Peter McAllister (1852-1941)

52 Ancestors #5 – Peter McAllister (1852-1941)
PETER MCALLISTER was born on 12 Feb 1852 in Workington, Cumberland, England. He died in 1941 (The death index indicates he passed in Jan/Feb/Mar of 1941) in Cockermouth, Cumbria, England. He married (1) MARGARET MARY LAMB, daughter of Edward and Jane Lambe on 22 Aug 1878 in Workington, Cumberland, England. She was born in Apr 1860 in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cambria, England (St. Marys, Cumberland, England). He married (2) UNKNOWN after 1921 in England.

Saint Michaels Church before the fire.

Peter’s Story

Peter McAllister was baptized on 12 Mar 1852 into the Church of England at Saint Michaels Church in Workington, Cumberland, England. Nothing is known about his childhood or early years. It is assumed that he grew up in Workington.
In 1878, Peter was working as a seaman out of Workington, England, and he married Margaret Mary Lambe.  In 1879, the couple was blessed by the birth of their first child, Frank. In 1881, Peter was working as an “Engineerman,” which is a person who was in charge of a large engine. The engine type could have been most anything.  Possibly he would have been an engineerman (engineman today) on a ship while a seaman.  He identified himself as an engeerman in the 1881 census while they lived at 5 High Church Street in Workington. His first daughter, Elizabeth, was born in March, 1881 and his second son, Edward, in May, 1882.  In August of 1884, his second daughter, Hannah was born. 
In 1885 the family immigrated to the United States.  It appears that he preceded the rest of the family because Margaret arrived with the children but Peter wasn’t on the ship. The family settled in Catasauqua, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, which is where their third son, John William McAllister was born in 1887 and their last child, Joseph M. was born in 1889.
2800 Berg Street Today
The house Peter built in 1890 at the corner of
Vine & Cologne (now Berg & Cologne)
Courtesy Google Maps
In 1890 the family relocated to Pittsburgh and in November Peter took out a building permit to build a house at the corner of Vine (now Berg) and Cologne. A 16×32, two story with basement house for $1,200. 

Homestead Strike & Riot

The 1890s were an extremely volatile time in Pittsburgh. Back in 1876, the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers (AA) union was formed. After winning several strike confrontations with steel plant owners during the 1980s the union, the union decided to strike against the Homestead Steel Mill.  In 1892, plant manager Henry Clay Frick wanted to break the union. On June 30th, he locked out the union employees and the union decided to strike back by closing the plant with their pickets. The AA would not allow the plant to be opened with nonunion employees.  
On July 6th there was a huge confrontation between 300 Pinkerton detectives, hired by the mill and hundreds of strikers.  By the end of the day, many had been killed on both sides and another couple dozen injured.  At the union’s demand and the city’s agreement, the Pinkertons were arrested and to be tried for murder and other crimes. The city then reneged on that agreement; the Pinkertons were released which outraged the strikers.
Troops Arrive in Homestead
Harper’s Weekly, July 23, 1892
From wood engraving by T. de Thulstrup
Thanks to US Library of Congress 
On July 12th, 4000 state militia arrived and took the plant from the strikers. On the 15th the mill opened again with new, strike breaking employees. Because many of the new employees were black, a race war broke out inside the plant while union employees who were trying to stop the opening of the plant were bayonetted by the troops. On July 18th the town was put under martial law. On July 23rd, an anarchist attempted to assassinate Frick.  Throughout July and August there were continued skirmishes and legal battles.  One judge issued treason charges against the Union’s Advisory Committee for “making itself the law.”  
This was the backdrop for September 2nd, when Peter McAllister was arrested for rioting.  We don’t know if he was working at the Homestead Steel Mill at the time or if he was just a supporter. His being “locked out” suggests that he was an employee at that time.  We do know that he worked as an engineman on the Rolling Mill Crew at Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp a few years later. In either event, Homestead would have been a fairly quick six-mile train ride from where he lived. We do know that he made bail, and renewed his bail several months later.  It appears that eventually the charges were dropped on both sides.  
Rolling Mill Crew – Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation – 1906
Peter was a member of the Rolling Mill Crew in 1906. He may be pictured in the photo
Courtesy Senator John Heinz History Center,  Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation Collection
In 1894 Peter became a United States Citizen. 
In 1900 Peter was living on Patterson Street with his wife, both daughters and his three younger sons.  He went to Europe at some unknown date and returned to the States in June 1905.  
In 1906 his daughter Hannah gave birth, out of wedlock, to a girl, which was fathered by a man 27 years older than Hannah, who was only 21 at the time. After Hannah became pregnant a second time by the same older man, he finally married her in 1907, giving both the children his name. Hannah and her father were estranged after that. 
Peter McAllister
1921 Passport Photo
Thanks to Ancestry.Com 

