27 March 2015

Eyewitness Account of Death of Henry Martin Walker, Sr. (1829-1865)

I have previously documented the tragic death of Henry M. Walker, Sr. my 2xg-grandfather in a Civil War railroad accident near New Orleans, in March of 1865.  I was blown away to find this eyewitness account, not just of the railroad accident, but the death of my 2xg-grandfather!

From page 261 of HISTORY of the Thirty-Third Regiment Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry IN THE CIVIL WAR: 22nd AUGUST, 1861. to 7th DECEMBER, 1865 by General Isaac H. Elliott, published in 1902 --

All those who were able soon commenced the work of relieving the suffering. Under the command of Col. Elliott the men moved like well-regulated machines. Ropes were procured and the cars were pulled apart and held in place until men could gather up the dead and wounded. Several of the boys were thrown into ditches and held down by the cars until drowned. We could hear their cries but could not get at them until too late to save them. One, a member of A Company, a nephew of Capt. Dutton, who had been with us but a short time, thus gave up his life. How different the ending from what his imagination had pictured it!  He was drowned like a rat in a trap, even without having seen an armed rebel. After the body of the poor boy had been removed from the ditch, the scene of Capt. Dutton standing over him, the tears running down his face as efforts were being made by the comrades to bring back the young life that had been snuffed out so quickly, and the earnest appeals of the Captain to work faster, will remain with me as long as life lasts.
Capt. Harvey Dutton was my 2xg-granduncle and a true hero of the Civil War as I have documented on this blog.  But this soldier above erred in his account.  Let's return to Capt. Dutton's own account of the tragedy in the same book --
The killed were: 1st Sergt. Spillman F. Willis, Vet.; Private Chas. G. Howell, Vet.; Private Chas. Greening, Private H. M. Walker, and Private Jerome Wolf.  A peculiarly distressing feature of this affair to me was not only that Company A had lost its noble, brave and efficient Orderly Sergeant, and another veteran of three and a half years of faithful service, but that of the five new men from my home, as before mentioned, three of them, one my brother-in-law, now lay dead.
There was no nephew of Capt. Dutton killed.  There was no nephew of Capt. Dutton serving in the same company!  The "nephew" whose body the soldier saw Capt. Dutton shedding tears over was in fact Capt. Dutton's brother-in-law and my 2xg-grandfather Henry M. Walker, Sr.!!!

His grave is not listed in the National Park Service database or the Sons of Union Veterans database.  I am one step closer to finding his grave in that the soldier also relays the "dead and wounded" were carried to the nearest farmhouse.  More research is necessary.

Copyright © 2015 by Kevin W. Walker

26 March 2015

3/28/1889 Kansas Obituary for Norman Dutton (1810-1889)

From the March 28, 1889 edition of the Barton County (KS) Democrat --
    Deacon Norman Dutton, who departed this life on the 18th day of March, 1889, was born in LaMoille county, Vermont, Feb. 14th, 1810. In early life he removed to the state of Ohio, where be resided some two years, when he went to Illinois, and after visiting a short time in Morgan county, he settled permanently in Metamora, Woodford county, Illinois, where he lived until 1888. In February of this last named year, be removed to Great Bend, Kansas, near which city he purchased a farm, on which he lived until he was called to close his earthly career.
    Deacon Dutton, while yet quite young, became a christian, and united with the Congregational church, in which church he labored and served as deacon for over 40 years.
     He was a man of deep convictions, firm fidelity to his principles. He understood that to be a christian meant full devotion of life, its energy, its time and its highest thoughts and efforts to advance the cause of righteousness and truth on earth and to make men better and holier. Moved by such principles he in early life espoused the anti-slavery cause and labored for the destruction of American slavery 'till its overthrow. Being an early abolitionist he knew for long years what it was to be despised and persecuted for righteousness'sake. This treatment he meekly bore in the spirit of his Master knowing the cause was the cause of truth.
    Deacon Duton was also a life-long laborer in the cause of temperance. In an early day he became a believer in prohibition and labored for its advance ment 'till 'he died. So earnest was his life, that all his long life he bore a prominent part in the struggle for the advancement of these great movements, and in all christian work. He was truly a Soldier of the Cross.
    A pioneer spirit pervaded his life so that he, when 78 years old, came to this new country and began to improve a farm with the ardor of a youth. .
    Although be resided here only a little more than one year, be had gained the respect and the friendship of all his neighbors as a very large attendance at his funeral services, testifies, His action, earnestness and his mild, christian spirit will ever remain a benediction on the lives of his new friends in this community where he spent the last year of his life.
    Deacon Dutton lived to enter his 80th year. Death came to him suddenly and called him to his mansion where Christ is.
    He leaves behind him a companion. two children and several grand children, and a host of relations and, friends, who mourn their loss, but not without being fully persuaded that he has departed to be with Jesus. 
    "For so he giveth his beloved sleep."   J. J. A. T. Dixon.
I have documented previously in this blog that Norman Dutton's body was exhumed from Kansas and re-interred in Oakwood Cemetery, Metamora, Illinois.

