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  1. Friday’s Faces from the Past: At 1038 Grand View Place in St. Louis, Missouri

    November 21, 2014 by Pamela M. McMurray

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    Samuel J. Lee family home at 1038 Grandview, St. Louis, Missouri, October 1922.

    Samuel J. Lee family home at 1038 Grandview, St. Louis, Missouri, October 1922.

    Details of a house can give one clues to pictures with no names, addresses, or dates. The first picture in this post was positively identified by Gene Lee as being their Grand View home, and he identified his mother and the place in the image below. From there we need to make educated guesses about other images in a photo album that look similar.

    Dorothy (Aiken) Lee, probably in front of their home at 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri.

    Dorothy (Aiken) Lee, probably in front of their home at 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri. (Known identification of Dorothy.)

    Things we know about this house:

    1) It has large white rectangular stones along foundation.

    05 Aug 1923, outside 1038 Grand View Place. Unknown woman.

    05 Aug 1923, outside 1038 Grand View Place. Unknown woman.

    2) The house has brick above the foundation, probably a red brick.

    3) There are arched bricks over lower windows of the house in the basement.

    4) The house has a basement.

    5) Lattice surrounds the base of the porch.

    April 1918, outside 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri. Possibly Dora Russell Aiken, who lived with her daughter's family.

    April 1918, outside 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri. Possibly Dora Russell Aiken, who lived with her daughter’s family.

    6) A wooden railing with columns surrounds the porch.

    7) Height of porch is about 4 feet.

    1920, Lloyd Eugene "Gene" Lee at 1038 Grandview, St. Louis, Missouri. He was about 13 in this photo.

    1920, Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee at 1038 Grandview, St. Louis, Missouri. He was about 13 in this photo.

    8) The front porch has wide steps.

    1922- 1038 Grand View Place. Probably Dorothy (Aiken) Lee.

    1922- 1038 Grand View Place. Probably Dorothy (Aiken) Lee.

    9) It looks like the wild vegetation was cleared back and columns made bigger on the porch- note differences from first image, but others of these images were verified by  Gene Lee (who lived there)- he said they were 1038 Grand View Place.

    10) There is a lone tree at the base of the steps.

    11) A narrow sidewalk curves around the side of the house.

    April 1918, outside 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri. Possibly Dora Russell Aiken, who lived with her daughter's family.

    April 1918, outside 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri. Possibly Dora Russell Aiken, who lived with her daughter’s family.

    11) The house appears to be on a cul-de-sac.

    12) Using Google maps and street view, we can see that there is a large two-story building nearby (currently a school and may have been in the 1920s as well), plus a house nearby that has a third story window that is the maximum height for its width in the gable. (This house seems to have been demolished; the freeway is very close by now and the road was terminated.)

    Using these clues, there are other images in the Lee photo album that were most probably taken at 1038 Grand View Place. Knowing who lived in the house at certain times can help us narrow the possibilities of the persons in the pictures.

    May 30, 1924, Decoration Day probably in front of 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri.

    May 30, 1924, Decoration Day probably in front of 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri. Dorothy (Aiken) Lee on left?

    April, 1918. Possibly Dorothy (Aiken) Lee in front of their home at 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri.

    April, 1918. Possibly Dorothy (Aiken) Lee in front of their home at 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri. Note similar house next door.

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    Possibly Dora J. Russell on left with unknown woman. Probably in front of 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri, in the 1920s.

    Possibly Dora J. (Russell) Aiken at 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri, 1920s.

    Possibly Dora J. (Russell) Aiken at 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri, May 1923.

    The Lees had moved on to 6704 Alamo by the time of the 1930 US Federal census.

    The house is still standing, and is listed on Zillow.com as being 1,444 sq. ft. with one bathroom, built in 1908. It is located near Clayton and Berthold Streets on Grandview Place (now ‘Grand View’ is one word instead of two). Due to Google’s Terms of Service I cannot post an image of the house, but if you click here, it should take you to the image.

     

    Notes, Sources, and References: 

    1) Photos from the Lee family treasure chest.

    2) GoogleMaps street view of house today: https://www.google.com/maps/@38.6310572,-90.3012714,3a,75y,87.49h,90.75t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sZ8aSXN4kZFkCNUzY4o9ygQ!2e0


  2. Those Places Thursday: 1038 Grand View, St. Louis, Missouri

    November 20, 2014 by Pamela M. McMurray

    Samuel J. Lee family home at 1038 Grandview, St. Louis, Missouri, October 1922.
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    In the Gould’s 1917 City Directory for  St. Louis, Missouri, Samuel J. Lee is listed as residing at 1038 Grand View Place.

