Monday, October 9, 2017

Butcher, Baker . . . . . . . .

David Brown Letter
(click to enlarge)
Mary, the subject of this post, is the oldest daughter of Timothy and Hannah Kelly Brown.  Very little information about her was given in the David Brown letter1;   however, that information was received from Nellie Brown and Sarah Brown Taylor, people who would have either known her, or known about her from their parents who were siblings of Mary2.   Using this information, I have been able to piece together sketches of Mary’s life.  Of all the Browne immigrants, I still feel as if I know the least about her.

Mary was baptized May 21, 1837 at Patrickswell Roman Catholic Church in Patrickswell, County Limerick, Ireland3.  She was about eleven when she left Ireland with the rest of her family and arrived in Boston on January 29, 1849.  (See Arriving in America, The Voyage on the John Murray, and Boston.)  Mary is included with the family in the 1850 US Census4 in Vermont where they lived for a short time before moving to Chicago.  (See Vermont)  Once in Chicago, (See Chicago, F I R E !, and Aftermath), although still located close to her family, Mary begins her own story.

The 1860 US Census does not specify relationships for individuals in the same household; however, from our previous research, we know the members of Mary’s immediate family.   She is enumerated in Chicago, Ward 8, with three of her siblings, Johanna
1860 US Census
(click to enlarge)
(married to Thomas Roach), James and Thomas.  (See 1860 Census right.)  The David Brown letter, states that Mary was married to Henry Gray.  A Henry Gray, baker, born in New York about 1838, is shown at the same address.  Catherine Gray, presumably a daughter of Mary and Henry, born about August 1859 in Illinois, is also listed in the household5.  I have not been able to find records for Mary between 1850, when she was in Vermont, and 1860; nor, have I been able to locate a marriage record for Mary and Henry in either Illinois or Wisconsin where she may have previously lived6

Although still a common name, Henry Gray is more easily
1858 Chicago showing Washington St
identified in the Chicago City Directories because he gave a specific occupation - baker7.  The 1861-2 directory shows his home address as 154 Washington; 84 Dearborn in 1862-3; 81 Dearborn in 1863-4; 276 Wells in 1865, and the 1866 directory shows him living on Franklin at the northwest corner of Jackson with the rest of the Brown family.  The 1862-3 directory shows his employer as CL Woodman located at 195-7 Illinois, just around the corner from his home on Dearborn in the North section of town.  By 1866, he is working for SW Hull & Co. at 96 S Desplaines.

Bread was an important component of everyone’s diet in the 1800s.  Because many houses were not equipped with ovens to bake bread, (certainly not tenement housing), bakeries provided a
Advertisement for CL Woodman
vital service to the community.  Located throughout the city, many of them were small, ethnic, family run businesses with few outside employees.  While Chicago had many of these small bakeries, there were also large industrial bakeries manufacturing not only bread, but also tinned crackers and biscuits.  Some of the larger operations, such as CL Woodman, SW Hull, and the Chicago Mechanical Bakery, employed one hundred people or more.  Often, room and board was included as part of the wages which may explain the proximity of the Gray’s home to Henry’s employer in the early 1860s8.  While there were abundant opportunities for work, it also came with long hours, often fourteen hours a day, and low pay9.

Labor shortages and inflation were experienced during the Civil War years, (1861 to 1865), for both individuals and businesses when so many men were away fighting.  Wages were cut making it more difficult for families to provide adequate housing and food for their families10.  About this time, many trades were forming unions demanding improvements in working conditions, hours, and wages.  Chicago bakers were part of this movement forming their union, the Chicago Journeymen Bakers’ Protective Union, in April 1864 with a large representation of about 150 members.  In June 1864, the Chicago bakers union authorized a strike asking for a reduction in hours and a twenty-five percent increase in wages11.  There is not a list of union members; however, Henry Gray was likely involved in the strike, which failed, and union activities.

The Gray family is absent from Chicago during the later 1860s.  The
1870 Census - LaSalle, IL
(click to enlarge)
1870 US Census12 shows a family in LaSalle, IL consisting of “W. H.” Gray, baker and confectioner, with a personal estate of $1,800, (1837 – NY), Mary, a store clerk, (1839 – VT), and five children: Catherine (1860 – IL); Calvin F (1862 – IL); Thos H (1865 – IL); Lyman J (1867 – NY); and Otis Jas (1869 – NY).  The earlier 1860 census shows that “Henry” was born in New York.  Is this the same family?  The two youngest children were born in New York.  Why would the family have gone there?

Using earlier census records to locate W. H. Gray, I found William H Gray, age 14 (1836 - NY), in the 185013 US Census for Seneca, Ontario County, New York.   Others listed at the same residence are Calvin S Gray, age 35, physician, Elanon M Gray, age 35, George F, age 9, and Edward P, age 1.  Baptismal records for all three children were found in the Dutch Reformed Church in Geneva, (Ontario County, New York).   William Henry was baptized on October 25, 1839; he was born earlier on October 6, 1836.  Calvin Gray and Eleanor M Thomas are listed as parents for all three children14.   The 1855 New York State Census15 shows W H Gray, age 19, (indexed as W N), as an employee of Hiram L Saydam.  The occupation of both men is shown as “baker.” Perhaps William Henry was an apprentice and learned his trade from Mr. Saydam.  This appears to be a likely candidate, but there is still the difference in names – William Henry vs. Henry.   

