Monday, December 30, 2013

John D. Maupin's Retirement Papers

 Thanks to Billie (John D.'s great granddaughter in-law), these retirement papers answered several questions I had.  First it confirmed his middle name as being Dabney which we had never had a written record of.  His mother's name was Jane Dickerson (some have her as "Dickenson"
These papers confirm he was with Missouri Pacific from 1892-1909 as the Roundhouse Foreman (which my great grandfather, his brother, eventually had)  I also confirms that the Trinity and Brazos Valley railroad became Burlington Rock Island which is what cousin K. Rockne recalled.  Click on any of these documents to make them larger.

.The photo below was found in a book,Teague Texas Centennial Celebration Commemorative book (April 21, 22, 23, 2008).  The second person on the left is identified as Mrs. Maupin (Minnie Campbell?) and the third is "Mr. Maupin" which we assume is John D. Maupin since the book was about Teague Texas and the railroad. Billie has this correction upon careful examination of the photo:
Mr. Maupin “J. D.” is from left to right.....the SECOND MANMrs. Maupin “Minnie” is from left to right....the SECOND WOMAN.I looked at some of his photos at that is HIM for sure.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Maupins and Railroads

Mattie, Henry
John D, Oliver, Ira
Each of these Maupin siblings worked or had a spouse that worked for railroads.

Although Henry Wesley Maupin was originally from Wellsville, MO, he and his brother John Dabney Maupin settled in the DeSoto, MO in 1899 because Mo-Pac had a large round house and shop there.  Henry Wesley Maupin became the foreman of the roundhouse---in charge of all of the mechanics and workers. In 1885, he was listed as a Railroad Fireman.  The 1900 census lists him as a machinist; 1910 and 1920 “Foreman with Railroad”.  He died before the 1930 census.

John Dabney Maupin, his brother, moved his family to Teague, Texas where they prospered.  His obituary reads:
Mr. Maupin will be remembered by the people of Teague as one of the old-timers, having moved here when the city was still in its infancy, and has seen Teague in it's good days and its less prosperous. Being of a congenial spirit, he numbered among his friends all who came to know him. He was always ready to contribute his time and efforts to the advancement of the city. Since early in life, he was an active member of the Presbyterian Church.
He came to Teague in January of 1909 and was Superintendent of Motive Powers with the T. &; B V Railroad, and served in this capacity until his retirement in June 1939, after 30 years of service.

As near as I can tell the T. & B.V. railroad was Trinity and  Brazos Valley, which became a part of the Burlington-Rock Island Railroad.

Another brother, Ira Maupin, lived in Kansas City where he was also the Foreman of a Roundhouse for the Railroad (KATY).

Brother Oliver, who lived in Waco Texas, was also the Foreman of a Roundhouse in Kansas and Texas with the Cotton Belt Railroad.

Sister Martha (Mattie) Maupin married a cousin David Rice Maupin who was a “blacksmith for the railroad” in Kansas City in the 1900 census.  They eventually moved to Texas with Oliver and John D. Maupin.  It’s not clear what railroad line he worked for but it was probably the same as family members.

Railroad Jobs

The shop foreman would be the person in charge of the shop. The shop was the area where railroad cars were repaired or rebuilt Most common repairs were replacing wheels. doors and different parts of the braking equipment which required maintenance very often.

The roundhouse was the area that repaired and did periodic maintenance on the railroad engines such as refueling lubricating changing oil and such. The size of the facility determined the number of people that a foreman was in charge of.  Large facilities would have three shifts a day with maybe 10 men on a shift. 

The superintendent would be the man over all the workers and foremen at a facility.  Often the superintendents would be over a large area with several facilities under his supervision. 

The firemanSteam locomotive crew who feeds the firebox with fuel. On diesel locomotives, the firemen would monitor controls and assist the engineer.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Railroads and Trains

My father had a collection of railroad spikes that I decided to give to my grandsons this year.  But, I thought they (and their parents) needed to know why trains are so important.  My father, LeRoy Long and Grandfather, Roy Long worked for Missouri-Pacific railroad when I was a child. At one time they were both boilermakers although Dad later became an Electrician.   I went with them to the shops (where the trains were being repaired) and I took advantage of passes by getting on a train (unaccompanied by an adult), riding to DeSoto, Mo (about an hour away from St. Louis) where my parents and/or relatives would meet me. 

Once we even took an over-night trip to Oklahoma City to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins.  I can remember waking up on the train, looking out the window and being amazed by red soil of Oklahoma. I also made trips to Boston with my mother, but I was too young to remember that.