    Gould's 1917 City Directory listing for Samuel J. Lee. Ancestry.com

    Gould’s 1917 City Directory listing for Samuel J. Lee. Ancestry.com

    The family probably purchased the house sometime between 1910 and 1917, as at the 1910 census, the family was living at 4063 Chouteau, very near Sam’s store at 4067 Chouteau. (Were they possibly living over the store in those early years?)

    The family was still living in this house on Grand View Place when the 1920 US Federal Census was enumerated. Samuel J. Lee, his wife Dorothy (Aiken) Lee, their son Lloyd E. Lee (later known by his middle name, Eugene or “Gene”), and Dorothy’s mother Dora J. (Russell) Aiken (she was separated from her husband, William H. Aiken) were still living in the household. Sam had his own store and worked there as a druggist, and his mother-in-law also worked there, as a saleswoman.

    Dorothy (Aiken) Lee, probably in front of their home at 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri.

    Dorothy (Aiken) Lee, probably in front of their home at 1038 Grand View Place, St. Louis, Missouri. (Known identification of Dorothy, per Gene Lee.)

    The house was in a beautiful area- just a long block to Forest Park, the 1300+ acre park that was the site of the 1904 World’s Fair (AKA ‘Louisiana Purchase Exposition’). The park also houses the Art Museum, zoo, bandstands, picnic areas, lakes, etc., and has been a centerpiece of St. Louis life for well over a century. The surrounding homes were big for the time period, with two or three stories. Yards were fairly small since the home was in the city, but there were small trees planted on the lot to provide shade and some cooling in the relentless sun and heat of St. Louis summers.

    Learning more about a house and it’s setting can help us to understand the socio-economic position of a family, their passions (gardens, yard art, etc.), their style, etc. Looking at the architectural features of a home can help us to identify unknown photos, and possibly help date them and give us clues about the people in the images.

    Tomorrow: using clues from a house to help identify unmarked photos.

     

    Notes, Sources, and References: 

    1) Photo from the Lee family treasure chest.

    2) Gould’s 1917 City Directory for St. Louis, Missouri: Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. http://interactive.ancestry.com/2469/11419399/619815277?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.com%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3fdb%3dUSDirectories%26h%3d619815277%26ti%3d0%26indiv%3dtry%26gss%3dpt%26ssrc%3dpt_t4160486_p-1645006806_kpidz0q3d-1645006806z0q26pgz0q3d32768z0q26pgplz0q3dpid&ssrc=pt_t4160486_p-1645006806_kpidz0q3d-1645006806z0q26pgz0q3d32768z0q26pgplz0q3dpid&backlabel=ReturnRecord. Accessed 10/14/14.

    3) 1920 US Federal Census for Samuel J. Lee household: Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: St Louis Ward 24, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri; Roll: T625_960; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 468; Image: 245. Ancestry.com. Accessed 10/14/14. http://interactive.ancestry.com/6061/4313228-00245/103082041?backurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ancestry.com%2fcgi-bin%2fsse.dll%3fdb%3d1920usfedcen%26h%3d103082041%26ti%3d0%26indiv%3dtry%26gss%3dpt%26ssrc%3dpt_t4160486_p-1645006806_kpidz0q3d-1645006806z0q26pgz0q3d32768z0q26pgplz0q3dpid&ssrc=pt_t4160486_p-1645006806_kpidz0q3d-1645006806z0q26pgz0q3d32768z0q26pgplz0q3dpid&backlabel=ReturnRecord

     

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    Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

     
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  3. Mystery Monday: What is the Birth Date of Little Johnny Beerbower?

    November 17, 2014 by Pamela M. McMurray

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    24 July 1883 visit of Mrs. Jennie Beerbower and her son Johnny to Samuel T. Beerbower. The Marion Daily Star (Marion OH), volume VI, number242, page 6, column 2 .

    24 July 1883 visit of Mrs. Jennie Beerbower and her son Johnny to Samuel T. Beerbower. “The Marion Daily Star” (Marion OH), volume VI, number 242, page 6, column 2 .

    This 1883 article in The Marion Star is curious, for it seems to describe the visit of Jane Elizabeth (Cockrell) Beerbower (1857-1930) with her little son John Beerbower. The problem is that all the birth dates I have found for their only known son, Percy John, state that he was born 18 Jan 1885- two years AFTER this news story.

    Johnny Beerbower, the popular young clerk in the Post Office, is John Eleazer Beerbower (1858-1929). He did live with his brother Samuel Taylor Beerbower’s family and is enumerated  there in the 1880 census on 19 Jun 1880. Johnny was listed as a clerk in the Postmaster’s Office, and Samuel was listed as the Postmaster. (Surely no nepotism here…) So that part of the story fits well.

