Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 19, 2013 - Robert F Hood and Minnie A Hartsock Hood

Robert F. Hood was born in Columbia City, January 12, 1862. At the age of sixteen he began an apprenticeship at the carriage-painting trade, and subsequently opening a shop, contracted to do all kinds of painting. He painted the court house, as well as scores of other buildings, public and private, until his health being injured through the affliction to which painters are subject, he removed to a farm three miles south of the city and remained there until 1902.

Returning to Columbia City he soon purchased from George D. Ramp the furniture business established by him in 1893 on a small scale, but which has now assumed handsome proportions. It occupies a building twenty-two by one hundred and fifty feet, including the rear half of the second floor, all closely packed with a well selected stock of up-to-date furniture, including the latest patterns in all standard articles and representing a value of several thousand dollars. The annual sales have grown satisfactorily, showing a constant increase and proving that strict attention to business with a liberal sales method will yield suitable returns. Mr. Hood is a Mason and an active lodge worker, also a member of the Modern Woodmen, and he is a Republican in politics.

January 13, 1886, Mr. Hood married Miss Minnie A., daughter of Jeremiah S. Hartsock, of Whitley county. The children are Thomas, Ellen and Robert. Mr. Hood is fond of out-door sports and usually spends his summer vacation on the lakes when his inclination to lure the finny inhabitants may be fully satisfied.

Bio from History of Whitley County, Indiana - Samuel P. Kaler, R. H. Maring; pub. 1907

Happy Hunting,

Jan Smith

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - November 12, 2013 - Alice Best Green and Charles Green

I was looking up the children of John Landon Best and Dorothy Emeline Silverthorn Best tonight to use for my Tombstone Tuesday. Was an interesting search..... John and Emeline had 6 children born in Canada before they immigrated to Michigan in 1872. They were ; Walter (1858), Nellie (1860 also known as Ellen), Alvin (1862), Alice(1864), Wm Harris (1868)and Harvey Wm(1868) . I have not found photos of John L and Dorothy Emeline graves yet or I would be showing them here. They are buried in Woodlawn cemetery in Columbiaville, Michigan. I will visit the cemetery to take photos of them when I have an opportunity to get there.

In the mean time, I had no trouble finding photos of Alice Best Green and her husband Charles. They were on Findagrave.com and the Greens were buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Clio...with many of our other family members. I saved their photos. The photos are small but should work OK for the blog.

Alice Best married Charles W. Green in Genesee County, Michigan on November 30, 1882. They lived in Flint and had three children. Lester Green, Blance Green and Alena Green. Charles died in 1937.  He was born in Michigan in 1860 to Henry Green and Martha Mann.  Henry and Martha are buried in Clio too.  Alice survived Charles by 13 years, living with her daughter and son-in-law, Herchel and Alena Cooke.

Happy Hunting,


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Uniondale Methodist Church Dedication

The Uniondale Methodist Church Dedication – June 10, 1917

While Greg and I were in Uniondale in September we came across this photo in an Antique store...I knew then that is was from the Dedication of the Uniondale church in 1917. I have talked about this photo in several blogs now. I sent an email to the Uniondale church after seeing the photo and a very nice man named Bill Hix answered my email a week or so later. He felt bad that he had not gotten in touch with me sooner but it had been a busy couple of weeks for the church. He confirmed that the photo is believed to be from the 1917 dedication of the new church building in Uniondale. I had hoped to find some reference to this church event through the Methodist church records but so far I have not found any.

Bill shared with me an article which was authored by a long time member of the Uniondale church who had recently passed away. It was Dorothy Legge. The following is Dorothy Legge article titled Recollection: History and Memories of the Uniondale United Methodist Church

“ In 1885, a group of God's people felt the need to establish a Methodist Church in Uniondale as a part of the Markle circuit. In those day, services were held in the Lutheran Church until 1886. In 1888, the first white framed Church was built one half block north of the present site. A new circuit was formed in 1892 which included Rockford, Sparks Chapel, Emmaus and Uniondale”

 A revival held in 1911 resulted in an increase of membership. By 1916 a new church was started on the present site of the Uniondale United Methodist Church. In order to pay for the bricks, the women of the church made a truck garden on the present parsonage site. The women sold noodles and vegetables in Bluffton. They had a tent at the Bluffton Street Fair where the women sold their noodles and produce. There were 70 – 75 women working on the project. The owner of the Walburn Store(located where Penney's was for many years) told them that he would take all the gizzards they could get. By 1917 Uniondale and Rockford were the only churches left on the circuit.”

The new Uniondale Methodist Church was completed in June of 1917 and on June 10, 1917 the new building was dedicated.....and the photo of the people of Uniondale was taken.

