#48 Henry Oakes, Horse Thief

My great-great grandfather Henry Oakes (aka Henry Oax, Heinrich Ochs, or Henry Ochs) was born December 24, 1846 in Hesse-Cassel (Germany). He, his father John, mother Anna, and brother Conrad arrived in New York on April 22, 1852. Anna died by 1856, and John remarried to Wilhelmine Mager. In 1860, the family was living in Greenfield, Wayne County, Michigan.

Henry enlisted in Company F of the 24th Michigan in August 1864 in Detroit. He was not quite 18 years old. He missed Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor, but joined in time for the siege of Petersburg. He joined the regiment at Weldon Railroad, Virginia on September 7, 1864. The regiment participated in the fighting at Hatcher’s Run in February 1865.

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Roster of Company F on a broadside published c.1865 (from University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library – http://quod.lib.umich.edu/b/bhl/x-bl006906/bl006906)

On February 11, 1865, the 24th was ordered to Baltimore and then to Springfield, Illinois for rest and recruiting at Camp Butler. While there, they were the military escort at Abraham Lincoln’s funeral on May 4, 1865. According to Henry Oakes, “J.D. Sheldon[?] was promoted to Lieut. shortly after we went to Lincoln’s funeral at Springfield, O. or Springfield, Ill. We stayed then till we came home to Detroit to be discharged.” On June 19, 1865, they left Camp Butler by train for Detroit. On June 28 at 5 PM, they had their last dress parade and the regiment was mustered out on June 30th. About the time immediately after that, Henry said, “When discharged from 24th I guess I was at my parents. I don’t know where else I could have been. They now live some 2 ½ mi. W. of Dearborn – John Oakes.”

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Last orders to the 24th from the Detroit Free Press, June 30, 1865, page 1

Henry reenlisted in the 18th U.S. Infantry (3rd Battalion) on December 4, 1865. During January to March, 1866, the 3rd Battalion was going through organization and instruction at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri. They left there on April 20, 1866 and reached Sedgwick, Colorado on May 31, 1866. According to Henry, “We got to Salt Lake City [Fort Douglas] about 1 of July 1866. Fired a salute there on the 4th. Drew pay and clothing and then a pile of them deserted and I was put on detached duty. My gun was taken from me and I was put on a horse and a revolver given to me and a detachment of 4 of us with a non-commissioned officer put out to apprehend deserters for $30 a head. I can’t think who the officer was in charge of that detachment nor who the men were nor what companies they were from. I have no idea how long I was on that duty. Couldn’t tell whether 3 or 5 months of the time but I know we brought in a deserter every once in a while.” In December 1866, the 18th was reorganized: the 1st Battalion stayed the 18th Infantry, the 2nd Battalion became the 27th Infantry, and the 3rd Battalion became the 36th Infantry. Henry’s enlistment ended on December 4, 1868.

Here’s what happened to Henry after that according to his deposition from his Civil War Pension File: “When I was discharged from the regular army I went as brakeman on the U.P.R.R. [Union Pacific Railroad] – ran from Laramie to Rollin Springs. Brake man a little less than a year – got my left hand [?] [?] and was in a hospital with that in Laramie City. I can’t tell how long. Went braking again on same route. I can’t say how long then the whole crew was “pulled off.” I laid round Laramie I don’t know how long and I kind of think I came from there to Detroit. No I worked quite awhile at the European Hotel at Laramie City as 2nd(?) cook. Then I had charge of the dining room there quite a spell. Then to Detroit. Was brought to Detroit and put in House of Correction for 5 years for horse stealing. Had started herding cattle and was roped in. Was taking 3 horses from Laramie to Ft. Bridger for a man whose name I can’t recollect and was arrested with the horses in my possession. The man who sent me with the horses kept a [?] house at Laramie and he skipped out.”

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Henry’s account of his “horse stealing”

So Henry was sent to the Detroit House of Corrections for 5 years for horse stealing in Wyoming Territory. He was received at the jail March 28, 1871 and was let out August 30, 1875.

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Response from Superintendent Joseph Nicholson of the Detroit House of Corrections to the pension investigators about Henry’s tenure at the prison

Week 48 (Nov. 25-Dec. 1): Thief

#47 Milo A. Thompson

Milo Alfonzo Thompson is a step-relative. He was the father of Bert L. Thompson who married my great-great grandmother Mina Bolt Moore in 1924. Mina died in 1942 and Bert died in 1966. He lived with my mother’s family when she was a kid, so our family has all his papers and pictures, since he had no children or immediate family.