    Sometime in 1880 Johnny moved to Indianapolis from Marion, Ohio, and on 01 May 1881 he married Jane Elizabeth Cockrell, also known as Jennie.

    One explanation for the above story might be that the young John that visited was actually a first child named after his father who died young, after this visit. Then son Percy John may have been born on 18 Jan 1885. Another scenario is that little “Johnny” and Percy John are one and the same. I have never seen Percy John called “John” but that is not impossible in German households, where people switched first and middle names back and forth, often throughout their lives. Jane Elizabeth used various names throughout her life too, including Jennie as a young woman, and later Josephine Janis.

    It is interesting that the issue of little Johnny never came up in my research before, as I have read quite a lot about this family while searching for sibling information on Edgar Peter Beerbower, my direct ancestor and brother to Johnny Eleazer Beerbower, Jennie’s husband. I have done extensive research on their daughter Elsie Janis, born Elsie Beerbower in 1889, who was a comedienne, actress, singer, impersonator, song and screenplay writer who began her career on the stage as a young child. She was wildly popular and famous at the turn of the twentieth century, and was later known as “The Sweetheart of the A.E.F.” (American Expeditionary Forces, who went to Europe to help fight WWI). Elsie and her mother travelled to Europe during World War I to entertain the troops- there was no support from the military, Elsie put her career on hold, paid for the trips herself, and traveled on ships across the Atlantic that could have been easily sunk by German submarines. See Wishful Wednesday: Elsie Janis for a bit more information about Elsie, and I will have more in upcoming posts about her life.

    If anyone out there has more information that could help solve this mystery, please contact us!

     

    Notes, Sources, and References: 

    1) Mrs. Jennie Beerbower visit: The Marion Daily Star (Marion, OH), volume VI, number 242, page 6, column 2. Posted with kind permission of the newspaper.

    2) 1880 US Federal Census for the Samuel T. Beerbower household: Year: 1880; Census Place: Marion, Marion, Ohio; Roll: 1046; Family History Film: 1255046; Page: 197B; Enumeration District: 099; Image: 0720. Accessed 11/5/14 on Ancestry.com.

    3) Wishful Wednesday: Elsie Janis: http://heritageramblings.net/2014/08/27/wishful-wednesday-elsie-janis/

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    Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

     
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  4. The Anniversary of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s Birth

    November 12, 2014 by Pamela M. McMurray

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    Elizabeth Cady Stanton, c1880. Wikipedia, public domain.

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton, c1880. Wikipedia, public domain.

    Quick- who is Elizabeth Cady Stanton?

    No, she is not a relative of mine. (I wish!)

    You may have dozed off during the maybe two minutes of your high school history class that focused on her and the movement which she helped found.

    If you are female in America, or black (male or female), you owe many of your rights to her.

    If you are male, she helped gain rights for your sister, mother, wife, and daughters, and helped make all persons in our society more equal, which benefits all.

     

    Today is the anniversary of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s birth. She was born to Daniel Cady and Margaret Livingston Cady on 12 Nov 1815 in Johnstown, New York. Her father was an attorney and state Supreme Court judge, and Elizabeth was formally educated in a time when few women had that privilege. Despite her father owning slaves, she also was an abolitionist, temperance worker, and a leader of the early women’s rights movement.

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the principal author of the “Declaration of Rights and Sentiments,” first presented in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention. Based on the Declaration of Independence, it listed the ways that women did not have equal rights in the United States of America: they were taxed without representation, subject to laws they were unable to have a voice in, etc.- the same as the grievances colonists had with Great Britain around 1776. The Oneida Whig stated later that the convention’s ‘Declaration’ was “the most shocking and unnatural event ever recorded in the history of womanity.”

    Elizabeth was different from many in the women’s movement because she addressed other women’s issues, not just suffrage: divorce and custody (men automatically got the children in the few divorces of the time, even if they were bad parents), work and income, property rights, and even birth control. She worked closely with Susan B. Anthony who is now the better known suffragist. They had an equal partnership, however, with Elizabeth writing speeches and Susan delivering them, since she was unmarried and had no children and could travel more easily than Stanton, who had seven children.

    So why is a post about Elizabeth Cady Stanton on this blog? Yes, she is one of my heroes, but her work affects all the women in our family who came after. Edith Roberts was in college the year women got the right to vote- I once asked her what she remembered about it, did she go out and exercise her right to suffrage right after it became law, did she also protest and write to get women suffrage? She replied that she didn’t even remember the event, as she was so busy in school and with her sorority. (I was disappointed.)

    Also, Edward B. Payne, our McMurray ancestor, was active in the woman’s suffrage movement in Berkeley, California in the 1890s. More about this in a future post.

