May 23, 2014

Sarah Lewis Cook - Youngest Daughter of Caroline Camp and George C. Lewis

Born on August 31, 1856 in Sangerfield, Oneida County, New York, Sarah Lewis married William Irving Cook (called Irving) probably after 1880 and before 1885.  I have not yet found the marriage record. 

Sarah and Irving had six children together, all surviving into adulthood.  Sadly, Irving died at the age of 39, leaving his widow with children ranging in age from 2 - 13 and a farm to tend.  The Brookfield, NY, Courier reported Irving's death on Wednesday, January 18, 1899:

"- Irving Cook, who resided about five miles north of this village, died yesterday morning after a very brief illness, the particulars of which we are unable to obtain.  Mr. Cook was in town not more than a week ago and to all appearances was in usual health.  It is said that he was out at work the day before his death, although he was complaining of a cold and bronchial trouble.  
Deceased was about forty years of age and was a man of sterling integrity and well thought of by all who had dealings or acquaintance with him.  His untimely death is a sad blow to the community in which he lived.  Mr. Cook married a daughter of our esteemed friend, George C. Lewis.  A wife and six children are thus suddenly bereft of husband and father.  Funeral services will be held Friday, conducted by the Rev. C. A. Burdick."

I'm not sure what illness was traveling through this region at the time, but think of this: In 1899, Sarah's mother, Caroline Camp Lewis, died on January 13, Sarah's husband on January 18, and Sarah's father, George Cameron Lewis, on January 27.  One Albany, New York, newspaper reported on an influenza epidemic which might have been the case here in Oneida County.  But, whatever it was, Sarah Lewis Cook, had a mighty burden to bear in the winter of 1899.

So, in the summer of 1900, when the census enumerator came around, he found the widow, Sarah Cook, as head of household.  She named her occupation as farmer.  Her oldest child, and only son, Orlo C., was only 14.  He attended school five months a year and most likely worked on the farm when he could.  His five sisters attended school eight months that year.  Dora, 13; Inez, 10; Ruth, 7; Mary, 5; ad Ethel G. (Grace), 3, completed the family.

By 1910, Sarah had hired Henry Wheeler, 60, as a hired hand, and all her children, but Dora, were still at home.  Orlo, 24, was also listed as a farmer, along with his mother.  Inez, 20, was teaching at a district school. Ruth, 17; Mary, 15; and Grace, 13 were going to school. 
Where was Dora?
She was working as a seamstress at a bleachery in New Hartford, Oneida County, NY.  At 22, she was boarding with John and Mary Crampton.

On August 1, 1912, Dora was married to Laurence Spooner, a hometown man.
Laurence was a farmer and the son of F. M. Spooner and Laura Huntington.  At the time of her marriage, Dora was a teacher. The Courier carried news of the event on August 7, 1912:
"Spooner - Cook
Almost thirty dear relatives and friends assembled at the home of Mrs. Sarah Cook in Sangerfield, Thursday morning, August 1, to witness the marriage of her older daughter, Dora C., to Mr. Laurence H. Spooner of this village.  The ceremony took place at 9 o'clock, being performed by Rev. W. L. Davis and the couple (witnessed?) by Mr. Malcolm Spooner and Miss Inez Cook.

Following congratulations, the couple sat down to a bounteous wedding breakfast which was interrupted by the necessary, but unannounced departure of the bride and groom who were to take the train at Waterville enroute to the Androndacks where they are making a stay of ten days or two weeks before returing to Brookfield.

The bride attended our high school for a number of years, graduating in 1907.  After teaching two years, she spent two years at Alfred University.  The past school year she filled the position of -?_ in the Leonardsville high school.
The groom has spent his life here with the exception of five years passed in Atica and his enterprise _?_ in the pursuit of farming is recognized in the community.

Both have many friends here and elsewhere who will wish them the greatest possible happiness at this time.  Their plans for the future are not definitely determined, but the hope is expressed that they will continue residents of our town."

On November 9, 1914, H. Ruth E. Cook married John W. Davis, a 23 year old farmer from Unadilla Forks, NY.  He was the son of John Davis and Carrie Rathbone.  Ruth, 22, was also a teacher at the time of her marriage.

1914 styles
Two years later, Mary P. Cook married William Hansberger, a 26 year old machinist from Rome, NY.  At 22, Mary was working at housekeeping. Both of William's parents, William and Mary Remmick Hansberger, were born in Germany.  The marriage took place on October 21, 1916. From The Courier, October 25, 1916:
"The marriage of Miss Mary Packer Cook, daughter of Mrs. Sarah Cook, to William George Hansberger, of Rome, took place at the home of Rev. Jessup, the Baptist minister.  Mr. Charles Spinner and Mrs. B. A. Jessup attended them.  Mrs. Spinner gave them a reception afterward at her home on North Washington street.  Mr. and Mrs. Hansberger will be at Rome for the present at 151 West Dominck street, Rome, NY."
At some point, Inez went off to school to study art at nearby Alfred University.  She never married and taught art for many years.
Orlo also never married, but remained on the farm all his life.

