“A Maine Law Wanted”- Murrell Family Bible, Part 6

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A Maine Law Wanted, c1852, Page 1
A Maine Law Wanted, c1853,     Page 1 [Click to enlarge.]
This pamphlet printed on very thin paper was tucked into the family bible of Wiley Anderson Murrell and Mary Magdalen Honts Murrell. (See previous posts in this series.)

The latest date of statistics cited is October, 1852, so it must have been printed some time after that.

Liquor flowed freely in early America, whether to keep one safe from water-borne illness, to help warm up on cold winter days and nights, or to free one for a short while from the dreariness of the hard, constant drudgery of being a working-class man.

A Maine Law Wanted, c1852, Page 2
A Maine Law Wanted, c1853,     Page 2 [Click to enlarge.]
In 1851 the Temperance Movement in the United States was growing. A law  was passed in Maine that year that only allowed the sale of alcoholic beverages for “medicinal, mechanical or manufacturing purposes.” Twelve other states passed similar laws by 1855, although a number of those laws were overturned by State Supreme Courts- there were even riots over the laws in some states. Iowa lawmakers passed a “Maine Law” in 1855 and it was quickly ratified by Iowa voters that year. This pamphlet may have been provided by the Temperance Movement and churches to encourage Iowa voters to support a “Maine Law” in their state.

Temperance was very unpopular, especially among working class men. Many churches and women worked for the temperance movement, as they knew that women and children suffered the most (economically, psychologically, and physically) when alcoholism affected the breadwinner of the family. Mary Honts Murrell came from a broken family, and had a father who was often unreasonable and had a temper- could that be why this pamphlet was in her bible? Had her father, Henry Honts, been an alcoholic? That is a story that we probably will never know.

Women worked to get the vote during this time period as well, but with little success. ‘Big liquor’ and powerful politicians who bought votes with free liquor right before elections knew that women would tend to vote for any attempt to limit alcohol sales, and thus they banded together to keep the right of suffrage from women until 1922.

A Maine Law Wanted, c1852, Page 3 [click to enlarge]
A Maine Law Wanted, c1853,      Page 3
[Click to enlarge.]
 Interestingly, page 3 of “A Maine Law Wanted” states, “Four-fifths of those swept away in Buffalo, by the cholera, have been in the habit of using ardent spirits as a beverage.” (Italics in pamphlet.) Actually, in the 1850s, drinking “ardent spirits” instead of local water from a river or stream would have protected drinkers since the alcohol kills bacteria. Of course, at that time the germ theory of disease was not widely accepted, and it was not understood that fecal contamination of water was the cause of cholera. There have been numerous pandemics of cholera, including one in the United States and Europe from 1827-1835, which killed 150,000 Americans. Within a year or so of the (estimated) publishing date of this pamphlet, in 1854, John Snow of England recognized a clustering of cholera disease around contaminated water, thus beginning the science of epidemiology and successful steps to eradicate this lethal disease.

A Maine Law Wanted, c1852, Page 4 [click to enlarge]
A Maine Law Wanted, c1853,     Page 4
[Click to enlarge.]
Note the publication information on the last page: “Hoover & Co., 118 Nassau street, New York, office of the New York People’s Organ, a weekly Temperance and Family Companion, at one dollar a year.” Sadly I could not find specific information for this group online, but hopefully some scholars will find this post and add this pamphlet to other historical documents of the era.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Murrell Family Bible, c1845?

2) Wikipedia article for “Maine Law,” accessed 2-8-14 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maine_law.

3) Wikipedia article for “Cholera,” accessed 2-8-14 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholera

 

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Copyright 2014 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

 
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An Easy Way to Find Your Family on This Blog

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Unknown girl rambling on a horse. Picture found in with Lee family photos.
Part of our Heritage– an unknown girl and her Ramblings on a horse. Picture was found in with Lee family photos.

… if you are related, that is.

When we decided to put our family stories and research out there, we weighed how difficult it would be to cover all the family names we both had been researching for many years. We thought about separate blogs for each family, but knew that it would be hard to provide an adequate number of posts on a regular basis with so many blogs. So we lumped everyone together into our “Heritage Ramblings.” Now that we have quite a few posts up (58!), we have realized it may be hard for readers to figure out exactly which family member in a post might be one of their ancestors, especially once we go back a few generations and names may be unfamiliar.

We still do plan to get some pedigree charts up on the site, but haven’t found an easy or attractive chart to use yet.

In the meantime, if you are related to either of us bloggers, there are four ways you can easily find your family on our “Heritage Ramblings” blog:

1. NEW! I have created separate pages for the major family groupings of published posts. To access these, click on “Pedigrees” and look for a family group that might interest you. The title, an image, and an excerpt of each of the posts published to date that reference those families will be listed. Simply click on the title to be taken directly to the post. (Sorry the drop-down menu isn’t pretty yet, but it is finally functional. Under construction…)

2. Use the “Search” box on the righthand sidebar of any page. Just type in a name, keyword, or place, then click “Search,” and a listing of pertinent posts will automagically appear.

