24 October 2019

(OTL) Amanda Jane Stubbs Watts and Tuberculosis of the Spine

She was my 2nd great grandmother.

Amanda Jane "Mandy" Stubbs was born on 23 May 1856 in Christian County, Missouri. She was one of at least eleven children born to Arametta/Ametta Friend and Robert Stubbs. Mandy married James Riley Watts (1860-1952) on 4 April 1880, and they possibly had seven children:

- William Robert Watts (b. 1881)
- Harrison Watts (1883-1957)
- George T. Watts (b. abt 1885)
- Cora Etta Watts Prine (1887-1974) *my great grandmother
- Minnie May Watts Lawson (b. abt 1891)
- Leroy Watts (1892-1966)
- Nellie Watts (name provided by my grandmother, but I've found no other information about her)

Image by White River Valley Historical Society
Mandy Jane Stubbs Watts died 15 April 1911 in Marion, Ozark County, Missouri and was laid to rest at Bethel Cemetery in Taney County.

Ozark County Times (Gainesville, MO)
Friday, 5 May 1911 - pg. 5
Mrs. James Watts, nee Mandy Stubbs, was born May 23, 1856, died April 15, 1911. She married James Watts April 4, 1880; to this union were born 7 children 5 of whom are still living.

She was a kind and loving wife and mother, we miss her very much but God said "come unto me."

...We should be happy to know that she is at rest, she made an early profession and leaves a clear record behind.

She had been in bad health for some time but bore it well until the end. For four or five years she was unable to do her work but she found comfort in Jesus.

...We cannot call her back but we can go to her; so do not weep but follow on to the "glory land."

The bereaved ones have our sympathy.
This obituary combined with Jane's death certificate, which showed her cause of death as Tuberculosis of the Spine, painted a sad and suffering ending to her life. It reminded me of a book I am currently reading: The War Outside My Window: The Civil War Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865 [affiliate link]. This book not only details life in middle Georgia during the Civil War, it also details the plight of a young man suffering through what modern doctors say was tuberculosis of the spine, also known as Pott's Disease. Excerpts from the "Medical Afterword" portion of the book:
...LeRoy early on develops an open sore on his back...Plasters and salves and liniments are employed to treat the back pain and the sores, but the young patient goes on to develop abscesses, first on the left side of his back, and later on both sides...In 1863 (and perhaps earlier) they are "running freely," discharging large quantities of pus continually, suggesting the presence of a large, deep, and incompletely evacuated source of infection.

As the pain intensifies, LeRoy's back becomes so weak he cannot sit up without pain...

On May 23, 1864, he writes, "One joint of my spine, right between the abscesses is very sore and you can see the matter, as it runs from the joint to the abscess."

In early 1865, LeRoy's throat is sore and swollen. Indigestion, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, cholera-like diarrhea, and finally bloody dysentery follow...

Gresham's back ulcers, progressing to chronically draining abscesses, and the progressive pain and weakness in his spine, suggest that he suffered from Pott's Disease -- extrapulmonary tuberculosis of the spine, extending into the paraspinal or psoas muscles and causing the chronic drainage there...

[Evolution of spinal tuberculosis summarized from medical journals "in our current era:"]

The natural course of skeletal tuberculosis without chemotherapy passed through three stages spanning 3-5 years. In the "stage of onset," lasting from one month to one year, the localized disease developed into a warm tender swelling with marked localized osteoporosis and minimal destruction. In the "stage of destruction," lasting one to three years, the disease progressed until there was gross destruction of the vertebrae with deformity, subluxation, contractures, and abscess formation. The abscesses finally ruptured and drained as ulcers and sinuses developed frequent secondary pyogenic [pus] infection...

...[S]pinal tuberculosis...causes a sharp angulation, of "gibbus" deformity of the spine, with impingement on the nervous tissue of the spinal cord, leading to paralysis...
Even if my great, great grandmother "only" suffered a fraction of what this young man did, I am saddened to think of it. Imagine trying to put on a brave face for a husband and (at least) five children. This revelation about her death gives so much more meaning to "she had been in bad health for some time but bore it well until the end."

May you rest in peace, Grandma Watts.

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21 February 2019

Nancy Jane Lincecum Delap (1826-1898) and Family

Nancy Jane Lincecum was born 2 August 1826, likely in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. She was one of at least ten children born to Harmon Lincecum/Linsicum and Lucinda "Lucy" Thompson.

