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Friday, September 25, 2020

SWEZEY Family (Decorah IA)

Grandma Swezey, Ruth & Paul

IDENTIFICATION ON PHOTO: "Grandma Swezey, Ruth Swezey, Paul Swezey, 1905"
PHOTO TAKEN: E William Spurr Studio, Decorah, Iowa, 1905
PURCHASED: 2016 Hollywood Antiques, Eugene Oregon

This is Bertha M Ranney-Swezey (born 1867 to parents Harmon Ranney and Julia Ann Cook). She was married to Dr. Andrew Jackson Swezey (born 1869 to parents Samuel George Swezey and Nancy Ann Burnett). Her two children are Ruth Ellena Swezey and Paul Howard Swezey.

My first stop in searching for this family is the 1900 Federal Census of Decorah, Winneshiek County, Iowa. The Swezeys are found living at 404 W. Main Street at a boarding house operated by a Norwegian immigrant family named Wulfsborg.

1900 Federal Census > Iowa > Winneshiek > Decorah
WULFSBORG, Einar, head, Dec 1841, 58, born in Norway, mgr Public House
WULFSBORG, Christiana, wife, Mar 1841, 59, born in Norway
WULFSBORG, Sira C., daughter, Mar 1876, 24, born in MN of Norwegian parents
WULFSBORG, Clara H., daughter, Jun 1877, 22, born in MN, clerk at bookstore
WULFSBORG, Frida M., daughter, Jan 1881, 19, born in MN
WULFSBORG, Einar, son, Feb 1882, 18, born in MN, at college
WULFSBORG, Jacob, son, Jun 1884, 15, born in Iowa, at college
CHRISTOPHSEN, Annie, servant, Mar 1864, 34, born in WI of Norwegian parents, servant
SWEEZY, Andrew J., head, Dec 1863, 36, born in NE of Iowa parents, physician
SWEEZY, Bertha M., wife, Apr 1867, 33, born in MO of NY parents (2 births, 2 living)
SWEEZY, Ruth E., daughter, Mar 1897, 3, born in Iowa
SWEEZY, Paul H., son, Feb 1899, 1, born in Iowa
STEPHENSON, Sophia, servant, Mar 1883, 17, born in Iowa of Norwegian parents, servant
EASTON, James H., lodger, Nov 1833, 66, born in NY, capitalist

By the 1910 Census, the family has their own home at 113 Water Street.

Ruth's birth certificate shows her official name as: Ruth Ellena SWEZEY, born 27 Mar 1897 to parents Andrew Jackson Swezey and Bertha M. Ranney.

1920 Federal Census > West Virginia > Cabell > Huntington
SWEZEY, Dr. A.J., head, 50, born in Iowa of OH & IA parents, Physician
SWEZEY, Bertha, wife, 52, born in MO of NY parents
SWEZEY, Ruth, daughter, 22, born in Iowa, physical director YMCA
SWEZEY, Paul, son, 20, born in Iowa, student at school

Father Dr. Andrew Jackson Swezey died 16-Oct-1924 in Huntington WV.

1930 Federal Census > Pennsylvania > York > York
SWEZEY, Bertha M., head, 63 widowed, no occupation
SWEZEY, Ruth E, daughter, 33, single, recreation director

This story was found in the Wilkes-Barre Record, August 27, 1937.

1940 Federal Census > Pennsylvania > Luzerne > Kingston
SWEZEY, Bertha M., head, 73, wd, no occ.
SWEZEY, Ruth E., 43, single, athletic director community welfare
BENNETT, Helen K., ward, 18, single, born in NJ, not employed

Bertha died in 1943, in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania but is buried in Huntington WV next to her husband.

Ruth retired in 1959 and was was feted by the Parks and Recreation Association in Wilkes-Barre PA.

Ruth apparently never married, and died in 1972. She is buried in the family plot in Huntington WV. 

As she had no children of her own, I will have to turn to her brother Paul if I am to find descendants of this family.

Paul followed in his father's footsteps and became a doctor, specifically an osteopath. He served in WWI.

He married Helen Marguerite Gerken (dau of John Gerken) 24 Aug 1921 in Marietta Ohio, where Paul was attending college. The couple moved to Des Moines for a short time while Paul attended a Medical School of Osteopathy.

