Funeral Card Friday: Margaret Ann Hemphill Daniel

1915_1223 Margaret Ann Hemphill Daniel- Obituary. Prairie City News, Prairie City, Iowa, 23 Dec 1915.
1915_1223 Margaret Ann Hemphill Daniel- Obituary. Prairie City News, Prairie City, Iowa, 23 Dec 1915. (Click to enlarge.)

Actually, the title of this post is a misnomer, as we do not have a funeral card for Margaret Ann Hemphill Daniel. We do, however, have an obituary, which is even better. And I wanted this to get posted to the Geneabloggers Pinterest site so am using the prompt, to help others find this information.

The small county of Pike, along the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, must have been a wild and beautiful place in 1839, when Margaret Ann Hemphill was born. Prairie, bluff, and the eternal river that provided food, transportation of crops and goods, as well as people, would have been a part of everyday life for the Hemphill family.

Margaret was the third of ten children of Elizabeth Carson Turner (1811-1882) and David Houston Hemphill (1810-1882). David was a native of South Carolina, and Elizabeth had been born in Illinois, so they may have met during David’s migration or in Missouri. Their first child, Rebecca Jane, was born in Missouri per most references, so they were in Pike County by May of 1836. By 1850, ten year-old Margaret Ann’s father was listed in the US Federal Census as a farmer with $3200 in real estate (more than many adjoining farmers); many others on that census page were from South Carolina too.

In the 1860 US Federal census, Margaret was twenty-one and still living with her parents and siblings. Interestingly, Margaret and her older brother Joseph and younger brother John are listed as having some personal estate: Joseph, a farm laborer, has $140, Margaret noted as a Domestic (like her mother) has $125, and John, also a farm laborer, has $100- could this be an inheritance, as the younger children did not have any values listed? Their father was again listed as a farmer, but with $800 in personal value, nothing listed for real estate.

The Civil War was particularly hard on those who lived in Missouri- it was a border state and sympathies could be found for both sides. Many battles and skirmishes took place in Missouri, and family farms were raided for whatever foods, blankets, and other comforts the troops from either side could grab, leaving less for the citizens of the area.

Meanwhile, Robert Woodson “R.W.” Daniel, a native of Rockbridge County, Virginia who had been born 26 May 1843, had migrated to Pike County with his parents when just two years old. In 1862, he enlisted in Co. C., 3rd Regiment, Missouri State Military Cavalry for a term of 3 years. (More about RW in another post.) Less than a year after being discharged, RW and Margaret married on 16 Jan 1866 in Pike County, Missouri.

Their first daughter, Ella V. Daniel, was born in October of that year.

Soon after their marriage they migrated to Warren County, Illinois, along with his parents, Charles M. Daniel (1819-1875) and Elizabeth Thomas (1817-1885). Their first daughter, Ella V. Daniel, was born in October of that year, in Young America, Warren County, Illinois. Two sons were born: John W. Daniel, in 1868, Charles H. Daniel in 1869, plus another child of unknown sex born about 1870; all three died in infancy.

The family lived in Warren County for about five years, where they met the John S. Roberts family. The Robertses, including John’s wife Elizabeth Ann Murrell Roberts, came to visit after daughter Ella was born, and brought their five year-old son, George A. Roberts (1861-1939). George would marry their daughter Ella V. years later, in 1885.

A number of Warren County families decided to migrate to Jasper County, Iowa, including the Roberts and Daniel families. The Roberts family migrated about 1868; it is unknown if the families migrated together, but RW and Margaret Ann Daniel were in Jasper County by the 05 Aug 1870 US Federal Census.

Margaret had one more child, Lily G. Daniel, in 1872. Lily thankfully survived into adulthood, married, and had two daughters. (Winnie V. Walker, called “Cousin Winnie” by Edith Roberts, and Hilma L. Walker.)

RW and Margaret lived on the farm and worked the land through 1900, and then moved to Des Moines, Iowa, by the 1910 Census. They apparently moved back to Prairie City in 1915, due to Margaret’s illness and need for family to help nurse her. Margaret died 19 Dec 1915 at age 76.

Margaret Ann Hemphill Daniel- illness mentioned in Prairie City News, 23 Dec 1915, Vol. 41, No 52, Page 1, Column 1.
Margaret Ann Hemphill Daniel- illness mentioned in Prairie City News, 23 Dec 1915, Vol. 41, No 52, Page 1, Column 1.

