Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mittie Duffy, Mrs. C. L. Locke


Mittie Alice B. Duffy was born at Fort Snelling, Hennepin, Minnesota on 19 February 1864. Ft. Snelling is located on a bluff at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, and is on the outskirts of Minneapolis. This painting shows the Fort in 1844. Mittie's father spent time there as a sergeant for the Union Army during the Civil War, which explains why she was born there.

Mittie was the first child of her parents, John S. Duffy and Alice Louise Madden. When she was four years old, her brother, Horace, joined the family. Her sister, Gertrude Susan, was born when she was six. When she was nine, her father was killed in a tragic accident while working for the railroad. He died in January, and in June of the same year, 1873, her mother married Thomas Gordon Brown. Thomas brought two sons to the new marriage. A year later, Mary was born. On the 1880 Minneapolis U. S. census, the family was listed as follows:
Thomas Brown, W, M, age 45, married, carpenter & builder, PA, PA, PA;
Alice, W, F, age 38, wife, keeping house, Ireland, Ireland, Ireland;
Duffy, Mittie, F, W, age 16, daughter, at school, MN, PA, IRE;
Duffy,Horace, M, W, age 12, son, at school, MN, PA, IRE;
Duffy, Gertie, F, W, age 9, daughter, at school, MN,PA, IRE;
Brown, John, M, W, age 12, son, at school, MN, PA, IRE;
Brown, Thomas, M, W, age 10, son, at school, MN, PA, IRE;
Brown, Mary, W, F, age 5, daughter, MN, PA, IRE.

Three years later, on 15 April 1883, Mittie married Charles L. Locke at Ellendale, Dickey, Dakota Territory. Ellendale is about 400 miles NW of Minneapolis, and on the North Dakota/South Dakota border. It was founded in 1882, so it was a very new town at the time. The Northern Pacific Railroad moved west from Minnesota to the Dakotas during the 1870's. It is likely that their time in Ellendale involved a train ride, which would have been quite an adventure for them. Their marriage certificate lists his name as Carl L. Locke of Ellendale; hers, Miss Mittie A. B. Duffy of Ellendale.

Whatever their reason for being in Dakota Territory, their children were all born in Minnesota. It may be that the economic difficulties of the Dakotas in the 1880's due to a decline in wheat prices, changed their plans and they returned to Minnesota. John Henry was born 6 January 1884 and Joel Shirley, on 4 November 1886; both at Minneapolis. Then they had a girl named Jessie Alice on 11 November 1888 who died on 9 December 1889 also at Minneapolis. A newspaper article of the time said,
"The youngest and only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Locke passed away on Monday evening, December 9, 1889, after a short illness. This being the first death in the family, it comes doubly hard and they have the sympathy of their many friends in this hour of trial. The link is severed and the chain is broken but God's will be done. Dec. 18th." (Corinna Cream)

On 10 January 1891, C. L. and Mittie had a third son, Marion Damon, born at Annandale, Wright, Minnesota. Wright County was the home of Mittie's sister, Gert, who had her first child there just four months before Mittie gave birth to Marion. Annandale is about sixty miles NW of Minneapolis and more rural in nature.

Tragedy struck the family on 27 September 1899, when Mittie died of pulmonary tuberculosis. She was just 36 years old. She died at home at 811 West 31st Street. In the Minneapolis Tribune on September 28, 1899, page 11, "LOCKE--In this city, September 27, 1899, Mrs. Charles L. Locke, aged 36 years. Funeral Friday at 2 p.m. from residence, 411 Thirty-first Street West." Her obituary said,
Alice B. Locke, wife of Charles L. Locke, residence 811 W 31st St, died Wednesday afternoon at 4:40, Sep 27th, after a four months' illness of tuberculosis. She was born 19 Feb 1864 at Fort Snelling and always resided in the city of Minneapolis. She was an active member of Plymouth Chapter No. 19 O. E. S. Funeral services will be held at the house on Friday, Sep 29th at 2:00 p.m." Another said, "Mrs. Charles L. Locke, residing at 811 31st St W, died last evening of tuberculosis, after an illness extending over a period of four months. Mrs. Locke was well known in Minneapolis, having been born at Fort Snelling, the daughter of Sgt. John S. Duffy, Co. G, and resided here all her life. She was a member of the Order Eastern Star and in Plymouth Chapter has held the office of Ruth two terms. She leaves a husband and three sons. The funeral will take place from the residence Friday afternoon at 2:00.

To those who extended sympathy, her husband wrote, "To my friends: God bless you always and in the hour of affliction give you loving, tender hearts and hands of ministration. -- C. L. Locke, 2 Oct 1899." Mittie was buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Richfield.

Thanks to D. Vangsness for this photo.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Olive Wood, A Missouri Pioneer

This is a drawing of Olive Wood, who married Bennett Murray. I always wonder, when I see old photos and drawings, why they didn't smile. It was a serious business having your likeness captured. If Olive had smiled, you would be able to see the way her eyes crinkled and how her face lit up. Instead, she appears somber.

Olive was oldest child of Jesse Wood and his wife, Anna Henderson. She was born in Fredericktown, Madison, Missouri on February 17th. An old Bible entry sets the year at 1830, but on the 1850 census she was only 17 years old. He parents had a large family of nine children. Fredericktown is located in the NE foothills of the Ozarks. Jesse was a miner, a common occupation in that area.


Olive married Bennett Murray, a widower. He had a baby girl named Sarah who was born in 1850. They were married on 10 January 1851. Olive was Bennett's third wife, the first two having died young, probably with complications from pregnancy. She and Bennett had seven sons. Our ancestor, John Lewis, was the oldest of those sons. All of the boys were born in Missouri except one, who was born in Arkansas. The map shows the relationship of these places to the Mississippi River, Missouri's eastern boundary, and to Arkansas, at its southern boundary.

