Sunday, January 12, 2014

52 Ancestors Challenge: 1 - Charles Joseph Deller

I read about Amy Johnson's 52 Ancestors Challenge at and at her blog site. She said, "My goals with No Story Too Small have been to remind myself that it's alright to blog about just a portion of someone's life..."  I have been trying to start writing a family history, but I've gotten easily overwhelmed and discouraged wondering when and where to start.  So, while the research will never really be complete, this has encouraged me to start writing about what we have found.

1 - Charles Joseph Deller

Charles Joseph Deller, or Charlie, was born in Kane, McKean County, Pennsylvania on 21 July 1905 to Peter and Carrie Deller.[1]  His family had  moved there from Norristown, Pennsylvania after 1900,[2]  possibly following his uncle Charles Deller, who had moved to Kane with his family before 1900 along with his Uncle Nicholas and new wife.[3]  In 1910 his family lived in Wetmore, a little village outside of Kane, and had grown by two, twins, Joseph and Josephine.[4]  In 1911 Peter and Carrie moved their family to Coffeyville, Kansas.[14]

In 1920 at the time of the census, he was 14 years old and living with his parents in Coffeyville.[5]  Sometime between 1918 and 1920 a new family moved to their neighborhood, Bill and Nora Asbell, with their daughter, Mable, who was only a year younger than he was.[6,7]  Mable probably went to school with and was friends with the Charlie's sisters (Margerite and Josephine were about her age). Both Bill and Peter loved to fish, and Nora and Carrie were hard working housewives.  Families with a lot in common, just the kind of situation that would encourage two young people.  Charlie and Mable were married in Coffeyville, Kansas on 16 February 1924 with his parents permission.[8]

On 23 January 1925, little Charles Joseph Deller Jr. was born in Picher, Oklahoma,[9] where Charlie was probably already working in the local mines.  We have his workers identification card dated November 1928; he was working at the Picher 26 Mine as a machine helper.[10]  By 1930 the little family was renting a little house on Maple Street in Coffeyville, Kansas, and Charlie was working as a painter in a machine shop.[11] 

After Charlie Jr. was born, the family stories say that Mable had a nervous breakdown; and at some point she had a bad car accident. We don't have any records of this (except for a picture of the smashed up car), but whatever happened probably contributed to the breakup of their marriage. We haven't found a record of their divorce, but we do know that Mable remarried around 1931 and are assuming they divorced before then.

Charlie married Thelma (unknown last name) on 12 July 1933. The next record we find is a petition for divorce dated 7 October 1937 in the Montgomery County Court system. This document stated they had no children, no property, and that Thelma had been guilty of "gross neglect of duty and extreme cruelty."  Then, on 1 November 1937, Charles submitted an "Order of Dismissal" to stop the divorce proceedings.[12]  At the time of his death, in 1939, he was still married to Thelma.[13]

The next record we have for Charlie is a letter, dated 11 July 1939, sent to his son Charles in Dallas, Texas (who was visiting his mother and step-father). He told him that he had a night job outside the Corden Building in Tulsa, Oklahoma and would have all day to spend with him. He also told him that he had a new boat trailer and outboard motor.[13]

Four days later, 15 July 1939, Charlie died as the result of an accidental drowning.  His obituary, printed in the Coffeyville newspaper, reported that he had taken his boat to Ketchum, Oklahoma to spend the weekend fishing. "Persons on the bank said that immediately after Mr. Deller started the motorboat, it whirled around several times and he plunged into the water."[14, 15]

 He was buried on 17 July 1939 at Fairview Cemetery in Coffeyville, Kansas.[15, 16]

[1] County, MCKEAN COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA McKean County PA Early Births 1893 - 1905, Diller, not named.
[2], 1900 United States Federal Census, Year: 1900; Census Place: Norristown, Montgomery, Pennsylvania; Roll: T623_1444; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 245.
[3], 1900 United States Federal Census, Year: 1900; Census Place:Kane , McKean, Pennsylvania;  Enumeration District: 0112, Sheet Number 13A, Household id: 264, GSU Film Number 1241439.
[4], 1910 United States Federal Census, Year: 1910; Census Place: Wetmore, McKean, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1374; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 140; Image: 557.

[5], 1920 United States Federal Census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Coffeyville Ward 5, Montgomery, Kansas; Roll: T625_541; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 180; Image: 1088.
[6] Marriage Certificate for William F Asbell & Norah Roark.
[7], 1920 United States Federal Census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Coffeyville Ward 5, Montgomery, Kansas; Roll: T625_541; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 180; Image: 1085.
[8] Montgomery Kansas, Marriage License, 11464, 16 February 1924.
[9] Charles J. Deller Jr., birth certificate no. Reg. Dist. 58254, Primary Dist No. 8315, Reg. No. 89 (1925), Oklahoma State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Oklahoma City, Okla.
[10] U.S. Bureau of Mines ID Card for Chas. Deler.
[11], 1930 United States Federal Census, Year: 1930; Census Place: Coffeyville, Montgomery, Kansas; Roll: 712; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 22; Image: 553.0.
[12] District Court of Montgomery County Kansas, Independence, Kansas, Microfiche, C.J. Deller vs Thelma Deller.
[13] Letter from Charles Joseph Deller to Charles Franklin Deller, 11 Jul 1939.
[14] Coffeyville Daily Journal, 17 July 1939.
[15]Charles J Deller, Ketchum, Mayes, OK death certificate 12310 (15 July 1939).
[16] Gravestone for Charles Joseph Deller, 1906 - 1939, Fairview Cemetery, Coffeyville, Kansas.
Other blog posts about Charles Joseph Deller:
Wordless Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday - Charles Joseph Deller
Amanuensis Monday - The Last Letter from Charles Joseph Deller
Sunday's Obituary - Charles Joseph Deller
Tombstone Tuesday - Charles Joseph Deller

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