Probate records for Ontario County, New York provide additional details.  Calvin S Gray died intestate in October 186616.  Since there was no will, Calvin’s wife would have inherited one-third of the estate, and William Henry and his surviving siblings would have inherited the other two thirds of the estate.  Earlier in the year, April 1866, William Henry’s brother, George, died.  George’s will listed two brothers, Henry and Edward, as his heirs17.   The piece
Segment of will of Joshua Gray
(click to enlarge)
that ties this together is the will of Calvin’s father, Joshua Gray, from May 1869.  The will lists all of his children including, William A Gray, Lyman R Gray, Charles P Gray, Catharine Randall, Julia Hitchcock, Caroline Barnes, and Lucy Ann Gray.  The will also identifies two surviving sons of Calvin S Gray as Henry and Edward18.  William Henry would have had incentive to return to New York because he was the beneficiary of several family members who died in the late 1860s.  This could be the source of his personal estate shown in the 1870 census.

Two of the children of William Henry and Mary Gray, Catharine and Lyman, were probably named after William Henry’s siblings.  Lyman and Otis James were born in New York during a period when several close family members died.    Taking into consideration all of the above information, it appears that William Henry Gray and Henry Gray are the same person.  Although he was baptized as William Henry, he was known to the family as Henry and used that name during his earlier years in Chicago.  When he returned to Illinois about 1870, he went by the name of William Henry.

William Henry and his family must have returned to Illinois shortly after the death of his grandfather, Joshua Gray, in 1869.  While the 1870 census shows them in LaSalle, they probably did not stay there long since the Chicago City Directory for that year shows them again with the rest of the Brown family at 219 Jackson19.  This puts them in the heart of the 1871 fire that destroyed Chicago.  They, too, would have had a harrowing escape as did the rest of the family.  (See F I R E !)  By 1872, the City Directory shows the family headed by WH Gray, baker, living at 356 22nd which is located south of the burned area.


William H Gray is only shown in Chicago in two additional years; in 1876 at 207 S Jefferson, and, in 1877 at 11170 Wentworth Ave.  He is identified as a “baker” in each of these years.  This becomes very curious since Mary Gray is listed under her own name during 1873 to 1878 and again from 1885 to 1886 as the “widow” of William20.  I have not found a death record or burial permit for William Henry Gray during this time.  Since Mary and William Henry are shown in separate residences for some of the same years, would a more logical reason be that they were actually divorced?  Divorce was not very common during this time and carried many negative connotations, especially for the woman.  Perhaps it would have been more socially acceptable for Mary to be a widow rather than a divorcee, especially for an Irish woman who was raised a Catholic21.  Other than the 1870 census, which shows Mary as a store clerk, no information was shown in the city directories about how Mary earned a living.

Additional family members are living in Chicago with Mary in 188522.  Mary’s son, Lyman, a confectioner, now 18, is living at the same address as is Mary’s mother, Mrs. Hannah Brown, (See Aftermath.)  There is also a Clarence Gray, bartender, living in the household.  I have not heard of Clarence before.  Because he is in the same household with the same surname, he could be related to the family.  Could this be Calvin using a different name? 

I have not identified records for the other children of Mary and William Henry except for possible death records for Otis and Thomas Gray in 1882.  Otis Gray, age 8, died at the small pox hospital in Chicago on April 1, 1882.  Thomas Gray, age 14, boot black, died at the same hospital on April 5, 1882.  Based on birth years given in the 1870 census, Otis would have been about 13, and Thomas would have been about 17.  Incorrect ages for the children could have been given at the time of admittance; or, if the children were of slight build, estimated ages could have been incorrect.  No additional information, such as a cemetery, is given on the death records or in the burial permits; however, the children were admitted to the hospital on the same day23

Death Certificate Mrs. Mary Gray
(click to enlarge)
 Mary died of consumption on August 4, 1886, age 49, and is buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Chicago.  She was living at 2723 Wentworth at the time with her son, Lyman, a candymaker.  Lyman, died March 15, 1889 at St. Luke’s Hospital of typhoid fever.  He is also buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery24.  
Death Certificate Lyman Gray
(click to enlarge)

There is another piece of information about a William Henry Gray that I can’t ignore.  I don’t know if this is the same William Henry Gray or not.  There is a marriage record for Wm H Gray and Mary E Robinson on February 19, 1879 in Wyocena, Columbia, Wisconsin25.  The parents of Wm H are C.S. Gray (Calvin S Gray?) and E.M. Gray (Eleanor M Thomas?).  A child, Henry, was born to them on February 21, 188026.  This same couple and child are shown in the 1880 US census record for Columbia County, Wisconsin27.  The occupation for William H is given as “baker.”    

In the next post, we will look at another of the immigrants from Ireland.



1.       Brown, David, Kankakee, IL., 11 May 1943.  Letter to Esther ________, Columbus, OH.  The David Brown letter continues to be my “roadmap” to the Browne family of Fanningstown, County Limerick, Ireland.

2.       Nellie is the daughter (eighth child) of John and Ellen Burns Brown.   See More Brown Children for more information.  Sarah Brown Taylor is the daughter (sixth child) of Patrick and Ann Burns Brown.  See  " . . . and he leaves a large family to mourn his death"

3.       Baptisms, Patrickswell Catholic Parish Registers, Lurriga, 21 May 1837, microfilm 02409-05, page 63, National Library of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.