Their daughter Ella V. Daniel Roberts passed away 17 Jan 1922 at the young age of 55. Robert Woodson Daniel died just five months later, on 20 Jun 1922 at age 79.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Margaret Ann Hemphill Daniel- Obituary. Prairie City News, Prairie City, Iowa, 23 Dec 1915. Volume 41, Number 52, Page 1, Column 1. Original newspaper- the whole paper!- in author’s possession. This scan is from long ago- hence not optimal quality, sorry. I need to put a rescan on my list of Genealogy To-Do items.

2) Beautiful old map of 1836 Missouri, 3 years before Margaret Ann was born: http://www.mapofus.org/_maps/atlas/1836-MO.html

3) Margaret’s obit states that she was a member of the “W.R.C.” This was the ‘Woman’s Relief Corps’ which was a group that was formed to help Civil War veterans and their widows and children.

4) Interestingly, the Missouri marriage records state Margaret’s name as “Mrs. Margaret E. Hemphill.” Entries for other brides, though in a different hand, are very clearly “Miss” so it is unknown if Margaret was previously married to a Hemphill, instead of that being her maiden name, or if it was a clerical error. (Hopefully the latter or a lot of researchers have wrong information.) Margaret A. Hemphill is listed in the family of David H. Hemphill and Elizabeth C. Turner, so hopefully it was just an error. Adding to Genealogy To-Do list…

5) Margaret Ann Hemphill Daniel Find A Grave Memorial #76668654– http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSvcid=210058&GRid=76668654&

6) Hemphill-Daniel Marriage Record- Ancestry.com. Missouri Marriage Records, 1805-2002 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2007. Original data: Missouri Marriage Records. Jefferson City, MO, USA: Missouri State Archives. Microfilm.

 

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Wishful Wednesday: Elsie Janis

Sheet music cover for "Bless Your Ever Loving Little Heart," from "The Slim Princess."
Sheet music cover for “Bless Your Ever Loving Little Heart,” from “The Slim Princess” stage musical. (The movie used a different actress.)

Elsie Janis’ real name was Elsie Bierbower (or Elsie Beerbower), so if you are a Helbling or Bierbower cousin, you may be related to this very-famous-in-her-time comedienne, actress, singer, mimic, and entertainer of our troops in World War I. Those troops gave her the nickname, “Sweetheart of the A.E.F. (American Expeditionary Forces)” and she truly earned the accolade.

Why is this a “Wishful Wednesday” post? It is because Elsie’s 1st cousin once removed, Mary Theresa Helbling, wanted so much to be a singer like Elsie. Mary’s mother, Anna May Bierbower Helbling, was Elsie’s cousin, and talked about her often as Mary grew up. Mary also loved the movie magazines and cut paper dolls from them, when she was allowed to have such expensive and scandalous magazines. By that time Elsie was mostly a writer for the movies- she never transitioned well from the stage to talkies as an actress. Elsie led a glamorous life though, and was often pictured in the magazines. Mary, when young, wished she had a life like that too.

Mary Theresa Helbling- 1940s Glamour Pose
Mary Theresa Helbling- 1940s Glamour Pose

Mary also loved to sing- she had a very beautiful voice. She loved listening to light opera and singing along to it and all the wonderful old movies with Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, and the fabulous musicals of the 1950s and 60s. Her voice was good enough to have sung on the radio back in the late 1930s or 1940s- wish I could remember more about that. Later, Mary and the love of her life, Edward A. McMurray, Jr., would sing together around the house, with a beautiful harmony and sometimes mooney-eyed in-love looks at each other even when they knew the kids were watching.

This is also “Wishful Wednesday” because I wished for so many years to be able to hear Elsie’s voice. There was a university in Idaho, IIRC, that had old recordings, including those of Elsie. Back then, I wrote a letter on paper (!) and sent it to them, asking if there was any way they could record Elsie’s voice on reel-to-reel tapes (!!) for me. No answer, despite repeated requests, even once the internet started up and I sent an email. (Maybe because I was not a scholarly researcher?) Many years later, there are now digital recordings of her music available to the public- even on iTunes. Wonder what Elsie would make of that???

Elsie Janis-Sweetheart of the AEF Audio CD Cover
Elsie Janis- Sweetheart of the A.E.F. Audio CD Cover

Downloading Elsie’s music was my first time for music with ‘Explicit’ material. I was sort of shocked- why would Elsie’s music be labeled as such? I then realized that some of the material was racist, such as that from minstrel shows or musicals that showed the races in the context of their times, the late 1800s-early 1900s, not our times. (Still hard to listen to some of those songs because of that.) I have also been able to buy one of her records on eBay, but no longer have a turntable so have not been able to listen to it.

