Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917

Four generations of RICHARDSONs 1917
William Richardson, Alice Josephine Richardson Dakin, Robert Worthington Richardson, Harry Bogart Richardson

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Some Logic, Some Help, and "Ask a Librarian" or two .... Gives an Answer

In A Scrapbook with a Surprise and a Question, I shared pictures from my Ella Worthington scrapbook, both the beautiful prints from Demorest's Monthly Magazine

and the discovery that the scrapbook was made from a copy of the Congressional Record - House based on the one side of one page that was partially unglued.

I had wondered in the last post about why Ella Cobb Worthington had ended up with a copy of the Congressional Record to make into a scrapbook.  Some folks e-mailed me suggestions and posted on FaceBook and on my Blog and in e-mails to me.  I'll come back to that later in another post.

Elnora Esther (Ella) Cobb Worthington
with her great granddaughter Alice Richardson

Another couple of questions arose:
•How prevalent were Congressional Records outside of official depositories and possibly in middle class homes?
•Which copy of the Congressional Record is this?

Which copy of the Congressional Record is this?   When writing the first blog post on this scrapbook, my initial thought was to assume that it was after 1873, since the footnote on the bottom of the page refers to an law passed on 24 May 1873 concerning marine insurance companies.  And to assume it was before 1876 since that is the earliest date from a picture glued into the book.  Before writing the original story, I tried searching online for a copy of the Congressional Record - House.  I checked and didn't find the Congressional Record for the House, only for the Senate for 1873-1874.   I had figured I would continue searching, year by year, if they were online.

One of my readers, Madaleine Laird, is the author of the KinfoLit blog was told about my blogpost and question by Gena Philibert-Ortega.
Madaleine contacted me and suggested that I could narrow the actual year of the Congressional Record by reading the information on the page and then checking out the congressmen mentioned using a website which identifies members of congress, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.  I had not known about that webpage and the searching on it was helpful in narrowing down the possible year.

Looking at the part of page 190 which was visible, I can see the names of congressmen:
Mr. WILLIS, Mr. FRYE, Mr. POTTER.   Going to the Biographical Directory site, there were multiple men named Willis, Frye and Potter in the US House over the years.  I narrowed it down to:
•WILLIS, Benjamin Albertson (D), NY 1875-78
•FRYE, William Pierce (R), ME, 1871-1880
•POTTER, Clarkson Nott (D), NY, 1869-1874, 1877-1878
The earliest year for all three is 1875, I figured that was my starting point, except I initially hadn't noticed that POTTER wasn't there during the 1875-1876.

However, my helpful reader Madaleine Laird, the KinfoLit blogger, noticed another name that I had missed because he wasn't a speaker but someone mentioned, mid-paragraph:  Mr. CONGER.
So, now adding
•CONGER, Omar Dwight (R), 1869-1880.

Putting this altogether gives us the 45th congress, 1877-1878 as the only place to look for my copy of the Congressional Record-House which is so delightfully decorated with pictures from the Demorest's Monthly Magazine.

Unfortunately, that issue of the Congressional Record is not online.  So I decided to Ask a Librarian online -- I sent my blog post, along with my question and my predicted session of congress.  I got an automated reply that they would get back to me with in 5 business days.  Less than 24 hours later a wonderful librarian sent me scan of pages 190 and 191, volume 8, Saturday, 14 December 1878 (45th Congress, 3rd Session).  Since I couldn't use those scans online [from a commercial site], my friend Connie Reik, a wonderful genealogist and librarian and Government Publications Coordinator at Tisch Library, Tufts University, located and scanned the copies for me shown here.

The above page matches the page partially visible from Ella's scrapbook.  The next page in the book, shown below gives the year: 1878.

So my assumption that the issue of the Congressional Record had to be earlier than the first pictures was incorrect.

I guess Ella Cobb Worthington had some pictures she had saved and then put them together when she started her scrapbook.

Elnora Esther (Ella) Cobb Worthington with her grandson
Robert Worthington (Bobbie) Richardson

©2013 Erica Dakin Voolich

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Scrapbook with a Surprise, and a Question

A few years before my mother died, she took me upstairs to a chest where she had a couple quilts and some scrapbooks.  Two of the scrapbooks belonged to Robert Searing Worthington.  Mother said the other scrapbook belonged to Robert's daughter, Martha Elnora Worthington Richardson.  I suspect that this scrapbook belonged to Robert's wife, Mattie's mother, Elnora Esther (Ella) Cobb Worthington (1839 - 1923).

The scrapbook is full of illustrations that were originally published in the woman's magazine, Demorest's Monthly Magazine dating from 1876 to 1882.  Since Martha was born in 1865, I suspect her mother, Ella, kept the scrapbook because Mattie would have been age 11 when she was first saving pictures from a woman's magazine that included articles, prints, and paper dress patterns.  It turns out that the Demorests developed a business selling dress patterns, magazines and sewing machines among other things.

