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All because two people fell in love… Part 2

This entry is part of 2 in the series All because two people fell in love…
Ed and Mary (Helbling) McMurray, 26 Sep 1948, in Newton, Iowa.

McMurray Family, Roberts Family, Lee Family, Broida Family, Cooper Family (Click for Family Tree)

Three years ago today I posted some images along with lyrics from Brad Paisley’s song, “Two People Fell in Love.” Seemed like that was just not enough pictures of our ancestors who fell in love, so we decided to provide Part 2 and make it a series, as wonderful pictures become available.

Of course, the secret to a good marriage is making every day a day to celebrate your love, not just a day in the midst of February. Our ancestors probably struggled with this concept like we sometimes do, especially when the mundane gotta-dos of life get in the way. Many of them had long, loving marriages though, and they were good role models for their descendants of today.

Please enjoy these lovely people on this Valentine’s Day of 2018 !

1940- from left Ruth Nadine (Alexander) Lee, Henrietta (Fasterling) Reuter, a friend, in center, and Ruth’s husband, Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee on right with 1940 Pontiac, license plate from Missouri but image likely taken in Colorado.

 

McMurray-Benjamin Family circa 1886: Frederick Asbury McMurray, Hannah "Melissa" Benjamin McMurray, William Elmer McMurray, Harry J. McMurray, Addie Belle McMurray, Roy McMurray, and Ray McMurray (baby)
McMurray-Benjamin Family circa 1886: Frederick Asbury McMurray, Hannah “Melissa” Benjamin McMurray, William Elmer McMurray, Harry J. McMurray, Addie Belle McMurray, Roy McMurray, and Ray McMurray (baby)

 

1974_02_40th Wedding Anniversary of Gertrude Belle (Broida) Cooper and Irving Israel Cooper.

 

George Anthony Roberts with his wife Ella V. Daniel Roberts and their three children: Ethel Gay Roberts standing in back on left, George Anthony Roberts, Jr. standing on right, and little Edith Mae Roberts between her beloved parents, circa 1904.
George Anthony Roberts with his wife Ella V. Daniel Roberts and their three children: Ethel Gay Roberts standing in back on left, George Anthony Roberts, Jr. standing on right, and little Edith Mae Roberts between her beloved parents, circa 1904.

 

William Anderson Murrell and Cordelia (Talley) Murrell- possibly wedding photo? If so, would have been taken 1 Oct 1867 in Warren Co., IL.

 

John and Gitel (Frank) Broida, c. 1889.

 

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. “All because two people fell in love” HeritageRamblings.net post, 14 Feb 2015– http://heritageramblings.net/2015/02/14/all-because-two-people-fell-in-love/
  2. “Two People Fell in Love,” song by Brad Paisley- see above article for more information.

 

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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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Sunday’s Obituary: Frederick Asbury McMurray

Frederick Asbury McMurray, circa 1890?
Frederick Asbury McMurray, circa 1890?

McMurray Family (Click for Family Tree)

This obituary was posted on Iowa GenWeb by the late Donna Sloan Rempp. Her family was kind enough to give us permission to post it on the blog.

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Well known Auctioneer Dies From Stroke Thursday

Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon for Frederick A. McMurray, well known Jasper county auctioneer and one of the leading Democrats of the county, who died last Thursday evening at his home in Newton at 7:15, following a stroke of paralysis, which he received the previous Sunday afternoon as he was returning from the funeral of a friend, Mrs. C. L. Good.

Frederick A. McMurray was born Aug. 28, 1859 in Bedford county, Penn., son of Henderson and Mary Ann (Horn) McMurray, the third child in a family of 12 children. At the age of two years he came west with his parents and three children crossing the Mississippi river at Muscatine. The family settled on a farm south of Tipton in Cedar county, where they remained until 1869.

The McMurray family then moved on west again, this time settling in Jasper county on a farm about two and one half miles north west of Newton. Fred McMurray here continued his education, which was started while he was living in Cedar county, finishing at the age of 18 years and starting out for himself.