The internet sure has made the amazing world of the past available to us all in seconds, and even while in our pajamas! It is wonderful to have my wish to hear Elsie come true; sure wish Mary would have had that opportunity.

More to come about Elsie’s interesting life!

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) See the International Movie Database at  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0006059/ for details about the stage musical and movie, “The Slim Princess.”

2) Elsie Janis Find a Grave Memorial # 10334. The bio is inaccurate although I have contacted the person many times. The family links were finally changed but it still erroneously states that she was the daughter of Lou Bierbauer. See also the memorials for her family members on Find a Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=10334. A Bierbower researcher had also added a memorial for her: Memorial # 33617289 at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSvcid=186286&GRid=33617289&.

3) “Sweetheart of the A.E.F.” is the title of the audio CD that contains 20 of her most popular songs. It is available on smile.Amazon.com and iTunes.

4) Remember Mitch Miller and Sing Along with Mitch? It ran from 1961-1966 on NBC. Mitch had a male chorale and also featured other excellent singers, like Leslie Uggmans, on the show. (Bob McGrath was one of those in the chorale; he later went on to be a long-time host of Sesame Street.) Mitch is regarded as the inventor of today’s karaoke, as the program featured the words shown on the screen, so the whole family could sing along. (There was no bouncing ball though.) For more information, see the Archive of American Television– http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/shows/sing-along-with-mitch. YouTube has videos of some performances: Sing Along with Mitch, Part 1 of 4– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dY9gtYeHhk. (The commercials are wonderful- frozen foods were just becoming popular. I remember the whole family eating frozen TV dinners on the folding metal TV trays while watching Mitch!)

5) Sheet music and photo of Mary Helbling in personal collection of the author.

 

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Matrilineal Monday: 1938 Broida Memorials

1938 Broida Reunion News, page 3. (Click to enlarge.)
1938 Broida Reunion News, page 3. (Click to enlarge.)

 

Broidas are a part of our matrilineal line, so today is a good day to post the remaining two pages of the 1938 Broida Reunion News, as it contains memorials for those who had passed away since the previous reunion. The memorials are for Myron Broida (d. 26 Aug 1937), Joseph Hirsh (d. 25 Jan 1938, husband of Libbie Broida), and Kate (Broida) York (d. 14 Apr 1938).

Page four of the issue suggests memorials for those who have recently passed on, plus some Association information. The 1937-1938 officers of the Broida Reunion Committee were Isaac Rogow, Myron Broida, John Serbin, Joseph Hirsh, and Leonard Broida, but two had the sad circumstance that  “…Long Life failed them.”

1938 Broida Reunion News, page 4. (Click to enlarge.)
1938 Broida Reunion News, page 4. (Click to enlarge.)

The Broida ladies finally get a little press as the ‘Local Secretaries’ for the Reunion Committee: Martha Smith, Mrs. Morris Broida, Anita Broida, Frances rothfield, Sylvia Collins, Mrs. Julius Broida, Anna Shapiro, Jean Hirsh, Sylvia Pollock, Sarita Snyder, Eva Goldstein, Pearl Blumenthal, Lillian Gefsky, Leah Broida, and Minnie York.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Family ephemera.

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Wedding Wednesday: Ella V. Daniel and George A. Roberts

Roberts-Daniel marriage announcement, after 16 Apr 1885. newspaper unknown but possibly one from Prairie City, Jasper County, Iowa.
Roberts-Daniel marriage announcement, after 16 Apr 1885. Newspaper unknown but possibly  from Prairie City, Jasper County, Iowa. (Click to enlarge.)

Ella Viola Daniel was just 18 when she married her 23 year-old friend and neighbor, George Anthony Roberts.

Great-granddaughter wearing the wedding dress of Ella V. Daniel.
The sixteen year-old great-granddaughter of Ella V. Daniel wearing her wedding dress, about 1970 in Edith Roberts Luck’s home. The dress was stored in the attic for over 50 years of hot Iowa summers and very cold Iowa winters. (Click to enlarge.)

Ella and George had four children together, with the first living only three months. Their children were John Robert Roberts (1888-1888), George A. Roberts, Jr. (1889-1965), Ethel Gay Roberts (1891-1969), and Edith Mae Roberts (1899-1982).