A few illustrations were in color.

There was a big surprise about this scrapbook that I accidentally discovered as I looked through the various pictures.  One picture became unglued over time.  I discovered this was not a regular blank book meant to be a scrapbook.  Instead of blank pages with pictures glued onto each one, this is what I saw:

The Congressional Record?!  YES, THE Congressional Record for the House.  I'm not sure which year, but this unglued page is December 14, the year would be on the top of the right hand page and all of those pages are securely glued down.  The year was probably in the about 1874 or 1875 since the pictures which have dates start in 1876 and the footnote on this page refers back to something in 1873.

For the curious about the business of the day in Washington then here is more of this page:

I got to wondering why the cover (above) didn't identify the book as the Congressional Record?  Was that flower strategically placed on the cover?  I looked at the binding more carefully and realized that the three lighter colored stripes of tan were actually tape, probably strategically located over the book title!

The book weighs 7 3/4 pounds.  The pages are quite thick.  Looking carefully at the book I and realized how she had constructed this.

For each page used front and back with pictures glued on, there were a bunch of pages equal in thickness cut out.  Then a page of tissue was glued in, using one of the cut out pages to glue to, before another page of pictures.

The page on the right has the print from the magazine, there is a page of issue paper inserted.  If you look closely towards the bottom of the page on the left,  you can see the stumps of the cut out pages.

So now my question:  Why would Ella Cobb Worthington own a copy of the Congressional Record?

In 1876, Ella and Robert Worthington were living in Chicago, and according to the Lakeside annual directory for the City of Chicago, he was a cashier.  Before the Chicago Fire, Robert worked for Gibson, Chase & Company (in freight forwarding).  After the fire, Gibson, Chase goes out of existence and Robert goes to work for J.N. & S.E. Hurlbut, commission merchants.  At some point, Robert goes to work for the Chicago Board of Trade Real Estate Committee, as the Secretary and is involved with the building of the new board of trade building which opened in 1885.  About 1877, they move to "the country," Oak Park.  Robert's scrapbook was full of articles from the newspaper that he found interesting, anything on Thackery & Dickens and obituaries of friends and family.

None of this points in my mind to a family who would have bought a copy of the Congressional Record -- not exactly a casual reading book at 2 1/2 inches thick (and now 7 3/4 pounds).

Do my readers have any idea?  Please post if you do!

The link to this post is
©2013 Erica Dakin Voolich

Saturday, March 16, 2013

"Remember the women!"

"Remember the women!" is the famous quote of Abigail Adams to her husband John when he was off setting up the new government for the country.    I don't have any women ancestors who were writing the constitution (there weren't any), but it important for us to "remember the women" in our own family -- even if this is a different interpretation of her phrase!  So today's post is about my mother's grandmother, Martha Elnora Worthington Richardson, a.k.a. Nora, a.k.a. Mattie.  My mother had fond memories of living first upstairs from, and then next door to, her grandparents.


Martha Elnora WORTHINGTON was born in Chicago, 17 November 1865, daughter of Robert Searing WORTHINGTON (1830-1903) and Elnora Esther COBB (1839-1923). Her father Robert Worthington had come to Chicago in 1855 from the family farm in Wisconsin and taken a job as a clerk.  Her mother Elnora Cobb had come from Madison, New York with her parents either late in 1851 or early in 1852.  They married 12 February 1861 and had one child, Mattie.

Her father kept a scrapbook starting in 1865 (see the young man and the President, for an example).  Here is the back cover of his first volume.  The top article is from 5 August 1870 and the ad below is dated "4 Aug 1870."  I suspect these events, which I have transcribed, are linked.

near Union Park Congregational Church, an envel-
ope containing papers and currency.  The finder will
be rewarded by leaving the same at 574 Washington-st,
or at the office of Gibson, Chase & Co., 88 Market-st.
[hand written date of Aug. 6 1870]

  A little daughter of Robert S. Worth-
inton, Esq., had a providential escape
from death, on Wednesday evening. Mr.
W. was unhitching the horse before his
residence, No. 574 West Washington
street his daughter begin in the carriage,
when the animal ran away.  In turning a
corner the little girl was thrown out of the
vehicle upon a pile of stones, and but for a 
cushion falling under her, which was liter-
ally cut to pieces, she must have been
killed.  She received but a couple of
slight wounds on the head.

No seat-belts and child "car"seats in 1870!  It was fortuitous, our little Mattie survived her run-away-horse-wagon ride.


After the Chicago Fire, Mattie's parents decided to build a home out in "the country" at the end of the train line in Oak Park.  There she met Harry Bogart Richardson who had come to Chicago from Belleville, Ontario with his family, after the Chicago Fire as part of the rebuilding effort.

