Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Charles Franklin Deller & Carolyn Jones, c. 1952.
Personal Photo, owned by D. & M. Deller. Digital Copy, A. B. Deller, July 2010.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Follow Friday: Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter & FamilySearch.Org Research Wiki

I follow quite a few blogs, but I'd have to say, for sheer volume of good information,  Dick Eastman Online Genealogy Blog is great.  Considering how far behind I can get, his snippets of information (I read the free articles), are just right for letting me know if this is an article that will be useful for me. For example, his post of October 21st, was perfect.  Two perfect paragraphs pointing out an important article written by Gary T. Wright, "Preserving Your Family History Records Digitally."

Personal Archiving White Paper 8 Oct 2010
This in turn led me to look around the Research Wiki at FamilySearch.org.  I could hardly believe I had missed this in all my searches through their website.  I had to try it out, and in a search for "Wurttemberg" it returned 91 entries.  I can see this will be a place I'll be visiting frequently.  I'm sure others will too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Birthday Party c.1899

Birthday Party for Elizabeth Ingram [probably in Springfield, Illinois],
Personal Photo, owned by A. Smith. Digital Copy, A. B. Deller, July 2010.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - William Talifero Ingram

City Cemetery, Murphysboro, IL, Personal Photo by A.B. Deller, July 2010
"Dr. Ingram."

Grave Marker, City Cemetery, Murphysboro, IL, Personal Photo by A.B. Deller, July 2010
 This small stone, directly in front of the large stone reads, 
"Dr. Wm T. Ingram, Nov. 8, 1830 - Feb. 20, 1908." 

Grave Marker, City Cemetery, Murphysboro, IL, Personal Photo by A.B. Deller, July 2010.
This fallen stone, next to the name stone for Dr. Ingram, is a mystery.  It lies directly between Dr. Ingram and his second wife, Mary A. [Moore] Ingram.  The only clear thing on it is the hand pointing up.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Amanuensis Monday - William Taylor

I thought it'd be good to follow John Newmark's example in his blog, Transylvanian Dutch.  For him, Monday is Amanuensis Monday.  He says, 
"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."
In July we were able to visit Fairfield, Illinois, and the Wayne County Courthouse.  There we found estate papers for William Taylor (1828-1897), who was my husband's great-great Grandfather.  I have attempted to transcribe two of the documents found in the packet [we especially struggled with the list of household items; and I apologize in advance for any errors].  Both of these pages were printed forms, and for clarity, I have formatted the printed text in brown, and the written text in italicized black.  Comments within brackets were added by me.

PETITION FOR LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION. - PRESS STREAM PRINT, FAIRFIELD, ILL.

Petition of Elizabeth Taylor
In the matter of the Estate of William Taylor
deceased, for letters of Administration.

To the Hon. Wm G. Bonham Judge of the County Court of Wayne County, in the State of Illinois:
The Petition of the undersigned Elizabeth Taylor respectfully represents that William Taylor late of the County of Wayne aforesaid, departed this life at his home in said County, on or about the 15th day of June A.D. 1897 leaving no last will and testament as far as your petitioner knows or believes.
And this Petition further shows that the said William Taylor died, seized and possessed of Real and Personal Estate, consisting chiefly of 2 Mares & Colts 3 Cows 1 Calf 1 Sow and pigs 1 Wagon Plows Harrow Mower Colt Furniture & etc.
all of said personal estate being estimated to be worth about Four Hundred Dollars.  No real estate. 
That said deceased left surviving him Elizabeth Taylor his widow, and Melissa Ward wife of WHWard Viola Ingram wife of Ed. Ingram Clara Scott wife of Robert Scott Millie Taylor and Homer H. Taylor his children as heirs.  That your petitioner (being Mdm of said deceased,) and believing that the said estate should be immediately administered, as well for the proper management of said Estate as for the proper collection of the assets, by virtue of her right under the Statue she therefore pray that you Honor will grant Letters of Administration to her in the premises, upon her taking the oath prescribed by the Statue, and entering into bond in such sum and with securities, as may be approved by your Honor.
[signed] Elizabeth Taylor

