Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917

Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917
William Richardson, Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin, Robert Worthington Richardson, Harry Bogart Richardson
Showing posts with label HARVEY Joseph. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HARVEY Joseph. Show all posts

Monday, January 29, 2018

Remember the Women as we Climb the Family Tree, part 2b

I made the decision to focus on the women when I head up our family tree.  So many family history books tell you about the vital records of the men, extol their deeds and adventures and maybe if we are lucky tell us the full names of their wives and a hint as to her family.  I feel that family history should be more than just birth, marriage and death dates -- to celebrate our families, we should include their stories, after all they were people, not just a list of dates, and thanks to them we are all here now.  Not all of their stories are going to include record-shattering achievements of world leaders, and most likely no one in the family is that famous person.

Last year I focused on three women in my grandmother's generation:  Adelaide Copeland Harvey Richardson, Marion Elizabeth Evans Dakin and Clarice Theodora Evans.

This year it is time to move on to my great grandmother's generation:  Mary Alice Smith Dakin, Caroline Matilda Helsten Evans, Mary Louisa Helsten Pomeroy, Martha Elnora Worthington Richardson, and Alice Copeland Harvey.

In the other half of this blog post, Remember the Women as we Climb the Family Tree, part 2a, I focused on the first three women who were all from my paternal side.  Now, I'm going to focus on the two women on my maternal side, both great grandmothers of mine.  The first three women all eventually lived in Gaylordsville, Connecticut; these two women eventually ended up in Oak Park, Illinois, neither was born there.

Alice Copeland Harvey

Alice Copeland Harvey (23 February 1860 - 24 April 1921) was born on the Copeland Family Marino sheep farm on the border of the town of Jefferson, Wisconsin.  It was in the early days of settling Jefferson, her father had come out from Bridgewater, Massachusetts and settled on land that his uncle, the congressman John Reed, had purchased.  Another uncle had also come from Bridgewater with a friend to start a shoe company, Copeland Ryder Schools (Jefferson Shoe Company).  She came from a hard-working family with lots of aunts, uncles and cousins -- likewise for her husband.  Alice married Joseph Elliott Harvey from the next town, Lake Mills on 24 October 1879.  He came from a family of seven, his mother died when he was 5 and his oldest sister stayed home to raise him.

Alice and Joseph had four children:  Katherine Mary Harvey (born 22 August 1881), William Riley (born 7 January 1884), Charles Copeland Harvey (born 3 March 1889), and Adelaide Copeland Harvey (born 4 November 1893).  When they were raising their children in Lake Mills there were always plenty of relatives nearby to help with the children or to play with them.  Joseph was a salesman when he worked, and sometimes he had other problems, so life had extra challenges.  When her two oldest, Kath and Riley graduated from high school, they both wanted to go to college.  Kath taught school in Lake Mills, then Alice moved the whole family to Madison, opened a boarding house near the University of Wisconsin so they could attend.  Kath graduated with a degree in education, Riley in engineering in 1905. Cope wasn't interested in college, he was a musician and wanted to be a Big Band leader.  Alice moved her family to Oak Park, Illinois and enrolled her youngest in school.  Riley found work and Cope was jobbing.  Kath taught in Madison and then moved to Iowa when she married.

Alice learned frugality back on the farm and how to get by, which stood her in good stead though out tough times in her life.  But, not just frugality, she was educated and loved to read.
Her granddaughter told me: "Grandma Harvey sewed so much 'making over and making do'  she had a  great gentle sense of humor--said her epitaph should read 'Let it rip!'   She had read all of Dickens by the time she was 12 years old."
She was known as the person in her generation who knew of the "good New England Stock" which they came from which included folks on the Mayflower and she joined the
D. A. R. when living in Madison.  Unfortunately, not all of the family history letters, etc. that folks say they sent to her are among the things that I have or have access to.

When her youngest child married Adelaide and Bobbie lived with her. Alice was helping Adelaide care for their two young daughters, when Alice had a cerebral hemorrhage and died at age 61 on 24 April 1921.  Alice outlived her husband by six years, lived to see all of her children married, lived to see six of her seven grandchildren born, and lived to see her son Cope first as a Big Band director and then to go off to World War 1, returning safely from France.  She was at Cope's wedding, he and Julie left on their honeymoon, and she died while they were gone.