Their daughter Edith remembers them as a loving couple, and they had 36 years together before Ella died at age 55. George lived 17 years longer, and remarried, to Lucy L. (Cadwalader) Frank  (1875-1970).

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Family photos and ephemera.

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Madness Monday: Ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920

Edith Roberts, center front, with her sorority sisters at Iowa state University, circa 1920.
Edith Roberts, center front, with her sorority sisters at Iowa State University, circa 1920. (Click to enlarge.)

August 18, 1920, was actually not the day of madness- it was all those years before that date that were the madness. How could one half of the population of the United States of America not be allowed to vote? In a country based on freedom, women had no freedom to choose those who would make the laws nor use them to judge. Taxation without representation? It continued long after 1776 for every woman and every black person who was not allowed to vote, despite many of them having taxable income.

The 15th Amendment, passed in 1870, (theoretically) gave men of any “race, color, or previous condition of servitude” the right to vote. Women had worked to help gain suffrage for black men, hoping that it would be realized that women should also have the right to vote. That was not to be, especially because men and those with interest in taverns and the liquor industry thought that if women had the right to vote, alcoholic beverages would be banned. So black men were allowed to vote in 1870 (although discrimination made that difficult in some areas of the country). It took fifty more years of toil, suffering, discrimination, even torture (yes, in the USA!) for passage of the 19th Amendment ‘allowing’ women the right to vote.

I worked to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed back in the 1970s, but sadly, ratification fell short and women still do not have full protection under the law in this country. Back then, when I realized that Edith Roberts had been in college, studying biology in 1920 when the 19th Amendment was ratified, I could not wait to hear her stories. She loved debate- had won a number of contest when young- and in her later years followed politics and international news, mostly through the PBS station in her hometown of Newton, Iowa. I naturally thought she would have been the same as a young woman (without the television, of course), especially since she was studying a ‘man’s’ subject, rather than womanly arts like teaching or music (which was her first major when she went off to college). Her father had been active politically in Jasper County, Iowa- she adored him, so I assumed she followed his political leanings and maybe they even discussed such issues at home. Iowa was such a progressive state- I could only imagine that in an Iowa college, they would have discussed and debated the issue of women’s suffrage. I wanted to know what it felt like to be a part of such a momentous event for women- had she joined protesters marching against President Wilson’s policies? Was she ever arrested due to her vocal call for women getting the right to vote? How did her college classmates react when women got the right to vote? What were her feelings the first time she exercised her hard-won suffrage? I could feel a connection between my conviction and what I imagined was hers, because she had always been a woman of her own mind, independent politically, financially, and mentally.

As I blurted out my many questions, probably not waiting for an answer between, she had a pensive look on her face, and one could see she was traveling back in time 50 years, back to when she was my age. Then there was a slight frown. And a pursing of her lips, the way she did when she was not happy. Her brows scrunched together, and she shook her head in disbelief and almost shame. “I hate to say this, but I don’t remember anything about women getting the right to vote. I was in a sorority, and went to dances and recitals and…” She was more interested in her social life than politics back then, she admitted. Rising from the green ‘divan’ in her 1920s Craftsman bungalow, she climbed the steep stairs to the attic. I followed to that place of family treasures, and she opened an old trunk, way in the back of the attic. Edith pulled out an old scrapbook filled with dance cards, programs, poems, and memorabilia of a joyous part of her life, that time away at college when young and anything was possible. No politics here. For a few moments, she was again a beautiful young woman with friends and pretty clothes and no responsibilities in life. “I was spoiled,” she said. “My father put up with so much from me, probably because I was the baby.” She admitted to not handling her money well and having to write her father to send more- I was shocked, as she had been such a frugal, hardworking woman all the time I had known her. She did talk about how scandalous it was for her to be studying biology, when they had to go catch their specimens for dissection and she was one of only a few women in the classes.

She did seem to regret not realizing those important issues and moments, like August 18, 1920, when women in all the United States were granted the right to vote. (Some states allowed women voting rights before then, but only a few, mostly western states.) Mostly, however, it seemed that she enjoyed the sweet reverie of being 20 years old and being in love with her world, something she had long forgotten.

 

Proposed Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of america. NARA.
Proposed Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. NARA.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Family photos and memories.

2) When I think about not going to vote because the choices are awful, it is cold and rainy, or the lines too long, I think about those who worked so hard to get all Americans the right to vote. And then I go exercise it.

 

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