STATE OF ILLINOIS,
Wayne County,         ss.     Elizabeth Taylor

being duly sworn, deposes and says that the facts averred in the above petition are true, according to the best of h__ knowledge, information and belief.
Sworn to and subscribed before me
a notary Public
Clerk of the County Court of Wayne County, this 9
day of August A.D. 1897
[signed] CBBarnhill Clerk
Notary public

[signed] Elizabeth Taylor

 
WIDOW'S RELINQUISHMENT AND SELECTION. - ILLINOIS PRINTING CO. DANVILLE, ILL.   338

Estate of William Taylor Deceased.
STATE OF ILLINOIS,
County of Wayne          
                                            SS.    I, Elizabeth Taylor Widow of William Taylor deceased, do hereby relinquish all my claim to the following articles mentioned in the "Appraisers' estimate of specific property," allowed me for my family, to-wit:

ITEMS
The Family Pictures and the Wearing Apparel, Jewels, and
Ornaments of the widow and minor children...
Schoool [sic] Books and Family Library ............ 100.00
One Sewing Machine...
Necessary Beds, Bedsteads and Bedding for Widow and family  
The Stoves and Pipe used in the family, with the necessary
Cooking Utensils...
Household and Kitchen Furniture....................... 100.00
..... Milch [sic] Cow and Cal [sic]    (being one for every four
members of the family)...
..... Sheep and Fleeces, (being two for each member
of the family)...
One Horse, Saddle and Bridle...
Provisions for widow and family for one year...
Food for the Stock above specified for six months...
Fuel for the widow and family for three months...
Other Property......................................................100.00

TOTAL ....................................... 745.50


The aggregate value of which, as estimated, is ............. Dollars ($....), and in lieu of the same I desire to retain the following articles named in the "Appraisement Bill of Personal Property" of said ................ deceased, viz:

ARTICLES.            VALUE.
                   DOLLS. CTS.
1 Hay Rack                .05
Old Iron                  .05
1 Hay Rake               5.00
1 Broad Saw              9.00
7 Shoats                15.00
1 Bay Filley [sic]      20.00
1 [?]Sucking Colt       18.00
1 Yellow Mare           15.00
1 Cart                   1.50
1 Grain Cradle            .20
1 Bundle wire            1.00
1 [maybe spreader]        .10
1 Post Auger              .15
2 Pitch Forks             .30
1 Riding Plow            3.00
1 Black Cow and Calf    30.00
1 Bay Mare              45.00
1 Beuro [sic]            4.00
1 Confert [sic]          4.00
1  "                     2.00
5 Chairs                 2.00
1 Center Table           1.00
1 Organ                 10.00
1 Beuro [sic]            1.00
1 Stand Table             .50
3 Rocking Chairs         3.00
6 Chairs                 1.00
1 Clock                  1.00
1 Buck saw                .08
1 Barrell [sic]           .10
1 Iron Kettle             .25
1 Wheel Barrow            .20
Old Iron                  .10
1 Grind Stone             .25
1 Wagon                 10.00
1 Shovel                  .25
1 Sled                    .25
1 Double Trus             .25
1 Mower                  6.00
1 Plow                    .25
1 Shovel Plow             .50
1 Breaking Plow          1.00
1 Harrow                 1.50
1 Rolling Cutter          .10
1 Stove                  2.00
1  "                      .50
1 "                      3.00
1 Sewing Machine         2.00
1 Table                  2.00
1 Sofa                   1.50
Dishes                   2.00

                       227.15

The total value of which, as appraised, is $227.15 Dollars, and the balance, Five Hundred Eighteen & .35 Dollars, ($ 518.35) I prefer to have in money.
Witness my hand and seal, this 3rd day of November A.D. 1897
[Signed] Elizabeth Taylor

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Obituary - William Talifero Ingram

William Talifero Ingram was the father of William Edward Ingram, the grandfather of Nell Marie Ingram Jones, and the great grandfather of Carolyn Jones Deller.  His obituary was printed in The Daily Free Press, Carbondale, Illinois, on February 21, 1908.


