Mary Stoker 81st Anniversary

One of the fun and frustrating parts of family history is how it keeps changing on you.  There are always more records, there is always more documentation on your ancestors.  Most of it is mundane and useless, even if it does give you a partial hint on your family.  But sometimes you stumble upon a gem.  As I did with this newspaper clipping.

I thought I had scoured Ogden’s Standard Examiner pretty thoroughly for familial references.  Nevertheless, I was searching for something entirely different and found this article.  I don’t know if I missed it before or if search capabilities have improved and caught now what I could not catch 5 or 8 years ago when I went through the Standard Examiner records.

Here is the entire page of the paper.

Page 7A of Ogden, Utah’s Standard Examiner, Sunday 19 April 1950

A couple of thoughts about the entire page.

100 Gladiolus bulbs for $1.69!

I love when they reference someone in the paper they give their home address.

Sears Roebuck & Co.  May soon be another thing of the past, despite being an institution of the American way of life for over 150 years.

Mattresses seem to be pretty much the same as they were 67 years ago.  Not that I expect lots of change, but other than these new foam mattresses, things appear to be much the same.

Call Sears at 2-5331!

Combination Offer, box springs and mattress only $42.88!

Utah’s Senator, Elbert D. Thomas has a new book out, “One Nation Under God” only $2.75.  I don’t think I can see a Senator now out selling a religious principles book.

Washers have changed a great deal since 1950.

Alcoholics Anonymous is still going strong today.

Anyhow, on to the reason why I am writing this post.  Mary E Stoker is my Great, Great Grandmother.  I have written about her previously.  But this little newspaper article tells us some things at least I had never known.

“An open house to honor Mary E. Stoker, old time resident of Weber county, on her 81st birthday anniversary, will bbe held Sunday, Apr 9, at the home of her son, J. E. Donaldson, 120 E street, Salt Lake City.  Relatives and friends are invited to attend.

“Mrs. Stoker was born April 7, 1869, in Ogden, a daughter of David D and Gwendolyn Jordan Williams, pioneer converts from Wales.  She spent her early childhood in Slaterville and moved to Ogden when she was 15 years old.

“She was married to William Scott Donaldson in Ogden, October 1890.  They had six children, William George Donaldson, and John Edmund Donaldson, Salt Lake City; David Delos Donaldson, Ogden; Ellis Donaldson, Pocatello, Idaho; Irvin T. Donaldson, West San Pablo, Calif.; Alvin Donaldson, Green River, Wyo.  Mr. Donaldson died Sept. 12, 1913.

“In 1918 she was married to Anthon Edward Peterson in Ogden.  Several years after Mr. Peterson’s death she was married to Thomas Stoker of Huntsville.  She has six sons, 22 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.  She also has three brothers, Hyrum Williams, John H. Williams, and Joseph Williams, Ogden, and one sister, Mrs. Louise Layman, Ogden.

“Mrs. Stoker remembers when there were not over 10 houses east of Washington, when mud was hub deep to wagons in stormy weather.  She remembers the first street cars, the first street lights and the first volunteer fire department.

“She went to Salt Lake City with her moth to attend Brigham Young’s funeral.  She was personally acquainted with Lorin Farr, first mayor of Ogden, D. H. Peery, Job Pingree, Franklin D. Richards, John Scowcroft, John Guthrie, W. H. Wright, George Kerr, Bernard White, Winslow Farr, Robert McQuarrie, and their families.  She knew most of the early settles of Weber county.

“Mrs. Stoker says there has been so much progress since her childhood that she takes great interest in new developments, inventions and methods of doing things.  She is so sure that many more wonderful inventions are just a few years away and she wants to live to be at least 100 years old because she enjoys seeing progress.

Much of that seemed standard and information we knew.  But she went to Brigham Young’s funeral when she was about 8 years old.  Why did her mother take her to the funeral.  Brigham did not serve any of his missions in Wales, so I doubt they were converts or knew him while he was a missionary.  But Gwenllian had enough regard for him that she traveled to Salt Lake City to say farewell.  Enough that she even took her daughter.  But that is an interesting side note to Mary.

