Adding maps to my genealogy research is always fun. The Bureau of Land Management records lend themselves to adding maps to better understand an ancestor’s life and history.
The 1895 Minnesota State Census indicated that my third great-grandfather, Enoch Mannin, had moved to Cass County in February 1888. I wondered if that move was relative to homesteading land there.
A quick search of the General Land Office Records at the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management site yielded 7 properties for Mannin in Cass county, including one for Enoch Mannin.[i] He was granted a patent for 160 acres (the Northeast quarter) in Section 22, Township 134, Range 31 West of the 5th Principal Meridian on 1 Feb 1894. To see exactly where the property is, I zoomed in to see it’s relationship to modern features (like streets and roads).
I also can also use the search results to identify others that lived nearby. I learned that Isaac Mannin (probably Enoch’s son) lived adjacent and Samuel Mannin (probably another of Enoch’s sons) lived catawampus from Isaac. As such, it looks like it was a community that was tightly knit with lots of family nearby.
It took a little looking but I found that Township 134 is now May township. A Wikipedia search informed me that May township is extremely rural. It has no towns and has only 12 people per square mile.
I also used Google Maps to see what the property looks like today.[ii] It is definitely out there – about nine miles northeast of Motley and 10 miles north by northwest of Pillager. There is no evidence of a house on Enoch’s homesteaded property today.
My 3rd great-grandfather, Enoch Mannin, was one of the 1.6 million individuals[iii] who tamed the western states by homesteading.
I’m not positive why we moved from Hastings to Saint Paul, MN. I know that my mom was working as a nurse’s aide when we lived in Hastings and she was working for another hospital when we lived at the Capital Apartments in Saint Paul. I think she was a nurse’s aide at Gillette State Hospital for Crippled Children, but I’m not positive. My grandmother was working at the time also, but I don’t recall where. I think it might have been a laundry. My mom took a bus to work every day and I believe my grandma walked. The two of them tried to make sure one of them was home whenever I was home.
I don’t remember any great excitement about my first day in school when I began kindergarten at Scheffer Elementary. It was just something that a kid did. I do remember that the school was nearby, maybe three blocks away or so. I also remember it had a huge playground but there was something dark and foreboding about the school building itself. Of course, I walked to school. On most days, I walked with other children from the apartment building I lived in; sometimes I walked with kids from the buildings nearby. I don’t recall ever having a parent walking me to school. I don’t recall school crossing guards or anything like that. Kids just sort of took care of themselves in the mid-1950s.
That winter, somehow, I attracted the attention of a bully named Cynthia. I didn’t do anything to her, but in true bully fashion, she began rubbing my face in the snow whenever she saw me. I was in kindergarten and she was in second or third grade. Much bigger than I was. I grew afraid of Cynthia. She was the bane of my existence. I told my mother and my grandmother about it, but they both worked and neither were about to intercede. They talked with one of the neighbor kids, a fifth grader I think, who agreed to keep an eye out for me and step in if I was getting picked on. I think that worked for a while, but then I was walking somewhere alone and Cynthia spied me. She rubbed my face in the snow again. I came home cold and wet, the tears and melted snow indistinguishable on my face. I had been taught by my mom and grandma to never, never ever, hit a girl. My grandmother told me that this girl, who was acting like a bully and like a boy, needed to be responded to like she was a boy. She gave me permission to smack her. A few days later Cynthia saw me again, knocked me down and began mushing my face into the snow. I round-housed her with a big one in the face. She stopped for an instant, surprised, even shocked, then her face turned to anger. I had really angered her. I think I got the worst “snow mashing” of my life that day. She ground my face into the snow and ice with all her might. The good news is, however, that was the last time she pushed my face in the snow. I saw her many times before spring arrived and the snow piles vanished, but she left me alone after that.
Scheffer Elementry School
Scheffer Elementary was an old, forbidding beast of a school when I attended it in 1955. It was built about 1900 and felt old. It had large windows with a top portion that could be opened to provide ventilation in the summer. But in the winter, the windows were drafty beyond belief. I remember two floors but I don’t remember a top floor containing dormers. Scheffer was built without a gym, as was typical in its day, but did have a large playground outside. That playground was Como Playground, which was the first city playground created in 1903. Before Como Playground, parks were typically public squares and not active places for children. I only attended Scheffer for the one Kindergarten year, so I don’t have many recollections but, looking at photos activated a memory. Scheffer Elementary was demolished in 1970 and replaced by a Scheffer Recreation Center.
Other people recall the school’s bell as being significant. I don’t recall it. The school’s bell has been preserved and is now in the current Scheffer Recreation Center. The center of today has a baseball field, two softball fields, the center building housing indoor facilities.