SUDDEN DEATH OF DR. INGRAM

Well Known Murphysboro Physician Died Suddenly at Home in That City Thursday Night

PRACTISING PHYSICIAN FOR 56 YEARS

    Dr. William T. Ingram, one of the best known physicians of South Illinois for more than a half century, and a resident physician of Murphysboro for thirty years, died at his home in that city about 8 o'clock Thursday night.  Death was due to heart failure, the end coming suddenly.  Last December he was taken down sick with a severe brochial trouble and other ailments, but a week or two ago he had recovered sufficiently to enable him to partially resume his practice.  During the part of the day yesterday he was not feeling so well but until a very few minutes before his death it was not believed that he was seriously ill.
  Dr. Ingram was the oldest practising physician in Jackson county, having been engaged in the practice of medicine for fifty-eight years.  He was born at Greenville, Ky., November 8, 1830, his age at time of death being 77 years, 3 months and 12 days.  When he was ten years old his parents moved on a farm near Centralia, this state, where he grew to young manhood.  When he was twenty years old he returned to Greenville, Ky., and began the study of medicine under Dr. Jost, returning to Illinois in the year 1852, when he began the practice of medicine at Xenia.  In the next few years he was located as a physician in Wayne county and at Benton.  At Benton he was engaged in merchandising in addition to the practice of medicine.  At the beginning of the civil war he enlisted in the Fortieth Illinois, serving as private, lieutenant and captain.  Later he was forced to retire from the service owing to rheumatic trouble.  Before the close of the war. having regained his health, he was largely instrumental in the mustering in of the 136th Illinois, Dr. Ingram entering the service in this regiment as lieutenant colonel.  After the close of the war Dr. Ingram served for a time in the government secret service, being stationed at Cairo.
    After the war Dr. Ingram was located at various places DeSoto, Benton, Wayne county and St. Louis, coming to Murphysboro in the year 1876.  Since that date he has practiced medicine continuously in the Jackson county seat and for a number of years has been one of the best known physicians in the county.  In recent years he was for some time associated in partnership with his grandson, the late Dr. Will Hill.  Since the latter's death he has continued his practice alone, with the exception of a partnership for a brief period with Dr. H. H. Roth.
     Dr. Ingram had been married three times.  Besides his wife he leaves three children from a previous marriage.  They are Mrs. Frances Hill, now spending the winter with her Daughter, Mrs. Dan Parkinson, at San Antonio, Tex., W. E. Ingram of Little Rock, Ark.; and Robert Ingram of Houston, Tex.  Eleven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren survive also.
     During his residence at Murphysboro Dr. Ingram has always taken an active interest in public affairs.  He has served as city alderman, member of school board and held other official positions.  Although a member of the Methodist church for many years, he was one of the organizers and leading members of the Trinity Episcopal church at the county seat.  In recent years he had been identified with the Democratic party, but about the time of his locating in Murphysboro was one of the leaders in the Greenback movement in this section and for a time conducted a newspaper known as the "Industrial Tribune", in the interest of the Greenback cause.
    The funeral will be held Monday afternoon at the Murphysboro Episcopal church.  Interment at Murphysboro.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday Night Fun

OK - this *really* shows just how behind I am!  I was catching up on some blog reading (I'm only 649 posts behind now), and read one of Angie's posts about one of Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun and thought it sounded like fun.  I didn't think to look at the date (I don't think I've read any posts since early June) and when I went looking at Genea-Musings, I couldn't find it and wondered why... duh!  It was from Randy's post from July 17th, "Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - I Write Like..."  It said,
1) Find something that you have written that you are really proud of - the best of your work. Do an Edit > Copy of it.
2) Go to the website http://iwl.me/ and Paste your text into the waiting box.
3) Tell us which famous author you write like. Write it up in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog, or post it on Facebook. Insert the "badge of honor" in your blog if you can.
Late though I may be - and I'm *way* later than Angie - I wanted to try it, it  did sound like fun - and it was.  The first thing I submitted was my first post for this blog - since I couldn't think of anything really good I'd written.  It came up with this:


I write like
H. P. Lovecraft
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Since I wasn't familiar with this author, I googled his name,
 "Howard Phillips "H. P." Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction, especially the subgenre known as weird fiction." [1]
I do enjoy reading Edgar Allan Poe and Terry Pratchett (among other authors), but I I decided to double check things, and looked around my hard drive for a book I wrote during NaNoWriMo [2]  thinking to copy a bit of it (I wouldn't consider it my best writing, but it's not a blog post).  While I was looking, I found a little piece I wrote as an exercise.  "The Witchy House"  I barely remembered writing it, but I liked it and thought it was good, so I submitted it (totally missing the inference in the title).  What do you know?



