Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Descendants of Eli and Rachel Waggoner: Short version

Why so much attention to my grandmother Mary Ann Waggoner’s family? Growing up, I learned a lot about the Troutman family from my dad, but after Dad was gone, I realized I didn’t know much about his mother’s family. The little I knew, I’ve shared in the stories so far. I wish I knew the exact date the Waggoner’s left Virginia, but I don’t. I believe they left in 1909 for two reasons: (1) Mary received her teaching certificate in Virginia in 1907, and she taught a year or so in Rich Valley, then she left with her family for Missouri. (2) I can’t imagine Grandpa Clint staying behind in Virginia for  long after she left. Maybe he stayed long enough to earn enough money for train fare, but I do know he followed the love of his life to Missouri and married her on 27 October 1909.

I’d heard about Emery and his wife’s death and the loss of his children to welfare, and that maybe he had stolen one of them back. I’d been told that Gordon was Mary’s closest and favorite brother, that he died young somewhere out west, that Mary was heartbroken. I knew Uncle Jake from visits in Nebraska and my dad’s concern for him. I knew very little about Alice, no stories, nothing. I’d heard about Leo, the family rascal, and the thumb incident in California. I knew Aunt Mandy, and I’d heard stories about the murder of her daughter Geneva and children. I knew very little about Ida, until I started exchanging letters with her daughter-in-law, Jacquie Mitchell in 1998.

My mother had told me that Grandma Mary was somewhat embarrassed by some of her siblings for  their indifference to education, their poverty and lifestyle. Now that I’ve learned so much more about them in the process of writing this blog, I like them. They have come to life; I've learned their sorrows and joys.  I’ve been amazed and thrilled at all the records I’ve found about them, but I know more can still be found. Researching is like a treasure hunt.

I tried to find an easy to print descendants chart for Eli and Rachel Waggoner, but I couldn’t seem to access one that was small enough to share here, so I’ve put one together myself, including only their 9 children, 27 grandchildren, and spouses only if children are known to have been born to the marriage. If you’re confused about who is who, maybe this will help.

Eli Pierce Waggoner (1854-1925)    m. 2 Sept. 1885 in Va.   Rachel S. Havens (1862-1939)*

