Monday, July 27, 2015

Constable Joseph Henry Marlow: The Paper Trail

from Carlinville Democrat April 2, 1909. (Fulton Post Cards).

It has been a long while since I posted about my Great Grandfather, Joseph H. Marlow. I did have quite a number of documents early on, and now I have even more. Over the course of time I have sent for vital records from England, Illinois, and Alberta, and have found land records on line. But the most exciting event has happened in the last week. I stumbled on the fact that the Fulton Post Cards Newspapers data base, which contains mainly New York historical newspapers, and which I have used extensively in the past for my New York lines, also has five Carlinville, Illinois newspapers! I keep discovering more and more articles pertaining to the family of Joseph and Anna Belle Marlow. All of these documents and newspaper articles are attached to my tree on Ancestry. All of the Carlinville newspaper articles can also be found on the Fulton Post Cards website. So, to update you about my findings:

--From his parents’ marriage record and Joseph’s birth record, it appears that they married only one month prior to his birth. His parents, William Marlow (Marley) and Elizabeth Johnson were married on July 10, 1853 in the parish church at Whitby, North Yorkshire, (it was the first marriage for both), and Joseph was born on August 16, 1853 in Stainsacre.

--He did homestead in Nebraska, and on land that he purchased. His farm was in Benkelman, Dundy, Nebraska. He was living there at the time of his marriage to Anna Belle Bosomworth on November 30, 1887, by the Justice of the Peace in Modesto, Macoupin, Illinois, where the bride was residing. The marriage licence states that he is thirty, but he is actually thirty-four, fourteen years older than his twenty-year-old wife, rather than ten. Her brother-in-law, Benjamin Franklin Gracey (husband of her sister, Alice), and her sister-in-law, Hannah Bosomworth (wife of her brother Hartas), were the witnesses.

--All of their children were born in Illinois, including the eldest, Lena Sarah, my grandmother, on October 9, 1889, but the Nebraska land purchase was final on May 27, 1890. They may have been living in Nebraska still at the time of Lena’s birth, as she was born in Lynnville, Morgan, Illinois, where there is no other evidence Joseph and Anna Belle ever lived. Lynnville was the home of Anna Belle’s uncle, Piercy Dickenson, brother of her mother, Ann. The the Joseph Marlow family moved to Macoupin County in 1894. It may be that family lived in Chesterfield, Illinois, before living in Polk, Illinois, where Joseph rented a farm from the Towse family from at least the year 1900.

--In April 1909, he ran for one of two seats as Polk Town Constable, and won one of the seats, securing the second highest number of votes. He ran as a Democrat.

--In January 1910, he hosted an “Oyster Supper” at his home in Polk.

--On May 17, 1911, fire destroyed his barn, much of his farm equipment, and some hay and corn. Only some ploughs he was using were spared. Luckily, he was insured for his property.

--His daughter, Lena Sarah, married George Arthur Smith at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Carlinville. It was the first marriage for both. Arthur required his mother’s consent due to being under age. (He was twenty, and she was twenty-two).

--It may be that the fire was an impetus for Joseph to emigrate to Canada, because in the summer of 1912, he and some other men travelled to the prairies. These other men were Joseph Wheeler, Charles Nichols, and Frank Leach. Joseph and Frank each bought a half section of land for twenty dollars an acre, located “twelve miles from a railroad”. He returned home in August.

--On Thursday, September 26, 1912, he held a sale at his farm, eight miles southwest of Carlinville, and four miles west of Chesterfield.

--In mid October, he left for Lougheed, Alberta with a train car load of his belongings. The newspapers do not state that his son Tom went with him as is claimed in family lore.

--Anna Belle and most of the rest of the children left Carlinville for Alberta on November 5, 1912. Daughter, Lena, recently married, and daughter, Winnie, stayed behind. Only Anna Belle, George, William, Maude, Dollie, Zella and Fred are on the border crossing record for November 7, 1912.

--Lena and Arthur Smith, Lena’s sister Winnie, and Eric Corney, left for Canada in August of 1913. Lena and Arthur planned to live there. A William Thompson, who lived in Chesterfield as did Winnie and Eric, also planned to go with them, but it does not appear that he went.

--Lena and Arthur returned home in February of 1914, and had planned to bring Winnie with them: “Miss Winnie Marlow, a sister of Mrs. Smith, expected to return with them and had made arrangements to meet them at a certain station in Canada, but when they boarded the train she failed to make an appearance, and as nothing had been heard from her considerable anxiety is felt in regard to her safety”.

--Winnie, who was the closest sibling in age to Lena, died in Lougheed on April 18, 1914 at the age of twenty-two of “typhoid”.

--A letter from Joseph was published in the Carlinville Democrat on Dec 29, 1915, renewing his 
subscription to the paper. He states, “We cannot get along without the Democrat”. He tells about bumper crops and fine winter weather. He also says, “The war does not affect us any; the only difference is all the young fellows have joined the colors”. There is no mention of the hardships they have endured, or of the loss of his daughter.

--On January 23, 1919, his daughter, Dollie Belle, died of influenza giving birth to her second child, Arnold Klinger. Like her sister Winnie, she also died at the age of twenty-two. A full obituary was  published in the Carlinville Democrat in February of 1919.

--Lena, Arthur, and family moved back to Alberta in September of 1919.

--On May 14, 1923, Joseph and Anna Belle legally adopted their daughter Dollie’s two children, Ruby Belle and Arnold.

--Another letter from Joseph was published in the Carlinville Democrat on January 28, 1925. He reports that he has not had a good crop that year, but that they are all in good health and that the weather is fine. He is again renewing his subscription to the newspaper, which he now appears to have kept up since moving to Alberta thirteen years before. He states that they are “now all alone on the farm”, as two of their sons are married, and have their own farms, and two have moved to United States near Seattle. The two sons with farms would be Joseph Robert “Tom”, and William. George and Fred “Fritz” went to the U.S. Daughters Lena and Maude are married with their own families, and Zella would likely still have been living at home since she was around fourteen at the time of the writing of the letter.

--Joseph died at home on June 7, 1927 of skin cancer on his face. His son Fred was back living with the family at this time. A long obituary was published in the Carlinville Democrat on July 13th. It confirms some of the family stories, such as the farm in Nebraska, and that he was a “sailor boy” at one time in his life. This long obituary contrasts with one published in Sedgewick, Alberta in the Sedgewick Sentinel, which is short and refers to him as “James H. Marlow”. His death registration is the first document I have found which gives his full middle name, “Henry”.

--In July of 1927, Annabelle, Zella and Fred drove to Illinois to visit relatives.

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