28 January 2011

Paper Migration

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
January 2011

People migrate for many reasons. Genealogists follow the migrations. When people migrate their "stuff" migrates with them. During the ten years that we had an established antique shop in the heart of Ohio, we often joked that items purchased on the East Coast eventually ended up in California where high end dealers sold the item back to New York.

I sat in the middle of the floor of my office the other day with stacks of original source materials including old diaries, ledgers and letters around me and thought about those analogies and what I was guilty of when we moved back to our beloved Eastern Kentucky from Ohio.

As Family Lineage Investigations Antiques & Genealogy, I purchased many ledgers and documents at auctions. My intent was to publish the materials and make them more accessible to everyone. It was a good plan and some were published. I also purchased many items from other states and donated them to respective libraries in the area where the items originated rather than sell them in our shop.

Good intentions aside, what actually happened to much of the Ohio materials could have made them less available or worse - lost.

Several years ago, I realized the materials just were not "at home" in Eastern Kentucky. I called the librarian for the Guernsey Chapter OGS who drove to Eastern Kentucky and retrieved a car load of original source ledgers for that county. They are now safely housed in their home county and available in a logical place for researchers to find them. Why didn't I do that before I moved? Moving is emotional and hurried and time slips by quickly. So I felt relieved that the items were returned and smug that they had not been scattered around the country or worse tossed by some uncaring person.

Over a period of time, I have donated other original source items found in my Eastern Kentucky office to various places. Mind you my office is not huge. I think it is homey. My sons shake their heads calling me that horrible name "pack rat". I take offense arguing that I am organized and everything has purpose. Or rather I did until that moment when I discovered a storage box that left me sitting on the floor with those wonderful items scattered around me.

I have spent the last several days making contacts and can report that they are migrating yet again but this time home. I hope they enjoyed their vacation in Eastern Kentucky.

Migration of documents is a problem that every genealogical researcher faces. It reminds me of the preparation of my book New Concord 1833-1902. A small article appeared in the local paper which noted that we could not find any volume of council minutes prior to 1900. Within a week I had a letter from George L. Carlos in Winter Haven, Florida. He wrote "I was born in New Concord and served the village for many years...I was a council member when the old Town Hall was torn down ...I retrieved from the city dump the council minutes...I have carried these with me for many years over half the country but it is time for them to go home." The ledger did come home and the original is safely archived at Muskingum University and extracted in my publication which is now available digitally.

As our new Eastern Kentucky home was in the midst of log raising, I was busy cleaning and organizing the estate of my father-in-law. Their home was small and never cluttered but something was jammed behind the head board of a bed. I was startled and excited when I pulled out a ledger. That ledger had migrated from the Boyd County Courthouse. I can only speculate how it made it to our rural farm but it is now extracted and published for all to use: Boyd County, Kentucky 1902 Tax Journal. While it is not a wealth of information it does verify that a person resided in the county and what district they were in during 1902. Mind you the book did not travel far but could easily have been lost for future generations.

In May 2010 I wrote about the Garrett Chapel United Methodist Church Records from Lawrence County, Kentucky which also migrated but luckily had been copied. When I wrote that blog I said "I stand firm that records belong where they were created in a safe environment for historical purposes."

Even after the reality that I had tucked away materials that needed to go home, I still feel that way. I have rectified my error and encourage everyone to be vigilant and make sure those wonderful jewels are placed where they can easily be utilized. I encourage everyone to enjoy regular visits to antique shops and auctions and help these items find their way home.

stock illustration, Image zoo thank you fotosearch.com

22 January 2011

Forget Me Not

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
January 2011

No better time to write about historical quilts than when the temperatures dip to single digits across the United States. I have written about signature quilts and utilized them as examples in many genealogical speeches throughout the years.

Some of my most treasured documentation comes, not from courthouse paper sources, but rather from the items that surround me. My beautiful blue garnet ring bears the inscription date that my great grandparents were engaged. I carefully dust a tiny porcelain bride and groom from 1918 that sat on top of the cake when my grandparents were married. Quilts tell stories as well.

