A Day in Appanoose County

2016 Trip to Iowa Day 3

I was going along pretty well here, writing about my recent trip to Iowa. Then came the maddening, frustrating realization that I experienced a major technical failure on this particular day of my trip. It was my own un-techy fault. Unprepared. Ill equipped. Lacking knowledge. So I stopped writing mid-trip. Really, I am so bummed out about it. Nevertheless, it was a lovely day! Here goes …

2016-iowa-mystic-water-tower-copyWhen I was in Iowa four years ago, my Uncle Roy wanted to take me to Mystic, the town where he and my mom and their siblings were born and spent their early years. I ran out of time during that visit, so I made sure to reserve a day for a trip to Mystic this time.

Mystic, and the rest of Appanoose County, experienced a boom during the late 1800s and early 1900s because of coal mining in the area. Later, the mines ran out and many of the towns are now a mere shadow of what they once were. For today, we’ll just focus on the trip and I’ll hope to write more about Mystic and the lives of my family there another day.

map-of-appanoose-travelsThankfully, I had swapped out the two-door hatchback for a four-door sedan so that Uncle Roy, Aunt Joan and I could travel in relative comfort. I picked them up at their RV in Ottumwa Park and we were on our way mid morning. I was so thankful to have Uncle Roy as my navigator and tour guide.

The first stop on our trip was Elgin Cemetery in Mystic, where members of my Hoskins side of the family are buried. My great-grandmother’s stone was easy to find.

Sarah Elizabeth Hoskins nee Bryan

Sarah Elizabeth Hoskins nee Bryan

sarah-elizabeth-bryan-hoskinsSARAH
ELIZABETH
HOSKINS
JAN 27, 1864
JAN 7, 1939

Prepare to meet
me in Heaven

Sarah Elizabeth Hoskins, nee Bryan was my maternal grandfather’s mother.

Her daughters were buried nearby.

Edna Hoskins Martin and John

Edna Hoskins Martin and John

Ethel Hoskins Bland, Mark and Barbara

Ethel Hoskins Bland, Mark and Barbara

Morlan?

Morlan?

But where was her husband?

We looked and looked for Thomas Franklin Hoskins, but he was nowhere to be found. His death certificate confirms that he should be here, but we could not find even an indentation or tiny mark where an unmarked grave might be. Just to the left of Sarah Hoskins’ marker was a small metal marker. It is difficult to read, but I think the name is Morlan and other Morlans are nearby.

stickler-adaThere are a lot of Sticklers and Milburns buried in Elgin Cemetery – both family lines that married into my family tree, so I took pictures of their markers as well. There were a lot of old stones that were impossible, or nearly impossible, to read. Someone had taken black paint to preserve the names on the old Stickler markers. I know this is frowned upon, but I do understand the motivation. The names on those stones were not long for this world.

 

Taking pictures of grave markers always seems to be a challenge for me. Here is one of my photo fails. Like my big yellow bag?
wife-of-wm-e

I found this short video someone took at Elgin Cemetery. It doesn’t show the part of the cemetery where our family is buried, but gives a view of the landscape.

I’m just going to stop here and write about the rest of my day in Appanoose County in another post ’cause I’m still bummed about what happened next.

P.S. You can enlarge small photos by clicking on them.

To Do List:
Find the location of great-grandfather’s grave in Elgin Cemetery. Thomas Franklin Hoskins.

Related posts:
Flying Solo – Day 1 of this trip
Bonaparte Retreat – Day 2 of this trip
Puzzling Penmanship – includes pictures of Thomas F. Hoskins home and children
Sisters, But Not – Edna Hoskins

Mystery Baby – Who was Eric Dewell?

I’m diligently scanning and rescanning photographs originally in the possession of my grandmother Eveline Coates Hoskins – the ones sent by her relatives in England. I have not yet been able to determine how this beautiful baby fits into our family tree.
Unknown - Dewell, Eric copyYou know you want a closer look at those curls  … and that expression …
Unknown - Dewell, Eric cropand those toes …
Unknown - Dewell, Eric toesBut who is this precious one? The back of the photograph provides a name and a date.

Unknown - Dewell, Eric back signature

Hmm … I’m thinking the baby didn’t sign this.

I haven’t run across any Dewells in the family tree. No Erics either – in the event Dewell is a middle name.

As I was placing the photograph back into its page protector, I noticed something I hadn’t noticed before (and there has been ample opportunity for noticing). The date and handwriting match the date and handwriting on the back of another photograph.
Dawson (Cherry), Ida back signature and date I know who Cousin Ida is. Ida Dawson is the daughter of Nellie (Mary Ellen) Coates Dawson and Robert Dawson. Ida was my grandmother’s first cousin.

Dawson (Cherry), Ida copy But who is Eric Dewell and what was his relationship to Ida? I’ll keep looking, but I’m sending this out and hoping someone can give me a little help. I’d like to claim this little one as one of ours.

 

Sepia Saturday – Such a Face!

Sep Sat 10-31-2015Gee, I haven’t participated in Sepia Saturday in quite a while! I mean too, but my muddled brain doesn’t always cooperate. But I am here today!

Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.

Today’s prompt is an image of a vintage Halloween greeting card. I don’t have a greeting card, but I have a couple of pictures that I think complement the theme.

Doris helps Jim HalloweenHere we have a woman standing with her back to us, right hand raised, facing a man dressed in a jacket and wearing a hat. This guy looks pretty grumpy, as does the guy on the card.

A second photo was taken a few minutes later and now we understand that this is a grumpy boy. His hat looks rather juvenile by comparison. Perhaps he grew into a grumpy man.Doris and Jim Halloween costumesThese pictures were taken while my mom and step-dad were dating – so the poem on the greeting card is also a match:

She believed in the mirror’s magic spell;
That of her future husband it would tell.
He must be tall, and good lineage trace:-
But how could he, with such a face.

I recently showed Dad this picture and he said that they went to a costume party and assumed people knew who they were, but after sitting on a couch for some time with no one speaking to them, they realized that no one had any idea who they were.

I think these are pretty great masks! I wonder where they (probably Mom) found them? This was long before the internet after all.

At the time this was taken, Mom and I lived with her parents in Ottumwa, Iowa. I’d never noticed until now that my grandfather’s hat is hanging on the back of the chair on the right.

They made quite a cute couple at Halloween – and on their wedding day!
3.Doris.Jim

It’s Halloween, so go trick-or-treating at the doors of other Sepia Saturday participants.