Martha Elnora Worthington Richardson

Martha (Mattie) Elnora (Nora) Worthington Richardson (17 November 1865 - 25 April 1939) was born in Chicago and she was named for both of her grandmothers, Martha Searing Worthington and Elnora Esther DeLoss Cobb.  Her father, Robert, had moved from Albany, New York to a farm in Wisconsin with his father, Denison, after his mother, Martha, died. His father Robert went to the "big city" to for work.  Her mother, Elnora Esther, had come with her parents (Nathan and Elnora Esther) to Chicago from small towns near Rome, New York.  Robert S. Worthington was working in freight forwarding and his next door neighbor Nathan Cobb was running a planing mill.  Robert married Elnora Esther Cobb, the girl next door.  They had one child, little Mattie didn't have many children to play with, but since Robert was the oldest of 10 children, it was not unusual for Mattie to have an uncle living with them as each started out working in Chicago and providing entertainment at home.  The family was doing well enough to be building a house, nearby.

Life changed when Mattie was five in October of 1871 with the Great Chicago Fire. Originally it looked like it was far away, but it grew closer and they spent the night on the North Avenue Beach, where Mattie met Emmy Sharp, another little girl her age and size -- they became life-long friends as did their parents.  When her family rebuilt, it was out "in the country" and nearby to where the Sharps also built a home.  This "country village" was Oak Park, which became one of the fastest growing suburbs of Chicago, thanks to the Fire.  The box of china which melted together in the fire, was taken as a lump and put into the yard of the new home when they built.  As awful as the Chicago Fire was, it was fortuitous in that is why her future husband's family moved to Chicago to help with the rebuilding.

Her parents were very involved with the Episcopal Church, first in Chicago, then in the mission in Harlem, and then with the founding of Grace Church Episcopal in Oak Park. Mattie was very proud that she knew the general confession backwards and would hit the middle word exactly when the priest did.

Mattie married Harry Bogart Richardson on 5 December 1889; and once married, started calling herself Nora [her mother Elnora Esther was still alive and her grandmother Elnora Esther had just died, so "Elnora" would be confusing, I suspect].  Nora and Harry had two boys:  Robert (Bobbie) Worthington Richardson (born 18 October 1890) and Harold Bogart (born 21 April 1894).  Harry worked downtown Chicago for his father's insurance agency or a local bank selling stocks and bond and insurance -- except for a couple of years --SURPRISE-- when he was in the Secret Service, one chasing counterfeiters in Denver. Nora was busy raising her boys and at one time traveling occasionally to see her husband who took the job out of financial necessity, then having Bobbie live in Denver with her husband and Harold with her in Oak Park..

Nora grew up in a household with her father quoting the classic poets, she loved learning.  As an adult, she never went to college but she was always furthering her education or volunteering for charities in the community.  She joined the XIXth Century Club, went to their meetings initially to learn and years later became one of the entertaining speakers there and at the Grace Episcopal Church mentioned in the newspaper.  She would study the issues, and so when she and her husband had a difference of opinion on the presidential candidates, there were "dueling" posters in the front parlor windows of the house in 1928.

In her final years, times were tough, her husband had died, as had her son Harold.  She did not have much income beyond the rent from next door.  She was hired by the W.P.A. [Works Progress Administration set up during the Great Depression to put local unemployed folks to work in their communities].  Six people were hired hired to help catalog and research the history of the town of Oak Park -- a perfect job for her.  She knew the town when it was a few hundred people and saw it grow into the thousands, she knew how to research, and how to write.  In 1937, the Historical Survey of Oak Park Illinois was published -- many of the chapters are authored by her [her initials appear on them] and the "Local History Index" became available in the Public Library.  The book is still being used by the Librarians when someone comes to the desk asking about the History of Oak Park!

Nora died on 25 April 1939 at the age of 73 from chronic myocarditis with emaciation and exhaustion contributing factors.  She outlived her husband and one son.  But she did live to see her oldest granddaughter start medical school and her youngest start college.  She must have been so proud of their education opportunities that she probably wished she had had.

