Henry J. Korn

I found a new tidbit on Ancestry today. The obituary for Henry J. Korn (my great-grandfather), who died in October 1962.

KORN_Henry_J-obit-Oct-1962It lists survivors: his wife, Frieda, children Florence Burrell and Arthur Korn, his mother Anna Dengg, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

That would be me.

Three of his grandchildren have died: Janice (my mom), Diane and Nancy, all children of Florence. As far as I know, Arthur’s children are still living, so I won’t mention them by name.

It’s always exciting to find these items, even if there is no new information. But it really makes a connection when you see yourself mentioned, however obliquely.

Source information:

Ancestry.com. Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.

The Chicago Tribune. Chicago, IL, USA: The Chicago Tribune, 1850-1985.

A few live ones

In the course of doing research on David Caylor and his family, I discovered that there are a few lively characters in our family tree.

David is the first son of Lydia Carr. She was married to a Caylor, but I don’t know if her husband’s name was David or John. I’ve seen both in various public trees. She married William Burrell and had William, Walter, Bertha, Blanche and Lulu. She divorced William for abandonment (I got this info from Jack Webb) and married John Baxter in 1895. She died in 1924 and John Baxter died in 1925. They are buried in Oakland Cemetery, Fort Dodge.

David was married twice. I think his first wife’s name was Sarah Catherine Hurley. There’s a Sarah C. on the Caylor stone at Oakland Cemetery, and when their daughter Lavona was married, Catherine Hurley was listed as the maiden name of the mother of the bride. David had died by then, so Lavona would have given the information.

David’s wife is mentioned (Mrs. Dave Caylor) in a couple of articles that make her sound rather excitable. Family Troubles in Court (she got into an argument with Mrs. John Grell in front of John Gill’s grocery store) and Women Terrorize an Officer. These incidents may be why David moved the family from Fort Dodge to Cherokee in May 1899, but the family was back in Fort Dodge in May 1900, when his wife died. Their son Ruel Seth died in April 1901.

(Side note: I just found a Ruel S. Hurley in the 1908 Fort Dodge city directory. Sarah Catherine’s father? That would mean that Ruel Caylor was named after his maternal grandfather. More research is needed. A Ruel Hurley left Fort Dodge in July 1901 to move to Poulsbo, Washington. Did they come back? Yes, apparently. Also, in 1890, a daughter was born and a dog was killed.)

Later in 1901, David was charged with being drunk and disorderly and fined $7.10.

David fought the city over property rights in 1906. His house was in an area that a railroad wanted, and he was one of a group of homeowners in the court case. The article mentions the Newton and Northwestern Railroad. I think it was later the Chicago Great Western, as that railroad had tracks along Central Avenue to 12th Street, where the depot stood. But David was still living there later that year when he remarried.

David remarried on Oct. 10, 1906, to Minnie Gentry. She had been married before and had a son, Roy. I don’t know whether she was divorced or widowed – more research is needed. They had a son Lloyd and a daughter Fay. Fay lived only 3 days.

In 1907, his house was struck by lightning. The article mentions that the house was struck by lightning two years previous, and that another house was struck by lightning – that of Walter Burrell. Walter is David’s half-brother, from Lydia Carr’s second marriage. What a coincidence.

David died in 1912 and some time before 1920, Minnie married John Paap. He had children from a previous marriage. The 1920 lists his three sons and Roy and Lloyd.

Lloyd Caylor had perfect attendance in the first semester of the 1921-22 school year.

Roy married Lillian Long in 1923 in Humboldt, Iowa. Her parents were Diamond Long and Rose Hodson. There are mentions in the Humboldt paper around 1925-26 of Roy and Diamond being charged with bootlegging and Roy charged with driving with no lights (probably related to the bootlegging).

The links are all from Fort Dodge newspapers that were digitized. I didn’t link the Humboldt newspaper articles because you have to sign in to read them, but I did download them.

I did several searches, including Ruel Caylor. I left off here: http://fortdodge.advantage-preservation.com/search/site/ruel%2520caylor?page=25. More research is needed.

This is just a bit of what I’ve found over several hours. I have attached some of the information to my tree on Family Search. I need to add it to Ancestry and probably WikiTree as well. So many ancestors, so little time!

