HYDE HEIRLOOMS – TWO CENTURIES- TWO SILVER SPOONS

Sturbridge, Massachusetts 1837 John Waner Barber. Historical Collections, being a General Collection of Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, &c. relating to the History and Antiquities of Every Town in MA, with Geographical Desc. (Worcester: Warren Lazzell 1844), 608; digital images, (www.archive.org: accessed 07 Jan 2016)

Sturbridge, Massachusetts 1837 Image courtesy of Internet Archives.

HYDE HEIRLOOMS – TWO CENTURIES- TWO SILVER SPOONS

Heirlooms are the tangible evidence of an ancestor’s existence. It is something you can grasp and picture them using.  For nearly 200 years the descendants of Joshua and Sally Hyde preserved two silver spoons, passing them from one Hyde descendant to the next for six generations.

Hyde silver spoons ca. 1830, Silversmith Everhard Benjamin.

Hyde silver spoons ca. 1830, Silversmith Everhard Benjamin.

 

 

 

 

 

Joshua and Sally Hyde silver spoons ca. 1830, Sturbridge, Massachusetts

Joshua and Sally Hyde silver spoons ca. 1830, Sturbridge, Massachusetts

 

 

 

 

 

As a family historian, you might have an affinity for a particular line. For me, it started with the HYDE family, my mother’s maiden name. When my grandparents, John, and Anna Jane Hyde, visited us once a year in Colorado from Nebraska it seemed like Christmas no matter the calendar month. I anxiously awaited their annual visit. The crunch of the tires on the gravel driveway as their dark Cadillac came to a stop always made my heart beat with anticipation. When Grams exited from the passenger seat,  all five of us siblings clamored for her attention.  Warmth and love always radiated in her smile and a twinkle in her vivid sapphire blue eyes. While I adored my grandmother, my mother favored her grandfather, Dr. John Fay Hyde. He was fondly called “Doc” by friends and family.  Mother’s stories about him are warm with love like honey as it spreads over a piece of freshly buttered toast.  Did Doc hear stories about his grandparents, or even his great-grandparents, Joshua, and Sally (Fay) Hyde?

Joshua and Sally Fay Hyde descendants

Joshua and Sally Fay Hyde descendants

The Letter

In January 1927, my great-grandfather Dr. John Fay Hyde opened a letter from his first cousin, Nina L. Gleason, explaining why she sent a silver spoon. He was the last male “Hyde” in their family line and she felt he deserved to have the family heirloom.

Nina Gleason letter

Letter from Nina L. Gleason to her cousin John Fay Hyde, dated 1927.

Letter from Nina L. Gleason to her cousin John Fay Hyde, dated 1927.

Dear cousin John,

Under separate cover I am sending the Hyde spoon which I feel is right for you to have. The JSH is for Joshua, Sally Hyde, your great grandparents. I did not have the dents smoothed, for I feel the spoon is all the more valuable with them. Probably some youngster tried out some newly cut teeth, or at any rate the spoons shows use. Probably Aunt Florence keeps you posted in regard to grandma. Hers is a most pitiful case, to say the least.

With Best Wishes,   Nina L. Gleason

Marblehead Mass.

Jan 25, 1927[1]

(Note: Florence refers to Doc’s mother, Florence Ellen Follett Hyde and “grandma” refers to Doc and Nina’s grandmother, Sarah Mathewson Hyde).

The Silver Spoons

Inscribed with “JSH”, for “Joshua” and “Sally” “Hyde”, the  silver spoons are a small part of the 87 items noted on Joshua’s estate inventory. The detailed list evokes images of an industrious farm. It includes how much land he owned, how many cows, horses, and pigs, how many bushels of oats and grains, and sundry household goods[2].  I anxiously scanned the inventory hoping to find the spoons.  Finally, near the end of the list, I spied them, “6 Silver Tea Spoons 4 other pewter spoons.”[3]  All ten spoons were valued at $2.00 in 1838. Today they would be worth $54.00. It’s not a great sum of money but the heirloom value they hold is irreplaceable.

Joshua Hyde inventory 1838, Sturbridge Massachusetts, Image courtesy of familysearch.org and ancestry.com.

Joshua Hyde inventory 1838, Sturbridge Massachusetts, Image courtesy of familysearch.org and ancestry.com.

Joshua Hyde

A description of Joshua Hyde is noted in  A Historical Sketch of Sturbridge and Southbridge, “He left for his widow and children, a very handsome estate, which was the fruit of his own industry and perseverance.”[4] Joshua was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  He worked hard to achieve success and his family benefited from his diligence. The silver spoons he possessed represented status. According to the internet site Collectors Weekly, “From the fourth decade of the 17th Century when the first examples were hammered out, to the middle of the 19th Century when mechanized production caused the last silversmiths to lay down their tools, silver spoons were part of a young woman’s dowry. The quantity, of course, depended on the length of the parental purse, but it was a poverty-stricken household that could not find funds for at least six teaspoons and a tablespoon or two.”[5]  The two silver spoons that remain from Joshua and Sally Hyde bear the mark of the silversmith who made them, E.Benjamin & CO, which helps date the spoons. Everhard Benjamin established his business in 1830 in New Haven, Connecticut.[6]  The spoons could not have been purchased before 1830 nor after 1838 since Joshua died at that time. Perhaps the spoons were a gift or purchase for their 35th wedding anniversary in 1836?

Silver mark for silversmith Everhard Benjamin from New Haven CT, image courtesy of www.archive.org.

Silver mark for silversmith Everhard Benjamin from New Haven CT, image courtesy of www.archive.org.

Following the Trail

Tracing the spoons through the generations is a matter of speculation, but I’ve established what I think is most likely. Joshua and Sally Hyde were lifetime residents of Sturbridge, Massachusetts and passed away in 1838 and 1850 respectively. They had nine children and 12 grandchildren whom I can trace. Two sons, John Fay and Fitz Henry, served as executors for Joshua’s will.

And lastly I do constitute & ordain my two said sons Fitz Henry & John excutors of this my last will & Testament hereby directing them to pay all my just debts & legicies[sic] not otherwise provided for in this will.”[7]

Joshua Hyde 1838 probate records, courtesy of familysearch.org.

Joshua Hyde 1838 probate records, courtesy of familysearch.org.

 

Joshua stipulated  that John and Fitz Henry provide for their mother’s comfort. After her death they would retain the property.

“I also give & bequeath to my two sons Fitz Henry Hyde & John F. Hyde all the residue & remainder of my estate both real and personal of every description & wherever situated – hereby directing my said two sons, Fitz Henry & John, to provide ever thing necessary for the support, comfort & convenience of my beloved wife, & to provide her whenever she wishes a suitable mode of conveyance to go to meeting & whereever she may wish to go and to do all things in health & sickness, she may desire for her comfort & convenience as my beloved wife her desires I should make provision for her support in this way. Should any said sons Fitz Henry & John neglect to provide for their mother as I have pointed out, I hereby give her the use & improvement of all the real estate I give to them as aforesaid during her natural life.”[8]

Joshua Hyde probate records 1838, courtesy of familysearch.org and ancestry.com.

Joshua Hyde probate records 1838, courtesy of familysearch.org and ancestry.com.

In 1849 John Fay Hyde married his second wife, Sarah Ann Mathewson They  lived in Sturbridge, Massachusetts near his mother. Their first child, Sarah Elizabeth (Hyde) Gleason, was born there  April 1850.

Sarah Elizabeth Hyde Gleason ca. 1875, Sturbridge, Massachusetts

Sarah Elizabeth Hyde Gleason ca. 1875, Sturbridge, Massachusetts

Sarah Ann Mathewson Hyde Austin, Providence, R.I. date unknown

Sarah Ann Mathewson Hyde Austin, Providence, R.I. date unknown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is more than likely that John senior  acquired a portion of the personal estate bequeathed in his father’s will after his mother died in 1850, including the silver spoons. A year after her death, John and Sarah Hyde welcomed their second child, Frederick Albert Hyde, born February 1851 in Sturbridge.

By July 1856, there was trouble in the Hyde marriage and they each filed for divorce and separated. John married two more times and in 1871 and at age 56 he moved from Massachusetts to Buda, Illinois. His son Frederick Albert Hyde relocated from New York to  Cambridge, Illinois in 1881. Cambridge is only 30 miles away from Buda and the father and son maintained contact. According to a local newspaper, the Geneseo Republic, in April 1881 “Prof. Hyde and Miss Longenecker have gone to Buda to spend their vacation.”   Additional articles mention Professor Hyde visited his father in Buda over Thanksgiving and Christmas in 1881.   Miss Longenecker soon had competition from another young attractive teacher, Florence Ellen Follett.   Frederick and Florence  married in May 1883.  The next year the newlyweds moved to Newton, Iowa almost 200 miles away from Buda where Frederick served as principal. Their first child arrived in January 1885 and was named after his paternal grandfather, John Fay Hyde. Distance probably limited frequent contact between the two Hyde families. John Fay Hyde senior died in 1889 when his grandson was only four years old. Did Frederick share family stories with his son?

