Washington Duncan’s

Finally, a brick wall fell down.  As some of you may remember, earlier this year I got a lead through the papers of Howard Ross regarding Beulah Ross.  He had a letter from Donna Beachell Perry in 1972 or so with an address for Beulah.  She said she wrote to her.  That finally gave me a location to pinpoint Beulah.  I then called every Duncan in the phone book within 20 miles of Zillah.  I don’t remember who I did finally get that gave me the phone number for Carol Stone in Sunnyside.  I phone her, got her e-mail, wrote to her and got one forward that had nothing to do with anything.  I have tried e-mailing several more times with no success of a response.
So I took matters into my own hands.  I wrote the Washington Secretary of State.  I actually went through his office with the Ask a Librarian program and sent off a request for any information in the archives for William Duncan or Beulah Duncan’s information.  Well, a month later, I received a pdf file with the obituaries and death notice for William and Beulah.  Her obituary gives some great leads into where to search next for some more possible clues about her family.
I already had her marriage to William in 1922.  But could never find more evidence of them in the Burley, Idaho area.  Now I think my next hunt will be to find their lives in Bend.  I looked up the records for Zillah City Cemetery and much of it is online.  However, they don’t give much more than dates for birth and death.
Anyhow, here are the records for William and Beulah.  Now I can hope I can be so fortunate to find something else on any of her siblings.

Beulah E Duncan Marshall
Valley Hills Funeral Home
Toppenish – Beulah E Marshall, 93, of Toppenish passed away on Tuesday, March 5, 2002.
She was born March 6, 1908 in Grundy, West Virginia to Robert and Minnie (Hambrick) Ross. She spent her early years in Utah and Idaho. From 1923-1931 she lived in Bend, Oregon and 1931-1942 she lived in Ellensburg. Beulah has lived in the Yakima Valley, Buena area, since 1942.
Beulah worked at Cal Pak seed pea operation from 1943 to 1955. She also worked as a fruit sorter and for 11 years at the Mother Goose Cafe in Zillah. She liked to work in her yard and keep it looking neat. She loved music and dancing and encouraged her sons to play music like their Dad.
Beulah is survived by a son, Jack Duncan of Mabton; 24 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands, William J Duncan and Kenneth Marshall; three sons, Robert L Duncan, Harold E Duncan, and Ernest J Duncan, one brother and three sisters.
Funeral services will be held at Zillah Chapel of Valley Hills Funeral Home on Friday, March 8, 2002 at 10:00 a.m. Concluding services will follow at the Zillah City Cemetery.
Valley Hills Funeral Home in Zillah is in charge of arrangements.

William J Duncan
Colonial Funeral Home
Zillah – William J Duncan, 75, of 1109 Maple Way, died Monday in Sunnyside General Hospital, Sunnyside.
Born at Clinton, Ark., he had lived in the Zillah area since 1942.
Survivors include his wife, Beulah; three sons, Ernest and Robert, both of Sunnyside, and Jackie of Toppenish; three brothers, Tolly Duncan of Toppenish, Felix Duncan of Buena and Donald Duncan of Penndale, Penn.; one sister, Myrtle Marshall of Lexington, Ore.; 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Another son, Harold, died in 1973.
Duncan – Funeral services for William J Duncan, 75, or 1109 Maple Way, who passed away Monday, July 11 in Sunnyside General Hospital, will be held on Wednesday, Jul 13, at 2 p.m. in the COLONIAL FUNERAL HOME CHAPEL., Toppenish. The Rev. Stanley White will officiate. Burial will be at the Zillah Cemetery. Mr. Duncan was born in Clinton, Arkansas on September 26, 1901. He had lived in the Zillah area since 1942, moving there from Ellensburg. He and his wife, Beulah, were married on Sept. 20, 1922 in Burley, Idaho. Besides his wife, he is survived by three sons, Ernest J Duncan and Robert L Duncan, both of Sunnyside and Jackie A Duncan of Toppenish. He was predeceased by one son, Harold in 1973; three brothers, Tolly Duncan of Toppenish, Felix Cantrel Duncan of Buena and Donald Duncan of Penndale, Penn, one sister, Myrtle Marshall of Lexington, Ore: 14 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Ross in Washington State

Ross in Washington State 

A few updates and ponderings.

