Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's Ternes Time...Again

After reading the transcripts of voice tapes Edith Mary Madeline Ternes sent to grand niece, Sofee Ternes, I became much more interested in the Ternes family, which you will remember I am also related to by marriage through Harold Muir, my first cousin twice removed. (I've posted about these transcripts several times; just click Ternes in the Labels section to the right of this post to see them.)

I searched through old Detroit newspaper archives and discovered the patriarch of the family, Christian Ternes, was tragically murdered. Searching Google Books gave me a bit more information about the family. provided yet more relationship information. So through several sources, I started building out the family tree.  Of course, the census records were very helpful, too.

Once the Ternes family tree started taking shape, I got hints from about birth and death certificates, World War I and World War II registration cards, Social Security death records and so on. I have spent days building out this tree, connecting to other members who maintain well-sourced public trees and sharing information, such as photos and documents about our common relatives.

By far the most interesting discovery has been the Ternes surname message board on Several great and grand daughters of Christian I. Ternes, son of Peter Ternes and grandson of Christian Ternes posted on the board. They live in Miami or Panama and told a fascinating story.

Peter Ternes, son of family Patriarch, Christian, and father of Christian Ternes/Charles Ternes De Reuter

Theresia Reuter Ternes, Christian/Charles Ternes De Reuter's mother

Apparently, as a young man, Christian (1870-1917) got into a bit of trouble in Detroit and one of his uncles told him to leave town.  He ended up in Colon, Panama, after fighting with Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders in Cuba during the Spanish American War. He married a woman in Colon and took the name of his youngest brother, Charles, and changed his last name to Ternes De Reuter, adopting the Spanish custom of including a mother's maiden name.

Christian I. Ternes/Charles Ternes De Reuter

He became Chief of the Fire Department in Colon and died on 28 Apr 1917 at 5:00 a.m. when he touched a live wire while fighting a fire.  I learned all this from a Death of an American Citizen report filed by the American Consular Service on 30 Apr 1917. The report went on to say Charles Ternes De Reuter married the daughter of Porfirio Melendez. Mr. Melendez was a former governor of Colon and head of a Panama separatist movement. Charles Ternes DeReuter left behind his widow, Felicidad (Melendez) Ternes De Reuter, and five children when he died. She is buried Corozal American Cemetery and Memorial in Panama City, Panama. Ternes DeReuter is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Colon.

American Consular Report, dated 30 Apr 1917, about Charles Ternes De Reuter

The American Consular Service report also said Ternes De Reuter was highly esteemed. So it appears that he recovered well from his early troubles in Detroit and went on to live a short, but eventful life.

Since finding this information, I've been in touch with one of Ternes De Reuter's granddaughters. She was born in Panama and told me more about his wife's family. His wife Felicidad's sister, Aminta, is considered Colon's favorite daughter. There is a bust of Aminta in Colon. When she was just 18 years old she smuggled a message across enemy lines to inform Panama city of a Colombian plot.  Throughout her life, it was traditional for the president of Panama to visit her home to pay homage.

Aminta Melendez's bust in Colon

Isn't it wonderful what old documents and new contacts can tell us about the past!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Murder-Suicide in Toledo

Those of you who follow my Facebook page, Tangled Roots and Trees, will have already seen these photos. Here's the "rest of the story."

My second cousin twice removed, Samuel Lee Jennings (1863-1913), was a stone-cold killer. Well, maybe a hot-head with a violent temper would be more accurate based on the evidence we know about. Frankly, I'm making light of a tragic situation because it disturbs me.

Samuel was born in Amherst County, Virginia, He married a Danish woman named Emma Transtrip* on 26 Sep 1895 in Huntington, West Virginia. Sometime after that they moved to Toledo, Ohio.  Emma had immigrated to the United States about 1892. She and Samuel had four children of which two lived -- Della and Clifford. At the time the 1910 census was taken, they were living at 2242 Bakewell Street.  Emma was a housekeeper at a boarding house and Samuel was a body maker at an automobile factory.  In 1909 he'd been out of work for 36 weeks.

