Category Archives: Photos

This Old House: Where Ancestors Lived

Among the treasures that showed up in our recent move, was this picture of my great-great grandmother’s old house.  I decided to put this picture together with other old house pictures, most of which I have already shown to you.

Great-Great Grandmother Mary Morgan’s Old House

Mary Morgan's old house

Mary Morgan’s Killbuck house with Doc Stout office on right. Circa 1880

 

Mary Bassett Morgan (1810-1890),  (wife of the infamous Jesse Morgan) lived in this Killbuck, Ohio house.  When Hattie married Dr. William Stout in 1872, the newlyweds moved into an apartment in Mary’s house and Dr. Stout set up his office in the lower front part of the house, facing Main Street.

I have not researched land records–if they exist for those early days of the community–so I don’t know if Mary first lived in that old house with her first husband, Asahel Platt.  Since Mr. Platt apparently owned a general store, this would have been a perfect location. And those big windows on the left side, look like a store front to me. Mary did not live in one place consistently.  After Mr. Platt died, she lived in another county, where she met and married Jessie Morgan. Later census records indicate she joined her daughter in a household that probably provided a room for the school teacher, Hattie Morgan.

In 1870, Mary’s census address includes a variety of people, making it look as though she runs a rooming house. That could be the big house above. Next to her on the census list, we see a physician, so possibly that doctor left and Doc Stout took over his office.

The little town of Killbuck (then called Oxford) has two main streets–Main and Front.  This building stands on a corner of the intersection of Main and Front Streets, facing Front Street where most of the businesses developed.  Hattie and “Doc’s” three children, William (1873), Maude (1875) and Vera (1881), my grandmother, were all born in that house at the corner of Main and Front.

When I was in high school, a restaurant called Hale’s occupied that corner–and possibly the same building, much remodeled.  But the restaurant building burned down in the 19  s and the rebuilt building on the corner bears no resemblance to Grandma Morgan’s old house.

Great Grandfather Doc and Great Grandmother Hattie Stout’s New House on Main Street

By the time my grandmother, Vera Stout (Anderson) was about four or five years  old( circa 1885) , Doc Stout build a grand new house for his family, around the corner on Main Street.

I can see echoes of Hattie’s mother’s house in the new house and office Doc Stout built on Main Street.  She obviously wanted to have the same kind of porch she had in her mother’s house.

Stout Family old house in Killbuck, Ohio

Dr. William Stout and family in front of family home, circa 1885

Grandma and Grandpa Anderson’s Farm House

When my grandmother married, she and her husband Guy Anderson lived for a time on this house on a farm near Killbuck.  The first picture below–a gathering of their extended family in 1909–gives a hint of the grandeur of this house, which had been built by Guy’s uncle.  The next picture shows how the house looked a few years ago.

Anderson family photograph

Vera and Guy Anderson and families 1909

Old House on former Anderson Farm

Old Anderson Farm, Photo courtesy of Herb Anderson

Grandma and Grandpa Anderson’s House in Town

However, farm life did not agree with Vera and Guy, and they moved in to town.  I wish I had a better picture of the little house they lived in on a side street in Killbuck. In this one, Grandma is sitting on the porch with the three children–Bill (1905), Harriette(1906), and Herbert (1908).

Anderson old House in Town

Vera Anderson and children at small house in Killbuck, about 1910

Not long after the picture of this old house, the house burned to the ground.  Mother tells how her father, who had a hardware store at the time, came running calling for her because he was so afraid that she had been caught inside in the fire.  It was a traumatic experience that none of them would ever forget.  Mother said that for years, Grandma Vera would look for things and then realize they were destroyed in the fire.

Great Grandmother Hattie Stout’s Small House

Doc Stout died in 1910, and Hattie Stout decided to move to a smaller house.  She lived in this little place when my mother went off to college.  This picture shows Mother’s brothers, Herbert and Bill Anderson, and her friend Sarah, who later married Bill Anderson. A cousin from Guernsey County gazes off to the right.  Hattie Stout sits In the center and her daughter Vera Stout Anderson, in an apron, pets her dog Peggy. The picture dates to about 1925. (The family had moved to Columbus, Ohio when Harriette started college at Ohio State University, but returned to Killbuck when Guy and their sons could not find work.)

Dog Peggy

My grandmother Vera pets Peggy. In the center of the picture is my great-grandmother Hattie Stout, Vera’s mother. About 1925 when my mother was in college.