I write like
Stephen King
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Well.  While I quite enjoy reading these types of books, I also read loads of others.  I had no idea that style would show in my blog posts.  [By the way, that book of mine?  It's in the style of Bram Stoker.]

[1]  "H.P. Lovecraft."  Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.  Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.  8 Oct 2010. Web. Accessed 9 Oct 2010. .

[2]  NaNoWriMo refers to the National Novel Writing Month.  As they say at their web site, "National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30."  Try it, it's a great exercise in writing.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Funeral Card Friday - Elnora Hussong Roark Asbell


Almost a year ago, I wrote about Elnora Hussong Roark Asbell.  This past summer we had the opportunity to travel to different places throughout the mid-west, and were able to visit previously unknown relatives, as well as known ones.  I learned [again] just how important it is to ASK if there are pictures or papers that are related to the family being researched.  I can't count how many times my husband and his family had visited their family in Forney, and they had never seen the photos that we saw this summer - after - I'd specifically asked.  They'd been stored away in a small suitcase, that Nora's daughter Mable had given to her granddaughter.  I brought up the old post, because I made a correction to it.  One of Nora's granddaughters was able to identify the previous photo as a friend of Nora's.  I was a bit dismayed to see that, but was quickly excited again, when they produced an authentic portrait of Nora, which I've now corrected on the blog entry.

But back to the Funeral Card.  This particular card is not very unusual for the late 20th century.  With a picture of the servicing mortuary, Broadway Mortuary, on the front, and a copy of the Twenty-third Psalm and details of the funeral service on the inside.


In Memory of 
Nora Asbell

 Date of Birth
May 1, 1888
Galena, Kansas

Date of Death
March 27, 1965
Dallas, Texas

Services
Broadway Mortuary Chapel
Monday, March 29, 1965
2:20 p.m.

Officiating
Rev. Leonard A. Clark
Grace Methodist Church

Interment
Wichita Park Cemetery

Organist
Mrs. John N. Free
Soloist 
Mrs. Melvin H. McCune
Selection
"The Old Rugged Cross"

Jack H. Cozine, Funeral Director
Service by Broadway Mortuary
Wichita, Kansas

Funeral card of Nora Asbell.  Personal collection of D. & M. Deller, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Marble Top Table

Photograph 1
This little table, used in this photograph as a game table, is one of the family treasures.  From a brief search, it appears to be a Victorian occasional table.  One site described Victorian furniture as, 


Late 19th century. 
Woods used: Mahogany, walnut, rosewood.
Description: heavy, massive, substantial; dark finish; clumsy design; ornate carvings and decorations; marble tops used.

Description found at TLC.howstuffworks.com  
Photograph 2
This really is a beautiful piece of furniture.  For me though, even though it's a valuable antique, I think the best part is that it has been passed down through the family.  It was either purchased by Dudley and Caroline Jones, or by their son Arthur Clifton and Georgia Jones, and it was used in that same house on Scott Street by Arthur & Nell Jones, until it was moved in the 1970's to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where it was used by their daughter and her family.  Just this year it was moved to Dallas, where it has begun its service to the next generation. 


Photograph 1 - Arthur Jackson Jones & his brother, Dudley Emerson Jones sitting at Victorian side table [probably in the Scott Street House, Little Rock, Arkansas].  Dudley Emerson Jones, 1829 - 1913, Manuscript Collection MC 1305, Series 4, Folder 10. Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville.
Photograph 2. Christmas at the Deller home in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the third great granddaughter of Dudley Emerson Jones sitting in front of Victorian Side Table.  Personal photo by Carolyn Jones Deller. Christmas, 1990



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October 3, 2010 - Happy First Blogiversary!