1. Emery Marco Waggoner (1885-1966)  1st m. 4 Jan. 1911, Wa.  Ida May Geist (1881-1913)
                        1a. John Calvin Waggoner (1911-1972)
                        1b. Ida Rachel Marie Waggoner (1913-1983)  m. 6 Oct. 1930 in Minn.  Don                                                 Ferguson (1897-1977)
            2nd m. 30 Sep 1916, Va.   Dewey Minty Petty (1897-1926)
                        2c. James William Waggoner (1917-1970) m. ??
                        2d. Nannie Elizabeth Waggoner (1919-1997) m.  ?? in Minn. Clarence O.                                                 Anderson (1907-1982)
                        2e. Lucile Virginia Waggoner (1921-    ) m. ??   Hervin S. Borstad (1916-2002)
                        2f.  Ruby Irene Waggoner (1924-1986) m. 4 Mar. 1942 in Mo.   Arthur J.                                                 Fergerson (1883-1966)
2. James Gordon Waggoner (1886-1921)  m. 26 Apr. 1915 in Id.   Ethelyn VanWert Costello                         (1880-1931)
            a. James Grady Waggoner (1918-1994) 1st m. 29 Jul 1929 in Wa.  Frances Carol                                                 Hansen (1920-1995)
                        2nd m. 15 Dec 1949 in Wa.  Barbara Elizabeth Hill (1923-1996)
3. Mary Ann Waggoner (1887-1964)   m. 27 Oct. 1909 in Mo.   Clint Troutman (1886-1949)
            a. Neville America Troutman (1910-2000) m. 1942, in Ne.  William Maxwell Lamson                                     (1907-1979)
            b. James Gordon Troutman (1911-1977) m. 29 May 1938 in Ne.  Ruth R. Schindler                                     (1906-1971)
            c. Carl Justin Troutman (1912-1995) m. 5 Jan. 1933 in SD  Dorothy M. Fleer (1916-2009)
            d. Verne Clinton Troutman (1914-1991) m. 4 May 1940 in Va. Norma Lois McIntyre                                     (1922-2008)
            e. Virginia Ovella Troutman (1916-2005) m. 27 Oct. 1946 in Ne.  Leo William Nelsen                                     (1911-2013)
4. Jacob Waggoner (1889-1957)
5. Alice Waggoner (1890-1980) m. 19 Feb. 1912 in Mo.  Herbert F. Ellington (1889-1973)
            a. Hazel F. Ellington (1913-    )  m. 29 Aug. 1939 in Mo.  Oscar W. Steele (1900-1981)
6. Unnamed Male Waggoner (1891-1891)
7. Leo Cleveland Waggoner (1893-1967)
8. Amanda Waggoner ( 1895-1970)   m. abt 1922 in Ne.   Moses Dallas Orr (1883-1946)
            a. May Orr (1923-   ?? ) m. ??
            b. Reba Lee Orr (1923-1982)  m. ??  Donald E. Torppa (??-??)
            c. James (1925-  ?? ) m. ?? in Ne.  LaVonne ??
            d. Geneva Orr (1927-1950)   m. abt 1946 in Ne.    James Lammers (1924-1952)
            e. Charles Orr (1937- ??) m. ??
9. Ida Waggoner (1897-1988)   m. 6 Dec. 1916 in Minn.    Roscoe C. Mitchell (1891-1962)
            a. Martin Marion Mitchell (1918-1930)
            b. Mona Marjorie Mitchell (1919-1983) m. 30 Sep 1936 in SD  George K. Schulze     (1906-1985)
            c. Erma Lucile Mitchell (1920- ??) m. 2 May 1939 in SD  Alfred F. Wendorf (1912-1952)
            d. Melvin D. Mitchell (1921-1991)  m. ??
            e. Leo C Mitchell (1922-2004) m. ?? Inez ??
            f. Roscoe Reeby Mitchell (1924- ??)  m. ??
            g. Harold Herman Mitchell (1928- ??)  m. ?? Jacquie ??
            h. Virgil Warner Mitchell (1929-??)  m.  ??
            i. Dallas Cletus Mitchell (1931-2013)   m. ??

*Sources for the names and dates have been recorded in previous blot posts about the people.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Searching for Ida: Tying Up a Few Loose Ends

Often on web sites, such as Find A Grave, and Ancestry, I find the most amazing and helpful volunteers—people who obsess as much as I do over things like obituaries and grave locations. On Find A Grave, I have a buddy who calls himself “Barry L. Seitz.” Barry not only has a great sense of humor but also loves to tramp through cemeteries. He lives in Glade Spring, Virginia, and he has helped me many times to find “burial sites” of Waggoner family members. He found and photographed graves of seven half-siblings of our great-grandfather Eli P. Waggoner, and I was able to link them on to their parents, Jacob and Fannie Waggoner.
Then I thought, what about Eli’s full brothers and sisters, the children of Jacob and Anna, the wife from whom Grandma Mary was descended? Since all of Anna’s sons left Virginia, I thought they were probably buried in Missouri. With the help of a Find A Grave volunteer there and one in Nebraska, I found graves of Eli’s five brothers. Finding the three sisters has been a bust, though. Even knowing their married names, I can’t find them, but I’m fairly certain they’re in Smyth County, Virginia. This link will take you to Jacob’s memorial, where you can click on the names to see the family members’ grave sites, if you’d like.
Once again in searching for information on Ida Waggoner Mitchell, I have encountered helpful people. One person on Find A Grave photographed grave markers for me, and a man on gave me permission to use his photographs and located obituaries for me. Now I can fill in a little more information on Ida’s husband, two of her sons, a grandson and granddaughter.
Ida’s husband Roscoe Mitchell’s obituary was published in the Seattle Times on Monday, January 29, 1967. He is described as “beloved husband of Ida.” His living children are named: “Mrs. Mona Schultz, Pipestem, Minn.; Mrs. Erma Wendorf; Melvin D., Leo C, Roscoe R, Herald H., Virgil W., Dallas C., all Seattle.” He is also survived by a sister in Battle Creek, Michigan: Mrs. Helen Spears plus 17 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. He was a member of several Msonic organizations: “University Lodge no. 141, F & A.M.; University R. A. M. No. 32; Adoniram Council No. 17; R. and S.M.; University Commondery No. 23 K. T.; Wallingford Chapter No. 204 O. E. S.” Masonic services were held for Roscoe on January 30, 1967 at 2:00 p.m. at Floral Hills Funeral Home, Alderwood Mansion. I don’t know much about Masonic groups, so for anyone like me who wants to know more, I’ve linked a couple of them to explanations online.
Son Melvin is buried next to his father in Floral Hills Cemetery. Thanks to findagrave contributor jnwinget for this photo and permission to publish it:
Photo courtesy of jnwinget, Find A Grave contributor.

