheumatism, and diseased kidneys. He was 5 feet 6 ½ inches tall, weighed 140 pounds, and was 49 years old. The opinion of the examining board was that he was entitled to 4/18 rating for the disability caused by rheumatism and 4/18 for that caused by Diabetis Millitis. However, his request was denied on April 17, 1893 by the Bureau of Pensions.

On May 26, 1893 he filed another affidavit with additional evidence including statements by four of his neighbors; W. W. Stephen and John A. Henderson who both work with him, Charley Scales who is a butcher and Provision Stover, and Scott Dickinson who is a Hardware and Furniturer. A portion of their statement: "We are satisfied that these ailments are not caused by any vicious habits. We know him to be a strictly temperate moral and of a good repute since our acquaintance with him." Denied again.

On May 7, 1896 Aaron filed another application. Statements were signed by W. W. Stephen, John Dempsey and G. A. Dewey on his behalf. One of the doctor's stated that there was no evidence of diabetes millitis but that tests indicated that Aaron suffered with Bright's disease. The examining board rated him 6/18 for disease of the heart, 2/18 for rheumatism and 4/18 for disease of kidneys. Nearly a year passed, and on March 16, 1897 he was once again denied. However, his case was apparently referred to a "Medical Referee." There was a medical call slip where he was told to report for examination. At the bottom where it provides space for noting who made the examination is written "I went to Gunnison on 20th of July 1897 and no one present but McIntosh. Aaron Conroy. You see I have done my duty."

Finally, on September 28, 1897 he was awarded his pension at the rate of $6 per month, commencing on May 7, 1896. So it looks like he may have gotten some back pay.

On May 4, 1898 he filled out a circular that was included with his payment. The following questions were asked (I love his response to the third question!):
  • First. Are you married? If so, please state your wife's full name and her maiden name.
    Answer. I am married, wife full name is Lydie Ellen Conroy, maiden name Lydie Ellen Fisher.
  • Second. When, where, and by whom were you married?
    Answer. Thursday Sept 8th 1870 Lawrence Kas. by Chas Chadwick, Justice of pease.
  • Third. What record of marriage exists?
    Answer. Sunshine & Clouds. More Sunshine then Clouds.
  • Fourth. Were you previously married? If so, please state the name of your former wife and the date and place of her death or divorce.
    Answer. No I was not married before.
  • Fifth. Have you any children living? If so, please state their names and the dates of their birth.
    Answer. I have raised two. old Ills Soldiers girls one from 4 weeks old, up until She was married. The other from 3 years old until now She is 13 years. No children of my own.

On September 12, 1904 Aaron submitted a Declaration for Increase of Pension stating that he is 2/3 unable to earn a support by manual labor. And here, for the first time, it states that he was born on January 15, 1843. The request for increase was denied because he failed to appear at two hearings.

However, he doesn't give up! On March 15, 1907 he again applied for an increase, under the new act of February 6, 1907. And now we get a little more information about him. He is 5 feet 6 ½ inches tall, has a light complexion, gray eyes and light hair. His occupation is that of an Engineer. He was born January 15, 1843 in Wenchestard, Ind. Since leaving the service he resided in Peoria, Ill until 1869. Thence Lawarence Kansas until 1872. Thence Des Moine Iowa until 1879. Since Pitkin Colo up to Date. He is a pensioner by Certificate No. 945.276 at $6 per month. That he has heretofore applied for pension "Increase. Did not git it."

Persistence pays off. His pension was doubled, to $12 per month. He was dropped from the rolls under the act of June 27, 1890 and allowed under the act of February 6, 1907. There was a notation "age over 62" so perhaps that had something to do with the increase. I'm not familiar with the various acts under which pensions were given.

The rules changed again by the Act of May 11, 1912. So, on May 25, 1912 he submitted another declaration and request for increase. This declaration gives his height as 5 feet 6 inches, light complexion, blue eyes, and auburn hair. His occupation is not legible. He was born January 15th 1843 in Winchester, Randolph County, Indiana. His places of residence were Peoria Ill 1865 to 1868, Lawrence to 1871, Desmoines Iowa 1878, Leadville 1880, in Pitkin most the time to current day.

