Tuesday, November 24, 2015

More Photo Treasures!

In my previous post, I shared a few photos sent to me by cousins after I blogged about the folks in them. As a follow up, I'm sharing the photos. Now to add the others I promised. The ones here are more photos shared by cousin Lee Nelsen from his mother Virginia Troutman Nelsen's collection.

I'm not sure what happened to put Grandma Mary's brother, Jake Waggoner, into this wheelchair, but here he is. Looks as if he isn't the only invalid in the photo. Note the crutch and man on Leo's left. Read more about Jake here.
Jake Waggoner
Here's another photo of Grandma Mary's brother, Leo Waggoner, taken in Fresno, California, 7 May 1922. Leo is the man on the left. More of Leo's story can be found here.

Recently, I learned from Cousin Debbie Imus that she remembers visiting Leo in California. It's better in her words: "He lived with someone we called Aunt Ann. My father loved his Uncle Leo [his namesake].  I was probably 8 or 9. I remember we drove up back roads on a dirt road to get to his house. He gave all three of us kids a rattlesnake tail rattler. And Aunt Ann gave me a silver bracelet with a turquoise stone in it." What great memories! Thanks, Debbie, for sharing them.

More photos of Leo and friends. Too bad these photos are not dated and place identified also.

Leo is on the left.
Leo is the one standing beside another unknown friend.

Enough for now. More to come.

© 2015, Z. T. Noble

Friday, November 20, 2015

Old Photos, Found Treasures!

Thanks to my cousin Lee Nelsen who shared photos from his mother's collection, and to a recently found second cousin, Debbie Mitchell Imus, granddaughter of Ida Waggoner, my Grandma Mary's sister, I have a few photos to add, which I've linked to the stories about these folks.

A few months ago, I wrote about my paternal grandfather's brother, James Henry Troutman, known as Uncle Jim to my dad and his siblings. Maybe you've read the "black sheep" stories. Here are a few photos, fronts and backs, to add to the collection of photos of Uncle Jim and Aunt Susie:

Any car buffs out there? Do you know the year and make of the car?
Jim's wife Susie, on left, and her sister, Bessie.
Then way back, early in the first year of my blog, I wrote about my grandmother Mary's siblings. I was thrilled to receive more photos of them from Cousin Lee and Cousin Debbie.

I like this formal portrait of Emory Waggoner, Grandma Mary's oldest brother; it lends him a bit more dignity than some of his other photos. No matter how poor folks were, it seems that they could get gussied up for a formal portrait, at least once. Emery wrote on the photo, "This is your uncle & brother Emory. To Mr. & Mrs. Troutman and children." This message shows a certain restraint, yet underlying affection for his sister's family. It had been sent to Mary and Clint and their children, Neville, James, Carl, Verne, and Virginia. The year is uncertain, perhaps early to mid-1920s.

The back gives evidence as to the place he resided when he sent the photo.
Boyd, Minn. is a small town in Lac qui Parle County, which borders South Dakota.
Then there was handsome Gordon, Grandma's closest brother in age, one year older. This photo is similar to one posted earlier, but a slightly different pose.

Apparently, Gordon made a trip to California, too, at some point in time.
I wish the year had been included here.
The next photo is a treasure (not that the others aren't): Grandma Mary's sister, Alice and her husband, Herbert Ellington and daughter Hazel. Thanks to Debbie for this find. Alice remained in Missouri when the rest of the family moved to Nebraska, and I don't have as much information on her as Grandma's other siblings. That's why I treasure this photo. It's the only one I have of Alice's husband and daughter.
Herbert Ellington, Hazel Ellington, Alice Waggoner Ellington, c. 1914, Missouri.

Another photo from Debbie is this next one of Grandma Mary's sister Ida's grandson, Ernest Wendorf. I learned from Debbie that Ernest and his sister Alice died from Huntington's disease; their father also had it. In the blog post I wrote on Jan. 22, 2014, I did not know the cause of their early deaths. Now we know.
Ernest Wendorf (1939-1977)
 I have more photos to share, but this is enough for now.

(c) 2015, Z. T. Noble

Friday, November 13, 2015

Dan's Daughters: Lois

For fifteen years, Warrington was an only child, but she wanted a sister. Apparently not being able to have more children, her parents, Carrie and Dan Troutman finally went looking. They found eighteen-month-old Lois Marie Bethel in an orphanage somewhere in southwest Virginia, perhaps Dickenson County, her family’s last known residence.

Lois, on right, with her foster father, Dan Troutman, and foster sister, Warrington.

 Lois’ mother Elsie Anne Salyers Bethel had succumbed to tuberculosis on 7 July 1922.[1] She was 22 years of age. Six days earlier, Lois had turned one year old. Born December 1899, Elsie Anne was the third daughter of eight children born to John Salyer and Mary Holbrook, probably in Dickenson County, Virginia, where the family were living in 1900.[2] The Holbrook and Salyer families were long time residents of the area.