It is interesting how the people are grouped in this photo. The women are standing in the center section which may have been because of the impact that they had on buying the bricks through sales of garden produce and noodles. The men are largely scattered through all sections of these photo standing in groups. There is an interesting group of men int the front far left of the center photo and far right of the left photo. Clearing these men are all standing together as a group. I can't help but wonder if they may be lay leaders and elders of the 1917 church. Both the left and right sections of the photo seem to show families as if they formed after the crowd had already begun to gather for the photo. There are many children in the front center of the photo standing with their mothers or maybe Sunday school classes. And it did not take me long to spot Amanda McGoogan Crites.  She is the short woman dressed in black on right of the center group of women in the second row.  Her Granddaughter is to her right, the young girl with her hand on her hip and Dessie Meeks is standing behind and to the right of Velma.

Center section of the large photo
In the center of the left section towards the back I see a woman who resembles Cora Crites Smith. According to Alvin Smith's WW1 draft record, the Smith's were still living in the area. I am sure that Cora, to honor her Mother's hard work, would be in attendance. There are two young men near her who could be Everett and James Fredrick.

Left section of large photo

The woman who resembles Cora is standing to the right and over the shoulder of the girl in white in the center holding a clutch purse in front of her. Cora may have a "skull cap" type hat on. Everett could be the young man to the left of the young women in white. My first thought was that Alvin was the man standing behind Everett but this man looks a bit too old for Alvin. SO I am not sure. Oh how I wish my Grandfather was alive to ask him about this photo. It is truly amazing to me that it even exists! The left section of the large photo shows more men with a group of women in the center.

Right section of large photo
The right section shows the church building with people standing on the front porch and lingering out front of the church. They seem more like families who have gathered together than the groups who formed in the center of the photo.
These photos would be a treasure of information if all these people could be identified. I can't help but wonder if people could not identify some of these people based on family photos which still exist today. The two men front and center are surely brothers standing proud and tall!

What a great piece of history!

Happy Hunting,


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday – November 4, 2013 – Coonrad and Catherine Best and their Children

Today we will show you tombstones from the Best Cemetery in Ontario. We will focus on the children born to Coonrad and Catherine Best.   They had 5 children ; Casper (1797),  Coonrad  and Fredrick (twin brothers - 1799), George (1803) and Elizabeth (1805). It is known that Casper, Coonrad and Fredrick were born in Prussia or what is today, Germany.

Casper Best

Casper Best was the oldest of Coonrad and Catherine children. He was married to Mary Crane in 1832.  They had 8 children.
As you can see Casper's stone has been over taken by grass.  If I ever get there in the future, I'll clean this off so that the whole stone face is visible.  In the Transcripts of this cemetery, there is a listing for the wife of Casper.  She died in 1864

Coonrad &Catherine Best

Coonrad Best  died in 1861 in Ontario, Canada. Coonrad married Catherine Louks who was born in Vermont. They had 8 children: Sarah Ann(1824), Miriam(1826), John L(1828), Hiram(1830), Thomas(1834), Catherine(1836), William E.(1839) and Caroline(1842).
 I am a descendant of John L Best.

This photo is hard to read but it was entered in a Cemetery listing for the Best Cemetery which I found on Ancestry.com. This is a clearly legible photo of this stone taken in 1941 which can be found on the at the link listed below;


Fredrick Best
 These three photos are of Fredrick's grave and his wife. Fredrick was Conrad's twin brother.  He married Elizabeth Townbridge on April 4, 1831. They would have 10 children many of who lived their lives in Canada and are buried in this cemetery. 

Fredrick Best
Elizabeth Best

George Best

The  last photo of the stone which is listed as George Best is really illegible.  I hope some day to visit this cemetery. When I do, I will do a stone rubbing to ensure that this is George's stone.

I did not find out who Elizabeth Best married so I do not have a stone for her to show today. More research will be required. I do than other Best grave which I will save for another blog.

All the photos and information has been obtained through the Canadian GenWeb Cemetery Project. The photos were taken by Nancy Ross-Hill and the indexed by Marilyn Whiting. Thanks so much to these volunteers who give of their own time. I am so grateful to the people who have helped me to find my Family member who lived a great distance away from me. They enter data and photos into databases which I can look at many miles away. Thanks so much!

Happy Hunting,


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - October 29, 2013 - Hiram Best

Hiram Best was the son of Coonrad and Catherine (Louks) Best. He was born on January 30, 1830. He died July 25, 1904. He is buried in the Best Cemetery in the County of Elgin, Ontario, Canada.