An obituary for Leo C Mitchell was published in The Star, Grand Coulee, Washington, on Wednesday, July 7, 2004, page 4. It says that he moved to Washington State in 1958, where he lived in the Seattle area and the Grand Coulee Dam area: “He spent winters in Mesa, Ariz. for 18 years. He was a member of the Freemasons, Shrine, Scottish Rite, and othe associated organizations. In Coulee Dam he was a past president of the Rotary Club, past member of the Chamber of Commerce, and a charter member of the Banks Lake Golf & Country Club. . . . He is survived y his son Jim Mitchell, daughters Pam Ozanne and Debbie Imus, one sister and four brothes, and seven grandchildren.” His services were held at Ronald United Methodist Church, 17839 Aurora Ave. North, Shoreline, Washington. Mourners were requested to donate to Shriner’s Crippled Children’s Hospital, Spokane, Washington.
My most exciting find since my last post is that I’ve learned that Erma and Alfred Wendorf had a second child, a daughter named Alice Carol. She was born in Lyon County, Minnesota on 31 October 1940.[1] Sad to say, she and her brother Ernest both died at young ages. I'd like to know why. A death notice for Alice appeared in The Seattle Times on Thursday, July 4, 1968: “Wendorf, Alice C.—27, 1640 128th Ave. S. E., Bellevue, June 26.” She is buried in Floral Hills Cemetery next to her brother.
Photo courtesy of Mike Morrissey, contributor.

Ernest got a paid notice, which was a bit more detailed: “Ernest A. Wendorf. Age 38 of Seattle. Beloved son of Erma Hult of Seattle and grandson of Ida Mitchell of Seattle.” Services were held at the Floral Hills Funeral Home and interment at Heather Garden, Floral Hills Memorial Park.[2] Note that this obituary contains a clue as to Erma’s whereabouts and marital status in 1977!  Remember? I said earlier that I couldn’t find anything about her. Yes, these little clues give me a thrill! The problem is that the copy of the newspaper page makes it very difficult to determine whether her last name is Hult, Hull, or Huff. I picked Hult because the last two letters do not look the same. Now, who was her second husband? The search continues.

NOTE added May 28, 2014: My cousin Lee found Erma's name in his mother's address book. The correct last name is HUFF.
Photo courtesy of Mike Morrissey, contributor.

[1] Minnesota Birth Index, 1935-2002, Alice Carol Wendorf (1940); database ( : accessed 20 January 2014).
[2] “Deaths and Funerals,” Ernest A. Wendorf, The Seattle Times, 6 September 1977, C19, col. 6; digital image Genealogy Bank ( : accessed 20 January 2014).

