#2 William E. Oakes (1888-1928)

Week 2 (January 8-14): Challenge

The ancestor that was one of the biggest challenges for me was someone who lived relatively recently and is pretty closely related to me (great-grandfather). William E. Oakes was the first husband of Mae Moore and the father of Helen Dorothy Oakes, my grandmother. Reasons he was a challenge was that Helen was born in 1912 and her parents divorced in 1915. I’m not sure if she ever saw her father again. She never talked about him. Also, he died when he was only 40, in 1928, when my grandmother was only 16.

mae_william_1908marriage
William & Mae’s marriage 1908 registration from Wayne County, Michigan

The document that helped me the most and started unraveling the mystery of William Oakes was his and Mae’s marriage registration. Through that, I discovered their marriage date (Dec. 23, 1908), his age (21 and therefore an estimated birth year of 1887), and his parents names (Henry Oakes and Minnie Schroeder).

This helped me to find the Henry Oakes family in the 1900 census in Nankin Township, Wayne, Michigan. William was listed as “Willie Oak” with a birthdate of July 1888. In the 1910 census, though they were still married, William and Mae were not living with each other. She was a boarder with her mother and worked at a theatre as a ticket clerk. I haven’t found William in 1910 yet. Their daughter Helen was born June 19, 1912. William and Mae were divorced July 13, 1915. William married again on January 1, 1916 to Pearl Sullivan.

Another interesting document that tells a lot about William is his WWI Draft Registration from June 5, 1917. He and Pearl lived at 317 W. Kirby in Detroit, which would have been near the corner of W. Kirby and 3rd Avenue. His birthdate was listed as July 8, 1888. He was a foreman for Ford Motor Company. He claimed exemption from the draft due to poor health.

1917_williamoakes
I don’t have a picture of William, so this is the closest I can get to what he looked like. (from his 1917 WWI Draft Registration)

Sadly, Pearl and William had a stillborn baby boy on April 8, 1918. William died on August 31, 1928 at Receiving Hospital located at St. Antoine and Macomb in Detroit. According to The City of Detroit, Michigan, 1901-1922, volume 2, p. 1185, the Receiving Hospital was:

        “Detroit’s municipally-operated hospital located at St. Antoine and Macomb streets…and was opened October 12, 1915.
“It was established by the Poor Commission, now known as the Department of Public Wefare.
“It serves as an emergency hospital and clearing house for accident or injury cases occurring on public thoroughfares or of a public nature, and a psychopathic hospital for the safe and human handling of the mentally disturbed, and is under the control of the Welfare Commission. Other wards of the hospital are devoted to the care of medical and surgical patients unable to pay for treatment in other hospitals.”

According to William’s death certificate, he died of “Acute nephritis superimposed upon a chronic nephritis” with a contributory cause of chronic myocarditis. He was buried in Northview Cemetery in Dearborn.

wmoakes_stone

#33 Delia Grodi Salisbury

(52 Ancestors #33 – Defective, Dependent, & Delinquent)

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census had an additional schedule called the “1880 Schedule of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes.” This enumerated individuals that had deafness, blindness, or other disabilities, as well as “paupers.”

Delia Grodi Salisbury

The individual I’d like to talk about this week is one I haven’t been able to find in this schedule, even though she was deaf. In fact, I haven’t been able to find her at all in 1880. Her maiden name was Delia Mary Grodi, and she was born to Nelson and Margaret (Bushroe) Grodi on August 17, 1875 in Erie, Monroe County, Michigan. She would have been 5 years old in 1880, and while her family was enumerated in Erie, she was not living with them. She may have been at a school for the deaf.

By 1886 though, Delia was a definitely a student at the Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint, Michigan. This school enrolled students aged 9 to 20, so she wasn’t there in 1880 (I checked). She was also listed as a student between 1891 and 1894 in the other reports I could find. I’m assuming she was also a student in the years between 1886 and 1891.

delia_1886
Snippet of the “18th Biennial Report of the Board of Trustees of the Michigan School for the Deaf at Flint”

The Michigan School for the Deaf was established in 1848 as the Michigan Asylum for Educating the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind. In 1879, the Legislature separated the school for the blind from the school for the deaf. In December 1885, there was a diptheria epidemic at the school, and five students died.

deaf
Michigan School for the Deaf in Flint, Michigan

Delia married Lyman Salisbury on May 18, 1895 in Lucas County, Ohio. In the 1900 census, she, Lyman, and their daughter Ida were living in Toledo. In the “Can speak English” column of this census, she is listed as “no.” Lyman and Delia had a son, also named Lyman, in 1901, but he died in September 1902.

In 1910, the family, now with son Ernest (my husband’s great-grandfather), lived in Erie, Michigan. Delia was listed as “deaf and dumb.” Her husband Lyman died on December 20, 1918 in Erie of Bronchopneumonia and Asthma. In 1920, Delia and her other children were living with Ida and her husband Jacob Conrad in Bedford, Monroe, Michigan.

