Genealogy

Stewart Franklin Hettig

The upcoming election certainly seems to have stirred up lots of drama. Every day there seems to be reports of corruption, scandals and cover-ups. But, drama during an election is no new thing and has been going on for decades. This is something I found out while researching my family tree.

Warrior Run, Pennsylvania is a small town that was begun during the heyday of the Pennsylvania coal mining days. Most of the residents were either employed by the mining companies or the railroads that transported the coal.

It wasn’t surprising that my second great uncle, Stewart Hettig, became a railroad foreman for the Lehigh Valley Railroad. He was born December 5, 1873 in White Haven, PA to Augustus and Sarah (Keiper) Hettig. He and all four of his brothers (Reuben, Stephen, Charles, and Wilson) all got jobs working for the railroad. Stewart moved to Warrior Run in May 1906, with his wife, Electa (nee Dennis) and their only child, Stewart Brazil.
Stewart became a prominent

hettigstewart_poolparlor

The Wilkes-Barre Record, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; Sat. August 8, 1908, page 14.

figure in Warrior Run. Besides working for the railroad, Stewart, an avid hunter and fisherman, also became a game warden. He also opened a pool parlor in town.

 

 

 
On June 4, 1910, a primary election was held to cast ballots for a Pennsylvania state senator and a state representative. Stewart had been appointed to the Warrior Run election board as a judge. Serving with him were Richard Thomas and James Moore, inspectors; and John Stinson and Dr. N.H. Jenkins, clerks. Dr. Jenkins had been called away for a medical emergency, and Edward Williams, principal of the Warrior Run school and a deputy clerk of the election board, sat in his place.

hettigstewart_appointedelectionjudge

The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; Friday, June 3, 1910, page 23.

 

hettigstewart_warriorrunelectionfraud_arrest

Pittston Gazette, Pittston, Pennsylvania; Monday, June 13, 1910, page 3.

On June 9th, Assistant District Attorney Michael M. McAniff appeared before Luzerne County Commissioners with charges of fraud in nearly all of the ballot boxes in the Fifth Legislative District. It was charged that the returns from Warrior Run were padded. After investigation it was noted that names looked to have been added after the ballots closed. Names were found to be people who later testified, that they did not vote that day, or they were living elsewhere in the country, or they were dead. Votes added after the polls were in a different handwriting than those written down during the day. It was also charged that certain voters were given shots of whiskey in order to buy their vote. The whiskey was rumored to have been purchased by the mining company. The District Attorney’s office investigated and on June 11th, arrest warrants were issued for Stewart, inspectors James Moore and Richard Thomas; and clerks Edward Williams and John Stinson. Also arrested was James O’Boyle, a hotel keeper, who was charged with bringing whiskey to the polling place and providing it to the election board. Witnesses later testified that they were paid by the mining company to vote for Senate Candidate, Edward James.

 

hettigstewart_warriorrunelectionfraud_page1

The Evening News, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania; Thursday, September 15, 1910; page 1 and 3.

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After a trial and an unsuccessful appeal, Stewart, James Moore and Richard Thomas were found guilty and sentenced to 6 months imprisonment at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia.

hettigstewart_easternpenitentiary

“Pennsylvania, Prison, Reformatory, and Workhouse Records, 1829-1971,” Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com), citing Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Convict Reception Registers; Series: 15.56, Prisoner number B5838, Stewart Hettig.

 

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Bradford Evening Star, Bradford, Pennsylvania; Tuesday, January 14. 1930, page 1.

After his release from the penitentiary, Stewart lived a relatively quiet life, until 1930. When he was the lone witness of a deadly train robbery. Four men were killed when bandits blew up a railroad car that held a mining company payroll as it traveled through Warrior Run.

 

Stewart and his wife moved to St. Petersburg, Florida around 1942. He died there in 1967.

 

 

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WEEK 24 – Dad’s Arrowheads

My Dad had a small collection of arrowheads that he had since he was a boy. I would make him show them to me and loved to listen as he explained that Indians had actually carved the small rocks into points, tie them on branches, and used them as their arrows and spears for hunting. It amazed me that I was touching something that someone had made hundreds of years ago. Earlier this year, my Dad was moved to a nursing home for patients with Alzheimer’s. So, when my mom asked if I wanted my Dad’s arrowheads, i immediately said, “yes.” They are a precious heirloom to me, not only for the historical value, but also for the memories of listening to my Dad explain what they were, and how he had found them. They also fit in nicely with the theme of this week’s 52 Ancestors challenge is “heirloom.”

