Tag Archives: Ohio

A Road Trip to Guernsey County, 52 Ancestors #17 Lib Stout Cunningham

Elizabeth J. Stout Cunningham 1856-post 1940

In this picture, “Aunt Lib” (seated to the left of the pillar) was visiting Killbuck at the home of Harriette Morgan Stout (white hair, center of picture). On the far right, partially obscured by the pillar is one of Lib’s daughters, Merle. Seated on the edge of the porch, left to right are Herbert Anderson, Sarah Warner (Anderson), Harriette Anderson (Kaser) (daughter of Vera), Vera Stout Anderson (daughter of Hattie.)

Aunt Lib Stout can be seen sitting to the left of the porch post in this picture taken on the porch of Hattie Morgan Stout (to Lib's left). One of Lib's daughters is on the far right in back.

Aunt Lib Stout can be seen sitting to the left of the porch post in this picture taken on the porch of Hattie Morgan Stout  in Killbuck, Ohio (to Lib’s left).

When my mother was growing up, her family drove from Killbuck in northeastern Ohio to Guernsey County in southern Ohio about once a year to visit Stout relatives.  What is today a quick drive, could be quite an adventure in the teens of the 20th century. The favorite relative was Aunt Lib–Elizabeth Stout Cunningham.  Aunt Lib was the third of four daughters of Emeline and Isaiah Stout, born in Feburary, 1856.

In 1881 when she was twenty-three, she married James Edward “Ed” Cunningham, who grew up on a farm just down the road from the Stout farm.  They had two daughters, Mary (1882) and Merle (1885). Another child died in infancy.

Mother told me  that “Aunt Lib never took a step that she didn’t run. She was the most fun and we always went to visit her.”

Harriette Anderson Kaser’s memoirs included this description of going to Guernsey County on the Old National Road (which she calls ‘Pike’).

To see a modern day map following roughly the route that mother’s family would have followed (before there were freeways, which cut the trip to just under two hours), click here: From Killbuck to Guernsey County. The George Stout house still stands, north of I-70. Apparently the farm was sliced in two when the Interstate was built.

Guernsey County..was my Grandfather William Stout’s home county where all of his family grew up…and the family farm was just out of Cambridge on the other side of the first crooked bridge on the Old National Pike.*

We did love to go to Guernsey, not particularly to the old farmhouse, but up to another sister of my grandfather’s Aund Lib Cunningham.  Now that was our favorite stop, and she was one of our favorite people.  The joy of this whole thing was that always before we took this trip, we were taken out of school to go on an automobile trip and this didn’t happen [much] at the time.

This took place when we were very young.  Dad has a little red Maxwell they called a “Runabout” at that time.  The thing that I remembered about that car was that it was just a one-seater and that back of it was a round tank with gasoline, and there was a little trunk on the back of that…Mother had put a cushion and some blankets in between the little round tank and the back of the front seat, and this was where Bill (Harriette’s older brother) and I sat for our trip to Guernsey County.  Mother held Herbert, who was much younger and smaller at that time.  All of the kids at school were nevious that we were going to Guernsey County because we were going to get out of school.

We would get up and Mother would pack a lunch.  We would usually leave early on Friday morning for Guernsey County.  Now it’s only a two or three hours’ drive down there, but at that time it was really a full trip.

Somewhere along the line we always had car trouble of some kind, but it was a nice trip.  We were always very frightened when we got to Coshocton.  Bill and I would sit back there and wonder if we’d get through Coshocton or not.  That seemed like such a big city at that time.  We’d get through Coshocton and then we’d go down to Newcomerstown and straight on down.

Oh, it was such a nice trip and there was a nice place along the river where we always stopped and had our picnic lunch, and then we would go to Cambridge and when we got through Cambridge, we always had a sigh of relief because as soon as we got through Cambridge, we hit the Old National Pike.