Ok - I'm a 'wee bit' late here.  But only by a few days.  Last October 3rd, I started blogging about the Deller and Jones family of Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Pennsylvania, etc.  It's been a good learning experience, and I've [virtually] met a lot of wonderful people.  I send out many thanks to Thomas MacEntee and GeneaBloggers - and a whole lot of other bloggers out there - who patiently answered questions, and provided uninhibited enthusiasm for a beginner genealogy blogger.

So I'm planning to celebrate, by planning to post much more regularly.  This is a great blogging community to be involved in, and I want to be a bigger part.  I want to put more family names 'out there' for anyone like me who might be searching for them.  To me, there's nothing better than finding a new relative, and together, searching for and then remembering all those who have gone before us.

The Letters of Dudley Emerson Jones - Part 3 of 3

In the political sphere, Dudley comments on some of the great issues of his time - in the 1890’s, for example, national monetary policy. Of this he says, “Everyone around here is crazy for free silver. It is literally a craze. It reminds me of nothing so much as the craze at the Secession Convention in Charleston in 1860.” These comments seem to indicate his lack of sympathy for radical revision of the money system. Still, at another point he speaks of the federal government as capable of providing some economic “relief,” in a time of particularly depressed economy. As on other issues, he can seem both conservative and progressive, at the same time, or at least flexible. Overall, he seems to have seen no basic conflict between private enterprise and government policy, but rather their mutual benefit, as in his enthusiasm over railroads.

He could at times be quite critical of state administration, even scathing. Once he really let them have it, referring to the Republican rule in 1872-3: “It is no wonder that we were bankrupt. The records show that the members of the Assembly charged 1200 to 1600 dollars per diem{?} for coming or going less than 100 miles. It is no wonder that scrip fell to 10 cents.”

Dudley did have clear preferences of some over others, and certain definite convictions. He favored Grover Cleveland in the presidential elections of the 90’s. “I voted for him twice, and would vote for him again if he would run.” He seems therefore to have been a Democrat, and reflects again, some of the complexities of the post-war South, as a northerner who had benefited from the period of Reconstruction, but who appears to have invested his longer-term loyalty with the more southern Democratic Party. He was quite chagrined at the thought of the Republican William McKinley as president. Before the election he said, “He is not a strong enough man to be president. But we shall probably have to accept him in any case.” He opposed the Spanish-American War that McKinley fell into, but also betrayed an ambivalent attitude about America’s possible role. Speaking of Filipinos -“It is nauseous to say that we can’t govern them. It is an acknowledgment that Spain can do what we can’t. I believe they will govern themselves.” And then, in an alternately whimsical, apolitical aside – “Perhaps you & Oliver would like to go to Porto Rico to spend the next winter” – but again acknowledging the reach of American power – “That will become a great winter resort for the East as Hawaii will be for the West.” Dudley saw expansion and opportunity even when showing confidence in those over whom America’s shadow was falling. 

Company Card. Dudley Emerson Jones,1829-1913, Papers, 1849-1976, Manuscript Collection MC 1305, box 3, folder 8.  Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville.  Digital photo ©2010 A.B. Deller
Dudley was a businessman, an Arkansas booster, and a knowledgeable citizen concerning social and political affairs, if someone of generally progressive views who also reflected some of the tensions and prejudices of his time. But in the end, he seemed mostly a family man. His strongest feelings always came out there – why don’t she write, he would insist. When will you come to visit? The grandchildren were “great fat happy rascals; if there is any mischief,” he wrote, “they are sure to find it.” He acknowledges the great sadness when his daughter Kate moved away to California with her husband and 5 children in the 1890’s. Overall, at first, he seems philosophical about it. Writing to Jane Ann, he says, “It’s not so strange when you come to think about it. Why did I throw everything up and go West all those years ago?” [a time Dudley never forgot, especially the 4th of July he spent rounding Cape Horn] Speaking of his son-in-law Philip, he “never had any fancy for my business. He never would learn more than the office work.” Philip had jumped on the business opportunity to invest in the bicycle craze of the 1880’s and 90’s, and went to California, and even across the ocean, in investing in it. That was something an entrepreneur like Dudley could understand. Still, deeper recognitions come out when referring to the loss of Kate and grandchildren. “Since they have left we have had a lonesome time. Think of taking 4 children away at one time for they were in our house almost as much as their own, to eat, to sleep, to ride[?] with GrandMa Jones. It is terribly lonesome for her,” he said of Madam Caroline. “The sighs come up from the bottom of her feet, every when we see something that reminds us of them, but they are not here. Every noise, we think of one of them is coming in their play house in the yard.” More happily, Caroline eventually made her way to California to see these that she had lost, as did Dudley, who was also able to revisit the wild doings of his youth late in life.