3. That same righthand sidebar contains a list of “Tags” that have been used on our blog posts. The size and boldness of the word indicates how frequently it has been used as a tag- the bigger and bolder, the more frequently that tag has been used to help you search in our blog. Click on the word and you will be taken immediately to a list of posts that are tagged with that word or phrase.

4. Continuing down the righthand sidebar, you will find a list of “Categories” used on the blog. Posts are categorized by family, such as “Underwood,” or a topic, such as “Genealogy How-To.” Just click a category to find all the posts associated with that category.

Happy ancestor hunting- and reading!

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) This image was in with Lee family photos. If related, the cutie on a horse could also be an Aiken or Alexander.

 

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Copyright 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.

 

Treasure Chest Thursday: The John Roberts and Elizabeth Ann Murrell Roberts Family in 1900

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The John Roberts Family, 1904.
The John Roberts Family, 1900 or 1904. (Click to enlarge.)

Eight years after their 1892 family portrait (see Treasure Chest Thursday: The John Roberts and Elizabeth Ann Murrell Family in 1892), the John S. Roberts family had another family portrait taken, this time at another ‘homeplace’ in Prairie City, Jasper County, Iowa.

Years ago I used the techniques discussed in the previous post to identify the persons in this photograph. I started with the known persons and then incorporated knowledge from other photos, censuses, etc. The date of the photo was estimated to be 1902-1903 due to the age of Edith Roberts, but since one of the babies was born in 1904, that definitely set the date later.

Here is the identification:
From left-

Mary Jane Roberts’ family: Mary Jane (Mollie J) standing holding her daughter Bernice Blount; son Samuel Harvey with hat and tie standing next to his father, Samuel H. Blount. Seated on ground in front are, from left, Florence, Helen J, and Harold M. Blount. Oldest son Harry R. is standing next to his father in a dark suit.

George A. Roberts’ family: Standing next to Harry R. Blount is Ella V. Daniels Roberts and in the (short) white dress is daughter Ethel Gay Roberts. Seated at her feet is Edith Mae Roberts. Their father George A. Roberts stands next to Ethel, with son George A. Roberts, standing next to him.

Jason Lee Roberts’ family: Oca Roberts, in a long white dress, stands next to George Roberts Jr. Her brother Guy L. Roberts stands in front of her and their father, Jason Lee Roberts. His wife Julia French Roberts stands next to him holding their baby Ralph Roberts. Sitting on the ground in front of them are, from left, Wiley Roberts, Willard Roberts, and Charley Roberts in white. The very short woman in front of Julia French is Orpha B. Roberts.

Elizabeth Ann Murrell and her husband John Roberts stand next to Julia French.

William Edward (W.E., or Ed) Roberts’ family: W.E. Roberts stands next to his father, John Roberts. His son Orville stands beside him, with the woman on the right probably Orville’s mother, Mary M. Main Roberts; his sister Edna is not seen in the picture. Seated on the ground in front of them are Maude & Clara, with Maude possibly having the lighter hair as seen in the 1892 photo.

In the last few years, we found an advertising page,

“Courtesy of
ROBERTS BROTHERS
Groceries, Bottled Gas Ranges,
Plumbing, Heating
Pumps & Windmills”

It contained the above picture and two others, with everyone identified plus information about John and Elizabeth Roberts’ lives. Sadly, the women and children were not truly identified, but it did verify that we had the families correct:

Left to right- Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Blount and family, Mr. and Mrs. George Roberts and family, Mr. and Mrs. Jason Roberts and family, Mr. and Mrs. John Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Roberts and family. This picture was taken of Mr. and Mrs. John Roberts, their children and grandchildren at their home in Prairie City in 1900 (now the Vande Kieft home). The fifth boy sitting down from the left is the Mayor of Prairie City.

The moral of the story is:

1) Use ALL your resources in a collaborative way.

2) Revisit your families- new information comes online and available every day.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Family photograph, and page from a magazine or flyer.

2) Updated 12/2/16 with corrected identification of Oca and Orpha Roberts.

3) Some sources (like the Roberts family advertisement) state the picture was taken in 1900, some state 1904. I tend to agree with the 1900 date, as Edith Roberts was born 10 October 1899, so would have been 1-1/2 or 2 when this image was taken. That seems more consistent with her size, as if the photo was from 1904, she would have been 5 years old.

01/11/2017 UPDATE: However, if the baby being held by Julia French Roberts is their son Ralph Roberts, the date of the photo would be 1904, since he was born 11 July 1903. The baby could instead be one who died very young, as there is an almost 3 year gap between Ralph and his older brother Charley. We will have to leave this mystery to the Jason Lee Roberts and Julia (French) Roberts descendants to sort out.

 

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Copyright 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.

Wordless Wednesday- The Murrell Family Bible, Part 5

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Ephemera tucked into the Murrell Family Bible:

Murrell Family Bible Ephemera- History of the World order.
Murrell Family Bible Ephemera- History of the World advertisement or order. The Mexican War with the US was 1846-48, so this would have been printed after that time.

 

Murrell Family Bible Ephemera- Bible reading note on reverse of Railway Employees of Iowa paper.
Murrell Family Bible Ephemera- Bible reading note on reverse of Railway Employees of Iowa paper, Dec. 17, 1893.