Now the Old National Pike is part of I-40 I think, that went clear across our country. Of course at that time it didn’t go that far.  I think it probably went as far as St. Louis.  It was a brick road, and it was very rough, but until that we had lots of mud roads, if it rained, or lots of very rough, dusty roads if it was dry, so when we hit the Pike, we were really thrilled.

When we got through Cambridge, we always looked for the old crooked bridge and the second farm on the other side of the Old Crooked Bridge was Grandfather’s [Isaiah Stout].  Uncle George Stout still lived there, and we would always stop and see them, just for a few minutes, but we would have to go on much farther to Aunt Lib’s and Uncle Ed’s up on the hill in a place called Putney Ridge.

When we [got] there, Aunt Lib was always so happy to see us and we were so happy to see her.  She and Uncle Ed were just such a charming, sweet couple. They had two daughters, Mary and Merle, and both of their daughters were school teachers.  By the way, Uncle Ed Cunningham was the first of many in the state of Ohio to have a life teaching certificate, so he had been a teacher for many, many years also.

Aunt Lib always had all kinds of food ready for us and everything wonderful for us children to play with, and Uncle Ed would go out and show us all things on the farm where they lived…I would be frightened when he’d show us where the turkeys were, because we weren’t used to turkeys.  We were really frightened at those big birds that he showed us.  But this was a real treat, and we went to Guernsey County about once a year.

*My cousin Larry Anderson and his wife scouted the old Stout farm and took this set of pictures of the Old Crooked Bridge.

The Old Crooked Bridge on National Highway, Guernsey County. Pictures by Larry and Judy Anderson

The Old Crooked Bridge on National Highway, Guernsey County. Pictures by Larry and Judy Anderson

Larry and Judy pinpointed the location of the George Stout farm in an e-mail they sent me when they explored.  Take I-70 east to Guernsey County. At the Quaker City exit, go North on 513. Almost immediately, turn left (west) on Bridgewater Road. 

They say, for the Stout cemetery, go south on 513 and go right on Lydic Road off 513 (Batesville Road). When it dead ends, go to Gatts Lane. The Stout cemetery is in the fireld.

Elizabeth Stout Cunningham died October 1, 1945 in her home on Pleasant Ridge in Guernsey County. Unlike the other Stouts who lived in Ohio, she is not buried in the Stout cemetery, but instead is buried beside her husband James Edward Cunningham in the Friends Cemetery in Quaker City, Ohio.

Elizabeth Stout Cunningham

Elizabeth Stout Cunningham gravestone, Friend’s Cemetery, Quaker City. Photo from Find A Grave.

Relationship

Vera Marie Kaser Badertscher

is the daughter of Harriette Anderson Kaser

who is the daughter of Vera Stout Anderson

who is the daughter of William Cochran Stout

who is the brother of Elizabeth Stout Cunningham.

Notes:

“Harriette Anderson Kaser’s Memories of Killbuck, Ohio in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s” were transcribed from an audiotape recorded in the home of P. W. Kaser, Fresno, California about 1980.  Paul William Kaser, her son, made the transcription.  Vera Marie Kaser Badertscher made slight edits.

Added material was taken from other notes of conversations with Harriette.

From Ancestry.com, I gathered information on birth, death, residence, family, etc. from Census and birth and death reports.  

The burial information and photograph come from Find A Grave.

Family photographs are in the author’s possession.

This has been a weekly post in the 52 Ancestors/52 Weeks Project started by Amy Johnson Crow at “No Story too Small.” Check out her weekly recap showing the list of participants for some ripping good stories.

 

Antique Car Mania and a Road Trip that Went Wrong

In tomorrow’s 52 Ancestors Story, I talk about a journey that my mother’s family made annually from Killbuck, Ohio in Holmes County to my grandmother Vera Stout Anderson’s relatives in Guernsey County. Instead of food this week,we’re talking about a journey in an antique car.

