Donna in Fort Collins, CO at the Empress Theatre – November 20, 1919

Donna in Fort Collins, CO at the Empress Theatre – November 20, 1919
Once again, I would like to thank the wonderful folks at the History Colorado Center.  They were able to do a lookup for me that proves that the “Chin Chin” show was in Fort Collins on November 20th, 1919. So, I was able to backfill another date for Donna and the “Chin Chin” show during November 1919.

It appears that the hype for the show began on 16 November with an announcement in the Fort Collins Express, which said:

TO THE GENERAL PUBLICFOR THE FIRST TIME IN TEN OR MORE YEARS CHARLES DILLINGHAM OF THE NEW YORK HIPPODROME GLOBE THEATRE PRODUCER OF “JACK O’ LANTERN” WITH FRED STONE “THE CANARY”with JULIA SANDERSON and JOE CAWTHORN “HIP HIP HOORAY” “EVERYTHING” ETC., ETC., ETC. FAVORS OUR CITY AGAIN WITH ONE OF HIS RICH AND GIGANTIC PRODUCTiONS.
—–
IT IS THEREFORE WITH A GREAT DEAL OF PLEASURE AND IN FACT PRIDE THAT I ANNOUNCE THE COMING OF HIS GREATEST MUSICAL COMEDY SUCESS

“CHIN CHIN” 
with WALTER WILLS and ROY BINDER IN THE LEAD A COMPANY OF 65 FORTY GIRLS 35 MEN BACK OF SCENESAND THE FAMOUS CLOWN SAXOPHONE BAND

“Chin Chin” ad – Fort Collins Express – 20 Nov 1919  

M.  C. GERHART

Empress Theatre

One Night Only 

Thursday November …. 20TH
————-
That announcement was followed with typical “Chin Chin” display ads on the 19th and the 20th. They were unable to find anything else about the show, but I did find Herbert Lloyd’s Vaudeville Guide (1919 edition), which much information regarding the venue.

The Empress Theatre

Empress Theater – late 1920s
Courtesy: Fort Collins History Connection
The theatre was built in 1907 as the Orpheum Theater and was located at 161 North College, Fort Collins, Colorado. It changed name to the Empress Theater during an ownership change in 1914.The new owners, G. W. Thompson and H. F. Beier, intended the theater to play only the best road shows. Because women and children formed a large part of the patronage the theater provided for baby carriages and offered no offensive shows. 
The theater’s seating capacity was 799; it had a small proscenium, only 27 feet wide, which framed a 28 foot deep stage. 
10 years before Donna played, performers looked
out at the, then Orpheum, audience. 
It is unclear when the theater began silent movies, probably before “Chin Chin” played there.  In 1920, it showed a locally filmed movie, “The Girl From Fort Collins.”  In 1929 it entered the era of talkies and ran “the Jazz Singer.” 

Today
The building appears to have been completely renovated.  For many years it was a barbecue restaurant known as  Nordy’s BBQ.  Today it is Hodi’s Half Note.  

Sources:
Fort Collins Express – November 16, 1919. Page 8, via History Colorado Center.
Fort Collins Express – November 18, 1919. Page 8, via History Colorado Center.
Fort Collins Express – November 20, 1919. Page 8, via History Colorado Center.

Fort Collins History Connection – Fort Collins Timeline 1919.
Fort Collins History Connection – Fort Collins Timeline 1920.
Herbert Lloyd’s Vaudeville Trails Through the West, Page 87 – Archive.Org
Building Colorado Story by Story: The Sanborn Fire Insurance Map Collection.
   Sanborn Insurance Maps  Fort Collins March 1906 – No Theatre Present.
   Sanborn Insurance Maps  Fort Collins March 1909 – Orpheum Theater.
   Sanborn Insurance Maps  Fort Collins March 1917 – Empress Theater.