Paul's descendants are:
   - John Swezey (born abt 1923) m. Shirley Mae Peters
 - Barbara Ann Swezey (1953-1987) m. Raymond Neil Allen. Lived in Eugene OR. She died age 33. No children.
 - David C. Swezey (-) lived in Portland OR area.
   - Mary E. Swezey (born abt 1928) m. Richard Stephan and lived in Clemente, California.

Paul died 23 Oct 1981 Massillon Ohio.

Son John A. Swezey went to Anapolis Naval Academy, per this newspaper insert of 25 Feb 1940. 

He married Shirley Peters and lived in Eugene Oregon (where this 1905 photograph was found). Shirley died in 2012, and John  died in 2013. 

As I acquired the photograph in 2016, I can presume that it was in the possession of John Swezey up to the time of his death, and is most likely his hand which wrote the information on the reverse side.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

WELLS, Wallace & Phyllis (Eugene OR)



IDENTIFICATION ON PHOTO 1: "Wallace Wells, 1 1/2 years"
PHOTO 1 TAKEN: Rothchild & Co, Chicago IL, circa 1900
IDENTIFICATION ON PHOTO 2: "Phyllis / Wells Harland J"
PHOTO 2 TAKEN: Unknown photographer and location, probably Eugene OR, circa 1927
PURCHASED: 2016, Antique Peddlars, Springfield OR

In photo #1 is Wallace Wells (1899-1959). He is one of three sons of Jesse G. Wells (1867-1942) and Emma A. Cruse/Kruse (1865-1950). The parents are from Illinois and lived in Chicago 12 years before moving to Eugene Oregon. Their three sons were born in Chicago:

- 1893 Robert Raymond Wells (d. 1972)
- 1896 Harold Jesse Wells (d.1973)
- 1899 Howard Wallace Wells (d. 1959)

1910 Federal Census > Oregon > Lane County > Eugene
WELLS, Jesse G., head, 43, born IL of NY and PA parents, Lawyer
WELLS, Emma A., wife, 45, born in IL of German parents, no occ.
WELLS, Raymond R., son, 17, born in IL
WELLS, Harold J., son, 14, born in IL
WELLS, Wallace H., son, 11, born in IL

On the WWI Draft Registration, Wallace gives his names as "Howard Wallace Wells", born 27-Oct-1898. He is employed at the Eugene Fruit Cannery. The registrar remarks that Wallace is medium height, slender build, blue eyes, light hair, and has no obvious physical disqualifications.

1920 Federal Census > Oregon > Lane County > Eugene
WELLS, Jesse G., head, 52, born IL of NY and PA parents, Lawyer
WELLS, Emma A., wife, 54, born in IL of German parents, no occ.
WELLS, Raymond R., son, 27, born in IL, partner at Auto Garage
WELLS, Harold J., son, 24, born in IL
WELLS, Wallace H., son, 21, born in IL

1930 Federal Census > Oregon > Lane > Eugene
WELLS, Jesse G., head, 62, Lawyer
WELLS, Anna A., wife, 63
WELLS, Wallace, son, 31 single, no occ.
PETERS, Nettie G., sister-in-law, 57 widow, born in IL of German parents, no occ.

1940 Federal Census > Oregon > Lane > Eugene
WELLS, Jesse G., head, 72, Lawyer
WELLS, Anna A., wife, 73
WELLS, Wallace, son, 41 single, no occ.

Wallace's WWII Draft Registration (at left) states he has never been employed, which is not what he said on the WWI Card.

The fact that Wallace is grown, single and has no occupation on the 1930 and 1940 Census reports, makes me wonder if he might have been physically disabled in some way. There is a column on the 1940 Census bearing employment codes, and Wallace is shown as "U" which stands for "unable to work." Perhaps he served in WWI and was injured?

This news insert in the Eugene Guard, 21 July, 1959 reports on the death of Wallace Wells. He apparently never married and had no children, as only two brothers are mentioned as his survivors.

(Father) Jesse G. Wells became a lawyer in Eugene, running his own practice. Afterward he served as Justice of the Peace until his retirement. Emma died in 1950 at the home of her son Robert where she resided since the death of Jesse in 1942.