He apparently doesn't like the slowness of the system and writes a letter to the Pension Commissioner on January 15, 1913 which in part reads "I thought I would write you a line in regards to my former application which was allowed May 30th 1912. . . Private and Corporal Co. B. 7th Regment Illinois Volunteers Infantry. Yours very Respectfully, Aaron Conroy Pitkin, Colo. P. S. Now 70 years old to day. Born Jan. 15th 1843"

He didn't get a response right away so wrote another letter on March 20th 1913: "Dear Sir Mr. J. L. Davenport, commissioner of Pension. I see by the National Tribune paper of March 13th that you have ran up all the applications up to June the 3rd and my case being May 30th. Now it is March 20th and most all the old boys have got theres. I thought you might overlooked my case. Aaron Conroy number 945.276 My last aplation was acknalaged by you January 20th 1913. pleas look this up & ablige an old friend & Commarad."

The paperwork shows that on February 20, 1913 he was approved for an increase in his pension to $15 per month with an effective date of May 30, 1912.

Good old government bureaucracy at work. In May 1913 he receives a letter from the Bureau of Pensions "Relative to your claim for pension under act of May 11, 1912, in which you allege that you are 70 years of age, and that you were born January 15th 1843, you are advised that the best obtainable evidence of the date of your birth is required by this Bureau."

In his response, Aaron states that "My daughter now lives in Denver and her H.H. goods in Newbraska thoue she tells me she will write to the parties thare & try to git the old family bible if it is realy nessary." A typewritten transcript was sent to the Bureau from copies sent to Aaron by his daughter May.

Several more increases were given: to $18 commencing January 15, 1913; to $21 January 15, 1918; to $30 on June 10, 1918. These appear to be automatic increases.

On April 2nd 1915 Aaron had to fill out another family questionnaire. Most of the information was the same as previously submitted but with several additional questions:

  • No. 8. Are you now living with your wife, or has there been a separation?
    Answer. I am living with her yet & Expect to Untill Death.
  • No. 9. State the names and dates of birth of all your children, living or dead.
    Answer. Name of my oldest Daughter is Oliva Louise Conroy, Born Dec. 16, 1872 at Lawrance Kansas. Next Daughter Was Born in Pitkin Colo, Augt 11th 1884. Thay are both Married & have family of thear own And Living.

A couple of contradictions here. In May 1898 Aaron states "I have raised two. old Ills Soldiers girls one from 4 weeks old, up until She was married. The other from 3 years old until now She is 13 years. No children of my own." The second girl would have been born about 1885, which matches the 1915 statement. In the 1900 census (Pitkin, Gunnison County, Colorado pg 10) it shows that Lydia has 1 child with 1 living. The 1910 census (same place, pg 13) shows she has 2 children, with 2 living. Confusing, yes? So are the girls theirs by birth or by adoption?

On July 16, 1925 there is simply the following statement: "The name of the above-described pensioner who was last paid at the rate of $50 per month to Jun 4, 1925 has this day been dropped from the roll because of death July 2, 1925." Another document says that "he has been a member of the Colorado Soldiers' and Sailors' Home at home Lake since November 13th 1920 and that he died on the 2nd day of July 1925."

Lydia Conroy applied for a widow's pension on July 11, 1925. She was living at Homelake, Colorado at the time. In her declaration made in Rio Grande County, Colorado Lydia stated "she is 81 years of age, that she was born May 8th 1844 at Stark County, Ohio. She has no children living under 16 years of age." Lydia signed her name on the deposition.

I previously had her birth as March 1845 based upon the 1900 census. A closer look at the image shows it to be May 1845. But this brings up several issues. I have her brother Solomon born in 1844 based on the fact that he was 6 years old in the 1850 census and 17 in the 1860 census. All of the other children of Michael Fisher are listed in order of birth in his will. Solomon is listed before Lydia; perhaps Solomon and Lydia are twins? Or maybe Solomon was born in 1843 instead. Michael's will was signed on March 19, 1845 and went before the probate court on April 21, 1845. Since Lydia is listed in the will she was probably born in May 1844 rather than 1845.

One of the witnesses for Lydia who attested to the fact that she and Aaron Conroy had lived together their entire married life was Mrs. Mame Stevenson, who lived at 2924 Colfax Ave in Pueblo. Mrs. Stevenson also stated that she was 57 years of age and a niece of Mrs. Lydia E. Conroy. Another name to investigate!

Lydia was awarded a pension on November 13, 1925 of $30 per month commencing on July 11, 1925. A "Drop Report" was issued on September 15, 1926. Lydia Fisher Conroy passed away on August 27, 1926. Her name is at the top of the report along with an address of 4924 Colfax Ave., Pueblo, Colorado. There is no other document that shows her death.


