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Friday, August 26, 2016

REEDER, Paul Asbury

taken 11 March 1904 in Norwalk, OH
on his 1st birthday

This photograph was located at the Stone Soup Antiques in Ballston Spa, New York.

Father:  John Lewis Reeder (1859-1932) son of James McMahon Reeder and Sarah Jacoby.
Mother:  Marian Alice Milk (1870-1944) daughter of Benjamin Milk and Elizabeth Rundell.
(click for larger version)

Paul Asbury Reeder was born 11 Mar 1903 in Milan OH, a neighboring town of Norwalk where the photo was taken. The following insert was found in the March 18, 1903 edition of the magazine "Western Christian Advocate."

His grandmother died Dec 27, 1910. At that time he and his parents were in Punta Arenas Chile where his father was serving as a missionary. This insert was carried in the Western Christian Advocate edition dated Feb 1, 1911:

At the age of 16, in 1920, he appears on the Federal Census living in Pasadena California, as a boarder in the Ferry household. 

In 1930, he is found in Syracuse NY in the home of his parents, John Lewis Reeder and Marian M. Reeder. Paul's occupation is given as Philosophy Teacher.

(Los Angeles Times, 19-July-1938)
Paul is married to Marjorie Edith Rosine in South Pasadena at the home of the bride's parents, Mr. & Mrs. Howard Myron Rosine.

The Los Angeles Times edition of 13-Sep-1944, reports on the death of Paul's mother, Marian Milps (?) Reeder. I am confident that "Milps" is a typographical error, and should have said Milk or Milks.

Paul died 14-Oct-1984. He is buried in Green Hills Memorial Park, Rancho Palos Verdes, next to his wife.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

WRIGHT, Augustus Sylvanus

UPDATE - Augustus has been claimed and is going home.

Santa Rosa, CA
taken 1898, age 73 years

This photo labeled "A.S. Wright" was located yesterday at the Stone Soup Antique Mall in Ballston Spa, NY.

Checking the Census and Voter Registration records of Sonoma County, California, around 1898, I was able to determine that this is Augustus S. Wright, a respected physician in Santa Rosa. Born in Cincinnati Ohio, Augustus moved to Santa Rosa in 1874, and remained there until his death in 1905.

Dr. Wright is listed in Find-a-Grave, and there was a good deal of information there on him, including this obit.

Born:  23-Oct-1825, Cincinnati OH
Died:  22-Dec-1905, Santa Rosa, CA

Father: Sylvanus Wright (1797-1883) son of Charles Wright and Sarah McKeel
Mother: Frances "Fanny" Goodman (1793-1881) daughter of Moses Goodman and Anne (or Amy) Seymour.
Sibling: Catherine Goodman Wright-Dimmick (1831-1887)

Spouse1: Ellen Lake
Spouse2: Nellie Thomas
Spouse3: Helen Doring

Child: Charles Augustus Wright (1859-1927)

I have also located two other children, Fannie Eliza Wright (b. 1855) and William T. Wright (1863-1865).

Dr. Wright is buried at Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery, next to his parents.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

BRO, Beiri (?)

This photo was found at the "127 Yard Sale" last weekend, along with 13 others which all were taken in Winona Minnesota, and most appear to be from the same graduating class at the Winona State Normal School.

This one has been the trickiest to read, so I will start with this one.

Since most of the photos in this group actually say "Class of '87" on the mat, and a couple say "Class of '01", I am going to assume this photo was taken between those years, although this one does not bear the date clue like the others.

The photo was taken at a studio in Winona.

The back bears a hand-written note, which as near as I can make out, says; "Beiri Bro, 121 S. Main Street, Rockford, Illinois".

I have scanned the back also and include that below, so if you can read something different than I have done, please let me know.

I was able to check the City Directory for Rockford Illinois for various years ranging from 1904 through 1920 and discovered that a hardware store was at that location. Maybe he worked there, or lived in an apartment above it?  (Not sure that is a helpful clue.)

The surname BRO is a legitimate name of Scandinavian origin. On there is a "Neils Christian Bro" who bears a very strong resemblance to the Bro found above.

Here is the photo of Neils Christian Bro found at Find-a-Grave. I do not possess the photo below, it is only shown here for comparison.