Dudley finished this letter of Jan 6, 1891 with a characteristic humorous observation. Speaking of Kate’s son Philip, he commented: “I think he will turn out to be a minister if he grows up. He is not quite five years old & he can play ½ dozen games of cards as well as anyone & knows the rules of the games better. If this don’t indicate a preference for the cloth what does.”

The last letter we have was written in 1900, the year Jane Ann died. It contained the comments that Dudley had made for all the previous 25 years. “Madam has started a 10 block walk to church with the thermometer 110 in the sun & she 70 yesterday.” And “I hope you are all well & will soon write me. I don’t know when I have had a letter from any of you.”

This last and all the other letters found their way from Jane’s home in Clifton Park, Saratoga County to the Jones House on Scott Street in Little Rock where we found them in 1975. Perhaps a family member brought them back to the Joneses after she was gone. They are now kept in the Special Collections section of the University of Arkansas Library in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the university where Dudley was an original trustee, and where he had a grandson, a grand-daughter, and a great-great grandson graduate [the last there is me]. I wish I had letters like these from more relatives; I am so glad I have seen and read them – they are an immense treasure.

I wish too that I could have known Dudley Jones directly. He certainly couldn’t have known that his letters would make him known to anyone except Jane Ann and the immediate family. But family goes on, and sometimes people are found years later, as he was found. Dudley Jones made himself memorable times over as a public citizen. But in these letters you see a man who was not only philosophical and practical, but also poignant, in his own personal way, even if that is a way we in our day may see as quite formal.

“Write as soon as you can and as often as you can.
Yours affectionately, DEJones” 

Guest blogger:  David

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Letters of Dudley Emerson Jones - Part 2 of 3

1


In turning to Dudley’s business interests more directly, there is no doubt that he was a natural entrepreneur, something of a risk-taker, first seen perhaps in that Gold Rush venture taken on when he was barely 20 years old. His Little Rock business included manufacture and sales of multiple types of farm equipment, and there are indications that he was optimally flexible for customers, offering to make or import virtually any related product they desired. He was very aware of the state and regional atmosphere for development as well, often remarking on the building of new railroads, and the great developments in the timber industry. In one letter he tells his sister about the great apple country up in Benton County, Arkansas, and how a young man could really make his mark were he to invest time and effort in harvesting them [she could recommend it, he perhaps implied, to some of the “younger folks” of Saratoga, as he called them]. He speaks at one point of the great store of minerals in Arkansas. But here his enthusiasm for once flags, communicating one possible reason for and frustration over his non-stop sales pitch. “If our minerals were in the Rocky Mountains, or way down in Mexico they would be sought by Capitalists all over the world. It has been long known that we have some..” [Gold, any amount of silver, Lead, Iron, tins] “I don’t know what all. But it is in Arkansas & that is enough to condemn it.” Dudley clearly seems aware of the view of his adopted state as a particularly backward and unpromising venue. But he had obvious personal reason to praise and recommend it [and it seems at times to exaggerate its potential]. He had greatly prospered there, and become one of the leading citizens of what he clearly had seen as an up and coming community all along. He exclaims in the 90’s, looking back, at the growth he had spoken of so often for at least 25 years. “There are 30,000 residents of Little Rock now; there were barely 3,000 when we came.” He had seen some of the first paved roads, and streetcars too.

