Tag Archives: Iowa
A 12-year-old boy in Davenport, Iowa is murdered while riding his bike, gunned down by someone in a black SUV.
This is strange. I’m trying to figure out why one of my ancestors would use a pseudonym.
What was he doing in South America? In Montevideo, Uruguay?
AND WHERE IS YOUR WIFE?
My great grandmother’s younger brother, Leslie Warren Darling, was engaged to a girl named Ruth June Amos. But his death during the First World War changed their plans.
Ruth married another World War I veteran, William Donald Jordan, on August 12, 1919 in Red Oak, Montgomery County, Iowa.
There is a nine year gap in records. I can’f find any records for either of them until January 17, 1928, when William arrived in New York City after taking a ship, the SS American Legion, from Montevideo, Uruguay.
He had already apparently been living in New York City for some time, a residence at 41 Broad Street in the heart of Wall Street.
What he was doing in South America isn’t known, nor what happened to Ruth. He remarried in May of 1928.
Did he divorce Ruth or had she died? Did she die during a misadventure in South America? Or is there something more sinister at work here? Murder?
People don’t just disappear. I intend on getting to the bottom of this.
If my gallbladder could handle it, every night would be a bacon festival!
Ezra’s Farm in 1860
By the Numbers
Six bushels of Irish potatoes. Are Russet potatoes Irish potatoes? That’s what I am assuming.
Two hundred pounds of butter! He and Caroline, who I am sure did most, if not all of the churning, had 200 lbs. of butter on hand?!
Ten tons of hay. That’s a lotta hay. And their granddaughter Geneva, my great grandmother, would go on to marry a man named Hay.
Forty gallons of molasses. What’s that for, cooking & baking?
Eight pounds of beeswax. Candles? Soap?
Ezra had 180 acres of land, 40 of which were deemed “improved” and 140 considered “unimproved.” What these mean beyond the basic, fundamental understandings I don’t know. The cash value of the farm was recorded as $1440.
Eight milch cows. Gonna have to look up the word milch.
One working ox. Or given that it reads oxen, is that two?
And one “other cattle.” What’s the purpose of this one? Why a separate listing?
Twelve pigs. Or swine. Man, how I love bacon.
The value of the livestock was listed at $238.
There were 60 bushels of wheat and 300 bushels of Indian corn on hand.
It’s quite the list. Everything was tabulated on June 12, 1860 on his farm in Lime Creek Township, Washington County, Iowa.
There is a precipitous decline in these numbers on the 1870 ag census. Why? It is unclear. But did Ezra focus on other endeavors, such as the post office?
Deciphering Some Handwriting
I am trying to decipher my great-great-great grandfather’s probate files. He died unexpectedly after an accident with his horses and his wagon in 1878. The man’s handwriting is terrible. He may have been a copyist. This looks like a transcribed copy from the original, which may have been in rough shape.
I love reading details about ancestors in books
Google Books is a terrific resource. Today, I learned a few more details about my great-great grandparents, John Conner and Ellen Lint.
I didn’t know that my great-great grandfather lived in Missouri before marrying Ellen and that he came to Iowa in 1873, the year of a
financial panic and the beginning of a depression. And he was still farming at the age of 66.
Like Joyce Kilmer & many others, I too like trees
Hanging out around trees is good for you. That’s what a recent study discovered.
I’m not sure why we are spending money on such research. There’s more pressing problems, in my opinion, like cancer and homelessness and poverty. But, then again, few, if any, listen to me.
Joyce Kilmer was a writer who gained prominence by serving, and dying, as a soldier during the First World War. Sadly, my great-grandmother’s younger brother faced the same fate, minus the fame.
No one knows much about my great-great uncle, even in our family, though I have been working to correct this. I plan on writing a book about his life, particularly his experiences during the war.
They died on the same day: July 30, 1918. Kilmer was 31. My great-great uncle, Leslie Warren Darling, was 22, three weeks shy of his 23rd birthday. He had been gravely wounded by German machine gun fire four days prior.
When I mentioned some of these details to Grandma, she recalled having read his poem Trees while in school.
I THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Why does the Des Moines River look like a swimming pool?
Somehow I doubt the water will ever be that color. It’s a river not a swimming pool.