The End of Doc Stout’s Grand Old House on Main Street

Guy and Vera by this time had moved into the family homestead–the house that Doc Stout had built when Vera was very young.  Vera continued to live there until she was in her 80s. Through the years part of it served as the doctor’s office, it became a boarding house, then a restaurant, and later Vera offered rooms or apartments for rent. When she sold it, she moved to a small house on Water Street near Front Street in Killbuck, and the grand old house on Main Street was dismantled to pave a parking lot for the grocery store.

Stout-Anderson house newspaper article

Stout-Anderson house newspaper article

So of the five old houses shown here, only one survives that I know of. It is possible that the small house of Hattie Stout might still exist in a different form in Killbuck.  But meanwhile, I am glad to have a collection of pictures of houses of my grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandmother.

 

Grandma Vera, the Woman Athlete

While visiting my brother this summer, I saw a photograph of my namesake grandmother, Vera Stout Anderson, that I did not have. The photo reminded me that our ancestors were not always the stiff formal people in their “official” portraits. Vera was a woman athlete.

Baseball Player

Vera Stout Anderson, athlete

Vera Stout (Anderson) and a friend Leita Anderson in their baseball gear, early 1900s.

Grandma was definitely an “early adapter”.  Internet articles I have found indicate that as early as the 1890’s women played on baseball teams in colleges and traveling teams known as the Bloomer League.  But in a small town in Ohio, it surely would have been unusual to have women invading this male realm. And how shocking that these two women are brazenly wearing PANTS!

My mother dated this picture 1909, but I wonder if that is correct.  Vera married in October 1904 and had children in September 1905,  August 1906 and April 1908.  In 1909 she was not only chasing three little kids, but she was a farm wife. Am I underestimating her when I wonder if she also was playing baseball in 1909?

Bicyclist

Instead of playing the typical girly role of pianist or seamstress, Vera was a woman athlete. This rather prim, faded picture of her on her bike, shows that she liked action at a younger age.

Vera Stout Anderson, young woman athlete on her bike.

Vera Stout (Anderson) on her bicycle in front of the family home.

This fascinating article explains the popularity of bicycles in the 1890s, and the development of the bike shown here, the “safety bike”, which made it easier for women to ride.  The article also tells of the tie between bicycles and women’s emancipation, which I was not aware of.

As cycling’s popularity exploded, a new breed of woman was making her mark in the 1890s. “The New Woman” was the term used to describe the modern woman who broke with convention by working outside the home, or eschewed the traditional role of wife and mother, or became politically active in the woman’s suffrage movement or other social issues. The New Woman saw herself as the equal of men and the bicycle helped her assert herself as such.

Now that makes total sense.  Hattie Stout, Vera’s mother, was dedicated to the concepts of women’s equality.  My mother was to inherit both that dedication and the love of sports of her mother.  While I didn’t inherit their passion for active sports, I did follow their lead in women’s rights.  My sister was the one who took both activities to heart as a woman athlete and political activist.

My mother, Harriette Anderson Kaser, talked about Grandma Vera riding her bicycle down the center hall of the Stout’s big house and crashing into her mother’s china cabinet.

Ice Skater

Mother also talked about the fact that Vera excelled at ice skating, and could not wait for the creek to freeze every winter, so she could swirl around on the ice, out skating everyone else in town–male and female.

I found verification for Vera’s love of ice skating when I discovered a letter she wrote to my mother about 1943. In that letter she says that ice has formed on the creek, and those young people better watch out. She just might grab her skates and show them how it is done. Still yearning to be the woman athlete.

Sports Fan

By 1943, at 62, and Grandma’s hair had turned entirely white. Her hard work running a boarding house and then a restaurant, and in the 1940s doing factory work, had ruined her legs–swollen with varicose veins.  By the time I was old enough to remember Grandma, her ice skating and baseball days were behind her, although she was an avid fan of the Killbuck high school teams and the  Cleveland Indians. This is how I remember Vera Anderson–the picture taken in the summer of 1944,  weeks before her husband died.

Vera Anderson

Vera Anderson, July,1944

I’m glad that through photographs, I can also glimpse the  athlete that she was in her youth.

Carlos Morgan – Mystery Photos and History Gaps

Carlos Morgan 1832 to before 1899

Carlos Morgan, the second son of Jesse Morgan has presented me with more questions than I can answer in a reasonable amount of time.  Carlos is the son of my 2nd great-grandfather, Jesse Morgan with Mary Pelton, Jesse’s first wife.  Since I am descended from Jesse’s 2nd wife, Carlos does not qualify as a close relative.