Frederick Albert Hyde ca 1882, Cambridge, Illinois

Frederick Albert Hyde ca 1882, Cambridge, Illinois

John Fay Hyde ca. 1880 Buda, Illinois

John Fay Hyde ca. 1880 Buda, Illinois

Meanwhile back in Massachusetts, John Fay Hyde’s daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, married Francis Herbert Gleason and had four children, including Nina Leonore Gleason (1866-1951), the author of the letter written in 1927.  John senior likely gave the spoons to Sarah before he moved from Sturbridge to Illinois.  Prior to her death in 1890 Sarah turned the spoons over to Nina a public school teacher who remained single. Although she had three siblings and seven nieces and nephews at age 61 Nina mailed the spoons to her 32-year-old cousin John Fay Hyde.  He was the only male adult Hyde remaining in the family whom she knew. Another reason to give the spoons to John may have been he had a male heir, John Frederick Hyde, born October 1911.

John Fay Hyde 1910, Omaha, Nebraska

John Fay Hyde 1910, Omaha, Nebraska

John Frederick Hyde 1934, Omaha, Nebraska.

John Frederick Hyde 1934, Omaha, Nebraska.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Epilogue

I think it is very likely that Doc heard about his ancestors, both maternal and paternal. His mother, Florence Ellen Follett Hyde, compiled a family history preserved for five generations. She avidly researched and recorded family stories. Florence passed this journal to her daughter Hazel Hyde Kiesslebach, a younger sister of Docs, who carried on the family tradition of genealogy. In 2010, I moved from Berlin to Washington D.C. and attended my first Hyde family reunion.  I met Hazel’s daughter, Helen Kiesselbach Greene, the family matriarch and historian.  When Helen mailed me Florence’s journal to peruse and copy, I eagerly read each page.  Soon after I planned my first research trip to the National Archives to obtain the Revolutionary War pension records for Joshua Hyde. It is an unrelenting quest to find one more document and just one more clue. Sometimes it takes years to find enough of the pieces to create a story, as in the case of the  Hyde silver spoons. My grandmother first told me about them over 20 years ago. The seed of interest took time to germinate. After I read the Revolutionary War pension records my interest blossomed. Over the last 10 years I’ve visited Sturbridge where Joshua lived, collected more records, and peeked through the window of time into his life.

This heirloom blog covers just one item from Joshua’s inventory. The intriguing part follows in the next posting about the remainder of his estate and what it reveals about Joshua and Sally Fay Hyde and Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Follow along to learn why there is a library in Sturbridge, Massachusetts named after Joshua Hyde.

HYDE_Joshua_Library_Strubridge_MA.jpg (3)

Joshua Hyde Library Sturbridge, Massachusetts

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© 2016 copyright Kendra Hopp Schmidt. All rights reserved.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Joshua Hyde 1762-1838
Parents: Benjamin Hyde 1723-1797 and
Dorcas Dyer 1726-1787
Spouse: Sarah “Sally” Fay Hyde 1775-1850
Children:

  1. Augusta Hyde, b. 31 Oct 1795, Sturbridge, MA, d. 17 Sep 1872, Sturbridge, MA.
  2. Betsy Hastings Hyde, b. 28 Mar 1798, d. 1880, Sturbridge, MA.
  3. Charlotte Hyde, b. 26 Sep 1800, Sturbridge, MA, d. 16 Mar 1870, Brookfield, MA
  4. Benjamin Dwight Hyde, b. 12 Dec 1762, Sturbridge, MA, d. 2 Nov 1869, Sturbridge, MA
  5. Emory Hyde, b. 21 Feb 1805, Sturbridge, MA, d. 31 Oct 1830, Sturbridge, MA
  6. Frederick Baxter Hyde, b. 15 Jul 1808, Sturbridge, MA, d. 25 Feb 1852, Norwalk, Huron, Ohio
  7. George Baxter Hyde, b. 20 Mar 1811, Sturbridge, MA, d. 8 Jul 1889, Boston, MA
  8. Fitz Henry Hyde, b. 2 Jun 1814, Sturbridge, MA, d. 23 Oct 1833, Sturbridge, MA
  9. John Fay Hyde, b. 5, Aug 1817, Sturbridge, MA, d. 3 Sep 1889, Buda, Bureau, IL

Relationship to Kendra: 4th great-grandfather

  1. Joshua Hyde 1762-1838
  2. John Fay Hyde 1817-1889
  3. Frederick Albert Hyde 1851-1926
  4. John Fay Hyde 1885-1950
  5. John Frederick Hyde 1911-1980
  6. Jean Hyde Hopp Eichorn
  7. Kendra Hopp Schmidt

*****GENEALOGY OF JOSHUA AND SARAH (SALLY FAY) HYDE*****

Benjamin HYDE was born possibly in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, 11 April 1723, parents unknown. He died at Sturbridge, Worcester, Massachusetts, 28 November 1797. He married at Sturbridge, Massachusetts, 21 November 1745 DORCAS DYER. She was born at Sturbridge, Massachusetts, 17 June 1726, parents unknown. She died at Sturbridge, 23 October 1798.   Benjamin Hyde served in the Revolutionary War, as well as his sons, John, Othniel, Abijah, Lemuel, and Joshua.

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Children of Benjamin and Dorcas (Dyer) Hyde:

  • 1. Benjamin Hyde, b. 16 Aug 1746, Sturbridge, MA
  • 2. Dyer Hyde, b. 24 Dec 1747, Sturbridge, MA
  • 3. Christopher Hyde, b. 3 Jul 1749, d. 12 Jul 1750 Sturbridge, MA
  • 4. John Hyde, b. 12 Jul 1750, d. 10 Apr 1808, Pomfret, Windham, CT
  • 5. Othniel Hyde, b. 12 Jul 1752, Sturbridge, MA
  • 6. Abijah Hyde, b. 8 Jun 1754, Sturbridge, MA, d. Abt 1788 in Canada, smallpox, while serving in the Revolutionary War.
  • 7. Lemuel Hyde, b. 12 Apr 1757, Sturbridge, MA
  • 8. Josiah Hyde, b. 25 Dec 1759, Sturbridge, MA
  • 9. Joshua Hyde, b. 12 Dec 1762, Sturbridge, MA, d. 8 Sep 1838, Sturbridge, MA
  • 10. Dorcas Hyde, b. 23 Feb 1764, Sturbridge, MA
  • 11. Thankfull Hyde, b. 13 Jun 1771, d. 21 Apr 1834, Hampshire, MA

Joshua Hyde, son of Benjamin and Dorcas (Dyer) Hyde, b. 12 Dec 1762, Sturbridge, MA, d. 8 Sept 1838, Sturbridge, MA. He married on 11 Dec 1794 in Brookfield, MA, Sarah (Sally) Fay, b. 12 Feb 1775, Westborough, Worcester, MA, d. 15 Jun 1850, Sturbridge, MA.

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Children of Joshua Hyde and Sarah “Sally” (Fay) Hyde:

  • 1. Augusta Hyde, b. 31 Oct 1795, Sturbridge, MA, d. 17 Sep 1872, Sturbridge, MA.
  • 2. Betsy Hastings Hyde, b. 28 Mar 1798, d. 1880, Sturbridge, MA.
  • 3. Charlotte Hyde, b. 26 Sep 1800, Sturbridge, MA, d. 16 Mar 1870, Brookfield, MA
  • 4. Benjamin Dwight Hyde, b. 12 Dec 1762, Sturbridge, MA, d. 2 Nov 1869, Sturbridge, MA
  • 5. Emory Hyde, b. 21 Feb 1805, Sturbridge, MA, d. 31 Oct 1830, Sturbridge, MA
  • 6. Frederick Baxter Hyde, b. 15 Jul 1808, Sturbridge, MA, d. 25 Feb 1852, Norwalk, Huron, Ohio
  • 7. George Baxter Hyde, b. 20 Mar 1811, Sturbridge, MA, d. 8 Jul 1889, Boston, MA
  • 8. Fitz Henry Hyde, b. 2 Jun 1814, Sturbridge, MA, d. 23 Oct 1833, Sturbridge, MA
  • 9. John Fay Hyde, b. 5, Aug 1817, Sturbridge, MA, d. 3 Sep 1889, Buda, Bureau, IL

John Fay Hyde, son of Joshua & Sally (Fay) Hyde, b. 5 Aug 1817, Sturbridge, MA, d. 3 Sept 1889, Buda, IL. He m1) Sarah Cogswell Eldridge b. abt 1822, MA, d. 29 Nov 1846, West Springfield, MA. He m2) Sarah Ann Mathewson b. 3 May 1830 Chepachet, Providence.RI, d. 3 May 1927, Providence, Providence, RI. Sarah m2) Joseph Stevens Austin, b. 12 Jan 1840, Newport, RI, d. 20 Oct 1930, Providence, RI. John Fay Hyde m3) Mary P Reed, b. 1820, Worcester, MA, d. 21 Jan 1899, New Bedford, MA. He m4) Harriet Alvira Howard, b. 24, Jan 1837, Staffordville, CT, d. 17 Dec 1910 Stafford, CT.——

Children of John Fay and Sarah Ann (Mathewson) Hyde:

  • 1. Sarah Elizabeth Hyde, b. 5 Apr 1850, Sturbridge, MA, d. 25 May 1890 Providence, RI. She m. Francis Herbert Gleason, b. 20 Jan 1845, Sturbridge, MA, d. 25 Sept 1897, Brookfield, MA.
  • 2. Frederick Albert Hyde b. 14 Feb 1851, Sturbridge, MA, d. 24 Jun 1926, Prescott, Yavapai, AZ. He m. Florence Ellen Follett, b. 19 Oct. 1860, Cornwall, Henry, IL, d. 13 Oct 1940, Lincoln, NE.

