William Freeman – Patriot

Sometimes I’m reminded that when I’m away from home, I need to be extra careful to document my work so as to be able to cite my sources properly.  Sadly I can’t do that with today’s treasure.

Back in March of 2013, I went to the Family History Center in Powder Springs, GA.  While there I found some fascinating things and I failed to document where I got them. One of the most interesting items was a letter to Mrs. E. B. Freeman, in response to a letter from her. I don’t know if the reply came from NARA, the War Department, or where but was signed by A. D. Hiller, Assistant to Administrator.  Anyway, it provides details about William Freeman, a Revolutionary War patriot, his service and his family. As such it is a treasure to have found.  I only wish I had properly documented my source for the document.


WASHINGTON               October 5, 1931

Mrs. E. B. Freeman
826 Bellevue Avenue
Dublin, Georgia

Dear Madam:

Reference is made to your letter of September 19th, relative to William Freeman, a soldier of the Revolution.

The data furnished herein are obtained from papers on file in the Revolutionary War pension claim, W. 10042, based on the military service of William Freeman.

He was born October 26, 1759, in Bertie County, North Carolina.

While a resident of Bertie or Martin Co., he enlisted and served as private with the North Carolina troops as follows: in 1776, three months in Captain Andrew Oliver’s Company in Colonel Hogun’s Regiment; from July 20, 1778, nine months in Captain Child’s Company in Colonel Hart’s Regiment; in 1781, three months in Captain Taylor’s Company in Colonel Eaton’s Regiment and was in the battles of Guilford and Camden.

He was allowed pension on his application executed July 23, 1832, at which time he was a resident of Burke County, North Carolina.

He died January 27 or 28, 1838, in Greene County, Missouri, where he had moved in 1835.

While a resident of Martin County, North Carolina, William Freeman married in that county about 1786 Mary Bryan, the daughter of Robert Bryan.

Said Mary died November 5, 1845.

————— Page 2 ———————

In 1850 reference was made to the following children of William and Mary Freeman:

Reddick Freeman, aged about fifty-six years and a resident of Caldwell County, North Carolina.

John Freeman, aged fifty-four years.

Larry, aged about fifty-two years and resident of Owen County, Indiana

Lemuel H. Freeman, Aged forty-nine years.

Elizabeth and James (Twins) aged about forty-seven years; she was wife of Isaac Smith and a resident of Caldwell County, North Carolina, and he, James Freeman, was resident of Owen County, Indiana.

Nancy, aged about forty-five years and the wife of Greene Austin.

Frances, aged about forty-one years and the wife of Jacob Painter.

Rachel, the daughter of William and Mary Freeman, married John Austin and they had a daughter, Asenath.

        Very truly yours,

A. D. Hiller

                             Assistant to Administrator


William Freeman was the son-in-law of my wife’s fifth-great-grandfather Robert Bryan. (Husband of my wife’s fourth-great-grand-aunt.)

My First Grade – Emerson Elementary

My Life
Those Places Thursday

By Don Taylor

Westminster Presbyterian Church – I lived in the apartment building to the right of the church.

We must have moved back to Minneapolis during the summer of 1956 because I don’t remember changing schools during the school year that year.  We lived at 1221-½ Nicollet. It was an old hotel, right next door to Westminster Presbyterian Church, that had been converted to apartments. It had fire escapes on the front of the building that was really cool at the time. Once we popped popcorn and went out on the fire escape to watch the Aquatennial Parade go by. It turned about a half a block away (on 12th Street) but we could see it just fine from our perch on the 3rd floor.  My mother told me that we lived in the same building a couple years earlier, but I don’t remember that.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary, Minneapolis, MN – Photo from “Minneapolis Public Schools History”

I attended Emerson School, named after Frank Waldo Emerson, about four blocks away. I remember walking to school with a girl. I think we were the same age and just watched out for each other. On the walk to school, we crossed Nicollet Ave, one of the busiest streets in the city in those days. We only lived there for a couple months, as I recall. Then we moved to a place on Spruce Place, only about a block from the school.

Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School was originally erected in 1886. It was demolished and a new building was erected in 1925. An addition was added in 1926.[i]

A 1963 study indicated that the school attendance had 663 students in 1952 and only 223 students in 1963. The decline was mostly due to infrastructure changes in the neighborhood, particularly the building of Interstate 94 through the city. (I-94 runs 4 blocks to the west and 2 blocks to the south of the school.) Additionally, the report cites change of land use in the area.[ii]  I had seen the shift over the years too.  The apartment I lived in on Nicollet Avenue was demolished and made into a parking lot in the late 1950s. Likewise, the building we lived in on Spruce Place was torn down and a wing to Eitel Hospital was built.

The school was smaller than I remember.  That same 1963 study indicates the school had 7 classrooms plus a Kindergarten as well as four special education rooms and one special use room for use by K-6.  I guess things just seem so much larger when you are only six-years-old.

My Soup Disaster

One of my most traumatic school events ever happened at lunch at Emerson.  I, like most kids in those days, brought my lunch. I had a new thermos and it was filled with my favorite soup – Chicken Noodle. I poured out about half of it and it was all broth, and that was okay. Then I poured out the second half of it and it too was all broth.  I couldn’t get the noodles to come out of the thermos. I was frustrated and cried a bit. Why wouldn’t the thermos release the best part of my “Chicken Snoodle Snoop.” Finally, a teacher came over to me and was successful in getting the thermos to release the noodles. I only brought tomato soup after that.

