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Wishful Wednesday: Jefferson Springsteen was “Lured by the Sawdust Ring…”

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Jefferson Springsteen's Obituary
Jefferson Springsteen, c1890?
Jefferson Springsteen, c1890? (Click to enlarge.)

One never knows what lurks in the dark back corners of closets.

I had been tracing our family history for years and was stuck at my great-great grandfather, Jefferson Springsteen. I had searched far and wide (in the days before internet genealogy) without success in learning much more than his name and a few dates- he was hard to find. I wished for just one clue…

My mother had asked some of her siblings if they had any family information tucked away, in a closet or their memory, but with no success. She finally asked her oldest brother Edgar if he had any information, and he, although very ill, remembered an old box in a closet. His dear wife pulled it out and there was a darkened clipped obituary of Jefferson Springsteen pasted to a page with information about Jeff and his family. There were three additional newspaper clippings about his death and funeral.

Jefferson Springsteen Obituary
Jefferson Springsteen Obituary (Click to enlarge.)

My hands shook as my mother handed me the copy. “EVENTFUL LIFE OF PIONEER IS ENDED” I read. Oh my, I couldn’t believe what I held in my hands! (Yes, genealogists are weird…)

“Jefferson Springsteen, 90, Whose Career is Interwoven With Early Indianapolis, Dies” continued the headline.

“Carried Mail on Horseback”

“Public Service Began When 16

Over 65-Mile Route–Later

Democratic Politician”

I could not believe what I was reading.My mother thought her family were mostly poor Germans and Irish, and had done nothing ‘important.’

The newspaper obituary stated,

“Jefferson Springsteen, one of the oldest

pioneers of Indiana, died at 8 o’clock yes-

terday afternoon at the home of his

daughter, Mrs. Joseph Beckwith, 1118

Bellefontaine street, closing an eventful

and interesting career of ninety years.

The funeral will be held at the home

Tuesday afternoon with interment at

Crown Hill Cemetery.”

This was the breakthrough I had been searching for, for so long.

“Mr. Springsteen was born at Harrison, O., in 1820.  The love for excitement and adventure seemed to have been born in him. When a very small boy he was lured by the sawdust ring and tented arena and running away from home with a circus, took his first glimpse of Indiana [or may be ‘Indians’- newspaper damaged so cannot determine which it is]. He left the circus life, but never lost the appreciation of a good show. It is said of him that he never missed attending a circus in Indianapolis.”

 These newspaper clippings gave me so much information- I have since been able to learn much more about his life due to those clues, plus of course the incredible breadth of records now online. And the stories in the obit- just priceless! A wish come true.

 

Tomorrow- More details from the obituary and newspaper clippings.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Family treasure chest photo and documents.

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images.

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.

Sunday’s Obituary: Samuel J. Lee

Samuel J. Lee Obituary, 16 Sep 1964. Page 8A, probably from a St. Louis newspaper.
Samuel J. Lee Obituary, 1964. Page 8A, probably from a St. Louis newspaper.

 

Samuel J. Lee was born 29 June 1879 in Bunker Hill, Macoupin County, Illinois, to Samuel Lenton Lee and Louisa M. Brandenberger. Samuel was the oldest child, but all his siblings predeceased him except Christine “Crissie” (Lee) Burkhardt and Lorene “Nene” (Lee) Penneman.

Sam Lee married Dorothy “Dottie” Adele Aiken on 1 December 1906 in Bunker Hill, and their son Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee was born the next year. The family had moved to St. Louis by 1910, possibly so he could attend St. Louis College of Pharmacy, from which he graduated. (He was a member of the Alumni Association for 64 years.) He lived in St. Louis the rest of his life, and operated a drugstore for 54 years.

Dottie Lee died in 1953, and Sam lived 11 years longer without her. He died 24 September, 1964.

Samuel J. Lee is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery, Jennings, St. Louis County, Missouri.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Family treasure chest of Lee clippings and photos.

2) Samuel J. Lee Find A Grave Memorial # 56893479 at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSvcid=64785&GRid=56893479&.

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images.

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.

Those Places Thursday: Aiken and Lee Family Homes

Home of Henry Edwin Aiken and his second wife Lizzie Schmink. The young woman and man may be William Hanford Aiken and his wife Dora J. Russell. A family picture provided by a kind collaborator, DB.
Home of Henry Edwin “H. E.” Aiken and his second wife Lizzie Schmink in Amherst, Ohio. The young woman and man may be William Hanford “W. H.” Aiken and his wife Dora J. Russell. Image would have been taken after about 1891 when H. E. married Lizzie. A family picture provided by a kind collaborator, DB. (Click to enlarge.)

Since I have been focused on building a new home and have not had much time for writing, I thought some pictures of family homes might be in order on the blog.

mage of "Grandpa Aiken" or W. H. Aiken, d Feb. 17, 1942 in Tylerlawn, Mississippi. Unknown if this is his house or not.
Image of “Grandpa Aiken” or W. H. Aiken, d Feb. 17, 1942 in Tylerlawn, Mississippi. Unknown if this is actually his house. (Click to enlarge.)
Interior of Lee home at 6204 Alamo, St. Louis, Missouri. The clock on the mantel is still in the family, and the favorite dog in the picture is Mickey.
Interior of Lee home at 6204 Alamo, St. Louis, Missouri. The clock on the mantel is still in the family, and the beloved dog in the picture is Mickey. (Click to enlarge.)

 

Lee home at 6204 Alamo, St. Louis, Missouri.
Lee home at 6204 Alamo, St. Louis, Missouri. (Click to enlarge.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three generations of Lees lived in the above house at 6204 Alamo Drive in St. Louis, Missouri: Samuel J. Lee and his wife Dorothy Adele Aiken, Lloyd Eugene Lee and his wife Ruth Nadine Alexander along with their son Robert Eugene Lee, and after Ruth died, Gene’s second wife, Vada Kovich.

The buildings we live in contribute so much to our daily lives, even though we often forget about them or their beauty and comfort until the house demands attention, like cleaning, painting, or plumbing repair. Knowing where our ancestors lived and what their houses looked like, inside and out, can give us a better understanding of their lives.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Family treasure chest of photos and scans.

 

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images.

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.