In 1930, Delia and her children Howard and Hazel were living in Bedford, Michigan and she was employed as an inspector at an awning factory. In 1940, Delia and Hazel were living in Bedford and Delia was an inspector in the textile industry. Delia’s son Howard died in 1944. Delia herself died July 23, 1955.

obit_delia

Sources:

 

#29 Lafayette Theatre

(52 Ancestors #29 – Musical)

I couldn’t think of anyone that would fit into the “musical” category (although I did play the clarinet in 6th-8th grades), so I thought I would focus on someone that worked in a Detroit theatre. Or more specifically, focus on that theatre.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census (enumerated April 27, 1910), my great-grandmother Mae Oakes was listed as aged 19 (although she was born May 18, 1892 and, if my math is right, that would make her 17 almost 18). Mae had been married in December 1908 to my great-grandfather, but he wasn’t living with her in 1910. Anyway, her occupation was ticket-clerk at “Laf. Theatre.” She and her mother Mina were lodgers of Alta Fisher at 77 W. Elizabeth St.

77 W. Elizabeth St. didn’t exist in the 1921 Old and New House Number for the City of Detroit, but 79’s address was changed to 203. If I look at Google Maps now, 203 is about at the corner of W. Elizabeth and Clifford, smack dab in the middle of parking lots for Comerica Park and Fox Theatre.

billy_repaid_1
An autographed photograph of reporter Billy Repaid who worked for WJR in the 1930s. Apparently he was an acquaintance of my great-grandmother’s from the theatre days. His inscription to her says, “With kindest regards to ‘Mae.’ Remember the LaFayette, huh? Billy Repaid”

The “Laf. Theatre” listed on the 1910 census stood for the Lafayette Theatre. Here’s a little history on the theatre where my great-grandmother worked. The Lafayette Theatre first opened in 1893 as “Campbell’s Empire Theatre.” According to the New York Dramatic Mirror of 12/30/1893, it was built on the former Latimer’s Livery Stable and was located at 17 and 19 Lafayette Avenue, near Griswold.

Empire Theatre on the 1897 Sanborn Fire Map (Detroit, vol. 1, sheet 2)
Empire Theatre on the 1897 Sanborn Fire Map (Detroit, vol. 1, sheet 2)
large
Empire Theatre, between 1893 and 1904. From http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/38410/photos/42725

The Empire Theatre closed in May 1904 and reopened as the Lafayette in August 1904. In Polk’s Detroit Directory of 1907, the Lafayette was located at 15-17 Lafayette Blvd. Here is an ad from Wood’s Official Railway guide from about 1909.

lafayette1909
Advertisement for Lafayette Theatre from 1909 about the time my great-grandmother worked there as a ticket clerk
lafayette
The theatre’s listing in the Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide for 1909-1910 (p. 218)

Sometime before 1913, the Lafayette came down and a new theatre, called the Orpheum, went up in its place. It opened in 1914.

orpheum
Orpheum Theatre, at the corner of Shelby and Lafayette (https://digitalcollections.detroitpubliclibrary.org/islandora/object/islandora%3A158954)

In 1925, the interior was completely remodeled and the theatre was eventually named the Schubert-Lafayette. It was demolished in 1964. The spot is now a parking lot for the Dime Building.

Other Citations:

Hauser, Michael. “Downtown Detroit’s Magnificent Movie Palaces.” Presentation at the 2013 Michigan in Perspective: The Local History Conference.

http://historicdetroit.org/building/shubert-lafayette-theatre/

 

#28 Leonard & Mayme

(52 Ancestors #28 – Road Trip)

I really like this photo of my husband’s great-grandparents Leonard Eklund and Mayme Kivi and it looks like it goes with today’s “road trip” theme. I think it was taken either on their wedding day or soon after. They were married June 23, 1931. Even though Leonard lived in Ironwood, Michigan and Mayme was from Kimball, Wisconsin, they were married in Lake Linden, Gogebic County, Michigan up in the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Leonard & Mayme, young and in love, c1931
Calument Street in Lake Linden, about 1935. http://seekingmichigan.org/look/2012/01/17/lake-linden

#21 Earl Moore

(52 Ancestors #21 – Military)

Earl Lowell Moore (1897-1956) was my great-grandmother Mae’s brother. Here he is with his mother Mina.
c1897, Helen and Mae Moore, with baby Earl
According to his WWI draft registration in 1918, Earl had been a private in the U.S. Marine Corps for the past 8 months.
Mention of Earl Moore and his brother and sister-in-law visiting their father Fred. From the July 28, 1921 Benton Harbor News-Palladium

#19 John & Anna (Ziegler) Ochs

(52 Ancestors #19 – There’s a way)

John and Anna Ochs arrived at the port of New York on April 22, 1852 on the ‘Oldenburg Gallion Hermine’ with their two young sons, Heinrich, age 4, and Conrad, age 11 months.