  • Aaron Conroy was born January 15, 1843 in Winchester, Randolph County, Indiana
  • Lydia Ellen Fisher was born May 8, 1844 at Stark County, Ohio
  • Aaron enlisted February 17, 1865 and served as a private in Co. B, 7th Reg't, Illinois Infantry and was discharged at Springfield, Illinois on July 9, 1865. He was 5 feet 6 ½ inches tall with a light complexion, gray or blue eyes and light or auburn hair.
  • Aaron and Lydia were married on September 8, 1870 in Lawrence, Kansas
  • He was and engineer and machinist and worked in mines. He had a sense of humor, was probably stubborn, and above all, didn't give up.
  • Aaron died July 2, 1925 at Home Lake, Colorado
  • Lydia died August 27, 1926 probably at Pueblo, Colorado, 4924 Colfax Ave.
  • A niece, Mrs. Mame Stevenson lived at 2924 Colfax Ave, Pueblo in October 1925
  • Both Aaron and Lydia were somewhat literate.

Places of Residence during their married life:

  • Lawrence, Kansas to 1871
  • Des Moines, Iowa to 1878
  • Leadville, Lake County, Colorado to 1880
  • Pitkin, Gunnison County, Colorado until November 1920
  • Home Lake, Rio Grande County, Colorado until July 1925
Children (natural or adopted?):
  • Oliva Louise Conroy born December 16, 1872 at Lawrence, Kansas
  • Unnamed daughter born August 11, 1884 in Pitkin, Colorado
  • In February 1913, one of the daughters lived in Denver, Colorado
  • Both were married prior to April 1915

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sticker Shock

One of my "projects" in progress is sorting through the "stuff" I've accumulated over the years. Deciding what should be kept and what should be tossed, shredded, or given away. I started in July but have only gotten through three boxes. It's slow going. I get distracted by what I find, and other things want my attention also.

Yesterday I came across some receipts:
  • My first laptop computer purchased in February 1997 was just a very basic Windows 95 laptop. Including sales tax, it cost $4,723.95 !! I still have it although it wouldn't boot up the last time I tried, over a year ago. Why do I still have it? 'Cause I don't know what to do with it.
  • The second laptop was purchased in March 2002. It cost $2149.95 and has recently been handed down to my niece and her son. It still works though it has a couple issues, such as several keys on the keyboard not working occasionally, so an external keyboard has to be used.
  • The new laptop bought about 2 weeks ago was less than $1000. Hm, looks like laptop computers last me about 5 years.
  • For my first (and only) digital camera, purchased in June 2000, I paid $899.98 - it is an Olympus 3 megapixal with 3x zoom. Very cutting edge at the time. I've been thinking about getting another and have been checking prices. The one I'm looking at would be about $300.
Another discovery was my Mother's notebook of our trip from Indiana to California in July 1976. She made note of what we paid for some of the motel rooms:
  • Freeman, South Dakota $11.50 for a single and $13.50 for 2 beds and "leave the money in the room when we leave."
  • Rapid City, South Dakota - "made reservations at Best Western $32.00 for 2 beds but stopped at Western Motel Lodge and got room with 1 bed $19.61 - Becky slept on floor."
  • Cheyenne, Wyoming $18.50 for queen size bed at Sands Motel
  • Bought some food before going to Rocky Mountain National Park - Pepsi 80¢ a 6 pack, got 4, chicken, cheese & crackers, lettuce, tomatoes, spent $16.00 on food.
  • Grant's Pass, Oregon - Rogue Haven Motel, 3 bedrooms and kitchen $14.00
  • Alameda, California - Royal Inn Motel $22.26 per nite
Two weeks ago I made reservations for the motel in Springfield, Missouri - $72 per night plus another $12-15 in taxes, but that is at a "special" rate.

Isn't it amazing, as the cost of nearly everything else is rising, computers and electronic goods are significantly less than 10 years ago!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1934)

25th Anual Reunion of Phend & Fisher Familys Sunday Aug 26, 1934

A fair cowd [crowd] gathered at the Nappannee park for the 25th Phend & Fisher reunion.

Prayer was offerd by John Earnest and the [then] every body enjoyed a good feed after which time was spent in a social visit.

The business meeting was called to order. Pres. Henry Phend. A song by the group after which Barton Thornton led in Prayer.

The Entertainment program as follows
Piano Solo Richard Thornton
Encore number "Honey"
Piano Duet Mrs Cecil Phend & Daughter Madylyn

Buisness meeting
Sec Report Read & approved
Officers elected for following year
Henry Phend Pres
Ruben Pletcher Vice Pres
Cecil Phend Sec & Treasure

[page 2]
Treasure Report
$2.17 Balance
1.60 Expences
.57 left in treasure

Entertainment Committee
Mrs Evelyn Werely Bechtold elected chairman

Moved that we have meeting held in building in Nappannee Park

Death report
Mrs Claude Poole - Mishawaka
Mrs Jacob Phend - Granger

Birth report
Shirley Ann Phend daughter of Mr. & Mrs Victor Phend

The Phend-Fisher families gathered for a reunion in Northern Indiana almost annually from 1909 until 1943. The events of the day were recorded in an old ledger book. Spelling has been retained as it was in the original though some punctuation and paragraph breaks have been added. To view all articles in this series click on the "Phend-Fisher Reunion Ledger" label at the bottom of this post.