As I finished going through the entire stack of papers that were the culmination of work for Howard Ross, I sensed a bit of frustration that I may have missed something.  Some note, hidden on the back of some page I forgot to turn over and examine.  Moreover, there are always the little nuances that a symbol or a phrase can bring back a memory for Howard, but does nothing for me.  It is part of deciphering the past and someone else’s research.  Looking at that, I realized what a great thing it is that I am putting these notes up on a blog.  Someday, there will probably be some form of this blog available and it is much easier to search a blog than going through a stack of papers.  Another good part is that I may die, my house may burn, and all I have may be lost, but this will give an extension to another dimension.  I am sure somebody is printing or copying the things I am putting up that is relevant to them.  So this is a mass sharing that is effective for saving.

Anyhow, having given my deep thoughts for the day, here is the latest news.

One of those papers in Howard Ross’ massive stack was an address for a Beulah Duncan in Zillah, Washington (The sheet it was on was dated 1972).  I knew I had a Beulah Ross who was the daughter of Robert Leonard Ross.  The rascal that disappeared and I have yet to catch up with him.  I knew she had married a Duncan but that was it.  Could she have really made it to Washington State?  I thought I might as well venture to find out.

I looked up Zillah, Washington on Google and found it is between Yakima and Sunnyside.  I searched Duncan in the phone book for Zillah and found a couple in Sunnyside and a couple in Toppenish both of which were nearby.  After about a half dozen phone calls, I found nobody home.  So I left it for a day or two.  I knew that she was probably not still alive, but a good chance a family member who knew of her would be able to lead me in the right direction.

I rang the numbers again last night to find some woman with what I believe was a Irish accent in Toppenish.  First strike.  The second call was a lady I had a devil of a time understanding.  But she assured me she was the daughter-in-law of Mrs. Beulah Duncan.  I thought she told me her name was Debra Lee.  We visited and she gave me the phone number of her daughter Terel Stan Stone.  I know, that is what I thought, a girl with a guys name!  I hung up and called Mrs. Stone and she thought I was crazy when I told her I had visited with her mother Debra Lee.  Come to find out, her mother’s name is Beverly and the lady I was talking to was Carol Ann Stone.  Wow, it is amazing how hearing can alter things.

We visited for a few minutes; she told me what she knew of her grandmother, Beulah.  Their story goes something like this.  Robert was an alcoholic and his wife Minnie had some sort of Drug addiction.  All the children were farmed out to others.  Beulah was taken in by her grandparents, my great great grandparents James Thomas Meredith Ross and Damey Catherine Graham.  She was taken and raised near Rupert, Idaho.  But her strict Mormon grandparents was a bit much for her so she was anxious to get out.  That came when she met a Jack or Mack Duncan.  She was 14 and married him.  They moved to Zillah, Washington and lived out the remainder of their days.  He died in the late 70’s and she died in 2002 at about 96 years of age.  They had four children, two of which are deceased.

Anyhow, I am excited to finally flesh out one of Robert Leonard Ross’ lines.  However, it will not be easy to get the rest of the siblings.  Carol did not know what happened for sure to her siblings and we will have to see what we can scrounge up.  It sounds like even Beulah herself did not know where some of her siblings ended up.

At least for now, we are one step closer to filling in some holes on the Robert Leonard Ross line.  I look forward to any information Carol has which may give clues to more.

See, one little note on a piece of paper has opened a door to an entire family line.  Carol was not aware of us and we were not aware of them.  Now we are.  Let’s see where family can take us.