By 1913 Emma had moved to 320 Craig Street (just across the railroad tracks from the Bakewell Street address) and was estranged from Samuel. 

320 Craig Street -- Lucas County tax records indicate this structure was built in 1902.

On 8 Jun 1913 he came by her house and wanted to reconcile.  When she refused, he attacked her with a knife, stabbing her in the chest.  He then turned the knife on himself in an attempted suicide. Samuel died at Saint Vincent's Hospital two days later. Emma seemed on the road to recovery. However, she caught pneumonia while in the same hospital and died on 15 Jun 1913.

 St Vincent's Hospital ca. 1915

I sent away for their death certificates and found the cause of death very interesting:

"Lobar pneumonia following a razor wound to the chest, homicidal."

"Hemorrhage from knife wound, suicidal."

The 1920 census indicates their son, Clifford, was an inmate at the Baptist Orphanage in Salem, Virginia and was 11 years old.  He died in Tucson in 1971.  No trace of Della has yet been discovered.

Night View of the Baptist Orphanage in Salem, Virginia

This story haunts me mostly because of the children. One of my "new" relatives, who I found on, helped me find the records of Samuel and Emma's marriage and Della's birth. 

Articles about the murder-suicide from the Toledo Bee and Toledo Blade are on my Tangled Roots and Trees Facebook page.

*The only place Emma's maiden name appears as Transtrip is on her death certificate. The informant was her daughter, Della, who was 15 at the time her parents died. On her marriage license, Emma's maiden name was recorded as Hornwain.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Our Coal Mining Vacation

Four years ago Pete and I took our first genealogy vacation. 

2009 was the third or fourth time I'd tried researching Pete's side of the family.  I knew his Dad was born in West Hazelton, Pennsylvania, and Pete's grandmother's name was Cecilia and his grandfather's first name was Adam. And that's about all I knew. So I went poking around the census data from 1900 on.  I was able to find Pete's grandfather, Adam Dagutis, in the 1900 census.  He was a boarder at the home of Joseph and Martha Griskconick, along with six other young men. They were all coal miners. The census form indicated he immigrated to the U.S. in 1894 and that he was from "Poland Rus" or the part of Poland that had been partitioned by Russia.  In the same household was a servant named Cecelia Klimasansluski. She immigrated from Poland Rus in 1899.

With that information, I started searching passenger ship lists, which are great sources for finding out when ancestors came to the U.S. I discovered that Adam Dagutis arrived at Ellis Island onboard the Hamburg-America Line's S/S Patria on 10 Mar 1895.

Hamburg-America Line S/S Patria

I haven't yet found any information about Cecelia Klimasansluski in the passenger lists.  Later in 1900 Adam and Cecelia married. When Adam was required to register for the draft in 1918, he and Cecelia were living at 411 Winters Avenue, West Hazelton, Pennsylvania.  West Hazelton was one of two towns in eastern Pennsylvania where miners could buy their own homes and not be forced by the mines to live in company towns, shop at company stores, and use company doctors.  The story of coal and how powerful the mine owners were is a story for another day.

So in July 2009, Pete and I took a mini vacation to Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. We went to Scranton first and toured the Anthracite Heritage Museum.

Anthracite Heritage Museum, Scranton

I bought a sculpture of a miner made out of anthracite coal. It has an honored place on our family room bookshelves.

Miner made out of anthracite coal

We also toured the Lackawanna Coal Mine, which I'd highly recommend to everyone. It gives you a real appreciation for how hard mining was. This is where mining stopped in 1968 at the Lackawanna mine.

Lackawanna Coal Mine, Scranton

The next day, we drove to West Hazelton. This is the house Pete remembered when his family went to visit his paternal grandparents.

411 Winters Avenue, West Hazelton

Adam and Cecelia had at least eight children that lived. He was a coal miner all his life and died in 1925 of Black Lung Disease at the age of 49. In 1918 he was working for the Cranberry Creek Coal Company.

