Tag Archives: Ohio

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


  • 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.

Hattie, Doc and the Holmes County Loan: 52 Ancestors- #13

Harriett (Hattie) Morgan Stout (1842-1928)

William Cochran Stout (1845-1910) Married 1871

The bright lemony yellow strips stand out in a sea of burgundy brocade, chocolate velvet, pale sheer lawn, moss green taffeta and the other muted shades– geometric scraps arranged to save and show off a family history.

Showing the family heirloom to my husband, I pointed to this ribbon, one of two used by my great-great-grandmother Emeline Cochran Stout in her crazy quilt

Holmes County Ribbon

Ribbon for the Holmes County centennial Loan Committee.

Dr. Stout

Doctor William Cochran Stout, my great-grandfather

My mother, Harriette Anderson Kaser, had told me that the ribbons belonged to my great-grandfather “Doc” Stout (1845-1910).  I thought I was going to be writing about one person in this week’s 52 Ancestors entry, but instead there are two.

Since I knew that “Doc” Stout had helped raise money to build his church (the Church of Christ in Killbuck, Ohio) I jumped to the conclusion that he was on some kind of fund raising committee for Holmes County.  But the date didn’t seem right. The ribbon says 1888. Holmes County was founded in 1825, not 1788,  There was not even a state of Ohio until 1803. So what was this committee all about?

I went to one of my favorite places on Facebook, the page staffed by the Holmes County Library, called Our Town: A Holmes County, Ohio Local History Project.  They had recently announced that they were compiling a list of events that took place in Holmes County, using the local newspapers from as far back as the 1800′s.  I posted the ribbon and asked if they had information.

Within hours, they had supplied photos, articles and some surprises.

Holmes County Farmer article

Article from the Holmes County Farmer, 1888 about the Centennial Loan Committee.

My great-grandmother, Harriett Stout

Harriett E. Morgan Stout, my great-grandmother

Ah-ha! This was a woman‘s committee, and men were an afterthought.  So perhaps the reason there are TWO ribbons in the Emeline crazy quilt, is that my great-grandmother Hattie Morgan Stout (1842-1928) was on the original committee, and great-grandfather Doc Stout was a johnny-come-lately.

Furthermore, we learn from the newspaper article that the Holmes County exhibit is part of a State Exposition. But what is being exhibited?  Another newspaper article made that clearer.

The second article, again from the Holmes County Farmer, says that the Centennial Loan will open on July 25 and continue for a week. All articles must be in Columbus by August 8. Then we learn that “by Monday evening” people had loaned more than 50 items, including a Bible over 200 years old. The committee wants “modern, new , pretty and interesting”  things as well as antiques. The committee also needs potted ferns. Because heaven knows you could not do anything fancy in the 1880′s without a bunch of potted ferns!

The Holmes County Exhibit will include a demonstration of spinning, for which the committee needs certain items, and someone will demonstrate making silk. Entertainment and activities for children are all part of what you get for your admission price of five cents. I was thrilled to think that my great-grandmother was right there helping make those decisions, and then visiting with friends to solicit “loans.”

1888 state centennial postcard

1888 state centennial postcard

But if it is not the centennial of Holmes County, and not the centennial of Ohio, whose birthday is it?  Another reference from the Holmes County library reveals that Holmes County is part of a 100th anniversary of the founding of the first community in Ohio, Marietta, a town on the Ohio River.

This is fascinating, and since my family was involved on the committee, I assume that they contributed something. I wonder if it was an antique, or something modern and interesting?

In August, 1888, The Holmes County Farmer runs a sort of review of the event which had been held at the County Court House in Millersburg. “…one might well imagine that Cinderella’s godmother had been there with her fairy wand, so great had been the transformation wrought in the last week.”  Don’t you love the understated way newspaper reporters wrote in the late 1800′s?

  • On the north you could see items as old as 500 years old, “old, quaint, dainty, pretty, beautiful”.
  • A large room has been divided into a hall, bedroom and parlour, each furnished with all sorts of beautiful household items.
  • The next room features a dinning (sic) room with complete table setting.
  • Across from that modern dining room is another set up as it would have been 100 years ago, and a horticulture exhibit.
  • To the left of the dining room is an exhibit of old fashioned costumes.
  • Ahead, another room represents art and industry that is so overwhelming the reporter gives up “…there is so much and so great a variety, we cannot hope to describe it. It must be seen to be appreciated.”
  • Then there is a pioneer room with old-time things,
  • In Agriculture Hall, the large stage is most tastefully draped with American flags and buckeye branches. This stage holds entertainment in the evening by musical groups and “the broom brigade”–synchronized marchers.
  • During the day ladies demonstrate “shutch, hackle, card and spin” flax and wool.


In fact, the layout and the items on display make me think of the Smithsonian Institution’s original building (built just thirty years earlier).

I have gone into some detail here to impress upon you what a BIG DEAL the Holmes County Loan was. The County’s population at that time was just shy of 21,000, so a huge percentage of families must have contributed hundreds of items to “the Loan.”

