(Frances is my great-aunt. She is the sister of my paternal grandfather, Charles Alvin Sannar.)
(Frances is my great-aunt. She is the sister of my paternal grandfather, Charles Alvin Sannar.)
Wallowa, Oregon FFA – 1940
Left to Right: Elwood Knows, Bill Wolfe, Duane Clausen, Fred Carpenter, Martin “Doc” Weaver and Instructor Crawford Oveson
“He was soo handsome!!!! Bless his heart for all he gave for us and our country.” – Janice Weaver McLaughlin
“Martin is my uncle “doc” ! I did not know he was in FFA !” – Lynda Weaver Mattson
(Martin is my 2nd great uncle)
Anna Bradish was born and raised in Westborough, Massachusetts, a town where her grandfather, Thomas Rice, had been one of its first founding citizens.
Anna was born on the 6th of June, 1729 to James and Damaris (Rice) Bradish. She was the eleventh of twelve children born to the family. Massachusetts was part of the British Colonies in America, ruled by the King of England. It was a time of religious and political tensions.
When Anna was 22 years old, she married John Green. The couple married on April 19th, 1751 in Westborough. They moved forty miles west, to the small town of Hardwick, Massachusetts sometime before their oldest son was born in 1752. The couple had two children: William Green, born on September 21st, 1752; and John Green, born on May 3rd, 1754.
Sadly, John passed away on September 8th of 1755, leaving Anna a widow with two small children at the age of twenty-six. I’m not sure what happened to John, but I believe that he knew that he didn’t have long to live. Just three months before he passed, at thirty years old, he made a last will and testament, leaving the home to his beloved wife, Anna, and a stipulation for each boy when they reached the age of consent.
Three years later, Anna married for the second time. Her new husband, Stephen Fisk, was twelve years her senior. The couple married on June 29th, 1758 in Hardwick, Massachusetts. Anna was twenty-nine years old. It was the second marriage for both of them. Stephen had four children with his first wife.
On April 1st, 1759, Stephen and Anna welcomed a son – Stephen Fisk. Stephen was born in Greenwich, a bordering town of Hardwick. Another son, James, was born on October 4th, 1763.
Anna became a widow for the second time on October 20th, 1764 when Stephen passed away at the age of fifty. She was thirty-five years old, had outlived two husbands, and had four children, her oldest just twelve years old, her youngest only one. She may have had Stephen’s four children in her household as well. I haven’t been able to determine that.
Six years later, when Anna was forty-one, she decided to try again. On March 21st, 1770 she married Ezra Conant in Harwick. (We’re glad she did! Anna and Ezra are my husband’s 5th great-grandparents.) This was Anna’s third marriage and the second for Ezra. Most of his living children were older now. Anna’s two oldest children were seventeen and eighteen, men in the world of the 1770’s. Her younger children were seven and eleven.
The Conants moved to Warwick, Massachusetts where Ezra was the town clerk, and a farmer.
Anna and Ezra had two children together – a daughter, Anna, born on May 26th, 1771 in Warwick; and a son, Clark Conant, born on June 23rd, 1773 in Warwick.
In 1795, the Conants moved to Windsor, Vermont where they remained until Ezra’s death on December 1st, 1804. Poor Anna has outlived three husbands and was once again a widow. She was now seventy-five years old and had been married to Ezra for thirty-four years.
Anna came from a founding family, a political family. They were very involved in their communities. Both of her sons with Stephen Fisk served in the Revolutionary war. Her son, James Fisk, served as a member of the Massachusetts General Court after the Revolutionary war. He then studied law and became an attorney. He served as a town selectman of Barre City, Vermont, served in the Vermont House of Representatives, then was elected in 1804 as a congressman to the United States House of Representatives where he served two terms. He then served as a Supreme Court Judge for the state of Vermont for a term. In 1817, he was elected to the United States Senate, where he served one term before resigning to take the post for U.S. Collector of Customs for the state of Vermont.
Anna’s son, Stephen Fisk, was an ensign in the war. Shortly after the war, he settled in Randolph, Vermont where it is said that he cut down the first tree in the clearing that later became the town. He farmed for a while, and then had a tavern in the town of East Randolph. For many years, he served as Justice of the Peace and was locally known as Esquire Fisk.
Anna must have been proud of her boys. I don’t know what became of her two oldest boys, William and John Green. You can read her youngest son’s story here, Clark Conant. I imagine that his death broke her heart.
Anna lived another eighteen years after Ezra passed. She died in Brookfield, Vermont at the age of ninety-three. Anna is buried in the East Brookfield Cemetery.
(Anna is my husband Riff’s 5th great-grandmother)
Ezra Conant was born on March 9th, 1724 in Beverly, Massachusetts. His parents were Benjamin Dea Conant and Martha (Davidson) Conant. Ezra was the second child and oldest son of ten children.
When he was four years old in 1728, the family moved to Dudley, Massachusetts, about eighty miles southwest of Beverly. Ezra’s father, Benjamin, was a tailor by trade, establishing himself in the new community.
On January 1st of 1745, Ezra married Millicent Newell in Dudley. Ezra was twenty and Millie was nineteen years old. The couple’s oldest child, Asa, was born a year later in 1746. Eight more children were born in the ensuing years – John, Ezra, Amos, Millicent, Ebenezer, Jemima, Stephen, and Benjamin.
Ezra had been thirteen years old when his father took the position of town clerk of Dudley in 1737. When Benjamin retired in 1763, Ezra took over as Dudley’s town clerk. He served in that position for six years, from 1763 to 1769.