4.       United States Census, 1850, Family Search (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MC2X-Z5D) Brandon, Rutland, Vermont, United States; citing family 1636, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.:National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.)

5.       Year: 1860; Census Place: Chicago Ward 8, Cook, Illinois; Roll: M653_168; Page: 114; Family History Library Film: 803168.  Available online at Ancestry.com.  The census was taken in June, 1860.  Catherine’s age is given as 10 months, (10/12), making her birth about August, 1859.

6.       Note that Emma Roach, a daughter of Thomas and Johanna was born in Wisconsin.  It is possible that the family traveled from Vermont to Wisconsin before moving on to Chicago.  To date, I have not found marriage records for either couple, Thomas and Johanna Roach or Henry and Mary Gray, in Illinois or Wisconsin.

7.       City Directories for Chicago are located on both Ancestry.com and Fold3.

8.       Jentz, John B. and Schneirov, Richard, Chicago in the Age of Capital; Class, Politics, and Democracy during the Civil War and Reconstruction, University of Illinois Press, Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield, 2012, page 45-46.  Besides making bread, many of the larger bakeries manufactured biscuits and crackers using “machinery for mixing the dough and an oven with a steam-powered system for circulating baked goods through the heating chamber. . . . well into the 1880s, Chicago bakers were still opposing the craft practice of having part of their wages paid in room and board supplied by their masters.”  

IMAGE of advertisement for CL Woodman is taken from, The Railroads of Chicago, A Comprehensive History, The Western News Company, Chicago, IL.  Available online at: https://ia801403.us.archive.org/19/items/railroadsofchica00lawr/railroadsofchica00lawr.pdf

9.       Chicago Tribune, Bakers’ Union Strike, ProQuest Historical Newspapers, 5 Jun 1864, page 4.  In 1864, bakers who worked, “fourteen hours per diem commencing at five o’clock in the evening, received two dollars, and hands engaged for 12 hours, during the day, received one dollar and seventy-five cents.”  Using the inflation calculator on WolframAlpha.com, two dollars in 1864 is equivalent to $32.31 today.  Remember, this was the pay for a fourteen hour day. 

10.   Jentz,  op.cit., page 45-6.

11.   Chicago Tribune, Meeting of Union, ProQuest Historical Newspapers, 17 Apr 1864, page 4 and Meeting of Journeymen Bakers, * Jun 1864, page 4.

12.   1870 US Census, La Salle, La Salle, Illinois; Roll M593_243; Page 323A; Family History Library Film: 545742

13.   1850 US Census, Seneca, Ontario, New York; Roll M432_572; Page 477B; Image 407

14.   The Archives of the Reformed Church in America; New Brunswick, New Jersey; Geneva Church, Records, Consistory Minutes, 1831-1884, available on-line at Ancestry.com.  The date of baptism for Wm Henry is given as October 25, 1839.  His date of birth is listed as October 6, 1836.  George was baptized April 22, 1842.  No date of birth is shown.  Edmund was baptized August 31, 1849 and was born on July 28, 1849.  The same record set also shows the marriage of Calvin S Gray and Eleanor M Thomas on June 7, 1836.

15.   New York State Census, 1855, database with  images, FamilySearch  (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K63F-RML : 7 September 2016), W N Gray in household of Hiram L Saydam, E.D. 1, Seneca, Ontario, New York, United States; citing p. 36, line #3, family #285, county clerk offices, New York; FHL microfilm 590,803.

16.   Probate Records (Ontario County, New York), 1830-1883, New York. Calvin S Gray, Record of Letters, Volume U, Page 443, Surrogate’s Court, Ontario County), Ontario, New York.  Available on Ancestry.com.  Subsequent research has uncovered that Calvin’s first wife, Eleanor died in 1852.  (Find A Grave Memorial #117323364.)  Calvin had a second wife, Amy, who was included in the 1855 New York State Census.  They did have children.  The full probate file would provide additional information about the beneficiaries and the sums of money received.

17.   Probate Records (Ontario County, New York), 1830-1883, George T Gray, Record of Wills, Volume S, Page 562, Surrogate’s Court (Ontario County); Ontario, New York.  Available on Ancestry.com

18.   Probate Records (Ontario County, New York), 1830-1883. Joshua Gray, Record of Wills, Volume W-X, Page 78-9, Surrogate’s Court (Ontario County); Ontario, New York.  Available on Ancestry.com.

19.   The 1870 US Census was taken in LaSalle, Illinois on June 1, 1870.  The exact date of the 1870 Chicago City Directory is not known.  It is assumed that the information was printed in the later part of 1870.

20.   In 1878 and 1886, Mary is shown as the widow of Henry.  Addresses given for Mary are:  1873 – 19 Elgin; 1874 – 580 26th; 1875 – 400 22d; 1877 – 39 Elgin; 1880 – 1019 N Halsted; 1885 – 175 S Jefferson;  1886 – 2723 Wentworth av.  Mary is not shown in the Chicago City Directories between 1878 and 1885.