The documented provenance of an artifact is as important to a genealogist as it is to any archaeologist or antique auctioneer. Lose the link in the provenance of a bible, for example, and we lose a little more of our personal history. Elizabeth Shown Mills provides family historians and genealogists a template to cite our source, including the provenance in Evidence Explained [page 105]. While many provide footnotes and sources for books and documents, I rarely see artifacts having a full citation.

One blustery, cold November day in 1996 while visiting Martha Klaiber Cox [1908-2005] in Catlettsburg, Boyd County, Kentucky, she pulled out a fragile quilt from beneath many others quilted by her mother, Julina Leota Sexton Horton Klaiber.

As Aunt Martha lovingly spread the quilt on the bed I could see the deterioration, especially of the early silk materials which is commonplace in crazy quilts. She told me that either her mother Julina [1877-1978] or her grandmother, Julina McCormack Sexton [1836-1914] had pieced the quilt. The quilt simply has initials but Martha explained they were initials of friends and family that lived on or around Garner, Boyd County, Kentucky.

It is possible that both Julina's worked on the beautiful stitches.

The initials with probable names:

AS = Anne [Caldwell] Sexton [1856-1892]
BS = Bertha Sexton [1888-1890 d/o James & Missouri]
CE = Cora Enyart [d/o Wm F. & Sarah Lett Enyart]
DM = Dimma Mayhew [1867-1895]
EHS = Elisha H. Sexton [1856-1946]
EWS = Edward Sexton [possibly 1880-1892 s/o LD & Miriam]
HPS = Henry Powell Sexton II [ 1874-1963]
JFR = James Franklin Reeves [1828-1921 1st cousin of Julina McCormack Sexton]
JLR = Julina L. Reece [1891-1893 d/o D. W. and Martha E. Sexton Reece]
JMS = James McClelland Sexton [1865-1941]
JS = Julina Sexton [1877-1978]
LDS =Lorenzo Dow Sexton [1858-1949]
MFS = Miriam Frances [McKnight] Sexton [1861-1931]
MHS = Missouri Haines Sexton
MLS =Marcus Lindsey Sexton [1857-1880]
MS =
NS = Nelson Sexton
TMS = Telitha nee May Sexton [1862-1945]
WVS =William Vincent Sexton [1861-1936]

At 88 years of age, Martha was generous and gave me the quilt that day. Having family of her own, I knew that I was meant to be the guardian of the quilt for just a short time and would some day return the quilt to her branch of the family.

I purchased a large textile acid free box and tissue and lovingly cared for the quilt from November 1996 until the summer of 2009. In 2009 the quilt was given to Freda Cox Tackett, daughter of Martha to deliver to Martha's grand daughter Tina Lynn Tackett Toth. Another generation can now cherish the history of this beautiful artifact.

My own home has many reminders of both Julina's including several pieced quilts by Julina Sexton Klaiber. She walks with me in spirit as I see the spring daffodils she planted many years ago. In February 1962, nicknamed Lade, she wrote:

"This is my request - Lade Klaiber. One thing I am - if I should pass away I do want you all to be good to each other and devide {sic} the dishes and quilts and the other things in the house if you want them and the pictures take care of them and each one will know what yours that you gave me. And one thing please take care of the flowers for I did love them and hope all will be happy and live for Jesus."

In 1996 James and Teresa Martin Klaiber divided some of the daffodil bulbs sharing them with others within the neighborhood. On Memorial Day 1997 we donated bulbs in Julina Leota Sexton Horton Klaiber's name to a daffodil project in Greendale, Wisconsin as part of a program for Birds & Blooms.

Forget Me Not

06 January 2011

"On the road again - Goin' places that I've never been"

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
January 2011

Willie Nelson can't wait to get on the road again but I am not sure our ancestors enjoyed the road as much as he does.

Our early Eastern Kentucky roads were built and maintained by the county with all able bodied males over 15 required to work on them. There were a few exceptions. Males over fifty were exempt as were ministers of the gospel. The county order books are a roll call for these men to come do their duty.

The first step for a new road was to approach the county court and request an opening or possibly change the path of an existing road. Three gentleman would then be appointed to view and report back the best possible route. Once the road was approved hands in the vicinity were called to do the work.

