- Hits: 322
Originally posted 1 January 2009.
Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG has written an article of which the opening paragraph so aptly describes what I love about genealogy that I'm copying it here:
Modern genealogy—appropriately done—is history in microcosm. Our
research projects study “up close and personal” small slices of the
past. We pluck individuals from the nameless masses that historians
paint with a broad brush. We learn their names. We follow them from birth to
death. We see the actual effect upon human lives of the grand world events that
historians write about—wars, economic depressions, plagues, politics, and perse-
cutions. We see how one humble person and his or her neighbors can reshape a
community, a state, or a country. Then we repeat the process, generation by gen-
This was originally published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ), Volume 91, pp. 260-77.
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Originally posted 28 August 2007.
August 27, 1872 was my great-grandmother's birthday. Her name was really Amanda Sarah Jane (Green) Van Hoesen, but even on her tombstone the name Dulcie is given. She would be 135 years old today. She's the only female in this photo. The seated man is her father-in-law, Albertus Van Hoesen and the three boys are my grandfather's three older brothers. This photo was taken in 1909 before my grandfather was born (the one that's in the "The Three Grandpas" photo from a couple of weeks ago. I found this newspaper article about my great-grandmother while looking through newspapers on microfilm. I had never heard anything about this from my family and was shocked that this kind of thing happened in 1918. (I am not a Jehovah's Witness)
"Thayer Peope in Trouble," The Thayer News, 3 May 1918, second page, c. 3; State Historical society of Missouri microfilmed newspaper collection, Columbia.
"Last Tuesday morning it was currently rumored on our streets that 3 residents of this city and section, Mrs. R.L. Van Hoesen, E.J. French and Chas. Franke, and G.B. Griffin of Mammoth Spring, had been arrested and later scourged, tarred and feathered by indignant citizens of Walnut Ridge, Ark., and upon getting in communication with that town by long distance telephone, the rumor was verified. A mass meeting of the citizens was called for 2 o'clock at the Y.M.C.A. to take action in regard to allowing these parties to remain in the county, although they had families here. On the arrival of train No. 104 from Arkansas, a committee of citizens met the train and escorted Messrs. French and Franke before the mass meeting. The two men made statements and disclaimed any intention of violating the law, declaring that they were loyally devoted to our government and that they were unaware of any treasonable sentiments attached to the papers they were distributing in Arkansas. After hearing their statements the meeting voted to permit the parties to go without molestation on the promise that they would distribute no more literature of the character of “The Kingdom News,” and also promised to participate in no further meetings under the auspices of the International Bible Students Association. The causes that led up to the arrest and punishment of these parties were these: The three Thayerites and Griffin of Mammoth Spring went to Hoxie and Walnut Ridge for the purpose of aiding in the distribution of a paper known as “The Kingdom News,” which contains a plea to the government for permission to circulate the book, “The Finished Mystery,” which has been banded by the Department of Justice for alleged disloyal sentiments. A correspondent of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal writing from Walnut Ridge thus describes what occurred there: “Tar and feathers were liberally applied to four men here about midnight last night, after a committee of 250 men had taken them from the county jail and whipped them in front of an automobile garage in the heart of the business district”. “The men and a woman, all over fifty years of age, had been arrested by Sheriff J.C. Hall for distributing propaganda of the International Bible School. Each had scattered more than a hundred copies of 'Kingdom News,' a publication protesting against the government of a book called the 'Finished Mystery,' characterized by the Department of Justice as 'dangerous propaganda.'” “These people were working separately. The woman and Duncan were arrested here Sunday afternoon. French and Franke were taken at Hoxie the same day, and Griffin was apprehended here Monday.” “Sheriff Hall has determined to allow the prisoners to make bond in the sum of $1,000 each for their appearance at the orders of the government, and had planned to take them last night to Mammoth Spring, where they expected to find sureties.” “As he left the county attorney's office with them, however, a throng of citizens refused to permit their departure, but allowed him to return to the jail with them. Matters quieted down and the sheriff went home, hiding the keys to the jail.” “Under the bright moonlight, the citizens committee of 250 reformed about 11 o'clock, went to the jail and, with a heavy timber 12 feet long, battered the door down and proceeded to knock the locks from the cells of the prisoners. There is no night guard at the jail. The woman was not molested, but the four men protesting they had done nothing wrong and that they were loyal, were taken at the head of the procession into the center of the business district.” “ A barrel had been provided together with plenty of tar, with which creosote had been mixed, feathers, a strap and a light buggy whip. One at a time the captives were stripped, laid over the barrel, whipped effectively, tarred and feathered, permitted to replace his garments, and told to 'hike'.”
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Originally posted 6 December 2007.
