Years ago I had finally found that William and Mary were buried in Hinsdale IL, there I learned she died in Downers Grove IL and he in Winamac IN. Why Indiana? He died with his son Fredrick, but why was a 50-something Chicago insurance agent in Winamac? It's not exactly commuting distance from Chicago.
Last month, on my way to the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference, I stopped in Winamac to look for probate records for William and Fred Richardson. There is a wonderful woman in the County Clerk's office who knows how to help genealogists, and welcomes them. She looked, no probate, but asked if I had checked the library (they had one of the newspapers "indexed" for vital records and microfilm of the issues). She called the library to say we were coming and where to direct us. The index was helpful, we learned when Frederick died, just two years later [new information to me] and that the local paper did have obituaries, which I looked up and copied.
At that time I didn't know about a lawsuit involving Frederick and his wife. I learned about that a week later. So, I contacted that wonderful woman in the Pulaski County office to ask her to look for some land records relating to it. She did and found the records, I sent my fees and an envelop and then today arrived not only those land records [still to be sorted out] along with a surprise.
Today's was another obituary for our GG'uncle Fred:
Wow! He was blind and had been for 15 years! That might explain why he wasn't still working in his father's insurance agency in the past few years. It notes that he died two years after his father, how many years they were in town, gives details about his going to Chicago for treatment for his blindness. Unfortunately, neither obituary gives his wife's name!
This led back to an article in my Richardson-wantabee file:
This piece of news tells me not only was Fred Richardson blind but it tells me where he was living [that Richardson family moved frequently in the past couple of decades], was involved in some sort of scandal with his now former wife [un-named, unfortunately], that he took in roomers. I'm sure there must have been an article about this that was in a Chicago paper [this was in a paper from Portland OR, a common thing to do with sensational stories]. And what does "severely dressed" mean?
Sounds like it is time to see if there are court records and maybe more newspaper coverage to be found!
©Erica Dakin Voolich, 2013
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