Those Places Thursday: Lancaster, Massachusetts and Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

Lancaster, MA- Rowlandson Garrison Site Stream
Lancaster, MA- Rowlandson Garrison Site Stream, Modern Day (Click to enlarge.)

Lancaster, MA- Rowlandson Garrison Site. (Click to enlarge.)
Lancaster, MA- Rowlandson Garrison Site, Modern Day. (Click to enlarge.)

Lancaster, Massachusetts is an old town, incorporated in 1653. Set amidst hills, rivers, and lakes, the beautiful wilderness around the small settlement of Lancaster was a very different place at sunrise on February 10, 1675, in the midst of King Phillip’s War (also known as Metacom’s Rebellion). The Rowlandson garrison house, one of six such designated homes in Lancaster that was more fortified than others, was set upon by a group of about four hundred Indians from various tribes. Looking out of the garrison, the families saw other homes being burned and people being killed by ” the bloody heathen” (per Mary’s later report of the incident). It appeared that the colonists had to choose between running out and being murdered, or staying in the burning garrison house. Mary (White) Rowlandson, her son, and two daughters chose to run out and thus were among the 24 persons captured that day from the Rowlandson garrison; twelve were killed at the garrison and only one escaped to get help.

The captives were constantly moved in order to evade the troops and townspeople searching for them. Mary’s youngest daughter Sarah died nine days into the captivity due to infection in her wounds received during the fight- she had been shot in the bowels and hand. Mary herself was shot in her side. The family and other captives were separated and moved around although they did see each other occasionally during their 11 week trek through the wilderness. The captives were eventually ransomed, Mary near Wachusett Mountain, and returned to ‘civilization.’

Mary later wrote a description of her ordeal commonly known as, A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, published in 1682. She described the twenty ‘removes’ that took her over 150 miles in her captivity during the harsh New England winter with little food, and the captives seldom having adequate shelter or warm clothing. Mary describes how she made shirts for one of the Indians in exchange for food. This book was the first of the ‘captivity narrative’ genre, and a best-seller in her time and for years later in both America and England. Mary was one of the first women to publish in the British North American Colonies, in a time when women had few rights and opportunities; she is also better known than her husband, Rev. Joseph Rowlandson. Even today, her narrative is required reading in some high school American Literature classes and most any college level American Literature class.

(More to come in upcoming posts on this McMurray family ancestor.)

 

Modern day images like those at the beginning of this post may help us to understand the places our ancestors lived, at least a hint of the topography of the area. Lancaster has definitely changed since 1653, so looking at older images can help to take us a bit closer to Mary’s time. Obviously, there are few images from the late 1600s, but old woodcuts found in books, and even old postcards- more modern but still not as built up as today- will help us understand the lay of the land.

Looking for old postcards can take a long time at antique shows and shops, but the internet and it’s search feature help to pinpoint exactly what one may be looking for. I recently found CardCow.com– no affiliation, no freebies from them, but I just like their easy-to-use website and the fact that they allow posting of their cards on websites. They keep their cards online even after sold, so they have a great reference library. (I did buy these cards too.) Following are the postcards CardCow.com has relating to Mary Rowlandson; click to enlarge any of them:

The Site of the Rowlandson Garrison Vintage Postcard
Summit House. Wachusett Mountain and view as Wachusett Lake from Summit House Vintage Postcard
The Rowlandson Boulder Vintage Post Card
Redemption Rock Old Postcard

Every day, we walk on land that belonged to someone else, land that had a different purpose, land with a different meaning than the context we know today. We whiz by historical markers and parks at automobile speeds, missing the richness of what came before. We can earn from what came before, and a place will have more meaning for us, if we just learn a little of its history.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Lancaster Map-  – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lancaster_ma_highlight.png#mediaviewer/File:Lancaster_ma_highlight.png

2) Lancaster, MA Wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancaster,_Massachusetts

3) Mary (White) Rowlandson article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Rowlandson

4) The Feb. 10, 1675 date written by Mary Rowlandson used the Old Style (Julian) calendar; New Style (Gregorian) calendar date would be Feb. 10, 1676.

