Nevertheless, She Persisted

sm-cleaned-corrected-newkirk-margaret

“Aunt Margret Newkirk” is written on the back of this cabinet card that was found in Auburn, Indiana. The sitter is Margaret (nee Warwick).  The inscription leads me to believe this photo belonged to Maud Kelley, a foster daughter, who lived in the Newkirk home for some years, and who fondly referred to the sitter as Aunt Margret (a variation of Margaret.)

Margaret Newkirk was a daughter, a wife, and a mother.  But, she wasn’t defined by the traditional roles of women in the 19th century. You see, Margaret was a suffragette!

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Killed by the Cars

blog BERGER Emma

On January 27, 1890, Emma (nee Berger) Toomey, aged 26, died after being run over by a train. Almost two years later, on December 23, 1891, her husband, Michael Toomey, was also “killed by the cars.”  It’s believed they were struck because they couldn’t hear the train coming, as both  Emma and Michael lost their hearing as the result of childhood illnesses.

1890 Jan 28 BERGER Emma Death The Fort Wayne Sentinel Pg 1
The Fort Wayne Sentinel (Indiana) Jan. 28, 1890

I wonder if anyone else thinks it’s possible Michael’s death was a suicide.  It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that a deaf man whose wife was killed by a train would be walking on the tracks!

1891 Dec 24 TOOMEY Michael KILLED BY THE CARS The Daily Democrat Huntington Indiana Pg 2
The Daily Democrat (Huntington, IN) – Dec 24, 1891

The timing and circumstances of Michael’s death also make it very suspect.  He and Emma were married on December 25, 1884, so their anniversary was near, as was the anniversary of Emma’s death.  Also, Michael just remarried and it seems from the following newspaper report that he may not have had everything in order for his new bride.  Possibly the stress was too much?

1891 Dec 25 TOOMEY Michael DEATH Huntington Weekly Herald Huntington Ind Pg 5
Huntington Weekly Herald (Indiana) – Dec. 25, 1891

Nonetheless, it was a tragic event, whether Michael’s death was an unfortunate accident or suicide, Not only did it adversely affect his newlywed bride, Jennie (nee Emerling), but it left Michael and Emma’s young daughter, Grace, without either of her parents.

Note – The spelling B”a”rger was surely an error on the carte de visite. Emma’s maiden name is indeed Berger, as indicated from the 1880 census, her marriage record, as well as her daughter’s marriage record.

Sources:
Census records
Find A Grave
Indiana marriage records
Index to Digest of Obituaries Published in Newspapers of Columbia City, Whitley County, Indiana, 1856-1910, Compiled by Nellie M. Raber
U.S. Special Census on Deaf Family Marriages and Hearing Relatives, 1890
Peabody Public Library, Columbia City, Indiana
Columbia City Commercial, Columbia City, Indiana, Jan. 29, 1890
Columbia City Commercial, Columbia City, Indiana, Dec. 30, 1891
Indiana School for the Deaf
Then and Now: The Old Deaf School

 

 

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Unrelenting Death

Lizzie and Emma Boeckling

This cabinet card was found in a Goshen, Indiana shop and features Lizzie and Emma Boeckling during happier times; I uncovered a sad tale during my research.

Lizzie and Emma were two of six children born to John and Johanna Boeckling  of LaPorte, Indiana.  They were the middle children, with the eldest being Carrie and Albert, and Frank and Hattie, the babies of the family.  Tuberculosis, also known as consumption, took five of them to the grave.  And strangely, Carrie, Albert and Lizzie, the first three to succumb to the disease, each died when they were 30 years old.

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Davie’s Snap Shot

Davie Palmer
This photo was found in a shop in Defiance, Ohio.  The name Davie Palmer is scrawled on the back.  The photographer was Pinder in Garrett, Indiana.

David Palmer was born in 1875 and lived in Richland township, a small community near Garrett.  He worked as a railroad section hand, never married and died, aged 45, of sudden heart trouble.

Sources:
Census records
Find A Grave
World War I Draft Registration

 

 

The Two Wives

John and Melissa Bennett Beck

I picked up this carte de visite, also known as a cdv, at the Markle Antique Mall in Markle, Indiana.  The words John Beck & wife were penned above the sitters’ heads. Based on the wife’s fashion and hairstyle, I loosely date the cdv to the 1870s.

John Beck had two wives…no, not at the same time.  But, two wives meant that I needed to gather as many pieces of the puzzle as possible in order to know which of John’s wives sat for this photograph.

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The gang’s almost all here

John William Stuck
John William Stuck

I discovered these photos in a shop in Warsaw, Indiana.  Although the gentleman sitter has his name, John William Stuck, written on the back of the cabinet card, he would be impossible to identify if it hadn’t been for the second photo found in the pile.  That photo, a cabinet card featuring three children, identified on the back as Mabel Stuck, Susie Tyrone Stuck, and Clesson Daniel Stuck, provided a location of Elkhart, Indiana.

Mabel, Susie and Clesson Stuck
Mabel, Susie Tyrone and Clesson Daniel Stuck

John William Stuck was born in 1856 in Pennsylvania and came with his family, as a young boy, to Elkhart, Indiana where he wed Mary Prudence Newman.  The couple made their home in Elkhart, where they raised their seven children, the eldest three being Mabel, Clesson and Susie.  Based on how old the children appear to be in the photo, along with the fact that John and Mary welcomed a son, Bernard, in 1894, I date the children’s photo to 1892 or 1893.

In order to date John’s photo, I consulted the 19th Century Card Photos KwikGuide by Gary W. Clark.  His hair and clothing appear to fit with styles seen from 1879 to 1885.  The turned up collar, which was popular in the 1850s and 60s, was making a comeback in the 1880s. He isn’t wearing a wedding ring, which may be a clue that the photo was taken prior to his marriage in 1881.  Of course, it’s also possible that he didn’t wear a ring.

Elkhart Carriage and Harness Manufacturing

During his life, John worked as a carriage maker, and later was employed as a wood pattern maker by the Elkhart (Elcar) Motor Company.  I suspect that he began working for the motor company when it was known as Elkhart Carriage and Harness Manufacturing.

I should be satisfied to have rescued these images, but I can’t help but wish that I found a photo of Mary and the other children.  It would be nice to complete the family and keep them together.

Sources
Census records
Coachbuilt – History of Elkhart Carriage and Elkhart Auto

Elkhart Carriage advertisement