Nora and Alice knew each other -- they met through their children who married, Bobbie and Adelaide.  Clearly they were also friends.   When Alice died in 1921, it was Nora who wrote the obituary in Oak Leaves, the local paper.
Death of Oak Park Woman Brings Memory of a Life Devoted to the Service of Others

    Alice Copeland, wife of the late Joseph E. Harvey, entered into rest on Sunday, April 24, after a brief illness.  Mrs. Harvey was born in  Jefferson, Wis., her married life being spend in Lake Mills and Madison, Wis., before coming to Oak Park about fifteen years ago.  She was essentially a home-maker, a woman of unusual charm and fine mentality, who lived a life of unselfish service to others.  A keen sense of humor carried her over many of the rough places of life, and her beautiful serenity of expression showed the power within. 
    Mrs. Harvey was a member of the Oak Park D.A.R., having a fine ancestry of which she was justly proud.  Her four children--Mrs. Alfred Rhodes of Esterville, Iowa; William Riley Harvey of Rogers Park; Charles Copeland Harvey, and Mrs. Robert W. Richardson of Oak Park, are left with the blessed memories of an unusually beautiful life of devotion to others, cheerfully given.
    Funeral services were held on Wednesday, with burial at Lake Mills, beside her husband.
    The one who sends this brief tribute feels that it has been a privilege to have known Mrs. Harvey, and that she has been enriched by having been one of her friends.


The stories here are quite condensed from the last 200 pages devoted to these two women's lives in my book Remember the Women! Heading up the Branches of our Women's Family Tree, Part 2.

©2018, Erica Dakin Voolich
The link to this post is

Monday, February 18, 2013

I Remember Grawa

Adelaide, age 3 (earliest picture I have)

When I was growing up, one grandmother lived with us all the time, the other for 6 months of the year.  I don't think I really appreciated all that they did -- for starters, they took care of all four of my parents' children in an era when mothers were expected to be home.  No lunchroom at school: kids had an hour and a quarter to walk home, eat, and return for the afternoon.   She was there to nurture us and feed us every day, 24-7.
Adelaide Copeland Harvey was born 3 a.m., 4 November 1893 in Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin.  Her birth certificate lists her name as "Miss Harvey" daughter of Joe Harvey and Alice Copeland and siblings of "Riley, Cathy and Copeland."  The doctor recorded the birth the same day but no one ever went back and filled in the name.   She told me she was so sickly as a baby that she was carried around on a pillow -- maybe no one thought when she did live, to go back and tell the town clerk that she had a first name.

Luckily that wasn't as much a problem as I thought it might be when I tried years later to correct her death certificate.  Adelaide H Richardson died 6 August 1971 in Houston, Harris County, Texas, at age 87.  Only, a bit of arithmetic shows that she wasn't 87 but really only 77.  I decided that I should tell the folks in the State of Vital Records office that her death certificate was incorrect.  It took a number of months with notarized letters back and forth, copies of her birth certificate and certificates identifying her parents to finally get her death certificate amended.  Now, if you order a copy, at the bottom, is the "AMENDMENT TO CERTIFICATE OF DEATH" listing her mother's name as "Alice Copeland" instead of "Alice (don't know)" and date of birth as November 4, 1893" instead of "1883" --- type of document: "affidavit of granddaughter..." not mentioning any of the vital records I had sent.

So who was this Adelaide Harvey who married Robert W Richardson?  Definitely more than just someone who was 77 when she died from pneumonia, carcinoma of the lung, with contributing conditions of chronic bronchitis and asthma and carcinoma of the face.  To me, she was "Grawa," the name I gave her when I first tried talking.  She was the person who would always have treats for us children at lunch such as a homemake cake with butter cream frosting or send one of us out to buy one package of Paul Malls for her along with Hersey with almonds or Nutty buddies for everyone -- depending upon the season.