5) CardCow.com

6) Postcard browsing ettiquette in physical shops includes using a provided marker to help you know exactly where to replace the card after removing it. Also, if cards are in sleeves, do not remove and handle until after you have purchased it.

7) First two images (modern day) are Public Domain per Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

 

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Tombstone Tuesday: Lee Monument in Memorial Park Cemetery, Jennings, Missouri

Lee headstone in Memorial Park Cemetery, Jennings, Missouri: Lloyd Eugene "Gene" Lee, his first wife Ruth Nadine (Alexander) Lee, and Gene's uncle, Claude Frank Aiken.
Lee headstone in Memorial Park Cemetery, Jennings, Missouri: Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee, Ruth Nadine (Alexander) Lee, and Claude Frank Aiken. (Click to enlarge.)

Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery in Jennings, St. Louis County, Missouri, along with his first wife and uncle.

Gene Lee was the son of Samuel J. Lee (1879-1964) and Dorothy Aiken Lee (1884-1953).

His first wife, Ruth Nadine (Alexander) Lee, was the daughter of George Harrington Alexander (1879-1951) and Wilhemina Schoor (1882-1942). Ruth was also the mother of his son, but died at the young age of 47.

Claude Frank Aiken was the uncle of Gene Lee, and brother to Gene’s mother, Dorothy “Dottie” (Aiken) Lee. Claude was a pharmacist and helped Gene get his license as well; they attended school together and tested together for their licensing- see Friday’s Faces from the Past: Claude Aiken. Gene was very close to his uncle throughout their years.

Gene’s dearly loved second wife, Vada Kovitch, was cremated. Sadly, the state of Missouri has allowed a stranger to control her ashes and burial, rather than the family who loved her so much. (They wouldn’t let us see her either- unbelievable.) The last contact with this person indicated that she still had the ashes but not the money to bury them with a headstone; she still refused to give them to family.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Tombstone photograph taken by family member and permission to publish granted.

 

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Mystery Monday: Tressa Cullen and Eidlh Cullen

Tressa and Eidlh Cullen, 5 November 1937, Chicago, Illinois
Tressa and Eidlh Cullen, 5 November 1937, Chicago, Illinois

 

This photo was found in with the treasures of the Lee family. ( See “Family Trees” drop down menu or http://heritageramblings.net/family-trees/the-lee-alexander-aiken-family/ for pedigree and names, plus articles pertaining to this family.)

The back of this photo of Tressa Cullen and Eidlh Cullen states “Friends of Grandma Aiken, Nov. 5, 1937, Chicago.”

‘Grandma Aiken’ would most probably have been  Dora J. (Russell) Aiken, married to William H. Aiken, since the images were in the possession of Gene and Vada (Kovich) Lee; they may have noted the information about the picture. Dora lived in the household of her daughter, Dorothy “Dottie” (Aiken) Lee, with Dottie’s husband Samuel Lee and their son, Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee. Gene’s first wife Ruth Nadine (Alexander) Lee lived in the household too after their marriage in 1929, as did their son, Robert Eugene “Bob” Lee, born in 1932. Dora was listed in the 1920 and 1930 US Federal Censuses as a widow (she and her husband had separated between the 1910 census and 1917) and living with her daughter and her family.

Interestingly, Dora Aiken, who was born in 1864, died in 1935, two years before this picture was taken. Perhaps the family kept in touch with the Cullens even after Dora’s death? Or maybe the year is wrong.

Any information about these sweet ladies would be appreciated. Are  they sisters or mother and daughter? A quick search on Ancestry.com did not turn up any information.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Lee Family photo collection.

 

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Friday’s Faces from the Past: Claude Aiken, Part 2

Possibly Claude Frank Aiken, c1930s?
Possibly Claude Frank Aiken, c1930s? (Click to enlarge.)

A man with two families probably deserves two blog posts.

 

Claude Frank Aiken married Mildred Paul sometime after 1933 and his divorce from Elvira (Kring) Aiken. He was 45, she 23.

Mildred M. (Paul) Aiken Jan 1932.  (Click to enlarge.)
Mildred M. (Paul) Aiken Jan 1932 (Click to enlarge.)