The other information is more history of Ogden.  I am curious how well she knew the people listed in the article and how she knew them.  Now about half of the list does not mean anything to me.  As a non-Ogdenite, only a few of the names I am familiar.  Farr, Peery, and Richards.  The rest of these are lost on me and I will have to research their significance to her and the paper for another time.

Just a few more interesting insights into the lady I know as Mary Elizabeth Donaldson.

Here is a much better copy of the photo from the newspaper article.  She died 29 March 1951.

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Hewitt Photo?

My cousin, Lee Koldewyn, provided this photo to me.  He obtained this photo from his grandparents, Andrew and Maria Hewitt over 50 years ago.  He believes the photo is of family, but is unsure about who.  I offered to post it for him to see if that will give any other leads.

From the face of the photo, it was photographed by H. H. Thomas of Washington Avenue, Ogden, Weber, Utah.  Heber Harris Thomas ran his Washington Avenue shop from the late 1880s to 1909.  He started his shop and was called to serve a mission to the British Isles.  He returned about 1890, so this photo is likely in that time period between 1890 and 1909.

The clothing would definitely point to the 1880s and 1890s, but an older woman into the early 1900s might still be wearing that fashion, so the clothing fits the time period but does not narrow the years.

Lastly, the lady is older in the photo.  At a minimum she is 70, so we are looking for a person that is over her 70th birthday or so during when Thomas was running his studio.

Maria Hewitt is a sister to my Berendena Van Leeuwen Donaldson (1898 – 1959).  Maria Van Leeuwen was born 15 November 1893 in Ogden.  Her parents were George & Harmina Van Leeuwen.  None of Maria’s grandparents made it to Utah from Netherlands to have their photos taken in Thomas’ studio.    I have enough pictures of Harmina Janzen Van Leeuwen (1860-1921) to know that the photo is not of her.  That means we can turn from my Van Leeuwen clan to that of the Hewitt clan.

Of course, we have nothing to say for certain whether this photo is a relative of Andrew George Hewitt, but there is an assumption this person is related to Andrew.

Andrew George Hewitt was born 17 September 1892 in Marriott, Weber, Utah.  His parents were George Joseph Lemuel Hewitt (29 February 1872 – 7 March 1946) and Prudence Ekins (22 May 1862 – 18 November 1948).  While Prudence lived to be 86 years old, her time over 70 is outside the time frame for which Thomas was photographing in Ogden.  She is not a candidate.

George Joseph Lemuel Hewitt’s mother was Clarissa Wilson born 29 April 1836 in Green, Richland, Ohio.  She passed away 18 August 1890 in Ogden.  She died at the age of 54.  I could not locate any photos for her.  While she fits the location, she does not quite fit the correct time frame for the age of the lady in the photo nor is she quite fit the time frame for Thomas’ studio.  Does not seem a likely option.

Prudence Ekins’ mother was Rebecca Burnham born 20 March 1829 in Moulton Seas End, Lincolnshire, England.  She passed away 29 September 1894 in Slaterville, Weber, Utah.  She died at the age of 65 years.  I could locate some photos of her and she was a thin, narrow faced woman.  She does not appear to have any relation to the woman in the photo.  Her location fits, her age is not quite so sure, and Thomas was operative during that time.

That excludes both of Andrew’s grandmothers.  Does he have any great grandmothers who might match?

Clarissa Wilson Hewitt mentioned above was the daughter of Agnes Hunter.  Agnes Hunter Wilson was born 27 December 1811 in Erie, Erie, Pennsylvania.  She died 7 February 1886 in Ogden.  While I could not find out the exact year Thomas opened his studio, there may have been some overlap in time frames.  She died at the age of 74.  The only photos I could locate of her was when she was younger.  A number of features of Agnes could match the woman above, but there were also many distinguishing features.  The nose, mouth, and lines of the younger Agnes Hunter Wilson just do not seem to fully line up.  However, I could maybe be convinced that Agnes was a relative of the lady above.  Here is Agnes Hunter Wilson’s photo from FamilySearch.