Frederick Albert Hyde,  son of John Fay Hyde and Sarah Ann (Mathewson) Hyde, b. 14 Feb 1851, Sturbridge, MA, d. 24 Jun 1926, Prescott, Yavapai, AZ. He m. on 31 May 1883 in Cambridge, IL Florence Ellen Follett, b. 19 Oct. 1860, Cornwall, Henry, IL, d. 13 Oct 1940, Lincoln, NE.

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Children of Frederick Albert and Florence Ellen (Follett) Hyde

  • 1.John Fay Hyde b. 26 January 1885, Newton, IA, d. 23 March 1950, Omaha, NE. He m. Mabel Elvina Nichols, b. 31 March 1888 Sioux City, NE, d. 16 November 1954, Omaha, NE.
  • 2. Hazel Hortense Hyde b. 19 August 1886, d. 9 December 1975, Lincoln, NE.
  • 3. Sarah Elizabeth Hyde b. 17 December 1891, d. 26 December 1955, Santa Fe, NM.

John Fay Hyde, son of Frederick Albert Hyde and Florence Ellen (Follett) Hyde, b. 26 January 1885, Newton, IA, d. 23 March 1950, Omaha, NE. He married on 8 May 1909 in Omaha, NE. Mabel Elvina Nichols, b. 31 March 1888 Sioux City, NE, d. 16 November 1954, Omaha, NE.

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Children of John Fay Hyde and Mabel Elvina (Nichols) Hyde

  • 1. John Frederick Hyde b. 13 October 1911, Omaha, NE, d. 13 September 1980, Omaha, NE. He married on 25 June 1935 in Omaha, NE Anna Jane Beaton, b.21 June 1907, Omaha, NE, d. 28 March 1998, Tucson, AZ.
  • 2. Joan Hyde b. 26 September 1921 Omaha, NE d. 26 September 1921, Omaha, NE

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[1] Nina L. Gleason, Marblehead Massachusetts to “John” John Fay Hyde, letter, January 25, 1927, privately held by Kendra Hopp Schmidt, Vienna, Austria, 2015.
[2] “Massachusetts, Worcester County, Probate Files, 1731-1925,” digital images, Family search, (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-46816-23886-0?cc=2102083 : accessed 18 December 2015), Worcester; Case no 32638-32724, Joshua Hyde, 1731-1881; image 902 of 1184; Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Boston.
[3] Ibid
[4] George Davis, A Historical Sketch of Sturbridge and Southbridge (Brookfield, Massachusetts: O.S. Cooke & Co.,1858), page 95. ; digital images, Internet Archive Books,( http://archive.org: accessed 15 December 2015)
[5] Richond Huntley,”Flashback: Silver Spoons,” Collectors Weekly, (https:www.collectorsweekly.co/articles/silver-spoons/ : accessed 5 December 2015.
[6] Stephen G.C. Ensko. American Silversmiths and Their Marks III. New York: (Privately printed Robert Ensko Inc., 1948) p171. Internet Archives. (www.internetarchive.org : accessed 6 December 2015)
[7] “Massachusetts, Worcester County, Probate Files, 1731-1925,” digital images, Family search, (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1961-46816-23886-0?cc=2102083 : accessed 18 December 2015), Worcester; Case no 32638-32724, Joshua Hyde, 1731-1881; image 902 of 1184; Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Boston.
[8] Ibid

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HEIRLOOM POSTS shared by other bloggers:

Thanks to Jeanne Bryan Insalaco of Everyone Has a Story for suggesting doing posts on heirlooms and to Cathy Meder-Dempsey  of Opening Doors in Brick Walls for including a list of  Heirloom bloggers and their links.

True Lewis at Notes to Myself

Cathy Meder-Dempsey of Opening Doors in Brick Walls

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco at Everyone Has a Story

Schalene Jennings Dagutis at Tangled Roots and Trees

Karen Biesfeld at Vorfahrensucher

Linda Stufflebean at Empty Branches on the Family Tree.

Vera Marie Badertscher at Ancestors in Aprons

Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme for 2015 Week 24 was Heirlooms. Please visit her 52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 24 Recap for the links to posts in the comments.

Posted in Heirlooms, My Family Ancestry | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

ORCUTTs at the Easel

Is there an artist in your family, either professional or amateur?  If your ancestor left only one piece of artwork, what impressions might you attribute to the artist?

Marion Edith Orcutt still life painting 1898, Omaha, Nebraska.

Marion Edith Orcutt still life painting 1898, Omaha, Nebraska.

In my earlier post, I wrote about the Orcutt family portraits of Clinton, Anna, and their daughter Anna Ri.  There were two other daughters, Jane  Clare, and Marion Edith, but no portraits exist of them. However, Edith painted and thought of herself as an artist. Her elder brother, Louis, dabbled in pencil sketches, and one sketch has survived 115 years. I know  a lot about my great-grandmother Edith, but I know very little about Louis. My impressions of him are based on one solitary drawing saved by his family and a few directory listings.

During the 19th century, an affluent woman with leisure time expressed creativity through “fancywork”. Hobbies Included needlework, leatherwork, painting, gardening, and music, all intended to demonstrate affluence and influence in society. Fine artwork, such as an oil painting might have been exhibited at a local art society, but “most women made sand pictures, feather pictures, and shell boxes to decorate their homes.” [1]  Did Edith exhibit her oil painting at the local art society?

In 1896 at seventeen, Edith Orcutt completed her education at Sacred Heart Academy in Omaha, Nebraska.  She had time on her hands and filled it with activities typical for her social class, attending parties, outings, dance, music, and artwork. She must have taken her artwork seriously because, in the 1897 Omaha Directory, she lists herself as an “artist”.[2]

Orcutt, Edith, artist r 550 s 26th. Image courtesy of www.ancestry.com.

Orcutt, Edith, artist r 550 s 26th. Image courtesy of http://www.ancestry.com.

Her only surviving painting demonstrates technique and skill wielding a paintbrush. The large rectangular painting framed in ornate gold is proudly signed “M. Edith Orcutt, ‘98”.

M. Edith Orcutt '98- Signature of Marion Edith Orcutt 1898, Omaha, NE.

M. Edith Orcutt ’98- Signature of Marion Edith Orcutt 1898, Omaha, NE.

The still life displays two vases covered with a bouquet of flowers. A large copper vessel encircled by  animals overflows with lush, pink and yellow roses in full blossom. Roses cascade on a delicate cream lace tablecloth. Soft violet blossoms fill a small green pottery vase with one handle. Was it summer and Edith collected the flowers from the garden to use as her motif?

Marion Edith Orcutt still life painting 1898, Omaha, Nebraska.

Marion Edith Orcutt still life painting 1898, Omaha, Nebraska.

Edith received painting lessons from Frances Miller Mumaugh, a landscape artist who trained with several prominent American artists in New York where she was born. After relocating to Omaha, Nebraska, Frances continued to travel abroad studying and painting. She is most noted for her floral still life paintings, including one that looks similar to the painting by Edith.

Frances Miller Mumaugh

Still life of roses by Frances Miller Mumaugh

Based on  the 1897 directory date and the date on the painting, Edith painted for at least 10 years. How many other paintings were there? What happened to them? Maybe she stopped painting after her marriage in 1899. She valued this painting enough to elegantly frame it and pass it on in the family.

Edith admired her teacher and I imagine a friendship developed between the two women, despite the 20 year age difference. As a token of this friendship, Frances gave Edith a quaint painting of a donkey. My mother has always treasured the painting and it still hangs on her wall.