He had three children with Mildred as well, but neither of his families really knew each other. They knew there was another family, but no details. Fast forward to the age of Ancestry.com and Find A Grave, plus some researchers interested in collateral relatives (that would be your blog editors); it added up to children of the two families finding each other after many, many years.

 

Back to Claude’s life:

Claude had passed the exams to be a Registered Pharmacist after the required two years of college. His nephew, Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee, son of Claude’s sister Dorothy (Aiken) Lee, passed the exam for Assistant Pharmacist at the same test session. The clipping does not have a date but it was probably 1928.

New Registered Pharmacist- Claude Aiken, Assistant Pharmacist- Lloyd Eugene "Gene" Lee, date and newspaper unknown from clipping.
New Registered Pharmacist- Claude Aiken, Assistant Pharmacist- Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee, date and newspaper unknown from clipping. (Click to enlarge.)

Claude bought Martin’s Drugstore about that time, and he and Mildred worked together in the drugstore at 922 S. Vandeventer. They lived in the back of the building.

The neighborhood got rougher, and times were tougher during the depression, but they kept on with the pharmacy being an important part of the community. Their first child was 2 and a second child was expected or newborn when Claude foiled a robbery attempt from a very dangerous convicted burglar:

19 Sep 1936- Robbery Attempt Foiled, St. Louis Globe Democrat.
19 Sep 1936- Robbery Attempt Foiled, St. Louis Globe Democrat. (Click to enlarge.)

Transcription:

“FOURTH CHARGE FACED BY CAPTURED BURGLAR.

C. L. Patterson Caught in Drug Store as Proprietor Enters With Pistol.

Police asked the Circuit Attorney’s office yesterday for the issuance of a fourth burglary warrant against Carson Lee Patterson, 28-year-old ex-convict, following the capture earlier in the morning while ransacking a drug store at 922 South Vandeventer Avenue.

Patterson told police he had entered the place to secure enough money to hire a lawyer to defend himself in three pending burglary cases.

He was apprehended by Mr. and Mrs. Claude Aiken, operators of the store, who live in the rear of the building. Hearing the cash register ring as the burglar opened it, Aiken secured a pistol, rushed in to the store, and forced Patterson to hold up his hands. He fired one shot high upon the wall to scare the intruder.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Aiken called the police. Patterson readily admitted his identity upon arrival of officers.

Patterson is one of five youths who admitted 29 burglaries when they were arrested last month. He has served two prison terms, one for grand larceny in 1928 and one for burglary in 1931. He received a parole after serving part of the burglary sentence, but it was revoked after he was arrested as one of the men who tortured a Franklin County farmer and his wife to secure $150. Withing four months of his release from prison he was again facing burglary charges.”

Interesting that Peterson thought to pay his legal fees concerning previous burglaries through proceeds from another burglary. Ah, the criminal mind…

June 1942- Claude Frank Aiken and his wife Mildred Paul in their drugstore.
June 1942- Claude Frank Aiken and his wife Mildred Paul in their drugstore. (Click to enlarge.)

The 1939 St. Louis City Directory lists them and the store at 922 Vandeventer, as does the 1940 US Federal Census which states that the home and store were rented. They had two children, ages 6 and 4, living with them in 1940.

Claude died just four years after the census, on 05 May 1944. He is buried in the Lee family plot with his sister, Dorothy (Aiken) Lee and her husband, and her mother, Dora (Russell) Aiken. Mildred passed away 18 Nov 1972 in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Family photos and ephemera.

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Friday’s Faces from the Past: Claude Aiken, Part 1

On reverse: "C.F. Aiken, OKmulgee Ind. Territory"
On reverse: “C.F. Aiken, OKmulgee Ind. Territory” [sic] Probably when in a play per other family members.
Claude Aiken was the second of  two children of William Hanford Aiken (1859-1942) and Dora J. Russell (1864-1935). He was born in Lorraine County, Ohio- possibly Black River, on 15 Aug 1884, 1889, or as late as 1896 per some Aiken researchers. His parents had moved the family to West, New Madrid, Missouri, by the 1900 US Federal Census, when Claude was 4 years old.