21.   Divorces were few in the 1870s and most were obtained by men who had only to “prove” adultery on the part of the wife.  It could also be that they were “separated” or that the husband was “away on business for an extended period of time” – probably not likely in this case since William Henry Gray was a baker.  The women involved were often referred to as “grass widows.”  http://www.yourdictionary.com/grass-widow

22.   The Lakeside Annual Directory of the City of Chicago, 1885, Thomas Hutchinson, Company, Chicago: The Chicago Directory Company, page 569.

23.   "Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N72P-3MV : 17 May 2016), Otus Gray, 01 Apr 1882; citing , Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference nr 4227, record number 47, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,031,440.

"Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N72P-3MK : 17 May 2016), Thomas Gray, 05 Apr 1882; citing , Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference nr 4228, record number 48, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,031,440.   

Mt. Olivet and Calvary cemeteries do not have records of burials for these children.

24.   "Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q2M3-KPPT : 17 May 2016), Mary Grey, 04 Aug 1886; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference 88607, record number , Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,917.

"Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N7D8-C6L : 17 May 2016), Lyman Gray, 15 Mar 1889; citing , Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference cn 3567, record number 80, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,938.

Mary’s son, Lyman, purchased three graves at the time of Mary’s death.  The third burial is for Harry Clancy.  Harry died March 25, 1888 at three years old.  I do not know the connection to the Brown/Gray family.  The information was obtained during a phone call with the clerk at the Mr. Olivet cemetery.

25.   "Wisconsin, County Marriages, 1836-1911," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XRL3-PTD : 3 June 2016), Wm. H. Grey and Mary E. Robinson, 19 Feb 1879; citing Wyocena, Columbia, Wisconsin, United States, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison; FHL microfilm 1,275,883.

26.   "Wisconsin Births and Christenings, 1826-1926," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XTMM-DFJ : 12 December 2014), Henry Bailey, 21 Feb 1880; citing Portage, Columbia, Wisconsin, reference ; FHL microfilm 1,302,854.

"Wisconsin Births and Christenings, 1826-1926," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XRFB-SJ3 : 12 December 2014), Henry Bailey, 21 Feb 1880; citing Portage, Columbia, Wisconsin, reference P 367 No 01258; FHL microfilm 1,302,854.

"Wisconsin Births and Christenings, 1826-1926," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XRFY-GR9 : 12 December 2014), Henry Bailey, 21 Feb 1880; citing Portage, Columbia, Wisconsin, reference P 315 No 00960; FHL microfilm 1,302,854.

27.   Year: 1880; Census Place: Portage, Columbia, Wisconsin; Roll: 1420; Family History Film: 1255420; Page: 236A; Enumeration District: 034. Available online at Ancestry.com



Friday, August 18, 2017

John Edward Brown

Casparis Quarry, Marble Cliff, Franklin County, Ohio - John E. Brown seated in front (see footnotes)
(click to enlarge)
With this blog, we come to the final story of the children of John and Ellen Burns Brown.  Their oldest child, John Edward Brown, was born June 25, 18571 in Franklin County, Ohio.  No baptismal record exists, although it is likely that he was baptized at St. Patrick’s in Columbus like the rest of the children.  John is shown in the 1860 and 1870 US census with his parents.  By 1880, after both of his parents died, John is living at the quarry property with his mother’s sister, Martha Burns and her husband, Peter Burns.  John worked in the quarries all his life.  His early years were spent working with his father, John, and Uncle Pete until, at least, his marriage in 1882; and, more likely until Peter’s death in 1892.  (See previous posts on Brown-Burns Connections and John and Peter.)

John E. Brown and Mary E. Burns were married September 20, 18822 at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in downtown Columbus.  Mary Burns was born May 24, 18583 in Port Henry, Essex County, New York, located on the southwest shore of Lake Champlain.  Her childhood was spent in central Vermont, in
1882 Wedding of John E. Brown and
Mary E. Burns - Columbus, Ohio
the area around Brandon and Rutland, where the Brown family was located in 1850.  (Refer to the previous blog post on Vermont.)  In January 1862 when she was just four years old, Mary’s father, John Burns, enlisted in Company B of the 7th Vermont Infantry for the duration of the American Civil War.  He never returned home4 leaving his wife, Margaret Martin/Kilmartin, to support six children, four of whom were still minors.  (They had a total of seven children, but, one child died in 1862 after John left with his regiment.  The oldest son married in 1866.  Another child died in 1868 shortly after the war was over.)  Mary’s mother, Margaret, applied for and received a small pension.  Times were tough and there was no one else to help.  Her husband’s brother, Patrick, was living nearby; but, he had been badly injured in the war and was also living on a pension.  The 1870 US census for West Rutland, Vermont shows Mary, age 11, as a servant in the home of Lorenzo Sheldon, a wealthy local physician and owner of quarries in the area5.  (See footnotes.)

In 1880, Mary, now age 22, is living in Columbus, Ohio as a servant in the household of another wealthy businessman, C.H. Lindenberg, president of the Columbus Electric Light company.  Before she married, she served in several large homes in the Columbus area. Other servants in the same houses where Mary worked were Maggie and Katie O’Neil6.  Katie was one of the witnesses at the marriage of John and Mary.  The O’Neil’s were next door neighbors of Peter and Martha Burns.  Although family lore says that Mary accompanied “an aunt” who was coming to Columbus to marry a “Mr. Brown7,” no one knows exactly when or why she came to Columbus.  Did she meet John E. Brown while visiting the home of her close friends, the O’Neil sisters; or, did the O’Neil’s help her find employment because Mary was staying with Peter and Martha Burns?  Based on baptismal information for Peter Burns and marriage information for John and Margaret Burns, Mary’s parents, we do know that Mary was a niece of Peter Burns.  Peter was a brother of Mary’s father, John Burns8.  