Bert’s dad, Milo, was born in Tioga, Pennsylvania on July 10, 1836 to Bethlehem Thompson and Louisa Chilson. He had four sisters, two of whom (Bethia and Ann) died in 1841 and were buried in Addison, Steuben County, New York. Sometime between 1852 and 1860, Bethlehem brought his family to Michigan. Milo married Ruth E. Noble on January 2, 1860 in Oakland County, Michigan and they lived in Oxford, Michigan. Their first son John Wesley Thompson was born on September 9, 1860.

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Milo A. Thompson, 1861         (photo courtesy of author)

At the start of the Civil War, Milo joined the 1st Michigan Cavalry, Company G. The unit was organized in Detroit from August 21 to September 6 and mustered in on September 13, 1861. The 1st  became part of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade along with the 5th, 6th, and 7th MI Cavalry Regiments. Company G was composed of men from Wayne and Oakland Counties. A roster can be found here. The 1st participated in battles from Winchester, Virginia on Mar. 23, 1862 to Appomattox, Virginia on April 9, 1865. In the 1890 Veterans Schedule, a remark on Milo’s entry says “reenlisted,” but I’m not sure of dates. Milo and Ruth’s second son, George Bethlehem Thompson, was born in Oxford, Michigan on November 12, 1863. I don’t know if he was home in February 1863 on leave or if he was finished with his service and hadn’t reenlisted yet.

After the war, Milo and Ruth had four more children: Violet, Gracie, Albert, and Bert. Violet died September 6, 1870 of brain fever – she was only 1. Gracie and Albert died within a month of each other in early 1879 of diphtheria – Gracie was 6 and Albert was 4. John Wesley died on December 31, 1880 at the age of 20 of tuberculosis. He had married Katherine Weber on February 26, 1880 and she had given birth to their son on December 27, 1880. Bert was born November 3, 1879, and so grew up only knowing his older brother George.

In 1882, the family moved to Luzerne, Oscoda County, Michigan. Milo’s son George married Katie VanAntwerp on September 22, 1887 in Elmer Township. They eventually had 7 children. George died in 1944. Milo’s mother, Louisa, died at Milo’s home on December 21, 1889.

The May, 4, 1894 issue of the Crawford County Avalanche (Grayling, MI) had a disturbing story about Milo: “Milo A. Thompson, of Luzerne, was assaulted by Eli Hagar, of that place, in a brutal manner, one day last week. Mr. Thompson is an old veteran and known by many of our readers.” He wasn’t even 58 yet, but I guess that counted as “old” in the 19th century. Milo’s wife Ruth died of unknown causes on November 27, 1896. Her obituary said she had only been sick for four days. According to the June 10, 1897 issue of the Avalanche, “Some vandal stole the flowers off the grave of the wife of Comrade Milo A. Thompson, of Luzerne. She was buried in the cemetery at Lewiston.”

In the 1900 census, Milo and Bert were living with George and his family in Elmer Township. Milo died on August 4, 1908. His obituary was in the Avalanche on August 13, 1908.

Died – At Ely, Emmet Co., Mich., August 4, 1908., Milo A. THOMPSON, aged 72 years. The deceased was born in Westfield, Tiogo county, Penn., July 10, 1836. When but a young man he came to Oakland Co. On Jan., 2, 1860 he was married to Miss Ruth E. NOBLE. To them were born 6 children, two of whom are now living, Geo. B. and Burt L. THOMPSON, both of this place. In answer to this country’s call he enlisted as a soldier in Co. G. First Michigan Cavalry and did valiant service. He was discharged at the close of the war and returned to his home at Oxford, Mich. In the spring of ’82 he came north and settled at Luzerne, Mich., where he has since resided. His wife died Nov., 27, 1896 whose memory he has always cherished. His last days since her death have been spent among his children. Mr. THOMPSON had always enjoyed fairly good health until 3 years ago when he began to fail. He received a slight stroke of paralysis the last of March which was followed by a more severe one in April. After leaving the hospital and for the last seven weeks, he has been at Ely, Emmet Co., where at his Nephew’s on Tuesday, Aug., 4th., at 2 p.m. he breathed his last. He leaves two sons, one sister, nine grand children, two great grand children and a host of friends, acquaintances and old comrades. Rev. C. E. ROBINSON of Lansing, preached the sermon at Lewiston. He was a member of Marvin Post No. 240, G. A. R. of this place. The body was brought to Lewiston where the funeral services were held on the 6th., inst. The casket was borne to the grave by his comrades of the war.

