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).

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