John E. and Mary E. Burns Brown were believed to have started housekeeping on the west side of the Scioto River, about where Grandview Avenue and McKinley Avenue intersect, residing there until they built a home on Trabue Road in Norwich Township.  I have not found evidence of this, and, if they did live there, it would have been for a short time.  When their second child, Anna9, was born in 1885, they were living in the south part of Perry Township.  This is the same area where his father, John, and Uncle Peter lived in the 1860 census before the quarry property was purchased.  Between 1883 and 1898, John and Mary eventually had nine children – Mary Ellen (Mayme), Anna, Nora, Margaret (Maggie), Kathryn Agnes (Agnes), John, James, Josephine (Jo), and Carolyn (Carrie).  The first six children were born in Perry Township.  (The oldest, Mayme, could have been born in Franklin Township, but, no birth register has been located for her.)  The last three children, born between 1894 and 1898, are shown in the birth registers for Norwich Township.

Southeast section of Norwich Township - Trabue Pike
(Click to enlarge) (see footnotes)
The Trabue Road property, in Norwich Township, was purchased by Mary E. Burns Brown from James Britton in three separate transactions.  The first two acres, purchased March 12, 1894 for $450.00, were located along the P.C.C. & St. L. railroad.  (Pittsburgh, Columbus, Chicago and St. Louis)  The second parcel, also two acres, was located next to the first parcel on Trabue Road.  It was purchased on May 9, 1894 for $450.00.  The third parcel, another two acres, was purchased January 5, 1898 for $300.00 and was adjacent to the two previous purchases10.  (See detail map of Trabue Rd property above.)  The house, was likely built
Trabue Road house shortly before demolition c. 1990
between March 1894, when the first parcel was bought, and October 1894 when their son, James was born in Norwich Township.  Prior to the purchase of the Trabue Road property, in June 1983, John E. purchased Lot 5 in the Terrace Addition on West Broad Street for $43011.  This was the lot next to that purchased by John’s brother, James, in 1902.  (See the previous post on Steam and Saloons.)  No building was erected on this land until after it was sold to Amelia Houx in August 1913.  It is assumed the property was purchased as an investment since neither John nor James and their families lived on these properties.  

Why was the property where John and Mary lived in Mary’s name?  During this era, land was usually recorded in the husband’s name while still recognizing the dower right of the wife.  The lot on West Broad Street was purchased and recorded in John’s name.  Were they concerned about the dangerous work John E. did in the quarry that the house should be maintained by Mary in the event of John E.’s death and would not be included in his estate?  Perhaps the death of Peter Burns can give us a clue.  Peter Burns died February 14, 1892 of kidney disease.  His estate was not probated until 189412.  Although nothing was mentioned in Peter’s will, (Peter left everything to Martha), could money have been left to John E. and Mary E. by Uncle Peter?  John E. and Peter worked the quarry together and, after his wife, Martha, Mary E. was probably Peter’s closest living relative at that time.  Also, Mary’s mother, and Peter’s sister-in-law, Margaret Burns, was living with John E. and Mary E. from at least 1887 - probably from 188213.  (Mary’s brother, Thomas Burns, was the other witness at the marriage of John and Mary.  He was also living with them in 1887.)  This would have been a way to ensure Margaret had a place to live and also fulfill any obligation Peter may have felt toward her. 

While it was a rural setting with room for the family, close to the quarry where John E. worked, and
Section of Franklin County showing Norwich, Perry, and
Franklin Townships - labels identify locations associated
with the Brown family.  (click to enlarge) (see footnotes)
within walking distance to some of the family, the Trabue Road property was next to a railroad 
track - the same tracks where John Brown was killed in 1873 less than two miles away.  I must admit that I don’t think I could have lived there knowing of the accident that killed John’s father.  (Refer to the map, right, which identifies specific locations relative to the family.)  (For details of the accident, see previous post for John and Peter.)  It is not surprising then, that another tragedy happened on those same tracks.  On July 15, 1908, while out picking berries along the track, Margaret Burns, Mary’s mother, was killed by a passenger train14.  (See the article about the accident below right.)  According to stories told by her descendants, the family thought Margaret was too old to be out along the tracks and was left at home with one of the girls while the rest of them
News article from July 16, 1908
(click to enlarge)
went to pick berries.  (She was about 83.)  While they were sorting the berries after returning home, Margaret must have slipped out the back door.  In order to get to the tracks, she had to have climbed a fence separating the yard from the tracks.  When she was returned home after the accident, Margaret was wearing a pair of socks that one of the girls had been wearing earlier; Margaret thought they were hers.  Margaret is buried in Mt. Calvary. 

