Thursday, January 07, 2010

William and Minerva (Joslin) Knight

On September 10, 2009 I visited the library in Iola, Allen County, Kansas where I was able to find cemetery transcriptions and newspaper obituaries for some descendants of Minerva Fatima (Joslin) Knight, daughter of my 3rd great-grandparents Lysander and Lydia (Robison) Joslin.

Minerva Fatima Joslin was born January 7, 1859 in Whitley County, Indiana. At the age of 17, on March 16, 1876, Minerva was married in Whitley County to 20 year old William John Knight. The minister who married them was Price Goodrich, the brother of Minerva's grandmother, Abigail (Goodrich) Joslin. The next year Minerva and William moved to Barton County, Kansas along with her parents and the majority of her brothers and sisters. (Her sister and my 2nd great-grandmother, Malissa Joslin Brubaker, was the only sibling that remained in Whitley County, Indiana.)

A William Knight was found in Beaver Township (page 490) in the 1880 census with wife Mary (this is presumed to actually be Minerva). Also listed with William were two daughters, Mary A. age 1, and Nina G. age 5/12. These fit the ages of their first two children, a son Merlin Andrew was born in October 1878 and a daughter, Nellie Gertrude was born on December 22, 1879. If this is really the right family, the census enumerator sure had some difficulty with their names! (A third child, Hale Vernon would be born August 12, 1896.)

In May 1899, Minerva and William were living in Keighly, Butler County, Kansas (when her father died at her home on May 1st). However, the family was found in Reeder Township, Anderson County, Kansas (page 305) in the 1900 census. Listed was William (head of household), his wife Minerva, 3 year old son Hale, and a boarder, William Beck.

They must have moved to Iola, Allen County, Kansas soon after the 1900 census as that is where William passed away on January 2, 1902 at the age of 46. After William's death, Minerva was married to J. N. Storey (date and place of marriage not yet known) and reportedly died on May 12, 1905 (also at age 46) in a wheelchair on the street in Hot Springs, Arkansas. I was unable to find an obituary for Minerva in the Iola newspaper. I haven't checked the Hot Springs newspapers yet. After their deaths, their young son Hale lived with his sister Nellie and her husband, Bert Sutton. Minerva and William are both buried in the Old Cemetery in Iola, Allen County, Kansas.

The notice of the death of William John Knight was published on January 6, 1902 in the Iola Daily Register.
W. J. Knight, who lives in Brooklyn Park, and who has been employed as a carpenter at the Standard Acid Works, dropped dead from heart failure as he was preparing to begin work at 7 o'clock this morning. The doctor and coroner agree that death was instantaneous and the remains were taken to Culbertson's undertaking rooms.

Mr. Knight seemed to be in his usual good health when he appeared at the works this morning. He greeted his fellow workmen pleasantly and at the sound of the whistle laid his had on an upright beam, preparatory to ascending to the place where he was working. Then the blow came and without an outcry he sank to his knees and then to the floor. Several men saw him fall and hurried to his side. Apparently he was dead when they reached him, but they carried him to the open air and did what they could in the hope of reviving him. Dr. Coffman was telephoned for and soon arrived on the scene, but could do nothing and he stated that Mr. Knight must have died almost as soon as he reached the ground. Coroner F. D. Teas was notified and viewed the remains, later authorizing the removal to an undertaking parlor.

Large center stone with father and mother stones to the left and right. In the Old Cemetery in Iola, Allen County, Kansas.

Knight (across top of the stone)
W. J. KNIGHT / 1855-1902 / AT REST
MANERVA F. / HIS WIFE / 1859-1905

Another stone, that of a great-grandson, is set in the same plot, in front of and to the left of the “Father” stone. Ronald was the son of Helen Sutton and her husband, Gerald Curtis.


William and Minerva (Joslin) Knight had three children:

1. Merlin (Merle) Andrew Knight was born in October 1878 and died March 8, 1930. He was married on October 26, 1899 in Butler County, Kansas to Carrie Thompson. She was born in August 1881 and died in October 1971. They had four children: Harry, Leota, Ruby, and Opal Knight.

2. Nellie Gertrude Knight – will be the subject of a future post.

3. Hale Vernon Knight was born August 12, 1896 in Butler County, Kansas and died on January 30, 1947. He was married to Alma (maiden name not known) about 1918 and they had three children: Hester, Hale and Mary Knight. An online obituary for Alma (The Wichita Eagle dated May 23, 1992) stated that she died May 20, 1992 at the age of 96 and was a retired teacher. Survivors included a son Hale of Everett, Washington and a daughter Mary K. Merrill of Harlingen, Texas. Also six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

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