Murrell Family Bible-Ephemera_To the Railway Employees_1

As this is dated 17 Dec 1893, it must have been from the second owner of the bible, as Wiley A. Murrell and Mary M Honts Murrell had both passed away by this time. Their daughter, Elizabeth Ann Murrell Roberts was a church-goer, so it may be her handwriting. (Sorry, just can’t do a totally “Wordless Wednesday” but I’m trying.)

Murrell Family Bible Ephemera-Ecclesiastes note.
Murrell Family Bible Ephemera-Ecclesiastes note.
Murrell Family Bible Ephemera- Make Room for the King note.
Murrell Family Bible Ephemera- Make Room for the King note.
A sample funeral card with the name "Geo. A. Roberts" written at the top. George A. Roberts died 18 Apr 1939.
A sample funeral card with the name “Geo. Anthony Roberts” written at the top. George A. Roberts died 18 Apr 1939.
Reverse of a sample funeral card with the name "Geo. A. Roberts" written at the top. George A. Roberts died 18 Apr 1939.
Reverse of a sample funeral card with the name “Geo. Anthony Roberts” written at the top. George A. Roberts died 18 Apr 1939.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Murrell Family Bible, possibly c1845.

 

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Copyright 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.

 

Tombstone Tuesday- WA Murrell and The Murrell Family Bible, Part 4

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W. A. Murrell and Mary M. Honts- Headstone in Mound Prairie Cemetery, Jasper Co., Iowa. Posted with permission of photographer.
W. A. Murrell and Mary M. Honts- Headstone in Mound Prairie Cemetery, Jasper Co., Iowa. Posted with permission of photographer.
Mound Prairie Cemetery Marker in Jasper Co., Iowa
Mound Prairie Cemetery Marker in Jasper Co., Iowa

The final page of entries in the Murrell Family Bible documents the deaths of Wiley Anderson Murrell and his wife, Mary M. Honts Murrell, who are both buried in Mound Prairie Township, on a hill that gets the most wonderful breezes and has a view of the farms all around. What a delightful place to be ‘quietly resting,’ especially for a couple who were farmers their whole life.

MURRELL Family Bible- Deaths [click to enlarge]
MURRELL Family Bible- Deaths     [click to enlarge]
 Transcription:

Deaths

Mary Catharine

Daughter of Wile

And Mary H. [or Mag]

Murrell Departed

this Life in the

Year of our Lord and

Savior November

the 6 1846

Age 7 yrs 1

Month And 12

Days

 

Anne E Murrell

Brown

Died May 2nd 92

Aaron Brown

Died Mar 19th 94

 

[next column]

 

W A Murrell

Departed this

Life in the year

of our Lord & Savior

March 28th 85.

 

[? M. M.] Murrell

Departed this Life

in the year of our

Lord & Savior

July 13th 87.

 

 

John Murrell

Died March 23

1880 

 

The entries are in a number of hands, which would be necessary, of course, if the bible records were maintained by Mary Honts Murrell as she could not document her own death. Mary may have written all the birth and marriage records, as well as the record for the death of their young daughter Mary Catharine, since they are all with the same ink and hand. The 1850 US Federal Census notes that Wiley could neither read nor write, but there is no mark for Mary- was that because she could read and/or write, or because they didn’t even consider that as being important for a woman?

Mary could have written the entry for her husband W. A. since she survived him, but the writing does not have the same characteristics of her earlier script- the capital “A”s and “W”s are very different, and that style does not usually change with age, even if the size of the writing and its smoothness do change. She probably did not write the entry for their son, John Murrell, since he is listed after her death entry, even though he died in 1880, before she did. The entry for their daughter Ann E and her husband Aaron Brown in 1892 and 1894, respectively, must have been made by someone else after Mary’s death in 1887.

I do wonder who made those additional entries, so now there must be a quest to gather samples of handwriting of the Roberts and Murrell family, in hopes of clues. I am leaning toward Elizabeth Ann Murrell Roberts as being one of the persons who wrote in the later deaths, because she was the oldest child of Wiley and Mary, and the bible has been passed down in her Roberts family. I’ll let you know if there is any success on that front.

 

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) Murrell Family Bible, possibly c1845.

2) Daughter Mary Catharine probably died in Botetourt, Virginia, since the family is listed there in the 1850 census, and did not migrate to Illinois until 1853. The bible may have been purchased in Virginia and travelled by covered wagon to Illinois.

3) 1850 US Federal Census for District 8, Botetourt, Virginia, “Wiley A Marrill” as head of household. Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: District 8, Botetourt, Virginia; Roll: M432_936; Page: 156B; Image: 551. Accessed 2-8-14 on Ancestry.com.

4) Anne E. Murrell Brown is sometimes called Ann Elisy, Elisy,  Eliza, and Anneliza. She married Aaron Brown 15 Sep 1869 and they had five children. Her parents migrated to Jasper Co., Iowa in 1868, and Ann and Aaron followed sometime between 1870-1880. Her headstone in Greenlief Cemetery/Mound Prairie, lists her as “Annelliza.”

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Copyright 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.