At first he spent his time breaking the raw prairies of the rich corn belt through Jasper county, later in 1872 taking up grading work in the Rock Island right of way between Newton and Reasnor.

He purchased his first piece of real estate in 1874, when he negotiated for an 80 acre tract of land about three miles northeast of Newton on old No. 14, which he owned at the time of his death. He lived on this farm until 1922, farming for himself, putting on many improvements.

In addition to being one of the leading auctioneers of his time, Mr. McMurray was connected with the Jasper County Agricultural Society for many years as marshal, and even in the last years he was considered as an advisory part of the governing organization.

Mr. McMurray is survived by his wife, and eight brothers and sisters: Joseph of Fort Madison; Mary, Mrs. Ella Aillaud, and Henry of Newton; Mrs. Sam Raugh of Exeter, Calif.; James T. of Rodondo Beach, Calif.; David of Valley Junction; and Mrs. Margaret Maytag of Marshalltown. One brother John and two sisters Mrs. Newt Edge and Emma, preceded him in death.

He is also survived by one daughter, Mrs. Forrest Gillespie of Oak Park, Ill., and four sons, William, Harry J., Roy and Ray of Newton; three grandchildren, Dr. E. A., Mrs. Maude Cook, and Herbert of Newton; and two great grandchildren, Edward A. Jr., and Mona Lynette Cook of Newton.

Source: Newspaper Unknown; __ December 1929 (Newton Union records say he d. 12 December 1929)

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Fred’s wife was Hannah Melissa (Benjamin) McMurray, but she was not actually named in his obituary.

Family records do state his death was 12 December 1929; his headstone lists only his birth and death years.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. IA US GenWeb– http://iagenweb.org/jasper/

 

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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 2013-2016 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.

Friday’s Faces from the Past: Curmudgeon Day

Benjamin Family, McMurray Family, Lee Family, Helbling Family (Click for Family Tree)

W. C. Fields (above) was a curmudgeon, and on the anniversary of his birth on 29 February 1880, we celebrate all the curmudgeons we know and love- or try to love.

What is a curmudgeon, you may ask? Generally described as a complaining, crotchety, critical old man, in the interest of equal rights we will include women as possibilities too. “Snarling contempt” is a good phrase that can describe the opinions, attitudes, and writings of curmudgeons. The very best curmudgeons, however, will add a bit of humor or dry wit to their scathing words, and give us an insight into the human condition; sometimes they even make a career out of it.

W. C. Fields is famous for many a curmudgeonly phrase, some from his movies, and some said on his own while in character (he was said to personally be a kind man). Many other quotes have been attributed to him but may not be really his words. Here are a few of his most famous:

 “I never vote for anybody, I always vote against.”
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.
If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.”
And the quote that sums up his character:
I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally.
Title page of the First Folio, 1623. Copper engraving of Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout. Public domain, via Wikipedia.
Title page of the First Folio, 1623. Copper engraving of Shakespeare by Martin Droeshout. Public domain, via Wikipedia.

The characters of William Shakespeare issued their share of curmudgeonly insults to each other long before- and now after- W. C. Fields:

There’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune.” (from Henry V)

Thine face is not worth sunburning.” (from Henry V)

Your brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after voyage.” (from As You Like It)

You are as a candle, the better burnt out.(from Henry IV, Part 1)

Nowadays, we may have to extend the definition of ‘curmudgeon’ to include cartoons (Lucy always complaining and nagging Charlie Brown), puppets (Oscar the Grouch), and even internet memes (Grumpy Cat). And when you put two together you get…

Isn’t the internet wonderful??

We all know some curmudgeons, and likely have a few in the family, though it is doubtful that any of our dear readers would fit into that category.  We won’t name (many) names, but we do have a few ancestors who are long gone that we could possibly honor as Curmudgeons on this very special day.

OK, OK, it’s not really that special a day, as any true curmudgeon would proclaim.

Samuel J. Lee in His Drugstore in St. Louis, Missouri, possibly 1940s or 1950s?
Samuel J. Lee in His Drugstore in St. Louis, Missouri, possibly 1940s or 1950s?

