Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Parallel Lives of Stelle and Daisy

My paternal grandfather’s sisters, Stelle and Daisy seem to have been strong, independent women. The more I learn about them, the more I wish I could have met them. Although they were not close in age, their lives took similar, somewhat unique paths for women of their day.

Born in February 1870, one year—maybe to the day—after her parents were married, Laura Estelle was the first born of Daniel A. and America Troutman.[1] She was probably named for America’s oldest sister Laura E. (whose middle name remains undetermined), who was also the firstborn of her parents, Nicholas and Sarah Pratt.[2]

Daisy arrived about fifteen years later,[3] another girl, a few years after her parents had suffered the loss of two little daughters and a son. (The story of the loss of these babies is told here.) Stelle and Daisy were the only daughters to survive to adulthood.

Then they married men with the same name.

On 16 November 1891, Laura Estelle Troutman, age 21, married William Tell Worley, age 33.[4] Daisy was a little five-year-old admiring her older sister. In 1900, Tell Worley farmed land he owned, free of mortgage, in the Broadford precinct. Stelle’s mother-in-law, Eliza Worley lived with them, as did a twelve-year-old white servant girl named Mary Harris, probably hired to babysit so Stelle could get her other work done. Stelle and Tell had two living children: Carl, age 6, and Dale, age eleven months.[5] In the few short years of their marriage, they had already faced tragedy. Their baby boy, Harvey Lee, born 30 March 1896 had lived only one month and seven days.[6] They buried him in the Rich Valley Presbyterian Church Cemetery where Stelle’s young sisters and brother had been buried.

About 1906, Daisy Virginia Troutman, age 21, married William Tell “Will” Worley, a nephew of Stelle’s husband and his namesake, age 23. A tall, slender, blue-eyed, redhead,[7] Will was a son of Thomas E. Worley,[8] Tell’s oldest brother.

For the first eight years, or so, of their marriage, Daisy and Will stayed in Smyth County, Virginia. In 1910, they and their three-year-old son Marvin lived on a rented farm in the Broadford precinct.[9] So far, so good.

Eventually, both sisters and their families moved away from Virginia.

By 1910, Stelle and Tell had moved to Missouri, as had Stelle’s brother Clint. I’m not sure which of them left first. Stelle and Tell were living at Dry Creek township, Howell County, Missouri. In addition to Carl, who was now 16, and Dale age 10, they had two daughters, both born in Virginia: Leona, age 6, and Ethel, age 4. They had apparently lost another child, but details are unknown. At this time, they were living on a rented farm and Tell was working as a farm laborer.[10]

Some time about 1911-12, my grandfather Clint and his wife Mary, moved from Audrain County to Howell County, also. We have some wonderful family group photos taken in Missouri from around that time. If you look closely at the photo below, I think you can see my grandmother's baby bump. She would have been pregnant with her third child Carl at this time. Her hairdo is the best!

Besides people identified on back: Children standing, l to r.: Leona Worley, Dale Worley, Ethel Worley, unknown, unknown. Adults standing, l to r: unknown, unknown and baby, Clint & Mary Troutman, unknown, Tell, Stelle, and Carl Worley.

 This next photo fascinates me, especially the woman wearing gaucho pants. What daring for 1911-12! I would like to know who she is. Also I love seeing these photos of Grandma Mary as a young mother. Mary is the third adult from right, and Stelle is the fourth.
Besides those identified on back below: To far left, Tell Worley, Leona in front of Stelle and Ethel in front of Mary.

c. 1912. I think Tell is the man in the light colored hat next to Stella, but the back identifies him as the "2nd man." Maybe the two males on the left are considered boys, so that would make the man next to Stelle the 2nd "man." Could the boys be Dale and Carl Worley, who would have been about 12 and 18?
Handwriting on the back of this photo identifies Ethel as "3rd girl" from right, but she is the 2nd. She was the youngest of Stelle's daughter, and the 3rd girl is obviously not younger than the 1st one. Compare the 2nd girl, with her long hair, to the girl identified as Ethel in the other photos.

Then they all moved to Nebraska. More on that next time.

[1] 1900 U. S. census, Smyth County, Virginia, population schedule, Broad Ford Precinct, p. 119 (stamped), enumeration district [ED] 84, sheet 10-A, dwelling 166, family 167, Tell Worley household; digital image ( : accessed 11 December 2015); NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 1728. Estelle’s birth is the only one of Daniel and America’s children that is not recorded in birth books at the Smyth County courthouse. This census states her birth as Feb. 1870.
[2] 1850 U. S. census, Smyth County, Virginia, population schedule, district 60, p. 176 (stamped), dwelling 261, family 265, Nicholas Pratt family, see Laura; NARA microfilm publication, M432, roll 976.

[3] Records conflict as to Daisy’s birth date. (1) Smyth County Register of Births, Book I, p. 12, shows the birth of an unnamed female to D. A. and America Troutman on 27 June 1886. (2) U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, states her birth date as 22 January 1886. (3) California, Death Index, 1940-1997, states her birth date as 22 January 1885. (4) Her tombstone photo on Find A Grave shows 1885. (5) The 1900 U. S. census of Smyth Co. Va. states her birth date as Jan. 1884.

[4] Smyth County, Virginia, Register of Marriage, Book 1, p. 83, Wm. T. Worley and Laura E. Troutman, 16 November 1891; County Clerk’s Office, Marion. Tell was actually 36, not 33, as stated in the record.
[5] 1900 U. S. census, Smyth Co., Va., pop. sch., Broad Ford Precinct, p. 119 (stamped), ED 84, sheet 10-A, dwell. 166, fam. 167, Tell Worley household.
[6] "Virginia Deaths and Burials, 1853–1912," Harrie Lee Worley, database ( : accessed 11 December 2015).
[7] “U. S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” images (http://www., accessed 14 December 2015), card for William Tell Worley, serial number 1098, Local Draft Board, Wayne County, Nebraska.
[8] Virginia Birth Records, 1864-2014, digital image ( : accessed 14 December 2015); entry for William Tell Worley, 20 January 1884.
[9] 1910 U. S. census, Broadford, Smyth County, Virginia, population schedule, enumeration district [ED] 88, p. 10-B, dwelling 180, family 181, William T. Worley family; digital image ( : accessed 11 December 2015); NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 1649. This census states that Will and Daisy have been married 3 years.
[10] 1910 U. S. census, Dry Creek, Howell County, Missouri, population schedule, enumeration district [ED] 78, p. 10-A, dwelling 205, family 207, W. T. Worley family; digital image ( : accessed 10 December 2015); NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 784.

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