While Peter Burns died in 1892, his widow, Martha, lived until November 29, 190915.  (See her obituary in the Brown-Burns Connections blog – link above.)  Martha remarried a second time, around 1896.  Her second husband was Michael Hogan who was born about 1840 in Ireland making him about ten years younger than Martha.  I have searched for a marriage record to no avail16.  Regardless, Martha’s will, dated July 30, 190917, leaves everything including real estate, household goods and monies, (except her bedding which she willed to John E. Brown), to her husband, Michael Hogan, during his lifetime.  At the death of Michael, everything was to go to her nephew, John E. Brown.  Michael died under suspicious circumstances on April 26, 191018, just six months after Martha while her estate was still in probate.  (See the footnotes for the circumstances surrounding the death of Michael Hogan.)  As a result, John E. obtained possession of the quarry property on June 24, 191019

John E. was always associated with the quarries in the Marble Cliff area from the time he was a young boy; but, where did he work after Uncle Peter died in 1892?  The article about the death of Michael Hogan, Martha Burns’ second husband, states the family quarry was abandoned in 1910. Although the date of the photo is not known, John is definitely shown in the Casparis quarry photo above.  The article about the accidental death of his mother-in-law, Margaret Burns, in 1908 states he was the “general foreman for the Casparis Stone company.”  Silvio Casparis20, owner of the Casparis Stone Quarry, started in business in Columbus in the early 1890’s.  The 1900 and 1910 US census records do not help since they only show John’s occupation - “day laborer,” and “foreman in the stone quarry21.”  Even John’s death certificate shows his occupation as “superintendent of a stone quarry” but does not give the name of his employer.  It is likely that John worked the family quarry until after Uncle Peter’s death; and, at that time went to work for one of the larger quarries in the area – perhaps earlier in order to support his growing family.  Because the Casparis company started in the early 1890’s, John’s employer in 1908 was specifically given as the Casparis quarry, and, given his job titles showing the advancement in his career through the years, I believe he worked at the Casparis operation from sometime around 1892 to 1912. 

In the fall of 1912, John E. contracted typhoid fever, probably from tainted water.  Treatment of typhoid in the early 1900s consisted primarily of trying to reduce the fever and using disinfectants to keep others from catching the disease.  The incubation period for typhoid is one to three weeks. 
Death certificate John E. Brown-1912
(click to enlarge)
Initial symptoms may resemble a mild cold, so an individual could be carrying the disease without even knowing it until they develop a high fever and other severe symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea22.  John E. was treated for three weeks.  Who knows how long he had been sick before a doctor was called in.  Because of the risk of infection, the house was quarantined.  The six youngest children, ages 24 to 14, were sent to John’s sister, Aunt Mat, Martha Brown Murnane, to stay until he recovered.  (The three oldest girls were married and in their own houses by this time.)  Ninety to ninety-five percent of typhoid victims survived; John E. did not.  John died October 24, 191223.  His estate was probated in 191324.  The property on West Broad Street, Lot 5 in the Terrace Addition, was sold to Amelia L. Houx for $1,500.00 in September 1913 to pay outstanding creditors25.         

Mary continued to live in the house on Trabue Road until she could no longer keep it.  The 1900 and 1910 US census records indicate there was a mortgage on the house.  Back taxes were also due26.  On May 27, 1915, Mary sold the house and property on Trabue Road to Benigno and Sebastiano D’Alessandro27.  Mary continued to live in the Columbus area until 1925.  The Columbus City Directory shows her at various addresses just north of The Ohio State University.  In 1930 Mary is living with her daughter, Anna, in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania.  By 1940, Mary is living with another daughter, Josephine, in Berlin Heights, Ohio near Lake Erie, where she died March 9, 1947, aged 8828.   Both John and Mary are buried in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.

Thus ends our story of the children of John and Ellen Burns Brown.  In the next post, we will return to the original immigrants from Ireland and take a look at Mary Brown, the oldest daughter of Timothy and Hannah Kelly Brown.




Photo of the Casparis Stone Quarry is from the author’s collection dated between 1892 and 1912, probably from the later time frame.  About forty-five individuals are included in the photo, most of them Italian immigrants who worked the stone quarries along the Scioto River.  Specific individuals can be identified including John E. Brown, the subject of this blog post, who is seated on a stone in the front.  The reason we can specifically identify this as the Casparis quarry is that Mr. Casparis himself is standing about one-third of the way down from the top on the far left side.  He is in a suit with his right hand tucked into his suit coat.  There is a woman and child shown in the very middle of the photo – probably Mrs. Louise Casparis and one of their children.  This woman looks the same as a known passport of Louise Casparis from a later date.  Also the far right of the picture shows a man, face only, with a bowler hat.  Who could this be?

1.       “Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:61903/1 : 1 : X868-PMG : 8 December 2014), John E Brown, 24 Oct 1912; citing Franklin Twp., Franklin, Ohio, reference fn 54097; FHL microfilm 1,953,479.  Birth information obtained from his death certificate.

2.       "Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XZBG-2HD : 8 December 2014), John E. Brown and Mary E. Burns, 19 Sep 1882; citing Franklin, Ohio, United States, reference 11; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 285,149.

3.       "United States Civil War Widows and Other Dependents Pension Files, 1861-1934," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KX6F-838 : 4 December 2014), John Burns in entry for Margaret Martin Burns, 1861 - 1934; from "Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Dependents of Civil War Veterans, ca. 1861- ca. 1934," database, Fold3.com (http://www.fold3.com : 2008); citing military unit 7 Vermont Infantry, company B, application number WC82573, NAID identifier 300020, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.  Information for Mary’s birth is taken from “Proof of Birth” affidavit signed 15 Aug 1868 by Thomas Enright contained within the Pension file.