Mother (Harriette Anderson Kaser) mentions in her story that her great aunt Elizabeth Stout “Lib” Cunningham was a terrific cook, but unfortunately, she doesn’t tell us what Lib cooked.  Instead she remembers all the details about every antique car, the road conditions and travel directions. Even though my mother was a home economics teacher for many years, she was always more interested in cars than in food preparation.

In her eighties and nineties, she could lovingly describe every car she ever owned.  And Grandma Vera Anderson and Grandpa Leonard Guy Anderson started driving cars as soon as it was feasible.  After the ones named below, in the late 20′s they owned a Stutz, which you can see here. My uncle Herbert Anderson posed beside that car in 1927. 

In her story that I relate tomorrow, Mother describes the red Maxwell Runabout that her parents were driving when she and her brothers were small.  From the pictures I have been able to find, theirs was probably a 1912.  Mother describes a round gas tank in front of a luggage box and that is missing on the earlier models I’ve seen pictures of, but it is present in 1912. Nevertheless, here’s a picture of a 1911 Maxwell Runabout, because I like to picture my Grandmother and Grandfather and their three small children in this bright red car.

Antique car Maxwell runabout

1911 Maxwell runabout. Photo By Greg Gjerdingen, Creative Commons License

Mother tells another story about a  later trip to Guernsey County, in another car, the Saxon. The Saxon was harder to find pictures of (with use permitted), but here’s one that was for sale. It is a 1917, which was no doubt more practical, although not nearly as much fun.

Antique Car, Saxon

1917 Saxon Touring Car.

Here’s my mother’s story of a trip that went wrong.

One time when we decided to go to Guernsey County, we had just gotten a new Saxon car.  We were pretty good chunks of kids by this time, pretty good size, and Grandma Stout was going with us.  Now Grandma Stout was a little bit like our mother.  She was a good traveler.  She liked to go and she never complained on a trip, no matter where she went or how uncomfortable she was.

We got down on the other side of Newcomerstown on this trip and it started raining.  It poured and it poured, and we started up a little hill–not a very big hill–and dad had to change gears.  When he changed gears, the rear axle broke on the car, and there we were –stranded in the car.  It was night by the time we got that far because we’d been so slowed down on the mud roads. They were mud roads out of [south of] Newcomerstown.  They had no pikes. [paved roads]

We looked out across a field and there was a light in a farmhouse out across the field and so …Dad decided that maybe we should try to get over there to get out of the car because we couldn’t stay in the car all night and he couldn’t see to do anything with it. So we started walking.

By this time the rain had slaked up a little bit, but it was wet and so messy.  We started walking and we came to a little stream and Grandma didn’t see the stream and she fell. We thought that she would be hurt, but she got up laughing and thought it was a really good joke that she had fallen the stream.

By this time the storm was over, and it was getting moonlight.  It was rather nice, and we could see. When we got to the farmhouse, we realized that we were not at any palatial place.  It was probably nine o’clock by that time.  The peple were so nice.  They were quite poor. You could tell that, but they tried so hard to accommodate us and find sleeping [places]. …there were my brothers, my Grandmother, and my dad and mother and I, so there were six of us dropping in on these people, and this poor farm lady put every one of us to bed.

I don’t know how any of us slept very well.  I think I did.  If I’m not mistaken, I slept with two girls that were in the family, and Grandmother slept in a bed with the hired girl. She said [later] that the bed didn’t smell very good, and Grandmother was pretty particular anyway.  She’d have been willing to sit up all night, but she knew that would offend the woman.  And Dad and Mother had a bed, and the boys shared a bed with their son.

In looking for pictures and information about the Saxon car, I came across a site dedicated to Saxons and their collectors.  They have a story there, The Suffragist Saffron Saxon, about a Suffragette who traveled across the country campaigning for the woman’s vote.  Since Grandma Stout read the New York Times, sent to her by her son Will, I like to think that she read that story and it influenced the family decision to buy a Saxon.

