Monday, January 31, 2011

Amanuensis Monday Letter of Ray Whitson to Little Sister Third post

We left off with Ray telling Mary The dad married....
Page 5
Mother they had to cross over the south Canadian River.  They attempted to cross just below the Fresco RR Bridge.  The bridge had been washed out earlier.
In crossing one of the horses drowned the other horse in a deep pot hole.  Dad cut the horses loose, lost nearly everything.
Mother had to strip down to her red flannels, "it was in the winter".
If the men working on the bridge had not come

Page 6  to their rescue, mother might have drowned.  The river was near flood stage.
My memories of him.
Cotton Cake
I was the fourth child.  At my first recollections as I look back dad was a kind family man, and was until his ordeal with cancer.  On the ranch he took me (only 4 or 5 years of age) with him.  Sometimes on the saddle with him, sometimes in a wagon loaded with cotton seed cake.  They would pour the cake out the back of the wagon onto the ground.....
see you all next Monday Feb 7th. 
This Popular Science in 1894 explains about Cotton Cake and Cotton Seed. Click here to read.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero and The Obeisant Goose

We have had a variety of animals and fowls on our small farm.  There was an unusual gander, that stands out from the rest. 
The Hero, as you have seen, had silvery white hair from the time he was about 40.  He went through all the teasing about being prematurely old for his age.  This is the background for our goose story. 
We bought some goslings one Easter and raised them to wander around the farm freely.  They were pretty and would pull weeds from the yard.  Never bothered any of us, until the second year. 
That spring, the gander apparently decided that the Hero was The Great White Goose.  At least, that is what we all came to the conclusion it was.  The Hero would go outside, and quickly the gander was by his side, bowing, and sometimes even rubbing against his leg like a cat.  I guess, you could say "how bizarre." 
The goose was given to my sister-in-law when he decided to herd the small grandchildren.  We never figured out what the goose's fascination with the Hero was.  It did give the family something to tease the Hero about...and he had a few laughs over it himself.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sharing a Slice of Life: The Family Business

I am late posting this because I had to wait until I arrived back at home to get the brochures that went with the business.  This is not just for a prompt, it is also for Texasblu who hosts the Sharing a Slice of Life.  She shared a slice of this post. 
The Ellsworth men were always entrepreneurial.  It started with Edward Ellsworth who came to Chicago from Prince Edward Island to work as a carpenter, and became a builder.  His Edward N Ellsworth Sr. was to develop several businesses, but the one I found the most information on that carried through to the Hero was his 'Fireplace' business.
Edward Ellsworth upper right..Texasblu in green fireplace mantel on left in lower picture
In 1924, Meany and Ellsworth filed for a patent on an Electric Fireplace.  It was a boon to the apartment dwellers as an alternative to wood fireplaces.  It was referenced in new patents as recent as 2000.  I wish this information had been available when the Hero was alive he would have loved it.  When his father sold their Construction Material's business, he asked to be allowed to keep the information and Name of his grandfather's business 'Builder's Fireplace'.  This was granted. 
The Hero in the doorway
The office that Texasblu worked at with her father, The Hero, was across the street from the original warehouse of Builder's Fireplace. 

This invention was the forerunner of the electric fireplaces we have today.  I was excited to find the patent to underline the story the Hero had always told of his grandfather being an inventor and an entrepreneur.  Below you will see the brochures, from the business he had in Houston, Texas.
A brochure designed by Edward Sr.  The hero designed brochures for himself and others. 
 Edward N Ellsworth Sr. was working for Rogers Oil while trying to revive this business after the depression in the late 20's.
I have just learned some new stories around their move from Chicago to survive during that time. 
I love family stories!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Amanuensis Monday Letter of Ray Whitson to Little Sister second installment

Harry O Whitson
We left off with Ray telling Mary that his father didn't know the tarp was coming off the quail until the game...