Copyright © 2015 by Kevin W. Walker

21 March 2015

Gyle "Dean" Haney (May 14, 1946 - December 6, 2014)

Longtime valley resident Gyle "Dean" Haney died December 06, 2014 at his home in Jackson, surrounded by his entire family. He was 68. His family and friends provided the following. 
Dean was born in Emporia, KS to Jefferson Haney and Jeanne Fleming (nee Irwin) on May 14, 1946. As children, he and his four siblings learned to appreciate the art of travel early. 
While his father pursued his own education and then later worked as a school administrator, Dean's family moved from Kansas to Japan, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Michigan and finally to Worland, Wyoming in 1960. There he devoted his energy to basketball, hunting and fishing. After graduating from Worland High School in 1964, Dean traveled extensively throughout the West, Mexico, and Alaska before meeting his wife, Patty Strasheim, in Jackson in 1973. Jackson would remain a base for the rest of his life as he balanced his love for the hills of Wyoming with a passion for the ocean and sailing. 
Dean always sought hard, challenging work as a commercial fisherman, logger, driver, and road construction supervisor. He worked on jobs from the Alaska Pipeline in the 1970's to the Jackson Lake Dam in the mid 80's and the Mystic Seaport Museum in 2002. And between those jobs he worked in every corner of Wyoming building dams, roads and runways. 
He was gifted with a profound intellect and was a voracious reader who was passionate about ideas, books, music, politics, and sports. 
Above all, Dean was immensely proud of and devoted to his family, including his parents, wife Patty, daughter Jessica (born 1980 in Juneau, AK) and son Josh (born 1983 in Ft. Smith, AR). He felt fortunate to have spent his last month enjoying the company of friends and family from Colorado, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Utah, Oregon, and Hawaii. And the highlight of that month one last road trip to his sailboat in CA with Josh, Jessica and her husband, Paul. 
As one lifelong friend put it, "Here's the thing about Dean: He lived life as few people do. A man with not much higher education, he was one of the most intelligent guys I have ever known, truly a Renaissance man in the sense of having a powerful curiosity, an engaging wit and an all consuming passion for life. Oh, yeah, he was also one of the best friends a person could ever have." 
We will miss him. We are glad we knew him. 
He was preceded in death by his father in 1988 and a brother, James Jay in 2000. 
He is survived by his wife Patty, daughter Jessica Haney Wireman (Paul) of Jackson, son Josh of Brooklyn,NY., his mother Jeanne I. Fleming, sisters Carol Carden (Pat) and Mary Kay McCoy, a brother Joe Haney (Elaine) and Sister-in-law Ginger Haney Burnham and numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and great nephews. 
A small celebration of Dean's life was held on December 13th at the Old Wilson School House. 
A Memorial Fund has been established through Jackson Youth Hockey and charitable donations may be made online in Dean's honor to the Dean Haney Memorial Fund at jyhockey.org. Donations may also be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society online at donate.lls.org or by phone at (888) 557-7177.
This obituary was obtained at the website for the funeral home here: http://www.valleymortuaryjackson.com/fh/print.cfm?type=obituary&o_id=2857141&fh_id=13508

Dean was my first-cousin Patty Strasheim's husband.  Patty's mother Betty Jo was my dad's older sister.

Copyright © 2015 by Kevin W. Walker

20 March 2015

When Genealogy Records become Family Treasures

So much of my public genealogy is done as "cousin bait."  This very blog included!  I have documented how it has rewarded me, as both genealogists and non-genealogists find my blog with search engines, connections are made, research is sent to me, family records, some in my ancestor's own handwriting.

One of the cousins I discovered by continually crossing paths researching the same family lines, is Tony from Arizona.  Tony introduced me to the records of his grandmother Jennie (Hall) Long (1879-1968) who was my great-grandaunt and a family historian in her own right!

And so here is where we cross the line.