Friday, January 17, 2014

Grandma Mary's Siblings: Baby of the Family--Ida, Part 2

Interestingly, my grandmother's sister Ida (Waggoner) and her husband Roscoe Mitchell’s third child, Erma Lucile, was also married in South Dakota, but this time in Brookings, which is directly west of the state line from Lyon County, Minnesota, where both bride and groom resided. She married Alfred Frederick Wendorf, son of George and Bessie Wendorf, on 2 May 1939.[1]
Marriage Certificate, Erma Lucil Mitchell and Alfred Frederick Wendorf, 2 May 1939,

They had one son, whom they named Alfred Ernest, born in Lincoln County, Minnesota, on 5 August 1939,[2] which as you can see, is only three months after they married. In the 1940 census, Erma and her eight-month-old  son are living with her parents in the town of Marshall, Lyon County, Minnesota.[3]  Erma’s marital status is recorded as M, but the M is crossed out and another indiscernible letter has been written above it. Is it D (divorced)? Where is Alfred Frederick Wendorf? So far, I can’t find him in the 1940 census.
Excerpt from 1940 census, Marshall, Lyon County, Minnesota, Roscoe Mitchell family includes Irma Windorf.

Another interesting bit of information of note in this census is that Roscoe Mitchell’s occupation is recorded as “Skilled Laborer” in the “WPA Carpenter” industry. Recently, I’ve been in numerous state parks and have seen plaques to recognize the WPA for its work in those places. So hats off to Roscoe for whatever carpentry work he did for the WPA in Minnesota! Additionally, 15-year-old Reeby is doing “Janitor Work” for a “Student Aid Project.”
There must have been problems with the marriage between Erma and Alfred Wendorf, as suggested by their separation in the 1940 census. On 24 October 1952, Alfred died at the young age of 40 in Anoka County, Minnesota.[4] He is buried in the Anoka State Hospital Cemetery,[5] which suggests that he may have suffered from mental illness. 
Photo courtesy of Gregory Aananson, Find A Grave contributor.

Erma must have gone on to Washington with her parents, but I cannot find any other information about her. However, her son, whose name on his tombstone is recorded as Ernest A. Wendorf, is buried in the same cemetery, Floral Hills, in Lynnwood, Washington where his grandparents, Ida and Roscoe Mitchell, are buried.[6]

 As for Ida and Roscoe's children, all but Mona followed their parents to Washington at some point. Their fourth child Melvin lived for many years in the Seattle area and died there on 30 January 1991.[7] Fifth child, Leo enlisted in the army in Seattle, Washington, on 22 March 1943 at age 20 and served the duration of the war. Enlistment records disagree on his level of education. One record says he had attained a grammar school education and had worked as a farm hand.[8] The other record says he had attained three years of college and had been a salesman.[9] Name, dates, places and other information on the two records match. The 1940 census agrees with the former record; at that time Leo was working as a hired hand on a farm in Minnesota, and his highest level of education was 8th grade.[10]
Leo Mitchell, hired hand, in 1940 census, Lyon County, Minnesota. 9th column  from left indicated level of education.

Incidentally, according to family members, Leo’s middle initial C, like our cousin Stewart C Nelsen’s, did not represent a particular name. It stood alone as a single letter. Leo died 24 June 2004[11] and he and his wife Inez are also buried in the Floral Hills Cemetery in Lynnwood, Washington.

Photos courtesy of jnwinget, Find A Grave contributor.

Public records show that sixth child Roscoe Reeby lived in Seattle,[12] too, but I’ve not found his death record. Seventh child Harold’s wife, Jacquie, is the one who sent me several letters and photos with information about the family. They lived in the Seattle area also. I have not been able to confirm when they died or whether they are still living. If so, they are in their 90s. They had three children: Steve, Diane, and Larry. Jacquie wrote me about traveling back to the Midwest with their baby son in 1952 driving a 1952 Chevrolet and visiting their aunts, Mandy and Mary, and spending a night at the Verne Troutman place.[13] Jacquie sent me lots of information about ancestors, but not much about her own children except their first names.[14] Public records also place eighth child Virgil in Seattle in 1995,[15] and I’ve not found a death record for him. As for the youngest of the family, Dallas, public records place him in Seattle in 1992,[16] and his death record shows that he died fairly recently: 13 February 2013.[17]

Photos courtesy of jnwinget, Find A Grave contributor.