Fun with Flowcharts...

One of my favorite "fun" blogs that I subscribe to is Mental Floss. Posts are written by half a dozen or so different writers so it is pretty active and it covers a wide range of subject matter.

This morning, Miss Cellania posted Fun with Flowcharts. I thought of all those flowcharts I'd had to invent when working on systems/programming projects. LOL. I am so happy that I don't have to do that anymore! It also reminded me of The Genealogue's Guide to Internet Genealogy posted by Chris Dunham back in April.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Terry's Photo Challenge. . .

Terry Thornton has posted a photo of himself in a funny costume and has issued a Photo Challenge to all Genea-Bloggers. My contribution was taken in the spring of 1965, after the final performance of my Junior Class Play - The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, which was loosely based on the television show of the same name. That's me on the left ;-) portraying Happy Stella Kowalski who was the leader of an all-male band. We had fun. The face of my classmate in the photo has been blocked out, but I'm sure he'd know who it was if he saw the picture.

** Update November 11, 2007**
Part of Terry's challenge was to post a costumed photo of yourself as an adult. Now, I realize that a 17 year old High School Junior would not normally be considered an adult. However, I was much older than my years would indicate. I'm much younger now than I was then ;-) there were way too many responsibilities weighing me down back then. If you'd known me then you would also know how "out of character" this was for me. I was extremely shy (still shy but not near as much). I didn't wear makeup (still don't). Participating in the class play was a "defining moment" for me since it was the first time I was recognized for an achievement. It was also the first crack in the wall that I had built around myself.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Special Delivery...

On September 2nd this year (before the price increase went into effect) I placed on order online with NARA for the full Civil War Pension Files of my 2nd great grandfather, Eli Yarian, and for Aaron Conroy, the husband of Lydia Fisher. Two weeks later I placed an order for the pension records of Samuel Fisher. I'm fairly certain that Lydia and Samuel are the children of my 3rd great grandparents, Michael and Christenia Fisher.

Today UPS delivered a thick envelope with the records of Aaron Conroy. I haven't counted the number of pages yet, but the stack is about ½" thick. A quick look through the papers shows that Aaron Conroy married Lydia Fisher on September 8, 1870 in Douglas County, Kansas which matches up with the record I had previously found online. "Aldia" Fisher was enumerated in the household of Samuel Fisher in the 1870 census of Marion Township, Douglas County. Additional records found online show that Samuel was the son of Christopher Fisher and Christine Houk. Though the names don't quite match up I'm convinced that this Samuel is the "right" one. The 1910 federal census of Lawrence, Douglas County, Kansas shows Samuel living on Connecticut Street and the 1913 Phend-Fisher Reunion Ledger gives his address as "621 Conne St Lawrence Kan." The 1914 Ledger states simply that "Samuel Fisher died" while online records show that he died September 7, 1913.

A few minutes ago, at the NARA site, I entered the order numbers for the remaining two requests. They have copied the records for Eli Yarian and that file is awaiting shipment. For Samuel Fisher, whose records were ordered two weeks later, the request is still in servicing, which means they are looking for the file. It's kind of neat that you can check the status of your orders online.

Now, I've got some reading to do!

Oh, and something else came today, but not via UPS. This came from Mother Nature - the first snow flurries of the winter season along with cold winds. There was a light dusting of white on the ground and rooftops this morning and a "whiteout" for a few minutes at about 10 a.m. Thankfully, it didn't last long.

Children of Lysander and Lydia Robison Joslin

See the post "Lysander and Lydia Robison Joslin" for background information on the family.

Anna Eliza Joslin was born on 08 Nov 1844 in Whitley County, Indiana, died on 28 Jul 1885 in Jefferson County, Iowa and was buried in McDowell Cemetery in Jefferson County, Iowa. She married William Klingaman on 12 Oct 1865 in Whitley County, Indiana and had three children:

  1. Charles Sherman Klingaman (1867-1955)
  2. Olen Valerus Klingaman (1869-1951)
  3. Frank Ellsworth Klingaman (1872-1950)

Mary Jane Joslin was born on 20 Jul 1846 in Whitley County, Indiana, died on 20 Mar 1850 in Whitley County, Indiana and was buried in Adams Cemetery in Troy Township, Whitley County, Indiana.