Topographic map of the Cranberry Creek Coal Mine

His family worshipped at the Sts. Peter and Paul Lithuanian Church, which was established in 1911.  The last mass was held at the church on 8 Jul 2009, a few days before we arrived.

Sts. Peter and Paul Lithuanian Catholic Church, West Hazelton

Pete and I also walked the church graveyard looking for Adam and Cecelia's headstones.  We never found them, though we did find a lot of Dagutis, Degutis, Dagutes, and many more spelling variations.  The cemetery is on a hill as you head out of town down a dead-end road. There, side-by-side, separated by stone walls are cemeteries for several of the churches in town. All those cemeteries give you a very solemn feeling as you are walking the rows and many of the markers were quite elaborate.

Sts. Peter and Paul Lithuanian Church Cemetery, West Hazelton

On our last day we went to Eckley, Pennsylvania, which is a company town. The town was used as the location for the movie, Molly Maguires. Many structures were built especially for the movie, including the breaker:

Eckley Breaker

More photos of our 2009 coal mining and genealogy vacation are available on my Tangled Roots and Trees Facebook page. Pete and I will go back now that I'm a bit more experienced at genealogy research and visit the local historic societies and also the archdiocese to look for the church records.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Most Memorable Letter Continued

A couple of months ago, I introduced you to Edith Mary Madeline Ternes. She wrote a wonderful series of letters to a younger relative, who was interested in the family history. In those letters, she offered some very sage advice, which I like to remember when I'm researching genealogy:
If any family tree is shaken hard enough I am sure it will produce stories of heroes and horse thieves. Lives to be proud of, lives to imitate and some to regret. Your family tree, no doubt will be the same, so I think it is wise to remember that we are totally responsible for ourselves and our lives but we owe no debt to the past.
She also provided personality sketches of her adopted family that show her flair for description writing talent.

About her adopted mother:

Your great grandmother whom I call Mother Ternes was a beautiful, able, capable woman who seemed to bend but never break. Under great pressure she would often say, "Well, we'll just have to make the best of it," and she did. She was never mean or petty or critical. She had never learned how. Her greatest fault was that Orrin took advantage of this. She had a wonderful sense of humor and was willing to believe that everyone did the best he could.

About her adopted brothers:

...Orrin vanished from our lives. Where he went or why we never found out. Mother and I felt very sorry for Bernadine and Charles but I, especially hesitated to ask too many questions. I thought it was Bernadine's right to tell us what she chose. If your grandmother Perrin chooses she may tell you more. I know absolutely nothing about it. I am afraid I cannot deal too kindly with your grandfather because I watched his mother's eyes change from incredulity to hope, to resignation and finally to despair. I've told you all this just to tell you that I don't know where your grandfather is or if he is alive or not. If he is alive he would be about 73 years old.

Norman had two children, Jack and Patricia, and he himself had been terribly ill. He was hospitalized for about a year and the penalty for that prolonged illness was very harsh. He recovered but was addicted to the use of drugs. This plagued him for the rest of his life. Norman was a capable young man who worked for his Uncle George Ternes in the coal office in Dearborn. He was also an accomplished pianist and sometimes played in a dance group with his brother in law Hugh Jack.

Uncle George Ternes

And a little about herself not long after she was married:

In 1938 Elmer and I were married and both our mothers came to live with us on Morrow Circle in East Dearborn. We each had a mother in law. It sounds like a strange household, I know, but it really wasn't. For us it was ideal. Neither of us had to worry about leaving our Mothers alone while we were at work, because each of them had a companion and a place to play house all day. They didn't have the major responsibility of running a house and they got along exceptionally well together. Elmer worked as assistant traffic manager of a major oil company with offices at Trenton, Michigan and I taught school in Dearborn. We were both secure in the knowledge that our mothers were not alone. I must admit that I was pretty badly spoiled. They both assured me that they had to have something to do all day and so they did the washing, ironing, dishes, dusting, mending and minor cleaning. They set the table, prepared the vegetables and let me do the shopping and the cooking. I couldn't have asked for more.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Every Family Has One

