Category Archives: family

Mother’s Death Causes Family Conflict–A Letter from Will Stout

The Cast of Characters in a Family Conflict

William Morgan Stout (1873-1944)  intrigues me. He seemed to attract family conflict.

William Stout

Ancestor Great Uncle William Morgan Stout (1938) 65 years old.

I don’t believe I ever saw Will Stout. If I did meet him on one of his brief visits to Killbuck Ohio, I was too young to remember. My great-uncle, older brother of my grandmother Vera Stout Anderson, lived in New York City during the Gilded Age.

Recently I found a letter that he wrote to my grandmother, Vera Stout Anderson in 1937. This one letter to my grandmother is the only thing that I have in his own handwriting. It nicely fills in the personality of my elusive great-uncle Will.

Will Stout’s Life

Very little factual information about Will Stout survives. For instance, it took me years to discover that he died in Palm Beach Florida rather than New York or New Jersey.  I expected to find him still near his relatives in New Jersey in the 1940s.  I only recently was able to uncover Will and Jean’s marriage record. There I learned her last name and that she was a widow rather than a divorcee.

He did not quite have the distinguished career that my mother described as “a railroad attorney”. Nevertheless Will lived in magical Manhattan. Actually, he was one of many lawyers who worked for the New York  street car company, the Interborough Rapid Transit Company.

Will left Killbuck Ohio for school in upstate New York, and then law school in New York City after his father Dr. William Stout nearly disowned him for what Doc Stout saw as dissolute living. This may have been the first of his involvement in family conflict.  His life turned far away from small town Mid Western living and values.  He married a widow several years older than he was.  She had a daughter who he reportedly adopted, but the couple never had children of their own.

  The Interborough Rapid Transit Company opened the first New York subway line in October 1904. Previously, they owned the first elevated lines (The El).  The city bought the IRT in 1940, and the IRT originally ran the subway lines that today are the numbered lines in the subway system.In 1929, Will would have been working for the company when they took a fare increase appeal to the Supreme Court. They asked to raise their fares from the 1904 rate of five cents to seven cents. They lost, which probably played into the end of the company in 1940.

When he wrote the letter in 1937, Will still struggled through the Great Depression. His company had some serious problems, which probably kept their army of attorneys quite busy.

Maude Stout Bartlett’s Life

Maude Bartlett at Stout-Anderson house, Killbuck (c.1952)

Maude Bartlett at Stout-Anderson house, Killbuck (c.1952)

No one every used my great-aunt Maude’s real name, Mary Emeline Stout (1875-1963).  From family letters and the family picture, I suspect that Hattie Stout favored Maude above her other children.  This made perfect sense because Maude was studious, well-behaved, musical–all the things that my rambunctious grandmother and rebellious great-uncle were not. In this picture you see Maude standing at Hattie’s shoulder and Vera beside her father, while Will sits alone.

 

Stout Family Home in Killbuck, Ohio

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

Maude married at the age of 23 to Carlos Bartlett, and not long after their marriage, the couple moved to Buffalo, New York. She lived a social life their, filled with books and music and entertaining.

Sadly, Carlos died in 1915 at the age of 42.  For the rest of her life, Maude mourned her “dear Carlos.”  She remained in Buffalo, took in a boarder and taught piano lessons, until in the 1950s she moved back to Killbuck, Ohio.  She and my grandmother Vera had a prickly relationship, (more family conflict).  Though as my mother said, they still cared for each other. They lived at opposite ends of the small town, about 1/2 mile apart. In their later years, they  called each other on the phone on days they could not visit.

When Will wrote the letter to Vera in 1937, Maude was still living in Buffalo with an Englishman boarding in her upstairs to supplement Carlos’ Railroad Stocks income.

Vera Stout Anderson

I have written extensively about my namesake grandmother.  In 1937 when she received Will’s letter, she and my grandfather Guy were running a restaurant in their home (see the picture at the head of this blog).  A short time before, they had been running a boarding house.  Guy may have already been showing signs of the heart trouble that forced them to close the restaurant in the early 1940s.  Her youngest son Herbert had married ten years earlier when he was 19, and he already had four children.  Her oldest child, William J. Anderson had one child. her daughter, Harriette was dating a man she did not entirely approve of.  In other words she had troubles of her own.