I emailed Tony to find out what great-aunt Jennie had on on her great-grandfather Joseph Hall of New Hampshire?  There are a few and I am trying isolate specifically which one is our ancestor.  He sent me this --

-- A copy of aunt Jennie's notes in her own writing.  Now keep in mind my great-grandaunt was born in 1879 and died in 1968.  How old is this?  At least fifty years.  Maybe a hundred.  And look at the words on the page.  She called her granduncle Israel "Uncle Billy."  My 3xgreat-granduncle Israel Woodbury Hall was nicknamed "Billy."  How would I have known that if it wasn't for this genealogy record?

We have crossed the line where a family history document has become a family treasure.

Copyright © 2015 by Kevin W. Walker

19 March 2015

Mark A. Walker (1955-2008)

From the Lincoln Journal Star (NE), Tuesday, April 22, 2008 --
Mark A. Walker, 52, Waverly, died Sunday (04/20/08) at Great Plains Regional Medical Center in North Platte. Born November 26, 1955 to Gerald and Ima Jean Walker at Lexington. He attended school at Paxton and Ogallala, completing his education at Job Corps in Chadron. He was an avid Husker fan and enjoyed camping; fishing; car mechanics; and video games. He also was an avid reader and family jokester. 
Survivors include: wife, Susan; mother, Ima Jean Hillyer; sister, Sandra and her husband, Ron, Harrison; two brothers, Carl Walker; and Don Gillespie and his wife; Rose; three stepsisters; three stepbrothers; four sons, Justin Knepshild; Travis and Matthew Walker; Justice Wallace and his wife, Sara; four daughters, Tonya and her husband, Stan, Alexander; Natasha and her husband, Aaron, Greenwade; Jacinda Harvey and her fiance, Benito Morales; and Ariel Wallace; grandchildren, Bo and Jody Alexander; Tristan Walker; Devan Bourne; Arianna Harvey; and Isabella Greenwade; nieces; nephews; and other relatives. Preceded in death by son, Mark A. Walker Jr,; stepfather, Chester "Pete" Hillyer; and mother-in-law, G. Marie Harvey. 
Memorial Services: all day, Saturday (05/03/08) at his residence in Waverly. Adams and Swansons Funeral Home, North Platte, is in charge of arrangements.
Mark's father Gerald is my father's first-cousin, that makes Mark my second-cousin.

Copyright © 2015 by Kevin W. Walker

18 March 2015

Helen Marie Casattas Mohr (nee. Frank) 1926-2014

Helen Marie Frank Mohr, aged 88 passed away peacefully on November 24, 2014 at the Devonshire Oaks nursing home in Redwood City, Ca. She was a long time resident of San Jose, Ca. 
She lost a slow battle with cancer in the final year of her life.
Helen was born in Fort Sam Houston, (San Antonio), Texas on February 6, 1926. She was the daughter of Helen Marie Baggott Frank and Clarence Archibald Frank. Her father was a graduate of the US military academy and was a Colonel in the Army. As a child, her family was stationed in numerous locations including: Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas; Fort Eustis in Warwick, Virginia; Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland, Fort Lewis in Pierce, Washington and finally Schofield Barracks in Honolulu, Hawaii. She attended college at San Jose State University and graduated with a degree in education in 1948. 
She married Gilbert Mohr on Dec 29, 1983 in Santa Clara, California. Together they shared a passion of playing cards with local friends and bridge clubs.
Gilbert preceded her in death on October 30, 2004.Helen is survived by her two children, Anne Marie Piscatelli of Phoenix, Arizona; Sherri Walker of Wheaton, Illinois; Her siblings Eugene Frank of South Saint Paul, Minnesota; Virginia Frank of Morgan Hill, Ca and Dorothy Frank of Redwood City, Ca. Additionally her seven step-children, Bill Mohr of Piedmont, Ca; Pamela McKenna of Waimea, Hi; Mary Crawford of San Mateo, Ca, Mike Mohr of Honolulu, Hi, Pattie Jacobson of San Carlos, Ca; Steve Mohr of Danville, Ca and David Mohr of San Jose, Ca.
She is also survived by fourteen grandchildren, five great grand children and many nieces and nephews. Our family will remember Helen for her kind and gentle spirit. A private family service will be held in honor of her life at a later date.
The obituary was obtained from the funeral home Crippen and Flynn Woodside Chapel website here http://www.crippenandflynnchapels.com/memsol.cgi?user_id=1465684 I have no record yet of the obituary being published in a newspaper.

My mother-in-law.  She was cremated and her ashes were scattered on family property in Redwood City.

The obituary fails to mention her first marriage June 26, 1954 to Paul Stephen Casattas (1926-1998) which ended in divorce.

Copyright © 2015 by Kevin W. Walker