Samuel J. Lee (1879-1964) ran a drugstore in St. Louis, Missouri. As the neighborhood changed and got quite a bit rougher, it is understandable that he might have turned a bit curmudgeonly. Only apparently Sam sort of was that way even before. A nephew who worked for him said that it did not take much to get Sam upset. He actually had a peephole in the wall of the drugstore- something common to many stores so that an owner could truly ‘keep an eye’ on things. The nephew stated, however, that Sam would monitor his work performance through the peephole, to make sure he did not dish out too much ice cream to a customer at the soda fountain, or even worse, sample the ice cream himself.

Sam was a quiet man, according to another family member. He didn’t talk much, and in the evenings would just go sit in the sunroom of the house on Alamo, read his paper and smoke a cigar. So maybe he was more a quiet man, and people just took that silence as curmudgeonly?

Gerard William "G.W." Helbling in his garden in St. Louis, Missouri. Date unknown, likely 1920s.
Gerard William “G.W.” Helbling in his garden in St. Louis, Missouri. Date unknown, likely 1920s.

Gerard William “G. W.” Helbling (1882-1971) did not have the benefit of much formal education, but he was a brilliant man. That brilliance could drive some people crazy, though, like one of his daughters. She said he always had a criticism for a movie, an article, or whatever. He would explain how it could not really happen, why it wasn’t true, the facts that were missing, or how it was biased. He was most likely right, as he was a prodigious reader and knowledgeable about a whole lot of things. He would often guess what would happen next, and spoil the plot line.

He could be a very loving man, however, and the love he showed for his dear wife, Anna May (Beerbower) Helbling, was the kind of love women (ok, men too) dream about.

So maybe we can’t officially call him a curmudgeon? Maybe just a part-time curmudgeon, who was usually right.

Hannah Melissa Benjamin with her great-grandson, Edward A. McMurray, Jr., about 1926.
Hannah Melissa Benjamin with her great-grandson, Edward A. McMurray, Jr., about 1926.

We don’t really know enough about Hannah Melissa “Malissa” (Benjamin) McMurray (1854-1932) to officially proclaim her a curmudgeon. We don’t know that she was a complainer- her life was filled with work on the farm until her mid-fifties, and raising five children. She must have been a special woman to have endured it all, and some complaints, if any, should be excused.

But asking a descendant to identify the above picture was interesting. There was no name, and the informant was the young great-grandson pictured with Hannah Melissa (Benjamin) McMurray above. At first he did not recognize her through the fading lenses and memories of the 70+ years that had passed since that picture was taken. Then he looked up, in a somewhat taken aback fashion, when asked if it could be Hannah Melissa (Benjamin) McMurray. (Possibilities had been narrowed time-wise.) “Yes,” he replied. “She was VERY stern.” He was one who always gave people the benefit of the doubt, but apparently she curbed the enthusiasm of a toddler quite significantly, and he remembered it deeply when asked so many years later. He wouldn’t elaborate on whether that sternness was due to her complaining or just silently expecting him to toe the line; so maybe she was a pseudo-curmudgeon.

Headstone of Jonathan Benjamin (1738-1841) in Old Colony Burial Ground, Granville, Licking County, Ohio, with permission of photographer.
Headstone of Jonathan Benjamin (1738-1841) in Old Colony Burial Ground, Granville, Licking County, Ohio, with kind permission of photographer.

Jonathan Benjamin (1739-1841) was the third-great grandfather of Malissa (Benjamin) McMurray. Maybe Malissa got some of his ‘stern’ DNA.

The 1881 tome (816 pages!) compiled by N. N. Hill, Jr. called “History of Licking County, O., Its Past and PresentContaining a Condensed, Comprehensive History of Ohio, Including an Outline History of the Northwest, a Complete History of Licking County … a History of Its Soldiers in the Late War … Biographies and Histories of Pioneer Families, [and it goes on…]” tells Jonathan’s story the best:

Jonathan Benjamin was in some respects an extraordinary man. He was a person of rather coarse features, but of strong muscular powers, with a still stronger will. He was very determined in all his undertakings, and of an unforgiving temperament. Having passed through the French and Indian wars, and through the war of the Revolution, and having suffered much and long by Indian depredations, both in the loss of friends and property, the finer feelings of his nature had become blunted to such an extent that he seemed to have lost most of his sympathy for his fellow man. Still he was a man of religious habits, and of good morals, but was generally considered to be a man that was naturally morose and unsociable, and was not known through life to have expressed his forgiveness of the Indian race…. Mrs. Benjamin possessed social qualities that in great measure compensated for lack of them in her husband.”