Sadly, Millie died on July 6th, 1769, leaving Ezra a single father and widow at forty-five years of age.
That same year, Ezra moved his family to Warwick, Massachusetts, about seventy-five miles northwest of Dudley. In Warwick, Ezra also served as town clerk.
Ezra remarried in 1770. He married the widow, Anna Bradish Fisk in Hardwick, Massachusetts on March 21, 1770. Anna had been widowed twice, and had four children from her previous marriages. Ezra and Anna had a daughter and a son; Anna, born in 1771, and Clark, born in 1773. (Clark would become my husbands 4th great grandfather.) That brings the total number of kids between Ezra and Anna to fifteen, though I believe that two of Ezra and Millie’s children died as toddlers.
Ezra was the town clerk of Warwick during the revolution. The town of Warwick voted unanimously in favor of independence. Here is a portion of the minutes of a meeting held in 1774, where Ezra was acting as Moderator of the Selectmen: (notes found on Family Search website)
“Voted the sum of eight shillings, being this town’s proportion of the sum agreed on by the Honorable Council and House of Representatives in their session to pay a Committee of Congress. Voted to get two barrels of powder, and lead and flints, answerable for a town stock; and that the selectmen be a committee to procure the same. Voted to adhere strictly to our charted rights and privileges, and to defend them to the utmost of our capacity; and that we will be in readiness, that, if our brethren in Boston or elsewhere should be distressed by the troops sent here to force a compliance to the unconstitutional and oppressive acts of the British Parliament, and will give us notice, that we will repair to their relief forthwith. Voted to choose a captain, lieutenant, ensign, and that they enlist fifty men in this town to be at a minute’s warning to go, if called for, to the relief of our brethren in any part of the Province.” – Ezra Conant
(By ToddC4176 at en.wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16944867 )
In the late 1700’s, many of the old families in Warwick began moving to Vermont in search of wild frontiers and inexpensive land. By 1795, the Conant family was in Windsor, Vermont. Ezra was 71 years old.
Ezra died on the 1st of December of 1804. He is buried in a family section of the Old South Church Cemetery in Windsor, Vermont.
In Memory of Mr. Ezra Conant who died Dec. 1, 1804 in the 81, year of his age.
There is another inscription low on the headstone, but it has sunken into the ground enough that I wasn’t able to make it out.
(Ezra is Riff’s (Richard) 5th great-grandfather)
Clark Conant was twenty-one years old when he married nineteen year old Sally Dean. It was November 20th of 1794 and the young couple must have been so full of high hopes for their future together. They married in their hometown of Warwick, Massachusetts.
Clark was the son of Ezra and Anna (Bradish) Conant. He was born in Warwick on June 23rd, 1773.
Sally was the daughter of Jeremiah and Rebecca (Scott) Dean. She was born in Warwick in 1775.
Many of the old families from Warwick began to move to Vermont in the late 1700’s in the search for inexpensive land and new frontiers. The Conant family was no exception. We find them just nine months after Clark and Sally’s marriage living in Windsor, Vermont. Clark’s parents and at least one brother were there as well.
On August 11th of 1795, the couple welcomed their first child to the family; a daughter, Nancy, born in their new hometown of Windsor.
(The Old South Church. I believe the family would have worshipped here as they are buried in the cemetery surrounding the church.)
Clark went into business with a man by the name of Isaac Eddy. The two business men took out the following add in the Spooner’s Vermont Journal, dated Friday, April 29, 1796:
“The Subscribers most respectfully inform the public in general, and the inhabitants of Windsor and its vicinity in particular, that they carry on the Clothing Business, in all its various branches, about half a mile from the Court House in said town, at the Works formerly occupied by William Jewet. They assure the public, that said Business shall be attended to with punctuality, and executed with neatness and dispatch – They therefore earnestly solicit their generous patronage, to the promotion of a business so valuable and necessary in a new flourishing country.
Clark Conant, Isaac Eddy.”
This seems to point to Clark being a tailor by trade.
Sally and Clark welcome their second child on March 10th, 1797. This time they have a boy and name him Roswell.
Two years later, another son is born. Dean entered the world on January 30th, 1799. (He would become my husband, Riff’s, third great-grandfather.)
The birth must have been hard on Sally, because she passed away just a little more than two weeks later on February 17th, 1799. Sally left behind a grieving husband, a three year old daughter, a one year old son, and a two week old baby boy. Sally was only twenty-four years old. She is buried in the Old South Church Cemetery in Windsor.
Her headstone reads:
“In memory of Mrs. Sally Conant, consort of Mr. Clark Conant, who departed this life Febr’y 17, 1799 in her 25th year of age.”
The next record that I find of the family is and advertisement in the local newspaper. Clark is selling a farm. This ad was placed in the Spooner’s Vermont Journal, dated Tuesday, Nov. 16, 1802:
“FOR SALE, A FARM containing 60 acres of Land, 40 under good improvement, well wooded – an excellent orchard- convenient buildings, situated about 100 rods south of the Meetinghouse in Weathersfield. Any person wishing to purchase will find the terms low – and a liberal credit given for one half the pay if wished. For particulars inquire of CLARK CONANT.”
The next fall, Clark is in possession of a pair of steers that seem to have wandered on to his farm. He would like to find the owner and get rid of them. The following advertisement was taken out in the Spooner’s Vermont Journal, dated Tuesday, Oct. 11, 1803:
“TAKEN UP, By the subscriber, on the 24th, a pair of STEERS, supposed to be three years old – One of a bright red colour, with a white face – the other a pale red, with a star in his forehead. The owner is desired to prove property, pay charges, and take them away. Clark Conant.”