On 4 January 1848 in Cape Girardeau County, Nancy married Grotville/Grandville Wright Delap. He was born about 1816-1822, a son of John Delap and Matilda Mitchell. (This according to the family tree at FamilySearch.)

By the taking of the 1850 census, however, Nancy is back home with her parents. It seems her husband had passed away within just a couple of years of their marriage. I have not yet found proof of the precise time of Mr. Delap's death, and for a period wondered if the couple had simply split up. No life without Nancy has come to light, though, and a Mexican War Pension Index shows she filed for a widow's share in 1887.

As you can see, Grandville was a member of the 3rd Illinois Volunteers. It's helpful to remember Cape Girardeau County, Missouri is across the Mississippi River from Alexander County, Illinois.

Image by Brenda Johnson (2017).
Permission for use granted in
FindAGrave bio.
To my knowledge, Nancy and her husband had only one child -- a daughter named Rachel Matilda was born 4 September 1848. By the time the little one was a toddler, Nancy was a single mother. She lived with family most of the rest of her days. Her parents until they died, and her daughter and son-in-law after their marriage.

Nancy Jane Lincecum Delap/p died 6 August 1898 and was buried in Fairview Cemetery at Arbor, Cape Girardeau County, Missouri.

Rachel married George Washington Hitt 2 June 1872 in Cape Girardeau County. He was born 8 March 1851, a son of Robert L. Hitt and Mary Ann Smith. Rachel and George stayed in Cape Girardeau County and raised a farming family. For the 1876 Missouri State census, the operation included 2 horses, 5 cattle, 3 sheep, 6 hogs, 65 bushels of corn, 10 lbs tobacco, and 16 lbs wool.

I know of five children born to George and Rachel Hitt. The 1910 Cape Girardeau County, Missouri Federal census noted Rachel had six children, with five living at the time. So there possibly is at least one additional child that likely died young.

- Robert L. Hitt was born 16 September 1873. He married Altha Wiseman 24 March 1904 at Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. She was a daughter of Thomas W. Wiseman. Robert died 4 November 1950 at St. Louis. Cause of death was coronary thrombosis, with hypertension and coronary artery disease. Altha died 19 February 1977, and both she and Robert were buried at Fairview Cemetery.

- Mary Jane Hitt was born 4 December 1875. She married Dennis L. Bowers (1869-1914) 16 August 1896 at Cape Girardeau County. He was a son of Wiley J. Bowers. After Dennis's death, Mary married George W. Miller on 3 August 1919. She died 7 September 1939 and was buried in Fairview Cemetery.

- Malinda Adaline "Addie" Hitt was born 18 March 1880. She married Elman/Elmer Sullinger (1875-1963) 19 March 1902 at Cape Girardeau County. He was a son of Levi Larkin Sullinger (1850-1934) and Martha Blocker. Addie died 7 January 1965 and was buried with Elmer at Fairview Cemetery.

- Joel Levi Hitt was born 7 September 1884. For his 1918 World War I draft registration, Joel was described as tall and slender, with blue eyes and light hair. He was single most of his life, occupied with farming. For the 1930 Cape Girardeau County, Missouri Federal census, he was more specifically a poultry farmer. Joel married Emeline Cox 28 June 1930 at Cape Girardeau County, but the couple was divorced before the taking of the 1940 census. Joel died three years later from liver and gall bladder cancer. Burial was in Morgan Memorial Park Cemetery at Advance, Stoddard County, Missouri.

- Rosa B. "Rosy" Hitt was born 28 February 1887. She married John Benjamin Sledge (1865-1950) after 1930. He was a son of John Z. Sledge. Rosa died 1971 and was buried with John at Fairview Cemetery.

Rachel Matilda Delap Hitt died 10 January 1916 at Cape Girardeau County and was buried at Fairview Cemetery. George joined her fifteen years later.

Image by Brenda Johnson (2016). Permission for use granted in FindAGrave bio.

21 January 2019

Individual Report for Ira Preston Lincicome (1892-1967)

This is my first post regarding an individual who is of no relation to me. Ira is part of a sizeable group of LINCICOMEs found in the area of Jackson County, West Virginia, a good number of which descend from Levi Lincicome and wife Jeraldine / Geraldine McKee. Levi moved into West Virginia from across the river in the area of Washington County, Ohio. (Full disclosure: I am new to Ohio River Valley history and research.)