On June 23, 1920, Grace Cook, 23, a teacher, married Howard Whitten, 24, a farmer. Howard was born in Blue Hill, Nebraska, to George and Mary Bullock Whitten.

During Christmas that year, 1920, most of the family gathered at the home of their mother, Sarah, to celebrate the holiday.  The Courier reported on January 7, 1920:
"A house party was held during the holidays, at Wildwood, the home of Mrs. Sarah Cook.  The guests were Miss Inez Cook of Rochester, Mr. and Mrs. William Hansberger and little son of Rome, Mrs. L. H. Spooner and four children, and on Christmas Day, Mr. Spooner, Mr. and Mrs. John Davis,  Mr. and Mrs. Frank Williams and Erla Beebe joined them, making 18 members of the Lewis family.  After a chicken pie dinner and other good things had been disposed of, a Christmas tree for the little folks was stripped of its various fruits.  Everybody had a good time and similar plans were made for another year.  Mr. Hansberger and Miss Inez Cook returned to their work Monday, and Mrs. Spooner and children to their home.  Mrs. Hansberger and little son were detained by sickness, but they are better at present."

So, from adversity, Sarah Lewis Cook raised six children on her own and kept the family close together. Sarah died on October 5, 1925 and is buried with her husband in the Brookfield Cemetery.  


May 16, 2014

Etta Caroline - Daughter of George and Caroline Camp Lewis

Etta was the third daughter in the George C. Lewis family and she was given her mother's name as her middle name.  Born on October 29, 1852 (in some records, 1851) in Sangerfield, she married Arthur B. Lewis, probably in 1878 or so.  I haven't found a marriage record, as yet.

The couple were in the 1880 Federal Census in Sangerfield, Oneida County, New York.  A. B. Lewis was 28 and farming and his wife, Etta C., 21, was keeping house and raising their first son, Florian, who was one.  

Later, the couple would add to their family three other children. Mable F. and Otto B. were born between about 1882 and 1886, and then a third child, Olla, was born in March 1888.  Etta died on 29 October 1888 at the age of 37 (obituary) or 38 (tombstone), just months after giving birth to this last child. Etta's sister, Harriet, raised this daughter until her teens. (See previous post.)

Etta's obituary was reprinted in The Courier, Brookfield, New York published on November 21, 1888.
"Etta C. Lewis.  The following appeared in the Sabbath Recorder: 'In Friendship, N. Y., October 29, of consumption, Mrs. Etta C. Lewis, wife of Arthur B. Lewis in the 37th year of her age.  She was the daughter of George C. and Caroline A. Lewis, of Sangerfield. 
When living with her parents, she early accepted Christ as her Savior, and was baptized into the fellowship of the Second Seventh Day Baptist Church of Brookfield, in which she retained her membership till death.  

She was of a sweet and amiable disposition, a living Christian, and died in the firm faith of going to dwell with Christ.  By her death, a husband is left in great bereavement and sorrow, and four little children, one an infant of seven months, are motherless.
The remains were brought to Brookfield where public funeral services were held October 31st, and a sermon was preached by the pastor of the church from Heb. 11:16, and the lifeless form was laid to rest in the beautiful cemetery in our village.  Mourning here, joy over there.'"

Etta's brother, Israel, was buried in the place meant for Arthur B. Lewis.

 The inscription on the left reads, "Etta C. - Daughter of G. C. and C. A. Lewis - Wife of A. B. Lewis - (Can not read one line.) -Aged 38 yrs. 8 mos 4 days"

 Then I wondered what happened to the bereaved husband, A.B., left with three little children.  Hattie, with only one child, a son, was willing to take in the little 7 month old baby, Olla.  But, still, there were three other children, all under the age of about 11.

The names and locations of Arthur's children were first discovered from a newspaper article in The Bolivar Breeze, Allegeny County, New York, July 29, 1937.  In memory of Arthur, who had served as a supervisor of Bolivar and in the state assembly from that county, the children, Mable F. Jackson of Nampa, Idaho; Otto B. Lewis, Los Angeles, California; and Florian M. Lewis, Burbank, California were presenting back to the county an 1860 Enrollment Book containing the military duty and records of enlistments in that county. So, for some time, Arthur and the children moved to Allegeny County where he led a very successful life.