    Women's Suffrage- women are not too emotional… Article in Marion Daily Star (Marion, Ohio), 08 May 1897. Volume XX, Number 143, Page 7, Column 6.

    Women’s Suffrage- women are not too emotional… Article in Marion Daily Star (Marion, Ohio), 08 May 1897. Volume XX, Number 143, Page 7, Column 6. NOTE: Women did have the vote in Wyoming in 1897, thus the reference to lunatics there being only men.

    Although she married, Elizabeth had the phrase, “I promise to obey” removed from her portion of the vows, later writing, “I obstinately refused to obey one with whom I supposed I was entering into an equal relation.”

    Over 70 years after the beginnings of the women’s suffrage movement, Elizabeth Cady Stanton died  on 26 Oct 1902 without ever having voted in the United States of America.

     

    Notes, Sources, and References: 

    1) Wikipedia article on Elizabeth Cady Stanton: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Cady_Stanton 

    2) North Star, July 28, 1848, as quoted in Frederick Douglass on Women’s Rights, Philip S. Foner, ed. New York: Da Capo Press, 1992, pp. 49-51; originally published in 1976, cited in Wikipedia article on ‘Declaration of Sentiments': http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_Sentiments

     

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  5. Veteran’s Day: Honoring Edward A. McMurray, Jr.

    November 11, 2014 by Pamela M. McMurray

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    Edward A. McMurray, Jr., 1943.

    Edward A. McMurray, Jr., 1943.

    Edward A. McMurray, Jr., was just completing his first semester of college  when the news on the radio told of the horrific attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1942. He was working in a gas station to help with college expenses plus helped support his mother as he could. He had dreamed of going to college, but felt he needed to go to war, since he was 18 years old. His duty to his mother as an only child prevailed, however, and he continued with college and work. By the time  December, 1943 rolled around, however, there was no escaping it- he needed to put his dream of being a doctor like his father on hold. Ed enlisted in the Army Air Corp on 24 Oct 1943 in Des Moines, Iowa, and officially began boot camp on 13 Dec 1943 at Jefferson Barracks in Missouri; like all Reservists at that time, he spent his tour on active duty throughout World War II.

    Ed wanted to be a pilot, so had signed up for a training program at college for flying (possibly the Civil Air Patrol?); unfortunately, his eyesight was not good enough to be a military pilot. His second choice was to go into the Medical Corps, but by that time, they had enough trained men to fulfill the need.  So Ed went to boot camp at Jefferson Barracks, then was off to his training school to become an aircraft mechanic.

    Edward A. McMurray, Jr., in uniform with unknown friend. c1942 in Newton, Iowa.

    Edward A. McMurray, Jr., on right in uniform with unknown friend. c1943 or 1944 in Newton, Iowa.

    Mac’s unit left the United States for the South Pacific on April 28, 1944. (See my previous post about his time in the South Pacific here.) He spent 22 months overseas, returning 14 Feb 1946. He had served in the 3rd & 4th Engine Over-Haul Squadrons and the 13th Depot Supply Squadron, and remembered his Serial Number even into his later years: 17152911. Ed separated from the Army Air Corp on 22 Feb 1946, just eight days after returning from overseas. He was honorably discharged.

    In 1949 Iowa offered its World War II veterans a service compensation bonus. Mac filled out a two page application that detailed his squadrons and service dates. (What a treasure for genealogists!) The  WWII Service Compensation Board determined he had earned a bonus of $345.00.

    Thank you, Edward McMurray, and all the brave men and women who have served throughout the years to keep our country, and our world, free. Freedom, of course, is not free, and so many were prepared to pay the ultimate price if needed. We are so grateful that Ed and so many others came home.

     

    Make sure to thank a veteran today.

     

    Notes, Sources, and References: 

    1) National Archives and Records Administration. U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005. Original data: Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946 [Archival Database]; ARC: 1263923. World War II Army Enlistment Records; Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 64; National Archives at College Park. College Park, Maryland, U.S.A.

    2) Military Monday: Edward A. McMurray, Jr. in the Pacific Theater of WWII: http://heritageramblings.net/2014/09/08/military-monday-edward-a-mcmurray-jr-in-the-pacific-theater-of-wwii/

    3) Ancestry.com. Iowa, World War II Bonus Case Files, 1947-1954 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: WWII Bonus Case Files. State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa.

    4) Not quite sure how the WWII service compensation was calculated, but they looked at his months of foreign duty (22) as compared to active domestic service, which they noted as 29 months. Not sure where that number came from, as he had signed up in October 1943 but did not leave the US until Feb. 1946; that was only four months, for a total of 26 months in service.

     

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    Copyright 2013-2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

     
    We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post, and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.