The better roads would be laid with crushed rock which had to be hauled from a local quarry or even further if one was not close. The rock was crushed by manual labor prior to the invention of awkward rock crushers. They used a method known as Macadam which was simply layered crushed stone. While the process was introduced in 1820 it did not arrive in Kentucky until after 1850 and then only to roads linking larger towns. Rock was not to be over 6 ounces in weight and no larger than what could pass through a two inch ring according to Wikipedia. Labor intensive and grueling work.

In reality most of the local roads of Eastern Kentucky were mud and muck. Kentucky did not have a state highway commission until 1912.

One of my favorite books in my office collection is a reprint of Tour Book The Midland Trail compiled for the National Midland Trail Association in 1916. The Kentucky West-Bound Log begins on page 16. When describing Olive Hill, in Carter County, Kentucky you find the following description:

"From Olive Hill there may be a detour via Soldier which is easier than the road logged via Upper Tygert...the next ten miles is really bad road, altho much better in summer than in spring, ...it is well not to try to drive too fast, for taking it easily the distance may be made in a short time without undue strain on either car or driver."

My father describes the roads of our area in 1950 as:
"...primitive. What there were simply followed the old paths and cow trials...There were only two paved main roads, US 60 toward Lexington and US 23, wandering laboriously south into the real mountain counties. The county roads were graveled, when it was available, and any road off these could at times be impassible. [Never A Ho Hum Day, John G. Martin, page 20]
The following picture from Magoffin County is estimated to have been taken between 1916 and 1925.

John Shouse Martin Collection

The Big Sandy Road was later marked as US #23. The picture below states "3 miles from Catlettsburg". Looking at the picture the family is coming north toward Catlettsburg.
John Shouse Martin Collection, Sandy River Road, 1917

It never ceases to amaze me how our pioneer ancestors migrated from place to place. There seems to be a special need for many of us to be "On the road again..."

03 January 2011

"Fill er Up" Indian Oil Company

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
January 2011

In today's "modern" world, with the click of the mouse, a search for Indian Oil Company gets you thousands of hits and wiki descriptions of a large corporation based in India.

But in the early years of "modern" gasoline stations in the United States Indian Oil Company was well known in the Midwest and Eastern Kentucky.

Indian Oil Company started out as Indian Asphalt Company and in 1905 set up operations in Georgetown, Kentucky. One of their products was Bluegrass axle grease. A year later they changed their name to Indian Oil Company and built a Refining company based out of Lawrenceburg, Illinois. In 1909 they purchased Havoline Oil Company and the Havoline name quickly became a well known name throughout our area.

An excellent web site developed by Jim Hinds gives a detailed time line of the company. He should be commended for his efforts to fetter out the details and history for this company.

The company growth was in leaps and bounds. One of the many traveling salesmen for Indian Oil Company was John Shouse Martin who resided in Ashland, Kentucky. He joined the company during World War I and continued to work for Indian Oil Company until it was purchased by Texaco in early 1931. Texaco received all rights to the manufacturing process of Havoline motor oil at that time.

The company maintained an office on East Front and 28th Street in Ashland as well as a plant [shown in picture above] with J. W. Johnson as manager.

Besides Martin, L. F. Carmine of Lexington and C. F. Leslie of Huntington all were let go by Texaco in 1931 and quickly announced in the Ashland newspaper that they were now working for Valvoline Oil Company of Cincinnati. Lawrence M. Kelly took over the southern Ohio territory for Texaco that had been held by J. S. Martin.

Martin took many photographs in his travels and his collection includes this picture of the first Indian Station in Ashland, Kentucky. This may be the station listed in the 1924 city directory at 1000 East Winchester. The station was operated by J. W. Johnson.

The first gasoline stations in the United States were built between 1905 and 1907. They were known as "filling stations", a term I heard even in the mid 1950's. By 1929 there were two Indian gasoline stations in Ashland, Kentucky. One at 2500 Winchester Avenue operated by R. D. Gardner and another at 13th and Lexington operated by Curtis Murphy.

From horse and buggy to the gasoline age we are now moving into yet another "modern" world and I am sure we will hear much more about it in 2011. The price of gasoline is skyrocketing. But let me savor for just a moment more, full service fill ups with my windows wiped to a sparkle.