Neils Christian Bro
(from Find-a-Grave)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

RICKER and BUSKIRK siblings

This postcard dated 20 August 1916, and cancelled in Detroit Michigan the following day, is addressed to Miss ADA BUSKIRK in Eckford Michigan.

The note written on the back says "Compliments of EZRA & JOSEPHINE"
Then the following names appear:

Presumably, these names identify the four people pictured on the front, and presumably they are identified left to right.  Also, the youngest woman in the photo is pointed out as "Ada's Mother."

There is a Rickner family living in Eckford Michigan in the 1860's. Father James Rickner and mother Matilda Glitner had six children, including:
 - Evangeline "Eva" Rickner (b. 1856) who married Henry Buskirk
 - Ezra Rickner (b.1860) who married Josephine Hutchinson
 - Charlie Rickner (b.1862_ who married Charlotte ____.

Father James died in 1864.

Mother Matilda married Peter FRY in 1870, and give birth to Elizabeth "Libbie" Fry in 1871.  Peter Fey died in 1872.  Libbie married Charles Buskirk in 1891 and produced daughter Ada in 1897.

This explains how the brothers in the photo have the surname Rickner, and their sister and half-sister both carry the surname Buskirk.

Miss Ada Buskirk would have been 19 at the time she received this postcard.

DIXON ILLINOIS Class Photo circa 1906


UPDATE - This photo has been sent home to the Lee County Historical and Genealogy Library in Dixon, Illinois.  FURTHER NOTE - a descendant of one of the young men contacted me to report that I had at least two of them misidentified, as her grandfather's image was shown with another man's bio. I have since corrected that error, but I am left with the knowledge that the names on the back do not necessarily appear in the same order as the men in the photo, which is concerning. Please contact me if you are a descendant, or just happen to know, if the images are still mislabeled. I'd like my data here to reflect the correct individual.

This photograph of a group of young men was located at the famous "127 Yard Sale" near Salvisa KY this weekend. It appears to be a high school class photo, or perhaps a club photo. The mat is stamped Dixon, Illinois and was taken around 1905 - 1907.

Grover Wilhelm
GROVER WILHELM (14 May 1887-1958) Son of Charles Wesley Wilhelm (b.1862) and Sarah Elizabeth Hanna (b.1864). 1910 census shows that father Charles worked in a shoe factory. Grover is the eldest child; younger siblings are George and Gertrude. There was also a younger brother John who lived one year (1891-1892). In 1905, Grover's brother George died. After graduating high school, Grover worked as a barber in a local shop. Married Meta Voight. On the 1920 Census, he is still a barber, living with wife Meta, children Gertrude and Robert, and widowed mother Sarah. Grover died at age 70 in Dixon, following an auto accident. He was a Mason and a member of the Master Barbers Association.

Enos Keithley
ENOCH KEATHLEY (most likely W. Enos Keithley b. 24 July 1884 - 4 March 1970) Son of Andrew T. Keithley and Emma Litchfield Bacon.  Married Esma Leora Seavey. WWI Draft Registration gives his occupation as "gardener at Keithley Gardens." He (or his son of the same name) worked as a camp counselor for the Boy Scouts of the Dixon area. The 1930 and 1940 census records of Dixon both give Enos' occupation as Florist. His 1943 WWII Registration gives his employer as "Dept. Public Welfare." Esma died in 1957. Enos died in 1970. Both are buried in the Palmyra Cemetery in Lee County, Illinois.

LESTER CAMEL (most likely Lester Campbell b. July 1886) in 1900, lived next-door to Grover Wilhelm. His mother Luella (maiden name unknown) was married to 2nd husband William Arthur Lowe. The name of Lester's biological father was not found. Also in the household was Lester's step-brother Ira Lowe. After high school, Lester worked as a stenographer for the Railroad company. In 1917, the local newspaper reported his promotion at the Utility Company. There is also a newspaper item dated 1904 which says Lester Campbell is starting courses at Rock River Military Academy at Steinmann College in the town.
(click for larger image)
(click for larger image)

Robert Knight
ROBERT KNIGHT (4 Sept 1889 - ) Born in Chicago, Illinois. Son of Charles H. Knight (b.1859) and Harriet E. Meacham (b.1862). This family appears on the 1900 Census, living in Dixon. Hattie is shown as widowed (Husband Charles died in 1899.) She has no listed occupation, and lives with her young sons Hale, Robert, Royal and William. In 1901 at the age of 11, Robert was shot in the left eye by an older boy fooling around with a BB gun. Fortunately, it was not a serious injury. In 1910, Robert is working as a bookkeeper for a wholesale grocer. In June of 1917, Robert registers for WWI draft. He is living in Chicago, single, and works as a "work dispatcher" at Commonwealth Edison.

