Friday, March 14, 2014

#9 - (Great-Great) Aunt Frances Parker Tilton - Western Author and Divorcée (Clarence Addison Tilton's wife)

Genealogy is just the story of humanity only set in the past. The ups and downs and heartaches of life all happened before. Though I don't typically focus on uncles and aunts, now and then one catches my fancy.
I was snagged by my grandfather's uncle's wife. The story of their lives was so different from his siblings, that I had to pursue it.
 As I was researching my great grandfather (William H Tilton), I was drawn to his brother's Clarence story. I finally answered the call to unlock his & his wife's story: 
Oddity 1 - An obituary of William & Clarence's father (Henry A Tilton) contained a sentence about one of two his sons:

“A son, Clarence Tilton, was coroner's clerk under Dr. Morgan Parker, but now resides in the south.” [from the Paint, Oil and Drug Review Vol LII-No. 15, Chicago, Wednesday, October 11, 1911.] Then the next paragraph repeats the surviving members of the family--and Clarence is included in this as well. Why does the father’s obituary mention Clarence twice and why include this Dr. Parker? Who was he?

Then I found Clarence and his parents listed in a Detroit social club "The Wallace."

While that is not surprising, it did tell me something about this eligible bachelor (not a problem, just additional information).
Oddity 2 - Clarence moved many times after Detroit--to sparsely settled areas of
the country. My spouse suggested a scandal. Maybe, or maybe an itchy foot.
Oddity 3 - Clarence had a son according to the census records. However, the son was born in  Montana in the years Clarence was in Detroit. How'd he -or why did he do that?

Finding the answer: I wasn’t very clever, I just backed over the answer -
I looked for the wife to find out more about the husband. This isn't the most efficient route, normally. But in this instance it was a gold mine. Once I found out her complete name (Bertha Francis Parker), I found that she gives her name (variously) as Bertha Parker, Francis Parker, and Frances Parker. I did a simple internet search for Frances Parker and
found this about her:

 “She was now a sought after author—McClure’s Magazine had asked her to write short
stories. It was most likely at this time that she found that which had been missing from
her life—true love.
The object of her affections was Clarence Tilton, a handsome accountant two years younger  than Frances. Tilton had moved to Detroit from Brooklyn, New York, in 1893 and now served as Clerk for Frances’s brother, Dr. Morgan Parker, the Wayne County coroner.

I backtracked with that name and was able to piece together this: she (Bertha Francis Parker) was born January 17, 1875 in Detroit, Michigan to (Dr.) Dayton and Ida Cogswell Parker.  Her father became a professor at the Michigan College of  Medicine & Surgery.
So they were well-off. But she lost her mother on August 15, 1889. Only four months later in December 1889, her father got remarried to a widow, and Frances had a stepmother who was 15 years younger than her father.

Less than 2 year later when Bertha Francis Parker (or Frances Parker, as she called herself)
was 16, she graduated from school. Life at home was no longer to her liking so she looked for an escape. As it turns out, her cousin going to Montana to join her brother there, so Frances decided to go along.

While in Montana she met Carson Minor (C.M.) Jacobs, the manager of the N Bar N Ranch. She had fallen in love. When her father came out late in the year, the 34 year-old CM Jacobs asked for permission to wed his 16 year-old daughter.

Frances and CM were wed in Detroit in December 1891. And they eventually returned to the ranch in Montana to live. 

Yet despite the distance, Frances enjoyed annual visits from family, and sometimes gained household help through their generosity. In addition, she often returned to visit her family in Detroit. In her free time in Montana, she spent a good deal of it writing her "romance" stories based on in Montana. Her husband left the N Bar  N to do his own ranching, which moved house for them--putting her in a more isolated location.

Their son Parker was born on August 1, 1897. By November Frances with baby Parker, and her sister Beatrice, were back in Detroit for the winter.

Frances looked for publishers--and finally in 1903 C. M. Clark Publishing Company (Boston) published her western romances, Marjie of the Lower Ranch. Her next book was Hope Hathaway, A Story of  Western Ranch Life, which contained watercolor illustrations by Charlie Russell.

By 1904 it was clear that the family changes, lifestyle changes and her long absences, had taken its toll on the marriage: it was is falling apart.  In 1905, Frances ignored a court summons of desertion and abandonment, and instead collected her belongings and her son. She then returned to Michigan--never to return Montana. Officially the marriage was  over in October 1905. Son Parker did eventually return to Montana where he lived there till after high school (1915).