The following excerpt comes from a book called Years Ago by Rudolf Priepke. Mr. Priepke was an unofficial town historian of Clarksville, Butler County, Iowa, an area in which some of my ancestors were for about 50 years. Rudolph (spelled both ways in the book) Priepke was born in Butler County but went away to a private high school in Chicago for his last two years. He continued on to college and graduated with a Ph.D from Duke University. He eventually went back to teach chemistry at the college where he'd received his undergraduate degree in Chicago. When he retired he returned to Clarksville where he lived a life that was the epitome of one of service to others. He wrote a column based on his research of the area's history through its newspaper The Clarksville Star, and the book Years Ago is a compilation of those columns. Before I insert the quote, and as a heads-up to family and others who might be interested, Hugh F.L. (or Lucky) Burton was my ancestor. He's now buried in the mentioned Lynwood Cemetery, and his father Clement Nance Burton is buried in the mentioned Old Town Cemetery. This column was written May 26, 1977. When he refers to dates and the "STAR", he is talking about information he has gathered from old editions of the newspaper.
These days, Memorial Day or Decoration Day, is regarded as a day off, a day to get away from it all, the opening day of the vacation season, a holidy to be celebrated rather than an observance of respect for fallen heroes. When the vacation aspect was made official, by making it a mobile holiday attached to a Sunday to make a long weekend, it was regarded by many sensitive people as an insult to our soldier dead. We can take pride in the fact that the day is still observed here in the traditional manner, but, when compared with the services of an earlier day, obviously something has been lost. In 1884, only 20 years after the close of the Civil War, not many veterans were buried in the cemeteries. Lynwood had only been in use about five years. The June 5 STAR reported on the day's activities. The Clarksville Cornet Band led the march of the James Butler Post (GAR) and young ladies with flowers and wreaths, followed by citizens on foot and in carriages. They marched first to the Old Cemetery, then to Lynwood, and then back to the school grounds. The cornet band opened ranks at the gate of each cemetery an[sic] the Post marched to each grave where they halted and two young ladies placed a wreath and bouquet while all stood with uncovered heads. Eight veterans were buried in the Old Cemetery: C.A. Bannon, William Poisal, Ed Sutcliffe, Hamilton Brown, Oliver Hanna, Leroy Baxton, Uriah Farlow, and John Spawr. The five in th Lynwood were: C.C. Lewis, Japhet Curtis, James Butler, John MacLain, and W.W. Dunham. 'Before leaving each cemetery, a squad of the Post fired a salute of three charges in honor of the dead soldiers' At the school grounds, after the prayer of invocation, 'Miss Ella Mullarky recited Will Carleton's poem, Cover Them Over With Flowers.' Rev. J.J. McIntyre, pastor of the Shell Rock Baptist Church, gave the memorial address, dully recorded in two and a half columns of fine print. The Memorial Day exercises were reported every year and seemed to be always the same. However, there were gradual changes as shown in the following report eight years later, written for the June 2, 1892, STAR by a Women's Relief Corps member. 'Decoration Day was observed by the best element of the people of Clarksville and vicinity...by the largest attendance we have ever had here on a like occasion. Early in the morning, loads of flowers began pouring into the WRC hall with an army of little boys and girls radiant with joy as well as importance of adding their mite to the principle of loyalty. The black and whit of the girls' apparel were sad reminders of a funeral day; while the red, white and blue scarfs of the boys magnified the dear old flag. 'At 10:00 a.m., the procession began to form on the public square where the band was waiting as the Post filed out of the GAR hall and formed in response to the bugle call, the Corps and children filling the decorated vehicles. The band marched in advance, followed by solders...Halting at the cemetery gate, they all formed in line, marched to the graves..decorated by the children. Band and Post returned in carriages through town to the Old Cemetery where comrades' graves were strewn with flowers...We thn returned to town and sibanded for dinner.' 'The Willing Workers of the Methodist Church served warm meals and were well patronized...At 1:30 p.m., the people reassembled on the school grounds. After a song by the Glee Club, H.F.L. Burton, president of the day, made the opening address...He spoke of the ground where he stood as the place where Clarksville's first company was drilled as soldiers, with other reminders of '61 to '65...Hon. D.W. Dow of Hampton delivered the annual address...Much credit is due Mr. R.R. Cook ...and to those who had charge of the children, for the successful carrying out of the program without a break or friction. 'We with all Christian people, deplore the ending of the national funeral day in dancing. We heard such universal condemnation of it that we appeal to that class to respect, for the future, the one day of the year at least, sacred to the memory of the dead.' Apparently the 'best elements' observed the day properly whereas the others had incurred the displeasure of the patriotic groups by treating it as a holiday. In July, 1905, the J.R. Jones Camp No. 5, Sons of Veterans was organized. Its stated purpose was to 'maintain a proper observance of Decoration Day when the fathers have been called to their reward.' They were active in the programs for a few years but I [Rudolf Priepke] do not remember them when I was in school and taking part. In 1907, the veterans groups attended a special church service in the Christian Church on the Sunday before Memorial Day. The march to Lynwood (services at the Old Cemetery were omitted and grave decoration by children in the morning followed the former pattern. In the afternoon a program with music and an address was carried out in the Auditorium. Today we put it all together in a morning program and the custom of placing flowers on all graves tends to reduce the special character of the day with respect to veterans.