There is no more record of Clark until June of 1808, when his own colt wanders away. The following advertisement was in the Spooner’s Vermont Journal, dated Monday, Jun. 27, 1808:
“STRAY COLT. STRAYED from the subscriber,… a small yearling Horse COLT, of a light bay color. Whoever will return the same or give information shall be rewarded for their trouble. Clark Conant.”
From March through July of 1811, Clark took out multiple advertisements, in various newspapers, for the sale of his farm. I’m guessing that he purchased this farm after he sold the 60 acre farm back in 1802. This particular newspaper that I am transcribing from was the Washingtonian from Windsor, Vermont, dated Monday, Apr. 01, 1811:
“FOR SALE, A valuable FARM, on Connecticut River Turnpike, two miles south of Windsor Street, containing 360 acres of excellent Land, a proportion of which is intervale, grazing, tillage, and woodland – On said FARM, is a large mansion house, two Barns, and all other necessary buildings; also, Orcharding which has produced one hundred and eighty Barrels of Cider in a fruitful season. – The whole will be sold at a reasonable price. For further particulars apply to the subscriber, on the premises. Clark Conant.”
We don’t know where Clark was going, why he was selling the farm, or what happened to his clothing business. We do know that he did not leave Windsor, because on the 23rd of November, 1811, Clark died, by his own hand. He was only thirty-eight years old and left behind three children, Nancy, 16; Roswell, 14; and Dean, 12.
From the Spooner’s Vermont Journal, dated Mon, Nov. 25, 1811:
“DIED, In this town on Saturday last, by his own hands, in a state of insanity, Mr. Clark Conant, age 38.”
Clark is buried in the Old South Church Cemetery next to his wife, Sally.
Life is messy and sad. We will probably never know why Clark chose to end his own life. Was life just too hard after losing Sally and being left with three small children to raise? Was he selling the farm because he had money troubles? Was he sick? Sadly, he just could not see another way out.
After some searching, we were happy to find the Conant plot. Riff was able to spend a few minutes honoring his ancestors. In this picture he is standing between the graves of Clark and Sally.
(Clark and Sally (Dean) Conant are the 4th great-grandparents of my husband, Riff Niziolek.)
Chester LeRoy Dallas, circa 1940’s
Chester was the son of Walter Clark Dallas and Amy Mae Hovey Dallas. He was born November 8th, 1913 in Jackson, Wyoming.
He was an older brother to my grandmother, Leoma Dallas Simmons. In her diary, she referred to Chester as “Chess.”
Chester served in the Navy during World War II. Family stories say that he was stationed at Pearl Harbor, but was on shore when the bombing started and watched his own ship being bombed. I have not verified that, but will update this when I am able to retrieve his military records.
Chester passed away on April 6th, 1982 at the age of 68. He is buried in the Sutter Cemetery in Sutter, California.
Chester is my Great Uncle on my mom’s side of the family.
E. J. Dallas To Rest In Arlington Grave
Evening Star, Sep. 28, 1910
“Distinguished Career as Soldier and in Government Service in Washington
The funeral of Everett J. Dallas, for the last ten years a member of the board of pension appeals, who died Saturday evening at his apartment in the Baltimore, 1832 Baltimore street, will be held at Arlington tomorrow afternoon at 4 o’clock.
The pallbearers will be Senator Charles Curtis, of Kansas; Justice Thomas H. Anderson, of the Supreme Court of the District; Col. Harrison L. Bruce, chairman of the board of pension appeals; Charles N. Daizel, chief clerk of the dead letter office; James E. Tufts, Dr. Dorsey M. McPherson, John W. Bixter, and Lee T. Robinson.
Mr. Dallas was born in Ohio, December 27, 1841, and removed to Kansas in 1859, with his father, Dr. L.J. Dallas, one of the pioneers of that state. A year later he returned to Ohio, and, in July, 1861, enlisted in the 12th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, serving until his discharge in 1864.
Later, coming to Washington, he entered the service of the Post Office Department. After a series of promotions he became superintendent of the dead letter office.
It was under his administration of that office that the first “Dallas Directory” was issued in 1881. It was alphabetical directory of all the streets in more than one hundred of the principal cities of the United States, complied for the use of the department returning misdirected letters and parcels.
In 1885 Mr. Dallas resigned his office and returned to his adopted state of Kansas as junior partner in the law firm of Rossington, Smith, & Dallas, at Topeka, remaining with that firm for fifteen years. He then came back to Washington and re-entered the public service as a member of the board of pension appeals, in which he continued until his death.
His widow and three children survive him.”
Everett Jerome Dallas was born on the 27th of December, 1843 to Dr. Leander Jerome Dallas and Nancy Beeks Hood Dallas. (Note that the year of his birth was printed incorrectly in his obituary.) Everett was the second of seven children. The family lived in Ohio, but it is unclear as to whether they lived in Guernsey county or Belmont county at the time of Everett’s birth. In 1850, Everett was seven years old. His family was living in Kirkwood, Ohio where his father was a doctor and a farmer.
By the time Everett was seventeen, in 1860, the Dallas family had moved to the Baldwin City area of Douglas county, Kansas.
On June 28th, 1861, Private Everett Jerome Dallas reported for duty at Camp Dennison, Ohio with the 12th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company E. I have not been able to find much about his particular service, but I do know that his regiment fought in many civil war battles. In three years, they lost five officers and one hundred and seventy men to both the war itself and to disease. The company mustered out on July 11th, 1864 at Columbus, Ohio. Years later, after his death, records show his widow receiving Everett’s veteran pension payment. The record has him listed as an “Army Invalid.”