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Ruth (stone at left) and Milo (stone at right), Albert Township Cemetery, Lewiston, Michigan

Week 47 (Nov. 18-24): Soldier

#42 Charles T. Wilson

This week’s theme is adventure, so I thought I’d discuss my grandfather leaving Ontario and coming to Michigan in 1928. Charles Thompson Wilson arrived in Detroit, Michigan on April 11, 1928. On the border crossing document, the name of the ship is “C.N. 115” which stands for Canadian National #115. So instead of arriving on a ship, he arrived on a train from Windsor, Ontario through a railway tunnel under the Detroit River. The Michigan Central Railway Tunnel was completed in 1910. Before that rail cars were transported across the river by ferry. The Ambassador Bridge for car traffic was completed in 1929.

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http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=detroitpl&h=667777&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt

Just one week later, on April 18, 1928, he swore his declaration of intention to become a U.S. citizen. He was living in Grosse Pointe at 152 Kerby. I’m not sure who he was living with; he had put John Purdy at 333 Mona Ave. in Detroit as his contact on his border passage document.

ctwilson_4-18-28

Week 42 (Oct. 14-20): Adventure

#40 Farmers in my Tree

For Week 40 of #52Ancestors, the theme is “Harvest.” I decided to look and see how many of my great-great grandfathers (you have 8) were listed in the 1880 U.S. Federal Census/1881 Canadian Census with an occupation of “Farmer.”  Here we go:

  1. James Wells – Farmer, aged 40, Horsepasture District, Henry Co., Virginia
  2. Willis Clark – Dead
  3. Arthur Belknap – aged 11 – his dad was a laborer in Dover, Fulton Co., Ohio
  4. William Bost – Farm Laborer, aged 20, Marion Twp., Henry Co., Ohio
  5. John Wilson – Farmer, aged 48, Howe Island, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada
  6. Archibald Thompson – Sailor, aged 43, Amherst Island, Lennox & Addington, Ontario, Canada
  7. Henry Ochs – Farmer, aged 34, Taylor, Wayne Co., Michigan
  8. Fred Moore – Farm Laborer, aged 17, living with his grandmother in Stafford, Genesee Co., New York

So 1 of my g-g grandfathers was dead by 1880, 1 was only 11, 1 was a sailor, and the rest were farmers or farm laborers. Interesting stuff!

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Archie Thompson, year unknown

#39 Amherst Island, 1878

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Map of Amherst Island, Ontario, Canada, from “Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Counties.” Illustrated historical atlas of the counties of Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Ontario. Toronto : J.H. Meacham & Co., 1878.
(http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/Images/Maps/TownshipMaps/fro-m-amherst-island.jpg)
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John Wilson, First Concession, Lot 34

This map of Amherst Island, Ontario is from 1878 and shows my great-great grandfather’s land that he owned just to the west of Stella, the island’s biggest town. In the larger map at the top, it would be just below and to the left of the “Q” in Bay of Quinte. John Wilson (former Johan Rustad from Sweden) arrived on the island in 1857.

#38 Moore Boys

My grandmother Helen was an only child. She had three first cousins on her mother’s side. On her father’s side, she had nine first cousins, but I don’t think she knew any of them. She doesn’t seem to have had much contact with his side of the family, and he died in 1928 when she was about 16.

Today, I’d like to post some picture’s of Ma’s first cousins on her mom’s side, Lee, Harry, and Glenn Moore, the sons of her uncle Glenn “Fred” Moore. Lee was born on January 5, 1913 in Hartford, Van Buren, Michigan, Harry was born on December 25, 1914, and Glenn III was born on June 20, 1922 in New Buffalo, Michigan.

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Glenn Moore III, with his mother Nela (right), his aunt and my great-grandmother Mae Moore (left), and his grandmother and my great-great grandmother Mina (center)

Week 38 (Sept. 16-22): Cousins

#36 Helen Oakes’ School Play

I’m not sure what grade this is from, what school it was taken at, or how old my grandmother was, but I do know which one is her – the one in the middle with the big arrow pointing to her.

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Week 36 (Sept. 2-8): School Days

#33 Laughter

I love this picture of my great-great grandmother laughing. It’s fun to imagine who or what she is laughing at and what the occasion was. Maybe a picnic? The picture below shows from left, my great-great grandmother Mina (Bolt) Moore Thompson, Jessie (Johnson) Bodington, the sister-in-law of my great-grandmother, and my great-grandmother Mae (Moore) Johnson. I think this picture was taken sometime in the 1930s, since Jessie came over from England in 1929.