The search for Arthur Lewis later on was difficult, but he was finally discovered in California with his second wife, Mary E.  The 1910 census gave the details of a second marriage for both Arthur and Mary who had been married for 20  at the time, making the time of marriage around 1890, just a few years after Etta's death.  They were living in Los Angeles on 51st Street, and with them was Etta's son, Otto B (Otto Berdett), 25, and single.  Both Arthur and Otto listed carpenter as their occupations.

Otto Berdett, 3rd child and second son of Etta and A.B., never married and worked for a time as commander of the Co. 529, CCC.  Captain Otto B. Lewis worked at Wawoma in Yosemite National Park, and in other camps, I imagine.  Otto B., was born January 26, 1886 and died October 29, 1956.
(I find it interesting that Etta was born and died on the date, October 29th, and Otto died on that same date.)

Florian Master, the oldest son of Etta and A.B., married twice.  His first marriage was covered in the Los Angeles Herald on July 4, 1909 in the "Society News of the Week."
"Mrs. Della Gibson and Florian M. Lewis were married Wednesday evening at the home of the groom's parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. B. Lewis, on West Fifty-first street, only immediate relatives being present.  They will spend a short time at Ploche, Nev. where Mr. Lewis has large business interests and on their return, will be at home to their friends at 308 West Thirty-eighth avenue."

A further look at A. B. Lewis seemed to show that A.B. made it big in the mines of Nevada.  Is this the same A.B. Lewis and is this why Florian's wedding made the society news in L.A.?

The Salt Lake Herald,  July 3, 1902
Florian married a second time on April 6, 1922 at the age of 42.  The California marriage record indicated this was his second marriage, and he was divorced.  His spouse, Dora E. Billings, 37, was the daughter of Wilhelm H. Wiedling and Ella M. Quaid.  His occupation on the license was "stair builder."
(In the 1930 census, he called himself a draftsman.)
He stayed with Della until his death on October 6, 1938 at the age of 59 in Los Angeles. He was buried in Grand View Memorial Park, Section M, Glendale, Los Angeles County, CA.  Della was show on the 1940 census as a widow, aged 58, and she had taken in a young stenographer, Jane Elizabeth Stortz, as a lodger.

Mable F. Lewis, Etta's daughter, was first found in the 1900 census of Friendship, Allegeny County, New York, where she was working as a servant in the home of the Hubbard and Mary Cotton family.  She was 21 and born September 1878, which made it strange that she was not in the 1880 census with her mother and father.  This may have been information given by her employers, though, as a later census gives 1881 as her birth year.
By the 1910 census, Mable and Harry D. Jackson had been married two years and were the parents of an eleven month old son, Laurance L. Jackson...born Nevada.  In the 1910 census, they were all living in Rupert, Lincoln County, Idaho. They remained in Idaho at least through 1930.  I have not found the record of Mable's death.

May 6, 2014

Israel George Lewis - Son of George C. and Caroline Camp Lewis

Caroline and George Lewis had only one son who was named after George's father, Israel Putnam Lewis, and George, himself.  Israel George Lewis was born on November 23, 1849, the middle child in the Lewis family.  He lived almost his whole life farming on the family homestead and he never married.

In the 1900 census, when Israel was 50, he was living as a boarder with Charles and Gertrude Patsmon and little Merlyn, 3.  He was working as a farm laborer, but it is not indicated if that is on his own farm or not.  By 1900, he had moved into a house by himself, just two houses down from his youngest sister Sarah Cook, who was a widow.  Israel owned a farm, and Sarah's son, Orlo, 24, was a farm laborer, so perhaps they were all still working and living on the family homestead or close to it.

Israel died in 1917 and several obituaries marked his passing.
The Sabbath Recorder, Vol. 83, Seventh Day Baptists, 1917, p. 671:

"LEWIS.  Israel George Lewis was born November 23, 1849, and died Octobert 22, 1917.
He was the only son of George and Caroline Camp Lewis.  His entire life was spent in the old home about five miles north of Brookfield, whih was purchased by his grandfather more than 106 years ago, and which has always remained in the Lewis family.  
Mr. Lewis is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Duane Washburn, of Earlville, and Mrs. Sarah Cook, of Brookfield, besides several nieces and nephews. He was a faithful Sabbath Keeper, but had never united with any church.  Funeral services were held at the home, conducted by Rev. J. E. Hutchins.

The Madison County Times reported much the same, with this addition information:

"October 10th, one week before his death, he caught a severe cold.  A bad attack of grip followed and Sunday morning bronchitis-pneumonia developed.  Monday evening at 8:30 o'clock, he quietly passed to the great beyond."

Israel was buried with his sister, Etta, in the Brookfield Rural Cemetery, in the spot probably once reserved for her husband, A. B. Lewis.
In 1920, a notice appeared in the paper that the old homestead farm was to be auctioned.