A Memory Activated – Baking!
While I was researching Scheffer Elementary School I ran across an amazing photo that triggered memories. The photo was a St. Paul Dispatch and Pioneer Press photo from 1950 of kindergarteners at Scheffer Elementary learning about baking bread. I saw the photo and gasped out loud, “Wow! I remember that.” I remember the tall paper chef hats and making bread. Before I saw that photograph, I would not have remembered when or where it happened but I would have remembered having had a very similar experience. It is so fantastic to see the photo. Thank you, Minnesota Historical Society, for allowing the photo to be shared.
The City of Saint Paul is planning and designing a new Scheffer Recreation Center to replace the existing 1970’s building. Yikes! Talk about something making you feel old. Not only has my first school been demolished and replaced, that replacement building is undergoing replacement and should be gone in the next couple years. It is so ironic that the next generation Scheffer Recreation Center, planned for 2018-2019 will have a gymnasium, a walking track, and other sports features that the original school did not have.
Research the Capital Apartments that were behind the Capital during the 1950s.
Internet: Saint Paul // Departments // Parks & Recreation // Design & Construction / Current Projects // Scheffer Recreation Center Project – (see: https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/parks-recreation/design-construction/current-projects/scheffer-recreation-center-project – accessed 23 Jan 2017. Also see CAC Meeting #2 Presentation.
Volunteered at Olive Hill, KY
August 29 1863 by N. B. Lateral
45 Regiment of Ky vol,
[Page 2 of 3 – Left side]
DECLARATION OF RECRUIT.
Enoch Mannin desiring to volunteer
as a Soldier in the Army of the United States, for the term of one year, Do declare,
That I am forty-four years and ___ months of age;
that I have never been discharged from the United States service on account of disability or by sentence of a
courts-martial, or by order before the expiration of a term of enlistment; and I know of no impediment to my
serving honestly and faithfully as a soldier for one year
given at Olive Hill KY
The 29 day of August
Witness: James Gavin
– Enoch Mannin
Volunteered at Olive Hill, KY
August 29 1863 by N. B. Lateral
45 Regiment of Ky vol,
[Page 3 of 3]
STATE OF [EAGLE SEAL] COUNTY OF
I Enoch Mannin born in Bath County
in the State of Kentucky aged Forty Fouryears,
and by occupation, a farmer Do hereby acknowledge to have voluteer-
ed the twenty-ninth day of Aug. 1863, to serve as a
soldier in the army of the united States of America, for the period of
one year, unless sooner discharged by proper authority: Do also agree
to accept such bounty, pay, rations, and clothing, as are, or may be, established by law for
volunteers. And I Enoch Mannin do solemnly swear, that
I will bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America, and that
I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whomsoever;
and that I will observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the
orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the Rules and Articles of War.
Sworn and subscribed to at Olive Hill by
this 29 day of Aug. 1863
Before N B Literal
I CERTIFY, ON HONOR, That I have carefully examined the above named Volunteer, agreeably to
the General Regulations of the Army, and that in my opinion his is free from all bodily defects and mental
infirmity, which would, in any way, disqualify him from performing the duties of a soldier.
I CERTIFY, ON HONOR, That I have minutely inspected the Volunteer Enoch Mannin
previously to his enlistment, and that is was entirely sober when enlisted; that, to the best of my judgement
and belief, he is of lawful age; and that in accepting him as duly qualified to perform the duties of an able-
bodied soldier, I have strictly observed the Regulations which govern the recruiting service. This soldier has
Black eyes, Black hair, dark complexion is 5 feet 6 inches high.
N. B. Literal
45 Regiment Kentucky Volunteers,
It is expedient to research direct line ancestors, so we often neglect siblings of our ancestors, particularly our distant ancestors’ siblings. Often, to gain insight into some of our ancestors, it is helpful to research the friends, associates, and neighbors (FAN) of our ancestors. However, before we spend time with the FANs, we should research the other family members of our ancestors to uncover any potential clues there. Also, such research can uncover FAN relationships we can use elsewhere in our research.
I had reached something of an impasse in my research of Martha (Cannon) Pankey. I knew that Martha had at least seven children, including 2nd great-grandmother Caroline M. A. Pankey, but very little about her life otherwise. To try to understand her life I decided to research one of her daughters, Nancy Branch Pankey.