ORCUTT_Edith_gift_frm_painting_Eacher

Donkey painting by Frances Miller Mumaugh given to Edith Orcutt

Louis Deforest Orcutt, Edith’s elder brother, practiced his art skills too. He was the first-born in the family and the only remaining son. The 1890 Omaha Directory  lists him as a student.[3]

Louis Orcutt - student - Omaha City Directory 1891. Image courtesy of www.ancestry.com

Louis Orcutt – student – Omaha City Directory 1891. Image courtesy of http://www.ancestry.com

Did he study at Creighton University? Was he studying law as his father?  The following year, in September 1891, Louis died at his home. His obituary doesn’t list the cause of death.  There are no photographs of Louis that survived. I’m fairly certain they existed because there are pictures of the other four children. Just one piece of artwork with his signature survives, dated 1890.

Louis Orcutt, 1890, Omaha, Nebraska.

Louis Orcutt, 1890, Omaha, Nebraska.

Louis DeForest Orcutt pencil drawing dated 1890, Omaha, Nebraska.

Louis DeForest Orcutt pencil drawing dated 1890, Omaha, Nebraska.

The young man chose an appealing subject for his age,  a bottle of imported Ale.  Maybe it was his favorite brew and he slowly sipped it while he drew. The pencil sketch depicts a bottle of Liverpool Pale Ale. The bottle is open and near it is a tall, narrow glass.  I picture Louis relishing his Ale while he carefully labeled the bottle with the name of the distiller,  E. & J. Burke. Edward Frederick Burke and John Burke were Irish distillers  of stout from County Galway who established a successful business in New York. [4]

Brother and sister united in their interest in art. Did Edith save his drawing as a memento after his death? I feel as if I know my great-grandmother, Edith, because my mother and grandmother shared stories. There are many photos and newspaper articles to document her life.   Her brother, Louis, is an enigma. There are no documents, letters, or photographs that reveal more about him. A simple pencil sketch is all that remains of him; it evokes a feeling of lost youth.

 

© 2015 copyright Kendra Hopp Schmidt. All rights reserved.

[1] Barnett, George A, ed. Encyclopedia of Social Networks. (London, United Kingdom, 2011), 380; digital images,  Google Books. http://google.com/books  : accessed 3 December 2015.
[2] Omaha City Directory, Omaha Directory Company Inc, Omaha Printing Co., Omaha, NE, for 1896, database Ancestry (www.ancestry.com:accessed [Dec 3, 2015]) 405.
[3] Omaha City & South Omaha City Directory, J.M. Wolfe & Co., Publishers, for 1891, database Ancestry (www.ancestry.com: accessed [Dec 4, 2015]) 411.
[4] Grutchfield, Walter. “E. & J. Burke.” E. & J. Burke. N.p., 2015. Web. 03 Dec. 2015. <http://www.waltergrutchfield.net/burke.htm&gt;.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Edith Marion ORCUTT BEATON -1879-1964
Parents: Clinton Delos ORCUTT 1840-1905 and
Anna Dorcas DUTTON ORCUTT 1841-1891
Spouse: Alfred James BEATON 1872-1916  and George Newell UTTENDORFER 1887-1972
Children: Anna Jane BEATON HYDE – 1907-1998  and Orcutt Phillip BEATON 1900-1971
Relationship to Kendra: Great-Grandmother

  1. Edith Marion ORCUTT BEATON UTTENDORFER
  2. Anna Jane BEATON HYDE
  3. Jean HYDE HOPP EICHORN
  4. Kendra HOPP SCHMIDT

 

HEIRLOOM POSTS shared by other bloggers:

Thanks to Jeanne Bryan Insalaco of Everyone Has a Story for suggesting doing posts on heirlooms and to Cathy Meder-Dempsey  of Opening Doors in Brick Walls for including a list of  Heirloom bloggers and their links.

True Lewis at Notes to Myself

Cathy Meder-Dempsey of Opening Doors in Brick Walls

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco at Everyone Has a Story

Schalene Jennings Dagutis at Tangled Roots and Trees

Karen Biesfeld at Vorfahrensucher

Linda Stufflebean at Empty Branches on the Family Tree.

Vera Marie Badertscher at Ancestors in Aprons

Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme for 2015 Week 24 was Heirlooms. Please visit her 52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 24 Recap for the links to posts in the comments.

 

 

Posted in Heirlooms, My Family Ancestry | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

ORCUTT FAMILY PORTRAITS

Orcutt Family Portraits

Orcutt Family Portraits

Walk into many antique stores and you find photographs and portraits lost or discarded by families. Who were these people? How did their images end up in an antique store or even at a Cracker Barrel restaurant? Did no one in the family want to keep them? The Clinton Orcutt family,  featured in the The Traveling Trunk, is an example where one portrait is not treasured.

My first memories of three Orcutt family portraits are seeing them in my grandmother’s home in Omaha, Nebraska. Although my grandmother never knew her grandparents, Clinton and Anna Orcutt, she treasured both of their portraits. When she downsized and moved to successively smaller apartments, they went with her, including her move to Tucson, Arizona. There was a third portrait that my grandmother chose not to keep, a painting of her aunt, Anna Ri Orcutt. My grandmother rarely uttered an unkind word, but she was not fond of Auntie Ri.

A successful businessman in Omaha, Nebraska, Clinton Delos Orcutt enjoyed a very comfortable life and many luxuries.  He and his wife Anna Dorcas Dutton probably had their portraits painted by an unknown artist, an itinerant limner, who moved from town to town. [1] None of the portraits are signed, nor are they dated. Using old photographs to determine their ages and fashion styles,  I believe they were painted in the 1890’s. If you need assistance dating photographs, I highly recommend an online article by Nancy J. Price, “Style Clues & Cues in Antique Photos.” It features links to other websites to analyse pictures and portraits.[2] A good book choice is Family Photo Detective by Maureen A. Taylor.[3]

The smallest of the portraits is a gold oval frame 28 x 31 inches. Centred on the top, bottom and sides are clusters of flowers. A gold plaque affixed to the bottom states “Anna Dutton Orcutt 1848-1899”. Whoever added the dates to the portrait made an error.The birth year noted on the plaque is off by six years because Anna was born in 1842.

Anna Dorcas Dutton Orcutt - portrait painted about 1890 in Omaha, NE. Portrait in possession of author.

Anna Dorcas Dutton Orcutt – portrait painted about 1890 in Omaha, NE. Portrait in possession of author.

Her profile shows a gentle face tinged with a bit of sorrow. She lost her two sons, one at age 12 and the other at 20. If she was anything like her daughter, Edith Orcutt Beaton, and her granddaughter, Anna Jane Beaton Hyde, then she was a gentle woman with a strong spirit and resolution. Anna Dutton Orcutt came from a long line of ministers and abolitionists and descends directly from Governor William Bradford.

Dressed for the occasion, Anna wore a dark satin dress with full sleeves. Frothy lace covered the bodice and neck and a matching band of silk encircles her throat. Pearl earrings adorn her ears, and her hair is sculpted into a topknot with loose curls around her forehead. She is a striking matron and society lady.

Clinton Delos Orcutt has a distinguished and kind face. He wears a dark suit with a starched white shirt and bow tie. His wavy silver hair and beard are neatly combed. When we packed his portrait up for storage for our overseas assignment, the mover asked, “Is this a relative of George Clooney?”  The answer is no, but I rather liked the question. The frame for Clinton’s portrait is much more ornate and larger than Anna’s. When I gaze at the two portraits facing each other on the wall, I can sense the quiet nature of Anna and the strength of Clinton.

Clinton Delos Orcutt - painted about 1890 in Omaha, NE. Portrait in possession of author.

Clinton Delos Orcutt – painted about 1890 in Omaha, NE. Portrait in possession of author.

The daughter of Clinton and Anna, and their fourth child, Anna Ri was considered the beauty of the family. Perhaps that is why her portrait was painted but not her two sisters. Her sweet young face looks out at the viewer and she sports a lavish, ostentatious, wide-brimmed hat decked with plumes. Her gown is elaborate and reflects fashion from the early 1900’s characterized by the S-shaped figure. The “Health Corset” of the 1900’s “removed pressure from the waist and diaphragm but resulted in thrusting the bosom forward and the hips back.”[4] White lacy frills on the bodice and skirt are framed by an even more embellished light gold wrap patterned with black silk ribbon and embroidery. Anna Ri’s portrait depicts her in a woodland scene. The rectangular frame is even more ornate than that of her fathers. I surmise that after Anna Orcutt had passed away, Clinton wanted to make his daughters happy with whatever he could buy them.

Anna Ri Orcutt Jaques- portrait painted about 1900 Omaha, NE. Current owner unknown.

Anna Ri Orcutt Jaques- portrait painted about 1900 Omaha, NE. Current owner unknown.

My grandmother, Anna Jane Beaton Hyde, wrote a brief summary about Anna Ri and although she looks sweet in her portrait, those are not the memories my grandmother recalled.

