June 24, 2011

The Youngest Brother - Benjamin F. Ordway

Updated July 5, 2011 with more information on Almeda. See below.

Great-Grandfather Lemuel’s little brother and Richard and Sarah Ordway's youngest son was Benjamin Franklin Ordway, born April 26, 1883. 

Strangely, Benjamin is called Franklin B. Ordway in this Henry County, Ohio marriage document, but in all other documents, he appears as Benjamin F. or Ben F.  His mother is named as Elizabeth Hill, and Sarah (as we usually know her) is a nickname for Elizabeth. 
The document states that the marriage date for Louisa Young and Ben was January 28, 1902.
At the age of 17 (1900) and single, Ben Ordway lived in Waterville with his sister, Mary, and her husband, William Smothers.  But by the 1910 census, he was married and lived in Toledo at 702 East Broadway in the rear apartment with his wife, Louisa (Young) and their children, Pearl K., 7,  Zelma I. , 5, and Almeda, 3.  Ben was working as a cement finisher.

Sometime between April 1910 when the census was taken and November 1916, Louisa and Benjamin were divorced.  When a wife named Anna appeared with Benjamin in the 1920 census, I began to explore what might have happened to Louisa.  At  first, I thought she had died, but further investigation found a marriage record for her on www.familysearch.org : 

Louisa Young Ordway, daughter of John and Cassie Ripley Young, born about 1891, married Teddie W. Reid in Lucas County, Ohio on November 29, 1916. 

Louise was 27, and it was noted that she was a divorced woman, previously known as Mrs. Benjamin Ordway.  Her occupation was landlady, while Teddie was a fireman, also divorced. 

I don’t know what happened to Teddie, but by 1921, she was married a third time, and again the image of the marriage certificate may be seen on www.familysearch.org.  

 Louise, age 33, a landlady residing at 1035 Michigan Street, Toledo, previously married with names Mrs. Benjamin Ordway and Mrs. Ted W. Reid, married Harry Wilson.  Harry lived at the same address, was also divorced and was a foreman.

Back to Benjamin… by the 1920 census, he had remarried and his wife’s name was Anna.  I have not been able to find a marriage record for them, so I don't know her maiden name, but she was previously married to someone with the last name of Arnold.  Benjamin and Anna lived at 2630 Elm Street in Toledo.  Benjamin, 38, worked as a laborer in a bottling factory, and Anna, 39, worked as a cigar maker in a factory.  Living with them was Benjamin’s youngest daughter, Almeda, 13, and Mary Arnold, 15, a step-daughter. 

What happened to the other two daughters of Louisa Young and Benjamin Ordway?  I did find marriage records for them, again on www.familysearch.org . 
In Michigan Marriages 1868 – 1925, Pearl Ordway, 19, a cigar packer from Lima, Ohio, was listed as marrying James Bowersock, 21, also of Lima and a dry cleaner.  They married on September 6, 1921 in Detroit, Michigan. 
I don't know what happened to James, but in The Lima News on July 18, 1950, I found a marriage license for Pearl Bowersock, 47, cigar worker, living at
615 1/2 S Main in Lima and Warren C. Looker, 52, highway superintendent.

Pearl’s sister, Zelma, married about four months later.  In Ohio County Marriages, 1790-1950, Zelma Ordway, 17, resident of 43 Nevada Street, Toledo, married Charles W. Wilson, 20, of the same address.  Charles was a candy salesman and the son of Clarence and Clara Wilson.  You remember that Louisa’s last husband was Harry Wilson? 
Not sure of the relationship among the Wilsons, but I’ll bet there is one.  Ben Ordway signed his consent for the marriage and the nuptials took place on January 11, 1922.

Almeda married Robert Kucera, but I have not been able to find out much about her, except that she died in July 2001.  I sent for her obituary today, so maybe I can add more later about Benjamin’s youngest daughter.
Update on Almeda...from her obituary in the Toledo Blade, July 29, 2001:
"Almeda E. Kucera, 94 years, of Toledo and formerly of Friendship, WI, died Saturday, July 28, 2001, in Imperial Manor Nursing Home after a long illness.  Born January 26, 1907, in Henry, Ohio, she married Robert Kucera on July 20, 1946, in Milwaukee, WI.  He preceded her in death on July 29, 1997.  She was a secretary for the Cudahy Packing House in Milwaukee, WI for 20 years, retiring in 1959.  She enjoyed knitting and crocheting and trips to Las Vegas."
I am going to stop here because the obituary goes on to mention her family, some of whom are living.


By 1930, Ben F. Ordway, 48, and his wife, Anna E, were living in their own home, valued at $2500 on Chestnut Street in Toledo.  Ben was working as a bricklayer for a builder.  I believe Benjamin died on January 6, 1958 at the age of 74, but I am uncertain when Anna died or where they were buried. 

If anyone can add to this or has photos, please contact me!


1 comment:

  1. Take a look at the obituary for a Louisa Terrell in the August 9, 1964 issue of the Toledo Blade:

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1350&dat=19640809&id=RcgwAAAAIBAJ&sjid=TwEEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7575,791627

    The obituary mentions that she has:

    -> Husband John
    -> Daughter: Mrs. Pearl Strable
    -> Daughter: Mrs. Zelma Phelps
    -> Daughter: Mrs. Almeda Kucera
    -> Sister: Mrs. Sarah Ramsey
    -> Sister: Mrs. Hazel March
    -> Sister: Mrs. Luella Riddle
    -> Sister: Mrs. Irene Carey
    -> Brother: George Young
    -> Brother: Clarence [Young, presumably]

    This seems to indicate that Louisa Young married for a fourth time to a John Terrell, and two of her daughters from her first marriage - Pearl and Zelma - also remarried. Of course, it could all just be a big coincidence, but it seems like it might be worth exploring...

    Cheers,
    Peter

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