Harriette (Hattie) Morgan Stout

Hattie Stout in Buffalo

Hattie Stout and Maude Bartlett in Buffalo Circa 1910

I have written about Hattie Stout (1842-1928) who was a school teacher during the Civil War. She was a woman who was widely read and curious about everything.  She explored life to the fullest. My mother said that she even smoked a cigarette in the teens when women were expressing new-found freedoms, just to see what it was like. Her desire was to live long enough to vote, and she did indeed live to see Woman’s Suffrage.

Hattie served as her husband Doc Stout’s assistant, keeping the house and his instruments spotless. She even took care of patients who had to stay in the Stout home in Killbuck for a brief time while they recovered from some illness.  The couple loved to travel, and Hattie accompanied her husband to medical conventions, went to the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893  and visited her son in Manhattan and rode on a double-decker bus.

When Doc Stout died in 1910, Hattie had Vera’s husband take over managing the farms she inherited. She moved into a small house so that they could occupy the large house Doc Stout had built in the center of town.

Hattie visited Maude in Buffalo after Carlos died. By 1920, her health failing at age 78, she had moved to Buffalo to live with Maude. She died in Maude’s home in 1928 at the age of 85.

Cause of Death

Hattie Stout Death Certificate Cause of Death, 1928

The family story ran that Hattie had turned away from the medicine practiced by her late husband Dr. William Stout and her belief in some alternative treatment contributed to her death. When her son Will Stout wrote a letter to her daughter Vera in 1937, Hattie had been dead ten years, but he was still angry.

I was curious about her cause of death. Because she was in New York State, I had to pay $18 and then wait about 9 months before I received the copy of the death certificate.  I have more to say about the cause of death, shown above, in a little bit.

The 1937 Letter from Will Stout to His Sister Vera

Here’s an image of the first page of the four-page letter that Will sent to his sister on April 22, 1937, revealing another family conflict involving Will. As you can see, it is not the easiest handwriting to transcribe, but I have transcribed pertinent parts of the letter below.  Here you can see the name of the company he worked for.

family letter

Letter from Will Stout to Vera Anderson, 1937, page one

…she is impossible it seems to me, & the six weeks or so that I indured (sic) during Mother’s Illness, was sufficient for a lifetime.

Dear Vera & Family,

[ He opens with a response to a recent letter and the fact Vera had not written frequently, which worried his wife. He goes on to complain about his financial circumstances. That may have seemed a bit strange to his much poorer relatives. After all, they did not live in a big city and have a job as lawyer with a large corporation!]

Fortunately for my peace of mind we have been very busy here in the office and have had little time to worry about being the under dog.

It will not be long now when we will be completing our plans for our vacation which as usual I hope to take in August. So far our idea is to drive to Ohio for a day or so & then skip back to a little cottage on a nice little lake upstate where we were for 3 wks last year. It is very unpretentious, very quiet, & cheap & the best place for complete relaxation & rest that we have found yet, so if nothing happens to disrupt our programme (sic) We will start the last Friday or Saturday in July & ought to be in Killbuck the following Monday & Tuesday Aug. 2nd or 3rd, but don’t make extra plans for us we can not stay long for which you should be thankful,

[Here Will mentions possible visits to relatives along the way]

…  the time will be short enough, in fact too short so that we will get ourselves disliked all along the line, but that seems to be the best we can do for I have engaged our cottage starting the 10th of Aug. & so what we are thinking of doing before that date means that we will have to hustle.

[Then he gets to the matter of avoiding his sister Maude. I have bolded the significant statements.]

I don’t suppose you know what Maud is going to do this summer as yet. So when you find out let me know. I have not heard from her in year and I don’t intend to have any Part of my vacation disturbed by a possible scrap, so if she is going to be at Killbuck the 1st week—Aug that will change our plans Of course if she is in Buffalo when we drive thru I will stop & say hello. But that will be all as I recall it she was not at Home the last time we stopped and I suspect she was just as pleased as we were. The last time we did see her she never asked us in the House. But that is all right by me, I am not mad about it & Jean [his wife] is very sorry for her & about the whole thing & gave me fits for not trying to placate her but she is impossible it seems to me, & the six weeks or so that I indured (sic) during Mother’s Illness, was sufficient for a lifetime. That is enough of that, So don’t fail to let me know when she will be if you learn.

Aside from a few colds & minor bellyaches we have faired (sic) very well physically, & I can think of nothing else by way of news. We are looking forward to seeing you & those wonderful kids that a doting Grandmother is crazy about.