Mrs. Baxter Dies

Fort Dodge Messenger & Chronicle
May 14, 1924, P. 14


Mrs. Baxter Dies

Mrs. John Baxter, seventy-eight years of age, died at 4:00 o’clock yesterday afternoon at her home, 1202 South Twenty-second Street, after a lingering illness. She had been ill during the past few weeks with the flu previous to which she had suffered from cancer.

She is survived by her husband, two daughters and a son. They are Mrs. H.M. Webb, of Salem, Oregon; Mrs. O.W. Schoonmaker of Savage, Montana, and Walter Burrell of Fort Dodge. Twenty grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren also survive.

Mrs. Baxter was born in Pennsylvania and has been a resident of Fort Dodge for the past twenty-four years. The funeral will take place Thursday afternoon at 2:00 o’clock from the home and at 2:30 from the Epworth Methodist Church. The Rev. T.J. Pettit will have charge of the services. Burial will be made in Oakland cemetery.


Photo taken 23 May 2015 at Oakland Cemetery.

Added some records

I recently purchased copies of a birth certificate, a marriage license and a death certificate.


Birth certificate: Florence Korn
This shows her parents’ names. Her mother’s maiden name (Frieda Muhs) was indexed as Frieda Ninho. I can tell how the indexer made the mistake (really sloppy handwriting), but it’s still irritating.

Stanley Dengg-Anna Korn marriage

Marriage licence of Stanley Dengg to Anna Korn (widow of Jacob Korn) on 26 Jul 1941.

Marriage license: Stanley Dengg and Anna Korn
This shows the date and place of marriage, as well as the correct name of the groom. For some reason, I thought it was Anton. I don’t know where I got that from, but it does show that memories can be false (or vague … ). This is the wedding that my mom attended when she was about 3. She said it was the first time she got drunk (I have no idea if there were many times, I only know about this one). She went around drinking beer out of the glasses that the adults left within reach. I’m sure they thought it was a hoot.

Death certificate: Anna Korn
I was hoping to get her parents’ names from this, but unfortunately, they are not listed. The informant was her daughter-in-law, Frieda (Muhs) Korn. So I’ll have to find the information elsewhere.

Henry Muhs

Two things:

Henry Muhs in Illinois Death and Stillbirths, 1916-1947, died 8 Jan 1927 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States. Lists father (Peter Muhs), mother (Kath … Stotenberg) names and birth place (Bosbik by Kiel, Germany), wife Hannah Muhs, occupation: painter, race: white, address 1432 Wolfram. FHL film number is 1877900 (anybody want to go look that up for me?).

1920 Census lists Henry and Hannah Muhs living at 1432 Wolfram in Chicago. He owned the building. Henry, Frieda and Florence Korn also lived in the building. Frieda is the daughter of Henry and Hannah Muhs.

New information:

Henry Muhs death date, father’s and mother’s names, birth place for all three, Henry’s occupation, 1920 place of residence, Henry Muhs owned the building and his daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter lived there. Henry Korn was a box maker. Henry Korn came to the U.S. in 1907. Henry and Hannah Korn came to the U.S. in 1887.

Google image of 1432 Wolfram:

Next step is to get all this information linked to my three trees on Ancestry, FamilySearch and WikiTree.

Note: Johanna Cornilsen married Heinrich Muhs. She apparently went by Hannah. I believe that she remarried after he died. The name of her second husband might be Anton Dengg, but I haven’t corroborated that. My mom (Janice Burrell Snyder) told that she got drunk when she was about 3 at her grandma’s wedding when guests left a little beer in the bottom of their glasses and little Janice went around finishing off the glasses.

The last of the Burrell girls

Arthur_2My Aunt Diane passed away in the night. She was the last living daughter of Arthur and Florence Burrell.

That means that I (their first grandchild) am now their oldest living descendant.

I have nothing profound to say. Just keep in touch with your family and write things down. Remember.

Heroes and villains

On my way to the library in Fort Dodge to volunteer at the Webster County Genealogical Society, I had this thought: everybody has heroes and villains in their family.

It’s so simple and true.

Some people try to hide the skeletons in the family closet, but I think we really shouldn’t do that. Maybe I would feel differently if it turned out that a close relative was high in the Nazi party or something along those lines, but I think we have to accept our family history.

In my family’s case, one known villain was a young man who in a heated moment made a really bad decision.

On Saturday, July 11, 1908, Will Carr was involved in a fight with a stranger near the train depot in Gowrie, Iowa, after drinking heavily that afternoon. Town Marshal Thomas Nicholson apparently broke up the fight or attempted to arrest Will Carr. Will (he’s sometimes referred to as William or Wilbur) went home and got a gun, then went back to the depot, where he found the marshal and shot him.