Page 3
warden passed by and looking back saw it and almost fainted.  "I would think".  Dad shipped them back fast and to Guthrie, Okla.
One time at Fay, he shipped two truck loads and the deputy tried to arrest him; Dad told him to come and take his guns, he wore pistols at that time.  By the was the deputy was a man by the name of Boyd. Later became Lester Morse's father in law, your cousin dad's , married a Morse.  Boyd never liked Dad after that.
Page 4
Historical thought.
Jessie James married a Whitson, "his only wife" in Missouri.
So by shirttail relation we are related to him.
After he met mother he settled down and became foreman of the Davidson ranch, just out of Arnett Okla.  There were over 350,000 acres in the ranch.  Part of it was government land.  Today over half of it is a game reserve.
The day Dad be continued Monday Jan 31.

I researched the Davidson Ranch on page 43 of Notes from Ellis and Cimarron Counties
it says part of the land was 12 miles southeast of Arnett.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero Was Wronged

The Hero, when he was little, should I say it...'strong willed.'  He thought in terms of black and white.
Our story was when her was about 8 years old.  He had boarded the bus to go home.  Everyone was josled about trying to get into their seats.  He slipped into a seat only to have a girl, who was a grade ahead of him, start yelling "He hit me and took my seat."  Fists balled up, the Hero said, "Did not."  Right in his face, she yelled, "Did too." 
The bus driver came back to see what was happening.   He grabbed up the Hero, who was protesting he was innocent, and escorted him off the bus.  He was suspended from the bus for a week and had to walk home, not a short walk.
The day he was allowed back on the bus, he walked up to the girl who had caused him the problems, and knocked her down.  The bus driver, who was standing by the bus door, rushed over and asked the Hero,"Why did you do that?".  The Hero told the bus driver matter-of-factly "I don't like to be punished for something I didn't do." 
The bus driver never turned him in for that incident and the girl left him alone after that.
Do you have and opinion about his behavior?  I will tell you in his defense, he was always a gentleman, and taught his sons well.  Was it acceptable?  There was probably a better way to handle the frustration, and injustice, but to a boy of 8...well, I cut him some slack.  Okay, I am prejudice.   
(The stories you hear on Sundays are from the Hero's perspective.  We spent hours of our life together sharing our stories and history.  From today's perspective, probably the best hours of our life together.  Now I am sharing his stories for his grandchildren to be able to know him, but if others enjoy them along the way, he would have liked that too.)  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday: Secret Hidden Desires

I spent the day with my mother-in-law today.  I treasure every minute since she is 91 years old.  We were discussing my granddaughter's disappointment that they had canceled her play this year at school.  All of a sudden, MomE turned to me and said did I tell you that I was in plays in school?  The adrenaline rushed.  'No, you have not.'  "Well, I was, I was in several of them, I even helped direct some. It was my life. I loved every minute of it."  'That is awesome!  Do you remember the names of any of them?'  "No, only the one I had the lead part in, Sally Ann Finds Herself.   You won't find it anymore."  'Be careful Mom, I can find it.'  "They won't have it.  You'll see."
Click here to see the play  Sally Ann Finds Herself on
Well folks, I found it.  Internet Archive had a copy of the book which you can flip through digitally and read.  I was so excited, I can't wait to print a picture and take it to her.  She will love it. 
It is an eighth grade play, so she must have been in Jr High School.  There is a great story around her and her love of drama. 
I also found that because of her dysfunctional family, she quit HS and started working.  There are lots of stories I hope to capture in the coming years (I hope) .  The play is cute.  Have a read, and go back in time.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Amanuensis Monday Letter of Ray Whitson to Little Sister

My mom and her twin sister.
My mother was the baker's dozen in her family. She was a twin.  Her 5 older brothers left home to join the service when she was still little and never came back to Oklahoma.  When she was in her 60's she began to reach out and search for her brothers.  She never knew her dad Harry O. Whitson and hoped they would help her know about him.
It was a good thing, because they were all gone with in 5 years of her calling or visiting with them.  I will always be grateful, because their knowledge would have been lost.  This letter is 14 pages long, I will do just two pages at a time so the reader's eyes won't glaze over.  Which means, you will have to come back Monday the 24th to see more of the story.  : )

