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Wordless Wednesday: Art in Artifacts–Kilgore “Invincible” Cap Gun c. 1930s

1930s Kilgore “Invincible” Repeater Cap Gun, cast iron, owned by Edward A. McMurray, Jr.

McMurray Family (Click for Family Tree)

1930s Kilgore “Invincible” Repeater Cap Gun, cast iron, owned by Edward A. McMurray, Jr.
1930s Kilgore “Invincible” Repeater Cap Gun, cast iron with holster, owned by Edward A. McMurray, Jr.
Front of holster with 1930s Kilgore “Invincible” Repeater Cap Gun, cast iron, owned by Edward A. McMurray, Jr.
Back of holster with 1930s Kilgore “Invincible” Repeater Cap Gun, painted cast iron, owned by Edward A. McMurray, Jr.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. 1930s Kilgore “Invincible” 6.5″ Repeater Cap Gun, painted cast iron with holster, owned by Edward A. McMurray, Jr. who was born in 1924 to Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck and Dr. Edward A. McMurray, Sr. It is unknown as to whether or not the holster was a part of a set with the cap gun, but we have not found another similar holster in our research. Currently, the value of the cap gun itself is approximately $50.
  2. Kilgore was, at one time, the largest producer of cap guns and the caps they used. The company was started in 1912 and was still in business in the 1960s- it is likely that Ed’s children played with caps and toy guns made by Kilgore! See http://www.smallarmsreview.com/display.article.cfm?idarticles=1317 for a history of the Kilgore company, which also was involved with making real military pyrotechniques (including signal flares)- and they almost built Thompson machine guns.
  3. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Kilgore-Invincible-6-5-Painted-Cast-Iron-Repeater-Cap-Gun-c-1930-H/292380643055?hash=item44133e8eef:g:0qAAAOSwUYNaIbbi
    eBay item number:
    292380643055

 

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Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Church Record Sunday: The Johns Family of Indiana

William H. JOHNS and family listed in the Raysville-Knightstown Monthly Meeting Records, Henry County, Indiana, in “Abstracts of the Records of the Society of Friends in Indiana,” Births, Vol. 7, Part 4, page 449.

Roberts Family, Murrell Family (Click for Family Tree)

Last week we posted about a surprising find- that Matthias/Matthew Johns was buried in a Friends (Quaker) cemetery in Wilkinson, Hancock County, Indiana. It made us wonder who else in the family had become Quakers, with a special interest in Matthew’s father, Henry Honts, who is our direct ancestor.

Even though Quakers kept very good records, they have not all survived, or they may be in library collections that are only accessible in person. Apparently, as the number of Quakers decreased after the Civil War, and the population continued to move west, Monthly Meetings (MM) got smaller and were combined with others in the area.  Wilkinson MM seems to be one of these, so records are a bit more challenging to find. We finally did find some with the Johns name, attached to the Raysville-Knightstown MM.

The names shown above, however, were not familiar, as the Johns family has not been a research focus except for Henry Honts, who changed the family name to Johns. so some collateral research was in order, to find out who these folks were, and how they were related. It made sense to start with Matthew’s family, but he did not have a son named William H. Johns. So research on his sons was next, and amazingly, Henry Johns (1844-1895), the first son, was the connection. (Of course, I had started with the youngest son instead…)

Henry Johns married Sarah J. Coon/Kuhn (1849-1903) and of the seven children found in that family, William H. Johns was the second-born, on 1 July 1869 in Wilkinson, Hancock County, Indiana. He was found in the 1870 and 1880 US Federal Censuses there with his parents and siblings. Some Ancestry.com trees state he married first Mary J. Henshaw in 1891 (Marriage Book 3, page 522 in Hancock Co., IN), then Florence Walker (Marriage Book C8, page 406) in 1892; getting copies of these marriage licenses could be a next step. The marriage we do have more sources for is to Bertha Corbin, as shown above. The 1900 US Federal Census has them listed together with their 3 year old daughter Mamie Esther Johns, and states they have been married for 3 years, thus married about 1897. It also states this was his second marriage.

In 1900 William H. was working as an engineer in a sawmill, and he had been employed all of the previous 12 months. They rented their home. Ten years later, William H. was listed as a machinist, and Bertha was working as a washerwoman. Their daughter Mamie Esther was listed with them, but no daughter named Martha Carol Johns- perhaps she died young?

By 1920, William and Bertha owned their home, mortgage-free, and he was working still as a machinist. Their daughter M. Esther was living with them, along with her husband, Walter Winn, and their daughter, Martha V. Winn. Walter was also a machinist, and worked at a “bottle house.”

Bertha passed away on 30 Aug 1925, and William was listed as widowed and a laborer in the “thresherman” industry in the 1930 census. He had not worked the previous day, however, and was listed on the unemployed schedule. He was 61. In 1940, he was still living on his own at age 71, and was not employed.

William died 11 May 1953 in Wilkinson, where he is also buried, alongside his wife Bertha in McCray Cemetery. The plaque in the cemetery states that a Baptist Church was first built on that spot, then later First Christian Church. It thus appears this is not a Friends cemetery, so had William abandoned the Quaker faith, had his children, or was it just more convenient to be buried with family nearby?