Of course I can’t provide concrete evidence, but the circumstantial evidence is strong. We know her son who lived in New York, sent her the paper. We know that her greatest desire was to live long enough for women to vote. And we know she was not bashful about expressing her opinion.

Perhaps she would have changed her mind after the night of the road trip gone wrong in this antique car.

Notes:

“Harriette Anderson Kaser’s Memories of Killbuck, Ohio in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s” were transcribed from an audiotape recorded in the home of P. W. Kaser, Fresno, California about 1980.  Paul William Kaser, her son, made the transcription.  Vera Marie Kaser Badertscher made slight edits.

Added material was taken from other notes of conversations with Harriette,

From Farmer to Lawyer, John Franklin Stout: 52 Ancestors #16

John Franklin “Frank” Stout 1861-1927

“Dependent upon his own resources from the age of eighteen years, he has made good use of his time and opportunities and his developing powers in the practice of law are now indicated in the large and important clientage accorded him.”

Omaha, the Gate City and Douglas County Nebraska (1917)

Born in 1861, the 8th living child of Emeline and Isaiah Stout, John Franklin Stout, known as “Frank,” made his own destiny. The large family lived on a farm near Middlebourne in Guernsey County Ohio, and when Frank’s father died in 1872, the eleven-year-old boy probably wondered if his future was to be the farmer of the family.

Frank’s oldest brother Will (my great-grandfather) had left for medical school in Pennsylvania, his brother George had attended medical school in Cincinnati and the following year, Tom, his closest brother would leave to go West.  But Frank must have been a bookish boy, who loved to study.  After finishing public school at the age of 17, he went to Ohio Weslyan College in Delaware for a year, and that was enough education to qualify him for teaching.

John Franklin Stout

John Franklin “Frank” Stout, taken in Cambridge, probably while he was teaching (early 1880′s).

Back he went to the family farm and took teaching jobs during the winter, while he helped out with crops and livestock in the summer months. But the pull of the West, that had drawn Tom and probably many of the numerous Stout cousins out west, called to Frank as well.  After six years teaching, he lingered in Guernsey County long enough to study with a lawyer in Cambridge, Ohio for two years and passed the examinations to become a lawyer on June 10, 1887. Soon after, he got on the train for Kansas.

His first practice was set up in Hutchinson Kansas that year,

John Franklin Stout

John Franklin Stout in his law office, probably his first office in Hutchinson Kansas (1890s)

He met his future bride in Cambridge Ohio, perhaps when he was teaching, or perhaps during the two years he was studying for the bar, but the tie must have been strong, because after 3 1/2 years, he returned to Cambridge to marry Lida Stitt in 1890. (Since their son, Robert Irving, was born 7 months and two weeks after their Christmas Eve wedding, one might speculate that Frank may have visited Ohio a couple of months before the wedding.)

They continued to live in Hutchinson, Kansas until 1895, when Frank apparently decided that Omaha was a more fertile ground for a lawyer.  And population figures bear that out.  The population of Omaha jumped from 30,518 in 1880 to 140,451 in 1890, although it fell in 1900 to about 104,000. He established his law firm in Omaha and three years later their daughter Gertrude was born (May, 1898).

Omaha was prospering as a shipping center, supporting stockyards and grain mills. It also became the banking center of the area. The booming city had approved a charter for government in 1886, a library was built in 1871, a Masonic Temple would be constructed in 1900 and the Auditorium in 1904. I wonder if Frank and Lida went to see Sarah Bernhardt or the New York Metropolitan Opera on the stage or attended the astounding electric shows in 1908 and 1909. I picture them joining the throng of nearly 28,000 people attending the Trans-Mississippi Expositions’ opening day in June of 1898, and hearing President McKinley speak. Certainly, Omaha offered a metropolitan atmosphere that far exceeded Cambridge, Ohio.

