Tag Archives: Killbuck

Malvina Morgan: Two Lives

Of all four of Jesse Morgan’s children with his first wife, Malvina Morgan was closest in age to my great-grandmother, Harriet Morgan (Stout), her half-sister. She was probably also the closest emotionally to my great-great-grandmother, Mary Bassett Platt Morgan, her father’s second wife.

Malvina Morgan 1835-1917

I had high hopes of being able to flesh out the life story of Malvina, because my mother passed on family memories of Malvina. For instance, she said that Malvina owned a store in Colorado and that she came back to Ohio to visit her step-sister Hattie (Harriet Morgan Stout). It is possible that my mother even encountered Malvina on one of her visits to Harriet (Hattie) in Ohio, but mother would have been a very young girl.  It is more likely that mother’s beloved grandmother Hattie (Harriet Morgan Stout) talked to my mother about the Morgan siblings.

But the Colorado part of Malvina’s life that my mother knew about was the second chapter. The first chapter set in the East and the second chapter set in the West. In the last half of her life she lived an independent life, far from the life of her childhood and the first chapter of her life, when she was a wife and mother.

Malvina’s Childhood

Malvina was born in Chautauqua County, New York in 1835, and would have been a toddler when her parents, Jesse and Mary Pelton Morgan moved to Ohio.  When Malvina was about three years old, her mother died.  I have no evidence of where Malvina lived as a very young child, but in 1838, her father married Mary Bassett, the widow of Asahel Platt, and they set up housekeeping in Killbuck, Ohio.

Two years later, in 1842, Jesse and Mary Bassett Morgan had a baby girl, Harriet (Hattie). Malvina was seven years old, and probably living in Killbuck with her father (when he was not ‘on the road’) and her step-mother.

In July, the 1850 census counted Malvina, now fifteen years old, living with Mary Morgan and the eight-year-old Harriet in Killbuck. The census report says the Malvina was in school that year. Although it was not common for girls to get education into their teens, it is not surprising that the well-educated former teacher, Mary, would ensure her step daughter went to school. In October of that year, Mary received word that Malvina’s father, Jesse, had been killed in Sacramento California in the month of August.

Chapter One: Malvina’s Married Life

In 1854, when Malvina was only 18 years old, she married 20-year-old Austin Grimes from Mina, Chautauqua County, New York.  Since her mother’s family still lived in Chautauqua County, I can only speculate that she met him while visiting family, or perhaps moved back there to live at some point.  The 1855 New York census shows Austin and Malvina living in Mina, next door to an Andrew Grimes, who was Austin’s older brother.  Later that year, Malvina gave birth to their first daughter, Eva.

Austin was working as a farmer and they continued to live in Chautauqua County, where their second daughter, Eva was born in 1858. The 1860 census shows the family in Ripley, New York, a town on Lake Erie and not far from their previous home in Mina.  By 1863, Austin (and probably the rest of the family) was living in Cornplanter, Pennsylvania and Austin had a new career in the oil fields.  His Civil War draft registration lists him as  “refiner”. However it also lists him as “single.”  Since the 1870 census lists the family together again, I can only assume the “single” is an error. The 1870 census again has Austin working in the oil fields in Cornplanter, this time as an “engineer.”  Emma (15) and Eva (12) are attending school, and the family has taken in two roomers to help make ends meet. One of those roomers is a 15-year-old nephew of Austin.

Austin clearly was interested in cashing in on the oil boom in Verango County, Pennsylvania, which started about 1860–the first major oil boom in the United States.  It becomes clear how important the petroleum industry was to that area when you look at some of the place names like Oil Creek, Petroleum Center and Pithole City.  The towns were rough and raw and the demand for labor must have been great for this farmer to suddenly turn into an oil refiner or engineer.  And by 1880, at the age of 46,he was a Fireman at an oil well.

If being a fireman on an oil well sounds dangerous–it was.  The job entailed removing dangerous gases building up in oil wells and putting out the sometimes explosive fires.

We know that in 1881 Austin Grimes died in Long Island, New York. The family had moved to Queens, New York, some time prior to the 1880 census. Whether it was an accident on the job or some other cause, he was just 47 years old when he died and left Malvina a widow at the age of 46. I was hoping to be able to find an obituary, or some confirmation of how he died, but it does seem probable that an accident on the oil fields caused his death.