The first time you find one, it's a bit of a shock. But once I researched the state of mental health treatment in the 1800 and 1900s and realized how many people were institutionalized in hospitals, I surmised I would likely find more than one in my family tree...and I have. This was during the time when doctors basically had three classifications for every type of eccentricity:  idiot, lunatic, and epileptic. The epilepsy category didn't mean the patient, or inmate as they were called at the time, had epilepsy as we think of the disease, but rather they were prone to fits and seizures.

So, with that, let me introduce you to Charles J. Riggin, my first cousin twice removed. Charles was born in 1908 and his parents were Harrison Riggin and Frederica (Kohlenberg) De Ford. Frederica, or Reka as she was called by friends and family, was Harrison's second wife. She had been married before and had two sons by her first husband.  It was also Harrison's second marriage. He had five children already when he and Reka married. His children were parceled out to various relatives. During the 19 years before Harrison's death, he and Reka had four more children, including Charles.

Harrison and his new family lived mainly in Madison County, Illinois, which is across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. Harrison seems to have been a laborer working at odd jobs throughout his adult life.  In 1910 his step-son, Harvey, was already working in the coal mines. When Harrison died in 1922. Reka and Charles went to live her daughter, Harriet, and her husband. I assume Reka died sometime in the 1930s because she did not appear in the 1940 census and that's how I found out Charles must have had something about him that wasn't quite "normal."

It times like these in your research to keep my favorite ancestor's sage advice at the ready.

"If any family tree is shaken hard enough I am sure it will produce stories of heroes and horse thieves. Lives to be proud of, lives to imitate and some to regret. Your family tree, no doubt will be the same, so I think it is wise to remember that we are totally responsible for ourselves and our lives but we owe no debt to the past." -- Edith Mary Madeline (Ternes) Reynolds
The 1940 census indicates Charles was an inmate (yes, they were still called inmates in 1940!) at the Lincoln State School and Colony Farm. The institution first opened in 1865 as the Experimental School for Idiots and Feeble-minded Children.

Cottage I Lincoln State School and Colony Farm
Main Building, Lincoln State School and Colony Farm
The history of the institution is fascinating and I'll tell you about it in a future post.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Family Lore Debunked?

Every family has stories -- some good, some bad and some that are truly tragic. One of our sad stories was about Aunt Joan, Uncle Arnold's wife.  According to Mom, she was born in British East Africa (now Kenya), the youngest of eight children and her father was a Christian missionary. When the family was in Africa, her father left her mother and the children for a much younger woman, perhaps a nurse at the mission hospital, and was never heard from again. Her mother, Lilly Mary, had to find a way to get the family back to the U.S. and provide and care for all the children. It was always described as a very hard life.  After Aunt Joan finished high school her older sister paid for Joan to join her in Washington, DC, and attend business school.

So what's true and what's not?

What is true is that Aunt Joan and Uncle Arnold were married on 26 Aug 1942 in Washington, DC. They had two children, lived in a house they built on Uncle Arnold's parent's farm in Brandywine, Maryland, and in their elder years, moved to New Oxford, Pennsylvania. Uncle Arnold died on Christmas Day in 2003 and Aunt Joan died in 2010.

Uncle Arnold and Aunt Joan on the day of their wedding

It's also true that her father was Christian missionary, the family did live in Kenya, and Aunt Joan was born there.

Rift Valley Kenya, at the time of Aunt Joan's birth it was British East Africa

"Our Schalin Family," by Lucille Fillenberg Effa was published in 2003. In the sketch about his family Uncle Arnold said his wife's parents were Lilly Mary Bradley and William Judson and the family returned to Torch, Ohio from Africa.  I scoured Census records for days looking for some evidence of the Judson family in Ohio but couldn't find a thing.  Then I wondered why was his last name Judson when the rest of the family's last name was Bailey? Did Aunt Joan's mother remarry a Bailey and he adopted all of the children? Or was William Judson really William Judson Bailey?