Michael Poe wrote the following in the Introduction for his book titled Images of America: Jackson County (pub. 2008).
The mighty Ohio River was the lifeblood of the early settlers and, for many years, it was the only way to reach the western edge of Virginia...

Communities flourished along the Ohio River in the early 1800s due to trade and commerce from keelboats and stern-wheelers...Sawmills in Ravenswood and Murraysville supplied wood for furnaces and food supplies for crews.

...By 1885, the Ohio River Railroad entered Jackson County, leading to trade extending the entire length of the Ohio River on the western edge of the state. The railroad established depots in Murraysville, Ravenswood, and Millwood along the river...By 1892, the Ravenswood, Spencer, and Glenville Railroad (RS&G) extended through Crow Summit, Sandyville, Duncan, and Liverpool into Roane County.
Ira Preston Lincicome was born 10 November 1892 in Jackson County, West Virginia. He was one of at least eight children born to James Swazy "Sweezy" Lincicome (1862-1925) and Amanda A. "Manda" Kennan (1869-1938).

Ira married Birdie A. "Bird" McBride – who was about 17 years of age at the time – on 7 January 1914 in Jackson County. She was a daughter of Nathan F. and Effie G. McBride.

The young couple had a daughter, Garnet Aileen, before they were parted by Birdie's death due to Tuberculosis on 13 December 1916.

Nine months later, the widower Ira was serving his country in World War I, and it appears he spent at least some time overseas. Following from U.S. Army Transport Service Passenger Lists, 1910-1939 database at Ancestry.com:
Lincicome, Ira P.
Pvt. 1st Class / Battery D, 314th Field Artillery
Ship = U.S.S. Zeppelin; departed Brest, France 17 May 1919.  "Camp  Stuart / Newport News, Virginia" stamped.
Emergency Contact: James S. Lincicome / father / R.F.D. #1, Sherman, West Virginia
Ira completed his service in June 1919. The following year, on 25 November 1920, Ira married Daisy Kidder in Wood County, West Virginia. She was born 22 February 1903 at Elizabeth, Wirt County, West Virginia to Greenberry Kidder and Sarah Ella Bishop. By April 1940, Ira and Daisy were settled at Ravenswood in Jackson County, where he worked as a car salesman. Some twenty years later, the couple was residing at 2508 Fairview Avenue in Parkersburg, Wood County.

Daisy died 30 March 1965 at Parkersburg, making Ira a widower once again. Her cause of death was Peribronchial Pneumonia, with contributing factors of Hypertensive Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, and Obesity.

Ira died two years later on 25 June 1967 at the Veterans Administration Center in Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia. Cause of death was Acute Cardiac Failure; Arteriosclerotic Heart Disease; Emphysema and Pulmonary Tuberculosis. Both he and Daisy rest in Arlington Memorial Gardens at Parkersburg.

28 December 2018

Verlon Lee Lincecum Eleazar & the U.S. Cadet Nursing Corps

Verlon Lee Lincecum Eleazar (1926-1998)Verlon Lee Lincecum was born 14 September 1920 in Grant Parish, Louisiana. She was one of at least seven children born to Gideon G. "Gid" Lincecum (1881-1970) and Emma Lee Brister (1887-1976). I have her as the sixth child, and second daughter. Siblings include the following:

  • Loyd Francis Lincecum (1907-1997)
  • Clifton "Skinny" Lincecum (1909-2009)
  • Gordon A. Lincecum (1912-2011)
  • Ineeta E. Lincecum (1914-2000)
  • John Brown Lincecum (1918-2007)
  • Margarite "Margie" Lincecum (1926-1998)

Verlon Lee married Dr. Leon Joseph Eleazar, Jr. after 1947. He was a son of French-born L. J. Eleazar, Sr. (d. 1978) and Elodie Guidry (d. 1976). Leon Jr. died 14 August 1975, and Verlon Lee died 23 August 1998 at Lafayette Parish, Louisiana.

Prior to her marriage to Leon, Verlon Lee studied and trained to be a nurse. By 1941, she was a student nurse at Tri-State Hospital in Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana. By January 1944, she had obtained a Registered Nurse degree and was a member of the U.S. Cadet Nursing Corps. Her postgraduate study was completed at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. In April 1945, Verlon had completed training to become a Nurse Anesthetist, and was back at Tri-State in that capacity soon after – definitely by 1947.