Bio – Cecelia Squires Severson Brown (1901-2003)

Happy Birthday Cecelia

Today is the 112th anniversary of the birth of Cecelia Squires Severson Brown, my step-grandmother. 
Cecelia Squires Severson Brown
abt 1975
Cecelia was born on 19 November 1901 in Faribault, Minnesota to Guy Bedford Squires and Dollah Wakeman Squires. She was the oldest of seven children having five brothers and one sister. 
When Cecelia was about seven, the family moved to Kidder County, North Dakota, which is where she grew up. The Severson’s lived in Crystal Springs while the Browns also lived in Kidder county, however the Browns lived in Robinson and Merkle which are about forty miles away.  It is unknown if they knew each other at that time. 
About 1922, Cecelia married Henry Severson and they relocated to Staples, Todd County, Minnesota, where their first child, a boy, was born. Over the next 12 years they would have four more children, two boys and two girls for a total of five children.
I assume that Cecelia’s first husband, Henry J. Severson died, he was seventeen years Cecelia’s senior. In any event, on March 8th, 1975, she married Richard Earl Brown (Grandpa Dick)  They lived in her house in Motley until his death in January, 1990. Cecelia lived nearly fourteen more years dying on 21 December 2003, at the age of 102.  She is buried in the Motley Cemetery, in Todd county, just outside of Motley (Morrison county) Minnesota. 

My recollection of Cecelia was that she was very religious and very much a church goer and supporter. 

Sources
Ancestry.Com 

Social Security Death Index
1910 Census
1920 Census
1930 Census
1940 Census
U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 1

Find a Grave – Memorial #55427715


Happy Birthday John Parsons – Born 18 November 1764

John Parsons and my guilty diversion 

How I do research.

One of my regular activities is to try to remember my ancestors on their birthday.  I look at a calendar I prepared of the key dates for direct ancestors and saw that my fifth-great-grandfather, John Parsons, would be 249 years old today, if he were still living.  I didn’t even know his name until a few weeks ago, so I thought I’d do a “deep dive” into his history before his birthday. My, oh my, it is so easy to be diverted from your intentions. I know I shouldn’t get side-tracked in my research, but I did and I am glad I did in this case.  As usual I started with Ancestry.com.  I research there thoroughly, census, city directories, pretty much anything they have except for other people trees (a “shallow dive”).  Afterwards, I branch out  in my research and use the internet. I next use Family Search, the other services I subscribe to such as Genealogy Bank and Archives.Com. As I fill in more and more details about an individual I then use the several hundred other web sites I have bookmarked as appropriate.  I also order books and microfilm as I need it.  It is process for me that I call “a deep dive.”