Agnes Hunter Wilson (1811 – 1886)

Matching the photos, if this is indeed a photo of Agnes Hunter Wilson, shows similar bone structure, but very different noses and mouths.  I am not convinced these are one and the same, but could they be related.

Agnes had one sister, Mary, but she died in 1878 and could not have been photographed by Thomas.

Comparing the photos of Agnes’ daughters (Clarissa’s sisters) and none of them fit the bill.  I could not find photos of all the sisters and the ones I did do not match the woman at the top.  None of Clarissa’s daughters would have been old enough to be photographed by Thomas.

Ultimately, I am not convinced this is Agnes Hunter Wilson, nor could I find an ancestor of Andrew Joseph Lemuel Hewitt that seemed to match.  Nothing of the family resemblance matches the Van Leeuwen side.

Hopefully I have provided enough information someone could find this post.  Hopefully someone has a similar photo of this woman to make the connection.

 

8th Street in Ogden, Utah

While in Ogden, Utah, last weekend, I was driving north on the old highway.  On a whim, I wondered if the home my Great Grandparents lived in on 8th Street was still there.  I pulled over and found my previous post to find the address and the photos of the home.

As I wrote then about David and Dena Donaldson, the home is located at 629 8th Street, Ogden, Weber, Utah.  I believe the address has stayed constant, but I am not sure.

A newspaper accident referenced a plumbing accident with David D Donaldson in the story, living at 629 8th Street, on 30 July 1926.

I found a published newspaper jury summons indicating David D Donaldson was still living in the house on 19 December 1935.

If I remember correctly, my grandparents were married in this home 4 April 1942.

Here are the photos I have of the home.

Nice long side shot of the home.

Donaldson 8th Street home with back addition

A close up of the front porch.

Dena, Gladys, Maxine, Dora holding Dave Donaldson (Dena and Dora are twins and may be switched)

Well, I found the house.  I was not sure it was even still there, but sure enough, I could recognize it from the old photos.

Not to be creepy, I knocked on the door.  I explained why I was bothering the lady who answered and even showed her the first photo above.  The lady said they had just purchased the home about a month ago.  They were in the military and moved in.  She gave me permission to take some photos of the home.

West side view of 629 8th Street

 

East side of 629 8th Street

 

Porch up close of 627 8th Street

Can you see the five children sitting on the porch?  The spigot is no longer there on the right side of the steps.  It was interesting to me walking up to the door as I imagined my grandmother, Gladys Maxine Donaldson Ross, sitting there in the very middle.  The railing is gone, the posts obviously updated, and a new deck.

Another shot of the front door

If walls could talk, what would they say?

I don’t think I realized the home had a basement.  Here is a YouTube video with some shots inside the house.

 

 

 

Ole Loren Christiansen

Which Christiansen?

I have this photo sitting on my desk at work.  It is a little 2×3 inch picture inside a soldered silver metallic frame.  It belonged to my Great Grandmother, Lillian Coley Jonas (1898 – 1987).  It came from the collection of photos left to her by her mother, Martha Christiansen Coley (1879 – 1961).

My first impressions of the picture remind me of Lillian’s brother, Arthur Christiansen Coley (1921 – 2004).  But for his age, the clothing are the wrong time frame.  But because of the family resemblance I can see in Uncle Art, I know this man is related to me.

Since the picture belonged to Martha, I have often wondered if this is a picture of her father, Olle Christiansen (1853 – 1900).  But the hat, tie, shirt, and suspenders don’t match for a person who passed away in 1900.