Elsy Ellen Joslin was born on 05 Aug 1847 in Whitley County, Indiana, died on 09 Mar 1850 in Whitley County, Indiana and was buried in Adams Cemetery in Troy Township, Whitley County, Indiana.

Lillia, Elcy, Esther, and Mary Joslin lie next to their great-grandfather, Bela Goodrich, in Adams Cemetery, Troy Township, Whitley County, Indiana.

Malissa Mariah Joslin was born on 24 Jun 1849 in Troy Township, Whitley County, Indiana, died on 30 Sep 1937 in Columbia City, Whitley County, Indiana and was buried in South Park Cemetery in Columbia City, Whitley County, Indiana. She married William Brubaker on 20 Apr 1871 in Whitley County, Indiana. They had two children.

  1. Charles Romain Brubaker (1871-1945 my great grandfather, still need to write about him!)
  2. Maurice Hale Brubaker (1886-1910)

Luther Marion Joslin was born on 02 Jan 1852 in Whitley County, Indiana, died on 18 May 1930 in Turkey Ridge, Pulaski County, Missouri and was buried in Colley Hollow Cemetery in Turkey Ridge, Pulaski County, Missouri. He married Phoebe Dorcas Elliott on 02 Mar 1876 in Whitley County, Indiana. Luther and Phoebe lived in Illinois, Kansas and Iowa as well as homesteading in South Dakota before moving to Missouri in the late 1920s. They had five children.

  1. Ole Elsworth Joslin (1876- ?)
  2. David Judson Joslin (1878-1880)
  3. Flora Evelyn Joslin (1884-1983)
  4. Virgil Newton Joslin (1891-1959)
  5. Phoebe Dorcas Joslin Kutz (1893-1977)

Roxie Arminta Joslin was born on 04 Apr 1853 in Whitley County, Indiana, died on 05 Mar 1941 in Cardin, Ottawa County, Oklahoma and was buried in Baxter Springs Cemetery in Cherokee County, Kansas. She married Jacob Henry Parkison on 30 May 1874 in Whitley County, Indiana. Jacob was a half-brother of William Brubaker who married Roxie's sister, Malissa. Roxie and Jacob had nine children.

  1. Wilbert Henry "Bert" Parkison (1874-1932)
  2. George Thomas Parkison II (1876-1958)
  3. Ida Maude Parkison Frazier (1878-1959)
  4. Otis Garfield Parkison (1880-1925)
  5. Andrew Franklin Parkison (1883-1910)
  6. William Sherman Parkison (1885-1927)
  7. Valetta Arminta "Letty" Parkison Strahan (1887-1946)
  8. Benjamin Earl Parkison (1890-1962)
  9. Gladys Roxie "Babe" Parkison Elder (1892-1982)

John Lafayette Joslin was born on 30 Nov 1855 in Whitley County, Indiana. He is listed with Lysander and Lydia in the 1870 federal census in Whitley County. The last record of John is in the family bible where it shows that he married "Mattie" on September 29, 1890. One family researcher indicates that John "went to California" but no further information is given and we haven't been able to locate him.

Esther Joslin was born on 03 Sep 1857 in Whitley County, Indiana, died on 05 Nov 1858 in Whitley County, Indiana and was buried in Adams Cemetery in Troy Township, Whitley County, Indiana.

Minerva Fatima Joslin was born on 07 Jan 1859 in Whitley County, Indiana, died on 12 May 1905 in Hot Springs, Garland County, Arkansas and was buried in Old Cemetery in Iola, Allen County, Kansas. She married William John Knight on 16 Mar 1876 in Whitley County, Indiana.

  1. Merlin Andrew Knight (1878- ?)
  2. Nellie Gertrude Knight Sutton (1879-1947)
  3. Hale Vernon Knight (1897-1947)

Andrew Hanable Joslin was born on 30 May 1860 in Whitley County, Indiana and died in 1921 in Arkansas. He married Elmina Viola "Minnie" Himes on 01 Jun 1891 in Elkhart, Morton County, Kansas. They had five children.

  1. Lottie Mina Joslin Smith (1892 -1954)
  2. Frank Andrew Joslin (1896- ? between 1920-1930)
  3. Joseph Earl Joslin (1900-1976)
  4. George Dimmick Joslin (1902-1993)
  5. Rose Joslin Vickery (1908-still living in 2001)

Lillian Arvilla Joslin was born on 20 Apr 1862 in Whitley County, Indiana, died on 20 Sep 1863 in Whitley County, Indiana and was buried in Adams Cemetery in Troy Township, Whitley County, Indiana.