My grandparents and my grandmother's family all rode on passes since most of them worked for Missouri-Pacific.  Uncle Walter Maupin brought me two gifts from one of their frequent trips to Texas to visit family.
 The soft suede cow-girl outfit pictured above has been worn by me, my daughters and my granddaughters.   The tag says it is from Muskogee, OK.  I suspect my great-uncle bought it and the doll below at a vendor while the train was stopped in Muskogee.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wicker's Barbecue--Facebook memories

Remembering when. I remember when Peck Wicker started bottling Wickers's BBQ Sauce. He converted a wringer washing machine into a mixer. How do I know, I saw them making it. Frank Vandiver, Mrs. Effie Tinnin help him make it!
 · 1 May at 09:26 near Kosciusko, MS

Friday, August 2, 2013

Fry-Alderson Photos

 Suzy brought a huge box of photos and documents to the family reunion which I was able to photograph.  This album had a lot of Alderson photos including one of Aletha Peters Jones who was my husband's great-great grandmother.  But the one below is of Alice Alderson and Isaac Henry Fry's oldest children: Irene, Alfreda, Alderson, Phil, Hale and Donald.
There were also photos of Alice and her family.  Below is her mother Mollie C. Jones Alderson (Mary)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fig and Date Salads

Eloise's Fig Salad
 While at a Fry Family Reunion, Donna prepared one of Eloise's recipes:  grapefruit, bananas and dates. Tom said his dad frequently served this to him when he had breakfast at Grover's.  She developed this recipe by picking up dates on the golf course.  Her mother, Alice Alderson had a recipe for Fig Salad which we found in documents while at the family reunion.
Mix together 2 cups of shredded cabbace [sic], 2/3 c. shredded carrot, 2/3 cup diced celery, 1/3 cup diced green peppers, 1/3 cup finely cut fennel.  Moisten with the following dressing:  cut until crisp 2 T finely cut bacon.

Add and cook slowly 5 mins. 4 t finely cut onion, remove to heat 4 T vinegar, 1 t. salt, 2 t. sugar, 1/8 t pepper, 1/3 cup Pet milk. Whisk well, mix, pur over prepared veg.  Serve at once.  Do not chill Serves 4

Huh?  Where are the figs?  We think this must be a "Faux Fig Salad"!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Williams Brothers

Although Benjamin and Mahala Watson Williams, had two daughters, we don't really know much about them.  Martha married Matthew Harris in 1846, had a daughter in 1849, appeared in the 1860 census, but her husband re-married in 1867.  That is more than we have on Polly who appeared in the court records and then we have nothing.  She might have married or died.

The oldest brother Thomas Jefferson Williams went with his brother-in-law Matthew Harris and his brother Daniel to Indiana where they joined the Union army in the Civil War.  Their brother James (and possibly Charles) went to Tennessee to join the Confederate Army.  While there are scores of James Williams in the Civil War, cousin Tom pointed out that this one joined the same day as JJ Vaughn who appeared as his neighbor in the 1860 Census. (and was possibly a relative of his future wife Mary Ann Pullum)

While the Union war and pension records for Daniel and Thomas Jefferson are lengthy (A 65th and C Infantry 120th Reg. Indiana), there is very little on James which makes us wonder if he went AWOL as many did.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Benjamin Williams and Mahala Watson

Genealogy can be pretty dry and reading legal documents can be tedious.  But every now and then we run across facts and can just imagine the emotions and conditions which led to the events.  But we will start at the very beginning.  May I introduce my great-great-great grandparents.  Sorry, there are no photos---those would be pretty rare for this class of people during the early 1800's.

Benjamin Williams and Mahala Watson were both born in Kentucky around 1810.  The first record we have is their marriage in 1827 in Hopkins, KY.

The 1830 census is more of a tally with only the "head of the household's" name.  There were 2 white adults between 20-29 (one male, one female) living in Benjamin's household.  I always like to see who else is on the page because there are often relatives.  William Williams was on the same page and in the same age range.  When we later found out his wife was Malinda Watson, we were pretty sure they were related through the husbands and/or the wives.  Carol Williams Huff found an obituary which showed that Malinda only had one daughter whose name was Mahala.  That is another indication that they were related---she might name her daughter for her sister.

