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