Photo #2 is labeled "Harland J Wells" but I believe this is a typo for "Harold J Wells", and also bears the name "Phyllis". This cannot be a photo of Harold as a child because the photo is not old enough to show a toddler in the 1890s. It was taken in the late 1920's. The name "Phyllis" holds the key. Harold Jesse Wells did indeed have a daughter named Phyllis, born about 1925 in Eugene OR. 

Extra notes - Harold was in France during WWI. In 1922 was elected Commander of the Lane County American Legion post. His wife's maiden name was Schaffner.

This newspaper story appeared in the Eugene Guard, 16 Feb 1931. (Click the image for a larger version.)

When Phyllis was 3, this news insert appears in The Eugene Guard newspaper.

The 1930 Federal Census shows this family:

1930 Federal Census > Oregon > Lane County > Eugene > 542 Lawrence Street
WELLS, Harold J., head, 34, married at 28, born in IL of IL parents > Lawyer
WELLS, Bertha E., wife, 29, married at 22, born in SD of OH & IN parents
WELLS, Phyllis, daughter, 5, born in OR

1940 Federal Census > Oregon > Lane County > Eugene > 542 Lawrence Street
WELLS, Harold, head, 44, born in IL, attorney
WELLS, Bertha E., wife, 39, born in SD
WELLS, Phyllis Eileen, daughter, 15, born in OR
WELLS, Charles Jesse, son, 10, born in OR

The photograph on the left is Phyllis Wells from her 1943 Senior Class yearbook at Eugene High School. She was active in Band, Orchestra and A Capella. 

The second photo is from the 1946 University of Oregon Yearbook.

UPDATE - - It is now five years later, and upon returning to the same antiques shop in Springfield Oregon, I have located and acquired several more photos from the same family as Phyllis and Wallace WELLS.

Most of the background research is already outlined above. 

Click this image for a larger version.

I have sketched up this family tree to help me see how these are all connected. (Those indicated by yellow blocks correspond to photographs I have in my possession.)  I came away with two images of JESSE G. WELLS (lawyer in Eugene Oregon), taken several years apart. I have posted the younger photo at Findagrave.

Here is his wife EMMA ANNA KRUSE WELLS. There was an identical photo in the same booth, and it was marked "Grandma Wells" but I both the one that gave her full name and dates of life, "Emma Wells, 1865-1950, age 84 yrs". I also posted this image at Findagrave :

And Emma's sister JEANETTE KRUSE, who married a man named PETERS:

Here is Jesse G. Wells' year-younger brother SCHYLER WELLS:

And this is EDWARD L. WELLS, but I am not able to determine how he is related to this family. 

Lastly, I'd like to show the back of each image so you can see that the hand-writing appears to be the same on each photo.  (Feel free to click the image for a larger version.)

Friday, September 18, 2020

WELLS brothers, Clarence and Harold (Houston TX)


Clarence Asa Wells & Harold Earl Wells

IDENTIFICATION ON PHOTO 1: Clarence Asa Wells, age 4 1/2 months
IDENTIFICATION ON PHOTO 2: Harold Earl Wells, age 6 months
PHOTO TAKEN: unknown photographer and location, circa Dec 1915 & Nov 1919
PURCHASED: 2017 Wildwood Antique Mall, Wildwood Florida

UPDATE - These two photos have been claimed by family and have gone home!

As suspected, these are siblings, brothers, whose parents were Clarence A. Wells (1884-1974) and Elizabeth Marie Jones(1888-1972). Both parents were born in Licking County Ohio. Clarence Sr was an accountant.

Clarence Asa Wells Jr. was born 23 July 1915 and grew up to be a Chemical Engineer for an asphalt company in Houston TX. He lived to age 62. His death certificate says he is married, so I may be able to find some descendants.  This photo of Clarence Wells was located in the 1932 San Jacinto High School yearbook, senior class. He was in Spanish Club and Band, in which he played alto saxophone.

Harold was born May 18, 1919 in Houston TX. At age 21 he was a University of Houston student working during the summer at Houston Lighting & Power Co. and was fatally burned in a workplace accident in which a pump switch exploded. He is buried at Forest Park Cemetery, Houston TX.

This photo of Harold Wells was located in the 1937 San Jacinto High School yearbook, senior class. He was in the Booster Club and Spanish Club.