By 1870, Everett is living in Washington D.C. in the household of his uncle, Thomas B. Hood. Everett is now working as a clerk in the United States Post Office.
On the 18th of June, 1872, Everett married Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie” Campbell in Washington D.C.
Just a little over a year later, Everett graduated from Georgetown College with his law degree.
From the Daily National Republican, Washington D.C., Jun 05. 1873
“Twenty New Lawyers – Georgetown College Commencement
Brilliant Assemblage of Lady and Gentlemen Friends of the Graduates – Address of Attorney General Williams – Introductory Remarks by Hon. J. C. Banecroft Davis – Beautiful Floral Display – Father Healy’s Parting Advice.
A large and brilliant assemblage was gathered last night in Lincoln Hall to witness the interesting exercises of the annual commencement of the law department of the University of Georgetown, class of 1873. On the platform were seated several distinguished gentlemen of the learned professions, besides the graduating class, and among those who occupied seats in the auditorium were General Sherman and other prominent officials.”
The article continues, recounting all aspects of the commencement ceremony, including listing the graduates. Our own Everett J. Dallas, Kansas is listed among them.
In November of 1873, Everett and Lizzie welcomed their first child, Mary.
On January 23rd of 1875, the Evening Star reported a promotion for Mr. Dallas.
“MR. EVERETT J. DALLAS has been appointed chief of the dead letter office, vice Knowlton, promoted chief clerk.”
The couple’s second child, Everett Hood Dallas was born on December 5th, 1877. Their third and last child wasn’t born until seven years later. John Campbell Dallas arrived on the 15th of January in 1884.
Suddenly, Everett resigns from the post office.
Daily National Republican, dated April 01, 1885:
“The “resignation” of Everett J. Dallas as chief of the dead letter office was quite a surprise. The resignation takes effect to-day, and no one had been appointed to fill the place late yesterday afternoon. Mr. Dallas has been chief of the dead letter office twenty-seven years, and his resignation was unexpected. It is probable that Mr. Baird, of Georgia, will be appointed to the vacancy.”
Now, Everett was NOT chief of the dead letter office for twenty-seven years as the article states. That would have made him 15 years old when he took over. No, he was chief for ten years. The quotes around the word resignation seem to hint at something a little more then him simply leaving his job.
In the years between Everett’s appointment to the dead letter office and his resignation, he was very busy, at work at least. In his obituary, you may remember that something called the “Dallas Street Directory” was mentioned. It took a lot of research to find this, because when you are searching for Dallas, everything Texas comes up. Finally, I had success when I came upon a very lengthy article published in the Barton County Democrat newspaper in Great Bend, Kansas from September 3rd, 1891. This article is titled “A Work Compiled for the Benefit of Careless People.” It’s a quite interesting article, but very long, so I am just going to hit the highlights here for you. In the beginning, it talks about how a new civil law is in the works so that dismissals would only be for cause and not because of partisan reasons or the whim of a superior officer with a bee under his bonnet. It then begins to talk about Everett and his work while at the Post Office.
“For about fifteen years previous to his departure from the public service Everett J. Dallas had been an employee of the post office department, during the latter part of his term being chief of the dead letter office. He was removed for political reasons in 1885, and now is practicing law somewhere in Kansas. He had been so long in the public service that he seemed to be a part of it, and it of him. All of his splendid abilities were directed to the improvement of the work of which he had charge and for which he was responsible. As chief of the dead letter office he was daily absorbed in the solution of the problem of how to devise adequate means to aid those tens of thousands of careless people in the country who are trying and failing to reach their friends through the mail; and that they need assistance is manifest from the fact that hundreds of thousands of letters, postal cards, packages, newspapers, and merchandise annually go to the dead letter office by reason of their misdirection or partial and imperfect direction………
For this class of careless people Chief Clerk Dallas, who was devoted to his work, compiled a volume which is of incalculable value to the government and to tens of thousands of careless people all over the country. He conceived the idea of compiling, in alphabetical form, a list of all the streets, courts, avenues, places, lanes, roads and wharves to which mail is delivered in all the principal cities of the republic. After giving the matter considerable attention and reaching the conclusion that it was feasible and ought to be done, Mr. Dallas consulted with several official superiors and was informed by them that the work could not be undertaken and completed in a lifetime, and that it would cost too much money. That was the last that was heard of the subject for about two years. Then the quiet, unpretentious, plodding official astounded his superiors by exhibiting to them a mass of manuscript which practically covered the ground, as originally proposed by him. He had given to that work his days and nights, his energies and ambition…..
In 1884 the manuscript was given to the public printer, and came forth a volume which to-day is regarded as a sine qua non in the dead letter office. It contained 437 pages, but has since been improved and added to until it is now a volume of over 800 pages, every line of which represents work of the most painstaking character by the brains of an intelligent official pioneer.
Here is a sample of the work accomplished daily with the aid of this compilation: A letter addressed to “Mr. Henry Manchester, No. 126 Charter Oak Avenue”. Where is Charter Oak Avenue? The postmaster sends it to the dead letter office, the clerk turns to the Dallas Street Directory, finds under the letter “C” that there is only one Charter Oak Avenue in the country, and that it is in Hartford, Conn. The clerk then adds the city and state….
These instances are sufficient to demonstrate to the reader the great value of the Dallas Directory….