[Vera’s son William had a son and her son Herbert had four children by April, 1937.]

Don’t wait so long in finding time to write again.

Love to all

Jean & Will

What Happened in 1928?

Particularly, what happened in Buffalo during that “six weeks or so” that Will refers to? Of course we will never know for sure. But thanks to the doctor who signed the death certificate on January 24, 1928, we know that Hattie died of Diabetes Mellitus (commonly called just diabetes). According to the certificate, she had suffered from Diabetes for twelve years. That was not a particular surprise, as diabetes crops up in several generations in my family. My grandmother (Hattie’s daughter), my sister and one of my sons all have been diagnosed and treated for diabetes.

The most common modern treatment for diabetes, insulin, began to be used in the early 1920s, so would have been available to Hattie.  Read History of treatment of diabetes here.  Did she feel that insulin injections were unnatural?  Did she prefer to use some alternative treatment, like the treatment with high fat diet, which had some supporters at that time? Was she afraid of needles? Or did she, as my family suspected, join a religion that forbade medical treatment?

When I saw on this death certificate “Contributory” [cause of death] as gangrene of the foot I thought of another possibility.  The most common recommendation to deal with the gangrene would be amputation of the foot. She might, understandably, be reluctant to lose her foot, and refused treatment. So perhaps it was the infection that killed her.

The Death Certificate

A minor point: her birth date is given as August 4, 1842 on the death certificate, and date of death is January 24, 1928.  The calculation that she was 85 year, 4 months and 20 days old therefore is slightly off.

One more mystery popped up when I read the death certificate.  I mentioned earlier that Hattie had been living with Maude in 1920.  However, he death certificate says that she has only lived at that address for four months.  Either she had changed her address back and forth from Buffalo to Killbuck, or the census had caught her just visiting in 1920. In that case, she didn’t actually live with Maude until later.  So why would she go to Buffalo in October of 1927?

Presumably Hattie was quite ill by that time. Travel away from home would be difficult, even though she was fleeing to be with her favorite daughter. The only logical reason I can think of for the trip would be to receive some kind of alternative treatment not available in Ohio.

Whatever reason she had, it is clear from Will Stout’s letter that he was present in Buffalo when his mother died. He argued with Maude (and presumably his mother) about Hattie’s treatment.  I can picture the New York attorney descending upon the two ladies at 16 Robie Avenue, ready to take charge.  He was, after all, an attorney–used to arguing.  However, from what I know of Maude, she could be very determined. She may have decided to go along with their mother’s decision about her illness. If so, she would dig her heels in and her older brother would hold no sway. And as we can clearly see, Will lost the argument. His mother lost her life. However, William M. Stout signed the death certificate, listing his address as 537 West 149th Street, NY City.

I am glad to have this glimpse into the personality of William Morgan Stout. However, I am sorry that it is a letter that reveals a family conflict. Despite his wife’s gentle admonitions, Will did not seem to be one to easily forgive.  On the other hand, judging from her refusing to  invite him into her house, neither was his sister Maude.

The Irish Connection: John Henderson

John Henderson (1747-1814)

John Henderson Tombstone

John Henderson tombstone in Taggerts Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Lafferty, Ohio

Note: I frequently warn that genealogical research is a work in progress.  Here is an example. No sooner did I hit publish on this post than I found more information that threw things into doubt. Most particularly, I am now not at all certain that John Henderson was born in Ireland. Like all these Scots Irish ancestors, it is really hard to determine how many generations moved from Scotland to Ireland.  It looks like it may be a long slog to find out just which John Henderson we are dealing with in order to pinpoint his father and siblings. 

The tombstone provides death and through age at death, birth year information. It also claims he is a Revolutionary War veteran.  However, it is obvious that this stone is not from the actual time of his death, so who put it up? Did they have the correct information?

I am confident that I have the right John Henderson that connects to the will–but even there, I can add to what I wrote. I found more information–which I will share as soon as I get a readable image or a good transcription.  Turns out that Ancestry was holding out on me, publishing only the will.  The probate file also includes a list of monies owed and collectible and the home and farm inventory.  Because this was supposed to be a quick post, I did not search Family Search.org, which I will now do.  If they don’t have a digital copy, the information is copied on another Ancestry.com users page.

I should say, John Henderson provides one of the Irish Connections, since on my maternal grandmother’s side, once I start digging into her ancestors, the Irish roots show up consistently.  I always knew that on my maternal grandfather’s side, the Andersons, we have plenty of Scots Irish.  So far, it looks like those on the Anderson line came from Scotland rather than Ireland, but the McCabes and Fifes and perhaps Thompsons are proving rather elusive.