Since he looks like Uncle Art, but the person in the photo has to be greying and older by the 1930’s, then I believe this is one of Marth’a brothers.  I know very little about the brothers.  Martha had three brothers: Henry Owen Christiansen (1887 – 1932), Roy Christin Christiansen (1892 – 1892), and Ole Loren Christiansen (1898 – 1977).  Since Roy died as a baby, I know it isn’t him.

That leaves me to Henry Owen and Ole Loren.  Henry Owen and Martha seem to have done very little to keep in contact.  Not a single letter, post card, or photograph that we can tell document anything in communication.  Plus he died in 1932, so the photo above had to predate that date.  I am not a great teller of fashion styles and changes, but I believe the above photo’s clothing would date during the 1930s into the 1940s.  As such, I believe this photo is of Ole Loren.

I have one photo of Ole Loren.  Don’t you think they are close enough in features that they could be the same.  However, I do not know if Henry Owen looked like him.

Sister, Ole Loren, Florence?

I don’t even know which sister of Loren’s is on the left.  From other photos and correspondence I very much believe this is Rhoda.  With the letters and cards between the two, it is very likely this photo was provided to Martha by her.  The photo only says “Sister, Loren, and wife” on the back.  Ole Loren, who I believe went by Loren, probably to differentiate him from his father, only had two wives that I am aware.  Sara Strong (1900 – ?) who he married in 1918 and Florence Knapp (1898 – ?) who he married in 1926.  I don’t know what happened to Sara, there appears to have been a divorce.  For the time of this photo, Florence is likely his wife.  I can tell the sister on the left is a sibling to Martha and Loren, I just don’t know which one.

Henry Owen Christiansen appears to have died in Tillamook County, Oregon.  On his service registration in 1918 he is living in Northport, Stevens, Washington with a wife of Anna Wilda Christiansen.  I believe she is Anna Wilda Hooser from Texas.  They appear to have had children named Mary, Madison, Gerald, Henry Jr, and John.  Quite a bit more research to properly piece the family together.

Ole Loren Christiansen appears to have died in Oakland, Alameda, California.  I believe two children were born to Sara, Ruth and Robert, and two to Florence, Lorraine, and Lucille.  Lorraine and Lucille may have been twins, both born the same year.

Without more photos to compare, I don’t believe I will pin point these individuals while in mortality.  But at least I have narrowed down the family relationships.  If anyone has more information on Ole Loren Christiansen or Henry Owen Christiansen, I am very much interested in any clues or leads you can provide.

At any rate, people often ask me about the little frame on my desk.  All I usually say is it is my Great Great Grandmother’s brother, I don’t know which one.  Most don’t say anything about that, but a number of commented on how intriguing the picture is.  I agree, some day I will learn more on Loren and Henry and hopefully can provide an update.

 

1961 Coley Film

I stumbled upon a photo of a Great, Great Uncle, Wilford Herbert Coley, posted on a website. I e-mailed the lady who posted the picture and she forwarded my e-mail to her brother. As it turns out, the family has a number of film reels taken from the early 1960’s. I asked him to share any that he thought I might be interested in.  He indicated that one was from a funeral and it seemed to include extended family.  He could only identify his grandfather, Wilford Herbert Coley, in the film.

On a hunch, I sent him this photo and informed him that it was taken 17 August 1961 at the burial of my Great, Great Grandmother, Martha Christiansen Coley, in Richmond, Utah.  This is Wilford’s mother and I knew he was at the funeral.  I also knew that if the family was into filming events, this could very well be one such event to catch.

Art, Golden, Wilford, Roland, Lloyd, Edna, Hannah, Carrie, Lillian, Ivan Coley at their mother’s funeral in 1961.

He responded to me stating the film was from the same funeral and it actually covered the carrying of the casket from the hearse, some scanning of the crowd, and then the final shots of the 10 siblings standing together in which this photo was taken. He shared the converted video from the film with me yesterday.