The adoption trail led nowhere but looking for William Judson Bailey turned up some very interesting documentation. Here's what I was able to discover. There was a man named William Judkins Bailey; he was born on 19 Dec 1880 in Barnsville, Warren Township, Belmont, Ohio. His father was James Bailey. His mother was likely Pebe (Pary or Perry) Bailey. He did marry a Lilly Mary Manson Bradley and had eight children.  The youngest was Joan Evelyn Bailey, which would be my Aunt Joan. William Bailey was a foreign missionary and served the Church of God's Board of Missionaries based in Anderson, Indiana. And his youngest daughter was born in Kijabe, British East Africa. Additional research about the missionary movement in Africa proved there was a Christian mission in Kijabe at the time. So far so good.

But then I discovered this...
  • The 1910 federal census indicates William and Lilly Mary Bailey had been married for about 6 years and were living in Pittsfield, Michigan. William's occupation was listed as farmer.
  • On 27 Aug 1917 William Bailey applied for a passport. On the application, he stated he, his wife and seven named children would be traveling to British East Africa. They planned to depart from Seattle on or about 15 Jan 1918. He also listed his occupation as student, which I assume means he was attending the Bible and Seminary Boarding School in Anderson, Indiana, which is now Anderson University.
  • On 12 Sep 1918 William Bailey completed a World War I registration card and listed his nearest relative as Lilly Manson Bailey.
  • On 28 Jun 1920 William Bailey applied for a passport. On the application, he stated he, his wife, five children he named and two infant children would be traveling to England, Switzerland, Egypt, France, Italy, Palestine, and British East Africa. They planned to depart on or about 31 Jul 1920. 
  • On 3 Sep 1920 William, Lilly and their seven children, ranging in age from 15 to 1, arrived in Southampton, England, aboard the Cunard Line's RMS Aquitania. The passenger manifest indicated they were headed to Nairobi, British East Africa.
  • On 18 Jun 1924 George Edgar Bailey, William and Lilly's eldest son departed Southampton, England, aboard the White Star Line's RMS Majestic, arriving in New York on 24 June. He planned to return to Anderson, Indiana.
  • On 4 May 1927 Paul Orrin and Homer Bradley Bailey, two of William and Lilly's sons, departed Southampton, England, aboard the White Star Line's RMS Majestic, arriving in New York on 10 May. They were headed to the Bible School in Anderson, Indiana.
  • On 23 Oct 1929 William Bailey, his wife, and their five youngest children, including Joan, departed Yokohama, Japan, aboard the Osaka Line's S/S Paris Maru; they arrived in Seattle on 6 Nov 1929 after a brief stop in Vancouver, Canada. The passenger list indicates Joan Bailey was born on 26 Oct 1921 in Kijabe, British East Africa.

Osaka Line's cargo ship, S/S Paris Maru
  • The 1930 federal census indicated William Bailey, his wife, and seven of their children, including Joan, were living in Troy, Ohio; Bailey's occupation was listed as foreign missionary. It also indicated that their son Homer attended and boarded at the Bible and Seminary Boarding School in Anderson, Indiana. Lilly Mary Bailey's father was also living with the family.
  • On 7 Jul 1934 William and Lilly Mary Bailey, departed Cherbourg, France on the Cunard Line's RMS Aquitania, arriving in New York on 13 Jul; they were heading to Torch, Ohio.
So is the family lore complete bunk? Maybe not but the timing and details of the story appear to be incorrect.
  • The 1940 federal census indicated Lilly Mary Bailey and her youngest daughter, Joan, were living together in Troy, Ohio. I have not been able to find William Bailey yet in the 1940 census. Mrs. Bailey indicated she was married.
  • In 1942 William Bailey completed a World War II registration card. He was living in Spring Hill, West Virginia, and his nearest relative was Mrs. W. J. Bailey, who also lived in Spring Hill. That Mrs. Bailey may or may not be Lilly Mary. William Bailey also appeared to have left missionary work and was a building contractor. At the time he registered he was not working and wrote, "lull because of priorities."
So I don't know whether William and Lilly Mary stayed together as a married couple or not.  Lilly Mary died in 1949 and is buried in Park Hill Cemetery in Marbury, Maryland.  Her daughter, Sylvia lived in Marbury according to the 1940 census. She and her husband are buried in the same cemetery as Lilly Mary. William died in 1955 in Fresno, California and I have not yet found any burial information.