Jonathan had lived through Indian wars in New York (and/or New Jersey), Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, as well as in Licking and Fairfield Counties, Ohio. He witnessed his family members killed or carried off in Indian raids, and he had fought in military battles from at least the age of fourteen. He lived to be 102 years, 10 months, and 12 days old, and his demeanor never mellowed. His curmudgeonly attitude was likely fueled by the sorrows and hardships he had experienced in his long life. We can put on our psychiatrist hats and say maybe he was covering up the pain. Or maybe he was a quintessential curmudgeon?

It is hard to actually know if these folks were truly curmudgeons or not, as we only have a part of the story. They all had hard lives, so I do apologize to them if they were not curmudgeonly just for the sake of curmudgeon-ness.

So, who will you honor today on “Curmudgeon Day”??

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. W. C. Fields image via Warehouse 13 Wiki at http://warehouse13.wikia.com/wiki/File:W-C-Fields.jpg. CC-BY-SA license.
  2. Shakespearean insults from http://www.nosweatshakespeare.com/resources/shakespeare-insults/
  3. The “remainder biscuit after voyage” refers to the saltwater-soaked, then dried out, wormy biscuits that are all that is left for sailors and travelers to eat at the end of a very long voyage on board ship.
  4. Jon Winokur wrote The Portable Curmudgeon and a variety of sequels which are just delightful if you enjoy this genre of humor and quotations.
  5.  Previous posts about Sam Lee include:
    http://heritageramblings.net/2014/10/05/sundays-obituary-samuel-j-lee/
    http://heritageramblings.net/2013/12/13/five-family-photos-for-friday-samuel-j-lee-of-st-louis-missouri/
    http://heritageramblings.net/2013/12/19/those-places-thursday-samuel-j-lee-and-son-pharmacy-st-louis-missouri/
    http://heritageramblings.net/2014/10/02/those-places-thursday-aiken-family-homes/
    http://heritageramblings.net/2014/07/02/wordless-wednesday-lee-family-clock/
  6. History of Licking County, O., Its Past and PresentContaining a Condensed, Comprehensive History of Ohio, Including an Outline History of the Northwest, a Complete History of Licking County … a History of Its Soldiers in the Late War … Biographies and Histories of Pioneer Families, Etc., compiled by N. N. Hill, A. A. Graham & Co., 1881 may be found at  https://books.google.com/books?id=_Xw8AAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false. Jonathan Benjamin bio on p. 602.
  7. Jonathan Benjamin obituary: “A Veteran”in  Hazzards US Commercial Statistical Register, Vol. 5, 1841/2, page 335, public domain. Heath Trust- http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.32044097928162;view=1up;seq=353

 

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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 2013-2015 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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Friday’s Faces from the Past: The McMurray-Benjamin Family

McMurray-Benjamin Family circa 1886: Frederick Asbury McMurray, Hannah "Melissa" Benjamin McMurray, William Elmer McMurray, Harry J. McMurray, Addie Belle McMurray, Roy McMurray, and Ray McMurray (baby)
McMurray-Benjamin Family circa 1886: Frederick Asbury McMurray, Hannah “Melissa” Benjamin McMurray, William Elmer McMurray, Harry J. McMurray, Addie Belle McMurray, Roy McMurray, and Ray McMurray (baby)

McMurray Family, Benjamin Family (Click for Family Tree)

Reverse of circa 1886 McMurray-Benjamin Family
Reverse of circa 1886 McMurray-Benjamin Family

Notes, Sources, and References: 

1) Family treasure chest of photos- thanks, Cousin Cindi and Cousin Julie!