Ida Blanch Joslin was born on 11 Jul 1863 in Whitley County, Indiana and died on 04 Mar 1937 in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri. Ida was married to John G. Dressler on 20 Jul 1882 in Barton County, Kansas but by 1900 they had divorced. Ida later married Sam Lewis and lived in Kansas City. Ida had three children:

  1. Charles Joslin (1879- ?)
  2. Elnora Dressler (1883 - ? Gravemarker with no date in Mt. Washington Cemetery, Kansas City/Independence, Jackson County, Missouri)
  3. Joseph Dressler (1885-1961) moved to Torrance County, New Mexico before 1920.

Mandellie "Della" Joslin was born on 09 Dec 1866 in Whitley County, Indiana, died on 07 Feb 1943 in Hartsville Township, Darlington County, South Carolina and was buried in Fountain Inn Municipal Cemetery in Fountain Inn, Greenville County, South Carolina. She married James Downey " J. D." Quillen on 30 Jul 1884 in Barton County, Kansas. They lived is several counties in Kansas as well as Kitsap County, Washington before moving to Fountain Inn, South Carolina to live near their son Robert Quillen. Della and J. D. had five children.

  1. Leroy "Roy" Quillen (1885-1917) It is not known where Roy died. He married Ana Wahl and they had a daughter Lorna, born in Lewis County, Washington 1907.
  2. Robert Quillen (1887-1948) His full name was Verni Robert, but he was always known as Robert.
  3. Lydia Elizabeth "Betty" Quillen Deason (1893-1983)
  4. Marjorie Quillen (1903-1903)
  5. Della Lucile Quillen Agnew (1909-2000)

Elmer Joslin was born on 04 Jun 1868 in Jefferson County, Iowa and died on 30 Jun 1868 in Jefferson County, Iowa.

Elmus Robison Joslin was born on 04 Jun 1868 in Fairfield Township, Jefferson County, Iowa, died on 11 Aug 1928 in Helena, Lewis & Clark County, Montana and was buried in Highland Cemetery in Great Falls, Cascade County, Montana. Elmus sometimes went by the name of Elmer. He married Catherine "Kattie" Kelly on 16 May 1892 in Aspen, Pitkin County, Colorado. They had three children.

  1. Fred Elmus "Freddie" Joslin (1893-1924)
  2. Harry Lester Joslin (1894-1956)
  3. Frank Allen "Frankie" Joslin (1897-1962)

Lysander and Lydia Robison Joslin

In about two weeks I'll be going to Springfield, Missouri to attend the fourth reunion of the Descendants of Lysander and Lydia Robison Joslin (DLLRJ). Held every two years, the first DLLRJ reunion was in August 2001 in Springfield, Missouri. The picture at right is my mother and her sister, Pat, standing in front of "the wall" of descendants. Lysander and Lydia are my 3rd great-grandparents.

In July 2003 the reunion was in Monroe, Louisiana and in August 2005 it was in Whitley County, Indiana. The gathering is a little late this year because there was so much going on with the various families. That and the fact that families are scattered all across the United States (New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Indiana, Wyoming, Missouri, New Mexico and elsewhere) added to the complexity.

Lysander Price Joslin was born May 1, 1825 in Delaware County, Ohio and was the son of James and Abigail Goodrich Joslin. Lydia Robison, the daughter of Henry and Anna McMorron (or McMorrow or McMorran - another of my "roadblocks" to be discussed in a future post) was born October 10, 1825 in Champaign County, Ohio. Lysander and Lydia met up in Whitley County, Indiana where they were married on August 23, 1843 when Lysander was 18 years old and Lydia was 17. Between November 1844 and June 1868, Lydia would give birth to 15 children, 5 of whom would not live beyond their third year. (Photo at right: Lysander and Lydia Joslin, received from Harry Joslin, Jr.)

If you were to go by census records alone, you would think that Lysander and Lydia lived in Whitley County, Indiana continuously from 1850 through 1870, but you would be wrong. Records show that in October 1866 Lysander and Lydia sold their land in Whitley County and headed west with all of their living children. The oldest daughter, Anna Eliza, had married William Klingaman the previous October and records of them were found in Jefferson County, Iowa. The last two children of Lysander and Lydia were born in Iowa in June 1868; they were the twins Elmer and Elmus. Elmer died within a month of his birth and is presumably buried in Iowa.