 “Saga of Auntie Ri”

“Auntie Ri was very extravagant and society-minded. Mother [Edith Orcutt Beaton] said she used to keep the horses waiting all afternoon at Brandeis[5] 17th Street entrance while she bought clothes. Mother said the painting alone cost $850 without the gold leaf frame.”[Using an online calculator, if the painting cost $850 in 1900, today it would cost about $25,000.] 6

The Orcutt portraits are a historical and social document of their lives. They were a symbol of their status in life viewed by family, friends, guests and servants. “A portrait is more than a pretty picture of a famous or wealthy person.” [7] I imagine they were prominently displayed so that viewers could admire them. Did they grace the reception hall in the entrance of the home where Anna Ri’s portrait hung on the wall? You get a glimpse of Anna Ri’s portrait in one of her wedding album photos. Her sister, and my great-grandmother, Edith Orcutt Beaton, poses in the reception room amidst a profusion of palms decoratively placed for the big event. Anna Ri peers through the forest in her painting and the palm fronds.

Edith Orcutt Beaton 1905 at her the wedding of her sister Anna Ri Orcutt April 12, 1905.

Edith Orcutt Beaton at the wedding of her sister Anna Ri Orcutt April 12, 1905. Anna Ri’s portrait in the background.

Do you want to know what became of Anna Ri’s portrait?  I know my grandmother sold it to a friend in Omaha about 35 years ago.  At the time, no one in the family did genealogy and my grandmother couldn’t know that it would become a passion of mine. If anyone has any ideas about how to locate this painting, please contact me.

Are the frames medium or high end is a question I intend to resolve when I can analyze the portraits. If you have antique Victorian picture frames a helpful website to determine their composition and value is Northwest Renovation A Home Improvement Magazine.[8] Writing a blog about a heirloom always prompts me to re-evaluate the item and learn new details about its’ history.

© 2015 copyright Kendra Hopp Schmidt. All rights reserved.

 

 

[1] “Currier Museum Online Curriculum.” Currier Museum Online Curriculum. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015. <http://curriculum.currier.org/portraiture/american_portraiture.html&gt;.
[2] Price, Nancy J. “Style Clues & Cues in Antique Photos.” SheKnows. N.p., 07 Apr. 2010. Web. 02 Dec. 2015. <http://www.sheknows.com/living/articles/814584/genealogy-research-dating-vintage-photographs-by-clothing-and-hairstyles-1&gt;.
[3] Taylor, Maureen Alice, and Maureen Alice. Taylor. Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries. Cincinnati: Family Tree, n.d. Print.
[4] “Women’s Clothing.” – 1900s. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015. <http://www.uvm.edu/landscape/dating/clothing_and_hair/1900s_clothing_women.php&gt;.
[5] Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2015. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._L._Brandeis_and_Sons&gt;.
[6] “Measuring Worth – Results.” Measuring Worth – Results. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2015. <http://www.measuringworth.com/calculators/uscompare/relativevalue.php&gt;.
[7] “Currier Museum Online Curriculum.” Currier Museum Online Curriculum. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015. <http://curriculum.currier.org/portraiture/american_portraiture.html&gt;.
[8] “Northwest Renovation Magazine.” Northwest Renovation Part One Taking Care of Your Antique Victorian Picture Frames Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2015. <http://nwrenovation.com/miscellaneous-articles/part-one-taking-care-of-your-victorian-frames/&gt;.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Edith Marion ORCUTT BEATON -1879-1964
Parents: Clinton Delos ORCUTT 1840-1905 and
Anna Dorcas DUTTON ORCUTT 1841-1891
Spouse: Alfred James BEATON 1872-1916  and George Newell UTTENDORFER 1887-1972
Children: Anna Jane BEATON HYDE – 1907-1998  and Orcutt Phillip BEATON 1900-1971
Relationship to Kendra: Great-Grandmother

  1. Edith Marion ORCUTT BEATON UTTENDORFER
  2. Anna Jane BEATON HYDE
  3. Jean HYDE HOPP EICHORN
  4. Kendra HOPP SCHMIDT

 

HEIRLOOM POSTS shared by other bloggers:

Thanks to Jeanne Bryan Insalaco of Everyone Has a Story for suggesting doing posts on heirlooms and to Cathy Meder-Dempsey  of Opening Doors in Brick Walls for including a list of  Heirloom bloggers and their links.

True Lewis at Notes to Myself

Cathy Meder-Dempsey of Opening Doors in Brick Walls

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco at Everyone Has a Story

Schalene Jennings Dagutis at Tangled Roots and Trees

Karen Biesfeld at Vorfahrensucher

Linda Stufflebean at Empty Branches on the Family Tree.

Vera Marie Badertscher at Ancestors in Aprons

Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme for 2015 Week 24 was Heirlooms. Please visit her 52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 24 Recap for the links to posts in the comments.

 

 

Posted in Heirlooms, My Family Ancestry | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

The Traveling Trunk

 

TALES OF A TRAVELING STEAMER TRUNK

If your family heirloom could talk, what stories would it tell? The steamer travel trunk I inherited has 120 years of travel tales to share. My 2x great-grandparents, Clinton Delos Orcutt, and Anna Dorcas Orcutt, nee Dutton,  purchased the trunk about 1895 for my great-grandmother, Edith Marion Orcutt.  Edith, who married Alfred James Beaton in 1899,  loaned the trunk to her only daughter,  Anna Jane (Beaton) Hyde for various trips.  The trunk eventually passsed to my mother, Jean (Hyde) Hopp Eichorn.The Omaha steamer trunk journeyed across the United States and back and forth over the Atlantic Ocean. Wouldn’t it be fascinating if the trunk held a written log of all the treks it made?

Omaha Travel Trunk, c. 1895, in possession of author.

Omaha Travel Trunk, c. 1895, in possession of author.

TRAVEL DESTINATIONS

1895 Constructed in Omaha, Nebraska by Omaha Trunk Factory

1895-1896 Omaha, Nebraska – St. Louis, Missouri

1901 Omaha, Nebraska – England, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Italy

1925 Omaha, Nebraska – Manhattanville, New York

1929 Omaha, Nebraska – England, Italy, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Morocco and France

1964 Omaha, Nebraska – Platteville, Colorado

1983 Mead, Colorado – Tucson, Arizona

2001 Tucson, Arizona – El Paso, Texas

2003 El Paso, Texas – Berlin, Germany

2009 Berlin, Germany – Alexandria, Virginia

STORIES MY MOTHER TOLD ME ABOUT THE TRUNK

Growing up  in Omaha Nebraska, Jean Hyde,  used to visit her grandmother, Edith (Orcutt) Beaton, affectionately called“Dee Dee,” once a week after school. Jean quickly walked the 10-minutes from Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart to Dee Dee’s house at 502 North 40th Street.  During recess, she and her friends plotted how they could sneak off the grounds so they could play in her grandmother’s attic. Although Mother always referred to it as “the attic”, it was really the spacious third-floor ballroom of the turn of the 20th century home, now a historic landmark in Omaha[1]

Alfred and Edith (Orcutt) Beaton home 1912, Omaha, NE. Anna Jane Beaton, Orcutt Beaton, and Nanny Lucille in front of the home. Original photo in author's possession.

Alfred and Edith (Orcutt) Beaton home 1912, Omaha, NE. Anna Jane Beaton, Orcutt Beaton, and Nanny Lucille in front of the home. Original photo in author’s possession.

As my mother and her friends scampered up the stairs to the third floor, they anticipated digging into the large steamer trunk filled with dress-up clothes from a bygone era. There were elegant dresses, once worn by great-aunts, ostrich feather boas, long gloves, plumed hats, and fancy heeled shoes. The young girls spent many hours prancing about in their finery.

Jean Hyde, 1948, Omaha, Nebraska, wearing her school uniform for Duchesne Sacred Heart Academy.

Jean Hyde, 1948, Omaha, Nebraska, wearing her school uniform for Duchesne Sacred Heart Academy.

MY MEMORIES OF THE TRAVEL TRUNK

An attic stuffed with treasures is a child’s fantasy.  Although my family didn’t have an attic, nor a ballroom,  our house had a large basement where my siblings and I played on freezing winter days. Fueled by our imaginations, Western TV shows, and Laura Ingalls Wilder books, my sister, Karen, and I pretended we were pioneers on the wild western frontier. We supplied our “cabin” with necessary articles discovered in the basement storage cupboards. There were also two steamer trunks shoved against the wall.  Rectangular, massive, and seemingly immovable, we were certain they contained stuff we needed.  We eyed the largest and oldest. The large lock hung loosely, the key lost. Horseshoe shaped metal hinges and long leather straps adorned each side. A small tin plate affixed to the top read, “Manufactured by Omaha Trunk Factory, Omaha, NE.”

Manufactured by Omaha Trunk Factory, Omaha, Neb.

Manufactured by Omaha Trunk Factory, Omaha, Neb.

We inched the heavy trunk away from the wall, unfastened the leather straps, and pried open the lid. I still remember the wonder as we peered inside.

omaha travel turnk logo

Travel Trunk sitting empty in Berlin, Germany, 2008. Trunk in possession of author.