Here's something interesting, found along the way .... When Clarence Jr was a Senior at San Jacinto High School in 1932, he was in the same band class as a young Walter Cronkite (a junior at the time) who played baritone sax. I will throw his photo in for the heck of it.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

PEACOCK, Phoebe (Moravia, NY)



IDENTIFICATION ON PHOTO: "Miss Phoebe Peacock" / "Phoebe Peacock"
PHOTO 1 TAKEN: Tuthill & Teed Studio, Moravia & Boliver NY, circa 1882-1884
PHOTO 2 TAKEN: unknown location and photographer, circa 1894
PURCHASED: 2017 August Madison-Bouckville (NY) Antiques Week

The first photograph was taken at the studio of Tyrus T. Tuthill who resided at and operated a studio in Moravia, Cayuga county, New York from at least 1870 through at least the mid-1890s.

The writing on the back of photo #1 appears to have originally said "Mrs. Phoebe Peacock", but over-writing it is the word "Miss". I wonder if the "Miss" indicates this photo was taken before or around the time of her marriage.

The fashions worn in photograph #1 date it to the early-to-mid 1880s.  The woman appears to be around 25-30 years of age, putting a projected birth year at 1855 to 1860, or thereabouts.

Photo #2 was clearly taken about a decade later. The dress style worn by Phoebe dates to around 1894.

I searched,, and others and could only find one Phoebe Peacock in this region. And Peacock was her married name.

Phoebe L. Curtis (Nov 1861 - Mar 1943), daughter of Calvin Curtis (1827-1893) and Fidelia Church (1826-1868).

- Wife of Jesse Peacock (1863-1933, son of John Peacock and Lavina Culley) m. in 1882 in Moravia.
- Mother of:
   - Clinton Jesse Peacock (1883-1953) m. Leora Morton (1880-1947)
   - Frances Ruth Peacock (1908-1992)
   - Harold C. Peacock (1899-1901) died age 1
   - Homer Peacock (1902-1902) died as infant

The 1870 Census, Moravia, Cayuga County, NY, shows the Curtis family:
CURTIS, Calvin, 43, farmer
CURTIS, James, 13
CURTIS, Phoebe, 8

Phoebe was married in 1882 to Jesse Peacock.

On both the 1910 and 1920 Federal Census, Jesse and Phoebe are living in Syracuse. Jesse is 58 in 1920, born in NY of English immigrant parents. His occupation is Machinist at a gear factory. Phoebe is 59, born in NY of NY parents, no occupation.

After the death of her husband Jesse in 1933, Phoebe lived in Ossining, Westchester county, NY with her son Clinton Peacock and his family. She is found on the Ossining NY Census 1940 at age 78, widowed. Her son Clinton is a Printer, and his wife Leora is a public school teacher.

Phoebe died 2 Mar 1943 in Cayuga County, and is buried at the Quaker Church Cemetery in Moravia.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

HARLOW, Bernice (Charlottesville VA)

PHOTO TAKEN: Rufus Holsinger, University Studio, Charlottesville VA, circa 1899-1900
PURCHASED: 2018 February, Wildwood Antique Mall, Wildwood FL

This appears to be Bernice "Bernie" Edgar Harlow, born 31 Aug 1899 at Albemarle VA. He was residing in Charlottesville in 1942 when he registered for the WWII draft. Employer is Charles King & Son Co., a wholesale grocery, where he works as a shipping clerk. He would work for the company his entire life, from age 15 to 80, by which time he had risen to the position of President of the company. He lived to age 93 (1993).

His parents were (factory worker) James Henry Harlow (1864-1943) and Mary Christianna "Anna" Maddex (1874-1944, dau. of Richard H. Maddex and Sallie Wingfield).

Bernice had two sisters:
... Annie Ruth Harlow (Mrs. W.W. Glass) 1897-1967
... Ora Texanna Harlow (Mrs. W.L. Marion) 1905-1994

He married Lula R. Johnson. They had two daughters, Pearl Daniel Harlow (d. 1986) and Arlene Harlow-Peebles (1924-2004). (Arlene had two sons)

from "The Daily Progress" Charlottesville VA, June 8, 1980.

(click for larger view)