Frances moved to her father’s farm south of Detroit to Rockwood, Michigan. But she was now a published author. The famous women's magazine, McClure’s, has asked her to write short stories. Then, according to the biographer quoted in the start, Frances met and married Clarence Tilton in 1906. 

Bertha Francis Parker & Clarence Addison Tilton abt 1907
It turns out that the Coroner named Dr. Parker mentioned in Henry Tilton's obituary is his wife's brother, not her father. It’s possible that  Clarence and Frances met at a family event--a party or a dinner to which he was invited.
The couple lived in Detroit for four years before moving to Bradenton, FL. Possibly once out of the Detroit social circles - where divorced women were still a scandal-it's possible Bradenton was more to their liking.

But by 1911, Clarence’s father (Henry Addison Tilton) was at his daughter’s in Chicago dying. Son Clarence travels from Florida, and son William from Butler, PA, to go to their father’s bedside.

I wonder if the their wives went, too: if so, how Flora G Bancroft Tilton (wife of William Tilton) and Bertha Frances Parker got along? Likely the two women knew how to behave. I wonder if  Frances was bold? Did she give Gertrude an autographed book? I wonder if my grandfather (who would have been a young boy) go with them?

Next Clarence became the County Auditor in Florida. 
But as World War 1 drew near, he moved on to New Mexico. Sometimes the facts aren't enough: If I had known nothing of his wife’s first marriage, I would have thought he might have dragged her there. Now I am not sure this is the case at all. She might have been planning to incorporate Southwest Indian traditions in her next novel. 
In New Mexico Clarence worked as an Auditor for the US government. Apparently the Southwest agreed with them: after New Mexico, Clarence takes a job in Arizona at  a mine. Frances' son Parker came to stay with them. Parker Jacobs (his father's name) tends to pop up in the census bearing with the Tilton last name.
One biographer wrote this about their final days:
“By 1920, Clarence and Frances had moved to Jerome, Arizona, where William A. Clark’s United Verde Copper Company operations were booming, and Clarence found work as an accountant. 

Frances’s sister Beatrice and her family moved to Jerome, and, surprisingly, Parker Jacobs [Tilton--in the census], who had graduated from Chinook High School, also lived with them, working as a machinist at the mine. 
Not long after this, Clarence became ill with bronchial asthma, and his declining health meant Frances needed to earn an income.
She began writing in earnest … but C. M. Clark had gone out of business, and she had no connection with another publisher. Neither her personal life nor her professional life improved. 

Clarence Tilton died of heart and bronchial ailments at age forty-eight in October 1925. Thereafter, Frances buckled down to finish “A Woman of the Border” and submitted it to Curtis Brown, International Publishing, in April 1926. It was rejected.” -- **from "Romancing Montana - Frances Parker, Western Writer" by Mary L. Helland, 2010. *** 
I am indebted to Ms Helland's research on Frances Parker for filling in the gaps-and used large portions of her article. Full Article by Ms. Helland is here:
Montana Womens History - Mary L Helland

#8- Henry Addison Tilton– Funnels Alot of Living Into A Short Life

Henry Addison Tilton becomes upwardly mobile  
My maternal great-great grandfather was Henry Addison Tilton. It’s always interesting to see how children differ from their parents—yet others resemble them. After writing this I believe he must have taken the collective energy of his Tilton ancestors they got from chilling out in New Jersey and he funneled it into his short but full life: 
In post #10 I mention that from about 1700 on the Tiltons were in New Jersey--indeed, Henry’s father William dared moved them across the river to Brooklyn.

Henry Addison Tilton's parents were William Henry Tilton, 1820–1899 and Sarah Jane Conover, 1831–1895. He and his siblings were born in New Jersey. 

Henry A Tilton’s siblings:
1 William      b 1853 in New Jersey and died in 1910 in NY.
2 Amos (b NJ 1850, d. 1883) M. Catherine (Kate) Tompkins (b 1853 in NY-D. 1935). They had children: Margaret b 1871 2) May b 1873 3) Harry 1870 As of 1877 Amos was still in Brooklyn.
3 Margaret (Not sure of this).

In Brooklyn Henry’s father was a poultry dealer, as was his uncle-his father’s brother.
Henry married Louisa Copes of Staten Island, NY. (Born 8 April 1853 D. 28 Feb 1919 in New York)

Henry Addison & Louisa had three children: 
1 William Henry Tilton-1874–1916 
(Gertrude Bancroft’s husband from 52 Ancestors from Post # 8)
2 Isabella (Belle) C. Tilton-1875–1940 (married Charles Roe, 4 children)
3 Clarence Addison Tilton-1877–1925 (in 52 Ancestors # 12)
While in Brooklyn he participated and became a member of his wife’s Moravian Church.
Henry worked as a salesman in New York City (likely Brooklyn) in the plate glass business. His entire business career was involved in some way with the plate glass industry. 
Eventually his energy and his business acumen got him sent to Butler, PA to be the manager in the Plate Glass Company there. “…Henry A Tilton…at one time general manager of the Standard company.” – [from National Glass Budget Weekly; Review of the American Glass Industry, July 24, 1915.]