Initially, the divided top section disappointed us. It contained old newspaper clippings, letters, and photographs; these things were not very interesting to an eight and nine-year old. We strained to lift the compartment out and found just what we needed. Stacks of baby blankets, clothes, and paraphernalia were perfect for dressing up our dolls. With our mother’s approval, we spent many happy hours combing through the trunk.

ORIGINS OF THE TRAVEL TRUNK

The Omaha Travel Trunk company sold trunks, traveling bags, suitcases, Mexican hand sewn pocket-books, purses and ladies belts. Located at 1209 Farnam Street in Omaha, Nebraska, the company regularly advertised in the Omaha Daily Bee.[2]   Proprietor Charles Koran immigrated to the U.S. from Bohemia and began manufacturing trunks in Omaha about 1895. The business expanded and continued until the 1940’s.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Omaha Trunk Factory, Omaha, Nebraska. Courtesy of http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/

Omaha Trunk Factory, Omaha, Nebraska. Courtesy of http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ Omaha Daily Bee 17 December 1899.

It’s likely that Dee Dee’s parents, Clinton and Anna Orcutt, purchased the steamer trunk in 1895 for her travel to Sacred Heart Academy in St. Louis, Missouri. Sixteen year-old Dee Dee attended the Academy in St. Louis for the next two years.

Edith Marion Orcutt, about 1896, Omaha, Nebraska. Copy of photo in possession of author.

Edith Marion Orcutt, about 1896, Omaha, Nebraska. Copy of photo in possession of author.

“Mr. C.D. Orcutt and Miss Edith left yesterday for St. Louis, where Miss Edith will enter the Convent of Sacred Heart at Maryville.”[3]

“Miss Edith Orcutt left for St. Louis last evening, where she will continue her studies at the school of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart.”[4]

TRAVEL TRUNK GOES TO EUROPE

In 1901, Clinton Orcutt packed his bags for a four-month trip to Europe. He was wealthy, widowed and had two young, unmarried daughters who would benefit from a sojourn exploring the major cities abroad. Dee Dee and Alfred Beaton with their 4-year-old son, Orcutt Beaton, remained in Omaha.

Anna Ri Orcutt, c. 1900, Omaha, Nebraska.

Anna Ri Orcutt, c. 1900, Omaha, Nebraska.

 

Jane Clare Orcutt 1903, Omaha, Nebraska.

Jane Clare Orcutt – “Jennie”- 1903, Omaha, Nebraska. Photograph taken for her society debut.

Anni Ri age- 20 and Jane Clare age- 17,accompanied their father on the extended trip. “The desire and curiosity to see and experience the Old World was fueled by popular novels and travel writings of American authors Nathanial Hawthorne, Mark Twain and others, who by writing and romanticizing their time abroad, excited and encouraged their readers in the United States to go and see Great Britain and Europe for themselves. Experiencing Europe firsthand was to become the “finishing” of American upper-middle-class youth before they got down to the business of real life; work and raising a family.”[5]

My grandmother saved  Clinton Orcutt’s travel album.  The photos weren’t dated, nor were all the locations noted. Using Chronicling America’s newspaper website, I found a couple of articles describing their departure in the summer of 1901.

Clinton Orcutt Travel Album 1901-1904, Europe, Yellowstone, Mexico.

Clinton Orcutt Travel Album 1901-1904, Europe, Yellowstone, Mexico.

“Mr. Clinton Orcutt, accompanied by his two daughters, Miss Anna Ri, and Miss Jennie, will sail June 8 for England, to be gone several months. Their tour will include England, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, and Italy.”[6]

“Clinton Orcutt the Misses Orcutt and Mrs. Martha Blackwell sailed from New York on Saturday for Europe.”

“C.D. Orcutt and his two daughters left Omaha last week for Europe. They sailed Saturday from Montreal and will travel on the continent for four months.”[7]

Clinton Orcutt and daughters, Anna Ri and Jennie travel to Europe, summer of 1901.

Clinton Orcutt and daughters, Anna Ri and Jennie travel to Europe, summer of 1901. Courtesy of http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ – Omaha Daily Bee, 9 June 1901.

Clinton Orcutt and his two daughters sail to Europe, June 1901.

Clinton Orcutt and his two daughters sail to Europe, June 1901. Courtesy of http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/, Omaha Daily Bee, 5 May 1901.

Clinton, Anna Ri and Jane Orcutt. Venice, Italy, summer 1901.

Clinton and Anna Ri Orcutt, . Venice, Italy, summer 1901.

Clinton, Anna Ri, and Jane Orcutt. European tour, summer 1901, possibly in Germany.

Clinton, Anna Ri, and Jane Orcutt. European tour, summer 1901, possibly in Germany.

The pictures scanned from the photo album are a bit blurry.  I intend to re-scan them at a higher resolution in the future.. The travel album is also worthy of a separate blog.

TRAVEL TRUNK GOES TO NEW YORK

Like her mother and her aunts, Anna Jane attended a Sacred Heart Academy. From elementary school through college, Anna Jane was a devoted student at Duchesne Sacred Heart Academy in Omaha, Nebraska. She sought a bit of excitement and change. In her Junior year, she chose to go with her best friend, Jean McGrath, to the Sacred Heart Academy in Manhattanville, New York. The Omaha Travel Trunk accompanied her. I know she had a grand time while she was there and recall how her sapphire blue eyes sparkled when she recounted  her adventures.

Anna Jane Beaton, 1925, Manhattanville, NY. Newspaper clipping from her scrapbook.

Anna Jane Beaton, 1925, Manhattanville, NY. Newspaper clipping from her scrapbook.

Among the attractive members of the school set who will return home soon is Miss Anna Jane Beaton. Miss Beaton will arrive Saturday from Manhattanville Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York, to spend the summer with her mother, Mrs. G.W. Uttendorfer [Edith Orcutt Beaton Uttendorfer] and Mr. Uttendorfer. Miss Beaton formerly attended Duchesne college.”

A SECOND TRIP TO EUROPE

Anna Janes’s favorite aunt, Jane Clare (Orcutt) Keeline, died in 1918 due to an internal hemorrhage from a tubal pregnancy. She left her only niece an inheritance that enabled Anna Jane to travel to Europe during the summer of 1929. She traveled as part of a group that departed June 29, 1929, at 12:00 noon from Cunard Pier, No. 56 in New York aboard the RMS Lancastria.

RMS Lancastria room designation for Anna Jane Beaton, June 29, 1929. European tour.

RMS Lancastria room designation for Anna Jane Beaton, June 29, 1929, European tour.

Anna Jane Beaton May 1929, passport, Omaha, Nebraska.

Anna Jane Beaton May 1929, passport, Omaha, Nebraska.

Newspaper article from scrapbook of Anna Jane Beaton's trip to Europe, June 1929.

Newspaper article from scrapbook of Anna Jane Beaton’s trip to Europe, June 1929.

Anna Jane wrote her mother a letter from London that stated they had a smooth crossing. “Miss Beaton reported a very fine time on the boat with social and athletic activities at all hours of the day.”[8] The group traveled throughout Europe until the end of August 1929.

RMS Lancastria, Morocco, summer 1929.

RMS Lancastria, Morocco, summer 1929.

TRAVEL TRUNK MOVES TO COLORADO, ARIZONA, AND TEXAS AND THIRD TRIP TO EUROPE

After Anna Jane’s trip to Europe,the trunk  sat upstairs at Dee Dee’s collecting dust. It was here on the third floor where my mother and her friends opened the travel trunk and excitedly explored the contents.  After Dee Dee’s death in 1964 the trunk made another trip, this time to Platteville, Colorado where my parents lived.  My mother’s uncle, Orcutt Beaton, who continued to live in the Beaton home, shipped the trunk via railway to her.

BEATON_Orcutt_HOPP_Jean_c1960_CO_trunk_0002

REA ticket to send the Omaha trunk by Rail: From: Orcutt Phillip Beaton, 502nd N. 4oth Street, Omaha, NE TO: Mrs Kenneth Hopp (Jean Hyde Hopp) Route 2 Box 87, Platteville, CO. Year mailed about 1964.

It stayed in Colorado for 30 years until my mother relocated to sunny Arizona in 1994. When I moved to El Paso, Texas in 1996, I asked Mother if I could have the steamer trunk. At the time I  didn’t know the entire background, but I knew I liked the trunk and its connection to my family . When my husband and I moved to Berlin, Germany in 2003 the trunk went with us and served as storage for letters and memorabilia. The Omaha Travel Trunk is now in climate controlled storage in Alexandria, VA protecting all of my original genealogy documents until my return in a couple of years.

Omaha Travel Trunk filled with archival boxes and family documents.

Omaha Travel Trunk filled with archival boxes and family documents.

 

 

[1] © 2015 copyright Kendra Hopp Schmidt. All rights reserved.

An Inventory of Historic Omaha Buildings. Omaha, Landmarks Inc., 1980.