Martha Elnora married Harry on 5 December 1889 in Oak Park, Illinois.  When they married, her  parents built a house next door for them to live, affectionally known as "Rotten Manor."  They had two sons, Robert (Bobbie) Worthington Richardson (1890-1951) and Harold Bogart Richardson (1894-1935) who grew up next door to their Worthington grandparents.  And when her mother's parents (Nathan and Elnora Esther Cobb) were elderly, they lived and died there too.  This extended to the next generation when my mother, Alice, and her sister Madelon & their parents moved into Rotten Manor when she was in grade school.  Her father was Bobbie Richardson and her mother was Adelaide Copeland Harvey (Grawa).

One can only imagine the usual ups and downs of childhood in the upstairs apartment in Rotten Manor with two girls and a bulldog named Mark that my mother had brought home from the schoolyard.  The vet cleaned it up and by it's license traced it back to it's original owner in Springfield, Iowa (the dog had jumped out of their car and run away when they were on a trip).  The old owners allowed the new family to keep the dog.

The envelop on the left is addressed:
Alice Jell Richardson, Girl Skoot.
From The Society Eddytor

Inside was the following news bulletin!

******JUST REVEELED ******
A fearse Bull Dog lokated at 227 Wiskinsin Avenoo atacked a Pair
of Big Black Mules at that adres and litrly toad them to Shreds,
showing no Mersy.  After Komiting this Turrable Deed the Culprit
Slank away to a Nayboaring House where he lay on the Floor Lick-
ing his Pants-no- Panting his Chops-no-I shud say Licking his
Chops and Breething in Short Pants as if no thing Sinister had
When the Owner of the Big Black Mules diskovered the Holly Cost
and saw the Entrayls of her Butefull Big Black Mules strued on
the Ground she Uttered a Peersing Shreek and Dashed next Door
were her Muther was visitin.  Casting her Short Frales Little
Figger on the Divan she Wrung her Hands and Skreemed threw her
Tears and Nose "Muther, Mark has Etten my Butefull Big Black Mules".
Her Muther, in a low Modulated Voice as usual, sed "My darling
Dotter you shud be more cairfull with youre Properte and other Im-
pedymenta speshly Big Mules.  They shud have Lockedup in a Box
Stawl or something.  Upon herring these Wurds the Owner of the
Big Black Mules in a Frensy shouted ( as tho her Muther was Deef)
"I dont Cair", axsent on the Cair, "Those Mules are Runned".
The Culprit, foaming at the Mouth utherwise Chops, lept on the
Owner of the Big Black Mules, but when she Shouted in a Hi Shril

Voice "No, No, you Notty Dog" he turned Tale and Slank or Slunk, I
forget which, to a Sitting Posishun on top of a Radyater and looked
out of the Windo as if he had not shortly Purpetrated a Holly Cost.
The Grandfawther of the Owner of the Big Black Mules who waz wurkin
on a X wurd puzzel was shocked to heer of the Catsafterme ansd sed
"Dogonit I can't think of a Sinnynim for Hollycost in three letters
begining with A and ending with Z"
Granmuther, her feet on the Radyater, remarked in a Strong Di-ossy-
sen Suprana "This is Possytively Harrying, I dont supose you will be
abel to find as Large or as Butefull a teem of Mules in the Loup
or outside of it".
Meenwile the Owner of the Big Butefull Black Mules retreated to
her Home folowed by the Culprit at Heal.
Wen the Polees herd of this Turrible Kalamity they took no intrust
on lerning from an inosent bistander that the Owner of the Big
Black Mules was alsow a part Owner in the Culprit.  Thasall.

February 1929 [handwritten]

Only one press release survived.
This press release must have been special to the girl whose dog chewed up her beautiful black mules -- once she calmed down.  It was found in her personal papers after she died in 2001, seventy-two years later.

For those not in the Chicago area, "the Loop" is the downtown shopping area; and in this case, the grandfather who was told "This is Possytively Harrying" was named Harry.

©2013 Erica Dakin Voolich

The link to this post is

Ancestral Power Worthy!

When working on an upcoming post on my great grandmother Martha Elnora Richardson Worthington (1865 - 1939), I came across these his and her bookplates.

My first reaction was, isn't that nice, "his" and "her" bookplates.  Hers even came with her own name, Nora Worthington Richardson, and not "Mrs H B Richardson" as one might expect for the early 1900s.  The lower right hand corner has 1917, possibly the year they were printed or maybe the order/re-order number for the printer.

I found something odd on each, just above her name is "HBR," his initials.  Above his name is "Jr." and he wasn't a "Jr."

In the back of the scene on each is a "crest" with a Latin inscription.
Thanks to Googletranslate, I know what they say.

Hers:  "Virtute dignus avorm" = "ancestral power worthy"
His: "virtute acquirtur honos" = "virtues honor"

I agree, Martha Elnora Worthington Richardson is ancestral power worthy!

©2013 Erica Dakin Voolich
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