Holmes County contributed to the Ohio State Centennial

The Centennial parade  in Columbus. From book, “Columbus 1860 to 1910,” by Richard E. Barrett, as posted by the Holmes County Library on Facebook.

The enormous Ohio Centennial Exposition in Columbus included a Civil War encampment of 100,000 veterans and 150,000 of their wives, children and friends, all camped out in the state capitol, which at that time had a population of only 120,000.

The bright yellow ribbons, beside the green pieces of great-grandma Hattie’s wedding dress, must have brought a flood of memories to the Killbuck couple– former school teacher Hattie Morgan Stout and her husband Doctor William Cochran Stout.

The dates on the ribbons in the crazy quilt told me exactly what my great-grandmother and great-grandfather were doing in the summer of 1888. From the newspaper articles and history book, I can see what a large undertaking they were part of. And what a thrilling project it was.

Like all research, it brought new information and understanding, but also raised more questions. What items did my family loan? Did they get them back? Did Hattie and Doc, and maybe even Emmeline and my 7-year old grandmother and her siblings travel to Columbus for the state exhibition?  And by the way,I learned that hackle is a kind of comb, but what is the meaning of “schutch” in spinning? Or is it a typo? If you know, please leave a comment below.


Information about the Holmes Count Loan Committee and the Ohio Centennial Exposition celebrating the founding of Marietta Ohio, came from the Holmes County Library’s Facebook page, referenced and linked above.

The Holmes County Farmer newspaper articles and the postcard  both came from that same Facebook page. Other information came from “Columbus 1860 to 1910,” by Richard E. Barrett

The ribbon pictured at the top is part of a crazy quilt and the photographs of the Stouts 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.

The Family Picture: Identifications

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had family pictures every decade or so that gathered children and grandchildren and spouses and cousins and aunts and uncles all together? And wouldn’t it be nice if someone remembered to put the date and all the names on the back of the picture? And while we’re dreaming, wouldn’t it be nice if there had been cameras before the early 1800′s?

Vera and Guy Anderson family

Family portrait taken in 1909

Oh well, I should not complain. I have this wonderful family photo, which you may be tired of looking at, and my mother, Harriette Anderson Kaser and aunt, Rhema Anderson Fair took the time to label all the people and tell some stories about them. Today I am going to tie it all together and put it away in the drawer, so just a little more patience, please.

Twenty-eight relatives of Guy and Vera Anderson gathered in 1909, apparently to celebrate the birthday of Vera Anderson, May 23, when she was 28 years old. (There is also the possibility it was taken on April 8, when Herbert Guy Anderson was one year old.)


My mother remembered the house with love approaching awe.

The house was on Mile Hill outside Killbuck.  Originallly owned by Dr. Roof.  Harriette Kaser thinks that Ben Anderson (Guy’s brother, Bernard Franklin Anderson) bought it form Dr. Roof and then Guy Anderson bought it from Ben and owned it at the time of the picture.  She said that Garfield Woods bought the house from Guy Anderson.

“When Dr. Roof bought the house they planted a big orchard.  Amy and her husband Thomas Roof traveled all over the world, and that’s why they sold it.  When I was little, I had a playhouse in back.  The house had beautiful woodwork and had front and back staircases–the back one for the maids.  There was a big barn, way off from the house.  In the back there was a brick house where they kept food. [Probably a spring house.]

The top of the hill had a beautiful view.  In the picture, you can see they are sitting and standing on a cement sidewalk. It stretched around a huge lawn and down to the driveway.”

While it was unusual to have a cement sidewalk out in the country, Rhema Fair, in her videotaped memoir explained that it was even better than that.  The Roofs liked to go to Florida and they brought back seashells which they embedded in the cement on the edges of the sidewalk. In front of the house they used seashells to spell out ROOF.

The house still stands in the same place, and is very recognizable.

Old Anderson Farm

Old Anderson Farm as it looks today, Photo courtesy of Herb Anderson

The People

(WARNING: If you are not related to these people, you may want to stop reading before you run into a bunch of names and dates)

Below I have linked stories I have told earlier, and given a little information about each person, including their relationship to me and to my grandfather or grandmother and their immediate family. Starting with the children on the ground in the front, left to right:

Alice King  (1906-  )  Daughter of Jennie and George King; granddaughter of Sarah Anderson McDowell. My third cousin.

Rhema Anderson, (1901-1996), daughter of Guy Anderson and first wife Lillis Bird. Raised by Frank Anderson and Amy Anderson Roof. My Aunt.

Estill Anderson, (1905-1926) Son of Ben and Nettie Anderson. My 2nd cousin.

Telmar Anderson  (1903-1982), Son of Guy and Lillis Bird Anderson.  My uncle.


Caroline Anderson Bird (1846-1918), Daughter of John and Isabella Anderson. Aunt of Guy Anderson . Married to Leonard Bird. For some reason, my mother called her Aunt Catherine. My great-grand aunt.

Amy Anderson Roof (1843-1917). Daughter of John and Isabella Anderson. Aunt of Guy Anderson.  My great-grand aunt. Both my mother and aunt remember Amy’s beautiful long red hair, and the fact that she and Caroline were inseparable. She and her husband were known as great travelers, and Aunt Rhema remembered her as the greatest influence on her young life.