Chapter II: Malvina Goes West as an Independent Woman

Because of the missing 1890 census reports, I do not know how long Malvina stayed in the east before moving to Colorado Springs, Colorado, but it turns out that mother was right–she lived in Colorado.  The Colorado Springs City Directories for 1900, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1910, 1912, 1914 and 1916 all list her. That means that all of the wandering Jesse Morgan’s four children from his first marriage followed in his footsteps and went west.  Carlos ended up in Montana, Charles in California, and Louise in Denver. Whether Malvina owned (or worked in) a gift shop as mother said, cannot be proven from the census reports or the City Directories, as no occupation is listed in any of them.

I did not spot any relatives near her at the addresses listed in Colorado Springs, although there are many Grimes’ in the Colorado Springs cemetery. Malvina moved at least four times, each time living in rented rooms.  She went from 837 W. Huerfano, to the Gough Hotel, spent at least one year at the YWCA in 1910 and then lived at the St. Charles Rooming House on South Tejon Street.  It seems to have been a lonely life, but perhaps she was able to travel frequently, since we know that she visited Mary Morgan in Killbuck Ohio more than once.

She outlived all three of her siblings and died in April 1917 in Colorado Springs.  She is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in that city, as Mrs. M. L. Grimes.

I have the feeling that one of the unidentified pictures in my great-grandmother’s photo album may be Malvina Morgan Grimes, but for now, I have only this sketchy information and my imagination.

I will tell the story of the fourth child of Jesse Morgan, Louisa Morgan, through the wanderings of her children.

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
  • Malvina Morgan Grimes

Research Notes

Federal Census Reports: 1850, Killbuck, Holmes, Ohio; 1860, Ripley, Chautauqua, New York; 1870, Cornplanter, Venango, Pennsylvania; 1880, Queens, New York, New York; 1900, Colorado Springs, El Paso, Colorado

New York State Census: 1855, Mina, Chautauqua, New York (on line at Ancestry.com

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

Colorado Springs City Directories, U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989, Ancestry.com (on line)1900, 1902, 1904, 1905, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1916, Malvina Grimes, widow.

Find a Grave, M. L. Morgan, Evergreen Cemetery, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Civil War Registration, Austin Grimes, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Consolidated Lists of Civil War Draft Registration Records (Provost Marshal General’s Bureau; Consolidated Enrollment Lists, 1863-1865); Record Group: 110, Records of the Provost Marsha

New York, New York, Death Index, 1862-1948, Austin Grimes, 1881, Long Island City, New York

 

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 same 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).

A Slice of My Life: The Cleveland Indians

Cleveland Indians Logo

 

I grew up in Northeastern Ohio in a small town called Killbuck. Back in the day, on a long summer evening you could walk through town and hear play by play of the Cleveland Indians game. No, we did not have Walkmans or I-Pads.

People would leave the screen door open, or maybe have the windows up as they sat on their porch swings, listening to the Cleveland Indians game on the radio. And since EVERYBODY was listening to the game, you could walk all the way through town and never miss a play. Bob Feller was a god.

When the Indians weren’t playing, we’d go up on school house hill and watch the town men and boys playing baseball on a sandlot beside the high school. Since we lived catty-corner across from the lot, we couldn’t resist crossing the road to the ball field. Besides, everybody in town was there.

The elementary school was built on the spot in 1953, and the ball field moved farther behind the school.  I remember the bleachers and I remember that someone was selling snacks. Although I have no idea who sold the snacks, I would wheedle a quarter out of my Uncle Bill Anderson so I could buy a candy bar.

Summer evenings meant singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” joining in cries of “We wuz robbed” and “kill the ump”, breathing in the soft, warm dusty air, and catching up on town gossip. The men retired to their cars to grab a beer in between innings, and played until the air turned cool, the crickets chirped and the stars came out. Baseball didn’t just belong to the Big Leagues, but the Indians mania was strong in the ten-year stretch from 1947 to 1956 all over Ohio.

When the Cleveland Indians made it into the playoffs, we could shuffle through the brightly colored oak and maple and elm leaves as we strolled down the sidewalk, listening to other people’s radios. Even when my family moved too Columbus for a couple of years, the magic wove its spell.

I still remember the pudgy, blond math teacher I had in fifth grade in a Columbus Ohio school and his radio. He had a glassed-in office at the back of his classroom, and when the Indians made the World Series in 1948 (the last time they WON a series), he even let the kids forget about multiplication tables and cluster around his radio. ‘It’s history!’ He explained. Little did he know!

For a ten-year stretch, there, the Cleveland Indians won more games than they lost every year. Then I graduated high school and moved back to Columbus for college and Buckeyes’ football.  My sister reminds me that during that period, my father used to say, “The Indians never win a game after the 4th of July.”

If he could see them now!