In one of her letters, Jacquie Mitchell related that her mother-in-law was very closed mouthed about the family’s history, even with her children. Spunky Ida said it was nobody’s business.[18] The Roscoe and Ida Mitchell family was large and, though not without their share of  sadness and troubles, seems to have been a close knit and happy family.
Mitchell Family portrait taken about 1950, Front Row: Harold, Virgil, Leo C; Center: Roscoe C. Mitchell, Dallas, Ida (Waggoner) Mitchell; Back row: Reeby, Erma, Mona, Melvin. (Missing: Martin who died in 1930)

[1] South Dakota Marriages, 1905-1949, Erma Lucil Mitchell and Alfred Frederick Wendorf (1939); database ( : accessed 8 January 2014).
[2] Minnesota Birth Index, 1935-2002, Alfred Ernest Wendorf (1939); database ( : accessed 8 January 2014).
[3] 1940 U.S. census, Marshall, Lyon County, Minnesota, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 42-18B, sheet 6A, visited 107, Irma Windorf [Erma Wendorf]; digital image (, accessed 7 January 2014); NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 723.
[4] Minnesota, Death Index, 1908-2002, Alfred Wendorf (1952); database ( : accessed 8 January 2014).
[5] Minnesota, Find A Grave Index, 1800-2012, Alfred Wendorf (1952); database ( : accessed 16 January 2014).
[6] Burial Index, Ernest A. Wendorf (1977); database ( : accessed 16 January 2014).
[7] Washington Death Index, 1940-1996, Melvin D Mitchell (1991); database (, accessed 16 January 2014).
[8] U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, Leo C Mitchell; database (, accessed 7 January 2014); NARA, record group 64.
[9] World War II Army Enlistment Records, Leo C Mitchell; database Fold3 ( : accessed 16 January 2014).
[10] 1940 U.S. census, Custer, Lyon County, Minnesota, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 42-6, sheet 6B, visited 105, Leo Mitchell; digital image (, accessed 16 January 2014); NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 1934.
[11] Social Security Death Index, 1935-Current, Leo C Mitchell (2004); database (, accessed 7 January 2014).
[12] U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 1, Seattle, Washington, Roscoe R Mitchell (1981); database (, accessed 16 January 2014).
[13] Mitchell, Jacquie, Bothell, Washington, to Zola Noble, letter, 10 January 1999; Waggoner, Eli & Rachel binder, Waggoner family; privately held by Zola Troutman Noble  [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] Anderson, Indiana.
[14] Mitchell, Jacquie, Bothell, Washington, to Zola Noble, letter, 7 December 1998.
[15] U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 1, Lynnwood, Washington, Virgil W Mitchell (1995).
[16] U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 1, Seattle, Washington, Dallas C. Mitchell (1992).
[17] U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-Current, Dallas C. Mitchell (2013); database (, accessed 16 January 2014).
[18] Mitchell, Jacquie, Bothell, Washington, to Zola Noble, letter, 10 January 1999.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Grandma Mary's siblings: The Baby of the Family--Ida

Eli and Rachel Waggoner named the baby of their family Ida. Ten years younger than my grandmother Mary, Ida was born 20 April 1897.[1] Based on bits of information passed to me about Ida, I think she was a spunky little gal. Case in point: When her brother Emery’s wife died in Washington in September 1913 leaving him with two small children—two-year-old John and newborn Marie—Ida traveled all the way out there from Missouri to lend him a hand. At only 16 years of age, would she have traveled that far alone? It’s unlikely. Based on the fact that her brother Leo eventually went out to Washington, too, I’d guess that he accompanied her on this trip. Maybe she helped Emery bring his children back east. 
Ida's photo, extracted from the family portrait taken about 1909, which makes her about 12 years old here.