Margaret (Marge) Anderson Lisle. (1827-1917) Daughter of John and Isabella Anderson. Aunt of Guy Anderson. Caretaker for her own children and several grandchildren. My great-grand aunt.

Isabel Sarah McCabe Anderson. (1818-1912) Widow of John Anderson. Grandmother of Guy Anderson.  My mother thought she came from Scotland with her family, but in fact it was her grandfather who first came to the U.S. She married John J. Anderson and moved to Ohio from Pennsylvania against her family’s wishes.  My great-great-grandmother.

Doctor William Cochran (Doc) Stout (1845-1910) Son of Isaiah Stout and Emmaline Cochran Stout. Father of Vera Stout Anderson. My mother said that this picture must have been made after he had a stroke, because he has his cane with him. He died within a year of the photograph, on August 18, 1910. My great-grandfather.

On Doctor Stout’s Lap:

Harriette V. Anderson Kaser (1906-2003) Daughter of Guy and Vera Anderson. My mother.

William J. Anderson (1905-1975) Son of Guy and Vera Anderson. My uncle.


Adda Brink Allison, (1867- 1946) Sister of Mary Brink Anderson who was Guy Anderson’s Mother and his aunt, Sarah Jane Brink Anderson (wife of Frank Anderson). Married to DeSylva Allison. My great grand aunt.

DeSylva Allison (1863-1941). Husband of Adda Brink Allison, uncle of Guy Anderson. He was sheriff of Holmes County at one time. My great-grand uncle.

George King (1873- ) Husband of Jennie McDowell King, who was Grand-daughter of Sarah Jane Anderson McDowell.

Sarah Jane Brink Anderson (1850-1912),  Wife of Frank Anderson and sister of Guy’s Mother. My great grand aunt.

Frank Anderson (1852-1926), Son of John and Isabella Anderson. Uncle of Guy Anderson, and the man who raised both Guy and Guy’s daughter Rhema. My great-grand uncle. Frank and Guy’s father married sisters. Frank and Sarah Jane were another couple who traveled a great deal, said mother, going West long before most people did.

Vera Stout Anderson (1881-1964), wife of Guy Anderson and my maternal grandmother and namesake.

Herbert Guy Anderson (1908-1963), baby that Vera is holding, son of Guy and Vera. My uncle.

Leita Allison (the short woman) (1887-1955) Aleitia Larrimore Allison was married the year before this picture to Errett Allison, cousin of Guy Anderson. She worked on Guy and Vera’s farm.

Harriette (Hattie) Morgan Stout (1842-1928), married to Dr. William Stout, mother of Vera Stout Anderson. My great-great-grandmother.

Errett Allison (1884-1952), cousin of Guy Anderson and worked on farm. Son of DeSylva and Adda Allison. My first cousin twice removed.

Nettie Andress Anderson (1882-1911), wife of Ben Anderson who was Guy Anderson’s brother. Wife of my grand uncle.

Bernard Franklin (Ben) Anderson, (1881-1963) Brother of Guy Anderson, son of Joseph and Mary Anderson. My grand uncle.

Glen Lisle (1892-1952) Grandson of Margaret Anderson Lisle, Guy’s Aunt. My 2nd cousin once removed.


Alice/Ada McDowell (?) Mother identified this woman as Ada McDowell, but I cannot find an Ada McDowell that fits. On the back of the picture mother had first written Jennie McDowell, then changed it to Ada.

It is possible that the woman is Alice McDowell, mother of Jennie King, since Jennie seems to be looking in her direction.  If that is the case, Alice McDowell Eyster (1858-1910) was the daughter of Sarah Jane Anderson McDowell and James McDowell, she was a widow, living with George and Jennie King, and died the year after this picture was taken. Alice McDowell was my first cousin two times removed.

Leonard Guy Anderson (1878-1944), husband of Vera Stout Anderson, son of Joseph and Mary Anderson.  My grandfather.

Jennie McDowell King (1817-____) Grand daughter of Sarah Jane Anderson McDowell, Guy’s aunt.  Daughter of Alice McDowell (later married Eyster) and unknown father. My second cousin once removed.

Mary Brink Anderson (1858-1935) Standing in front of post to the right of Vera. Mother of Guy Anderson, widow of Joseph Anderson. Sister of Sarah Jane Brink Anderson and Adda Brink Allison.  Remarried a man named Kline after being a widow 40 years. My great-grandmother.


As you can see there are still some gaps in my knowledge here, so I would appreciate any input if you can add information on any of these people.


The photo, in the author’s possession has names written on the back in Harriette Anderson Kaser’s hand.  She told me in a conversation in 1999 that she and Rhema Anderson Fair had made a tape about the people in the picture and noted the names. The tape is missing.

My cousin Herbert Anderson gave me the picture of the house at it stood in the early 2000′s. Another cousin gave me information about Jennie King and her family.

Birth and death dates are from documents found at Ancestry.com