By age 21, the family moved to Florence, Fremont, Colorado, where Claude was living with his parents and working as a blacksmith in 1910. (His sister, Dorothy Adele Aiken,  had married in 1906.)

"Claude Aiken, Dorothy Lee's brother" is written on back. Possibly 1920s.
“Claude Aiken, Dorothy Lee’s brother” is written on back. Possibly 1920s.

Claude married Elvira Kring  (1890-1948), daughter of Louisa and Adolph Kring, in 1916 per one Aiken researcher.

Elvira Kring, the only known photo of her.
Elvira Kring, one of the few known photos of her.

As the First World War raged in Europe, Claude became a farmer in Oakville, Missouri, which is bounded by the Mississippi and Meramac Rivers in South St. Louis County. His 05 Jun 1917 Draft Registration listed his wife and mother as being dependent on his income, and them living at “Jeff Bk’s” (Jefferson Barracks?), R. #10, Oakville, Mo. His mother was separated from her husband (although listed as a widow on censuses and city directories), so she too depended on Claude’s income.

Soon thereafter in 1917, the family moved to 4527 Alaska Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri, where he was working as a drug clerk for S. J. Lee and Son Drugstore at 4067 Chouteau Avenue. Samuel J. Lee was his brother-in-law, married to Claude’s sister Dorothy Adele Aiken.

Probably Lloyd Eugene Lee on the left and Claude Frank Aiken on the right, c1922-1924. Aiken family photo album.
Probably Lloyd Eugene Lee on the left, nephew of Claude Frank Aiken, on the right, c1922-1924. Aiken family photo album.

Probably Claude Frank Aiken, c1922-1924. Aiken family photo album.
Probably Claude Frank Aiken, c1922-1924. Aiken family photo album.

Claude and Elvira had moved down the road to 4431 Alaska Avenue, and in with Elvira’s father and siblings, by the time the 1920 US Federal Census was enumerated on 06 Jan 1920. The family enjoyed traveling out west during the 20s and 30s, and a family photo album that has been passed down has many pictures of the Colorado and Canadian mountains.

c1922. Probably Claude Aiken, at Buffalo Bill's Grave on Lookout Mountain in Colorado. From the Aiken family album.
c1922. Probably Claude Aiken, at Buffalo Bill’s Grave on Lookout Mountain in Colorado. From the Aiken family album.

In the 1930 census, the group was still together but this time Claude was listed as head of household, and with wife Elvira had three children, born in 1921, 1924, and 1928. The 1933 St. Louis City Directory indicates that Claude and Elvira were living at 3938 West Bowen. He and Elvira divorced sometime shortly after that.

More to come tomorrow about Claude Aiken.

 

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) 1900 US Federal Census for William H. Aiken, head of household: Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: West, New Madrid, Missouri; Roll: 877; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0078; FHL microfilm: 1240877. Ancestry.com, accessed 9/18/14.

2) 1910 US Federal Census, William H. Aiken, head of household: Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Florence Ward 3, Fremont, Colorado; Roll: T624_119; Page: 30B; Enumeration District: 0069; FHL microfilm: 1374132. Ancestry.com,, accessed 9/19/14.

3) Claude’s 1917 Draft Registration: Source Citation: Registration State: Missouri; Registration County: St Louis; Roll: 1683865; Draft Board: 3. Ancestry.com. Accessed 9/19/14.

4) Claude’s tombstone states he was born 15 Aug 1884; his 1917 Draft Registration states 15 Aug 1889 (better to be older to avoid the draft), researchers state year was 1896.

5) 1920 US Federal Census, Adolph Kring head of household: Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: St Louis Ward 13, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri; Roll: T625_950; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 249; Image: 859. Ancestry.com. Accessed 9/19/14.

6) 1920 US Federal Census: Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: St Louis, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri; Roll: 1235; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0481; Image: 473.0; FHL microfilm: 2340970. Ancestry.com. Accessed 9/19/14.

7) 1933 St. Louis , MO City Directory: Source Information: Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.

 

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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.