Peter returns to England


In June, 1921, Peter received a US Passport.  He was 69 years old, 5′ 5″ tall. He had grey eyes, grey hair, mustache, high forehead, large nose, heavy chin, fair complexion, oblong face. His passport contains the only known photograph of Peter McAllister.  His passport application indicated that his intent was only to visit England. However, he left in July, 1921 and never returned to the states. 
It is believed that he married his housekeeper in England.  
He died sometime during the first three months (January-March) of 1941 at the age of 88.
Peter McAllister and Margaret Mary Lamb had the following children:
i.  FRANK MC ALLISTER was born in 1879 in Workington, Cumberland, England.
2.
ii.
ELIZABETH MCALLISTER was born in Mar 1881 in Workington, Cumberland, England. She died on 02 Jan 1944. She married Harold Lane, son of <No name> and <No name> on 06 Jul 1909. He was born on 19 Nov 1880 in England. He died before 26 May 1943.
3.
iii.
EDWARD LAMB MCALLISTER was born on 23 May 1882 in Cockermouth, Cumberland, United Kingdom (Scotland, England). He died on 12 Jan 1925 in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, USA (Cause of death: Murder / Hatchet to head.). He married VIOLET YELLIG. She was born in 1889 in Pennsylvania. She died on 04 Oct 1910 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA. He married (2) THERISA BAUCKMANN, daughter of William Bauckmann and Elinor Bowers before Sep 1918 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA. She was born on 20 Aug 1891 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 17 Nov 1924 in Savannah, Chatham, Georgia, USA (Died of a cerebral hemorrhage, stroke).
4.
iv.
HANNAH MCALLISTER was born on 15 Aug 1884 in England. She died on 11 Jul 1913 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA (Died of pelvic peritonitis due to a ruptured ovarian cyst.). She married (1) RUFUS HARRY DARLING, son of Rufus Holton Darling and Elizabeth Jane Swayze on 16 Feb 1907 in Kittanning, Armstrong, Pennsylvania, USA. He was born on 30 Jun 1857 in Michigan (Age 3). He died on 05 Jun 1917 in Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA. She married THOMAS R WHITE. He was born on 13 Sep 1868. He died on 06 Sep 1945 in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA (Interned at Chartiers Cemetery).
5.
v.
JOHN WILLIAM MCALISTER was born on 28 Mar 1887 in Lehigh, Pennsylvania, USA. He married EMMA M [MCALLISTER]. She was born about 1889 in Pennsylvania, USA.

6. vi. JOSEPH M. MCALLISTER was born on 25 Sep 1889 in Catasauqua, Lehigh, Pennsylvania, USA. He died in Oct 1962. He married Myrtle (McAllister) before 1917 (After 1910). She was born about 1893 in Pennsylvania, USA.

Conclusion

Pittsburg Dispatch,
September 03, 1892, Page 2
Thanks to the Library of Congress
It is very cool when you find an ancestor was a part of a major event in American history.  The Homestead Strike and Riot was one of the most significant events in labor history and Peter was there, being arrested with the best of them.  
I commend Peter McAllister, my wife’s 2nd great-grandfather and I urge everyone to remember him and his struggles today, Feb 12, 2014, the 162nd anniversary of his birth.  I’ll think of him on Labor Day too.


Minerva Ann Tolliver (1821-1902)

52 Ancestors #4 – Minerva Ann Tolliver Mannin (1821-1902)

Map Courtesy of Wikipedia

Minerva Ann Tolliver was born in Kentucky on 5 Feb 1821. Various records during her life record her name in many different ways, Minerva, Manerva, Minora, and Minna.  She was probably born in Bath County, near Greenup County, in the portion of Bath that became Morgan County in 1822 and Rowan County in 1856. I also suspect near what was to become Carter County in 1838. It is also likely that the county changes account for many of the different county designations of where she lived over the years.