Butler was, compared to Brooklyn, a small city. It's north of Pittsburgh but it is the county seat of Butler County. I’m unable to pinpoint the year of his move, but likely before 1890. His son William (my great grandfather) was working at the same company in 1892: In 1915 a paper reported that William (his son) was resigning after “23 years continuous service…with the Standard Plate Glass Co.” [National Glass Budget, Weekly Review of the American Glass Industry]

Still, Henry kept himself busy in Butler: “he served a term on the town council and took an active part in the promotion for the betterment of the community.” At some point his children married and moved on--except for William (my great grandfather) who stayed in Butler. 

He was in his middle age, but HAT wasn’t slowing down: in the late 1890s he and Louisa moved first to Boston where he took a job with the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. (Now PP&G, a conglomerate of paints, glass and varnish). The plate glass business (as opposed to window glass) was booming and he was bringing together his knowledge in the glass products with his business skills.

Shortly thereafter, they were transferred to Detroit. His time in Detroit, from 1897 to 1909, was a busy one:

He was a member of American Legion of Honor, National Provident Union, the IOOF; the F & A.M, being a thirty-second degree Mason, the Midtown Sovereign Consistory, Detroit Commmandery No 1, Moslem Temple, Mystic Shrine, and King Cyrus Chapter.                  

He and Louisa lived in Detroit City, and were members of a country club: the “Daus Blue Book of Detroit,” lists them as members of “The Wallace” Club.

Eventually the founders of his company went their separate ways, and the company underwent a complete restructure in the 1890s.
So, while in Detroit, HAT founded the Central Plate Glass Company, and managed the H.W. Schmidt Picture Frame Company.   
Henry continued building his career, and they moved to San Francisco, CA (he would have been 54) by 1910.

A year later, he was working in Los Angeles, undoubtedly energetically getting LA all glassed-up.
But “failing health compelled his retirement. He then came back to Chicago and spent the last months of his life an invalid at the home of his daughter Mrs. Charles (Belle Tilton) Roe.”
Belle tended her father in his illness till he died on October 1, 1911.

Henry Addison Tilton was interred in the Moravian Cemetery in Staten Island (October 3, 1911): the same cemetery his wife Louisa’s family was buried in.
Henry Addison Tilton’s 1911 obituary describes him:
“a man of genial and social disposition, unselfish almost to a fault and the number of his friends was limited only by the extent of his acquaintance. He had strong religious convictions, lived an upright life and was a model husband and father. He is survived by his wife, two sons, William H. Tilton of Butler and Clarence A. Tilton of Bradenton, Florida and one daughter Mrs. Charles H. Roe of Chicago. All of these were present in his dying hour. Five grandchildren also survive him.”

If his life was rather short--it was also rather full!

#7 - The Tiltons Move to America & Have to Rest Up for 200 Years

The Tiltons emigrate to America

The Tilton family emigrated first to Massachusetts, like so many of the time. But, in their case, the father and two grown sons immigrate independently of each other.

Generation 1- William Tilton-emigrated to America
   B. 1586/1587 in Leicestershire, England
   Marr: 1610/1611 in Leicestershire, England
   D. 1653 - Lynn, Massachusetts

William Married 1st: Ursula Pycroft 
  Ursula Pycroft - Poor Ursula never made it to America.
B-1586 -Leicestershire, England D-1638 - Warwickshire, England

Ursula Pycroft, the mother of John Tilton & Peter Tilton who both emigrated to America. 
Wiliam Marries 2nd-S. Hayes

Gen 2 in America
In my branch, immigrant and eldest son John Tilton (B. 1612/1613 Warwickshire, England) moves first to Mass, then to NY. John died March 1688 at Gravesend, NY.

Tiltons move to New Jersey--and Stay There

Gen 3 in America
John’s second son, Peter Tilton (B. 1642 in Lynn, MA) lived in but didn’t stay in NY. Peter moved to New Jersey settle and died there in 1699 in Monmouth County, NJ.

It was Peter who started this line of Tiltons in New Jersey. 