[Source: U.S. World War II Cadet Nursing Corps Card Files, 1942-1948 via Ancestry.com]

U.S. World War II Cadet Nursing Corps

By United States Government Printing Office; scan provided by Pritzker Military Library, Chicago, IL; CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia CommonsHistory per Wikipedia:

The United States Cadet Nurse Corps was established by the U.S. Congress on June 15, 1943…Its purpose was to ensure the country had enough nurses to care for its citizens at home and abroad during World War II…

…Successful applicants were eligible for a government subsidy that paid for tuition, books, uniforms, and a stipend. In exchange, they were required to pledge to actively serve in essential civilian or federal government services for the duration of World War II…

Cadet nurses came from across the nation and from all backgrounds. Some joined because they wanted to become nurses, others for the free education, and others joined because their country needed them…

…The Cadet Pledge follows:

At this moment of my induction into the United States Cadet Nurse Corps of the United States Public Health Service, I am solemnly aware of the obligations I assume toward my country and toward my chosen profession; I will follow faithfully the teachings of my instructors and the guidance of the physicians with whom I work; I will hold in trust the finest traditions of nursing and the spirit of the Corps; I will keep my body strong, my mind alert, and my heart steadfast; I will be kind, tolerant, and understanding; Above all, I will dedicate myself now and forever to the triumph of life over death; As a Cadet nurse, I pledge to my [country] my service in essential nursing for the duration of the war.

End of the Corps

Following the surrender of Japan in August 1945, President Harry Truman set October 5, 1945, as the final date for new student admissions, allowing for an "orderly transition of an important wartime activity"...Student nurses were providing 80% of the country's nursing care in more than 1,000 civilian hospitals…

In January 1945, the Surgeon General, Thomas Parran, Jr., appeared before the House Committee on Military Affairs and said, "In my opinion, the country has received and increasingly will receive substantial returns on this investment. We can not measure what the loss to the country would have been if civilian nursing service had collapsed, any more than we could measure the cost of failure at the Normandy beachheads."

A plaque dedicated to the Nursing Corps was placed in 2017 at Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, New York. It reads, in part, "They saved lives at home, so others could save lives abroad."

Another Relative in the Corps?

Verlon Lee Lincecum Eleazar was my 4th cousin, 4x removed. In the U.S. World War II Cadet Nursing Corps Card Files, 1942-1948 database, I did find another name that piqued my interest.

Jean Etta Linsacum was a member of corps, as well. She was admitted in 1944 at age 18 and attended the Colorado Training School for Nurses at Denver. Her membership card noted her to be a daughter of Kenneth Linsacum, a farmer of Montrose County, Colorado.

27 May 2018

Toy Pistol Caused 1901 Death of George L. Lincecum

George Lachoen Lincecum was born 4 February 1886 in Texas to George Durham Lincecum (1854-1931) and S. Frances Amada "Fannie" Stubblefield (1867-1947). Fannie was a daughter of Stephen Potts Stubblefield (b. 1824). Research suggests young George was the eldest of six children born to Fannie and her husband.

George, Fannie, and the kids were in Gonzales, Texas for the summertime taking of the 1900 census. By the end of NewYear's Day of 1901, young George was dead.

DallasMorningNews5Jan1901Dallas Morning News (Texas)
Saturday, 5 January 1901 - pg. 3 [via GenealogyBank]

Toy Pistol Caused Death.
Gonzales, Tex., Jan. 3 -- George Lachoen Lincecum, aged 15 years, who was shot in the finger Christmas with a toy pistol, from which lockjaw resulted, died New Year's day at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George Lincecum.

An obituary that ran a couple days before in the Gonzales Inquirer stated, "He was an excellent boy and was liked by all who knew him. He worked in his father's store on North Avenue and was well known. During the holidays he was wounded in the hand by a toy pistol, and a part of the wad from the cartridge remained in the wound."

gllincecum-fagBurial was in the Gonzales Masonic Cemetery.

As  mentioned previous, young George had five siblings:

  • Stephen Omeaux "Oma" Lincecum (d. 1970)
  • Sarah Daisy Lincecum Patton (d. 1982)
  • Val Lincecum (b. abt. 1892)
  • Norton Lincecum (b. abt. 1895)
  • Parula Russell Lincecum (1896-1971)

I have yet to find Val or Norton after the 1900  census, and wonder if they might have died at a very young age.