The 10 siblings in the picture above and film are as follows from left to right.
Arthur Christiansen Coley (Art), 1921-2004
William Golden Coley (Goldie), 1924-2009
Wilford Herbert Coley, 1903-1966
Roland Charles Coley, 1915-2005
Oley Lloyd Coley (Lloyd), 1918-1998
Edna Coley Neilson, 1900-1983
Hannah Marie Coley Thomson, 1909-1982
Carrie Christiansen Coley McMurdie, 1906-1992
Lillian Coley Jonas, 1898-1987
Ivan Stephen Coley, 1912-1994

The film starts out with children carrying flowers out of the church.  I am pretty sure this is the old Richmond, Utah South Ward Building (demolished after the 1962 earthquake).  I do not think we will be able to identify any of these girls because of how cloudy and short the video is at this point.

The film then moves to the Richmond, Utah Cemetery viewing the place where Martha will be laid to rest.  Two girls appear in the background, again probably too short a span of time and too fuzzy to identify them.

We jump to the casket being carried by 6 men, the 6 male siblings.  On the far side of the casket from right to left are Roland, Wilford, and Art.  On the near side from right to left are Lloyd, Golden, and Ivan.

In the background right as the pallbearers appear with the casket are two girls dressed in white.  The taller of the two are Connie Gittins (Wilford’s granddaughter) and an unknown girl.

A young unidentified girl walks in front of the group bearing the casket.

Then we start the first scan of the crowd counter-clockwise from the south.  These are the individuals:
Wilford Coley
Short boy in white that Bob Jonas steps in front of
Bob Jonas in white shirt
Steve Coley in white shirt
Gary Coley revealed when Steve Coley steps aside
Art Coley
Mary Coley (Art’s wife and Bob, Steve, and Gary’s mother)
Lillian Coley Jonas
Carrie Coley McMurdie
Edna Coley Neilson
Hannah Thomson
Tall guy in background (probably Lorenzo “Ren” Bowcutt?)
Lady in white in background
Tall thin man in background
Shorter man in foreground, very short time

Then we move to the 10 siblings back and forth as mentioned above in the photo.

The video is below.  Be sure to open it in full screen and to have your mouse on the pause button so you can look more carefully.

If anyone can add more information, I certainly welcome it.  I hope we can identify every person in the video but I think I hope for too much.  After all, this was taken 40 years ago!  Nevertheless, the video is interesting to see people living and moving who are now all gone from mortality.

For those interested, here is a copy of Lillian Coley Jonas’ journal that includes this funeral.  Martha died on the 14th of August 1961.  I also include the other two journals we have for her.

Lillians 1961 Journal

Lillians 1962 Journal

Lillians 1963 Journal

Boy with Top

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This is one of those photos that will captivate you.  You can stare at it and wonder who this little boy is, who did he become, what became of his life?

This photo came from the collection of Martha Christiansen Coley (1879 – 1961).  While I cannot be certain who the photo is, I believe it is Clair Charles Anderson (1902 – 1956).  Clair is Marth’a nephew through Martha’s sister, Walborg Christiansen Anderson (18775 – 1951).  I don’t know much about his life.  Perhaps some day.

"Clair C Anderson to Martha Coley"

“Clair C Anderson to Martha Coley”

Here is a picture of Clair’s brother, LeGrand Clive Anderson (1914 – 1973).

LeGrand Clive Anderson

LeGrand Clive Anderson

Haunting Eyes

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I was thinking of this little girl the other day.  Her eyes and smile are hauntingly familiar to me.  I know she is full blood family, I just wish I knew for certain who.

This photo was one in the collection of my Great Great Grandmother, Martha Christiansen Coley (1879 – 1961).

I am convinced this little child, I don’t know if male or female but assume female, is likely one of Martha’s own children.  I just don’t have baby pictures of her children though so I cannot tell for certain.  But I do seriously wonder if this is not my Great Grandmother, Lillian Coley Jonas.  I do have this picture to compare.

Baby Lillian Coley

Baby Lillian Coley

You can view all the other unknown photos I have from Martha’s photo album here.