List of Grandparents
Grandfather: James Dallas Howell
1st Great-grandfather: Peter Fletcher Howell
2nd Great grandmother: Caroline M. A. Pankey
Sister of Caroline M. A. Pankey: Nancy Birch Pankey
Nancy Branch Pankey (1796-1865)
Birth records are notoriously difficult to find that prove the birth date of an individual and Nancy is no different. The 1860 Census indicates that she (Nana) is 63 years old, suggesting a birthdate between 2 June 1796 and 1 June 1797.[i] However, the 1850 Census indicates she (Nancy B) is 56 years old, suggesting a birthdate between 2 June 1793 and 1 June 1794.[ii] The Virginia Deaths and Burial Index indicates a birth year of 1796. FHL film 31989 should show the basis of the index entry and I should order it to confirm the date suggested. I prefer 1796 as her birthdate both because of the deaths index and because there are more days between June 2nd and December 31st than from January 1st to June 1st. She was the second known daughter of Thomas Armstrong Pankey and Martha Cannon.
We know nothing of Nancy’s childhood. She was the second child of seven children. She grew up during the challenging period between the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
She married Edward Pankey on 13 Jan 1818 in Cumberland County, Virginia.[iii] That would have made her 22 years-old when she married the 31 years-old Edward. Whenever I see a marriage wherein two people have the same surname I always wonder about other possible relationships, particularly when the name is uncommon and the population pool is small — Could Edward and Nancy have been cousins? With a surname middle name (Branch), could she have married a Pankey previously and be on a second marriage? Maybe other records will shed light onto this family.
Edward and Nancy Branch Pankey had ten children. They were:
Martha Ann (c. 1819 – 1896)
Keziah Quinley (1822 – 1861)
John Thomas (c. 1823 – 1851)
James Edward (1826 – 1897)
Elizabeth (c. 1829 – ?)
Nancy Jane (c. 1831 – 1898)
Sarah Francis (c. 1834 – 1861)
Peter Perino (c. 1836 – 1915)
Stephen Lafayette (1836 – 1886)
William Calhoun (c. 1839 – c. 1892)
The 1850 Census finds the family in Henry County, Virginia. Although the 1850 census does not show relationships between individuals in a household, it does show who was living in the household. It shows seven of Edward and Nancy’s children, John, Elizabeth, Nancy, Sarah, Stephen, Peter, and William, living with them in 1850.
The 1860 Census finds the Pankey family remarkably intact. Still in Henry County, Virginia, with Edward and Nana (Nancy) are five of the children; Elizabeth, Jane, Stephen, Peter, and William. I think that Sarah is also with them. There is a Sarah Griffith in the household with two children. That Sarah is the right age to be Edward and Nancy’s daughter, but I’d like to confirm the relationship.
Nancy Branch (Pankey) Pankey died between 19 Nov 1865 and 6 December 1865 in Irisburg, Henry County, Virginia.[iv] She is buried in the Pankey Cemetery in Irisburg, VA.[v]
As I continue to investigate the Pankey family of the late 1700s to the mid-1800s Virginia, surely other interesting items will arise.
Further Actions / Follow-up
Continue investigating the Pankey family of the late-1700s thru the mid-1800s in Virginia.
Order FHL film #31989. Review/confirm data regarding Nancy Branch Pankey Pankey’s death.
I often see articles and blogs that remind readers to write about their own life. Something that several suggest is to write about schools that you have attended. Most people have a few schools, but I have 15 schools that I have attended. It is more of a book rather than an article or two. Looking back, I have attended seven elementary schools, one junior high school, three high schools, and four colleges. So, I thought I’d examine the school’s history and see what I can remember of my attending.
1955 – Scheffer Elementary, St. Paul, MN– Kindergarten.
1966 – Billings Senior High, Billings, MT – part of 10th grade.
1967 – Mumford High, Detroit, MI – part of 11th grade?
1968 – Graduated from Osseo High School
1974 – Chapman University, Orange, California (Navy PACE)
1976 – Chaminade University, Honolulu, Hawaii (Navy PACE)
1981 – Anoka Ramsey Community College, Coon Rapids, MN
1984 – Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN
For each of the schools I attended, I plan to look at the school’s history and see what memories I can jog loose about me and my attending that school. My guess is that most of the elementary schools that I attended are now gone.
————- Disclaimer ————-
 If you had asked me before, I would have said I attended Schaeffer Elementary. Researching for this article I learned it was Scheffer Elementary. I double checked my DD Form 398 – Statement of Personal History. I indicated Schaeffer on mine when I completed it in 1968. Also, the form only included spaces for five schools; I had to continue on another page.
 I will need to look closer at this school. For some reason. I think I went to Central High in Billings but a quick Internet search indicated that would be a Catholic school. I am sure I attended a public school when living in Billings.