[2] Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]), 17 Dec. 1899. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99021999/1899-12-17/ed-1/seq-23/&gt;

[3] Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]), 06 Oct. 1895. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99021999/1895-10-06/ed-1/seq-4/

[4] Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]), 15 Jan. 1896. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99021999/1896-01-15/ed-1/seq-8/&gt;

[5]Arnold, Clarissa Sands. Four Girls in Europe.Deborah Stewart Weber ed. Bloomington:iUniverse, Ic., 2010.Page xi.

[6]Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]), 05 May 1901. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99021999/1901-05-05/ed-1/seq-6/&gt;

[7] Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]), 09 June 1901. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn99021999/1901-06-09/ed-1/seq-6/&gt;

[8] Omaha World Herald. (Omaha [Neb]), 23 July 1929. Page 14. http://www.genealogybank.com

 

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Edith Marion ORCUTT BEATON -1879-1964
Parents: Clinton Delos ORCUTT 1840-1905 and
Anna Dorcas DUTTON ORCUTT 1841-1891
Spouse: Alfred James BEATON 1872-1916  and George Newell UTTENDORFER 1887-1972
Children: Anna Jane BEATON HYDE – 1907-1998  and Orcutt Phillip BEATON 1900-1971
Relationship to Kendra: Great-Grandmother

  1. Edith Marion ORCUTT BEATON UTTENDORFER
  2. Anna Jane BEATON HYDE
  3. Jean HYDE HOPP EICHORN
  4. Kendra HOPP SCHMIDT

 

HEIRLOOM POSTS shared by other bloggers:

Thanks to Jeanne Bryan Insalaco of Everyone Has a Story for suggesting doing posts on heirlooms and to Cathy Meder-Dempsey  of Opening Doors in Brick Walls for including a list of  Heirloom bloggers and their links.

True Lewis at Notes to Myself

Cathy Meder-Dempsey of Opening Doors in Brick Walls

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco at Everyone Has a Story

Schalene Jennings Dagutis at Tangled Roots and Trees

Karen Biesfeld at Vorfahrensucher

Linda Stufflebean at Empty Branches on the Family Tree.

Vera Marie Badertscher at Ancestors in Aprons

Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme for 2015 Week 24 was Heirlooms. Please visit her 52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 24 Recap for the links to posts in the comments.

 

 

Posted in Heirlooms, My Family Ancestry | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

FAMILY HEIRLOOMS – MASONIC MEDAL

THOMAS A. NICHOLS – MASONIC MEDAL

 

Thomas A. Nichols, Anthracite Lodge 285 W.H. Manufacturing, Jeweler, Pottsville, PA

Thomas A. Nichols, Masonic Jewel – Anthracite Lodge 285 W.H. Mortimer Manufacturing, Jeweler, Pottsville, PA

 

The NICHOLS family has just one other heirloom besides the Latin Bible noted in the preceding blog.  It’s a  Masonic Medal awarded to Thomas A. NICHOLS in 1882 by the Pennsylvania, Anthracite Lodge F&AM No 285, upon his completion of his term as Worshipful Master.

One of the first ancestors I wrote about two years ago was Thomas A. NICHOLS. His history interested me because of the Masonic Medal with his name inscribed on it. We had a medal with a name, but who was Thomas A. NICHOLS? What was the medal? It launched two years of in-depth research about a man whom I came to respect and admire.

I think he treasured the Masonic Medal and worked hard to earn it.  Why was it passed on to my 2x great-grandfather instead of one of his other children? Somewhere down the line the story was lost.  The medal passed from one generation to the next but even the man and his place in our family history was forgotten.

I am very happy to have recaptured some of Thomas’s history and that our family has a small memento to associate with him.   A detailed account about the Masonic Medal is in an earlier blog post. Another benefit to blogging about Thomas A. NICHOLS, are the connections made with other descendants who have shared information and photographs.

 

© 2016 copyright Kendra Hopp Schmidt. All rights reserved.

————————————————–

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Thomas Ackley Nichols
Parents: Matthias Nichols and Sarah Ackley?
Spouse: Helena Knerr and Lillian Watson Bull
Children: John, Bertha, Charles and Mary, Florence, Howard

Relationship to Kendra: 3rd great- grandfather

  1. Thomas Ackley Nichols 1824-1895
  2. John Mathews Nichols 1857-1929
  3. Mabel Elvina Nichols Hyde 1888-1954
  4. John Frederick Hyde Jr. 1911-1980
  5. Jean Hyde Hopp Eichorn
  6. Kendra Hopp Schmidt
Posted in Heirlooms | Tagged | 1 Comment

Family Heirlooms -Latin Bible- 1581

FAMILY HEIRLOOMS

Thanks to the prompting of a fellow Genealogy Blogger, Jeanne Bryan Insalaco of Everyone Has a Story, a blogging theme for November is to write about our family heirlooms and share their origins and stories. Those of us who are fortunate to have family treasures may or may not know the provenance of each item. My first blog is about a treasure I find intriguing but it is an unsolved mystery.

LATIN BIBLE- DATE 1581

Latin Bible 1581- London England

Walk into any antique store and you will find it crammed with knickknacks, furniture, photo albums, portraits, toys, and clothing. Discarded and forgotten by family members such treasures wait for a new home. My brother-in-law calls it all “family junk” but my sister and I call them treasures. The story behind your family heirlooms adds another dimension and may save a piece from being consigned to an antique store or relegated to the dustbin when you are gone. Have you recorded the stories you’ve heard about inherited family heirlooms?

Latin Bible - 1581- London, England

Latin Bible – 1581- London, England

Latin Bible - inscribed by Benjamin Hale 1733

Latin Bible – inscribed by Benjamin Hale 1733

My family has an old Latin Bible, printed in London England in 1581, with editorial contributions by Immanuele Tremellio and Francisco Junio. The ownership signature is by Benjamin GALE, date 1733. Is the date a special occasion? If so, there is no indication what it is.  There are no other markings that show who earlier nor succeeding owners were. The Bible is probably Catholic since the Protestant Reformation had only occurred about 70 years before. There is a Latin inscription on the back cover that I haven’t deciphered, so if anyone reading this can translate,  a clue might be uncovered.

Latin Bible - 1581 - inscribed Benjamin Hale - 1733

Latin Bible – 1581 – inscribed Benjamin Hale – 1733

The “story” is that it came through the NICHOLS side of our family. They are one of my brick walls and can only be traced back to Matthias NICHOLS born about 1796 in Virginia, according to the 1850 census. I have found no other records for Matthias and his wife Sarah, other than the one census. More detail is found in a previous blog about his son Thomas Ackley Nichols.

Is there is a connection between the NICHOLS and GALE families? Was the Bible passed down from one generation to another? Did someone in the family acquire it from a friend or purchase it? My maternal grandmother, Anna Jane BEATON HYDE,  was the “keeper” of family heirlooms. Her mother had 4 siblings, two died before the age of 20, and two never had children. My grandmother only had one brother, who never married,  so she inherited many family heirlooms.  My maternal grandfather, John F. HYDE Jr.,  was an only child, and he too inherited his share from his father, John F. HYDE, and his mother, Mable NICHOLS HYDE. They both passed it all on to my mother, also an only child. I am the family historian and I relish solving these mysteries and making the connections.

The Bible intrigues me and we preserve it in our family in an archival box, but we know nothing about its’ origins. If you have any recommendations, please leave a message.

© 2015 copyright Kendra Hopp Schmidt. All rights reserved.

Genealogy Sketch

Name: Matthias Nichols
Parents: unknown
Spouse: Sarah Ackley
Children: Thomas Ackley Nichols
Relationship to Kendra: 4x great-grandfather

  1. Matthias Nichols abt 1796-?
  2. Thomas Ackley Nichols 1824-1895
  3. John Mathews Nichols 1857-1929
  4. Mabel Nichols Hyde 1888-1954
  5. John Frederick Hyde 1911-1980
  6. Jean Hyde Hopp Eichorn
  7. Kendra Hopp Schmidt
Posted in Heirlooms, My Family Ancestry | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Brace of Burglars

Have you documented, photographed,  and insured your valuables?  Do you have an inventory of your treasures, old and new? If not, maybe you should reconsider. Aside from fire and natural disasters, theft is also a threat to your possessions and your peace of mind.

Last week I learned of a recent theft that effected my mother. She thought her neighborhood was safe from crime. I am sure her great-grandparents thought the same, and her 3x great-grandparents. One family line, all victims of a brace of burglars.

Case File #001

Incident Type                           BURGLARY

Address of Occurrence          TUCSON, ARIZONA

Type of Premise                       RESIDENCE

Occurred                                     WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12, 2015

Weapon or Objects used      WINDOW CUTTING DEVICE

Method of Entry                       UNLAWFUL          Burglary type     NIGHT (6 P.M.-6 A.M.)