Frank Hogan
FRANK OWEN HOGAN, (10 Jan 1890 - __) son of John Hogan and Kate (maiden name unknown). After high school, worked as a cutter in a shoe factory. Served in WWI in France. He returned to the U.S. mid-war for treatment of gas poisoning in one lung. He then returned to Europe. At war's end, he returned to Dixon Illinois as a war hero. I cannot ascertain if he married, had children, or the date of his death.

Clarence Bates
CLARENCE BENJAMIN BATES (5 Dec 1886 - 26 Apr 1971) Son of Benjamin Harmon Bates and Sybilla I. Baightel (b.1863). In 1910 he worked as a clerk in a grocery store. He has two younger sisters; Eva and Lucy, and one elder; Ada. In 1907 he began work as a clerk at the Moyer & Earle Grocery. In May 1911 he married Hazel Bose. About a month after his wedding, he nearly died by gas poisoning due to a leak in his home. In 1920 he was working at the Pratt-Reed Grocery store. In the 1930 Census he is listed as the manager of the National Tea store. Hazel died in 1967 after which he relocated to Arizona to live with son Gerald. Clarence died in Arizona but is buried in Dixon, in the Oakwood Cemetery, next to Hazel.

George Slothower
GEORGE HENRY SLOTHOWER (8 June, 1887 - 24 April 1942) Lived his entire life in the town of Dixon. Son of Israel Slothower (b. 1843) and Jeanie Stover (b.1844) who was widowed while George was about 12. 1900 Census shows his two older sisters Aretta and Carrie were teachers in the local school system. Aretta (Retta) later became principal at the school. 1910 census says he is a clerk in a clothing store. 1928 Dixon City directory lists him as a factory worker at the Borden Company. 1930 Census states he is married to Bertha and has two children; George E. and Barbara J., and he is a shipping foreman at the Milk Factory. 1940 Census shows that he and son George work at the Milk Factory. Barbara is going by the name Jane B. and she works in the billing department at the Public Utilities. Obit from Dixon Evening Telegraph, 24 April, 1942.

Arthur Morris
ARTHUR CLAYTON MORRIS (23 May 1889 -  ) Son of Winfield Scott Morris and Alice K. Lehman. He has an older sister Dessa (b.1886) and younger sister Lucille (b.1906) On his WWII Draft Registration, he reports his wife is named Mary, and he works for the Morris-Barrick Cattle Company.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


UPDATE - Arthur Bronsdon has been claimed by a close relative and is going home!  This Winner's Circle photo was found in an antique shop in Cynthiana KY last week. The photo is dated June 8, 1938, and is identified as the third race of the day, at the Detroit Racecourse.

The winning horse is named BRILLIANT ROCK. He was a 4-year-old chestnut colt (at the time of this photo) who won 9 times in a career that spanned 86 races. His sire was 20-time winner BRILLIANT, whose father was leading sire BROOMSTICK, and mother was MASDA (a sister to MAN O'WAR.) Brilliant Rock's mother was LUFIAN, who was a daughter of TRAP ROCK.

The winning connections are:
    Owner - The Spring Valley Stable of J.E. Mason
    Trainer - H.B. Reether
    Jockey - A. Bronsdon

The only face truly visible in this photo is that of the jockey Arthur Bronsdon, so that is the person who will be the subject of today's search.

Arthur Henry Bronsdon was born either 8-Oct-1921 in Boston Massachusetts to parents Murch Bronsdon Jr. and Grace Mann. It is unknown when or why he began riding race horses, but it is recorded in the pages of the "Daily Racing Form" that he rode his first race in May of 1936. The "Pimlico Turf Notes" insert in the DRF states that young Arthur Bronsdon is 17 years old. However, it appears that Arthur fibbed a bit, as he would have been only 15 when this event occurred, having not yet reached his 16th birthday.

It was almost a year later in May 1937 when Bronsdon rode his first winner - this happened at Narragansett Park in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. One can see that he is still telling the press that he is 17.