The children started arriving by 1834 with Martha Williams (m. Matthew Harris), Polly Williams born in 1836 and Thomas Jefferson Williams in 1838. The next census in 1840 is still a tally with 1 boy under 5, 2 girls between 5-9 and 2 adults between 30-39 living in the household of Benjamin Williams.  Next door is living a Samuel Watson who was born around 1813, but we don't know if this was Mahala's brother, but he is likely a relative.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Branum Cemetery, Cotton Plant, MO
I don't know very much about Mary Ann Pullam (my g-g grandmother via Macy Williams, James Wesley Wicker, Louise Wicker Long, Me), but I know she had to have had a hard life.  Recently, I made a connection (through DNA test) with a descendant of her sister Abby (Absela) Pullam.  Here is what Teri had to say about her ancestor:
The story I got goes that Abby Pullum (daughter of a Pullum and Vaughn mother) and John Freels were married in Kentucky, moved to Texas. Abby brought 5 daughters back in a covered wagon to Missouri, bootheel area. Leaving her husband or he left her while in Texas. He showed up later, but, she was not receptive since she had to get herself moved. It would be interesting to find what you have on any of these family tales.
Mary A. wife of J.B. Williams
Branum Cemetery
That is a very similar story to Mary Ann---she married James B. Williams in 1865 while living in Webster, Kentucky (she was 14).  She had 5 children (Willie Ellen, Sam Patrick, Mahaly J, Oscar and Macy Alice) before moving to Missouri sometime between 1882-1884.  Someone once told me one of the older children remembered crossing the Missouri River in a boat with Macy (my great-grandmother) running around so much that she almost fell over-board.

Mary Ann and James B. Williams had 5 more children in Missouri (Lillie Belle, Joseph Daniel, Martin Luther, Fannie E., Mary A.) between 1884 and 1891 which is when Mary Ann Pullam Williams died (from childbirth?)

According to one of their grandchildren, Sammy Williams, "there was never anyone that talked well of the Williams that came from Kentucky."  After the death of Mary Ann (maybe even before), James B. Williams left town for Howell Co. Mo (later Oklahoma Territory), had another family leaving the children to be raised by his son Sam Patrick and his wife.

The children of Mary Ann Pullam and James B. Williams were a mixed bag of religious, upright citizens and those who bordered on or participated in criminal activity.  James B. was reportedly a horse thief, deserted his children (possibly had another family at the same time) and may have been in prison.  This leads me to think that Mary Ann was the religious, upright woman who had at least three preachers as grandchildren (one of her children was named "Martin Luther Williams") and two children who started a Methodist Church in Hornersville, Mo.  There were rumors that she had been Roman Catholic, but I can't imagine a Catholic naming a child "Martin Luther", although I think we can safely say she was religious.

Thanks to cousin Tom who provided the photographs.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


While I was OK with my test results (above), I was a little bothered by Dave's (below).  I knew my French, English, Scottish ancestors lived along the coast and were probably Viking, but the Vikings did not settled much of Wales where Dave's ancestors were from (on two sides of his family).  Even his "Uncertain" didn't bother me because he has American Indian rumored on both sides of his family.  "Uncertain" just means there isn't a big enough sampling, but over time we may have a better idea.

Although I can't totally explain my Eastern European, I do have an idea.  It could have hopped along with the Viking or it could be that crazy J2 on the Williams side of the family (Click here for more explanation of the J2).  It could even be part of my Reiter heritage---Northern Germany and Switzerland should have registered Central Europe, but tribes wandered and paid little attention to boundaries.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Saga of Johannes Reiter Part III

This is from the "Saga of Johannes Reiter" by Amos. O. Reiter.  Although we don't KNOW this is our family, I am pretty sure we are related to them.  My DNA matched up with one of Johannes' descendants, my ancestor was from Cassel/Kassel Germany, we believe the village my ancestor was from to be near Martinshagen where Johannes was from, but most convincingly, my grandfather repeatedly said the Reiters were Swiss and not German.  Louis, also, did not want to fight German wars. This part of the saga emphasizes how being Swiss was so important to the family even having lived in Germany for many years.  One final note, this also describes the family as being "above that of most people."  Mary Reiter Long (Louis's oldest daughter) on her deathbed told her son Roy to go back to Germany to re-claim the family estate.

Returning to Martinshaagen, Johannes Reiter at last settled down to peaceful pursuits.  Six sons were born between 1814 and 1826.  These were named John, Conrad, John Henry, John Dietrich, Jacob and George [my ancestor Louis Reiter was born in 1827 and I believe was a cousin of these men].  He prospered.  His station in life was above that of most people.  He owned a two story stone house and a large blacksmith shop in the town and thirty-four acres of good land nearby.  He had every reason to be satisfied and content.  That is, every reason except one.  Over him and his home hung ever the menacing cloud of compulsory military service.  he had been forced to give up fourteen of the best years of his life, and his inherited Swiss blood had boiled hot at the wrong and injustice done him.  He wanted freedom and independence.  He could not endure the thought that his six boys might be forced into subservience to a like tyranny.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Saga of Johannes Reiter Part II

Martinshagen (to the left) is still surrounded by forests and is about 8.5 miles from Kassel, Hesse, Germany.  One of the Louis Reiter genealogists had decided that Carkert (on Louis Reiter's Civil War records) was probably Korbach---it was near Kassel and had mining (Louis Reiter was a miner).  Please note on the map above the name of the street that goes through Martinhagen.  Korbach is maybe another 10 miles down that road. (Double click on the photo to enlarge)