My Dad grew up in the city. He was raised with his older brother and younger sister in northwest Philadelphia. One of the things he always looked forward to every summer, was escaping the city and traveling north with his family to visit cousins of his mother in Laceyville, Pennsylvania. My Dad had many fond memories of visiting the O’Mara farm, which used to belong to his great-aunt, Mary O’Mara and her husband, John and passed down to their children.

My Dad (in the middle) with his Uncle Albert, cousin Al, Jr., his mother, Emma and his brother, Daniel.

My Dad (in the middle) with his Uncle Albert, cousin Al, Jr., his mother, Emma and his brother, Daniel, on one of the family trips to the O’Mara farm in Laceyville, PA.

My Uncle Dan and his catch.

My Uncle Dan and his catch.

Dad riding a pony at the O'Mara farm in Laceyville, PA.

Dad riding a pony at the O’Mara farm in Laceyville, PA.

My Dad loved roaming the wide open fields with his brother, Daniel and fishing in the nearby pond. And my Dad also got to ride a pony, something that inspired him to get his own horse when he became an adult.

Nearby, was a scenic overlook known as the Wyalusing Rocks. The rocks are almost 500 feet above the Susquehanna River. The rocks were also known as the “prayer rocks” and were used by the Indians as a signaling point. Some of the tribes that had lived in the area were the Susquehannock and then later the Tuscarora, which was a tribe of the Iroquois Indians. My grandfather, who was quite the shutterbug, liked to go there so he could capture some of the scenery on film. My dad like to explore the rocks and the Indian path.

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It was here that my Dad found his arrowheads. No doubt they were left behind by someone who had been standing as a lookout hundreds of years before. Dad came home with 5 arrowheads on that trip. My grandfather built him a shadowbox frame and lined it with green felt, and they glued the arrowheads on that.

hope my Dad would be happy knowing that his childhood treasures will be with me. I intend to get them into a new frame and display them on the bookshelf we have in our family room.

WEEK 23: Mom and Dad – their wedding photo

The theme for week 23 of the 52 Ancestor Challenge is “wedding.” These days, my parents are in my every thought. My Dad is suffering from late stages of Alzheimers, and may not be with us much longer. So, I have decided to honor both him and my mom with in this week’s post.

There was a place in Philadelphia back in the 1950s called ‘Al’s Riding Academy.” It was a place near Fairmont Park, where Philadelphia residents could own and board their horses. A young woman named Lorraine, boarded  her bay gelding named ‘Krimpet” at Al’s.  He was named after the popular snack cake, “Butterscotch Krimpets” produced by local bakery, TastyKake, which is where Lorraine had been employed. In a stall next to Kandy, was a big pinto gelding named “Davy Crockett.” Davy was owned by a young man named Jim, who obviously was a fan of the latest blockbuster of the day. Not only did Kandy and Davy become good friends, but their owners did as well.

Jim and Lorraine eventually married on June 20, 1959 at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church in Philadelphia. Many of their friends from Al’s Riding Academy were guests at the wedding, including their friend, Gene O’Neill, who served as the best man.

Jim and Lorraine had two children, and moved to Lehighton, PA where they bought a small farm and raised Arabian horses. The farm was sold several years ago, and is no longer standing. However, Davy Crockett is still buried there, at the top of the hill under the apple tree, where he used to hang out and eat apples to his heart’s content.

WEEK 22 – Eldon Dutton and the commencement of generations.

I am behind on my 52 Ancestors post, because I was out of town to attend a high school graduation. Ironically, the theme for last week is “Commencement.”

However, I was stuck on who to write about as far as “commencement.” So, I decided to search through Ancestry’s U.S. School Yearbooks collection to find some inspiration. I discovered  the yearbook of my husband’s grandfather, Eldon W. Dutton.

DUTTONEldon_yearbookportrait

Eldon was part of the 1939 graduating class of Sparta High School in Wisconsin. His profile said that his nickname was “Red” and that he was a participant in “Jefferson 1” and “Oratory 2.”

Eldon enlisted in the Navy on April 2, 1940. He was at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1944, and survived. I will save that story for another day. He went on to serve in the Navy throughout  World War II. After his discharge, Eldon returned to Sparta and settled on a farm with his wife, Harriet and started a family of 10 children.

What immediately struck me when i first opened up the page of Eldon’s yearbook photo, was that I could tell who he was, even without looking at his name. I could swear that I was looking at the photo of my stepson.