Aunt Joan's mother's tombstone at Park Hill Cemetery in Marbury, Maryland

I did found this tidbit in a source citation on a professional genealogist's record for William Judkins Bailey from the "Journal of Maxwell Bailey," (December 1991; Clarksville, Ohio), owned by Leona Vlacancich.

"That log cabin was the home of Leonard Bailey, son of Joseph Michael Bailey, and grandfather of Gladys Root Daugherty. One of Leonard's brothers, the Bailey 'tree' will show was a William. He may be my Father's daddy. However, my Father's death certificate shows a James Bailey as his father. I'm sure this is incorrect. Goldie, Father's second wife supplied the information for the certificate and it's accuracy must be questioned."

So did William Bailey divorce Lily and marry Goldie? And was the Maxwell Bailey who wrote the journal one of his sons?

What do you think happened?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Moving Half Way Across the 1893?

Would you move from the Volhynia area of Russia, which is now in Ukraine (red A arrow), to Alberta, Canada (blue arrow to the far left of the map)? My mother's grandfather and his family did. They sold all their possessions; drove their wagon to Hamburg, Germany; got on a ship to Quebec, Canada; took the Canadian Pacific Railroad to Winnipeg; and bought horses and another wagon and went west to Leduc, Alberta, where they bought a section of land from the railroad. It was a  journey that covered nearly 5,000 miles.

They left farms like these in the Volhynia province:

Combination house and barn common in German settlements in Volhynia
Picture courtesy of Lucille Fillenberg Effa
In wagons not all that much different from this (except maybe the tires):

On the way to market in Tutschin, Volhynia in 1999
(Picture courtesy of Lucille Fillenberg Effa)
Aboard ships like this:

Allan Line's S/S Sarmatian
They arrived in Quebec, Canada:

Immigrant Port, Quebec
 Then boarded a Canadian Pacific train to Winnipeg:

Winnipeg Train Station
To buy sections of land in the wide open plains of Alberta:

Original section map for a portion of Alberta
They built sod houses such as this one until the land was cleared, planted and the first harvest was ready for market. During the winter, they lived off of turnips and rabbits they shot on their land.

German immigrant sod house
If you made enough money from your crops, you could start to build a more permanent wood house.  In a future post, I'll explain why they did it -- and all that European history I've read over the years has finally come in handy.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tarleton's Southside Virginia Raid

Sometimes the places you read about during your research are just as interesting as the people.

How many of you saw the movie, The Patriot?  Remember how evil British Colonel Tavington was? Tavington was a fictional character based in part on Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton. Tarleton served under Lord Cornwallis during the American War of Independence. Like Tavington, Tarleton adhered to the concept of "total war" (civilians who helped the enemy were the enemy), but, apparently, with a "kind spirit" -- whatever that means!

Jason Isaacs as Col Tavington (photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures)
The real Lt Col Banastre Tarleton (image courtesy of
The book, Notes on Southside Virginia, by Walter Allen Watson, describes Tarleton's Revolutionary War raid:

"Cornwallis' order to Lt Col Tarleton, dated 8 Jul 1781, directed him to set out the next day on his raid of Southside Virginia. The force consisted of "the corps of cavalry and mounted infantry under your command" and the destination was Prince Edward Courthouse, and from thence to New London in Bedford County" The object was the destruction of the military stores, to cripple the subsistence of Greene's army in Carolina.  The order set forth, "all public stores of corn and provisions are to be burned, and if there should be a quantity of provisions or corn collected at a private house. . .destroy it, leaving enough for the support of the family," etc.: "all persons of consequence, civil or military, brought to me before they are paroled."

