Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #69 George H. Brown 1872-1929

George H. BROWN was born on 11 March 1872 to Orilla C. SCHUCHARD and John R. BROWN. His mother passed away between 1872-1878. George resided in Columbus, Pope County, Illinois, in 1880 with his father, stepmother Maggie RUBLE, and half-brother John R. His father John R. passed away on 30 October 1884 at the age of 41. George married Anna Mary BARNES in 1894 when he was 22 years old. They had one child during their marriage. Their daughter Anna Idell was born on 2 March 1898 in Paducah, Kentucky, where the family resided in 1900 nad 1910. George lived in Carbondale, Illinois, in 1920. He died on 24 June 1929 in Detroit, Michigan, at the age of 57, and was buried in Carbondale, Illinois.

BrownGeorgebrotherofJohnfrontGeorge BROWN ca. 1890

BrownGeorgebrotherofJohnbackGeorge BROWN, brother of John “Pid”

This is how I identified George H. Brown

Written on the back of the photograph was the only information I had to identify the young man featured today. Since many of the actors in this mystery series (a.k.a. people who have been featured in Florence’s collection) were from Pope County, Illinois, I took the chance and searched for George Brown with a brother named John in Pope County in all collections on Ancestry. georgebrownresultThe top result was for George H. Brown b. abt. 1872 in Illinois, living in Columbus, Pope County, Illinois.

1880censusbrownpopeillOnly the persons highlighted in the image above were shown in the indexed household. They were not the only persons living in the same household as the Brown family. The head of household was a hotel keeper and dry goods merchant. A half brother of the head of household was also living with the family. The importance of looking at the images and following other persons in the household was seen as I continued the search.

It would appear that George H. age 8 and John T. age 2 were the sons of John R. Brown age 37 and his wife Maggie age 23. But wait, Maggie would have been 15 years old at the time of George’s birth. Is she his mother or not?

  1. I searched for George’s father in previous census listings. Since John T. Baldwin was listed as a half brother I used this information to narrow the search. This led to all census listings for John Baldwin from 1860 to 1930, his marriage to Ida Ellis who was seen on the same 1880 census listing, and his death record. George’s father was with John Baldwin in 1860. It is not possible to tell if the head of household was his stepfather or if the woman listed next was his mother as relationships are not given.
  2. I searched for George’s brother John T. Brown who turned out to be John R. Brown. He married Allie Steagall about 1902 and had several of her sisters in his household in 1910. One of the sisters was the widow of John Jay Hardin Hodge, a brother of Anna Mae Hodge. This looked promising. A connection to another person in Florence’s collection. John’s SS application (index) showed his parents were John R. Brown and Maggie Ruble.
  3. I searched for more information on Maggie Ruble Brown. A marriage record for John R. Brown and Maggie Ruble showed they married 1877 in Pope County, Illinois. This meant George Brown was most likely not a child of this marriage. John appears to have died and Maggie married William J. Reeves in 1894. By 1900 Maggie was once again widowed per the 1900 census. Her occupation was “Post Master” and boarding with her was Samuel L. ROYALTY. Another connection to the collection as Sam was Florence’s father.
  4. The fact that Maggie Ruble Brown was a postmaster led to the appointments of U.S. Postmasters database. This showed John R. Brown was appointed postmaster of Wool on 30 April 1872, his half-brother John T. Baldwin on 15 December 1884, and his wife/widow Maggie Brown on 2 Jan 1885. On 27 August 1892 Wool became Brownfield and Maggie Brown was still postmaster.
  5. Maggie Ruble Brown Reeves married Dr. Thomas Jefferson Rich about 1903 and lived in Anna, Union County, Illinois, in 1910 through 1940. She died in Anna in 1948.

I found information on George’s father, stepmother, half-brother, and uncle but what about George. Since the family lived in Wool, later known as Brownfield, I added this to the search criteria for George H. BROWN b. abt. 1872 in Brownfield.

top2hintsgeorgehbrownThis added a death certificate to the top matching records. The death record led to the Find A Grave memorial of George H. BROWN, his wife Anna Mary and his daughter Anna Idell. The daughter’s FAG page included this statement, “Next to her parents, G. H. Brown and Annie Brown. Besides her mother, she was also survived by her grandmother, Mrs. Rich of Anna, and an uncle John R. Brown of Benton.” This backed up the information I found while researching the family group and confirmed George H. BROWN was the right person even though his birth information on FAG did not match the death certificate.

1929georgehbrowndeathThe death certificate confirms George H. Brown was the son of John R. Brown of Brownfield and Ourell Schuhard of Gall (sic) County, Illinois. As I suspected, Maggie Ruble was not his mother.