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From left: Mina, Jessie, and Mae  

Week 33 (Aug. 12-18): Comedy

#31 George E. Bolt

My great-great grandmother Mina A. (Bolt) Moore Thompson had 2 brothers. The first was George E. Bolt, born in Plymouth, Michigan in 1861. The second was Isaac, born in 1863 and died in 1865.

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George E. Bolt (photo shared by tdanna on Ancestry.com)

George Edwin Bolt was born January 20, 1861 in Plymouth, Michigan to William and Mary J. (Everitt) Bolt. George married Mary Emma Quick on September 7, 1880 in Detroit, Michigan (one of the witnesses was an uncle, Matthew Everitt). They had a daughter, Mary (or May) Emma Bolt, in August 1882. In the 1900 census, the family was living on Hubbard Avenue in Detroit and George’s occupation was tinter. According to the Los Angeles City Directory, in 1909 May was the widow of George Calton and the mother of 2 children. She was living in Los Angeles with her parents, where her father George was a shademaker. George Calton had died in Detroit in 1908, so I’m not sure why May and her parents moved to L.A. in 1909. In the 1910 census, George, Mary, May, Alta, and George were living in L.A. and George was listed as an expert tinter at a shade company. The 1911 L.A. City Directory lists George’s employer as the “Whitmore-Talbert Company” and the family was living at 116 W. Ave 34 (which was located less than 1/2 mile from the factory).

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An image of the Talbert-Whitmore Company from the 1/1/1921 L.A. Times

The Talbert-Whitmore Company was incorporated in 1904 and moved to its factory at 2620 Lacy Street in L.A. in 1908. In 1921, the company had 50 employees. It was the “largest [factory] west of Chicago devoted exclusively to the manufacture of shade cloth and window shades” (Los Angeles Times, Jan. 1, 1921). Interestingly, the factory has now become a filming location as part of the Lacy Street Production Center. Their website has lots of cool photos of what the factory looks like now, including this one that shows part of the “shade cloth rollers” sign from the middle building above.

The family is listed as living at 58 Goodwin St. in the 1912 Detroit City Directory, so they must have moved back sometime in 1911-1912. so I think they must have moved back to Michigan around this time. May remarried in 1916 to Frederick Covert, moved to Washtenaw County, and had 3 more children.

In 1920, George and his wife Mary were still living at 58 Goodwin, and he was employed as a paint maker at an auto shop. By the 1930 census, they had moved back to Plymouth and were living at 370 Maple. George was finally retired. Mary died on December 3, 1933 at the age of 75. I’m not sure where George was in the 1940 census, but he died on December 30, 1944 in Pittsfield, Washtenaw, Michigan.

Week 31 (July 29-Aug. 4): Brother

#25 Earliest Photos

I saw this idea from Amy’s review of Week 25: “Debi shared the earliest photos of various ancestors. (I like how she broke them down by maternal and paternal sides).” So I’m going to give it a try!

Maternal

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My 3rd Great-Grandfather, William Dillon Bolt (1835-1901)
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My 3rd Great-Grandmother, Mary J. (Everitt) Bolt (1837-1918)

 

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My 2nd Great-Grandmother, Mina Adell (Bolt) Moore Thompson, (1866-1942)
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My 2nd Great-Grandfather, Archibald Thompson (1838-1931)
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My great-grandfather, John A. Wilson (1874-1930)
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My great-grandmother, Mary (Thompson) Wilson (1872-1940)
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My great-grandmother, Mae Dillon (Moore) Oakes Smiechowski Johnson (1892-1971)
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My grandfather, Charles Wilson (1907-1989)
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My grandmother, Helen Oakes (1912-1988) on her mother Mae’s lap
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My mother

Paternal

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My 3rd Great-Grandmother, Margaret (Rhost) Gisel (1848-1939)
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My 2nd Great-Grandfather, Arthur Belknap (1869-1955)
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My 2nd Great-Grandmother, Martha (Gisel) Belknap (1869-1925)
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My 2nd Great-Grandfather, William S. Bost (1859-1932)
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My Great-Grandmother, Nannie Jane (Clark) Wells (1880-1969)
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My Great-Grandfather, Earl E. Belknap (1895-1960)
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My Great-Grandmother, Florence E. Bost (1896-1961)
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My grandfather, Edward L. Wells (1905-1955)
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My grandmother, Velma Belknap (1913-1999)
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My father

Week 25 (June 17-23): Earliest