[Note: There is an image of young George on a remembrance card issued (presumably) about the time of his death on his FindAGrave memorial.]

28 April 2018

Heirs of Reuben Reed Kynion, Husband of Diantha Lincecum

Diantha Lincecum (b. 1842) was a daughter of Harmon Lincecum/Linsicum (b. abt 1808) and Lucinda "Lucy" Thompson.  Diantha married Reuben Reed Kynion 12 October 1856 at Cape Girardeau County, Missouri.  According to an old family book, Diantha died 12 July 1886.  A couple of years later, Reuben married Mary A. McNeely.

Reuben Kynion died 21 January 1896 at his residence in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri.  This information was found on an Administrator's Bond created after his death – due to Reuben dying intestate (without a will).

An Administrator's Bond is a form of insurance that assures a person who is responsible for the paying of debts and dispersing of property – the administrator – acts legally and ethically and protects those who have an interest in the deceased's estate against fraud.

In the case of Reuben Kynion, the administrators (principally a Mr. Jacob Waddle) put up $500.

rrkynionadminbondThis document also listed the heirs of Mr. Kynion:

County of Cape Girardeau

Administrator of the Estate of Reuben R. Kynion deceased, being duly sworn, says that the said Reuben R. Kynion died intestate, and without leaving any will at residence in said Co. Jany 21st A. D. 1896, leaving as his heirs 1 Chas Kynion, 2 Eliza McNeil, 3 Monroe Kynion, all adults, 4 heirs of Lucinda Littrell, nie [sic] Kynion, dec'd, 5 and Henry Kynion, born August 1890, 6 Jacob Kynion, born July 2, 1895, minor heirs of Reuben R. Kynion, dec'd.

And that he will make perfect inventory and faithfully administer all the Estate of the said Reuben R. Kynion, dec'd, and pay the debts as far as the assets will extend and the law direct, and account for and pay all assets which shall come to his possession or knowledge.

[Signed by mark of X] Jacob Waddle

Sworn and subscribed before me this 31st day of January A. D. 1896.
[Signed] Henry Peels [Puls?], clerk of Probate.

One thing not detailed in the transcription, is this:  dec'd appears to be written above the name Jacob Kynion.  He and Henry were sons of Reuben and his second wife.

Compiling from all sources, including the heirs noted above, here is my list of children born to Reuben Reed Kynion and Diantha Lincecum:

  • Charles R. "Charlie" Kynion (1865-1922)
  • Mary Lucinda Kynion Littrell (b. abt 1859)
  • Louisa Eliza Kynion Tidwell McNeil
  • Julia Kenyon/Kynion (b. abt 1867)
  • Monroe Kynion (1874-1930)
  • Benjamin F. Kynion (b. abt 1875)

Take all mistakes as good wishes.

27 April 2018

Children of Cassandra Lincecum Durham

ChildrenofCassandraLincecumCassandra Lincecum (d. 1877) was a daughter of Gideon Lincecum (1793-1874) and Sarah "Sallie" Bryan/t (d. 1867).  George John Durham (1820-1869) was a son of William Durham (d. 1859) and Ester/Easter Bloomfield (d. 1868).  Cassandra and George were married just before Christmas 1852 in Washington County, Texas.  Afterwards, the couple resided at Austin, Travis County.

It is believed Cass and George had seven children, of which only three lived to see adulthood.  I have information on the births and deaths of all seven, save one.  If you have any information to share, I would love to compare notes.

- Mary Leonora "Lee" Durham was born about 1854 in Texas.  She could be found with her parents in Austin for the 1860 Federal census, but died just a couple of years later on 10 April 1862.  Little Leonora was buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Austin the next day.