By the summer of 1938, he was riding in Detroit and apparently had developed some bad riding habits as he was called before the track stewards for "rough riding" and fined $125 for the behavior.

In 1946 he married Suzanne Winn and had two sons James and Joseph.

It is not known at present how long the riding career of Bronsdon lasted, but it is known that he had left riding and became a horse trainer, as he is found mentioned as such in newspapers of 1957.

Arthur and Suzanne divorced in 1965. Arthur died in 1977 in Lake Worth, Florida.
(click for larger image)

Monday, July 18, 2016


Mary Owing (Beaseman) Steele Renaker - 1867
Second wife of Jacob Renaker (1800-1873)

This photo was located at an antique fair at the Boone County Fairgrounds, Burlington, KY in November 2015.

I have been able to determine that this is Mary Owing BEASEMAN-Steele-Renaker, born about 1822 in Kentucky. Died October 1894 in Kentucky.  She was the daughter of John Owings Beaseman (1792-1848) and his wife Jane Elizabeth Moore (1802-1860).

Elsewhere on the internet I located
this photo of husband Jacob Renaker.
Her husband was Jacob Renaker (10 Aug 1800 - 13 Aug 1873) a longtime resident of Cynthiana, Kentucky. He was a son of Harrison County (Kentucky) pioneer Adam Renaker. His first wife was Frances Bennett (1798-1855).

In March 1839, Mary Beaseman was married to John W. Steele, who died in 1855 or earlier.

Jacob and Mary were wed in Harrison County 12 Nov 1855.

Following the death of Jacob Renaker in 1873, she married a man with surname Berry.

I have not been able to determine if Mary (with any of her husbands) produced any offspring.

1860 Census shows Jacob Renaker is a 59-yr-old Farmer with a personal estate valued at $26,000. He lives with his wife Mary Renaker (37) in Cynthiana. Also in the house are Sarah Renaker (20), John Lake Renaker (8) and a farm hand living with them named John Steel (20) which I think might be a child of Mary's first marriage. He would have been born around 1840, the year after Mary Beaseman was married to John W. Steele.

1870 Census shows Jacob Renaker is a 69-year-old Retired Farmer living in Cynthiana with his wife Mary O. Renaker. His real estate  property is valued at $25,000.

1880 Census shows Mary O. Berry (57) living in Leesburg, Harrison County, KY, with husband James W. Berry (65 yr old farmer) and James' children Laura B. (18), William F. (17), Jennie (15), James B. (12), Frank F. (10) and Thomas A. (6).

Friday, July 1, 2016


This photograph of "Gray Wittmeyer" was found today in the Antique Peddlars mall in Springfield, Oregon.

I have determined that this is John Gray Wittmeyer, born Sept 12, 1915 in Colorado, and died Dec 7, 2010 in Coos Bay, Oregon.

His father was John Wittmeyer, and his mother Sarah Rose Irwin.

The following obituary was found online.

OBITUARY (The World Newspaper, Coos Bay, Oregon)

John "Gray" Wittmeyer, 95, of Port Orford, died Dec. 7, 2010, of age-related causes. Private cremation rites were held at Ocean View Memory Gardens in Coos Bay. No further service is planned.

Gray was born Sept. 12, 1915, in Denver, Colo., to John and Sallie Wittmeyer. Gray grew up and attended school in Denver, where he was the salutatorian of his high school class receiving a scholarship to attend college. He completed his graduate work at the University of Denver.

As a young man, Gray worked at a saw mill and delved into mining, later joining the U.S. Army Air Corps. While serving in the Air Corps, he was stationed in Canada and served during the building of the Canadian Highway. It was during this time he met the family of his future wife, Dorothy Andrew, who encouraged him to write to her after he returned to the states. After a long correspondence they met in person and eventually married.

Gray worked as a forester for the Bureau of Land Management, specializing in reforestation. He supervised the replanting of a large part of the forests in the Reedsport and Drain area, while recording his extensive tree seed research. For more than 40 years, he worked with elementary students, patiently teaching them the art of tree planting.

Gray will always be remembered for the pleasure that he took in engaging others in stimulating political discussion. He was passionate about justice and truth, and the New York Yankees, but first and foremost he was a kind gentleman. Everyone who was privileged to know Gray all agree that our world has lost an extraordinary soul.

