May 29, 2012

Helen Maria Doty Bugbee

My great-grandfather, George Washington Doty,
son of Joseph and Sarah True Doty, had five siblings:
Emeline, born 1840, died 1903
Sarah, born 1842, died 1921
William True, born 1845, died 1918
Charles, born 1846, died 1865
George Washington, born 1848, died 1910
Helen Maria, born 1850, died 1900

Helen Marie Doty, the youngest child of Joseph and Sarah True Doty, was born on November 4, 1850 in Raisinville when Joseph was 46 and his wife, 36.  Called Maria in most sources, she married William Wallace Bugbee when she was 24, on June 15, 1875.  Maria's older sister, Emeline and husband, John, were the witnesses to the Monroe, Michigan marriage.  William, 28, gave his occupation as farmer.
The map showing El Dorado, Kansas was included because Maria and William (often referred to as W.W.) also went to El Dorado to settle.  (In a previous post, I discussed Maria's older sister, Sarah McIntire, and their settlement in El Dorado.)  Affordable land and opportunity called to the young couple who moved there in 1879.
In the 1880 Federal Census, they were shown in Prospect Township, Butler County, Kansas.  William, 33, and Maria, 29, also had living with them his younger brother, Jay, 18.
On February 23, 1881, Maria and William welcomed baby daughter, Sarah Ethel, called Ethel.  As far as I have been able to determine, Ethel was their only living child.  Other documents show a male Bugbee born in September 1876 and dying in October 1876 and a daughter, Edith, was born in 1883 and died in 1885.  Edith was buried with her parents.

In 1883, The History of the State of Kansas was published by William Cutler and in it appeared this note on William W. Bugbee:

"W. W. BUGBEE, stockman, Section 26, P. O. El Dorado, is a native of Michigan and was born in Barry County, January 10, 1847, was there educated and reared, his early days being spent in tilling the soil.  Was married, in Michigan, to Miss Maria Doty, of that State; they have one daughter, Ethel.  Mr. B. is a member of the Mason's and Odd Fellow's lodges of El Dorado.  He and his family came to Butler County, Kan., the spring of 1879.  He is well known among the leading stockmen." (pt. 16)

Not only did William raise cattle, but he also ran a livery stable and he was a placing agent for the Children's Aid Society of New York. This agency took young boys found on the streets of New York or in orphanages and sent them West, after training in the skills of farming or ranching, to be adopted into families to work.  Bugbee was named in the Senate of New York review of this program in 1898:
"...W. W. Bugbee, livery stable proprietor in El Dorado, Kansas, who was employed temporarily when services were needed to place, visit, or remove children as needed." 
A committee of businessmen from each town near where children were placed would be their advocates and watch for abuses.

An actual advertisement for these Orphan Train children:

Wanted! Homes for orphan children.

A company of orphan children under the auspices of the Children's Aid Society of New York will arrive at Valley Falls, Thursday afternoon, December 8.
These children are bright, intelligent and well disciplined, both boys and girls of various ages. They are placed on trial, and if not satisfactory will be removed. Parties taking them must be well recommended. A local committee of citizens of Valley Falls has been selected to assist the agents in placing the children. Applications must be made to and endorsed by the local committee. Bring your recommendations with you. The following well known citizens have agreed to act as a local committee: J.T.B. Gephart, L.H. Burnett, Alex Kerr, A.D. Kendall, Dr. A.D. Lowry and Neil McLeod. Distribution will take place at the opera house, on Friday, December 9, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Come and see the children and hear the address. B.W. Tice, Western Agent, 105 East Twenty-second Street, New York: Miss A.L. Hill, visiting and placing agent, 105 East Twenty-second Street, New York; W.W. Bugbee, state agent for Kansas, Eldorado, Kansas. (1910)
Kansas had a state census in 1895 and again, the Bugbees are listed: Maria D., 44; husband W. W., 48 with Ethel, 14 and William's brother, I think, A. J. Bugbee, 33.  They were still in El Dorado.

I have been able to find little or no information on Maria.  I'm sure she was a dependable housewife and mother and she was in the Rebekah Lodge of El Dorado.  The search for obituaries is ongoing.

Sadly, Maria died in March 1900 at the age of 49, before the census enumerator came around that year.  The 1900 census listed, William W. Bugbee, born June 1847, age 53, and Ethel, age 19, born February 1881.  William had been married 25 years and was working as a livery man, owning his home.  He was listed as married, not widowed, but I think that was because Maria died within that year. 

William W. Bugbee was serving as Mayor of El Dorado when Maria died.  He only served a one year term from 1899 - 1900.  In 1900, he was vice-president of the Butler County Fair Board, as well.

But sometime between 1900 and 1905, William and daughter Ethel left Kansas for New York.  In the 1905 New York census for Mt. Pleasant, Westchester County, New York, W.W. and Ethel are enumerated at the Brace Memorial Farm School.  William, 58, was the Assistant Superintendent of the school, and Ethel , 24, worked in the dining room.

The Brace Memorial Farm School, located thirty miles from New York City, was founded in 1892 on 125 acres and opened to train boys from the Children's Aid Society for farm work and eventual placement on farms and ranches in the West. The New York Times ran an article on the school on December 5, 1894 which said, in part:
Newsboys and Bootblacks of New York Trained for Western Homes - Success of the Scheme.
...As soon as the necessary repairs had been made, twenty street arabs from the Newsboys' Lodging House, on Chambers Street, New york, were taken up to the farm at their own request, and so greatly were they charmed with the idea of sleeping on a real bed every night without paying anything that there has never been any difficulty in keeping the ranks replenished.
The purpose of this farm is primarily to give practical farm instruction to boys from ten to sixteen years old, so that when provided with homes on the Western farms, they may be of immediate value and service.  It is, in short, a probation school.  Every boy is given a six weeks' trial.  If he proves to be of good material and trustworthy, he is sent out West.  Should he turn out worthless, he is is sent back to New York, and may have another trial.  Thus far there have been very few of the latter kind..."

So William went from placing children on farms to training them for the farm tasks.  I'm not sure how long William held this job, but by the 1910 census, he was back in El Dorado, Kansas, age 63, and a widower.  He was boarding with Jasper and Myrtle McCardle and his occupation was again, agent for the Children's Aid Society.  Ethel, 29 and single, was also back in El Dorado, a boarder with J. L. Cupples and his wife.  She was working as a pianist at a moving picture place!

William died on February 8, 1916 in Ocala, Florida at the age of 69. 

Ethel then married Karl Geddes in El Dorado in 1917 and they had no children. 
From the El Dorado Times, September 28, 1963:
Mrs. Karl Geddes Dies at Wichita; Services Monday.
Mrs. Karl M.Geddes, a lifelong resident of El Dorado, died this morning at the Kansas Masonic home at Wichita.  She was 82 years old.  (Funeral arrangements omitted.)  Mrs. Geddes was born in El Dorado Feb. 23, 1881 and had lived there until three years ago when she moved to Wichita.  Mrs. Geddes was a member of Trinity Episcopal church and was a former organist.  Other memberships included the Daughters of the King and the El Dorado Music Club. 
She and Karl M. Geddes were married in El Dorado on June 28, 1917.  Mr. Geddes was a well-known attorney here many years.  He died in 1952.
Survivors include two second cousins, W. H. Davis, Wichita, and W. J. Bugbee, Gem. Kan."

Ethel Bugbee Geddes, wife of Karl Geddes, applied for entrance into the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), based on her relationship to Peter Doty, her great-great grandfather and my four greats grandfather, who served in the New York militia during the Revolution. 
But the Helen Marie Doty line of the family Bugbee ended with Ethel.

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