In 1859, Bennett bought land in Dent County, Missouri (B), about 92 miles west of Fredericktown (A). Bennett served in the Union Army during the Civil War, leaving Olive home to raise the boys by herself. During that time, he made at least one trip home to put in crops and see the family. By the 1880 census, the boys were all grown and gone from home. Olive died that year on July 3rd.


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Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Quiet Man

Arthur Boucher was a quiet man who didn't argue, complain, or talk too much. He began life in Texas County, Missouri, the son of Samuel Boucher and Rossea Whitlock. It was Rossea's second marriage; Art had a half sister named Pearl, and two brothers, Luther and Edward. Edward did not live long. Art was born in 12 February 1880. He was a handsome man, about six feet tall and slender, with dark wavy hair and brown eyes. As an older man, he was bald and wore glasses, but was still a handsome man.


Art grew up in Willow Springs, Howell, Missouri. He went to school with several cousins, and his future wife, Leta Lavina Murray. Leta remembered the first time she saw Art. He was standing in front of the stove in the school room. It was February 12th. He looked at her and said, "Two great men were born today, me and Abraham Lincoln."

He finished high school and went to work for the Santa Fe Railroad. In 1903, he and Luther moved to Tacoma, Pierce, Washington, where he worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad. A year later, Leta took the train to Tacoma where they were married on 20 April 1904. Art's mother, Rossea, traveled with Leta and lived with them for the first 17 years of their marriage.

Art had a long career with the Northern Pacific. When he retired, he had worked for 32 years without being absent for a single day's pay. He spent 43 years working for railroads, 41 years with the NP. He started at the South Tacoma paint shops in July, 1903. and was transferred to the store department at South Tacoma in 1907. In September 1916, he went to the position of chief clerk to the division storekeeper at Spokane. Then in 1922 he was transerred to the division accounting office in Spokane. Lastly, in 1932 he was transferred to the district accounting office in Tacoma, where he worked up to the time of his retirement.


Art and Leta had five chilren. Wanda was born in 1905, Russell in 1906, and Dale in 1908; all in Tacoma. Tragedy struck the little family on 10 April 10 1913, when Wanda died suddenly. About Wanda, Betty said, "The family had taken a trip back to Missouri for a visit. Although they had no relatives back there, Mother's family had all moved west, they had many friends who they had grown up with and with whom they corresponded all of their lives. On the return trip from Missouri, Wanda became ill on the train. She died shortly after they got home of tubercular meningitis. My mother always told me that Wanda was such a good child; almost too good. I know that Dad worshipped her and he grieved for her for many years. I was never told much about Wanda. I suppose it was because Mother and Dad didn't want to be reminded. Mother did tell me that I took Wanda's place with Dad. There were no other girls in the family; just Wanda and myself."

After Art was transferred to Spokane, Betty was born in 1921, and Bill in 1922. That must have been something of a shock for parents in their forties. Betty and Bill were both born at home, 2924 Standard, in Spokane. Art owned a Model T Ford in Spokane, which they drove in the summer. Art "put it up on blocks" in the winter and they rode the street car. Art had a big garden and Leta kept chickens. He was an avid fisherman.

In 1931, they returned to Tacoma and bought a house at 4332 South Bell Street, where they lived for many years. During World War II, Betty bought the house next door to them. When the war was over, Betty and Ray built a house at 8418 East B Street, next door to her brother Bill and his wife, Frankie. So Art bought the lot next door to Betty and built a one bedroom retirement home for them. Their address was 8422 East B Street.

The house had a long hallway that was covered with snapshots of family and loved ones. Their kitchen was yelllow and contained a large, black wood stove that made the best toast in the world. Leta also had a wringer washer machine in her small laundry room off the kitchen. They still kept chickens and they had a large vegetable garden. A bulletin board next to the back door contained sayings and clippings of items of interest. One poem, in particular, always caught my attention. It said--
It doesn't do to do much talkin',
When you're mad enough to choke.
For the word that hits the hardest,
Is the word that's never spoke.
Let the other fella do the talkin',
'Till the storm has rolled away.
Then he'll do a heap a thinkin',
'Bout the things you didn't say.

In their later years, Art sat in his rocking chair with his feet up, pipe in his mouth, hat on his head, listening to the radio. He enjoyed baseball. The picture over his rocker was a needlepoint Russell made for their 50th wedding anniversary of their family tree with their children and grandchildren represented on the branches of the tree. Leta sat in her little rocking chair and did embroidery or made crocheted rugs from old clothing. Art wasn't much for going places, but Leta had her social outings and rode the bus since they did not own a car. Every afternoon he would get up from his chair and walk to the mail box for the mail. And that was as far as he went.

On 20 April 1954, Art and Leta celebrated their Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary. All of their family gathered together to honor them at a reception held at the Plymouth Congregational Church where the family attended church together.

Art's most singular trait was that he was a quiet man. His daughter, Betty said that if he didn't like something you never knew it because he didn't say. He had a little sign next to his chair that said, "Ve get too soon oldt undt too late schmart." As his granddaughter, I remember drinking buttermilk with him. It's how I learned to love buttermilk. On birthdays my mother would purchase two cans of pipe tobacco, one of Velvet and one of Granger, which he mixed together. That was what we always got him.

When he was old, the doctor told him to quit smoking, so he did. He started eating potato chips and chocolates. Then they told him to give those up too. I always thought he died because there just wasn't anything left he could do. I thought it would not have hurt to let him enjoy his candy and chips.

Art died on February 24, 1967. He was eighty-seven years old.