Adelaide grew up the youngest of 4 children.  Her early years were near relatives in Wisconsin.  One day her aunt, Isabel Harvey Wegemann was minding her while making angel food cakes for the church supper.  Addie watched as her aunt carefully separated a dozen egg whites for each cake.  This became an all-day project as Isabel baked a dozen angel food cakes, all for the church supper -- no tasting!  Addie was devastated that she could not even have a little taste.  At the end of the day, Isabel made one more angel food cake for Addie to take home for dinner.  Every year thereafter, her sister Katherine made her an angel food cake for her birthday.  In later years, Auntie Kath would mail an angel food cake and we would look forward to the treat of eating of that very special cake.  It always looked somewhat battered and mishapened, but oh did it taste good.
[Katherine Harvey Rhodes, died 1964]
[Stories told to me both by Adelaide and by my mother]

Her family moved from Lake Mills, to Madison Wisconsin so two of her siblings could go to college.  Her mother ran a boarding house nearby while Kath and Riley attended the University of Wisconsin.  Then her family moved to Oak Park, Illinois.  After graduating from Oak Park High School, she married Robert Worthington Richardson on 15 January 1916.

This gorgeous wedding photo belies some of her challenges ahead.  When her second daughter was born, her mother moved in to help take care of the children and then died suddenly.  After her mother's death, depression set in and she was sent to the Kellog Institute in Battle Creek where they thought grains and special diet could cure many ills.  Her two daughters were cared for by her brothers and their wives while she was gone.  There was a comedy movie made about this health sanitarium, "On the Road to Wellville."  Years later, whenever we had popcorn, she always ate hers with milk on it -- "It's a cereal," she'd explain.  

She had asthma all her life, I remember her sitting on the side of her bed and wheezing and using her atomizer.  She developed sores all over her face as a young adult.  She saw doctors who never figured out what caused it, one even tried treating it with x-rays.  It think the sores all over her face probably itched.  Sometimes, she'd sit on the side of her bed and clap her two hands on her cheeks of her face.  It wasn't until the early 1950s that someone figured out that those sores were a staph infection, and they responded to treatment.

As a young mother, she developed cataracts in both eyes and ended up having surgery twice.  This was in the days when the patient couldn't move her head for a couple of weeks and would lie in bed with her head sandbagged in place.  Her first surgery was semi-successful, the second was a failure.  So, she lost the sight in one eye from an allergic reaction to the medication.  Not only did she lose her sight, but her brown eye turned blue.   

We grew up, knowing Grawa had different colored eyes and didn't see too well with her "good eye."  I didn't stop her from preparing meals, but it did lead to many things dropped.  Whenever she would drop something, she would yell "Nothing fell!"  If my mother was home, she would send a child to "see what nothing is this time."  We had a high-breakage rate for dishes dropped by Grawa, and so the first Christmas when Corning had "unbreakable" dishes, that was the family Christmas present.  My slightly unusual father, loved the fact that Corning would replace any dishes that broke.  When visitors came to our house, Dad loved to ask if they had seen these new unbreakable plates before and he would then "frisbee-toss" a plate to the usually horrified startled guest.

One really cold winter night, I was sitting in the living room and there was a loud crash in the kitchen, "Nothing fell!"  I went out to find Grawa had somehow dropped a gallon of root beer syrup [a Christmas gift from my best friend].  The glass jug hit the back edge of the washing machine, broke and there was root beer syrup going down the wall in the pantry behind and under the machine. While I spent the evening trying to clean it up [we eventually had to disconnect and move the machine to clean it up], my brother was in the basement with my father trying to thaw the frozen water pipes.  Dad came up for a break.  My brother came up and joyfully announced the pipes were dripping.  "If they're dripping, they're leaking and they're broken!"  Dad went downstairs to find root beer syrup leaking through the pantry floor into the basement.

Later in life, Grawa decided to get a glass eye that would cover her blue eye.  Each night Grawa would take her teeth out and put them on the dresser and then take out her eye and put it in an eye cup next to the teeth.  My youngest sister always assumed that's what everyone's grandmother did.  When she put the eye back in, it didn't always line up "just right" and she would need us kids to tell her if she appeared to be looking at the ceiling with one eye.  

Early Sunday morning before Christmas 1963, Grawa got up to go to the bathroom and couldn't seem to focus as well with her "good eye."  She woke my mother, "Alice, I can't decide if the house is on fire or if I can't focus" -- I heard my mother yell -- "Ted, wake up, the house is on fire!"  Once outside, my mother was checking to see that everyone was there -- the only one missing was my father. When she asked a fireman if he had seen her husband he replied, "Is he the stark-naked guy inside telling us how to fight the fire?"  