My Starting Point

I first learned of John because he was identified in History of Washtenaw County. (A free download via Google Books.) 
He was Chester Parson’s father.
1801 – Moved from Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
1802 – Moved to Windham, Greene County, New York, in the Spring of 1802.
1813 – Died in Greene County, New York.
Of course I immediately wanted to know where he was born. Chester has been born in 1799 in Sandisfield, Mass and his parents moved to New York with him in 1802.  Sandisfield, Mass. seemed a likely place. But, could I confirm that. 
A search on Ancestry yielded someone’s tree where they cited a Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) case file.  Way cool. I try not to accept trees submitted by individuals to Ancestry, but I do like to use their references and other information as a research idea to follow them in their sources.  I generally accept DAR files as fairly accurate.  They generally know what they are doing and are really good about not accepting poor research.  
2nd Connecticut Regiment Flag
Courtesy of Flags of the World 
I checked the DAR site and found a case where an application — Nat’l # 445593 – Ancestor # A088240 — had been submitted that went through Chester and John Parsons.  It then went on to John’s father, John Parsons, who was a lieutenant in the Revolutionary War serving in Capt. Samuel Wolcott, 10th Co., 1st Berkshire Cnty Regt of MA Militia.  It also indicated that John Jr. was born 18 Nov 1764 at Windham, NY.  Humm — odd for someone to be born in NY, somehow move to Sandisfield, then back to Windham.  
Further searching on Ancestry.com yielded a list of individuals born in Sandisfield, Mass., which included John born Nov 18th 1764 of Lieut. John & Hannah Parsons. The conflict was obvious.  According to the list, John and his siblings as well as John’s first five children were all born in Sandisfield.  Further Search of found a handwritten ledger of “Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988” which listed John Parsons Jr. 
I transcribed the information there with some difficulty. After transcribing the information I search some more and found the exact same data transcribed by someone else.  I learned to be sure to look for transcriptions of handwritten documents before I transcribe it myself.  Instead, I should have compared the transcription with the original document and see if I agreed with the transcription.  In this case, everything was as I had thought so I accepted the transcription.  
I then found a second handwritten document from Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records on Ancestry that showed the same information only kind of backwards. Really difficult to read, but it appeared to have information consistent with the other handwritten ledger entries.
Further searching found that John’s wife’s father also fought in the Revolutionary War.  One of the references to Samuel indicated there was a book about the Wolcott family. I found it on Google Books; it yielded a total of 79 new direct ancestors and their siblings.  (More on them in future blogs.)
In my research, the death of John Parsons is unclear. History of Washtenaw County, on page 1405, clearly states, “John and Mary Parsons, removed to Green Co., N.Y. in the Spring of 1802, where the former died in 1813, but the latter resided there til 1826.”  The DAR Database indicates that John Parsons died at Saline, MI on 7 April 1813. Further searching on Find a Grave yielded an entry, but not a marker photo (Memorial #118318770) indicating he is buried in Green County, I was unable to find a Find a Grave entry in Washtenaw that might be him..
Further searching found that John’s wife’s father also fought in the Revolutionary War. Samuel Wolcott – Yes John’s father, Lt. John Parsons fought under his wife’s father, Capt. Samuel Wolcott.  One of the references to Samuel indicated there was a book about the Wolcott family. I found it on Google Books, Wolcott genealogy: the family of Henry Wolcott, one of the first settlers of Windsor, Connecticut; it yielded 79 new direct ancestors and their siblings. More on them in a later postings. 
Although I didn’t find out a lot about John Parsons, Jr.’s life, yet, investigating him opened up research into many more ancestors. I’ll have to get back to a deep dive on John junior next year.  Hopefully I will be able to clear up the conflicting information I have.  What I know now:

John Parsons (Jr.)

John Parsons was the third child of John & Hannah Parsons (Sr) and was born on 18 Nov 1764 in Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Mass. (See 1 below.)  He was the oldest of the five boys and he had four sisters, two older and two younger.
John married Mary Wilcott (date unknown) and lived in Sandisfield, Berkshire county, Mass. then, in 1802, moved to Windham, Green County, New York. (See 2 below.)
John and Mary had five children;
Samuel, Polly, Orrin, John, and Chester Parsons, 
John Parsons died Apr. 7, 1813.
He may be buried in Section 1, Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Ashland, Greene County, New York. “Inscription indicates he died at age.”

Conflicts

Some sources indicate Green County, New York .
Some sources indicate Saline, Washtenaw county, Michigan. 

Sources:  

Ancestry.Com – Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988.
Daughters of the American Revolution, “Ancestor Search” – Parsons, John – Patriot: A088240 – Member: Ruth Evelyn Hill Carr Nat’l #: 445593.
Google Books – History of Washtenaw County, Michigan:  Together with Sketches of Its Cities, Villages and Townships – Page 1405, et al.
Find-a-Grave Memorial 118318770

Veterans Day – 11/11/2013 – The Browns & Others

Veterans Day – 11/11/2013 – The Browns & Others

The Civil War had a dreadful impact upon the Brown and Mannin families.  Enoch Mannin, a Kentucky native, fought for the North as did his son John William Manning,  Other of Enoch’s sons fought for the South making the Civil War one truly of brother fighting brother. 

Enoch Mannin (1823-1971) – Civil War (Union) – Third-Great Grandfather.