The Letter from Ray Whitson to Mary Langley
Page 1
This is a few things that I remember about our dad.
He was born in Terre Houte Ind. Had five brothers, (to my knowledge he never mentioned any sisters) [this was added to the side in his handwriting... but one]
They scattered going to Missouri, Luisianna, Texas, and so on.  Uncle Lute and his sister settled in Custer Okla., just south of Fay about 40 miles by the Frisco RR.
Page 2
Most of the boys served in the Spanish American War.
Dad was a "Sooner" He cowboyed a lot. For a while he ran a 'quail route'.  He would furnish the shells and pay them about 75 cents a dozen.  One time while going over the route he had a large wagon load of quail, the tarp that covered them had come loose and the quail could be seen.  Dad did not know it until a be continued

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero Was Jilted

 Before I met the Hero, he had married a girl he had met where his mom worked.  She was sweet, impulsive and not very thoughtful.  They were married about 3 months,when she had a back injury from a car accident she had been in.  She could not work, which meant the Hero had to quit school to work and care for her.  The end result of these series of events was the Hero received his draft notice.  Given his wife's state of affairs, he went to the local army reserve and requested a position in the Army Medical Reserves (a long list of stories resulted from this).  His place of employment at the time was St Luke's Hospital as an inhalation therapist working with Dr. Michael DeBakey's heart unit team.  The Reserve Unit was elated to have him come on their team, and sent his papers in just ahead of the draft papers.  [This was to his benefit as well as mine later]  As you know, a new recruit must go to boot camp for 6 months.  The Hero had only been married for 6 months, so this was very hard for him and leaving his wife who was in the bed most of the time for back pain.
He had been at boot camp for 9 weeks, when his wife was allowed to come for a visit.  He was elated and excited.  He said he was walking on air for a couple of days. A week  later he received a letter from a lawyer in Houston telling him she had filed for a divorce.  He plummeted  into depression.  It was a shock, no forewarning, no apparent reason.  He wanted to go back home, but didn't have leave nor a car.  His Sargent took pity on him and not only gave him a pass, but gave his best friend who had a car a pass to drive him so he could find out what happened.  The trip proved unfruitful.  She would not see him, nor would she talk to him.  A mutual friend intimated she had been having an affair while he was gone.  He was overwhelmed with "why" questions, and no readily apparent answers.  It was about a month later I was to meet him (click here for that post) when he had come back again to see if he could figure out what had happened. It was not meant to be. The chasm had grown wider and the door was closed. He was a sad person.
He later stated that he figured there must be a law that you must have your heart broken at least once to help you really appreciate when you find the right person.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Can't Believe It...I Have Won A Book!

I rarely enter contests and I never win, maybe there is a link there...This time I thought it would be good for others to know about and entered on my family blog.  I was amazed this morning when I opened my email to find I had won True Miracles with Genealogy by Anne Bradshaw.  It looks like a very good and uplifting book.  I look forward to reading it.  I must say Thank You LDS Women's Book Review for the book.

Click here to read more about it, see a trailer about it, or grab information about the author.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ancestor Approved Award

I’m flattered and humbled to recieve the Ancestor Approved Award from Jo at Images Past.  I thank you, Jo!  Leslie Ann of Ancestors Live Here started the Award to show appreciation for the genealogy bloggers whose posts we enjoy.  The instructions are to specify ten things that I’ve learned about my ancestors that have surprised, humbled, or enlightened me, and then I should pass the award along to ten other Genealogy Bloggers that I feel are also deserving of it!
Let's get started.

Ten things that have surprised, humbled or enlightened me about my ancestors:

1. The Fredricksburg Land Records held a surprise for me. Barbara Kemp was living but the land was divided amongst the children without mention of her. If this had been the first record I had seen on this family, I could have thought she was dead.

2. This last year I was humbled to find I was able to remember so many Hero stories. 

3.  There isn't a category for delighted, but I was delighted to find that one of my Revolutionary War ancestors was dubbed "The Rambo of The American Revolution"

4.  I was surprised when I reviewed my dates and censuses to find my grandparents had a "Land Lottery" Romance.

5.  I was surprised to find my grgrand father Langley was a member of the secret organization "Anti Horse Thief Association". It was enlightening to discover more about the culture of the time.

6.  It was humbling to me to discover that the Hero's grgrandmother lost the majority of her family in 4 years all flu and TB related.  She was a strong person to lose her son, husband and brothers and father within 3 years.

7.  It is also humbling to me that you can think you have covered all there is to know about a person and still discover more.