Tarleton's force consisted of the British Legion and 80 mounted infantry (the returns of the surrender at Yorktown show 241 men in the Legion.) A detachment was left at Suffolk to receive him on his return; also to intercept any American light troops on the way northward from Carolina, or any British prisoners. The command left Cobham on 9 Jul 1781 and made long movements in the mornings and evenings, thus avoiding heat and darkness. The troops soon reached Petersburg and advanced to Prince Edward Courthouse, and from there toward the Dan River. The stores, which were the principal object of the expedition, had been sent from Prince Edward to Hillsboro and Greene's army about a month before. Tarleton halted two days in Bedford. He returned by a different route, completing an expedition of 400 miles in 15 days, and rejoined the troops at Suffolk.

Tarleton's dragoons captured old James Cooke at Jennings Ordinary. He lived there at the time and was perhaps the first resident of the Ordinary. A dragoon make Cooke mount behind him on the horse and carried him to Tarleton's headquarters, which were then at the home of old Charles Knight, who lived at Burkeville. On the way, the soldier took Cooke's silver shoe and knee buckles. At headquarters, Tarleton made the man restore them and sent Cooke home. The soldier, however, waylaid him on the return and got the buckles.

The wife of Col Ben Ward was captured just above Burkeville in her carriage, endeavoring to escape to relatives in Charlotte with her fine equipage and personal effects. She was pillaged by some dragoons. Captain Fowlkes' brother witnessed the act from a tree top nearby.

Burke Tavern
Photo courtesy of the Nottoway Historical Association
On leaving the Ordinary, after deploying toward what is now Jetersville, they flushed Col William Craddock. The British pursued him from his home in hot haste until he was forced to take shelter, with his horse, in a barn on the road to Jetersville. Here the troops passed him, but he was fearful lest his horse should neigh to those passing and so reveal his presence. He escaped.

Old Map of Nottoway County
The British encountered Peter Francisco at West Creek. They burned Daniel Jones' mill at Mount Airy on West Creek and old Amelia Courthouse, together with part or all the records. They also burned a granary on the Richmond road near Mannsboro. Charred wheat from it is still preserved, and some was exhibited at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. The British followed the Namozine road towards Petersburg and Chesterfield Courthouse.

My grandmother thinks Tarleton behaved, in the main, generously towards the inhabitants during the raid. He visited Captain Jo Fowlkes' mother, a widow, who lived in Prince Edward, and turned a chair down for a pillow and lay on the floor to rest. He set guards to watch and did not allow anything to be molested. He would always rebuke his men for depredations and in many instances showed a kind spirit."
W. R. Turner's book, Old Homes and Families in Nottoway, describes Jennings Ordinary:
Jennings Ordinary in Nottoway County was first settled by Col William Jennings, who was born in England and died in Amelia, now Nottoway County, in 1775. The house in which Col Jennings lived is still standing, an old tavern from which Jennings Ordinary received its name. Col Jennings married Mary Jan Pulliam of Hanover County in 1724. He is supposed to have been the heir to the Jennings fortune about which there has been so much litigation in recent years.
 I wrote about the inheritance here and here.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Polio -- The Summer Scourge

Polio, or poliomyelitis, was one of the most feared and studied diseases of the first half of the 20th Century. It appeared unpredictably, striking its victims, mostly children, with frightening randomness that resulted in near panic during the epidemics in the 1940s and 1950s.

My paternal grandfather, Marvin Edward Jennings (1901-1961), was one of the unfortunate children who contracted polio. For the rest of his life, he wore a leg brace and believed the disease caused his widowed father to commit him to an orphanage, which I've written about here.