Since his dismissal from the public service which he so adored and benefited, there have been four successors to Mr. Dallas, all of them reputable gentleman…but they have come and gone….The services of Mr. Dallas could not to-day be secured for many times the salary, $2,000, which he then received; and, for which he was willing to remain.”
I cannot imagine the hours and hours of work that he must have put in to this invaluable directory. One the age of the internet came, the directory was no longer needed, but it was used for a hundred years or more.
We know that after Everett was dismissed from the postal service, he went back to Topeka, Kansas to practice law. He joined the firm of Rossington & Smith, making it Rossington, Smith, & Dallas. I don’t know much about this time of his life, but have found him as an active member of the Kansas State Historical Society and an organization called Associated Charities, which provided emergency help for people in need.
In 1900, Everett went back to Washington D.C., accepting an appointment to the Pension board.
I’m not sure what happened between Lizzie and Everett, but they must have divorced at some point. On May 14th, 1904 Everett married a woman by the name of Mary O. Gittings. He was 61 years old and she was 49.
Everett passed away on September 24th, 1910 in Washington D.C. from Bright’s Disease, a chronic kidney disease, and the same disease that killed his father. Everett was 66 years old. His second wife, Mary, is buried with Everett in Arlington Cemetery.
Everett is my 3rd great-uncle.
(Mary Pearl Hulse – about 1895. She would have been about 15 years old.)
Mary was born on October 12th of 1879 in Fort Collins, Colorado to Abijah M. and Mary Elizabeth (Harris) Hulse. She was the sixth of seven children and the only girl of the bunch. By the time Mary was born, her two oldest brothers were already grown and gone.
When Mary Pearl was only eight months old, the 1880 United States Federal Census was taken. Even though she was born in Colorado, the family was living on a farm near Monroe, Nebraska in Saline county. Her uncles, Joseph Hulse and Perry Hulse, both had farms nearby. I imagine a big family with lots of cousins running around, the women cooking meals in their houses, probably soddy’s, or sometimes on open fires in the yard while the men helped each other in the fields. Corn was a thriving crop in Nebraska in the 1880’s. I wonder if that was one of the Hulse men’s crops?
Whatever the case, by 1884 Mary’s family was in northeastern Oregon. Family stories relate that Mary was just a baby when her family traveled from Colorado to the Wallowa country in Oregon by covered wagon.
Mary was four when her youngest brother, Edgar Herbert Hulse, was born on the 30th of August. He was born in Enterprise, Oregon in Wallowa county.
Mary’s father died when she was sixteen years old. He had been taken to the asylum in Salem, Oregon where he died just two weeks later. I hope to find more information on what happened and why he was there. I believe by then Mary and her little brother, Edgar, were the only two children left at home. It must have been a hard time for the family. I have not been able to find a census record for them during this time.
On May 8th, 1899, when Mary Pearl was nineteen, she married Elijah “Lige” Daniel Weaver and went from being a farmer’s daughter to being a farmer’s wife. Lige was thirty three years old. Quite the age difference! The couple immediately went to live on Lige’s homestead in the Lower Valley outside of Wallowa where they lived until after Lige passed away. They raised dairy cows and a very large family, thirteen kids all told, including two sets of twins.
Just a little over a year after the couple married, they welcomed their first son, Ellis Leslie Weaver to the family. More children quickly followed, 10 boys and 3 girls.
Several family members remember being told that Grandma Weaver actually carried three sets of twins but one set died at childbirth of shortly thereafter. I’m sure that is probably true, but because I can’t find anything solid about them, I haven’t put them on the list of children. If that story is correct, then there would have been 15 kids.
Mary Pearl always remained a small person with a tiny waist, even after all of those babies!
Lige and Mary’s oldest son, Ellis, had epilepsy. In that era, there was not any consistent treatment for this and many times, especially if a family was poor, it was recommended that the patient be placed in an institution. The family thought that this would be the best thing, that Ellis would get the help that he needed. Unfortunately this is not what happened, and this part may be hard to read but it is a part of our family’s history.
Ellis was taken to the asylum in Salem. In the institution the treatment for epilepsy was electric shock treatment. Without going into detail, suffice it to say that poor Ellis, at age 20, was admitted to an insane asylum for a seizure disorder and the treatment made him insane. It’s an incredibly sad and hard story. I cannot imagine what the family went through emotionally because of this. Ellis was never able to return home, living out the rest of his years, until the age of 37, in the institution. He passed away on December 25th, 1937 and is buried in the Wallowa Cemetery.
Lige passed away on the 3rd of March, 1928, leaving Mary Pearl a widow at the young age of 48 years. The boys stepped up and helped to keep the farm running.
When the depression hit, they could no longer hang on to the farm. Mary Pearl then moved to a small house in town where she lived for the rest of her life.
Some time later, her daughter, Myrtle and husband Francis Armon, were able to rent the old family homestead so the Weaver family was able to spend more time there. There is a pond on the property that is still known as Weaver Pond.
On the 1940 census, “Pearl” is sixty years old and working as a Practical Nurse for a private party.
My dad, Tom Sannar, remembers riding the train with his great-grandma several times. He says that during the war, when all the men were gone, Grandma Weaver liked to go places. Apparently she loved to shop in the dime stores and Dad remembers riding the train with her all the way from La Grande to Enterprise just to go shopping at the Five-and-Dime. He says that she was a “Gad-About”. 🙂
When the boys came back from the war, Martin, or “Doc” as we all knew him, was never the same. He was a very sweet and gentle soul and the war was too much for him. He was shell shocked, which is now called PTSD, but severe. He never came out of it. Even though his mind was no longer right, he was still a gentle soul. There was a time when he was taken to an institution, but that scared Mary to death because of what had happened to Ellis. She would not allow him to stay there and went and brought him home instead. I remember him at family reunions when I was a kid, sitting by himself, drinking his “near-beer”, and talking and giggling to himself.