Lois’ father, Walter O. Bethel died of a stroke a few months after his wife, but his exact death date is unknown.[3] In fact, little is known about his early life, at this time, including the names of his parents. He was born 19 May 1885 in Tennessee.[4] He was first married 22 October 1904 in Jefferson County, Tennessee to a woman named Mattie Howard.[5] They had at least one child, a boy named Dewey.[6] In 1912-13, Walter and Mattie Bethel were living in Middlesboro, Kentucky, and Walter was a fireman at the Middlesboro Electric Company.[7] The marriage apparently dissolved not long after that, for when Walter registered for the draft in 1918, he was living in Helier, Pike County, Kentucky, his occupation was recorded as “Elect. Engineer” for “Mfgs. C&C Co,” and his wife’s name was Elsie.[8]

In 1920 Mattie and Dewey lived with her parents in Jefferson City, Tennessee,[9] and Walter and Elsie were lived in Ervinton, Dickenson County, Virginia near Elsie’s family. They had two children, Ruth and Herbert, ages two and eleven months, respectively, and Walter was working in the coal mining industry.[10] Walter seems to have been on the move frequently.

When the parents of the Bethel children died, Rutha, Herbert, and Lois were placed in an orphanage and eventually raised separately in foster homes. Lois’ life with Dan and Carrie Troutman was good. She felt loved and cherished.[11] And she loved Dan and Carrie in return.

As valedictorian of her high school class, Lois received a scholarship to Montreat College, North Carolina from the Presbyterian Church of which she was a member.[12] She graduated from Montreat with a liberal arts degree in 1941 and married Gale L. Faris a few months later on 27 September. After her marriage, Lois worked for a few months as a secretary to the purchasing agent at Matheson Chemical Company in Saltville. When she was expecting her first child, she quit. She and Gale had three sons.[13] In 1942, Lois reunited with Ruth and Herbert and her biological, maternal aunts and uncles.[14]

Lois’ experiences with her foster father Dan Troutman and his mental illness influenced her, in later years, to become a psychiatric social worker at the very hospital where Dan had been a patient.[15] A loyal and loving daughter, indeed.

[1] Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2013, Elsie Bethel, digital image, ( : accessed 23 October 2015).

[2] 1900 U. S. census, Ervinton, Dickinson County, Virginia, population schedule, p. 142 (stamped), enumeration district [ED] 15, sheet 5-B, dwelling 83, family 85, John Salyers family; digital image ( : accessed 23 October 2015); NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1706.
[3] A search of Virginia death records, Tennessee death records, Find A Grave records and others, have turned up nothing, thus far, on Walter O. Bethel’s death. Cause of death and approximate time of death were supplied in a letter from Lois Faris to Zola Noble dated 3 August 2009. Also included in the letter was a statement that Lois had visited her parents’ graves in a “family cemetery” in Dickinson County, Virginia.
[4] “U. S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” images (http://www., accessed 23 October 2015), card for Walter Orphaus Bethel, serial number 3947, Local Draft Board, Pike County, Kentucky. For birth place, both the 1910 and 1920 censuses (footnotes 5 and 7), cited below, record Tennessee as his birth place. A search for Walter Bethel in the 1900 census, with possible parents, resulted in no one with that name born in Tennessee at or about 1885.
[5] Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002, database ( : accessed 23 October 2015), entry for Walter Bethel and Mattie Howard, 22 Oct. 1904.
[6] 1910 U. S. census, Knox County, Tennessee, population schedule, enumeration district [ED] 103, p. 3-B, dwelling 57, family 58, Walter Bethel family; digital image ( : accessed 23 October 2015); NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 1508.
[7] U. S. City Directories, 1882-1989, Middlesboro, Kentucky, 1912-13, digital image ( : accessed 22 November 2015), entry for Walter Bethel (Mattie).
[8] “U. S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” card for Walter Orpheus Bethel, ser. Num. 3947, Loc. Dft. Bd., Pike Co., Ky.
[9] 1920 U. S. census, Jefferson City, Jefferson County, Tennessee, population schedule, enumeration district [ED] 71, p. 12-B, dwelling 249, family 266, William N. Howard family; digital image ( : accessed 23 October 2015); NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1748.
[10] 1920 U. S. census, Ervinton, Dickenson County, Virginia, population schedule, enumeration district [ED] 23, p. 7-A, dwelling 105, family 107, Walter R. Bethel family; digital image ( : accessed 23 October 2015); NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1887.
[11] Lois Faris, Glade Spring, Virginia, to Zola Noble, 15 August 2008, letter, information on life as a foster daughter in the Dan C. Troutman home; Lois Faris file, Troutman family; privately held, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] Anderson, Indiana.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Lois Faris, Glade Spring, Virginia, to Zola Noble, 3 August 2009, letter, information on her birth family; Lois Faris file, Troutman family; privately held, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] Anderson, Indiana.
[14] Ibid.
[15] Lois Faris, Glade Spring, Virginia, to Zola Noble, 15 August 2008, letter.