- Walter Winn Durham was born 20 December 1855 in Texas.  Months before his 14th birthday, Walter's father died.  He immediately became the de-facto "man of the house." Even before the age of 18, Walter was working as a clerk for local bookseller, Jos. A. Nagle.  And we know from a letter his grandfather Gideon wrote in the summer of 1873, that Walter performed many tasks around the home before even heading to his paying day job:

…Walter rises early, feeds and waters the dogs and chickens, goes to market, and then, until breakfast, fixes up anything that is out of order.  That over, he goes off to the house that pays him for his services and is seen no more until dark…

Four years after Gideon wrote that letter, Walter's mother was dead.  So before he turned 22, Walter became a guardian for two of his siblings.  Following notice from the 29 August 1878 Weekly Democratic Statesman (Austin, TX):

Weekly_Democratic_Statesman_1878-08-29_4GUARDIAN'S SALE.
The State of Texas to all persons interested in the guardianship of SIDNEY and MARY L. DURHAM, minors:

Walter W. Durham, guardian of said minors, has filed his application in the County Court of Travis county praying for a sale of certain real estate belonging to them for their education and maintenance, which will be heard at the next term of said court, to be held at the court house thereof, in Austin, on the Third Monday in September, 1878, when and where all persons interested may appear and make objections thereto...

Some time after 1880, Walter got involved with cotton – and it became his career.  He remained in the business of cotton for 30 – 40 years.  Companies he was known to have worked with include E. J. Byrne & Co., Crawford & Byrne, E. H. Perry & Co., and W. T. Caswell.  Walter was known as a "pioneer cotton man."

Walter, probably too busy otherwise, did not marry until about age 34.  He wed German-born Marie Augusta Packenius on 12 October 1889 at Travis County.  It appears the couple had seven children:  Jennie, George J. (1890-1974), M. Louise, Mary Lee (1894-1961), Walter Arthur (b. 1898), Charles West (1900-1907), and Marie Cassandra (1908-1981).

wwdurhamdcWalter Winn Durham died 7 March 1929 at Austin.  He was buried at Oakwood Cemetery.

- Sarah Lincecum "Sally" Durham was born about 1858 in Texas.  Like her sister Lee, Sally died in April 1862.  In fact, it was just the day before Lee breathed her last.  Lois Burkhalter wrote in her 1965 biography of Gideon, grandfather of the little girls:

Among the Lincecum Papers are invitations from the Durham Austin residence on Pecan, now Sixth, and Guadalupe, to funerals of their daughters, Sarah Lincecum, at 4:00 P.M., Thursday, April 10, 1862, and Mary Leonora, at 4:00 P.M., Friday, April 11, 1862.  An explanation of this long-ago tragedy is found in the diary of Amelia E. Barr, an Englishwoman who lived for a while in Texas and was well acquainted with the Durhams:

April 9, 1862:  In the evening to Mrs. Durham's.  Poor little Sally, whom I suckled for two months when her mother had fever, just dead of diptheria.

April 10, 1862:  Went to see Sally for the last time...The cemetery was crowded.  When we got back from Sally's funeral her sister, Leonora, was dying.  She breathed her last at five o'clock.

- Royal Wheeler Durham was born after 1860, died 21 April 1866, and was buried at Oakwood Cemetery.  Unlike the other children, I cannot corroborate the existence of young Royal with other records. My only source is Ms. Burkhalter's book.

glass4- Sidney Johnson "Sid" Durham was born about July 1860 in Austin.  He was baptized at St. David's Episcopal Church when about a year old.

In June 1883, Sidney married a Scotland-born widow named Mary Jean "Jennie" (Mackey) Gray at Austin.  The couple had at least two daughters:  Lela/Leonore (1884-1940) and Ione Finin (1886-1956).

During his mid to late twenties, Sidney was occupied as a clerk in Austin.  In 1887 specifically, he was associated with H. H. Hazzard & Co.  A newspaper item dated that same year, however, showed Sid also had a talent for singing (and must have been a big dude).

West Texas Free Press (San Marcos, TX)
10 March 1887 - pg. 4 [via GenealogyBank]

The entertainment on Saturday night at Harper's Hall was one of real merit...Mr. Sid Durham, who might be styled the musical giant of Texas, his power of voice fully corresponding with his large proportions...

4810940Two years later, according to an Austin, TX city directory, Sidney appeared to then be pursuing a career in musical entertainment full time.  And a newspaper item from the summer of that same year – 1889 – showed Sidney had begun making trips to New York.

Weekly Democratic Statesman (Austin, Texas)
Thursday, 15 August 1889 - pg. 4

Sailing the Ocean Blue.
Our special this morning from Galveston announcing that...Mr. Sidney Durham..., of Austin, [was] among the passengers of the steamship Comal that sailed Wednesday morning from Galveston for New York.  THE STATESMAN wafts them a kindly adieu and wishes them a pleasant voyage and a safe arrival at their destination.