4.       Ibid.  John was captured by the Confederates on January 27, 1864 while on a recruiting expedition near Point Washington, Florida.   He was later taken to Andersonville Prison Camp where he died of scurvy on November 28, 1864.

5.       Mary told a grandson that she was actually “raised” by the Sheldon family.  By 1870, she had probably already been “in service” for several years. According to his obituary in The Rutland Daily Herald and Globe, September 9, 1880, Lorenzo Sheldon was a friend of the Irish in the area.  It is not inconceivable that he would have taken a young child into his home to help the struggling family.  It was probably while she lived with the Sheldon family that Mary learned to make beautiful hooked rugs.  Several family members remember having the rugs in their homes and recognized fabric from worn dresses.

6.       From the Columbus City Directory on Ancestry.com
1880 – Mary E. Burns, domestic servant at 48 S. Fifth St. – home of CH Lindenberg
1881 – Maggie O’Neil, domestic at 463 E. Broad St. – home of William Ewing
1882 – Mary E. Burns, domestic at 463 E. Broad St. – home of William Ewing
From the 1880 US Census
Year: 1880; Census Place: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: 1016; Family History Film: 1255016; Page: 169B; Enumeration District: 027

7.       Marriage records for 1877 to 1880 were individually searched.  No record was found that would be consistent with the family story.

8.        The Widow’s Pension application, cited above, contains a document from Montreal, Quebec, Canada proving the marriage of Margaret Martin and John Burns.  The marriage document gives the name of John’s parents as John Burns and Esther Cary from County Kildare in Ireland.  Other marriages in Montreal identify additional brothers of John as Patrick (who also moved to Vermont and signed the pension application for Margaret) and Edward Burns, giving the same parents and origin.  Baptismal records for the brothers have been located in the Catholic Church records for Carbury and Dunforth Catholic Parish in County Kildare.  John and Edward show their parents as John Burns and Esther Car[e]y.    They were living in the townland of Clonkeen in the parish of Carbury, County Kildare.  The date of birth and county of origin for Peter Burns was obtained from his tombstone. 
Using Peter’s information, his baptismal record was also located in Clonkeen, Carbury, County Kildare with parents John and Esther Burns.  (Irish church records sometimes give a maiden name for the mother of a child, and, again, sometimes they do not.)

9.       “Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003," database with images,  FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VRMD-N5H : 22 December 2016), Annie Adelle Brown, 15 Feb 1885; citing Birth, Perry Tp., Franklin, Ohio, United States, county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 285,135.  Births for all other children except Mayme, Nora, and Jo are found in the same database.

10.   Franklin Co., OH Deed Book, Volume 259, page 524, 12 Mar 1894.  Sale of 2 acres along the P.C.C. & St. L. railroad from James and Virginia Britton to Mary E. Brown.
Franklin Co., OH Deed Book, Volume 259, page 522, 9 May 1894.  Sale of 2 acres from James and Virginia Britton to Mary E. Brown.
Franklin Co., OH Deed Book, Volume 300, page 586, 5 Jun 1898.  Sale of 2 acres from James and Virginia Britton to Mary E. Brown.

Section of Norwich Township– Section of Plate 12 of the 1910 Modie & Kilmer’s Folio Atlas of Franklin County.  Used with permission of The Columbus Metropolitan Library Image Collections.  Trabue Road (Trabue Free Pike) is the boundary of Norwich and Franklin Townships with Norwich on the north side of the road and Franklin on the south side.  Perry Township, where John and Mary lived before 1894, is just east of the river shown on the map.


11.   Franklin Co., OH Deed Book, Volume 253, page 100, 15 Jun 1893.  Sale of Lot 5, Terrace Addition from Martin Hack and Delbert Ong to John E. Brown for $430.00.

12.   "Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001," database with images,  FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F6JL-7ZV : 13 December 2014), Peter Burns, 19 Feb 1892; citing Death, Franklin Township, Franklin, Ohio, United States, source ID v 3 p 126, County courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 285,207. 
Franklin County, Ohio probate case files, estate no. 8883, Peter Byrns, (1894)

13.   Mary’s brother, Thomas Burns, was the other witness at the marriage of John E. Brown and Mary E. Burns in 1882.  The Columbus City Directory for 1887, (available at Ancestry.com), shows both Margaret Burns and Thomas Burns living with John Brown.  Because the names are so common, it is difficult to determine with any degree of certainty that Margaret and Thomas are listed.  There are entries for 1883 and 1884 that a Margaret and Thomas Burns are living in the same household.

Section of Franklin County – Section of Plate 1 of the 1910 Modie & Kilmer’s Folio Atlas of Franklin County.  Used with permission of The Columbus Metropolitan Library Image Collections.  Map shows the location of places associated with the Brown family.  The faint red bands designate Township boundaries.

14.   "Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001," database with images,  FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F6KM-98D : 13 December 2014), Margaret Burns, 15 Jul 1908; citing Death, Columbus, Franklin, Ohio, United States, source ID 1908 v 3 fn A309, County courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 2,032,522.
“TRAIN KILLS AGED WOMAN,” The Columbus Citizen, Columbus, Ohio, July 16, 1908.