There  are newspaper accounts of the incident and the subsequent trial. One of the articles mentions that Thomas Nicholson’s wife was the sister of Ira Carr’s wife. This Ira Carr was the brother of Will Carr. This was confirmed in a book called “The Biographical Record of Webster County, Iowa” which was published by the S.J. Clarke Publishing Company in 1902.

That book  lists the children of Richard Quick, including Bessie, married to Thomas Nicholson, a farmer of Roland township, and Leona, married to Ira Carr, also a farmer of Roland township. Roland township is north of Gowrie.

I’m sure that time eases the impact of these events. Had this occurred within my lifetime I would probably not be so easy with it. But we are the sum of everything that has happened before us. It shapes our families and it shapes our selves. We can embrace the good and try to learn from the bad, but it doesn’t help to hide it away.

What’s in a name?

Blogging prompt from The Accidental Genealogist for March 3:

March 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

My mom and her sisters followed a sort of naming pattern where their children all have middle names from other close family members. My middle name is Elaine, after my Aunt Nancy. My sister’s middle name is the same as another aunt’s first name, but also the same first and last name as a cousin of our mom’s.

I won’t go into details about exactly who has what name other than that, because of identity theft possibilities.

I followed the naming pattern, giving Amanda the same middle name as my paternal grandmother (because her first name was Gladys and I couldn’t deal with that) and Cayla a version of the name of Kent’s paternal grandmother, Mary.

Donna didn’t follow this pattern, and I don’t know if my Burrell cousins did or not. But I liked keeping family names in my own family.

On Kent’s side of the family, there were a couple of instances where a child died and a subsequent child in that same family was given the same name. In one case, both little girls named Olive died. There is also a Lurana and a Lurany in two generations – I have never seen either name in any other context. (According to Baby Name Train, there were five Luranas in 1884 but none since then.)

Picture this

Blogging prompt from The Accidental Genealogist for March 2:

March 2 — Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?


This is a photo of my mom (Janice) with her younger sister Diane. The youngest sister, Nancy, had not been born yet. I’m guessing Diane was about 1-2 years old here, so Mom would be about 6-7 years old. So, about 1944-1945.

I just like this photo. It looks like it was taken at home. Mom’s hair is cute and curly. I can really recognize her, even though she is so young in the photo.

What I should do now is show the old family photos to Mom – to see if they awaken any memories, and see what she can communicate about them. It’s difficult now because of her dementia and speaking in rhyme, but we try to glean the meanings of what she’s trying to tell us.

Here we go again

I’m making a second attempt at doing a blog post a day for a whole month. This month is National Women’The Accidental Genealogists History Month, so the blog prompts for March at  are all about women ancestors.

March 1 — Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check.

I’m going to include women on Kent’s side of the family for some of these.

His grandmother and her mother were both married more than once. His great-grandmother was Ada Waite Overend Fletcher, born in England. Her first husband, Albert Overend, must have died. I don’t think I have his information. But they had a son, Albert.

Ada remarried – Henry Fletcher. They moved to the United States. She had a daughter, Hilda, born in San Diego. Ada died, leaving Henry to raise the two children.

Hilda grew up and married Paul Rudolph Rieboldt. Paul was in the Navy. Hilda was living in Pensacola, Florida, when Pauline (Kent’s mom) was born. Soon after Pauline’s birth, Hilda and Paul took in Hilda’s nephew, Albert Richard Overend. His father had died in a military plane accident and his mother had remarried. I think she died in childbirth, and the stepfather didn’t want him. So Hilda and Paul raised him.

However, there were problems in the marriage and Hilda and Paul divorced. She raised the two kids by herself. She married again, but I haven’t found her second husband’s name – I have a photo of a wedding or bridal shower cake with the names “Hilda” and “Mac” on it.

Mac died, leaving Hilda to raise  the kids on her own again. She met and married Jasper Coomes – called “Jap” – while Pauline was still in school, I believe. I think Pauline looked at Jap as her father figure.

I would like to know more about each of these marriages – what happened to each husband. The name of Hilda’s second husband. What happened to young Albert’s mother.

I’ll have to check military records for Paul Rieboldt and Albert Overend (2). I wonder if his wife got a pension …

There are more records to check, of course, but I’ll need to sit down and decide where to start.