This immediately prompted me to dig up a photo of another commencement taken only last year to compare the resemblance. It is also a photo deemed to be a classic for future generations, not only because it includes 3 generations (my husband, his son and his father), but also for my father-in-law’s exceptional photo bombing skills.

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GENEALOGY DO-OVER – WEEK 3

I am currently in the middle of Week 2 of the Genealogy Do-Over by Thomas MacEntee.

This weeks goals are tracking and conducting research.

Tracking Research:

I had been reading about this subject for several weeks before starting Genealogy Do-Over. I knew I was in need of starting to learn how to create a research plan and track my research. I had been in the process of developing a research plan, research log and correspondence log for myself using Evernote for some time. After looking at several samples, I settled on one I think fits what I want. I have a place to state my objective, how I came up with the current hypothesis, and then a place to list links and resources of how I will go about to research my objective. I intend to fill out one of these before starting a new name, or trying to solve a particular question before I start to conduct ANY research.

Once I begin researching, I will then enter all the information into my research log. The same goes for my correspondence log if I am writing to courthouses, churches, libraries, etc.

Conducting Research:

I had a few research goals I established last week. This week, armed with my new templates, I decided to focus on my grandfather, since I basically had the most for him already. Creating the research plan took me a few nights. I went through Ancestry and FamilySearch to see if there were any online collections that I could search that might confirm or give additional information on my grandfather. I also looked at Cyndislist.com for any other online collections that I could search. I didn’t just start randomly copying and pasting links. I looked at each one to make sure that dates and locations made sense with my objective. That is what took me the longest time

After I was satisfied that I had enough to start searching, I started. First entered in previous documents that I had held into my correspondence log. I had actually had the dates I sent away for the vital record documents that I held, so that’s what I entered into the log. Then, I checked off the box in my research plan, and added a note link from the correspondence log into my research plan. The research I did online, I entered into my research log, which again had a note link to my research plan. I also transcribed information from any document straight into the person notes field in my new, “Re-planted” tree in Family Tree Maker.

Here is the link to my research plan. I’ll see how this works as I continue with new research goals. I’m concerned Evernote’s limit with table rows may be a problem with a challenging problem down the road. But, for now, this is what I’m going with.

WEEK 6 – 2015: Reuben Keiper – How did he get So Far Away?

I had planned on writing about another ancestor for this week’s 52 Ancestors challenge and theme “So Far Away.” However, I went a little “far away” myself when I became distracted and might have discovered a little bit of a break in a brick wall that my 3rd great grandfather, Reuben Keiper, has been hiding behind for a long time.

My Keiper ancestors have been quite a challenge for me. The family myth has always been that my great great grandmother, Sarah Jane Keiper, was a full-blood Indian who was adopted. I had never found proof to support that myth. Sarah’s death certificate said she was born April 16, 1853 in White Haven, PA and her parents were Reuben Keiper and Elizabeth Prutzman. I found Sarah living with Reuben and Elizabeth and other siblings in Kidder Township, Carbon County, PA in the 1860 census. Reuben’s birthdate was estimated to be around 1820. He and Elizabeth had at least 8 children: Mary, Henry, Hannah, Caroline, Rose, Sarah, Franklin and Alice. There are numerous Keiper and Prutzman families spread across Luzerne, Carbon and Monroe counties. I had never been able to connect Reuben and Elizabeth to any of these other families.

Several years ago, I obtained a copy of Reuben’s will from the Carbon County Courthouse, in Jim Thorpe, PA, hoping to learn more about Reuben. I learned a little bit more, but what puzzled me was that the will stated that he was living in Clinton County, Indiana, at the time the will was written in 1883. It also said that he had been living with his daughter, Rose Wasser, for years in her home in White Haven, PA. Why was Reuben suddenly living so far away in Indiana, after living in Pennsylvania all his life, and clearly was in “declining health?”

Last will of Reuben Keiper

Last will of Reuben Keiper. Carbon County Orphan’s Court Records.

I may have found the answer early this morning. It all started when I decided to check Facebook first thing this morning. A post in the Luzerne County Genealogy Facebook group about Newspapers.com adding more issues of the Wilkes-Barre Record caught my eye. This prompted me to go and do some searches, including the surname, Keiper.

This actually led to several random searches in a few newspapers in the Luzerne County area. One result was an obituary in a Pittson newspaper for a Samuel Eckhart who died in 1916. Samuel had three surviving sisters; one of those being a “Mrs. Franklin Keiper.” I knew that Reuben had a son named Franklin and that he had married Amelia Eckhart. What was interesting was that the other sisters also married men with the surname of Keiper! There was a “Mrs. James Keiper” and a “Mrs. Reuben Keiper.”