On the other hand, I would like to find some descendants of Jesse Morgan that trace back to his first wife because that might mean finding more information about Jesse. So I continue to plod through the records of Jesse’s four children. Last week I wrote about Charles Morgan, the oldest son. Charles (or Charley) had six grandchildren who lived in California, so I might some day find a connection through that family.

Meanwhile, Carlos’ history proves slipperier than that of Charles and includes mystery photos.

Carlos Morgan

Photo from St. Joseph MO that I believe is Carlos Morgan circa 1880

This photo comes from the photo album of Hattie Morgan Stout, Jesse Morgan’s child with his second wife. The name of the subject was not on the photo, so I originally included this handsome man in the “Unknown” file. As I wrote earlier, I had hoped it might be Jesse Morgan, but research proved that was impossible. For a look at what I learned earlier about this photograph, follow that link above.

What the Photo Can Tell Me

The photo is what was called a “carte de visite”  A paper photo is pasted on a cardboard backing that is roughly 2 1/2 x 4 inches. Carte de visites did not show up in the U. S. until 1859, and usage died out be 1889. Furthermore, the curved corners and fact that it shows most of the body instead of just the head, narrows it to 1874-1880.

Back of photo

Back of Carlos Morgan’s photo. St. Joseph MO

Photographers advertised their services on the back of the photos, and in this case the photographer was W. J. Rea’s Grand Central Gallery, Cor. Fourth & Edmond Streets, St. Joseph, Mo.  Records I found about the photographer W. J. Rea showed that he moved from Canada to Michigan to St. Joseph and on to California.  It looks like this portrait had to have been taken in 1880, probably the only year he was in St. Joseph. The only problem I have is that if the photo was taken in 1880, Carlos was 48 years old.  Does he look 48 in that picture?

Could Carlos Morgan have had his photo taken in 1880 in St. Joseph Missouri?  It is time to look at a timetable of his life.

The Pattern of Carlos Morgan’s Life

Born in Chautauqua New York on June 2, 1832, Carlos was about five years old when his mother and father moved to Killbuck, Ohio. A year later, his mother died. The four children were parceled out to relatives, and I did locate his older brother with their maternal grandparents back in New York. However, Carlos is not living with that family in 1840 and since Jesse Morgan and his widow both had  very large families, I have not tracked down a family where Carlos might be living. (It does not help that the 1840 census lists only the head of household by name–so Carlos would be a tick mark in the 5-9 year old category.)

I assumed he had gone back to Pennsylvania or New York with family, but he might have lived with some extended family in Ohio, because in 1850, at the age of eighteen, his is living with a family in Hardy Township, Holmes County, Ohio. That is near Killbuck where his parents previously lived, and where my great-great-grandmother Mary Bassett Morgan was living that year.

So at 18, Carlos is living with a man identified as a “tinner” and Carlos is working as a “tinner”. His education had ended with eighth grade, so he has been working for some time.

A tinner can mean a person who mines for tin or a tinsmith.  As far as I know there were no tin mines in Hardy Township, so the latter definition is the one for Carlos.  My grandfather on the other side of my family, Cliff Kaser, worked with tin a generation later in Holmes County.

While living with another family, Carlos learns of the death of his father in far off California. While I had no knowledge of his relationship with my great-great grandmother, the fact that his half sister, my great-grandmother kept his picture and his wife’s indicates to me that the family might have been closer than I realized.

Carlos Morgan’s Beautiful Wife

Apparently Carlos started west to find his fortune. He meets Jane Anne Warfield of Dubuque Iowa and they are married in St. Louis on October 22, 1857. The marriage certificate indicates that he, too, is a resident of Dubuque, Iowa. Why did they go to St. Louis to marry? His bride is only 19. Did they have to run away? Perhaps marriage regulations were less stringent in Missouri and they did not need her parent’s authorization. (If you know, please leave a comment with the explanation.) Or perhaps they are merely following the migration of Jane’s brother Charles Warfield to Missouri.

Learning Jane’s name was a surprise.  In Hattie Morgan Stout’s photo album, I had found a picture of a beautiful woman, in fact, the most beautiful woman in all my antique photos.