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. How are we related? If you are a descendant of Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck, her great-grandparents were Mary M. Honts and Wiley A. Murrell. Mary’s father was Henry Honts, who changed his name to Johns when he left his first wife and Mary in Virginia and moved to Tennessee. Matthew Johns was the son of Henry and his second wife, Elizabeth (Firestone) [Lampert] Johns, so Mary’s half-brother.
  2. “Abstracts of the Records of the Society of Friends in Indiana,” Births, Vol. 7, Part 4, available from FamilySearch– https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE190486
  3. Johns family members buried in McCray Cemetery, Wilkinson, Hancock County, Indiana– https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/85847/memorial-search?firstName=&lastName=Johns&page=2#sr-28834638
  4. McCray Cemetery History- see plaque in images– https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/85847/mccray-cemetery
  5. See also cemetery image for “The Elopement Girl” and the beginnings of the cemetery- so sad.

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), 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.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
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Sunday’s Obituary: Matthew Johns (1817-1899)

Matthew JOHNS, obituary. Indianapolis Journal, March 5, 1899, part 1, page 7, column 5, via ChroniclingAmerica.LOC.gov.

ROBERTS Family, HONTS Family (Click for Family Tree)

 

If you are a descendant of Edith (ROBERTS) [McMURRAY] LUCK, or of Mary Magdalene “Polly” HONTS or her father, Henry HONTS/JOHNS, then you are related to Matthew. Matthew was the half-brother of Mary, who was the great-grandmother of Edith on the side of her father, George A. ROBERTS.

Matthew was the second known child of Henry Honts/Johns and his mistress, Elizabeth FIRESTONE LAMPERT. Henry and Elizabeth did eventually marry and have more children, but theirs is another story that is soon to come on this blog. In the meantime, we know that Matthew lived a good, respectable life as a blacksmith and farmer, and raised 10 children with his wife Elizabeth MAGGART/MAGGARD.

The obituary tells us a few things we did not know. Only one son and four daughters survived him- just half of his children. Additionally, we did not know of a second marriage- the obituary states his second wife survived him. We do know that first wife Elizabeth died in 1886, so a second marriage is very possible, however we have not found a record of that marriage or her name. The name of his second wife would have been listed on the 1890 US Federal Census, but that did not survive for us to view today. There are a number of women with the surname Johns listed in Hancock County, Indiana, in the 1900 US Federal Census, and at least 1 is listed as a widow, but that research is for another cousin who is more closely related to complete.

One very interesting part of the obituary is that his memorial service was held at the Friends Church in Wilkinson, Indiana. That tells us that Matthew had become a Quaker. Was that something that happened after he married his second wife, or was Elizabeth also a Quaker and they practiced the faith throughout their married life? Or had Matthew become a Quaker on his own as an adult, or possibly as a child? We have seen nothing about Matthew’s parents being Quakers, but that would be very interesting, due to their past “indiscretions” and flaunting of society’s morals. The Quakers were forgiving people, however, so it might be possible.

This obituary provides us with one more avenue of research, important since Matthew’s father, Henry Honts/Johns, is one of our direct ancestors. The Quakers kept very good records and although there is no longer a Friends church in Wilkinson, there are two Friends churches within about 10 miles today, and they may have the records of Matthew’s family. One more item for the To-Do List now…

 

More to come on the Honts/Johns family…

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Matthew JOHNS, obituary. Indianapolis Journal, March 5, 1899, part 1, page 7, column 5, via ChroniclingAmerica.LOC.gov.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), 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.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Travel Tuesday: A Trip to Town in 1906 by the Roberts Family of Jasper County, Iowa-Part 1

Horses in Snow in Marshall County, Iowa, 1940, by U.S. Farm Security Administration.

 

Roberts Family (Click for Family Tree)

Although the above image is not for Jasper County, Iowa, and was taken much later than 1906, the view would have been much the same for little Edith Roberts [later McMurray Luck] and her family as they drove to town in the long, cold winters of her childhood.

Edith wrote stories, spurred on by her dearest granddaughter, of her years growing up on the family farm. People travelled and visited more than many of us thought they would in those days, and in Iowa in winter, that would mean a horse (or two) carrying them through ice, snow, blizzards, etc. (They took the train to some places, but with living way out in a rural area, one would have to get to a larger town or city for a train depot.)

“We lived ten miles from Newton, Iowa. Once a week, weather permitting, we made a trip to Newton, winter and summer. “

Edith’s parents were George Anthony ROBERTS (1861-1939) and Ella Viola DANIEL ROBERTS (1866-1922). Edith’s big brother, whom she adored, was George A. ROBERTS, Jr. (1889-1965). She loved her sister, Ethel Gay ROBERTS ROBISON (1891-1969) very much too, even risking the wrath of their father as she passed notes to Ethel from the boyfriend her father did not like. (Ethel married that boyfriend, Bert ROBISON, and her father disowned her, never speaking to her again or acknowledging her children.) But I digress, and we need to get back to 1906, when Edith’s just seven years old, and the family was heading to town.