Long story short, this led me to start looking at the Pennsylvania Death Certificate collection and census records on Ancestry.com and finding a whole mess of other Keiper families, some with the same first names. In fact, I am still in the process of sorting them all out and trying to figure out if and how they are all related. As I discovered more names, I would go back to Newspapers.com and do a search to see if I could find any obituaries to help me sort things out. One of the names, that I did a search for was “Amos Keiper.”

Well, I did find an obituary and some articles about the one Amos Keiper I originally did a search for who was living in Luzerne County. However, it was this article in the March 7, 1883 Allentown Democrat, that really caught my eye:

The Allentown Democrat (Allentown, Pennsylvania) 7 Mar 1883, Wed • Page 2

The Allentown Democrat
(Allentown, Pennsylvania)
7 Mar 1883, Wed • Page 2

The article was a notice trying to locate relatives of an Amos Keiper who had lived in Clinton County, Indiana and died intestate and no heirs to his estate. Clinton County, Indiana was where my Reuben Keiper when he made his last will! I immediately opened up the digital copy of Reuben’s will just to make sure it was the same place. Not only did the locations match, but the witnesses for his will were Pernal K. Thomas and J.R. Brown. The same names listed as administrators for the estate of Amos Keiper in the newspaper article! Now, I may have found the answer as to why Reuben Keiper was so far away from home.

So my next step is to write to the Clinton County Circuit court for copies of Amos Keiper probate records and see if there are any more answers or clues. I know the day that SASE arrives back in my mailbox seems so far away.

So, that is my tale of how I totally got “so far away” off track from what I had originally planned for my blog post. I seemingly kept getting even further and further away on a meandering trail of newspaper articles, and census records, only to end up with something tied in back to my own direct line.

However, what really amazes me is that I somehow was able to connect all my morning’s research to this week’s theme.

WEEK 5 – 2015: Stephen A. Fish

Upon seeing the theme of this week’s 52 Ancestor challenge,”plowing through,” the records of the U.S. General Land Office immediately sprang to mind. The Homestead Act of 1862 was passed by Congress in order to make land in the west available to citizens willing to settle and reside on the land for five years and show evidence that they had improved it. The GLO records hold the documents showing the transfer of these public lands to the applicant. Since the applicants were required to show that they improved their parcel of land, no doubt there was a lot of “plowing through” involved.

My husband’s tree has quite a few of these bold adventurers. I decided to focus on his 3rd great grandfather, Stephen Allen Fish, who is credited with being amongst the earliest settlers in the small community of Liberty, Wisconsin.

No one seems to agree on where he was born. Some researchers say he was born in 1802 in Canada. However, others say he was born in New York or Massachusetts.

In 1850, he was living in Walworth County, Geneva with his wife and 4 sons. One of his sons was 18 year old Samuel.

According to the History of Vernon County, Samuel settled on section 9 of Liberty in 1855. He was elected as one of the first town officers in 1858, holding the position of clerk.

Stephen followed his son to Liberty shortly after. He was awarded the 85 acres he had been farming on February 1, 1858 by the Bureau of Land Management.

Stephen died in 1864 in Liberty. He is buried in the McCullough family plot in Liberty.

 

Google Earth Snapshot showing location of land settled by Stephen A. Fish in Vernon County, Wisconsin.

Google Earth Snapshot showing location of land settled by Stephen A. Fish in Vernon County, Wisconsin.

Land patent for Stephen A. Fish.

Land patent for Stephen A. Fish.

WEEK 4 – 2015: Mary Ann CARNEY – The Lost Sister

Mary (Carney) O'Mara. 1881-1955.

Mary (Carney) O’Mara. 1881-1955.

This week’s theme for the 52 Ancestor challenge is “Closest to your birthday.” I actually share a birthday with my great grand aunt, Mary Ann Carney. And, she has an interesting story, so this blog is dedicated to her.

Mary Ann was born on February 20, 1863 in Dunmore, Pennsylvania to Patrick and Bridget (McDonald) Carney. She was baptized on February 22, 1863 at St. Mary of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Dunmore. Her sponsors were Michael and Marie Donovan.

Sadly, Mary never got to know her parents and her siblings, Margaret and James. Their mother became too ill to take care of them, and the children were placed in a home near Scranton sometime around 1864. Shortly afterwards, Margaret was taken from the home by her father’s uncle, Michael Murray, and was raised in his home in Scranton. James was taken 2 years later by the Peter Murray family, who were cousins of their mother.