There is a wonderful interactive map at Kentucky Historical Counties which allows you to select a date and see what counties existed then. If can then easily see the changes in the Bath/Morgan/Rowan counties over time.
There is considerable speculation regarding her early life. One thread indicates that Minerva was Native American (Cherokee). I don’t believe this to be the case. First, in none of the Census reports was Minerva ever reported as being anything but white.  Second, as my 3rd great-grandmother, I would expect to have about 3% of her genome.  Although I do have 2% unknown or trace, there is no evidence that I have any Native American in my ancestry. Likewise, my mother, who should have approximately 6% of Minerva’s genome shows no proportion of Native American. 23 & Me indicates she has 99.4% European ancestry as do I.  Because of the “stickiness” of DNA, although unlikely, it is still possible for Minerva to be Native American. I would be very interested in the mtDNA results of any direct female descendants of Minerva – that should answer the question definitively.
Another theory is that Minerva was raised by Elijah Toliver and used his last name although she was born with the surname Mannin. This theory suggests that her father died when she was very young and her mother remarried. Her mother, Martha Patsy (Mannin), married Elijah Tolliver in 1825. Minerva was 3 years old then, so she probably wasn’t a child of Elijah. This thought is supported by Phoebe Mannin, Minerva’s granddaughter, who listed Minerva’s last name as “Mannin” when she created a family tree in 1973.
A third theory exists that Martha Patsy Mannin had Minerva out of wedlock. Thus, Minerva had the surname Mannin until Martha married. This scenario makes the most sense to me and explains many of the conflicting facts. (I think this is a case where Occam’s Razor applies and this is the simplest answer.)
The records are unclear where her parents were born. Some say Kentucky, some say Virginia. Kentucky became a state in 1792 so it is possible that her parents were born in what was Virginia but is now Kentucky. It is also possible that Elijah was used on some occasions as her father and the unknown Mannin used at other times.
She and Enoch were married on 15 Oct 1843, in Grayson, Morgan County, Kentucky, when she was 22 years old. She had nine children, five girls and four boys. Four of her children preceded her in death.
John William Mannin (1846-1888)
Isaac Wilson Mannin (1848-1931)
Nancy Ann Mannin Barnett (1849-1913)
Meredith Mannin (1851-
Sarah Jane Mannin Bryant (1855-1942)
Mary Ermaline Mannin Jones Gates (1856-1899)
Gresella Mannin (1857-1897)
Prudence Mannin Bare McDonald (1860-1898)
Robert J Mannin (1869-Following her and Enoch while they were in Kentucky is very confusing.  They appear to have moved between Bath, Carter, and Morgan counties between 1843 and 1883. (All are in northeast Kentucky.) However, as mentioned before they are all within a short distance from each other depending upon the year being considered.  This could be an excellent area for further research and study.
Her husband, Enoch, served the North during the Civil War (War of Rebellion or War of Northern Aggression depending upon your point of view)
In 1880, she and Enoch were still in Carter County, Kentucky.
She and Enoch moved to Minnesota in April 1883 to Holding township in Stearns County; their post office was Saint Anna.
Their eldest son, John William Manning, had two daughters, Mary & Phebe. John’s wife died in 1882 and the girls were living with their grandparents, Enoch and Minerva, in 1885.  We aren’t sure how long they stayed with them.

Enoch moved the family to Cass County in April, 1888. They settled on 160 acres in May Township, Cass County, Minnesota; Enoch received a homestead patent in 1894 for the land. Minerva’s life was that of a farmer’s wife; she kept house on the land that her husband owned and raised 9 children.

NE 1/4 of Section 22, Township 134 (May Township) today

A Google map view of the property (Northeast quarter of section 22, township 134 (May Township), Range 31, today indicates a swampy bit of land along a creek without any evidence of current farming or of the original homestead.  She continued to live on the farm in May township until her death in 1902.