Until recently, I had overlooked the fact that my maternal grandmother’s line also yielded Irish blood. The Irish roots show up in the Cochrans, for instance. When my grandmother’s grandfather married Emmeline Cochran, however, it led me back to not only Cochrans but also Hendersons and even an Adams that seem to all come from Ireland.

Irish Cultural Center

Irish Cultural Center, Phoenix

So why this sudden fascination with Irish ancestors?  I recently learned about a very special Irish Cultural Center and library in Phoenix, Arizona–just a two-hour drive from where I live.  Next week I’m going to visit there, and if I decided to track my Irish or Scots Irish ancestors, I can return to their library on a day when they have helpers available.  I’m excited about the trip, and so I started looking at the Cochrans and stumbled upon the fact that John Henderson, my fifth great-grandfather is from County Down in Ireland.

I have not had time to get an enormous amount of information about John and his wife Martha and their enormous family of ten children–but I did find his will, and figured I might as well share it.  Just to show that wills can be marvelous starting points for research.

John lived in Pennsylvania for a time and his oldest son, William was born there, but he moved to Belmont County, Ohio.

Note that Belmont County sits next door to Guernsey County where my Stout ancestors lived.  I have written about my great-grandfather Stout’s family quite frequently, starting with his father Isaiah.  I also wrote about Emmeline Cochran Stout, who leads me to HER great-grandfather, John Henderson.

THE WILL of JOHN HENDERSON, May 1814

John Henderson Will

John Henderson Will 1814

[I have separated parts of the will into paragraphs and added some punctuation to aid clarity. I also put the family names, in one mention, in bold, for clarity. It appears that the will was written by a clerk, including the signatures, so I am not showing the signature for Henderson.]

Whereas I, John Henderson of Belmont County, State of Ohio, being weak in body but of sound mind and memory, do make this my last will and testament in the manner and form following, viz. First, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Martha Henderson the third part of the rents and profits at the middle third piece of land I now live on with the privilege of living in one-half of my dwelling house during her widowhood, viz. also sixty dollars to be paid out of the money due to my estates and her choice of one Cow out of my stock, her bedstead bed and bedding, a spinning wheel, bureau, a walnut table, corner cupboard and all the furniture usually kept in the same and her saddle.

I do also give and bequeath to my sons William, Thomas and John, one dollar each. 

I give and bequeath to my son Robert his heirs and assigns the south third of my land where he has improved and he is to pay one hundred and ninety dollars in two years after my decease for the use of my daughters.

I also will and bequeath to my son David his heirs and assigns the north third part of my land where he has made an improvement. He is also to pay one hundred & thirty dollars two years after my decease for the use of my daughters.

I likewise will and bequeath to my son Andrew, the middle third part of my land and his heirs and assigns forever. The lines of each of the above mentioned places to stay as they are now run except two acres that is to (sic) much in my son David part which is to be taken from that part and given my son Andrew to be taken below the sugar crop across the bottom and I wish my son Andrew to work the 3rd part now given to him. For to enable him to do it he shall have the two horses and two pairs of gears and all other articles necessary for plowing.  One ax and one grubing (sic) hoe, two hilling hoes and he is to have the young bay mare, two years old this spring. And give up the other two when he comes of age which is to be sold and divided as the other moveable property and if he works the place he shall have the two thirds of the profit, the other two thirds to be equally divided between my beloved wife and my daughter Martha while Martha remain single. If she marries it shall be given to her mother and the said Andrew is to pay one hundred and ninety dollars three years after he comes of age for the use of my daughters.

I do also will and bequeath to my daughters Agnes, Sarah, Martha, and Margaret all the money due and owing to my estate that is not herein otherwise disposed of together with the five hundred and ten dollars to be paid by my three sons.  My daughters all to be made equal counting what they have got that is charged to them in the papers enclosed with what may be charged to them before my decease.

I do further devise that my moveable property not herein otherwise disposed to be sold by my executors and the third part thereof I give and bequeath to my beloved wife and the other two-thirds to be equally divided among y four daughters.

And lastly I do hereby appoint my beloved wife, my son Robert and David Wallace to be my sole Executors of this, my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills and testaments any time heretofore made or executed hereby declaring ratifying and confirming this to be my last will and testament to intents and purposes.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty-seventh day of May Eighteen hundred and fourteen.