8.  This last year in an of itself has been a time of enlightenment for me as I have attended ProGen discussions and read ProGenealogy. I have discovered my sourcing has been okay, but that is not good enough.

9.  I was surprised to find a new researcher on the Hero's grgrandparents.  Excited too.

10.  I have been humbled by the appearance of death certificates and birth certificates that have revealed cause of deaths and mother's maiden names.   I have to insert here that I am humbled by the many life hours that have been given to make these documents available on this year.

Now to pass it on to ten other bloggers.
Jen at Climbing My Family Tree
Debbie at DebsDelvings
Taneya at Taneya’s Genealogy Blog
Lulu  at Bits 'n Pieces
Genealogy Pisces at Blogging from the Branches 
Brandt at Brandt's Rants
Cynthia at ChicagoGenealogy 
Jenna  at Desperately Seeking Surnames
Every Man A Quotation
Foot Steps Past

Sentimental Sunday The Hero's Favorite Food

I was fixing lunch for my sister-in-law.  She said I will eat a peanut butter jelly sandwich.  That brought a memory back.
The Hero LOVED peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He used to "bug" me, because I would make a 'gourmet' meal and what would he do?...He would have to make a peanut butter jelly sandwich afterwards or the meal was not complete. I would say "I am so insulted, I worked so hard on this meal and you don't think it tastes good without a peanut butter sandwich."  Then I would pout and he would give me a smile, a kiss and finish his sandwich. For him, a meal was just not done until you had a PBJ.
I wish I had a picture of him with a PBJ. He had a special technique for making his PBJ sandwich. 
The first step was to put butter (real butter) on the bread.
The second step was to add the peanut butter.
The third step was to add jelly.

The final step was to eat it all up.

Our grandson decided that butter definitely added a great "eatable" flavor.
Which would you prefer? With or without butter?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday: A Picture To Go With the Name!

The Hummer is Doing the Dance!
Over the weekend, I contacted a Private tree owner in that had saved a document from my public tree.  The documents were for a family I had almost given up on finding another living soul interested in. When she emailed back, she had not realized she had set her tree as a private one.  It turned out she was researching her husband's family for him. Her husband is a third cousin to the Hero.  
The young lady was gracious and shared pictures she had of the Hero's great-grandfather and great-grandmother.  I had almost given up hope of ever having a photo of them. 
Edward Ellsworth from PEI 1890 Photo Chicago
Helena Heimbach Ellsworth in Oak Park, Chicago

You can tell this line has been sitting and waiting in anticipation of finding someone else related.  Yahoo!  It happened!
I, in return, sent all the BMD records and newspaper items I have to help her to further along her family tree.  One has to remember it is not My tree; it is Our tree. ; )
The snapshots are a golden prize for our family. It came at a perfect time. I am staying with my 70 year old Sister in law because she broke her ankle and had to have surgery to have it reset.  I sat with her shared the snapshots and brought her up to date with the ancestry. 
It has been a golden day or two.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero and A Life Lesson

This is the time of year that many of us are wondering why we bought certain toys for our children.  The Hero's mom told me of one such year. They had bought him a garden set and told him it was for outdoor playing.  Mom said in her incredulous voice when I was visiting with her a year after the hero and I were married. "I gave him this garden rake with a stern warning.  Do not play with it in the house!  What happened?  Look at my Secretary (a beautiful piece of furniture), you will see a scar on the front where he ran through the living room waving the rake and banging as he went.  Don't let your children play with outside toys in the house!"  Looking at his picture from that time period, I would have thought he would have stolen the heart and got away with anything.  BUT apparently not. 
The Hero was shocked that she still remembered and held the action against him.  I took a life lesson from it.  Don't have outside toys in the house.  Forget it if you child breaks something.  Bringing up an old action years later does not help relationships.  I have a wall that the children used to mark their heights.  (This reminds me, I need to take a picture of it before my son tears it down.)  I treasure the silly wall because I remember their sense of excitement as to who was going to be the tallest 'this time'.
The Hero was such an active and alert little boy.  I can imagine, if it was today, he would have spent a lot of time in 'time out'.  Don't give your adult child pain by bringing up something in a hurtful manner from their youth.