Broader social and political observations also found their way into the letters to Jane Ann, the issue of race and race relations somewhat noticeably. Dudley had in effect served as part of the Reconstruction efforts, and administration, in the 1870’s. He was apparently directly involved in the Brooks-Baxter War, the conflict over the governorship of the state in 1874, which effectively signaled the end of Reconstruction in Arkansas. His role is not clear, but he ended up on the winning side. His appointment as a trustee of the first state university in Arkansas in 1875 seems connected to the political judgment and loyalties exercised at that moment.

The end of Reconstruction overall ended the public roles of African-Americans in many Southern states and communities. In assessing the situation, Dudley acknowledged both the capabilities and accomplishments of those he referred to as “colored,” and the reality of racism. He remarks on the good character, education, and bearing clearly evident in many of the “colored gentlemen,” and informs his sister, apparently to her surprise, that he has served next to colored men many times in court. “It is rare to sit on a jury without at least one colored man, and on grand juries 2 or 3, and they [the latter] are put on by Democrats.” But at one point, he recognizes the inescapable fact: “The whites will not be ruled by blacks,” he says, “even if there is ten colored to one white in a county.” He concludes, “ The Negroes soon find what is best for them take a back seat. It may be wrong & all that but it is human nature. The educated will rule.” But he also explained to his sister that he would not refer to blacks as “niggers,” as he actually thought northerners would.  Dudley Jones obviously reflected the contradictions and difficult balances of his age.

Like most others no doubt, Dudley could sometimes sound condescending. One holiday season he remarked to Jane Ann about the excitement in the city. “You should have seen downtown yesterday. You’ve never seen so many darkies, all excited getting their Christmas supplies.” Another time he comments on the reaction of a colored employee at receiving a photograph of himself. “You’ve never seen a darkie so tickled,” he exclaimed.

What we might see as contradictory, or politically incorrect probably seemed normal to Dudley. Black men were to be respected, but also to be objects of fun at times. I blush to admit that some of his business advertisements seem straight out of StepinFetchit. His seemingly dual attitude no doubt indicates the different classes of blacks: both the educated, city colored, and those he would also be familiar with – servants, and the large numbers of unsophisticated country people who worked the plantations. [How his “colored gentlemen” would have seen some of his business ads does not seem to have occurred to him].

1 “Dudley E Jones Company Business Advertisement.” Arkansas Gazette. 2 June 1893. Genealogy Bank.com.  Accessed 4 October 2010. < http://www.genealogybank.com>.

Guest blogger:  David

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Letters of Dudley Emerson Jones - Part 1 of 3


In 1975, my mother’s mother, Nellie Marie Ingram Jones, had to move out of her family home in Little Rock, Arkansas, as she was no longer able at 87 to take care of it. The home had been bought by her husband’s grandfather in 1865, and it had stuff in it that dated back somewhere near that far. The job of my mother, sister, and me was to empty that house.

One item that emerged was a collection of letters written by that great-great-grandfather [of mine], Dudley Emerson Jones. You may know him from elsewhere on this site. After relocating to Little Rock after the Civil War he lived there until he died in 1913. Dudley had left at least 2 sisters back in Saratoga County, New York, where they had all grown up. These sisters’ names were Jane Ann, and Martha. The letters were all from Dudley to Jane; they dated from 1876 to 1900.

Dudley E Jones to Jane Ann Wait, July 16, 1876. Dudley Emerson Jones,1829-1913, Papers, 1849-1976, Manuscript Collection MC 1305, box 1, folder 5.  Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville.  Digital photo ©2010 A.B. Deller
Dudley seems to have been a faithful correspondent. Of the letters that survived, and there may have been more, it was common for there to be 2 per year. The times varied – sometimes spring, sometimes summer, or fall, or around Christmas time.