In March of 1867, Lysander filed a law suit against the man who had purchased the land in Whitley county. Seems the fellow had not made the mortgage payments as promised. A Whitley County deed record of May 25, 1868 shows that the land was sold at auction and purchased by Lysander Joslin. It is not known when Lysander and Lydia returned to Whitley County though it would have been after the birth of the twins and prior to the 1870 Federal Census. All of their children, except for Anna Eliza, returned to Whitley County with them.

On January 8th 1877 Lysander and Lydia once again sold their property in Whitley County. They kept possession until March 1st so it is presumed that the family didn't leave until the spring of 1877. This time they went to Barton County, Kansas. They are found in the 1880 Federal Census in Cheyenne Township. In the 1885 Kansas State Census they are in Odin Township, Barton County.

Of the 10 adult children of Lysander and Lydia, all except Malissa left Whitley County. Some of the children remained in Kansas near their parents, but others moved on to Okalahoma, Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, Washington, South Carolina, and Missouri. One possibly went to California.

Found online in February 2001 were these two items from "Barton County, Kansas Newspaper Gleanings: Short stories from Barton County newspapers gleaned for your edification and entertainment."

  • Hoisington Dispatch -- Thursday, June 12, 1890: Mr. H. P. JOSLIN, of near Odin, was a caller Saturday and ordered the Hoisington paper sent to his address.
  • Hoisington Dispatch -- Thursday, July 10, 1890: L. P. JOSLIN was in from Odin Friday and reported a very heavy hail storm in his vicinity the night before. Much damage was done to wheat, corn and fruit. Mrs. JOSLIN lost about fifty little chickens and twenty-five turkeys by the storm.

By 1895, Lysander and Lydia had moved to Melvern Township, Osage County, Kansas. The Kansas State Census for that year shows the following summary of statistics relating to their farm:

  • Production of Agriculture: 40 acres, 38 under cultivation. 130 rods of hedge fence and 100 rods of wire fence. Cash Value of farm is $1,000. There are 30 farming implements. Will plant 30 acres of corn in the spring of 1895.
  • Has 100 Bushels of corn on hand 3/1/1895. Cut 3 tons of tame hay in 1894 and 40 tons of prairie cut. Sold $100 worth of poultry and eggs. Made 800 pounds of butter. Has 3 horses, 8 milch cows, 18 other head of cattle, and 80 swine. Sold $500 worth of animals for slaughter.
  • Has 100 apple trees, 30 peach trees and 12 cherry trees. Made 5 gallons of wine in year ending 3/1/1895, has 2 bee stands and 1 dog.

On January 26, 1899, the day after Lydia passed away her obituary was published in the "Current Remark". This newspaper was published in Lyndon, Osage County by James Downey "J.D." Quillen, son-in-law of Lysander and Lydia.

"Lydia R., wife of L.P. Joslin of our neighborhood, died yesterday morning, January 25th, after about a week's illness of pneumonia. The funeral occurred at 11 o'clock to-day at the Baptist church in Lyndon, and the body will be laid to rest in the Lyndon cemetery. Mrs. Joslin was born in Urbana, Ohio, October 10, 1825, and was married to L.P. Joslin in August, 1843. She united with the Methodist church at the age of sixteen and was elected a life member of the North Indiana Conference, but in after years she united with the Baptist people, and at the time of her death was a member of the Lyndon Baptist Church."

After the death of his wife, Lysander sold his farm and moved to Keighly, Butler County, Kansas to live with his daughter, Minerva Knight. Lysander died less than four months after Lydia. His obituary was published in the Columbia City Weekly Commercial, Whitley County, Indiana on May 31st.

"The death of L.P. Joslin occurred last Sunday, May 14th, at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. William Knight, at Keighly, Butler county, Kansas of heart disease. Accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Knight, the remains reached here Tuesday afternoon, and after a short service at the grave, were laid to rest beside his wife, whose death occurred the 25th of last January at their home south of this city.

Lysander P. Joslin was born near Columbus, Ohio May 1, 1825. The family moved to Whitley County, Indiana where he grew up, and in August 1843 was married to Lydia Robinson. From this union fifteen children were born, six of whom are now dead.

The family came to Kansas in 1877, and to this county eight years ago, buying the place since occupied as the Joslin home. After the death of Mrs. Joslin, he went to Butler county to make his home with his daughter.

Mr. Joslin was one of those good old fashioned, honest, industrious men whose purpose and aim in life was to do the best he could. But when his life companion, whose love, council and companionship he had enjoyed for over fifty-five years, passed on to that other home, he lost much of his interest in this life and was ready to go where she had gone. In this, his heart's desire is met, and who can say that it is not well? It is. And, while sad hearts mourn them here, there is greater joy on the other side, where two souls re-unite for the life which is all joy, and eternal.