George’s mother was seen as Orilla Schuchard in the household of John V. Schuchard and Catherine Young of Golconda in Pope County, Illinois.  She married John R. Brown on 1 June 1868 in Pope County.

georgehbrownfamilytreeGeorge H. BROWN’s only grandchild did not have children. His stepmother Maggie RUBLE married three times and had only one son, John R. BROWN who did not have children. There are no descendants to confirm the sad looking young man in the photograph above was George H. BROWN of Brownfield. Close in age to Florence born in 1868, she may have known George BROWN as the young boy who was orphaned at the age of 12 and lived with the postmaster, who was his stepmother, and his half-brother.  Am I grasping at straws or do you think I’ve identified this young man correctly?

bestwishescathy1

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2016, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.

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Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can ~ #38 Dr. James A. CROW Family

YoungerCrowfamilytinyYoungerCrowfamilybacktinyAbout 1890-1891 the young family of Dr. James A. CROW and his wife Anna Mae HODGE posed for a photograph with their young son William Jacob HODGE in Golconda, Pope County, Illinois, at the Alt studio.

James of Massac County and Anna of Pope County, married about 1889. Their first child Willie was born on 28 January 1890 in Kentucky.

James and Anna had two daughters before the 1900 census. Flora A. was born in Illinois on 6 May 1893 and Ruth K. in Kentucky on 28 August 1895. In 1900 the family was living in Pope County. Their third daughter Ruby Harriet was born on 15 September 1902 and died in Pope County on 30 January 1904.

About 1909 Anna wrote on the back of a photograph of herself with her husband and two daughters:

CrowfamilybacktinyFrom left to right
Jim, Flora, Anna & Ruth
Hello how are you all? I have wanted
to write every (sic) since I was down but put
it off. How is the baby and Ruthie, bless her
heart. How I wish I could see you all. How do
you like this weather. I don’t like it very much.
What are you going to do Christmas.
Come up! Let me hear from you real soon.

Yours, Anna Crow

Flora would have been 16 and Ruth 14.

CrowfamilytinyThe photograph is not dated and Anna did not write the name of the person she was writing the note to. From the text I believe it was taken most likely in 1909 and was for Florence ROYALTY. My only doubt comes from Anna’s writing, “since I was down” and “come up.” Florence lived in the Jefferson District of Pope County and Anna lived southwest of her in Benton, Massac County. Did she mean it literally as in coming to a higher place from a lower place? Or did Anna consider Pope County as “down home?”

Anna M. HODGE and Florence ROYALTY were born about six months apart in 1868 and most likely on adjacent land. In 1870 when Anna was 2 years old she was enumerated with her parents William Stewart HODGE (real estate valued at $2000) and Harriet TAYLOR in HH#153-153 in Township 13 Range 6, Pope County, IL. Florence who was also 2 years old was enumerated with her parents Samuel L. ROYALTY (real estate valued at $2000) and Joanna PALMER in HH#151-151. Living in HH#152-152 was George HODGE (real estate valued $0), a farmhand without land.

Samuel’s mother Sarah ROYALTY née LUNDERMON and Johanna PADDOCK, who four years later would marry the widowed Samuel, were living with the HODGE family. Samuel L. ROYALTY came from Indiana to Pope County after the Civil War and before 1866.  His mother may have come with his family to Illinois while his sisters remained in Indiana. Johanna PADDOCK, an “old maid” and first cousin of Samuel’s wife Joanna PALMER, also came to Illinois from Indiana in the 1860s.

Anna’s sister Julia (1858-1924) married Florence’s oldest brother Chester Ashley ROYALTEY (1856-1917). Anna and Florence were neighbors, went to school together and may have been best friends growing up. They both named their daughters Ruth and Ruby. The baby mentioned in the note was Joe ROONEY‘s mother Ruby Pernecia LILLIE who was born in April 1909.

More about this collection, how it came to be in my possession,
and links to previous posts in the series can be found here.

Please contact me!
Are you related to a person mentioned in this post? Send an email to
openingdoorsinbrickwalls @ pt.lu or message me on my Facebook page
Opening Doors in Brick Walls.

© 2016 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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Unpacking the Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can Collection

Have you been following my series of posts on the Old Photographs Saved From Trash Can?

Thursday evening one of my Facebook friends commented on my latest post asking if I thought they had really been retrieved. The answer, as of Wednesday, is definitely YES! They are now ALL in my possession.

Several months after these precious photographs were nearly destroyed a second time due to a fire in a downstairs neighbor’s home, my cousin Joe, after not finding anyone in his area who wanted them, decided to pack them up and mail the entire collection to me. Thank you Joe.

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The package I received this past Wednesday
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Partly unpacked content
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Dear Cathy! Please enjoy! Cousin Joe
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The largest photographs from the package
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The postcard size photographs….
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Another stack included large,…
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…and medium to small photographs.
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Tintype (middle), penny pictures (top), and WWII period prints (left and below)
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A family group photograph on glass (lower right)

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

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