Marker of Minerva A (Tolliver)
Wife of Enoch Mannin
Feb 5, 1821- Oct 25, 1902
Photo by Don Taylor

Minerva’s marker and death certificate are inconsistent. One says she died on October 24th the other October 25. One says died at 81 years, 8 mos, 20 days (making her birth Feb 5, 1821) the other says she died at 82 years, 8 mos, 21 days (making her birth Feb 3, 1920).  The 1821 date is probably correct as she was x9 years old during most of the earlier census reports. She is buried in Bridgeman Cemetery in Cass County.

I remember Minerva and celebrate her life today, the 193rd anniversary of her birth.

Sources

Tombstone/Marker Minerva A, Bridgeman Cemetery, Cass County, Minnesota (Personal visit)
1850 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
1860 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
1880 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com

1885 Minnesota, Territorial and State Census – Via Ancestry.com
1895 Minnesota Territorial and State Censuses – Via Ancestry.com
1900 US Federal Census – Via Ancestry.Com
Department of the Interior – Bureau of Pensions – Questionnaire, Enoch Mannin – 20 Nov 1897.
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Jane Valentine (1724-1763)

52 Ancestors: #3 – Jane Valentine 

Sometimes a person in your tree exemplifies what you don’t know about someone. The basics just aren’t enough to understand that person’s life.  My sixth great-grandmother Jane Valentine is such a person for me.  I know vitals but very little more about her or her life.
She was born on the 27th of January 1724, probably in Yonkers, Westchester County, New York, although she may have been born in Yorktown Heights, also in Westchester County.  Her parents were Matthias and Anna (Ryche) Valentine. 
Queen Anne Flag
First “national flag” of the colonies
Courtesy: Flags Unlimited

In 1742 she married Reuben Fowler in Scarsdale, Westchester County, New York. 

Various other people’s trees indicate all kinds of things, one person’s tree says she had 17 children, one after she died. Another says she had 21, but there are clearly duplicates of children with the same name and overlapping lives. So I really don’t know how many children she had. I am sure of two, Phoebe and Reuben.  Reuben (Junior) was born to Jane in 1753 at Yorktown, Westchester County, New York, and is my fifth great-grandfather.  
She died in 1763, apparently in Eastchester, Bronx, New York, which is today a neighborhood in northeast Bronx, not to be confused with Eastchester town in Westchester County.  Although, I suspect she may have died Eastchester town and my source got the wrong place as everything else about her life was in Westchester County.  
So, I have the vitals, born 1724, married 1742, Died 1763, but not much else. Her life is clearly one that I need to do much more research on.

I honor and remember Jane Valentine on this, the 289th anniversary of her birth. 

Donna in Decatur, IL, at the Lincoln Square Theatre – Oct 30, 1919

Donna in Decatur, IL, at the Lincoln Square Theatre – Oct 30, 1919

Ad – Chin Chin Tonight
at the Lincoln Square Theatre
Decatur Review 10/30/1919 – pg 5
Via Newspapers.Com 
When Donna joined the “Chin Chin” company, the company had been on the road since August, 1818, sixty-five weeks.  The show had played from San Diego to San Francisco. It came to Decatur, Illinois, in October, 1919, and was the starting place to again cross the country, this time on a northern route to Seattle, Portland, and other cities in the Northwest.
After the Decatur performance many of chorus girls left the company to go home for a vacation. New girls joined the company there and rehearsed between shows and were to go on with the principals for the trip west once more. There was one new principle with them, the woman who sang the part of the “Goddess of the Lamp.” That new principal was Donna Montran. 
The Decatur Review had an interesting note about the demands that the show put on its company.  It said

NO SIX HOUR DAY HERE.

“Coal miners who think that six hours a day, five days a week, constitute a week’s work should travel with one of these transcontinental companies, which make long jumps to make one and two night stands.

“The company, which played here played at Hannibal, Mo. Wednesday, left that place Thursday morning at 5 o’clock, reached Decatur between 11 and 12 o’clock, played a matinee from 3 until 5:30 and another full performance that evening.”

According to the Decatur Review on October 31st, Chin Chin taxed the capacity of the Lincoln Square Theater. They also say:

PLEASE 2,600 PERSONS

“Donna Montran, who only recently joined the company as the leading soprano as the Goddess of the Lamp, lacked volume but the performance as a whole please the 2,600 people who saw it.

