Whitener Family (Click for Family Tree)
The family of Joseph Abner Underwood (AKA Joab Underwood) and Elizabeth Adline Rickman Underwood posed in 1904 for a family portrait. The young family had worked hard on a farm in Madison County, Missouri, for many years, and their children grew and provided grandchildren for them to enjoy in their later years. They do look proud to have such a fine family!
In the photo:
Standing in back-
Zach Leander Underwood, William Franklin Underwood, Nellie Bethel Goodson Underwood holding Ethel Underwood, Charles Francis Underwood, John Henry Underwood.
Sitting in front:
Joseph Abner (Joab) Underwood, Elizabeth Adeline Rickman Underwood, James Emroe Underwood holding his son John Dallas Franklin, and his wife Lola Ann Dameron Underwood holding their daughter Lovia Marie Underwood.
Yesterday’s post told a bit about the life of Elizabeth- Friday’s Faces of the Past: Elizabeth Adline Rickman Underwood. Today we will tell the story of the rest of the family.
Joseph Abner Underwood was born in Missouri on 23 November 1847 to Abner and Joanna Underwood. We don’t know much about his early years, but he was too young to have served in the Confederate Army- just 14 in 1861, though boys did go fight at that age. The first we can find of him in records is in 1870, when he was working for a farmer in Lorance, Bollinger County, Missouri, at age 23, along with a number of other farm workers.
Joab, as he was called, married Elizabeth Adline Rickman on 13 February 1876 in Madison County, Missouri. They had seven children:
James Emroe Underwood, born 13 Feb 1877 in Madison County, Missouri, grew up farming with his father. James married Lola Ann Damero on 28 Oct 1900 in Bollinger, Missouri. He was working as a farmer in 1910, and his two brothers, Zach Underwood and Charles Underwood, lived with James’ family as well. James was tall, medium build, with gray eyes and light hair per his WWI Draft Registration. He listed “Labor, Lead Mill” as his occupation and he worked for the Federal Land Company in 1917, and later through his life into the 1930s. (Madison and Bollinger Counties in Missouri are in what is known as “The Lead Belt”- an area rich in lead mines.) By 1940, he was again working as a farmer. In the family portrait above, James was holding their second child, John Dallas Underwood, and his wife Lola Ann was holding their first child, Lovie Marie Underwood. There were four more children born to James and Lola: Grace Nancy Adeline Underwood in 1905, a son in 1907 who died that same year, son Dale Underwood born 1909, and Myra Iona Underwood, born 1916. James died on 20 November 1954 in Madison County, Missouri, and Lola died 09 Jul 1967.
Missouri was the birthplace of William Franklin Underwood, likely in Madison County, on 19 Dec 1879. He likely grew up farming with his father as well, and in 1880 was boarding with his maternal uncle, John H. Rickman’s family. Age 21, he was working as a farm laborer. Three years later, he married Nellie Bethel Goodson on 01 Mar 1903 in Bollinger, Missouri. Little Ethel Emily Adline Underwood, the first of six children, was born to them exactly one year later, on 01 Mar 1904. William Franklin was a farmer, and we will have more on this family in upcoming posts.
John Henry Underwood was born 08 Jun 1881 in Missouri. He was in Crooked Creek, Bollinger, Missouri in 1900, and married Ethel Whitener 23 Aug 1908 in Bollinger. He was a farmer and living with his wife and year-old baby, Arnold Othel Underwood, in 1910. By his 12 Sep 1918 WWI Draft Registration, he had moved to Montrose, Colorado and worked as a farm laborer; by 1920 he was listed as a laborer on a stock (cattle) truck. The family moved back east before the 1930 US Federal Census on 15 Apr 1930- possibly to help his father on the farm if he was ill, or to take over the farm after Joab Underwood’s death on 21 Jan 1930. John Henry’s mother was enumerated on the line before John Henry in the 1930 census, so they likely lived close to each other. John Henry died 08 Jun 1953, and Ethel died 04 Nov 1983 at age 93.
Little Cornelius Underwood was not available for this family portrait- born in September 1884, he sadly died within the month.
Zach Leander Underwood was born 14 Apr 1886 in Missouri, the fifth child of Joab and Elizabeth Underwood. He was living in Crooked Creek, Bollinger, Missouri in 1900 at age 14; 10 years later he was working as a fireman in a lead mine. He married Nellie Jane McLeod in St. Francois, Missouri on 27 Jun 1915. They had four children: Lester Underwood (1916-1922), Lloyd Dale Underwood (1919-1999), Wilma Kathleen Underwood (1923-2011), and a fourth child who may still be living so we will not list his name or birthdate. Zach died 10 December 1960 in Missouri, and Nellie survived him, with her death occurring on 17 May 1983, also in Missouri.
Charles Francis Marion Underwood was probably named in honor of his mother’s brother, Francis Marion Rickman (1853-1929), who would have been named for Francis Marion, AKA “The Swamp Fox,” a Revolutionary War hero who was one of the first to use guerrilla tactics against the British in South Carolina. (Marion was very successful at fighting the British, even after the Patriots moved out of SC and he had no additional support troops.) Charles was born on 19 May 1888 in Missouri. In 1910, Charley was living with his brother James’ family and his brother Zach; all three brothers worked in the lead mill, with Charley being a “Gigman.”
Charley was working as a farmer on his own account when he registered for the WWI draft on 05 Jun 1917. He apparently enlisted, as he died in the Spanish Influenza Epidemic as a young soldier on 22 Oct 1918, but we have been unable to find more information about his service. He was in Sault Sainte Marie, Chippewa, Michigan when he died, probably in a military hospital.
The last child of Joab and Elizabeth Underwood was also not able to be in the portrait. Artey M. Underwood, born 24 Sep 1892, died at just 16 months on 10 Jan 1894.
Notes, Sources, and References:
1) Ethel Underwood Whitener Family Treasure Chest of Photos.
2) Way too many censuses, memorials on Find A Grave, etc. were used in this research to list here. Let us know if you need any specific sources.
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