Continuing "The Saga of Johannes Reiter"...I am repeating this story because it also indicates why Louis Reiter came to the USA.   According to Louis Reiter's great-grandson David Long, "He came so he didn't have to fight German wars and then he fought in the American Civil War."  This is a well-written commentary that reflects why Johannes and, later, Louis Reiter emigrated.
When Johannes (b.1780) reached the age of 18, he was called into the military service, as were all the youth of Hesse at this time.  He served for two years entirely without pay.  Doubtless, this was no surprise to him.  He knew that the Swiss people of his village of Martinshaagen had been promised immunity from military service:  but he also knew of how little worth was the promise of a prince.  From his earliest childhood, he had heard the story of how the Prince of Hesse had sold 15,000 of his young men at thirty-six dollars each to the British, to be sent off to fight against the American colonists.  He had also been told how the officers had come at midnight to the village of Martinshaagen and taken away all the young men and they had never come back.  He could expect nothing less than the two years of enforced military service for himself.  But these two years were only the beginning.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Saga of Johannes Reiter, Part I

Here is in part what this booklet had about the Reiter family:

 This was recorded by Amos O. Reiter D.D. in 1946 who heard these stories from his father and his father's double cousin Elizabeth Koch Schweigert who was born in Germany and grew up there.  This is significant for our family because it proves that family was still living there in the early 1800's when our Louis Reiter was born in 1827.

According to this tradition, the Reiter family was of Swiss origin.  A prince of Hesse Cassel, alarmed by the rapid disappearance of timber from his principality, and fearing there would soon be neither lumber for building nor wood for fuel, planned an extensive system of conservation.  He seized all the remaining forest lands, and issued decrees controlling the cutting and distribution of all forest products.  Not trusting his own people to make a fair and impartial distribution, he followed the example of nearly all the kings and potentates of that era, by importing Swiss foresters for that work.  To them, he gave quite liberal terms.  They were to be allowed to use their own German-Swiss dialect, have their own schools, their own 'Reformite' Church, their own Heidelberg Catechism, and maintain their own social customs.  Moreover, they were to be free from all, except local taxation and from all involuntary military service, even in time of war.  It was the breaking of practically all of these promises that impelled Johannes Reiter in 1832 to leave his native place and, with his six sons, come to a land of freedom where none was ever compelled to render military service against his will.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Although my brother and various cousins had their DNA tested by Familytreedna, I couldn't resist a special by that claimed it could get results from women AND link me up to other family trees available.  Since I already had a good idea of what my ancestry was, I decided to give it a try.

My ancestors came from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, France and Germany, so shouldn't I expect to have French, German, Celtic, British ancestry?  Other than the Eastern European, I was not surprised that I was 81% Scandinavian because all of my ancestors came from those parts of the countries settled by Vikings.

But, I have been very surprised at how well, has been able to give me leads on lines where I had hit brick walls.  For example, we had given up on trying to find where Louis Reiter was from in Germany.

His Civil War records said he was from Cassel, Germany and Carkert Co. Germany (the latter does not exist) and that was the best we could hope for.  Sure, his grandson Roy (my grandfather) used to insist he was not German but Swiss, but we always thought that was the anti-German sentiment of WWI talking.  For more on Louis Reiter, click here.

Imagine my surprise when ancestry matched me up with an individual with Reiter ancestors from Cassel/Kassel Germany.  I wrote the individual, told him of Grandpa's belief that he was Swiss, laughing it off.  He sent me a document about his ancestor which stunned me.  His Reiter family was originally from Switzerland.

A Reiter with a DNA match from Cassel Germany has ancestors from Switzerland!  I may never make the actual connection with this family---I suspect Louis might have been a nephew or cousin---but I have had to apologize to Grandpa Roy many times this past week.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Letter from Garner

While cleaning out my husband's desk, I found a letter which his uncle wrote shortly after my father-in-law's death (Grover) in 2003.

Dear Harry, Dave, Tom:

It was probably in 1943 that Grover became a distinct figure for me, as opposed to "generic older brother" (of which I had four at the time).  I remember looking at a photograph (probably from a letter to Mother) of a strikingly handsome young man in khaki U.S. Army uniform with the three chevrons up, three rockers down and the diamond of a master sergeant.  To a fifteen-year-old West Virginia kid, this was truly impressive.

After the war (1946?), Mother wanted to visit Riverside, California relatives (Charlie and Carrie Smith), so Mother, Grover, Lowell and I headed west in the 1942 Chevy. (I wanted to take Father's new Olds--Hydramatic shift!- but was overruled.)  At age 18, I had a license but little experience, so after a close call or so Grover took permanent possession of the steering wheel.