“The dancing was unusually good, the chorus well trained and the fifty-five people in the company were exceedingly well costumed.” 

Lincoln Square Theater

Lincoln Center Theatre – circa 1952
Courtesy: Haunted Decatur
In 1860, the Priest Hotel was built on the site, which some say was an ancient burial ground. The hotel’s name changed to the New Deming in 1880.  It again changed name in 1892 to the “Decatur and Arcade Hotel.”  The hotel burned in 1904. The hotel was rebuilt, but in 1915 it burned again.  Two people were confirmed to have died in the second fire and several other people were missing, their bodies having never been found. 
After the 1915 fire, the site was rebuilt, this time into the Lincoln Square Theater. It was built with a fireproof intent using steel, cement, and fireproof brick. The theater hosted many celebrities of the time including Houdini and Ethel Barrymore.  Jack Dempsey appeared there in the September before Donna and the Chin Chin company was there in October.
Since the 1930s the theater has been considered haunted. 
The theater had a difficult time during the heyday of motion pictures and closed after December 1980, except for an occasional music show. It closed completely in 1990.  
However, also in 1990, Lincoln Square Theater, Inc., was established to determine the viability of saving the structure. Studies of the building found it to be sound and activities were undertaken to renovate and restore the facility. Several donations helped stabilize the building in the 1990s and in 2004, a $1.75M grant for restoration was received. Restoration began in 2005 and is currently ongoing.
Despite the renovation and restoration the Lincoln Square Theater is still considered to be one of the most haunted theaters in the country.  Troy Taylor has a regular tour of haunted places in Decatur which includes the Lincoln Square Theater. See http://www.haunteddecatur.com/ for details of his tours. 

Lincoln Theater Today

The Lincoln Theatre (Most Terrifying Places in America)

Sources:

Decatur Review (Decatur, Illinois) · Sun, Nov 2, 1919 · Page 16 – via Newspapers.com
Decatur Review (Decatur, Illinois) Thur, Oct 30, 1919, page 5 Via Newspapers.com
Decatur Review (Decatur, Illinois) · Fri, Oct 31, 1919 · Page 10 – via Newspapers.com
Where The Ghosts Live – America’s Most Haunted Theater – The Lincoln – Decatur, IL 
YouTube

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More Findings about Donna though Newspapers.Com

More Findings about Donna 
In my search for Donna and her activities in show business, I went ahead and subscribed to Newspapers.Com.  They are one of the top newspaper subscription sites and well worth having a subscription.

A search on “Montran” found many new articles regarding Donna.  For example, I learned that Donna had joined the company of “Chin Chin” earlier than I had previously thought.  In an October 31th newspaper, Donna, “who only recently joined the company” was called out in an article about pleasing the audience of 2600 people at the Lincoln Square theater. They also mention she didn’t have enough volume but we’ll ignore that opinion.)

Interior of the Walker Theater, Winnipeg, Canada about 1990
Courtesy: Canada’s Historic Places

I was also able to find several other personal call-outs as well as several more showings of “Chin Chin” around the country, including a six-day showing in Winnipeg, Canada.

Other new findings that I still need to research and blog about include:

Jan 19-24, 1920 – Winnipeg, Canada – Walker Theatre
Feb 12, 1920 – Eau Claire, WI – The Nelson – Callout!
Feb 15, 1920 – Logansport, IN – Nelson Theater.
Feb 19, 1920 – Fort Wayne, Majestic Theater. 
Feb 23, 1920 – Muskegon, MI – Regent
Feb 25, 1920 – Bay City, MI – Washington Theater
Feb 26, 1920 – Saginaw, MI – Auditorium
Feb 28, 1920 – Ann Arbor, MI – Whitney Theater
Mar 1, 1920 – Baltimore – Auditorium

(I can’t wait to write about the Walker Theater.  It has been renovated and is currently a Performing Arts Theater of renown.)

There were also many other findings for other shows after her “Chin Chin” performances that I will also need to research further.  Add to that a list of other engagements I received from Uncle Russ (Donna’s son) so, I have lots more research to do about each of these engagements. I should remain busy with the life of Madonna for a long time to come.

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