He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Dorothy Andrew.

Gray was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Rodney.

Saturday, March 5, 2016


UPDATE - Glenna has been claimed and is going home.
This photo was acquired today at the Antique Show at the Palm Beach County Fair Grounds. It appears to have been taken 1908-1912, and is probably around 20 years old at the time of this photo. The studio mark says "R.L. Young, St Stephens, N.B." The back has a hand-written note "Glenna J. Little now Crouse"

Using, I was able to find Glenna Jean Little on the following census form:

1891 census of Canada, New Brunswick, Charlotte, St. Croix.
LITTLE, Hosea, 46, born in NB of Irish father and NB mother, farmer
LITTLE, Phoebe J. 45, born in NB of American father and NB mother
LITTLE, Elizabeth, 20, daughter, dressmaker
LITTLE, William, 19, son, farmer
LITTLE, Annie R., 16, daughter
LITTLE, Theodore, 14, son
LITTLE, Percy, 12, son
LITTLE, Rose, 10, daughter
LITTLE, George, 8, son
LITTLE, Alphus, 6, son
LITTLE, Linton, 4, son
LITTLE, Loyd, 2, son
LITTLE, Glenna, 10m, daughter

The 1901 Census shows that the 6 eldest children are no longer in the household.

The 1911 Census shows that only Linton (age 24) and Glenna (age 20) remain at home.

Her father died in 1913.

At the age of 27, in September 1917, Glenna married Sylvester Patrick Crouse, two years her junior.
She and Sylvester appear on the 1930 US Census, Vermont, Essex, Brighton. His occupation is locomotive engineer.

I cannot find any evidence of Glenna and Sylvester having children, or when and where she died.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

REED, Barbara Frohmader

Barbara (Frohmader) Reed

This photo was located about a year ago at the Palm Beach County Fairgrounds at their monthly Antiques Show.  The front of the photo shows that the photographic studio was "Medlar Studio, Rockford, Illinois."

The back of the photo has a hand-written note which identifies the subject as "Barbra Fromander Reed." (I would later determine that the first name and maiden name were misspelled on the photo.)

The photo was probably taken around 1888 to 1892, and might have been taken at the time of her wedding or engagement. Barbara appears to be in her early twenties, so a good guess for year of birth would be around 1865-1870.

Searching in Rockford Illinois newspapers from the applicable era, I was able to find several references to the surname "Fromander", but no mention of a Barbra Fromander, nor of a Fromander girl marrying a Reed. offered only a handful of people named Fromander, and no Barbras. saved the day. By searching for anyone named Barb Reed in the county of Winnebago, Illinois (and just hoping that Barbara had not moved prior to her passing), I was finally able to identify the right person as Anna Barbara Frohmader-Reed. Armed with the correct name, I was able to go back to and newspaper archives to glean more information.

Born: June 7, 1870 (per Census but headstone says 1868) in Germany
Arrived: 1872
Died: November 8, 1945 in Roscoe IL (per Social Security death index)

On April 15, 1890, she married Fred Reed (a grocer, born March 15, 1854 on Oswego NY, to parents Jefferson and Julia Reed, died Oct 3, 1921 in Roscoe, Illinois).

  • They had children:
    Irene Reed (married Thomas J. Murray)
    Ray Reed

I cannot locate a record detailing the names of Barbara's parents, although I did see reference to her father being "John Frohmader" on a search result, but was not able to pull up a page when clicking it.

(Obits are taken from archives of Rockford, Illinois newspaper. Click on obits to see a larger image.)

1900 Federal Census, Roscoe, Winnebago, Illinois
REED, James F., head, Mar 1824, 46, born in NY or NY parents, Grocery merchant
REED, Barbara A., wife, June 1870, 29, born in Germany or German parents
REED, Irene,daughter, Feb 1893, 7, born in Illinois

1910 Federal Census, Roscoe, Winnebago County, Illinois
REED, James F., head, 54, born in NY or NY parents, Grocery merchant
REED, Anna B., wife, 38, born in Germany of German parents
REED, Irene, daughter, 18, born in Illinois, Stenographer/bookkeeper in the clothing industry

Barbara and her husband Fred Reed are buried at the Roscoe cemetery in Winnebago County, Illinois.