Here is a description, in Edith’s words, of some of the preparation for their trip:

“Brother would be outside getting the horses and bobsled (or buggy) ready. To make up the bobsled they would put a wagon box on the two sets of runners and two sets of sideboards on the wagon box to cut down the wind blowing across the wagon box. Then they dumped a lot of clean straw in the wagon box and scattered it around, making it a foot deep at least. It smelled so fresh and clean.”

Getting ready to leave meant dressing for the weather, as well as wanting to look good when one got into town.

“While mother was hurrying around seeing that I got dressed, and sister too, Dad would still be warming his back at the oven door. He was always so cold. He had had sciatica-rheumatism before I was born and had had to learn to walk again.”

Edith was the baby and beloved by her father, who had red hair, as she did. (Her brother Georgie had red hair as well.)

“I would be would be wearing either a blue dress or a red one, whichever was the older. The newer one would be kept for special occasions. Every winter I would have one new dress, just one. When I pranced out for my dad’s admiration, he would say; “Well, well, my girl is a red bird today, what is yours?” or a bluebird, if I was wearing the blue dress.”

Ethel was fifteen in 1906, so was very concerned with how she looked before the trip.

“Mother would be insisting that sister put on a sweater as she was never dressed warm enough. She would say; “Button up your coat, and tie that fascinator closer around your neck.” A fascinator was a long wide scarf very soft and warm. Sister had worked on her hair all morning and did not want to spoil it.”

Leaving the house was not as easy as checking our programmable thermostats (ok, who even bothers with that??). One had to plan ahead, as they knew they would be very cold by the time they got back home:

“Dad or mother would bank the fire in the cook stove so that all we had to do when we got home was just stir it up, and with some corn cobs and a dash of kerosene the fire would be going in short order. No one was allowed to use kerosene except mother and dad.”

 

To be continued…

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “A Trip to Town, 1906–Wintertime” by Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck. Written in the 1960s-1970s for her grandchildren.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), 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.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
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Sentimental Sunday: Roberts Family Pickle Castor

Likely George Roberts family’s pickle castor.

ROBERTS Family (Click for Family Tree)

So just what IS a pickle castor??

It is a fancy jar for pickles, from back in the day when it was important to set a beautiful table.

Details from (likely) George Roberts family’s pickle castor.

Pickle castors were made of silver or silver-plate, with glass jars about 7″ high to hold pickle spears. The metal frame had a handle for carrying, with a hook for the tongs to use to get a pickle out in a delicate manner. The base was often elaborately decorated, as was the handle and even the tongs of some sets.

Tongs from (likely) George Roberts family’s pickle castor.
Tongs from (likely) George Roberts family’s pickle castor.

The glass jars were most commonly molded in cut glass designs, but more expensive versions used real cut glass. (Many sold today as ‘antiques’ have reproduction jars in them, since that part was often lost to breakage.)

Glass jar from (likely) George Roberts family’s pickle castor.

The Kovel’s Antiques webpage states that, “Castor jars became more ornate each year, and by 1860, they were cathedral-like pieces.” (The handle on this jar definitely is ‘cathedral-like.’) Pickle castors were still popular in 1890, but had gone out of fashion by about 1900.

I believe this pickle castor belonged to the family of George Anthony Roberts and Ella Viola (Daniels) Roberts of Jasper County, Iowa. It was found in the house of their daughter, Edith (Roberts) [McMurray] Luck. If memory serves, it used to be in the old homeplace that Edith’s brother George Anthony Roberts, Jr. lived in while he farmed the land after their parents retired and moved into town. George and Ella married in 1885 in Jasper County, so this could have been a wedding gift. Rural areas change slower in their fashions than in the big cities, so it likely was still popular to have a pickle castor on the table into the early 1900s. There are some dim memories of such pretties in an upper cabinet in that house or another house that Georgie (Jr.) may have lived in. And we know that the Roberts women made fantastic pickles, so it might have been used frequently!

Another possibility is that this belonged to George Sr.’s parents, John Roberts and Elizabeth Ann Murrell Roberts, who married in 1857, when pickle castors were at the height of their popularity. If this is true, and they received it as a wedding gift, it would have travelled by covered wagon from Roseville, Illinois to Jasper County in 1868! They probably wrapped it in cloth scraps that would later be used for mending or quilts, then packed it among clothes and blankets in a box stashed inside the wagon. Elizabeth would have probably feared it would be broken when they arrived, but making the trip intact would have been cause for joy after leaving so many possessions behind.

Of course, this is all conjecture, and Edith may have bought it at an estate sale, where she loved to shop. She would not have gone to the sales for her own home until the mid-1920s, though. Additionally, she was not a woman who enjoyed fancy things, so this does not seem to be the origin of this pickle castor.

The design of this is most likely Aesthetic Victorian- seems a bit flowery to be Eastlake, but expert opinions are welcome.

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Kovel’s website– https://www.kovels.com/price-guide/glass-price-guide/castor-jar/Page-7.html

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), 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.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2017 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted. 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 Please contact us if you have any questions about copyright or use of our blog material.

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