US Flag (35 Stars) during Civil War.
Enoch enrolled as a Private in Company E, 40th Regiment, Kentucky Mounted Infantry at Grayson, Kentucky, on 29 August 1863 for one year.  He had black eyes, black hair, a dark complexion and 5′ 6″ tall. 
His military record indicates that he was captured by Morgan in May/June 1864. Not sure yet when he was released, but he was discharged when his regiment mustered out of service on 29 December, 1864 at Leattettsburg, KY. 
The 40th Regiment had the following actions:

Scout duty in north central Kentucky until December 1863. 
Actions at Mt. Sterling December 3 and 10, 1863. 
Scouting in eastern Kentucky until May 1864. 
Near Paintsville, Ky., April 14, 1864. 
Operations against Morgan May 31-June 20. 
Mt. Sterling June 9. Cynthiana June 12. 
Duty in eastern Kentucky until September. 
Near New Haven August 2 (Company C). 
Canton and Roaring Springs August 22. 
Burbridge’s Expedition into southwest Virginia September 10-October 17.
Action at Saltville, Va., October 2. 
Duty in eastern Kentucky until December 1864.

Enoch Mannin died on 7 April, 1907. He is buried in Bridgeman Cemetery, Cass County, Minnesota. Please consider leaving virtual flowers and a note on his Find-a-Grave virtual marker.  
– – – – – – – – – – – – –

John William Mannin (aka John William Manning) (1846-1888) – Civil War (Union) – 3rd-Great Grandfather.

US Flag (35 Stars) during Civil War.
John William Mannin (later Manning) enlisted 29 Aug 1863 at Olive Hill, Carter, Kentucky, USA into the 45th Regiment, Kentucky Mounted Infantry at the age of 17. His father, Enoch Mannin, gave his consent to enlist. John William was taller than his father, 5’ 9” tall.  He had blue Eyes, light hair, and a fair complexion. In September mustered into the 40th Infantry Regiment, Kentucky like his father was also in Company E. Like his father, he was captured by Morgan in May/June 1863.  He mustered out on 30 December, 1864 at Catlettsburg, Boyd County, Kentucky.
John William Manning died 25 April, 1888. We do not know where he was buried.


– – – – – – – – – – – – –
Henry Brown (aka William Henry Brown)  (1845-unk) – Civil War (Union) – 2nd-Great Grandfather.
Michigan State Flag
Henry Brown Enlisted as a private into the Union.  It is likely that he is the William Henry Brown that enlisted into 4th Regiment, Michigan Cavalry.  
Of a total force of 2,217 men, 3 officers and 48 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded in battle, and 2 officers and 341 enlisted men perished from disease for a total loss of almost 1 in 5 (18%) dying during the war.
The 4th Michigan Cavalry was involved in the capture of Macon, Georgia, on April 20, 1865, Subsequently, a detachment of the regiment participated in the pursuit and capture of Jefferson Davis at Irwinville, Georgia, on May 10. 
The 4th was assigned to routine duty at Macon and then at Nashville, Tennessee, until the end of June. The regiment mustered out on July 1, 1865.
William Henry Brown’s death and burial location are unknown, however, he is believed to be buried in North Dakota.
– – – – – – – – – – – – –
Richard Earl Brown (aka Clifford Brown) (aka Richard Earl Durand) (1903-1990) – No War (Army) – Grandfather.
Shoulder insignia for
the 193rd Infantry
Brigade the largest
force in Panama in the
1930s. 
Little is known about Richard Earl’s military service.  We are unsure which name he used in the military and when he actually went in.  We are fairly certain that he served more than six months but did not serve during any declared war.  We know from oral history that he served in the Army and was in Panama when Donna was in Panama sometime before 1932. 
Searches for his military records have not been successful.  
“Dick” is buried at Gull River Cemetery, Cass County, Minnesota. 
Please consider leaving virtual flowers and a note on his Find-a-Grave virtual marker.  