My dad also told me about a time when his family had moved from the logging camp at Mount Emily into a house in La Grande. Grandma Weaver came to stay for a few days. They had a wood burning stove in the living room that, without thinking, his mom had thrown some old batteries into. Grandma Weaver was getting up in years and she walked fairly slow. She was coming along in front of the wood stove when those batteries exploded. She sure moved fast then!
Mary Pearl passed away on March 16th, 1955 in La Grande, Oregon. She was 75 years old.
Mary Pearl is buried in the cemetery in Wallowa, Oregon.
Now, I know that some of you remember her. Please share your memories of Grandma Weaver so that we can all know more about who she was. Thank you!
“My Sweet Grandmother..she was the only one I had since my Grandmother Boyd died before I was born..I spent many nights with her and in the same bed..she would be talking with me sharing life stories (how I wish I could hear them again)as I have forgotten most..and then..she was snoring..lol..she was a tiny little thing..short and spry..and didn’t sit still for long..one story I’ll always remember is the time she and I rode the bus to LaGrande..I had spent the night again..Mom had just bought me a new red coat..and as Grandma and I were walking out of her house to catch the bus a big dog came after me and grabbed the hem of my new coat and ripped it..she swung her purse and hit him hard..he never bothered us again..” ~ Janice Weaver McLaughlin
“I remembered her being left handed and how fast she could do things with her left hand. Being little I thought it really strange that she was using the wrong hand :)” ~ Lynda Weaver Mattson
“My mother shared some things about Grandma Weaver. She had a tiny waist.
Their house burned down and the family lived in a tent out Bear Creek for a time, if my memory is accurate. At some point during that time, my grandmother, Blanche, a widow & one of Mary Pearl’s daughters, had my mom, Wanda, live with Mary Pearl so Blanche could work in La Grande.” ~ Lorrie Goebel Wade
“Kenneth was a fantastic carpenter. He was building a metal airplane at one point. Us kids would go out and sit in, pretending we were flying. He never finished that one but later he built a wooden plane. It was gorgeous when it was finished. He never flew it but sold it to someone who did.” ~ Tom Sannar
“Selby was my dad. He was a barber in LaGrande.” ~ Dawn Rogers
” I remember many family get togethers as a small child. All the music and so much fun. I think often of those times. I feel totally blessed to have been brought up around the complete Weaver Family. Those days are surely missed. I love it all and still have a deep feeling of closeness to all.” ~ Sherry Ireland
Dr. Leander Jerome Dallas was born in Belmont county, Ohio on August 21st, 1812. His parents were Robert Armstrong Dallas and Priscilla (Israel) Dallas. I believe that Leander, or “Lander” as he was known to his family, was the oldest of fourteen children.
(I don’t like it when the only picture that I have to start out with is a picture of the headstone, so decided to use this bee apiary photograph instead. Keep reading to find out the significance!)
I was able to find out quite a lot about Leander from an 1894 article that was published in a book about the history of Ohio. I later found the same article published in a Kansas history book. As we travel through Leander’s life, I will be adding in quotes from this article and from many more that I found in various newspapers.
As I mentioned, it seems that Leander’s family called him Lander, but as he grew to adulthood and a prominent citizen of the community’s where he lived, I believe he went by L.J. It was not uncommon for newspaper articles of the time to call a man by his initials, but in Leander’s case, every article is done that way, including his obituary. Other men’s full names in the same articles where Leander is referred to as L.J. I believe we can assume that that is what he went by. Since this seems to be his preference, I will refer to him as L.J. from here on out.
From the Centennial History of Belmont County, Ohio
“Leander J. Dallas, one of the earliest, most prominent and useful of the free-state pioneers of Kansas, was descended from the Scotch, born in Belmont county, Ohio in 1811, (Everything else points to 1812.), and the early members of the family had some tradition by which they showed a descent from the same ancestry as George M. Dallas, ex-Vice-President of the United States. His father, Robert Dallas, was among the earliest pioneers of Ohio, and had quite a local prominence in its early history. His mother’s maiden name was Priscilla Israel.
Dr. Dallas was educated in Kenyon College, at Gambier, Ohio, and subsequently studied medicine at Fairview, Guernsey county, Ohio, in the office of Dr. James Hood, and commenced to practice at Birmingham, Ohio where he remained but a short time.”
This picture shows part of Kenyon College in about 1870. L.J. would have studied there in the early 1830’s. Kenyon College was the first college in Ohio. It opened in 1829, so I believe that L.J. would have been among the first students. The buildings at the time were just log structures and apparently barely kept out the cold. You can read more about the college at the time here.
On March 20th, 1838 L.J. married Nancy Beeks Hood. Nancy was the daughter of Dr. James Hood whom L.J. had studied medicine under. I was actually able to find a photo of the actual marriage register. It’s not a good enough photo to add here, but still!
From the Centennial History of Belmont county, Ohio:
“He was married at Fairview, Ohio, December 11, 1838, (again, this article has the day wrong. The marriage register clearly says the 20th day of March, 1838.), to Miss Nancy B. Hood, daughter of Dr. James Hood, of that place, a lady of superior education and accomplishments…”
The couple moved to Sewellsville, Ohio where L.J. had a thriving practice and the families seven children were born. (Sewellsville’s post office close in 1907. It is listed as a ghost town now. I must go there!)