Signed, John Henderson

[witnesses]

William C. Theakes

John Campbell

INFORMATION GAINED

With this will, we learn the approximate date of his death, his location–county and state– the first names of his wife, six sons and four daughters. We learn that Andrew is the youngest son.  Since he mentions that Martha will get XXX until she marries, I might assume that his other daughters are married, but that is not made certain as it is in some wills where the women’s married names are used.  He does not mention any grandchildren, which could mean he doesn’t have any, but likely means that none of his children died before him, leaving “issue.”

Find a Grave and an application for the Sons of the American Revolution indicate he was born in 1747, so he is about 67 years old when he writes his will.  His wife Martha is 55.  I can speculate that he was married when Martha was 18 to 20, so they have been married 38-40 years and his oldest son, William (usually the children are listed in order of age) is about 40 years old in 1814. In fact, other sources say William was born in 1774 and Andrew in .

The will is only a starting point, and much more evidence is needed, but it gives plenty of clues for the search.

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
  • William Cochran Stout, who is the son of
  • Emmeline (Cochran) Stout, who is the daughter of
  • Martha (Henderson) Cochran, who is the daughter of
  • William T. Henderson who is the son of
  • John Henderson from Ireland

A Note on Sources

Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998, Accessed at Ancestry.com. From Will Records, 1804-1919 ; General Index to Estates, 1801-1935; Author: Ohio. Probate Court (Belmont County); Probate Place: Belmont, Ohio Will Records, Vol A, 1804-1816

Find a Grave. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/70178975 There is quite a bit of information on John Henderson and his wife, without documentation. I have written to the poster to ask for more detail.

U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 accessed at Ancestry.com  While some applications for Sons of the American Revolution can be valuable, this one appears to have skipped a generation after John Henderson’s son. With an obvious error in another generation, the information on John and Martha cannot be taken as proof.

The following records indicate a John Henderson, and are consistent as well as located in Belmont County, Ohio, however I need more data to be sure they apply to the correct John Henderson.

Ohio Tax List 1809, John Henderson, Belmont County, Oxford Township. From Ohio, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1790-1890 at Ancestry.com

Ohio Tax List 1806, John Henderson, Belmont County, no township listed. From Ohio, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1790-1890 at Ancestry.com

U.S., Indexed Early Land Ownership and Township Plats, 1785-1898, Plat map with John Henderson’s name in two places, accessed at Ancestry.com. From National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Township Plats of Selected States; Series #: T1234; Roll: 51

Random Ancestors: Annie Morgan, The Traveler

This ancestor caught my eye because of the passport application. Annie Morgan,lived life her own way, traveled to Europe when many of my ancestors never traveled out-of-state.

The Traveling Cousin

Anna Isabel Annie Morgan (1856-1948), second cousin two times removed.

Anna Isabel Morgan

Annie Morgan in her 1922 passport photo. A nice looking lady at 65.

This is the Morgan line of my traveling great-grandfather Jesse Morgan. Anna/Annie Morgan ‘s grandfather was George Morgan, brother of my 2x great-grandfather, Jesse Morgan. If you haven’t read Jesse’s  story and his letters, I encourage you to put Jesse’s  name in the search bar. He is the most interesting character by far of all my relatives. His letters to my great-great-grandmother were written while he was trading horses around the Midwest. Yep, that would be the one who left my 2x great grandmother behind when he went on the California gold rush without telling her, and got himself shot and killed on the streets in California.

But the inclination to wander perhaps spread throughout the Morgan family.  I found a DNA match with a Morgan, and in trying to figure out if it was Jesse’s family, I checked out Jesse’s nieces and nephews.  That led me to the interesting Anna or Annie as she was called.

Born in Indiana, she died in Los Angeles. And she may have never married. However her life was well documented, including a passport application in February 1922 when she was 65 years old.

I know from census records, a Morgan history, and the passport application that her father was Abel Leeds Morgan, son of George Morgan. Anna Isabel Morgan was born in Lexington Indiana and living there with her family in 1860 and 1870. Her brothers and sisters were Rosalie (Manasse) (  1844- After 1915), Melvin (b. 1847), Fairfield (1849-1916), Adeline (Woods) (1851-bef. 1915), and Ada (Smith) (1856- bef. 1915)

The family’s father died in March 1880 and later that year when the census taker arrived, Annie Morgan, now 23 and once again listed as single, was living with her mother and grand-mother in Lexington.