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Originally posted 23 December 2008.
MEMORIAL OF THE INHABITANTS OF PATH VALLEY
Path Valley, in Cumberland County, May 18th, 1778
To the Executive Council of the State of Pennsylvania:
The Humble Petition of the subscribers, the Inhabitants of the above mentioned Valley, Humbly Sheweth:
That we, your Petitioners, Labour under the Greatest anxiety posseble at this present time, for our Malitia has received orders for four Classes to be in readiness to march Immediately to Camp. The Indians (or rather the tories) is Murdering our neighbours close by us, no futher off than Bedford, and what active men is of use here is Entirely Defenceless, for want of arms and amunition. We earnestly request and beg, that the worthy Council may take our Distressed Circumstances under their wise Consideration, and Contribute to our assistance by sending us some quantity of Rifled guns and amunition. Likewise to order our Malitia back against the Indians, for nothing appears to us more probable than if our men is marched to Camp our Women and Children will fall a sacrifice to Savage Cruel Barbarity. As there was of Late a Number of wicked tories Joined in a combination, and went to Conduct the Indians Down to Murder the whigs (as they call us) here, but was Disappointed by a Supernatural Cause. Some of said party is taken, the rest is sculking in the mountains, and thought to be the Murderers of these people Near Bedford, and their Leaders is not taken as yet. They will bring the Indians on us if in their power. What moves us to supplicate for rifles is, because m'skets is of very little use in the woods against Indians. We hope a sensible feeling of our gloomy aspect, and the safety and security of our distressed Country and Interests, will move you to grant, with all possible speed, our Humble requests; and your petitioners shall, as in Duty bound, Ever pray, &c.
This, our petition, we Commit to our very Trusty friends Capt. Noah Abraham and James Elder, in whome we very mutch Confide.
Noah Abraham, Capt., James Hall,
Archibald Elliot, 1 leut., Neal Judge,
Samuel Walker, 2 Leut., William McCibbins,
Thomas Morton, Ensine, Charl. Gibson,
Rev. Samuel Dougal, James Mountgomory,
John Noble, Samuel Mears, Sen'r,
Joseph Noble, Samuel Mears, Jun'r,
Francis Eliot, John Noble, Jun'r,
Patrick Davis, William McClellan,
Henderson Hervy, James McClellan,
William McClelan, W'm Elder Ens'n,
Robert McConnell, John Wallace,
William Elliot, Robert Futhey,
John Campbell, Samuel Futhy,
John Monow, Charles Gibson,
Henry Hoghanbry, Elijah Sackett,
Wm. Clark, Azariah Sackett,
Patrick Murphy, Edward Kelley,
James Fegan, William Richardson
Daniel McMullan, And'w Miller
Eneas McMullen, James Fegan,
Thom's Ackers, Capt., David Elder,
David Anderson, Lt., David Elder, Junior, [out of sequence]
Richard Coulter, Lt., John Elder [out of sequence]
Benjamin Walker, Jas. Wallace [out of sequence]
Alexander Walker, Philip Hutchinson,
Hugh McCurdy, William Campbell,
Timothy Conner, In Elizabeth Town, has Ten Rifles taken from none Sociators.
Pennsylvania Archives, Series 2, Volume III, Papers Relating to the War of the Revolution, 1778
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Originally posted 23 December 2007.
This is an article I found on microfilm of the newspaper, The Clarksville Star, published in Clarksville, Butler County, Iowa. This comes from the April 5, 1872 edition.
Regular bathing, so far as the people of this country are concerned, is certainly a habit of quite modern adoption. The fathers and mothers, and grandfathers and grandmothers, of those who have reached middle life, seldom or never bathed, except in the warm months of summer. Their dwellings afforded no conveniences for the act, if they felt the need of performing it. As a general thing, the health was unaffected by this omission. Why was this? Because of their occupations and their methods of living. They were active workers, they wore but a small amount of clothing, they lived much in the open air, and their dwellings were without stove and furnace heat. If any one in these days will exercise in the open air, so that each day he will perspire moderately, and if he will wear thin under-garments, or none at all, and sleep in a cold room, the functions of the skin will suffer little of no impediment if water is withheld for months. Indeed, bathing is not the only way in which its healthful action can be maintained by those living under the conditions at present existing. Dry friction over the whole surface of the body, once a day, or once in two days, is often of more service than the application of water.
If invalids and persons of low vitality would use dry friction and Dr. Franklin's "air bath" every day for a considerable period, we are confident they would often be greatly benefited. Cleanliness is next to godliness, no doubt, and a proper and judicious use of water is to be commended; but human beings are not amphibious. Nature indicates that the functions of the skin should be kept in order mainly by muscular exercise, by exiting natural perspiration by labor; and delicious as is the bath, and healthful, under proper regulations, it is no substitute for that exercise of the body without which all the functions become abnormal.--Fireside Science