By 1917, when Frank’s biography was one of those published in Omaha, the Gate City and Douglas County Nebraska: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement, Vol. II, the Stouts were integrated into the community and his law practice had grown from being the 2nd named partner (Wright and Stout, Hall and Stout) to his own firm of Stout, Rose and Wells, with the additions of Hallick Rose and A. R. Wells as partners. His picture reflects a mature, dapper man, sure of his place in the world.

John Franklin Stout as shown in the Omaha history.

John Franklin Stout from the book on Omaha’s history, published in 1917.

He and his wife attended the Presbyterian church and supported the Republican party. He was a member of the Masons, who had completed their grand temple just ten years after he moved to Omaha. He was one of 2000 members of the Commercial Club, joined the Omaha Club and was an early member of the Omaha Country Club, organized in 1901–all the trappings of success.

Frank’s son, Robert Irving Stout, graduated from Amherst College in Massachusetts (1913) and returned to Omaha to lead a very distinguished career in banking, following in his father’s footsteps by belonging to every important organization in town.  Robert also served in the World War (which we now know as WW I).

When Lida died in 1917, Gertrude was still at home with her father, and in 1923 father and daughter sailed to England.  Although records show me when they returned to New York from Plymouth England, I have no other information about their journey.  Although I heard many stories of family members who were avid travelers, Frank and Gertrude are the first of my ancestors (that I know of) who traveled abroad.  It sounds like an exciting reward for his long path to success.

When they sailed to England, Gertrude was 25, and she had not yet married. Since she married the year that Frank died, is it possible Frank disapproved of the marriage and the trip was a ploy to separate her daughter from the man she wanted to marry? You may accuse me of being a romantic, but I know that my grandmother was sent off to New York City to separate her from an “unsuitable” match. Sent by her father, Frank’s older brother.

Yet census reports tell me that Earl C. Sage, Gertrude’s husband, who also lived with his parents until the couple were married, was a medical doctor, so it is difficult to see why our successful lawyer would have an objection.

On the passenger list, he gives his address as 117 South 39th Street, Omaha. This charming house was built in 1907, and Frank and Lida moved into it in 1915, after living at several other places in Omaha, including twelve years at 1103 South 31st Street.

John Franklin Stout home

Google Map street view Frank Stout home,Omaha

My grandmother seemed to have lost track of her uncles, and she and my mother never had the rich stories about these Western wanderers, Tom and Frank, that they had about other branches of the family. So I am glad to learn and pass on their stories.

If the youngest son was out to make the most of every opportunity and show that he could do as well as his older brothers, John Franklin Stout succeeded.  Frank Stout died in 1927 and was buried in Northwood Cemetery in Cambridge, Ohio beside his wife Lida.

My relationship:

  • Vera Marie Badertscher
  • Daughter of Harriette Anderson Kaser
  • Daughter of Vera Stout Anderson
  • Niece of John Franklin Stout

NOTES:

  • Census figures are from  Nebraska Department of Economic Development
  • Omaha, the Gate City and Douglas County Nebraska: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement, Vol I and Vol,II, edited by Arthur Cooper Wakely (1917). Vol. II, pg.188-189 for bio of John Franklin Stout; Vol. I for background history of Omaha.
  • Who’s Who in Burt County Nebraska, 1940 for information about son Robert.
  • Cemetery Records available at Find a Grave.
  • From Ancestry.com:
  • Guernsey County Ohio census for 1870 and 1880; Omaha Nebraska Census for 1900, 1910 and 1920.
  • Ship passenger record Rotterdam, Plymouth England to NYC 1923
  • Google Maps for picture of the house at his address in Omaha.
  • Family photographs  with inscriptions, in the possession of the author.

This has been a weekly post in the 52 Ancestors/52 Weeks Project started by Amy Johnson Crow at “No Story too Small.” Check out her weekly recap showing the list of participants for some ripping good stories.