Of course the 1890 census is not available. I also have not located her on the 1910 and 1920 census records. So at first I thought that the next time she surfaces, she is living in Chicago and preparing to take a tour of Europe in 1922.

I want to say thanks to a fellow user of Genealogy, Just Ask! on Facebook for explaining to me that looking at passport records can be confusing, because Ancestry shows the front page of the application on the right hand side of the page, and a picture of the previous person listed shows up on the left.  I spent some time trying to understand how Annie could be a male before I got the hint that I needed to go to the next page’s image for the back of Annie’s application and her picture.

passport application

Annie Morgan passport, 1st image. Front of her passport application on right, another application on left.

passport application

2nd image. Back of Annie’s passport application is on the left.

Confused yet?  I surely was until someone straightened me out.

This definitely is the right Annie, because it has her father’s name, exact date of birth that corresponds with a death record, and the fact that she now lived in Chicago.  (At this point I still didn’t know why she lived in Chicago anyhow.

So what did I learn besides the fact that by 1922 she had moved to Chicago? At 65 years old, she is still single, stands 5’8″ tall and has blue eyes and gray hair and fair complexion.

Two other important things stand out that are more puzzles than information.

  1. In her reasons for travel Annie Morgan listed going to France to visit family. Additionally she would be traveling to Switzerland, British Isles, Italy and Gibraltar–a wonderful Grand Tour.

Since the Morgans come from Wales, I am still curious as to what family was in France in 1922.  And sadly, she seemed to have no close friends or relatives in Chicago.  Her witness was her optometrist and she put down his address for her passport to be sent to.  (Perhaps she was traveling to see family in the U.S. before leaving on her European tour and would not be in Chicago to receive the passport.) And incidentally, how could she afford a trip to Europe? Did she travel alone?  It seems unlikely.

2.  Why does she have the name of an optometrist in the witness section and an optometrist’ address for return of the passport? Did she have no friends?

Then in 1948, a death notice appears in California.  According to the California record, Anna Isabel Morgan, daughter of Abel Leeds Morgan, died in Los Angles. Another puzzle. Why did she move to L.A.?

After I thought I was finished with this report on Annie Morgan, I decided to scan a couple of her siblings to see if I could pick up any more information.  I hit gold.

Her brother Fairfield, an optometrist (AHA! that explains the witness and address for her passport), had moved to Chicago in 1868 according to the Cook County voter records. Because of his occupation, he was easy to find in city directories, and his listings helped me locate his sister Annie . Following this additional source–city directories–It turns out Annie Morgan did have an occupation after all. She was an elocutionist at the Chicago Conservatory as early as 1888. (An elocutionist teaches proper speech to public speakers and actors) And she did have family living in Chicago.

Note:  Looking through newspaper articles with Anna Morgan in them, I found a bridal notice in a 1928 Chicago Newspaper saying the bride attended the Anna Morgan Studio of Dramatic Art.  This surely is Annie Morgan, elocutionist.  But then look what I found.  The address matches that in the 1905 Chicago city directory–The Fine Arts Building, Chicago.

Ad for Anna Morgan Studio

Daily Northwestern, Oshkosh Wisconsin, September 17, 1902.

I found Fairfield Morgan’s will, filed in 1916. (He died on August 11, 1916).  He had no wife, and outlived most of his siblings. His surviving older sister Rosalie Morgan Manasse, lived in Chicago in 1916, and he leaves her just $50.  He did, however have two nieces, daughters of his deceased sisters Adeline and Ada. Both of them lived in Los Angeles when he wrote the will, and he left each of them a hefty $6,000. He also designated to “My sister Annie I. Morgan, now residing in Rockford Illinois all the rest and residue of my estate both real and personal.” Additionally, Annie was entrusted with the task of being executrix of the will.

Another Aha!  So the aging Annie, European adventures behind her, moved to Los Angeles to be near her nieces, perhaps the only close relatives she had. Or perhaps, like my great-great grandfather, Jesse, her great-uncle, she just wanted one more adventure and set off for California..

As with Jesse Morgan, I have not answered all the questions about Annie Morgan, but I have found enough evidence to suggest she was a very interesting lady. I probably will return again and again to the Abel Leeds Morgan family because I am still intrigued with those questions. Perhaps more DNA matches will help put a broader picture in focus.