"The undersigned, executor of the estate of Israel G. Lewis, deceased, will sell at public auction, at the Central Hotel in the village of Waterville, on July 13, 1920, at 2 o'clock p.m., the farm of one hundred seventy five acres, known as the Israel G. Lewis Homestead Farm, situated in the town of Sangerfield on the creek road leading from Brookfield to Waterville.
This is an excellent farm, has five buildings, including two basement barns, is well watered, has running water in barn, and includes fifty acres of excellent timber, consisting primarily of maple.
Terms 10 percent down, balance on July 23, on receipt of executor's deed.
Frank B. Williams, Executor
Brown & Brown, Attorney for Executor, Leonardville, N.Y."

And so, after at least three generations on the homestead, we may assume it was sold out of the family, but that is a discovery yet to be made.

May 3, 2014

A Mystery...Hattie and Gertrude Washburn and Olla Lewis Strain

Sometimes the best way to solve a mystery is to walk away from it for awhile, and then come back to face it with fresh eyes.  Census records were confusing as to who were the actual children of James Duane and Hattie Lewis Washburn, but this week, a few lucky breaks helped me solve part of the puzzle.

In the 1880 census, Hattie and J.D. Lewis had only son, Albro D., who was 8 years old at the time.  Then there was the large gap that the lack of an 1890 Federal Census has given all researchers.  Luckily, New York State had a state census in 1892, but that also brought another mystery.

In 1892, the Washburn family of Hamilton Township, Madison County, New York, consisted of J. Duane, 43, and his wife, Hattie, 45, and their son, Albro, now 21.  But, in addition, were Girty V. Washburn, 15, and Olla Lewis, 4. No relationships were given in that census, but an article in the Brookfield Courier, on October 5, 1892, mentioned:

"Mrs. Duane Washburn and her daughter, Gertie, and little Ollie Lewis, a child of Mrs. Washburn's sister, who died some two years ago, are visiting the little girl's father, Mr. Lewis, in Friendship, Allegany County."

I have not been able to find a birth record for a Gertrude/ Gertie/ Girty Washburn, so perhaps her name was changed to Washburn after being taken in by the family.  Her origin is just plain unknown to me.  However, in later years, after Hattie's death, Albro took a case to the New York courts regarding the "not so legal" adoption of Gertrude and her inheritance from Hattie's estate.

The Courier, Brookfield, New York - March 21, 1923
"In Supreme Court at Wampville last week, the jury in the action of Albro Washburn vs. Gertrude Spicer brought in a verdict of no cause for action.  Mr. Washburn, individually and as administrator of the estate of his mother, Hattie Washburn, brought an action to recover money from Mrs. Spicer which he claimed had been erroneously paid to her on the supposition that she was a legally adopted daughter of Mrs. Washburn.  In the action last week, it was found that while legal adoption papers could not be found, Mrs. Washburn had left a memorandum in which she requested Mrs. Spicer to share in the estate to an amount about equal to the money she had already received.  The jury apparently respected the wish of Mrs. Washburn.

Gertrude had married Arthur J. Spicer, with whom she had two sons, Hobart M. and Orville D.  They began their marriage in Madison County, but later moved to Guilford,  Chenango County, New York.

Named as Alla in the census of 1892, I found this niece was actually Olla (Ollie) Lewis, the baby who was seven months old when her mother, Hattie's sister, Etta, died.  Hattie took her in to raise and they were often in the social pages of The Courier, visiting here and there among relatives and friends.  

Olla seemed to drop out of sight after the 1905 NY state census.  I could find no death record or marriage record in New York.  However, her father and the older siblings had moved to California and, again, a newspaper article led me there.

The Courier, Brookfield, NY -  November 11, 1908 -
"Miss Ollie Lewis, who spent the last year in California, were callers on old neighbors and friends here a few days since."

A search of the California marriage records yielded the marriage of Olla E. Lewis, 20, daughter of Arthur B. Lewis and Ella (Etta) Lewis, and Lester Strain, 23, son of D. C. Strain and Dora Creech on October 8, 1908, in Los Angeles, California.  It would seem from the newspaper article above that perhaps their honeymoon trip was back to New York to meet the family. 

The 1910 census enumerator found the young couple on Huron Street in Los Angeles.  Lester was a street car conductor, Olla was not working, and the couple had no children.    Then, again, Olla disappeared, but Lester was still in Los Angeles in the 1920 census, only now as a widower, renting a room.

The California Death Records showed that Olla E. Strain died on October 25, 1918, at the age of 34 in Los Angeles, California.  Her Aunt Hattie would die three years later, in 1921, so Olla would not have been named in her will or any memorandum thereof.  

Lester died on March 9, 1949 and was buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, Los Angeles, California, but I could not find a record of Olla's burial.