From Peter Tilton (1642-1699) to Generation 8--William Henry Tilton--all the Tiltons were born in New Jersey. Garret J Tilton (Gen 7) was the final Tilton of this line who was born and died in New Jersey. He was born in Monmouth County NJ in 1783, and died there in 1850.

Breaking up with New Jersey
It took William Henry Tilton (Gen 8) to make the break. He and his wife and children moved all the way to Brooklyn, NY in the mid-1800s.

The Tiltons enter the Industrial Age
You will need to read the next post #11 on Henry Addison Tilton (Gen 9 of the Tiltons in America) to find out what they did next.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

#6 - The Barnwells and post by guest on Dick Barnwell, Changed by Travel

Guest blogger writes about his uncle, Dick Barnwell

John Joseph Lawrence Barnwell was my paternal grandmother’s father (my father’s mother’s father). Catherine Barnwell was also known as Kitty and as Kate
Her father (JJL Barnwell, mentioned above) was born on Dec 16, 1881 in Brooklyn, Kings County in New York. He died in October of 1948, likely in Long Island City (Queens), NY. 

He married Agnes McCune at the turn of the century in NY, NY, when he was almost 21. They had 8 children who lived to adulthood. 

 In this Christmas photo:   
Top: Vincent (m. Ronnie); Gerard (m. Lucy), Thomas (m. Vera)
Bottom: Richard (m. Mae), Larry (m. Helen Hannon)
The counterpart Christmas photo has their wives
L to R: Vera (wife of Thomas), Ronnie, (Wife of Vincent), Lucy (wife of Gerard), Helen (wife of Larry) 
Bottom: Mae, (wife of Richard)
*One of the sons was married more than once 
A Little Barnwell Family History 

GUEST BLOGGER – John Higgins, Sr.
October 22, 2010 

My maternal grandfather,[mentioned above-John Joseph Lawrence Barnwell] was a little guy, about 5′ 2″ and 125 lbs. He was teamster and worked for the Railway Express. In the early 1920s he fell down a flight of stairs while carrying a trunk up the stairs. He received a leg injury, which never was corrected and he could not work. Railway Express put him on sick leave, but in that era there was no sick time or workman’s compensation. Thus, the family lived on NYC Home Relief and my grandmother’s earnings as building superintendent and charwoman. 

The children, 5 boys and 4 girls helped out as they came of age, but none of them finished high school.  

Richard (Dick) Barnwell (Catherine Barnwell Higgins’ brother) - A Man Changed by Travel. 

My uncle Dick, Richard Barnwell, was a man of natural intelligence and taste, but little schooling in his youth. Before World War II Dick was self-educated. He introduced me to poetry at an early age, via “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.” He was also a card-carrying Communist, a Marxist, as were most in NYC, not a Stalinist. The WPA (not to be confused with the PWA) ran a lot of training programs, including a program for aircraft mechanic. Dick must have enrolled. 

When we entered World War II he volunteered and was assigned to a P-38 squadron for the North African invasion in 1942. I don’t think he came back during the war, serving in North Africa, Sicily and Italy; he was too interested in new sights (sight-seeing at government expense?) When we finally got to Rome much of the population had fled and things were pretty loose. Dick went to see the Vatican and walked into the Sistine Chapel by himself. He looked up and was thunderstruck. I suppose he knew of it, but the art books of the time carried small black and white pictures, if that. He said he didn’t know how long he stood there. We have been there, but we were prepared and in a crown of other tourists. It was magnificent, even at that, but I can’t imagine the impact on sensitive, self-educated person who wasn’t prepared for the experience. 

Dick came back in 1946, when the occupation ended. He took advantage of the GI Bill to get his secondary schooling and get a BA at school for GIs setup in Plattsburg, NY. There he met another GI, female named Mae Jones who was the brightest student in the class. They married, got their degrees in engineering and then went to Ohio State for their masters,’ where she was still the brightest student in the class.

They took jobs with Martin Aircraft in Baltimore and went with Martin when it moved to Denver. 

We visited them in 1961. She seemed to be an average suburban housewife but by that time she was in charge of on-line modifications. Later, she opened her own engineering consulting office. Later, I think she was president of Society of Women Engineers, but I’m not sure, because I never bothered to learn her maiden name, so I can’t look her up. 

By the time we visited him Dick was into real estate development and local politics, out of engineering. But what really surprised me was his attitude. From a typical New Yorker, who wouldn’t turn around to see the Statue of Liberty walk down 5th Avenue on her hands, he morphed into a man who loved his adopted city. On the night we got there, he took us up on a hill to see his beautiful city. Time does wonders. 
 - GUEST BLOGGER – John Higgins, Sr.