In 1841 Wilbur Fisk Dallas was born, he was L.J. and Nancy’s first child. Wilbur was followed by Everett Jerome in 1843, Walter Israel in 1844, Clinton Hood in 1848, Chester Emery in 1850 = (my own 2nd great-grandfather!), Mary Cordelia in 1853, and Adda Elizabeth in 1857. Thank goodness for Nancy that she was finally blessed with some girls after five rowdy boys!
I found several pieces of information during the Dallas families time in Sewellsville.
~From the Belmont County, Ohio 1853 Business Directory – L.J. Dallas is listed in Sewellsville as Physician and Surgeon.
~From the Belmont Chronicle, and Farmers, Mechanics, and Manufacturers Advocate, dated 02 Sep 1853 – “To the Whig, Democrat and Freesoil nominees for Representatives and Senator of Belmont County and this Senatorial Dist.: Gentlemen:-In discharge of a duty imposed upon us by a meeting of the Belmont County “Temperance Alliance”, held at Barnesville, Aug. 3d, 1853., and believing that it is our right and our indispensable duty to know the views and sentiments (on all subjects of legislation) of those claiming our suffrages, as legislators; therefore, to the end that we may vote understandingly, we respectfully take the liberty of putting to you individually, the following interrogatory: Will you (if elected to the office for which you have been nominated) use influence, and vote in the next Legislature of Ohio, to secure the passage of law in Ohio for the suppression of the manufacture and sale of ardent spirits as a beverage, known as the “Maine Liquor Law,” or its equivalent. By answering the above through the same channel that you receive this, you will much oblige many voters as well as Your ob’t Servants, Wm. Smith, L.J. Dallas, Robt. Hamilton, Thos. Michner, W.H. Clark, Com. in behalf of the Alliance.
~From the Belmont Chronicle, and Farmers, Mechanics, and Manufacturers Advocate, dated 10 Oct 1853 – “Hendrysburgh, O. Sept. 28th, 1853. The semi-annual session of Belmont County Council of the Sons and Daughters of Temperance met pursuant to adjournment in the Hall of the Sons of Temperance, …..(article goes on)… On motion it was Resolved That a committee of nine be appointed for the purpose of selecting such candidates from the three parties, that Temperance men could consistently vote for. The President appointed the following persons on said committee; Wm. J. Stubbles, John Morrow, Dr. Hamilton, Dr. Steel, Cornwell, John H. Johnson, Wm. Smith, L.J. Dallas, and R.S. Clark.”
~From the Belmont Chronicle, and Farmers, Mechanics, and Manufacturers Advocate, dated 14 Oct 1853 – Belmont County Fair – “JACKS, JENNETS & MULES, CLASS E – best single mule, L.J. Dallas
~From the Belmont Chronicle, and Farmers, Mechanics, and Manufacturers Advocate, dated 11 Oct 1855 -“Premiums Awarded at the Seventh Annual Fair of the Belmont Co. Agricultural Society, Held on the 3d, 4th, & 5th of October, 1855. – Jacks, Jennets & Single Mules – L.J. Dallas 2nd, $1.00; Poultry – Sears, Grestest and Best Display – L.J. Dallas, $3.00.
~From the Belmont Chronicle, and Farmers, Mechanics, and Manufacturers Advocate, dated 20 Mar 1856 – “Petitions, &c. – Mr. Hamilton presented the petition of L.J. Dallas and 26 others, of J. Waddell, and 4 others, and R. Nagor and 4 others, citizens of Belmont County for a prohibitory liquor law; for a law authorizing the payments of taxes in the townships; a law for the protection of game.”
It seems that Dr. Dallas was a teetotaler and very involved in the Temperance movement. I love the blurbs about him showing his mules and chickens at the county fair. We grew up doing that and I love that tie to him.
In 1859, the Dallas family picked up stakes and moved to Kansas Territory. They settled in what is now Douglas county, in an area that was known as Palmyra and was close to Baldwin City.
From the Centennial History of Belmont county, Ohio:
“He had a successful practice in Sewellsville, Ohio were he remained until he removed to Kansas in 1859, where he resumed his profession, gaining a large and successful practice.”
Now, just three miles from Baldwin City was what is considered the first battle of the Civil War. This was the Battle of Black Jack and took place in 1856, just a few years before L.J. and Nancy moved their family there. Bleeding Kansas is the term used for this exact time period and place. It begs the question, did L.J. know what was going on here before he moved his family here? They seem to have thrived and done well. Maybe he went because doctors were needed?
What I do know is that he was just as involved with his community in Kansas as he had been in Ohio.
From the Centennial History of Belmont county, Ohio:
“He was a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was among the most influential men in establishing Baker University. Originally a Whig, he became a Republican on the organization of the Republican party.”
Baker University was the first university in Kansas. It was founded by the Methodist church.
I did find a note in a Kansas paper that listed L.J. Dallas as a trustee of Baker University, and some information that Nancy was involved as well. Their son, Chester, went to school there. Most likely some of the other Dallas boys did, too, I just haven’t done the research to find them there yet.
This is the original building of Baker University, now Old Castle Museum and still on the university grounds. It holds history of the university and of eastern Kansas. My husband and I went there for a tour, but nobody showed up for our appointment. We will try again if we are ever in the area.
L.J. was also a beekeeper.
From the Centennial History of Belmont county, Ohio:
“In the latter period of his life he devoted himself to the propagation of bees and the production of honey. He made many discoveries in bee culture, and acquired the largest apiary in Kansas, was president of the State Bee Keeper’s Association, vice-president of the National Association, and was several times a delegate to the National Bee Keeper’s Association, taking several premiums for the quality of his bees and their productions.