Wife of Carlos Morgan

In 1860 they are living in Plattsburg Missouri with Jane’s brother’s family. Carlos and Jane have a one-year-old daughter, Minerva. I find no further mention of Minerva Morgan, so must assume that she died in childhood. Jane’s brother is a tinner like Carlos.  Jane’s father also lives with them.  So my insatiable search for story senses some connections.  Perhaps Carlos was working as a tinner and met Jane’s brother in Iowa and that led to the marriage. But since Jane’s father is living with them just three years after the marriage, perhaps he did not object, after all.

Plattsburg, during the Civil War was split between northern and southern sympathizers, but I am inclined to think the Morgan/Warfield family group did not stay until the war started.

Most importantly, Plattsburg is just 30 miles from St. Joseph’s Missouri.  Since Plattsburg was a railroad center, transportation to St. Joseph–where the young man’s photo was taken– would have been easy.  This creates some pretty good evidence that Carlos might have gotten his portrait photograph taken in the larger town.

Since I have not found an 1870 census listing Carlos, I do not know for sure when he left Plattsburg, Missouri, but by 1880 he was living in Bozeman Montana and still working as a tinner.

I find no Civil War military record for either Carlos or his brother-in-law Charles Warfield. They might have lit out for the unnamed territory that became Montana at the outset of the Civil War to avoid military service. Or they might have migrated along with the hundreds that joined the mid-1860s gold rush to the area. At any rate,Bozeman, founded in 1864, would have been the typical fast-growing, rough-and-tumble town of the country’s wild west. Both men are listed as unemployed for half the year, so perhaps Jane, who is listed as a milliner, was supporting the family.

Although I have found no information on Carlos’ death, his wife Jane is living as a widow and working as a seamstress in Butte City, Montana by 1899. That indicates that Carlos died in his sixties. The City Directories there continue to list her as late as 1914, but, like Carlos, I can find no evidence of her death.

Jane’s Photograph

You can tell by the light tone of her eyes, that they were an icy blue.  This photo is also paper on cardboard, but is a larger format that came along a little later than the carte de visite of Carlos. These are called Cabinet Photos.

Back of photograph

Back of Carlos Morgan’s wife’s portrait. Elliott Photographers in Butte MT.

The pencil notation, which looks like the handwriting of my Grandmother, led me to believe that Carlos’ wife was named “Hattie”. However, since I know that he married Jane Anne–unlikely called Hattie–the note must mean the photo belonged to Hattie (Stout).

Here the photographer advertises himself on both the front and the back of the photo. Brothers John A. Elliott and George E. Elliott were working together in Butte Montana in 1890 and 1891, and John alone has existing photos dated as late as 1909. Since the back of this photo has a logo including both their initials, I have to believe the photo was made about 1890.

The couple were living in Bozeman in 1880, but by 1889, the year that Montana became a state, Jane was living alone in Butte.  As I mentioned above, she is listed in City Directories as a widow and a seamstress, so it seems appropriate that she may have had a photograph made as a kind of advertisement. However, just as in the case of Carlos’ assumed photograph, she looks a bit young for the date. Jane would have been 54 in 1890.  Butte and Bozeman are not that far apart, so she might have gone to Butte earlier for a photo when she lived in Bozeman. However, if the date is earlier than 1890, then the histories of the Elliott brothers that I have read must be wrong.  Its a dilemma.

So, with some gaps, I have traced  Carlos Morgan’s moves from his birthplace in New York to Ohio, Iowa, Missouri and finally Montana. Ever Westward.

Next up: Carlos sister Malvina led two lives. After a settled married life in the midwest and East, she ventured west as a widow. Another of Jesse Morgan’s childfren following in his wandering footsteps.

How I am Related

  • Vera Marie Kaser Badertscher is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson Kaser, who is the daughter of
  • Vera Stout Anderson, who is the daughter of
  • Harriette (Hattie) Morgan Stout, who is the daughter of
  • Jessie Morgan and Mary Bassett Morgan.
  • Jessie Morgan with his first wife Mary Pelton is the father of
  • Carlos Morgan

Notes on Research

Federal Census Reports: 1850, Hardy Township, Holmes, Ohio; 1860, Plattsburg, Clinton, Missouri; 1880, Bozeman, Gallatin, Montana.

Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002, Ancestry.com, Carlos Morgan and Jane Warfield, 1857.

James Morgan and his Descendants, North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000, Ancestry.com, on line.

Butte Montana City Directory, 1899, Jane A. Morgan, widow, U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989, Ancestry.com (on line).