One of the enduring memories of my childhood, is the entire family waiting in long lines at local schools in order to take the polio vaccine, which was delivered in the form of a sugar cube. It's a memory that many of my younger friends don't have. Thank goodness!

Waiting in line for the polio vaccine
The polio timeline in the U.S. is a testament to a dedicated medical research effort:

1894 -- The first major polio epidemic reported in the United States occurs in Vermont, consisting of 132 total cases, including some adults.

1909 - Massachusetts begins counting polio cases.

1916 - There is a large outbreak of polio in the United States. Though the total number of affected individuals is unknown, over 9,000 cases are reported in New York City along. Attempts at controlling the disease largely involve the use of isolation and quarantine, neither of which is successful.

1928 - Philip Drinker and Louis Shaw develop the iron lung, a large metal tank equipped with a pump that assists respiration, is field tested and goes into commercial production three years later.

Photo courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania
1934 - There is a major outbreak of poliio in Los Angeles. Nearly 2,500 polio cases are treated from May through November of that year at the Los Angeles County General Hospital alone.

1935 - Physicians Maurice Brodie and John Kollmer compete against each other, trying to be the first to develop a successful polio vaccine. Field trials fail with disastrous results as vaccines are blamed for causing many cases of polio, some of which are fatal.

1937 - Franklin Roosevelt announces the creation of the National Foundation for Infantile paralysis.

1938 - Entertainer Eddie Canter coins the name "March of Dimes" as he urges radio listeners to send their spare change to the White House to be used by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis in the fight against polio. The name sticks.

1940 - Sister Elizabeth Kenny travels from her native Australia to California where she is virtually ignored by the medical community. She then travels to Minnesota where she give the first presentation in the United States to members of the Mayo Clinic staff regarding her procedures for treating polio patients by means of hot-packing and stretching affected limbs.

1942 -- The first Sister Kenny Institute opens in Minneapolis.

1943 - The Sister Kenny Foundation is formed, and Kenny's procedures become the standard treatment for polio patients in the United States, replacing the ineffective traditional approaches of "convalescent serum" and immobilization.

1945 - Large epidemics of polio in the United States occur immediately after the war with an average of more than 20,000 cases a year from 1945 to 1949.

1947 - Jonas Salk accepts a position in Pittsburgh at the new medical laboratory funded b y the Sarah Mellon Scientific Foundation.

1948 - Salk's laboratory is one of four awarded research grants for the polio virus typing project. Salk decides to use the newly developed tissue culture method of cultivating and working with the polio virus. Other researches, including Albert Sabin, who would later develop the oral polio vaccine, contiue to do their work with monkeys infected with the polio virus, a more difficult and time-consuming process.

Doctors Salk and Younger
Photo courtesy of the University of Pittsburgh
1952 - There are 58,000 cases of polio in the United States -- the most ever. Early versions of the Salk vaccine, using killed polio virus, are successful with small samples of patients at the Watson Home for Crippled Children and the Polk State School, a Pennsylvania facility for individuals with mental illness.

1953 - Amid continued "polio hysteria," there are 35,000 cases of polio in the United States.

A physical therapist works with two polio-strickened children
Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1954 - Massive field trials of the Salk vaccine are sponsored by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.

1955 - News of the successful vaccine trials is announced and a nationwide vaccination program is quickly started.

1957 - After a mass immunization campaign promoted by the March of Dimes, there are only about 5,600 cases of polio in the United States.

1958 and 1959 - Field trials prove the Sabin oral vaccine, which uses live, attenuated (weakened) virus, to be effective.

1962 - The Salk vaccine is replaced by the Sabin oral vaccine, which is not only superior in terms of ease of administration, but also provides longer-lasting immunization.

Children taking the Sabin oral polio vaccine in the early 1960s
1964 - Only 121 cases of polio are reported nationally.

1979 - The last indigenous transmission of wild polio virus occures in the United States. All future cases are either imported or vaccine-related.

Most of the information in this post comes from Dr. Edmund Sass's book, Polio's Legacy: An Oral History.