 

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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 2013-2015 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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Five Family Photos for Friday- Hannah Melissa (Benjamin) McMurray

Hannah Melissa Benjamin with her great-grandson, Edward A. McMurray, Jr., about 1926.
Hannah Melissa Benjamin with her great-grandson, Edward A. McMurray, Jr., taken about 1926.

The above photo was in with McMurray family pictures that I have seen all my life. My family thought that the youngster was Edward A. McMurray, Jr., but he was not sure who the woman was with him. He always said, “I can’t remember that far back.”

In the last decade of his life, we went through the photos another time. He looked at this one intently, again puzzled as to who the woman was. For years I had been intrigued with his great-grandmother, Hannah Melissa Benjamin- I had never seen a picture of her, but had been born 100 years and two months after her, and just loved her name. Knowing the year that the picture was probably taken due to Ed’s age, I combed through the possibilities of who it could be; Hannah Melissa (Benjamin) McMurray was the best possibility. I asked, “Do you think it could be your great-grandmother, Hannah Melissa (Benjamin) McMurray?” He looked up, surprised, and replied that it was indeed her, and he remembered that she was very, very stern. Melissa, as she was known, died when he was just eight, so that was the only thing he could remember about her.

Hannah Melissa Benjamin, possibly circa 1910? She was 56 in 1910.
Hannah Melissa Benjamin, possibly circa 1910? She was 56 in 1910.

Hannah Melissa Benjamin was born to Sylvanus Rufus Benjamin and Sarah Ann Palmer on 03 Aug 1854 in Burlington, Licking County, Ohio. Licking County was a big transportation center at that time, especially after the Ohio Canal had been completed.

In 1865 or 1866 the family moved to Jasper County, Iowa. They lived on a farm about four miles northeast of Newton. In 1870, her father owned a large amount of land- he had the highest real estate value of any other household listed on the census page.

 

Melissa married Frederick Asbury “F. A.” McMurray in Jasper County, Iowa, on 18 September 1873. FA was an auctioneer who cried sales throughout the area. They had five children: William E. (1874-1957, marr Lynette Payne, had 3 children); Harry James (1876-1962, marr. Emma Tripp, no children); Addie Belle (1879-1958, marr. Forest Gillespie, no children); Roy (1884-1973, marr. Emma Hotger, no children); and Ray (1886-1979, marr. Elizabeth “Bessie” Catherine Blackwell, no children), all born in Jasper County.

Hannah Melissa (Benjamin) McMurray, possibly 1915 or 1920?
Hannah Melissa (Benjamin) McMurray, possibly 1915 or 1920?

F. A. McMurray died on 12 Dec 1929, leaving Melissa alone for almost three years. Melissa may be found in the 1930 US Federal Census, age 76, and living at 310 E. 4th St. N in Newton. She had a housekeeper and two lodgers living with her, and her home was worth $8,000.

Headstone of Hannah Melissa (Benjamin) McMurray in Newton Union Cemetery, Newton, Jasper County, Iowa.
Headstone of Hannah Melissa (Benjamin) McMurray in Newton Union Cemetery, Newton, Jasper County, Iowa.

Melissa (Benjamin) McMurray died on 09 Nov 1932 in Newton. She is buried in Newton Union Cemetery, along with her husband and many other Benjamins.

Benjamin Family Headstone Grouping in Newton Union Cemetery, Newton, Jasper County, Iowa.
Benjamin Family Headstone Grouping in Newton Union Cemetery, Newton, Jasper County, Iowa.

[NOTE: Post edited 3/21/14 to add death dates for William, Roy, and Ray McMurray.]

Notes, Sources, and References:

1) 1870 US Federal Census for Sylvanus R. Benjamin, head of household: Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Newton, Jasper, Iowa; Roll: M593_398; Page: 370A; Image: 380; Family History Library Film: 545897.

2) John Benjamin Obituary: The Newton Record, Thursday, May 24, 1900 Page 1, Column 2.

3) My Find A Grave Memorial #28154269 for Hannah Melissa (Benjamin) McMurray: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=28154269

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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.