Even though Sidney was again listed in an 1895 Austin city directory (occupied as a musician), I also found his trips to New York continued in the interim.  And the aforementioned Lois Burkhalter added this:

Another son [of George and Cassandra], Sidney J. Durham, wrote (August 6, 1895) his Aunt Sallie Doran that he was in New York with the Lillian Russell Comique Opera Company, studying voice with Madame Skinner, and had become a Christian Scientist.

A report from the New York Sun, dated 12 April 1896, puts Sidney at the Big Apple again.  This time he was performing at the famed Salmagundi Club:


Music, Variety, and Farce in a Crowded Art Gallery.
Friday night's entertainment at the Salmagundi Club, 14 West Twelfth street, was an event of more than common interest, and was quite the most ambitious that the artists have ever undertaken...

Among the musical numbers [were]...some baritone songs by Mr. Sidney Durham, who has a fine cultivated voice which he uses with admirable skill and effect...

Records suggest Sidney had officially moved to New York by 1910.  According to that year's federal census, he was residing at 881 7th Avenue [Carnegie Hall?], and occupied as a Concert Singer – alone.  No wife nor kids were there.

About this time, Jennie started being listed in Austin, TX city directories as the widow of Sidney J.  I don't know if this was simply an incorrect supposition, or if Jennie described herself as such.  Regardless, it seems to indicate Sidney was no longer spending much (if any) time at his Austin home.

Per 1911, 1912, and 1913 city directories for New York, New York, Sidney was occupied as a secretary at 883 7th Avenue.  Home was "Hotel Grenoble" in 1911 and 1912.  (It is my understanding this hotel was across from Carnegie Hall.) In 1915, Sidney's home was the same, but his occupation was more specifically noted as "Secretary, Christian Science Church." It's possible his (then) new-found faith supplanted his career in music.

The last record I found of Sidney in New York was 1918, when he was residing at 871 7th Avenue.  I believe this to likely be the Wellington Hotel.  Per their website:

New York's historic Wellington Hotel has been welcoming guests from around the world for 116 years. We invite you to explore everything there is to see and do in this great City from our superb location near Broadway, Carnegie Hall, Central Park, MoMA and Rockefeller Center.

Image from Google Map street view, dated December 2017:

Then Sidney moved again.  To another hotel.  In California.  I found him in the 1920 Oakland, Alameda County Federal census.  He was listed in a hotel at 300 Thirteenth Street, managed by William C. Jargens.  Could this have been the historic Hotel Oakland?

What is somewhat bizarre about the census entry is a female named Jean Durham is right under Sidney.  Both boarders were aged 55 and married.  Sidney was occupied as a Christian Science Practitioner.


Sidney seems to have sojourned to San Francisco for a couple of years (1923-1924) per voter records and a city directory.  Address was 798 Post Street (Google map image below).  This is currently part of the Lower Nob Hill district and on the National Register of Historic Places.  Majority of the buildings were constructed as apartment hotels, dated 1906 – 1925.

According to the California Death Index at Ancestry, Sidney J. Durham died 24 January 1926 at Alameda County, California.  (I'm clueless as to a burial site.) Sid's death came one year after the death of his wife.  Per her tombstone at Oakwood Cemetery in Austin, Texas, Mary Jean Mackey Gray Durham died 29 January 1925.  She was buried beside her first husband.

- Prior/Price Durham was born about 1866 in Texas.  He was listed with his mother for the taking of the 1870 Federal census at Austin, Travis County.  Based on Gideon Lincecum's letter quoted from above, this young son died before 1873.

- Mary Lela Durham was born about 1868 in Texas.  She was listed with her mother in census records for Austin dated 1870 and 1875.  After Cassandra's death in 1877, Lela's oldest brother Walter became her guardian.

For the 1880 Austin, Travis County, Texas Federal census, it appears Walter and brother Sid were living in the family home on Pecan Street.  Their sister "Lela" was boarding a few doors down in the Ben J. Smith household.  Both Ben and wife Eliza were school teachers.  Twelve-year-old Lela's occupation was "at school."

I lose Lela after that census taking.  Since she is counted as one of the children of George and Cassandra that made it to adulthood, it's possible she married.  To whom is the question.

Take all mistakes as good wishes.

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