What happened to School

I am surprised to learn that the school building is still there, 91 years later. Today it is “The Emerson Spanish Immersion Learning Center.” It provides a language immersion program for native English and native Spanish speaking students serving students Pre-K – 5th grade. Students learn to read and write in both languages.[iii]

 


Endnotes

[i] Minneapolis Public School History – Schools & Facilities – K-8 – Emerson http://mpshistory.mpls.k12.mn.us/emerson 

[ii] Minneapolis Public School History – Emerson – Planning for the Future – http://mpshistory.mpls.k12.mn.us/uploads/pff-1963-emerson.pdf

[iii] Internet:  Emerson Spanish Immersion Learning Center Bienvenidos/Welcome page. http://emerson.mpls.k12.mn.us/

Scheffer Elementary School, Saint Paul, Minnesota

 My Life, My History, My Schools
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor circa 1955.
“Donnie” (Larson) Taylor  circa 1955

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.

My Memories

Photo of Sylvia Larson (later Matson) in nurse's uniform - circa 1955
Sylvia Larson (later Matson) in nurse’s uniform – circa 1955

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

Photo of Scheffer Elementary School - Saint Paul, MN
Scheffer Elementary School – Saint Paul, MN

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!

Photo of Kiindergarteners learning bread baking, Scheffer Elementary - c. 1950
Learning to bake bread at Scheffer Elementary

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 Future

Plan for next generation recreation center.

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.

Further Research

Research the Capital Apartments that were behind the Capital during the 1950s. 

Sources

  • 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
  • Internet: Saint Paul HistoricalKindergarten children baking bread at Scheffer School – ID: 433. – Date: 1950 – Image courtesy Minnesota Historical Society.
  • Internet: Saint Paul HistoricalScheffer School – ID: 431 – Date: c. 1900 – Image courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society.
  • Photos of “Donnie” and “Sylvia” are from the “Don Taylor personal photos collection.” Photographer unknown.

 

Schools I’ve Attended

Those Places Thursday
My History

By Don Taylor

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[1], St. Paul, MN– Kindergarten.
  • 1956 – Emerson Elementary, Minneapolis, MN – 1st grade.
  • 1957 – Cambridge Elementary, Cambridge, MN – 2nd grade.
  • 1957 – Franklin Elementary, Anoka, MN – 2nd grade.
  • 1958 – Parkview Elementary, Fridley, MN – 3rd, 4th, & 5th grades.
  • 1960 – Spring Lake Park Elementary, Spring Lake Park, MN – 5th & 6th grades.
  • 1961 – Elizabeth Hall Elementary, Minneapolis, MN 6th grade.
  • 1962 – Jordan Junior High School, Minneapolis, MN 7th, 8th, & 9th grades.
  • 1965 – Osse0 High, Osseo, MN – 10th, 11th, & 12th grades.
  1. 1966 – Billings Senior High, Billings, MT – part of 10th grade.[2]
  2. 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 ————-

 

ENDNOTES

[1] 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.

[2] 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.

Ancestry Hints and Timothy Munsell

Darling Research
Treasure Chest Thursday

Email saying I have 7 new hints on Darling-HuberI love those Ancestry hints.  I received another message that I had hints in my Darling-Huber research. This time regarding my wife’s 4th great-grandfather, Timothy Munsell.  Because it was a direct ancestor, I jumped at the chance to investigate and see what they had. (See Three approaches to Ancestry Hints for why.)

1790 Census

Because of the 1790 Census,

1790 Census Timothy Munsell - 1 3-2
1790 Census
Timothy Munsell

Timothy Munsell  – 1  3  2

Free White Persons – Males – 16 and over: 1
Free White Persons – Males – Under 16:  3
Free White Persons – Females: 2

I was fairly sure that:

The one male 16 and over was clearly Timothy.

I was fairly certain the two females identified were his wife, Eleshiba, and his 10-year-old daughter Sally Ann.

That left three males under 16 (born between 1773 and 1790) that I didn’t know who they were. I had entered them into my system as sundry relations, “unknown” with a note they were possibly sons of Timothy Munsell.

Timothy and Eleshiba had another son that I knew about, William, but he was born in January of 1770 and thus would have been 20 during 1790 census. I just figured he wasn’t at home any longer.

Ancestry Hint

The Ancestry Hint brought me to “Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) – Lyme Vital Records 1667-1852” – Pages 172 and 173 provided names and birthdates for the children:

All entries are per Vol 1, Page 150 – Items bolded were new bits of information for me.

Anna, d. Timothy & Elishaba, b. Sept 7, 1775; d. June 18, 1777
James, s. Timothy & Elishabe, b. June 28, 1773
John Andross, s. Timothy & Elishaba, b. July 9, 1781
Sally Ann, d. Timothy & Elishabe, b. Oct 23, 1784
Timothy, s. Timothy & Elishabe, b. Apr/ 16, 1778
William, s. Timothy & Elishaba. b. Jan 24, 1770, at New London

So, I learned the names and birthdates of the three previously unknown children and confirmed they were the children of Timothy and Elishabe. I also learned of a sixth child, Anna, that died when only two years old.

One more thing, I also learned that Timothy’s parents were John and Mary (I knew his father was John before this). And now know he was born Nov. 24, 1745. (Before, I had he was born “before 1752.”

Timothy, s. John & Mary, b. Nov. 24, 1745            L-6      156

Treasure Chest This Ancestry hint provided new information; it confirmed other information regarding a direct ancestor, and it identified two new ancestors. That is what I cal a real genealogical Treasure Chest.

Follow-up Actions

Get copies of registration pages and not rely upon printed transcription in the book.

———- DISCLAIMER ———-

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