Items Stolen                              ASSORTED JEWELRY

Victim                                           JEAN HYDE

Suspects                                      LOCAL TREE TRIMMER

While on a recent trip to a granddaughters wedding in Colorado, my mother’s house was burglarized and her complete jewelry collection stolen. My mother loves beautiful jewelry and had collected a cabinet full of treasures.  The pieces included valuable antiques inherited from her mother, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers.  According to the local police in Tucson, this was a professional job. The thieves left no fingerprints and used a glass cutter to gain access via a back window. They  quickly ransacked the house, tipping over furniture, emptying drawers and wreaking havoc. The most likely culprit is a local tree-trimmer hired by a neighbor. During a conversation, the “tree trimmer” thief learned that my mother was out-of-town, and that night the house burglars struck. The “tree trimmer” did not return to finish his work the next day. When the neighbor heard about the crime, she researched the name of the “tree trimmer” and found he had a rap sheet for previous burglaries. The value of the jewelry is more than monetary.Each piece holds a memory for my mother, especially the pieces she received as gifts and the ones she inherited. Unfortunately, the jewelry was not photographed nor inventoried, nor insured. If you are reading this, then please make sure you have your valuables documented.

CASE FILE #002

Incident Type                           BURGLARY

Address of Occurrence         550 S. 26th STREET, OMAHA, NEBRASKA 

Type of Premise                       RESIDENCE

Occurred                                     TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 1890

Weapon or Objects used      UNKNOWN

Method of Entry                       UNLAWFUL       Burglary type     NIGHT (6 P.M.-7 P.M.)

Victim                                           CLINTON DELOS ORCUTT/ANNA DUTTON ORCUTT

Items Stolen                              TWO WATCHES AND CHAINS, SEVERAL PAIRS OF                                                BRACELETS, A DIAMOND PIN, ASSORTED JEWELRY

Suspects                                       PROFESSIONAL BURGLARS

A portion of the stolen jewelry from case #001 were pieces my mother inherited from her great-grandmother, Anna Dutton Orcutt. Anna was also a victim of jewelry theft. I found a newspaper article dated February 13, 1890 on http://www.genealogybank.com that details the incident. Although I would like to reprint the entire article, the copyright laws do not allow for reproduction, nor complete transcription.  The article is titled, ” A NEAT BIT OF WORK, How Two Burglars Robbed Mr Orcutt’s Residence.”  A brace of burglars raided the jewelry in the house of Mr. Clinton Orcutt. [1]  Mr. Orcutt returned home about 7 p.m. and noticed that the gas light in his wife’s room was turned down, and thought nothing of it. His 11-year-old daughter Anna Ri had a playmate over and as they went upstairs they noticed the extinguished hall gas lights, but thought nothing of it. They simply went to the next level and turned on the electric buttons. Then the family  noticed that Mrs. Orcutt’s room was ransacked and left in a state of confusion. The thieves stole $600.00 worth of jewelry.  Today the jewelry value would be about $16,000.

The local police ascertained there were probably two thieves. They entered the occupied house through the rear door, hid in the rear hallway, slipped upstairs and  accomplished their task in about fifteen minutes.  While one stood watch,  the other hastily plundered the room tipping over furniture and emptying drawers. When they heard Mr. Orcutt driving up, they put out the main hall lights and exited by the front door. The burglars unfastened a window opening on the front porch,  but nearby police patrols deterred them from using that exit. Recent thefts in the neighborhood prompted local police to mount extra patrols. In fact, during the robbery a patrol was only half a block away.

It isn’t known if the police caught the culprits. The Orcutts resided in an upscale neighborhood and it is easy to understand why they were targeted. Clinton Orcutt was a fairly wealthy man, a business man and banker. Like his father, Daniel Orcutt, he was an ambitious man.

Clinton Orcutt’s  home depicted in Early History of Omaha-Omaha Illustrated. [2] He lived on 550 S. 26th Street, with his wife and four of his five children from 1887-1905.

Home of Clinton and Anna Dutton Orcutt. Photo taken 550 S. 26th Street, Omaha, Nebraska.

[3]

 CASE  FILE #003

Incident Type                           BURGLARY

Address of Occurrence         PARK STREET, GUILFORD, CONNECTICUT 

Type of Premise                       RESIDENCE

Occurred                                     WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 1837

Weapon or Objects used      UNKNOWN

Method of Entry                       UNLAWFUL       Burglary type     NIGHT (6 P.M.-6A.M.)

Victim                                           REVEREND AARON DUTTON/DORCAS DUTTON

Items Stolen                              6 SILVER TABLESPOONS, 3 TEA-SPOONS, 1 PAIR                                                    SUGAR TONGS MARKED D.S., 6 TEA-SPOONS, 1                                                      CREAM SPOON, 2 SALT SPOONS MARKED D.D., 5                                                  TEA-SPOONS MARKED S.W.S, 1 IVORY HANDLED                                                  SILVER BUTTER KNIFE, 1 PURPLE AND WHITE                                                      COTTON TABLE COVER

Suspects                                     UNKNOWN

Two days ago I discovered on genealogybank.com another theft of family valuables. [4] This time it effected Anna Dutton Orcutt’s grandparents, a decade before her birth. Anna’s grandfather was Reverend Aaron Dutton of Guilford, Connecticut. He was an esteemed clergyman and highly respected in his community. He lived in Guilford with his wife and 7 children.

On the night of September 20, 1837 his house was broken into and the family silver stolen. Several of those pieces his wife inherited from her parents. The spoons marked S.W.S. were from Dorcas Dutton’s father, Samuel William Southmayd. the spoons marked D.S. were from her mother, Dorcas Southmayd. It was a great loss to the family. Aaron Dutton promptly posted an advertisement in the local paper, The Connecticut Herald, New Haven, requesting information. He offered a generous reward for the recovery of his stolen silver. It isn’t known if he was successful.

Home of Reverend Aaron Dutton and Dorcas Southmayd Dutton, Guilford, Connecticut

Home of Reverend Aaron Dutton and Dorcas Southmayd Dutton, Guilford, Connecticut

[5]

The lesson from this journey into the past is that we are all vulnerable. However,  you can take steps today to ensure the safety of your treasured family heirlooms. If you haven’t documented them, photographed them, or insured them, start now.

© 2015 copyright Kendra Hopp Schmidt. All rights reserved.

Genealogy Sketch 1

Name: Reverend Aaron DUTTON
Parents:   Thomas DUTTON and
Anna ROYCE
Spouse: Dorcas SOUTHMAYD
Children: Mary DUTTON, Dorcas Southmayd DUTTON, Thomas DUTTON, Samuel William Southmayd DUTTON, Aaron Rice DUTTON, John Southmayd DUTTON, Anna DUTTON, Matthew Henry DUTTON
Relationship to Kendra:

  1. Reverend Aaron DUTTON 1780-1849
  2. Thomas DUTTON 1812-1885
  3. Anna Dorcas DUTTON 1841-1899
  4. Edith Marion ORCUTT 1879-1964
  5. Anna Jane BEATON  1907-1998
  6. Jean Ann HYDE
  7. Kendra HOPP SCHMIDT

Genealogy Sketch 2

Name: Anna Dorcas DUTTON
Parents: THOMAS DUTTON and
Sarah Maria WHITING
Spouse: Clinton Delos ORCUTT
Children: Louis DeForest ORCUTT, George Dutton ORCUTT, Edith Marion ORCUTT, Anna Ri ORCUTT, Jane Clare ORCUTT
Relationship to Kendra: Third great-grandmother

  1. Anna Dorcas DUTTON  1841-1899
  2. Edith Marion ORCUTT  1879-1964
  3. Anna Jane BEATON  1907-1998
  4. Jean Ann HYDE
  5. Kendra HOPP SCHMIDT
  1. Omaha World Herald (Omaha, NE)
    Date: Thursday, February 13, 1890  Volume: XXV Issue: 135 Page: 5  www.genealogybank.com
    2.Omaha Illustrated- Early History of Omaha.http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ne/topic/resources/OLLibrary/Omaha_book/omaha003.htm
    3.Clinton Delos Orcutt (1840-1905) Home at 550 S. 26th Street, Omaha, Nebraska. Photo taken 1904. Digital image, photocopy of original, scanned in 2011 by Kendra Schmidt, privately held by Karen Kenagy. Photo depicts the home of Clinton Orcutt on the occasion of his the society debut of his daughter Jane Clare Orcutt.
    4. Conncecticut Herald (New Haven, CT) Date: Tuesday, October 10, 1837, Volume: XXXV Issue:41 Page:4. http://www.genealogybank.com
    5.Reverend Aaron Dutton (1780-1849) Home at Park Street, Guilford, Connecticut. Photo taken 2011. Digital image, photocopy of original taken by Kendra Schmidt. Privately held by Kendra Schmidt. Photo depicts the home of Reverand Aaron Dutton and his wife Dorcas Dutton as it existed in 2011.
Posted in My Family Ancestry | Tagged , , | 3 Comments