© 2015, Z. T. Noble

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dan's Daughters: Warrington

My paternal grandfather’s brother Dan Troutman and his wife Carrie had two daughters, Warrington and Lois. Warrington was born to them, and Lois was “adopted.” That’s what everyone thought, anyway, but truth be told, Lois was never legally adopted. One of her maternal aunts objected, so her legal status remained foster child.[1]

I don't remember ever meeting Warrington, but she lived well into my lifetime. I remember my dad talking about her affectionately. He liked to tell that she outlived four husbands. Warrington Catlett Troutman was born 27 December 1907.[2] At the time, her mother was 27 and her father was 24. Why she was given such unusual names is anyone’s guess. Perhaps Carrie’s three years of college had given her out-of-the-ordinary ideas about naming children.

Warrington with her parents, Dan and Carrie Troutman, c. 1920.
A high school graduate, Warrington was employed by the WPA as a seamstress throughout the depression years.[3] Later, she worked as a legal secretary.[4] She remained single until her mother died. Perhaps, because of her father’s illness, she felt a responsibility to stay with her mother.
Warrington, on left, with her cousin Verne Troutman (my dad) and an unknown friend. c. 1938, on a Virginia mountain road.
Carrie’s death at age 74 on 1 August 1954[5] seems to have freed Warrington to marry. The first was a 48-year-old, twice divorced farmer, Floyd J. Reynolds. Just two weeks after Carrie died, on 14 August 1954, they were married by a Presbyterian minister in Washington County, Virginia. Warrington was 47.[6] The marriage ended on 3 March 1958 when Floyd died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage.[7]
The second time, Warrington chose a widowed laborer named Fred R. Barker, or maybe they chose each other. They married at the Glade Spring Baptist Church on 2 May 1959. Fred was 58, and she was 51.[8] The couple lived on a farm near Damascus, Virginia. This marriage lasted until Fred died at age 66 on 2 April 1967, one month short of celebrating their 8th anniversary.
Warrington’s third marriage was to Marion L. Davis, a farmer living at Mouth of Wilson, Grayson County, Virginia. They married in the early 1970s.[9] Marion died suddenly of a heart attack at age 89 on 24 June 1978.[10] Warrington was 71.
For a couple of years or so, Warrington remained single and lived on the Davis farm at Mouth of Wilson. She was persuaded to marry a fourth time by widower Charles G. Miller, a retired carpenter in the building construction business from Damascus.[11] At ages 91 and 73 respectively, Charles and Warrington surely had a spark of romance left in them when they married in view of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Whitetop in Grayson County on 11 February 1981.[12] About 20 months later on 23 October 1982, Charles died of pneumonia.[13]Warrington continued to live at their home in Damascus until she died two years later on 30 October 1984 at age 77. She is buried next to her first husband, Floyd J. Reynolds in Glade Spring Baptist Church Cemetery.[14]
Warrington's grave marker.
Troutman cemetery plot at Glade Spring Baptist Church Cemetery (New). Those buried here are Dan and Carrie Troutman, Warrington Troutman Miller, and Floyd J. Reynolds. Photo by Barry L. Seitz, Find A Grave contributor.

[1] Lois Faris, Glade Spring, Virginia, to Zola Noble, 15 August 2008, letter, information on life as a foster daughter in the Dan C. Troutman home; Lois Faris file, Troutman family; privately held, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] Anderson, Indiana.
[2] Virginia, Birth Records, 1864-2014, Warrington Catlett Troutman, digital image, ( : accessed 23 October 2015).
[3] 1940 U. S. census, Glade Spring, Washington County, Virginia, population schedule, enumeration district 96-6, sheet 8-B, visit no. 158, Carrie Troutman, see Warrington; digital image ( ; accessed 28 October 2015); NARA microfilm publication T-627, roll 4300.
[4] Lois Faris, Glade Spring, Va., to Zola Noble, 15 August 2008, letter.
[5] Virginia, Death Records, 1912-2013, Floyd Jefferson Reynolds, digital image, ( : accessed 28 October 2015).
[6] Va., Marriage Records, 1946-2014, Floyd J. Reynolds and Warrington Troutman, digital image ( : accessed 30 October 2015).
[7] Va., Dth. Rcds., 1912-2013, Mrs. Carrie Sexton Troutman, digital image, ( : accessed 28 October 2015).
[8] Va., Marr. Rcds., 1946-2014, Fred R. Barker and Warrington T. Reynolds; digital image ( : accessed 28 October 2015).
[9] Va., Marr. Rcds., 1912-2013, does not include this marriage, and I have not looked elsewhere for the marriage information.
[10] Va., Dth. Rcds., 1912-2013, Marion Lonzo Davis, digital image, ( : accessed 28 October 2015). Warrington was the informant for the death certificate.
[11] Va., Dth. Rcds., 1912-2013, Charles Gilham Miller, digital image, ( : accessed 28 October 2015).
[12] Va., Marr. Rcds., 1946-2014, Charles Gilham Miller and Warrington Catlett Davis, digital image ( : accessed 28 October 2015).
[13] Va., Dth. Rcds., 1912-2013, Charles Gilham Miller, digital image,
[14]  Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 04 October 2015), photograph, memorial page for Warrington Troutman Miller (1907-1984), Find A Grave memorial no. # 95736549, citing Glade Spring Baptist Cemetery (New), Glade Spring, Virginia; photographs contributed by Barry L. Seitz.

© 2015, Z. T. Noble