– – – – – – – – – – – – –

The Steps

Although not related directly to me, my “steps” are of interest to my half siblings and my mother’s half brother’s family.
They include two veterans  for whom I have some information.


– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Samson Clark Amsterdam (1898-1979) – World War I and World War II – Step Grandfather.

Sammy is the only individual I have found so far that served in two wars.  
On 21 November, 1917, he enlisted in the Army in Brooklyn, New York.  We know he served at 
Aberdeen Proving Ground, Harford, Maryland and was discharged from there on 23 May, 1919.
On 17 October, 1942, he enlisted in the Army at Lubbock, Texas. He is described as having brown eyes, black hair, a ruddy complexion, and 5 feet two inches tall. 
In August of 1943 he was promoted to sergeant and discharged on 4 November 1944 with the Army speciality of “Entertainment Director.”
Sammy died 16 April, 1979, and is buried at Riverside Cemetery, Macon, Bibb County, 
Georgia.
Please consider leaving virtual flowers and a note on his Find-a-Grave Memorial.  Also, request a photo of his Marker.


– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Edgar Jerome Matson (aka “Bud”) (1925-2003) – World War II – Step-Father

World War II
Recruiting Poster
“Budger” enlisted in the Army on 23 March, 1944. His Serial Number was 37590415. He was reenlisted on 1 Nov 1946 while a Private First Class. He was promoted to SGT US Army prior to his honorable discharge on 2 February 1949.
He died 12 November, 2003 and is buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota.

Please visit his memorial on Find a Grave and consider leaving virtual flowers and a note on his Find-a-Grave Memorial.


Veterans Day – 11/11/2013 – Howells & Darlings

Veterans Day – 11/11/2013 – The Howells & Darlings

General Frank Alton Armstrong
Official USAF Photo
The Howell/Hobbs line has had many in the military.  Certainly, the most famous of them is Greybeard’s 1st cousin, Frank Alton Armstrong. During World War II, Col. Armstrong led bombing missions over Germany, which were the basis for a book, movie, and a TV program, “Twelve O’Clock High.” After VE day, he flew many additional missions over Japan. After the war, General Armstrong pioneered a nonstop air routes from Alaska to Norway and Alaska to New York. 
In terms of direct ancestors in the Howell/Hobbs line has three veterans that I have identified so far.

Robert Bryan (1736-1794) – Revolutionary War – 5th Great Grandfather.
James Ashley Hobbs (1844-1920) – Civil War (South) – Great-Grandfather.
Peter Fletcher Howell (1842-1924) – Civil War (South) – Great Grandfather

Robert Bryan (1736-1794) – Revolutionary War – 5th Great Grandfather.

North Carolina
“Don’t Tread on Me” Flag
“Robert Bryan … assisted in establishing American Independence, while acting in the capacity of Private, N.C. Militia. Several Ladies have DAR Numbers for him. Per – Sara Long Johnson)
Robert Bryan died 3 April 1784. We do not know his burial location. 

DAR Ancestor #A016279

Sources: Martin County Heritage – [Biography] 89 – John Bryan Family by Sara Long Johnson.
Daughters of the American Revolution: Member # 517846 – Ancestor # A016279


– – – – – – – – – – – – –

David Swazey (1762-1828) – Revolutionary War – Fourth Great Grandfather.

Fort Mercer (New Jersey)
Revolutionary War Flag
David Swazey of Sussex fought in the Revolutionary War. His service was as a private under various Captains including McKinney, Hazelet, Henry, Bonnel, and Captain Ribble.  His pension number is S*W6111

David Swayze died on 2 March 1838. He is buried in
New Salem Methodist Episcopal Cemetery, Salem, Perry County, Ohio (Plot: Old Section Row 8 ( Ruth ) / 15th stone from tree line.) 

DAR Ancestor #: A111692
Please consider leaving virtual flowers and a note on his Find-a-Grave virtual marker.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – 

James Ashley Hobbs (1844-1920) – Civil War (South) – Great-Grandfather.