A Caveney family had promised to take Mary when she was a little older. However, when they went to the home years later, they had discovered that she was already gone.

Mary had been taken from the home by a Joly family from Tunkhannock, PA. She remembered living with them and remembered the canal boats going up and down the nearby Susquehanna River. The Joly family had been told that Mary was baptized Catholic, and they were not Catholic. So, they gave her to William and Julia Collins of Lovelton, PA. The Collins family, who had 8 children of their own, were the only parents that Mary had known. She lived with them until adulthood.

On January 26, 1881, Mary married John O’Mara at Saint Basil’s Church in Dushore, PA. John and Mary settled down on a large farm in Stowell, PA and raised a large family of 16 children.

Although Mary was very busy with her large family and the farm, she still wondered if she had any other family and siblings. She vaguely remembered having a little brother. She tried to contact the Joly family once to see if they could give her more information. However, she discovered that they had moved out west and she did not know how to find them after that.

On October 31, 1924, her husband was reading the local newspaper, The Wyoming Democrat and saw this ad:

The ad that helped Margaret Carney Cone find her sister, Mary, after 60 years of being apart.

The ad that helped Margaret Carney Cone find her sister, Mary, after 60 years of being apart.

John O’Mara knew right away that it was Mary that they were looking for. Mary was surprised, because she never remembered having a sister. They immediately wrote to Margaret.

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After a few letters back and forth, Mary was finally reunited with her sister, Margaret. It was noted that they looked and even acted, very much alike. Afterwards, Margaret and her family would come up to visit with Mary every summer for the next 20 years. Mary and John traveled to Philadelphia once, to visit with Margaret.

Mary reunited with her brother James, in June 1925. He came to Stowell from his home in Lowell, Massachusetts, and stayed for 3 weeks.  However, his health was very poor and he died on February 18, 1927. Their 3 week reunion was the only time Mary got to see her brother.

Mary died on January 4, 1955 at the age of 91. She is buried in St. Anthony’s Church Cemetery in Stowell, PA.

23. Sarah A. Fowler

Today is my husband’s birthday. But, it is also his 3rd great grandmother’s birthday, Sarah A. “Sallie” Fowler. So, she is this week’s blog entry for the 52 Ancestors challenge.

Sarah was born on July 27th, 1837 in Alabama to Lewis Fowler and Lucinda Perkins. However, the family had moved and the Fowler family was living in Union Parish, Lousiana in 1850. They later moved to nearby Jackson Parish in Louisiana, sometime before 1860.

Around 1855, Sarah married Martin Abraham Tullos. They were living in Jackson Paris in 1860, near her parents, and had 3 children of their own: John Abraham, William Lewis, and Malinda.

Martin joined the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and I have not been able to find out anything more about him after 1862. So, it is unknown if her died during the Civil War or not. But, he was clearly out of the picture in Sarah’s life. Sometime around 1864, she married Greenbury Sanders, and had 5 more children: Lenora, Robert, Leroy, Leon, and Charles. The family moved to Comanche County. Texas before 1880.

Sarah died on September 13, 1900 in Comanche, Texas. She is buried in the Zion Hill Cemetery in Comanche, Texas.

Sarah Jane Keiper – An update and DNA results

A few months ago, I wrote a 52 Ancestors blog about my great great grandparents, Augustus and Sarah Jane (Keiper) Hettig. It was said that Sarah was a full blooded Indian that was adopted.

However, when I took a DNA test last year, Native American did not show up at all in my results. My ethnicity estimate is 40% Ireland, 35% Great Britain, 11% Italy/Greece, 9% Europe West, and trace regions consist of Iberian Peninsula, Finland/Northwest Russia, Europe East, Scandinavia, and Melanesia.

So was Sarah not Native America or did I just not receive any of the Native American DNA? And did the trace Melanesia figure in?

I bought another test and had my Mom take it. Her results were: 47% Europe West, 27% Scandinavia, 20% Italy/Greece, and trace regions Iberian Peninsula, Great Britain, European Jewish. No Native American.

So, do these results prove Sarah was not an Indian? In the photo of her with her husband, she looks like she had a dark complexion, and looked like she could have been Indian. Perhaps she was of Italian or Greek descent instead? And was she really adopted? Since she was born around 1853, and there are no adoption records for that time to really find out.

So, I’m not sure if I will ever find any answers to all the questions I have on my great great grandmother.