15.   "Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953," database with images,  FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X8Z4-BHK : 8 December 2014), Martha Hogan, 29 Nov 1909; citing Franklin Township, Franklin, Ohio, reference fn 56218; FHL microfilm 1,927,274.

16.   In all the stories that were told by my great aunts, I never heard of Michael Hogan or that Aunt Mat had married again after Uncle Pete died.  Also, it took a long time to find the death certificate and probate records for Martha Burns Hogan.  I actually located the information when I was trying to determine who was buried in the fourth grave in the plot that Peter Burns purchased in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.  I had a date of burial, but no name.  I searched the local newspapers for anyone that had died around the time and was buried in Mt. Calvary.  The only person that matched was Michael Hogan.  From that, I was able to determine that the records for Martha Burns were actually under the name of Martha Hogan.

17.   Franklin County, Ohio probate case files, estate no. 24074, Martha Hogan, (1909), Will Record FF35

18.   "Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953," database with images,  FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X887-GZQ : 8 December 2014), Michael Hogan, 26 Apr 1910; citing Franklin Township, Franklin, Ohio, reference fn 20541; FHL microfilm 1,927,360.
Both the Columbus Dispatch and the Columbus Citizen ran front page articles on April 26, 1910 alluding to the “murder” of Michael Hogan.  Michael’s body was found at the bottom of the quarry, forty feet below the rim of the quarry located just fifteen feet from the back of the house.  His neck was broken along with other contusions consistent with either falling or being pushed off the cliff.  The day before, Michael discovered that his chickens, eighteen of them, had been stolen.  He reported the crime and engaged bloodhounds to try to apprehend the culprits.  They were not found.  When Michael’s body was found, it looked like there had been a scuffle on the edge of the cliff and that Michael could have been pushed over the cliff.  Additionally, the kitchen was in disarray leading the authorities to suspect foul play.  However, a neighbor stated they had seen Michael the previous evening evidently under the influence of liquor.   Michael’s son, James, felt that his father had been murdered as stated in an article published in the Columbus Citizen the next day.  The incident was determined to be an accident.  The investigators decided that all of the foot prints at the edge of the cliff were the same size, and that the damage in the kitchen was due to Michael staggering around the place in an inebriated condition.  It is hard to say whether this was truly an accident or not.  It was well known that Martha left enough money for Michael to live comfortably, although nothing was missing from the house or his person when Michael was found.  Because of the location of the quarry, at the edge of the city, there was also a question about which jurisdiction was responsible for the investigation.  It does appear that the investigation was not exhaustive since a decision was made the same day. Moreover, the unfavorable attitude toward the Irish still present during this era could have affected the investigation.  I don’t think we will ever know what really happened. 

19.   Franklin Co., OH Deed Book, Volume 499, page 211, 15 Jun 1910.  Transfer of quarry property from Martha Burns Hogan to John E. Brown.

20.   Silvio Casparis was born in Italy in 1850 and came to the United States at an early age.  Mr. Casparis worked as a contractor for the railroads in many places for a number of years, finally settling in Columbus about 1888.  In 1892, he founded the Casparis Stone Company.  He owned land on both sides of the Scioto River that was used for quarrying operations.  Besides his property in Franklin County, he owned land in other Ohio locations and other states including North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Indiana.  In 1913, the Casparis quarry merged with other local quarrying companies. Tthe Woodruff-Pausch Stone Company, owned by John Kaufman, and The Marble Cliff Company combined to form a new entity doing business under the name of Marble Cliff Quarries – a name well known in the Columbus area.  Only the land in Franklin County was included in the merger.  Property in other locations was maintained by Casparis under private ownership.

21.   Year: 1900; Census Place: Norwich, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: 1270; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 0132; FHL microfilm: 1241270
Year: 1910; Census Place: Norwich, Franklin, Ohio; Roll: T624_1183; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0187; FHL microfilm: 1375196

22.   Beach, Brian; Ferrie, Joseph; Saavedra, Martin; Troesken, Werner, Typhoid Fever, Water Quality, and Human Capital Formation, PDF,  Cleveland State University, pages 7-9, https://www.csuohio.edu/class/sites/csuohio.edu.class/files/Saavedra%20et%20al%202014.pdf

23.   "Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F6DG-TV5 : 13 December 2014), John E. Brown, 24 Oct 1912; citing Death, Columbus, Franklin, Ohio, United States, source ID 1912 fn 2596, County courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 2,032,527.

24.   Franklin County, Ohio probate case files, estate no. 28487, John E. Brown, (1912).

25.   Franklin Co., OH Deed Book, Volume 549, page 108, 27 Sep 1913.  Transfer of Terrace Addition property to Amelia L. Houx.

26.   Ohio History Collection, Tax duplicates, 1806-1810, 1816-1838, 1868, 1902-1907, 1914-1919, Franklin County, (State Archives Series 3992), Columbus, Ohio

27.   Franklin Co., OH Deed Book, Volume 582, page 47, 27 May 1915.  Transfer of Trabue Road property to Benigno and Sebastiano D’Alessandro.


28.   "Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953," database with images,  FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X65G-GZL : 8 December 2014), Mary E Brown, 09 Mar 1947; citing , reference certificate; FHL microfilm 2,372,931