North Carolina Civil War Flag
James A. Hobbs enlisted, for the Civil War in Co. G 3rd Reg. N.C. Calvalry (12-1-1862) (41st State Troops) at Camp Badger as a Pvt., age 20, residing in Martin County. Present or accounted for until transferred to Co. A, 17th Reg, NCT (2nd organization) 9-23-1863.
Pvt. James Hobbs with the 17th NCT, whose home was Hamilton, NC was admitted to Hospital No 4, Wilmington, NC, on 12-6-1863; retd to duty 2-9-64. He was admitted for catarrtius, which is an inflammation of the nose or throat.  It must have been really bad to keep him hospitalized for two months. He was in Ward 8, bed 162.

Scene from Wilmington, NC Hospital
Courtesy of Hanover Genelogical Society 

Applied for clothing 2nd quarter 184, issued 6-21-64. Present or accounted for through 10-1864. Sept-Oct absent. Division Provost guard service. Pt. J.A. Hobbs appeared on “Roll of Honor” of his organization. (Resolutions ratified by General Assenbkt 12-20-1862)

COMPANY G, the “Scotland Neck Mounted Riflemen,” from Halifax County, had six commissioned, seven noncommissioned officers, and 108 privates; total, 121. Atherton B. Hill, who was made Captain 9 October, 1861, was succeeded by Benj. G. Smith promoted from Second Sergeant. First Lieutenant, Norfleet Smith; Second Lieutenants, George A. Higgs (afterwards promoted to Captain), Theodore B. Hyman, and John T. Savage.

James Ashley Hobbs died in December 1920. We do not know where he was buried.

Source:  Martin County Heritage – (Biography) 418 – James Ashley Hobbs by Hazel Armstrong Valentine.
– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Peter Fletcher Howell (1842-1924) – Civil War – Great Grandfather

Flag of Lee’s Army of
Northern Virginia
1861 – Peter Fletcher Howell enlisted on 23 October at the Sussex Court House in Virginia.
1862 – In May he was promoted to full 4th Sergeant.
1862 – In August he was Transferred to Company G. Virginia 61st Infantry Regiment.
1862 – In July he was promoted to full 2nd Sergeant.
1864 – In July he fought at “The Crater” where Sargent Peter Howell  captured the regimental flag of the 2nd Michigan Regiment.  He was with Mahone’s regiment and his participation at “The Crater” confirms oral history that he probably did participate in a “turkey shoot” of US troops.
1865 – In Feb he was promoted to full 1st Sergeant. 
1865 – He mustered out on April 9th at Appomattox, VA.

Peter Fletcher Howell died on 27 October 1924.  He is buried in Cedarwood Cemetery, Weldon, Halifax County, North Carolina, USA. Please consider leaving virtual flowers and a note on his Find-a-Grave virtual marker.  

Sources: Ancestry.Com — Historical Data Systems, comp.. U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2009.

Original data: Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA from the following list of works.

The Daily Dispatch: August 3, 1864., via Perseus system at Tufts University.

Find a Grave entry for Sgt Peter F Howell http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=62752874

Robert Harry Darling (1907-1969) – World War II – Maternal Grandfather


US Navy Flag
Robert Harry Darling, aka Harry, served in the US Navy during World War II.  Little is known about his service as many records of service were lost in a fire.  We do know enlisted in the Navy on 23 November, 1943, in Salt Lake City, Utah, when he was 36 years old for two years.  He served at the Navel Training Center, San Diego and the US Naval Hospital in San Diego, CA. 
Oddly enough, he was honorably discharged on 08 Sep 1944, less than a year into his enlistment as a Seaman 2nd Class. (So, he received one promotion.) 
Robert Harry Darling died on 22 January 1969.  He is buried in Cadillac Memorial Gardens-East, Clinton Township, Macomb County, Michigan, USA.

Please consider leaving virtual flowers and a note on his Find-a-Grave virtual marker.   

Source: Find-a-Grave marker for Robert Harry Darling http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=87669415