When Emery married Dewey Petty in Virginia in 1915 and moved to Minnesota, Rachel and Eli and certainly Ida either followed or were already there. Soon, Ida found a husband in Lyon County Minnesota where on 6 December 1916, she married Roscoe Conklin Mitchell,[2] son of  George Washington Mitchell and Isadora Ginn Mitchell.
Marriage certificate for Ida Wagner and Roscoe C. Mitchell.

All nine of Ida’s children were born in either Lyon County or Redwood County, Minnesota: Martin Marion (1918-1930); Mona Marjorie (1919-1983); Erma Lucille (1920-    ); Melvin Donald (1921-1991); Leo C (1922-2004); Roscoe Reeby (1924-    ); Harold Herman (1928-    ); Virgil Warner (1929-     ); and Dallas Cletus (1931-2013). It nearly takes my breath away just to see that she gave birth to the first five children within six years of her marriage. Thankfully, the next four were spaced a little farther apart. You have to have spunk to take care of that many children.
The Mitchell's lived in Minnesota until sometime after 1940. The call of the west must have been resounding Ida’s ear as it had three of her brothers. By February 1944, she and her family called Seattle their home. Their address was 9559 Wallingford Ave., Seattle, Washington. I found this address on a delayed birth certificate, which Ida obtained through the help of her sister, Mary Troutman. The birth certificate was notarized in Wayne, Nebraska. It shows our grandmother Mary’s signature and Ida’s signature with Ida’s address at that time.
Ida Waggoner's delayed birth certificate obtained with the help of her sister Mary Waggoner "Mrs. Clint" Troutman.

Several of Ida’s children followed them to Washington, but a few stayed behind in Minnesota. Sad to say, their firstborn, Martin, succumbed on 20 January 1930 at age 12 to complications from diabetes.[3]

On September 30, 1936, their eldest daughter Mona married George C. Schulze, son of Mr. and Mrs. August Schulze, in Gary, Duel County, South Dakota, which is right on the South Dakota/Minnesota line.[4] Mona must have looked lovely in autumn colors described in a news clipping: “The bride wore a dress of rust colored crepe with brown accessories and carried a bouquet of red roses.” Mona and George made their home in Pipestone in south-western Minnesota.[5] They had two children: George Junior (born 15 July 1937)[6] (Yes, Junior is his middle name, not a suffix) and Kay (born 27 March 1942). I’ve had the joy of meeting online George Junior’s youngest daughter, Kristine, a lovely person, who is also interested in family history. She helped supply me with some of this information.
I’ll finish the story of Ida and Roscoe Mitchell next week.

[1] Richmond, Virginia, delayed certificate of birth before June 14, 1912 (issued 1944), Ida Waggoner; Virginia Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics.
[2] Lyon County, Minnesota, certificate of marriage (1916), Wagner-Mitchell; County Clerk’s Office, Marshall.
[3] Jacquie Mitchell, Bothell, Washington, to Zola Noble, letter, 10 January 1999; personal correspondence, 1999; Waggoner family, Eli & Rachel Waggoner research binder; privately held by Zola Troutman Noble, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] Anderson, Indiana.
[4] South Dakota Marriages, 1905-1949, Mona M. Mitchell and George C. Schulze (1936): database ( : accessed 8 January 2014).
[5] “Nuptial Knots Tied in Dakota: Pipestone Young People Parties in Recent Interesting Matrimonial Events,” unknown newspaper, original article in possession of Jacquie Mitchell, copy sent to Zola Noble, Anderson, Indiana, October 2000; Waggoner family, Eli & Rachel Waggoner research binder, privately held by Zola Troutman Noble, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] Anderson, Indiana.
[6] Pipestone, Minnesota, “Minnesota Birth Index, 1935-2002,” George Junior Schulze (1937); database ( : accessed 8 January 2014).

(c) Z.T. Noble, all rights reserved.