The brothers and sisters of the Joslin family desire to extend their sincere thanks to all those who so kindly assisted them and gave them comfort and sympathy in the trial and bereavement at the death of both mother and father. - Lyndon, Kansas Current Remark May 18, 1899.

Mr. Joslin, the father of Mrs. William Brubaker, of Troy township, is well and favorably remembered by many of our older citizens."

It has taken considerable time and effort on the part of four family researchers, but we have located living descendants of most of the adult children of Lysander and Lydia and made contact with most of them. Some are not interested in the family history and won't be attending the reunion the Friday after Thanksgiving, but I'm sure that we'll have a good time and enjoy the companionship of extended family during the holiday. I'm looking forward to seeing those distant cousins again.

Weather permitting, I'm hoping to take a few days the following week and come home the "long way" through eastern Kansas and parts of Iowa to do research on siblings of some of my other ancestors. I'm in the process of trying to figure out which facilities to go to and determining what information I would like to find.

This is getting to be a rather long post, so see the post "Children of Lysander and Lydia Joslin" for information on their children.

Phend-Fisher Family Reunion Ledger (1933)

Aug 28 - 1933

24th Anual reunion of Phend & Fisher Family was held at home of Henry Phend Aug 28 - 1933 Columbia City Ind

The Oficiers were
Pres Henry Phend
Mrs James Shaw
Sec & Treas. Cecil Phend

A basket dinner was enjoyed by all and after visiting for some time the business of the day was transacted

New officiers Elected were
Pres Henry Phend
Mrs James Shaw
Sec & Treas Cecil Phend

Sec. report was read and approved. The program committee presented the entertains for the after noon
Madyln Phend & Parents sang a song

[page 2]
Keith Phend gave several numbers on his guitar
Mrs Cecil Phend and daughter rendered organ duet
Short talks were given by Rev McCoy & Henry Phend
Playlet was then given "Wife Wanted"

Money left in Treas after expences & Collection
$3.42 in Treasure
1.75 Expences for Cards
1.50 [left in treasury]

The Phend-Fisher families gathered for a reunion in Northern Indiana almost annually from 1909 until 1943. The events of the day were recorded in an old ledger book. Spelling has been retained as it was in the original though some punctuation and paragraph breaks have been added. To view all articles in this series click on the "Phend-Fisher Reunion Ledger" label at the bottom of this post.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Two roads diverged...

It's funny how you read something that brings back forgotten memories. Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood.... posted this morning by Bob Franks on the Itawamba History Review brought back a flood of memories for me.

My life was in a state of flux during the spring of 1969. I didn't know what I wanted to do, only that I no longer wanted to continue doing what I was doing. At the time I was working in an office in Fort Wayne. The job wasn't a bad one, just boring and repetitious. I enjoyed being with my friends but going out every night for a few drinks just wasn't fun anymore. I had always had a yearning to travel, to see other parts of the world, and I knew if I stayed where I was, I wouldn't go anywhere. However, I was barely making enough money to pay the rent and buy food so saving money for travel or anything else was pretty much out of the question.

During one late night, one of my very good friends at the time (we lost touch with each other long ago) and I were discussing options. Amongst the many ideas we tossed around was the Peace Corp, another was the military. I actually got an application for the Peace Corp and started filling it out. When I got to the part about how much college education I'd had, I tore it up. I spent two weeks at college the year after high school graduation, then quit. I didn't think that would help me get into the Peace Corps. So I started checking into the military. One of my brothers had just gotten out of the Navy, and the other had just graduated from Navy Boot Camp so I figured if I was going to join the military, it would have to be the Navy! It took some time for me to make the decision, lots of things to consider, but one of the things that led me in that direction were these lines from the poem by Robert Frost that were written on a scrap of paper and given to me by the friend mentioned above:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

There weren't a lot of women in the military in the late 1960s and early 1970s so I knew it wasn't going to be easy. I was certainly right about that! There were many people who tried to talk me out of joining the Navy (it was during Vietnam, after all) and very few (only two actually) who encouraged me. Sometimes, it may take me a while to make a decision, but once I decide that that is what I want to do, there is no stopping me...

I wonder sometimes what my life would have been like if that decision in the fall of 1969 had been different. I have no regrets. I'm glad that I did what I did. And when I think back on what my life has been, what I've experienced, the people I've met, where I've gone, all the twists and turns the path has taken to lead me here today, it really all comes down to those three lines of text. And to think of the memories brought back by reading those lines again. My oh my, how powerful a few words can be. Indeed.