Passenger List from the Hermine’s Arrival on 4/22/1852

According to the New York Daily Times from that date, “The full tide of emigration has set in from Hamburg and Bremen.” On April 3, 1852, 1,500 people sailed from Hamburg alone aboard five vessels headed for New York. Before 1855, there was no central immigrant processing center. According to Rhonda R. McLure, “Before Castle Garden opened, though, immigrants were processed on the ships upon which they had arrived. Inspectors would get the passenger lists from the ship’s crew and go through them identifying the individuals” (from the article “Immigrants to Ellis Island Before 1892“). From castlegarden.org: “During this period, deceptive employers and unscrupulous money changers preyed on immigrants as they disembarked and attempted to secure work and lodging. In response, the State of New York’s Board of Emigration Commissioners established…the Emigrant Landing Depot at Castle Garden.” I hope this didn’t happen to the Ochs family!

John Ochs is next found in the 1860 census in Greenfield Township, Wayne County, Michigan (incidentally Henry Ford was born in Greenfield Township a few years later, in 1863). By this time, John was a farmer and married to Wilhelmine Mager, with two young children, John (3) and Mary (1). Heinrich (13) now went by the name Henry, and Conrad was 9. Since John and Wilhelmine’s first child was born in 1857, I presume his first wife Anna died by 1856. John and Wilhelmine had 3 more children: Minnie, Charles, and Louisa. The 1893 Wayne County Land Ownership map shows the 40 acres John owned in Dearborn.

John lived in Dearborn the rest of his life and passed away February 12, 1912 of senile decay. He is buried in Northview Cemetery. His wife Wilhelmine died in 1914.

Citations

1860 United States Federal Census. Ancestry.com. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.

New York Daily Times (1851-1857); Apr 22, 1852; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times, front page.

“New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1891,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:275S-8FZ : 11 March 2018), Joh Ochs, 1852; citing NARA microfilm publication M237 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm.

U.S., Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918. Ancestry.com. Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

Ironwood Genealogy Trip – Eklund Family

postcard

This summer my husband and I traveled to Ironwood and the Keweenaw Peninsula for our vacation. His Eklund and Kivi ancestors settled there after arriving from Finland, most of the men working in the iron ore mines.

Last time, I discussed the Kivi family, related to my husband’s great-grandmother Mayme. This time, I’d like to talk a little about the Eklund family, relatives of my husband’s great-grandfather Leonard. The Ironwood Daily Globe is fully searchable at Ancestry.com for the years 1919-1977 and has been an invaluable resource. Ancestry also has a U.S. School Yearbooks, 1880-2012 collection, which includes Ironwood’s Luther L. Wright High School, where Leonard attended.

Leonard Eklund's senior picture from the 1927 Hematite
Leonard Eklund’s senior picture from the 1927 yearbook, the Hematite

Leonard’s parents and sister are buried in Riverside Cemetery in Ironwood. His father Erick Eliasson Eklund came to the U.S. in 1896 and, in the 1900 census, worked as a mine laborer in Ironwood living with his brother Emil, sister Sofia and her husband Andrew Mattson. On November 23, 1901, Erick and Johanna Sofia Nelson (maiden name also possibly Stenbacka) were married in Ironwood.

Erick and Johanna Eklund, 1901
Erick and Johanna Eklund, 1901

They had a daughter, Helmi, in 1906 and a son, Leonard in 1910. In 1918, Erick worked as a surface laborer for the Oliver Iron Mining Company. The family lived at 228 E. Ash Street in Ironwood. According to his death certificate, Erick died on January 4, 1929 of pulmonary tuberculosis, which he had been suffering from for three years.

eklund_obit_1929
Erick Eklund’s Obituary from the Ironwood Daily Globe, Jan. 5, 1929

eklund_riverside
eklund1929

Here is a recent photo of the house on E. Ash St. where the Eklund family lived since at least 1918. In 1910, they were living on E. Oak St. Notice the garage, which Johanna received a permit to build in 1941.

228 East Ash Street
228 East Ash Street

 

Article from the Daily Globe on Oct. 25, 1941
Article from the Daily Globe on Oct. 25, 1941

Johanna Eklund died December 29, 1955 at 228 E. Ash, where her daughter Helmi and her husband Warren Ekman were living. The funeral was held Tuesday, January 3, 1956.

Johanna Eklund's Obituary from the Ironwood Daily Globe
Johanna Eklund’s Obituary from the Ironwood Daily Globe (Click to enlarge)
Article about Johanna's funeral from the Jan. 4, 1956 Daily Globe
Article about Johanna’s funeral from the Jan. 4, 1956 Daily Globe
Johanna's gravestone in Riverside Cemetery
Johanna’s gravestone in Riverside Cemetery

helmi