The fire chief had told us that the fire had smoldered all night, possibly started by something as simple as a mouse running in the walls--static electricity.  It started in the wall below the fire-break between the basement and kitchen.  It had just broken through the wall into the kitchen and was filling the house with smoke when Grawa woke us.  The chief said if we had slept another 10 minutes, no one would have gotten out.  

Thank you Grawa for saving our lives!

The grandmothers at our wedding reception:  Helen Markovich (Nona),
Adelaide Richardson (Grawa), Marion Dakin (Nana).  Before we left, I
tossed my bouquet and Grawa caught it.  She was always hopeful to remarry.
As kids we teased Grawa that when a workman left a ladder against the house
near her bedroom, it was so that she could elope with Mr. Reeves, the widower
who lived down the street!  When we got in the car to drive away after the
reception, Nana was in the back seat asking for a ride to where she was staying.

©2013 Erica Dakin Voolich

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: A partial answer to a family mystery found in Lake Mills!

What happened to Susanah DOLE HARVEY after her husband left for Canada "not to return until he could pay his debts" when she was left with at least 2 young children?  Joseph HARVEY never did return supposedly to die in Canada in the War of 1812.  The story of her husband is the topic of another (or many) posts since it is more complicated.

I have found Vermont records for the birth of two children of Susannah DOLE and Joseph HARVEY.  Enoch Dole HARVEY was born 10 January 1811 and Judith Dole HARVEY was born 11 December 1808.  The family story says that Enoch (my GGG grandfather) was "farmed out" to an old family member who was a Deacon (another story here).  I have not verified where he went because this was before the 1850 census where everyone is listed by name.

So, what do I know about Susannah's location?
• Over the years she told the census takers that she was born in Massachusetts or in New Hampshire.  The town history of Bedford NH mentions her birth there as a child of Deacon Silas DOLE.
• She married Joseph HARVEY on 10 September 1807 (VT vital records).
• The 1801 census for Shrewsbury, Rutland, VT includes the Joseph Harvey family with 1 male between 16 & 25 [Joseph], 1 female between 16 & 25 [Susannah], 2 females under 10 [Judith & ??].  So it fits if this is the correct HARVEY family.
• If Joseph left the family after 1810 and probably before the 1820 census (based on family legend and lack of finding him in the census).
Over the years I don't know what happened to Susannah, for example, the numbers don't fit to find her in her parents' household in the following census and she isn't listed as a head of family.
• The 1850 census for an unknown township in Washington VT lists a farmer, Elijah NYE, the grandfather of Enoch's wife Mary Hubbard NYE, with a wife of Susannah.  The family history says he married Mary HUBBARD and she died in 1838.  So I checked the Vermont records and discovered Elijah NYE married "Mrs HARVEY"  on 24 January 1840. Looks like he remarried.   Could thi "Mrs. Harvey"  be my Susannah DOLE HARVEY?  Looks like she got remarried to the grandfather of her daughter-in-law!
• Elijah NYE died in 1852, so where did Susannah go then?
•There is a Susan NYE, age 78, in Aurora, Kane County, IL born in MA in the 1860 census.  Is this the same Susannah?  Why Aurora?  Her son was in Lake Mills Wisconsin at this time.  I have no idea where her daughter was.  She is living with the Justin and Juliet DODGE family.  Is she a boarder or possibly a grandmother?
• In the 1870 census for Lake Mills WI, Susan NYE is living with her son and his family.  Under occupation "In the family" and she is from Massachusetts.
• Horatio Gates book on the McGeoch-Harvey Descent says she died in Lake Mills WI on 3 April 1871.
I didn't find a death certificate for her in Jefferson County WI.

The above tombstone puts her in the HARVEY family plot.  Susannah is buried with her granddaughter Isabel Susannah HARVEY and her husband August Henry WEGEMANN.

This tombstone was a wonderful find on my trip to the Lake Mills cemetery on my tour with my Genealogical Hostess from Heaven, Marie Copeland, that I wrote about in my last post.  I confirmed that she made it to Wisconsin and spent the last few years living with her son Enoch HARVEY.  The details about the years in between, are a bit fuzzy and fruit for some more research.  Does it ever end?