This week I received a surprise email from a man named Steven Zronik from London, Ontario. He told me that he had a photo in his collection of old photos of Hiram Best. Hiram is the brother of my GGGGrandfather, John L Best. He sent it to me this week. He found my family tree which included Hiram Best on Ancestry.com.  He sent me an email thru ancestry.com requesting my email so he could share this photo with me.  The first photo is cropped from the original photo of Hiram and his wife Alice but is a nice close up of an aging Hiram Best.

Hiram Best - 1830-1904

The original photo was found in an Antique store in Canada.  On the back of the photo, someone had had clearly written  “Hiram Best and Mrs Hiram Best- Hiram died 1904”. This appears to be a turn of the century photo, but it could be as early as the 1890's. During this time period he was married to Alice Thomas. His first wife Agnes died in 1874.  This photo is likely not that old.  Alice was 23 years younger than Hiram.  I would say that with his gray beard and her still dark hair I am conluding that she is quite a number of years younger than he is.  Alice was his wife listed on his death certificate. So with all this as evidence, I am assuming that Alice Thomas Best is the woman in the photo with him.  She was born in Australia in 1853. She died in 1936 and is buried with Hiram in the Best Cemetery.

Alice (Thomas) and Hiram Best

 Happy Hunting,



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Finding a photo...

A couple of years ago my cousin sent me a small paper weight which had been saved in her Mother's china cabinet for many years. I wrote a blog about the paper weight when I received it.  I tried to research what it was and who had made it with the hopes of uncovering more information about what it  might have meant to my great, great grandmother, Emma Crites.  Obviously it was a special family treasure or we would not have it still today!  

While in Uniondale in September, we drove by the church and visited Emma's old home. It was quite an experience to stand in the living room which she and John spent so much time in. I talked about it in a previous blog.  During my September visit, Shane Brown told me that I needed to visit a newly reopened antique store in Uniondale.  The antique store had reopened with new owners and is called  Minnich's Antiques & General Store.  It is located at 1123 Otto Street, Uniondale, Indiana. Check them out at minnichsantiques.com  Labor Day weekend was their Grand Opening.  I hoped that it was open on Sunday and planned to visit it.  Shane had informed me that they owned an early 1900 photo of the people of Uniondale.  I planned to visit the store on my way home from my research weekend. 

I visited the store.  It is a cute store in a home which is located down the street from the Uniondale United Methodist Church. Upon entering the store, I introduced my self to one of the owners, Kim Minnich and told her that I had been visiting with Shane Brown and that he said that you have an old  Uniondale photo which I might be interested in.  She said, "well yes I do !"  She went behind the counter and retrieved it.  It is large photo which measure about 36 inches by 11 inches.  The glass in the frame is broken.  It had been dropped at some point when someone was looking at it. The photo is not for sale but often people come in and ask to see it. It is a treasure for this small local farming community.  It is a historical gold mine.  I wish all the people could been identified. 

It did not take me long to find my great great grandmother, Amanda Crites (Emma).  She is front and center with her daughter and granddaughter standing nearby!

Emma is front and center in this photo

Emma Crites, Velma Meeks and Dessie Meeks

Emma is the woman dressed in black, the second to the left.  Her granddaughter, Velma Meeks, is the girl with her hand on her hip and the woman to her right is Velma's mother, Dessie Meeks, daughter of Emma.

At the time of my visit to the antique store, I told Kim that this photo was likely a photo from the 1917 dedication of the Uniondale Church. I told her about the paper weight which I still owned.

More about what I have learned about the Dedication service and more photos next week.

Happy Hunting,


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday – October 22, 2013 – William Harvey, Dora Belle (Smith) and Charles Jackson

This is Hoverstock Cemetery in Zanesville, Indiana.  The grave stone of William Harvey Jackson and Dora Belle (Smith) Jackson.  Dora Belle is the daughter of James and Oella (Denney) Smith. She was born in March of 1877.  She died on January 15, 1953.  She married William Harvey Jackson on June 30, 1893 in Wells County, Indiana.  William Harvey Jackson was born in March 26, 1872.  He died on February 15, 1968.

This is the only family photo that I have of  the Jackson Family.  It is of  William(1871), Oscar (1895) and Dora(1877).  It was likely taken in 1899 before the birth of Charles. I have other photos of their daughter, Ruth and each of the  surviving family members were in the photo which I had in my blog last week but this is the only family type photo that I have of them.

Charles Jackson was the son of William Harvey and Dora Belle (Smith ) Jackson.  He was 4 months old when the census was counted on June 26, 1900. He died in 1901.  I do not know the details of his death.  I will have to try to find an obit  or a death record for him.  He is buried in the same plot as his parents.

Happy Hunting,

Jan Smith