A good deal of the latter part of his life was devoted to the cultivation of his excellent farm near Baldwin City, and especially to horticulture, in which he took great pride, but his particular branch was the scientific culture of the bee.”
In my research, I reached out to the Kansas State Honey Producers, formerly the Kansas Bee Keeper’s Association, to see if they had any more information on Dr. Dallas. As far as they know, their organization was formed in 1903. That very well may be because they simply don’t have any records before that period. My contact is going to keep looking and let me know if he finds any other information. I promised to do the same for him!
I did, however, find an advertisement where L.J. is selling some bee’s.
~From the White Cloud Kansas Chief dated 28 May 1868: “Italian Bees. American Bee Hive. County Rights sold at $50 to $100; Township Rights, $20 to $40; Individual Rights, $5. Bee-Keeper’s Text Book, 40 cents by mail. Italian Queens, $5 to $7, sent by express; safe arrival and purity warranted. Full stock of Italian Bees in American Hive, $20. Send for circular. Minute directions for making American Hive will accompany all rights. For further particulars, address: L.J. Dallas & H. Barricklow, Baldwin City, Kansas.
L.J. was also involved in getting the railroad pushed through in his area of Kansas.
~From the Leavenworth Weekly Times, dated 10 Nov 1870 – “LAWRENCE & PAOLA RAILROAD.-We are glad to see that this enterprise is taking shape. A charter for the road has been obtained, and an organization of the company will be made on Thursday next, at Wellsville, after which we may expect some action taken toward the construction of the road. The corporators of the company are Elijah Sells and L.J. Dallas, Baldwin City; H.J. Canniff, Prairie City; P.P. Elder, Ottawa; G.W. Mitchler and Capt. Shannon, Paola; Gurdon Grovenor, P.D. Ridenour, Wm. H. Sells, Wm. M. Haseltine, W.C. Ransom and James S. Crew, Lawrence; and H.M. Brockway, Wellsville. – Paola Republican.
L.J. was also an active member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
From the Centennial History of Belmont county, Ohio:
“He was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and was especially enthusiastic as an Odd Fellow, having been deputy grand master of Kansas in 1872. The Grand Lodge was in session at the time of his death, and after passing resolutions in honor of his memory, adjourned to the following day in respect to his services as an Odd Fellow and his work as a citizen.”
~From the Weekly Kansas Chief, dated 17 Oct 1872: “I.O.O.F.- The Grand Lodge of Odd Fellows of Kansas held its annual meeting at Topeka, last week. The Order is in a flourishing pondition throughout the State. The following officers were elected for the coming year: George W. Martin, of Junction City, Grand Master; L.J. Dallas, of Baldwin City, Deputy Grand Master; Sidney S. Smith, of Columbus, Grand Warden; Samuel F. Burdett, of Leavenworth, Grand Secretary; James S. Crew, of Leavenworth, Grand Treasurer; Fred Speck, of Wyandotte, Grand Representative to the Grand Lodge of the United States. ”
It seems that L.J. was a very busy man, involved in many aspects of his community’s life.
Dr. Leander Jerome Dallas passed away on the 14th of October, 1874. He had been sick for six weeks and passed away from what was called Bright’s Disease, a chronic inflammation of the kidney’s that most likely resulted in kidney failure. He was 62 years old.
He is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Baldwin City, Kansas next to his wife, Nancy.
(Here I am, “meeting” my 3rd great-grandparents for the first time.)
~From the Weekly Kansas Chief, dated 22 Oct 1874: “DEATH OF DR. DALLAS.-The long illness of Dr. L.J. Dallas of Baldwin City, has at last terminated fatally. The Doctor is an old resident of Douglas County, having lived here since 1859. Of late years he has paid great attention to apia-culture, and it was a pleasant sight to see him working about among his swarms of bees or extracting honey from the combs. He was a man of great intelligence, an earnest, faithful member of the Methodist Church, for many years one of the trustees of Baker University, and a man respected and loved by all who knew him. He was a constant subscriber to the Journal, and made as many a pleasant call when he visited town. May his memory be green.-Lawrence Journal, 16th.”
From the Centennial History of Belmont county, Ohio:
“His wife, Nancy, survives him and resides at the homestead in Douglas county. They reared seven children – Wilbur, a physician in Linn county, Kansas, married to Miss Mattie Churchill; Everett J., chief clerk of the division of dead letters in the post office department of the United States, and married to Miss Lizzie Campbell; Walter I., a prominent business man at Independence, Kansas; Clinton H., in business in Missouri, married to Miss Mary Keller; Chester E., residing on the homestead; Mary C., married to Henry C. Speer, a prominent educator and superintendent of public schools at Junction City; Addie E., residing with the family at the homestead.
Few men have done more for the promotion of good works, as a pioneer in establishing institutions of learning, good order, the cause of temperance, and the free institutions of Kansas, then Dr. Dallas. He was liberal-hearted and generous- a humane, upright man, whose memory will long be perpetuated for deeds of charity, and his devotion to the best interest of his State.”
Dr. Leander Jerome Dallas is buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Baldwin City, Kansas.
(L.J. Dallas is my 3rd great-grandfather. )
Tom and Janice (Simmons) Sannar family.
My Mom and Dad. Dad is holding me, Paula. Standing is Stacey on the left and Susan on the right. This picture was taken at Lake Louise in Banff National Park in Canada. I believe it was 1968.