A number of things stand out in the letters. Some of them seem mundane or commonplace to us, perhaps - health for example. But it occurred to me that concerns over health were much more germane in those days than they might be now. Dudley and his wife Caroline lost at least 2 children to illness. In the letters, Dudley claims over several years that his wife had cancer, and recounts how he insisted she go to Chicago to seek out treatment from specialists [I do not know the likelihood of that diagnosis, do not even know what kind of familiarity they had with cancer in those days]. It does seem that Caroline lived a good many years with whatever affliction that was, very stoically, according to her husband. Sister Jane’s husband Oliver is often spoken of in ill health as well. Dudley’s daughter-in-law Georgia Jackson Jones was apparently quite “poorly” after the birth of one of her sons. Concern was clear during the pregnancies of his daughter Kate Jones Bernays. Queries and assurances concerning health were not mere pleasantries.

On a lighter note, Dudley at times took the liberty of offering diagnoses and treatments, mentioning he had heard that cancer could be caused by eating tomatoes, and recommending “sarsaparilla” for Oliver’s rheumatism. He also favored “Homeopathic” treatment, mentioning it as a remedy for “the Grippe” [“When I had it I didn’t care whether I got well or not…After all it is a good deal as the Paddy said. He said he ‘was sick 3 weeks after he got well.’”]. He also volunteered a scientific method for discovering the cause of illness, which he linked to diet – just eliminate one item a day from daily diet, and when symptoms stop, the cause has been found. He was rather critical of doctors for not including diet in their instructions for patients, implying that a steady supply of sick people were necessary for their trade.

There is a good deal of mention of the weather as well. Dudley’s business was directly related to agriculture, as he manufactured and sold cotton gin elevators, among other things. He often referred to the weather in direct relation to the prospects of the cotton crop – sometimes good, sometimes bad. He also mentions the normal, how hot or cold it is in general, and the unusual as well. In one letter he speaks of an enormous storm that knocked down trees. He went into his back yard to watch his “mighty oak tree do battle with the wind.” The oak tree survived that storm, the like of which he said he had never seen, and Dudley had been around a good deal in his time, including to California in the Gold Rush. He also complains at times of the heat. When he left the windows, and even doors open at times in the evening, the “skeeters” [a clearly whimsical expression in his parlance] could be terrible. He also uses the heat as an excuse sometimes for not writing sooner. “It’s very hot writing next to a burning lamp in the summer,” he would say.

Family doings and relations would of course come up, probably the single most prevalent subject in the letters. In addition to health, certain regular activities would be referred to. Virtually all of Dudley’s references to his wife Caroline involved her religious practices. “Madam [as he always called her in these letters] has gone away to church again, and left me alone in the house.” “Madam” seemed to go to church a lot, Dudley not so much. These letters were very often written on Sunday evenings [the only time he had time, but often not the energy, to write, he once said; he obviously did it anyway]. Perhaps Madam went more than once on Sunday, and Dudley had fulfilled his obligation, or satisfied his preference already. Once he combines observation of the weather and Caroline’s Sunday practice. “It is now showering just as Madam is starting for church. She will put on rubbers & an umbrella & go anyhow.” Another time he adds, “If I could only get her to cross the street to our Dutch Church it would save her long walks.” Whether any of this indicates religious indifference on Dudley’s part seems possible, although he did have a tendency to joke a bit, often at his own expense.

Dudley very much valued corresponding with his family, and certainly missed them. He ends every letter, every one, with “write as soon and as often as you can.” He regularly complains that others haven’t written to him, or not soon enough. Sister Martha comes in for the brunt of his irritation; she just wouldn’t write soon or often enough to suit him.

No doubt from the same desire, he very often goes to great lengths to convince his sister to come out and visit him. This is repeated numerous times over a 15-year period, until finally sometime later in the 1890’s Dudley just seems to give up, saying, “I suppose I’ll never convince you to come out now.” It really seemed to matter to him.

Perhaps that is one reason that Dudley was such a Little Rock, and Arkansas booster. He was always commenting on “how much our state is growing” and “how great is our city’s expansion.” Dudley was a prominent businessman in the center of one of the key economic enterprises in Arkansas and surrounding states, the cotton trade, and he talks up not only the actual growth of the area, but its great potential as well. Perhaps this was one way of trying to engender some enthusiasm, some interest in the place in his sister Jane, and other relatives. It does seem that he did get recalcitrant correspondent Martha out at some point, but faithful letter-partner Jane seems never to have made it.

Guest blogger: David