Wednesday, August 24, 2011

1880 -- Going Back in Time with William and Eva Moore

1880 found 31 year old William O. Moore working as a laborer in Leslie, Ingham County Michigan – a tiny town less than 30 miles south of Lansing, Michigan.  The native of England married Michigan born Eva (27) five years before in December of 1874, and they were now blessed with two children: three year old George E. and a December baby, Anna M.

It is possible that William and Eva moved to Ingham County to be closer to Eva’s father, Clarkson Flansburgh (57), who was a blacksmith in the area, and her older brother, George C. Flansburgh (28), who was a music teacher.  Due to the untimely death of Eva’s mother, she had been raised by her maternal grandparents and was not geographically close to her father and brother as a child.  Now, all three of them and their new families were settled within a few miles of each other.

Even in their first years of marriage, William and Eva’s home was a welcoming place.  William’s sister-in-law Barbara (26) – his younger brother Frederick’s wife – and her two daughters Ivy B. (6) and Nellie L. (1) were staying with William and Eva’s family that June while Frederick, a sailor, was probably away on the Great Lakes.

When at home, Frederick (30), Barbara, and their growing family lived on the shore of Lake Michigan in South Haven, Van Buren County, Michigan.  William and Frederick’s younger brother Thomas (22) – who was also a sailor – lived with them.  Their parents, John and Anne Moore, had died five and six years before leaving the youngest parentless at age 16.

It is obvious from their 1880 living arrangements that this immigrant family formed close bonds as they determined to help each other get through any challenges that came their way.

Monday, August 22, 2011

1920 -- William and Eva Moore's Growing Family

Lawrence Moore in his Navy uniform
By 1920, things had quieted down some for 71 year old house carpenter William O. Moore and his wife Eva (66).  They were now living in their rented home at 120 S. Stockton Street in Elkhorn (Lodi), San Joaquin County, California.  The last decade had brought a lot of change to the family – and the country.  Except for 26 year old Lawrence, all the children were married and living on their own.

Five years earlier – in 1915 – William, Eva, and their youngest son had returned to Allegan County, Michigan to be close to their oldest son George and his family.  Much of the world was at war at the time, but the struggle seemed far away from the Moore’s peaceful home in the United States.  That changed when the U.S. joined the struggle in 1917.  The war became very real to the Moore family when their “baby,” Lawrence, left to serve his country during the Great War.

The return to Michigan only lasted 3 years, and William and Eva returned to San Joaquin County, California, in 1918.  The war was over, but Lawrence was still an engineman in the Navy, so they probably didn’t see him much. Four of their children were in Elkhorn, however, so William and Eva had 7 of their 11 grandchildren living in the area.

Anna and her family lived only a 10 minute walk away at 505 E. Hilborn Street.  Anna’s husband, George W. Van Noate was still working at a plumbing shop, and the two boys were working too.  Leon B. (19) was a janitor at a hardware store, and his younger brother Reid M. (16) did the same thing at a dental office.

Ruth E. (33) and her husband Fredrick Dougherty (31) were living at 18 W. Lockeford Road – a home they owned free of mortgage.  Fred had moved up in his business and expanded as well.  He worked of his own accord as a real estate agent, but he also worked in insurance.

William F. (35) and his wife Ethel (38) were renting a farmhouse on Lockeford Road, and he worked as a truck driver to support their growing family.  He and Ethel were blessed with two boys and a girl: Kenneth (7), Frances (6), and Charles (4).

Glen O. Moore (29) was still self-employed as a farmer.  His general farm was now supporting wife Elisabeth (24) and two children: Lloyd (6) and Grace (5).

William O. and Eva Moore’s daughter Bess was probably still living in Spokane, Washington where her husband Dr. M. E. Galbreath was a dentist.  He was enumerated on the census while at his workplace, but their home address has proved trickier to locate.

Back by the Great Lakes, George (42) and his family had jumped the Michigan/Indiana border a couple of times in the last decade. By 1920, George was working for the South Bend Toy Company in South Bend, Indiana.  Although under mortgage, George and Elsie owned their home at 1619 Leer Street – which wasn’t too far away from the factory. Their oldest, twelve year old Richard W. was a carrier boy for the newspaper, and they had three young daughters: Ruth (10), Margaret (8), and Georgene (2 ½).

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Zachary Pruett

1910 -- The Moore Family: Hard at Work

The Moore household was a bustling place in 1910.  William O. and Evangeline M. Moore had relocated to the Elkhorn township in beautiful San Joaquin County, California, and would have considered themselves residents of Lodi, California.  The 61 and 56 year old couple were now renting a home that housed three generations. William made ends meet by working as a house carpenter, but business wasn’t always good.  He had been out of work for 3 months during the previous year, but at least he had a job.  Two of his neighbors – also house carpenters – were still out of work.  Those doing really well in the Moore’s neighborhood were involved in the local grape and cheese industries.

This mission-style arch was built in Lodi, CA in 1907, and this photograph was probably taken about 1909 or 1910.
The move away from Michigan meant leaving their oldest boy behind.  George (32) was currently a sailor on the Great Lakes and had a family of his own after marrying Elsie (26) three years before.  The young family was now blessed with 2 year old Richard and baby Ruth.

William F. was now the oldest single child at home.  At age 22, he was working out as a laborer – probably on a local farm.  His job was slightly more consistent than his father’s.  He only missed one month of work during 1909.  Nineteen year old Glenn O. was an ambitious young man and already a proprietor working of his own accord.  In other words, he was self employed.  The youngest, 16 year old Lawrence L, wasn’t working all the time yet, but he too was doing his part as a helper at a garage.

Also living in the family home were William and Evangeline’s daughter and son-in-law Anna and George W. Van Noate and their 9 and 6 year old boys Leon and Reid.  At age 31, George Van Noate worked as a plumber, and Anna, although a laborer of some kind, was currently unemployed – if you call caring for two young boys unemployment!  Her youngest son, Reid M., was the only true Californian of the household as his family’s migration had taken place before his birth.

William and Evangeline’s middle daughter wasn’t even in California.  Bess (27) had married Merritt E. Galbreath (28) two years before.  He was a farmer’s son from her home state of Michigan.  By 1910, they were living in Spokane, Washington, where he was a dentist.

At least the youngest girl, newlywed Ruth E. (25), was still in town.  Her husband Fred A. Dougherty, Jr. (22) was a third generation Californian who followed his father into the real estate business.  He worked as a notary public and clerk in the office.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

1900 -- The William and Eva Moore Family

Lawrence Lloyd Moore as a boy
In 1900, William O. Moore was working as a blacksmith. He owned his house in Ganges, Michigan – a little town barely a mile from the coast of Lake Michigan – but the home was still under mortgage.

William was a native of England, but, by age 51, he had been living in his adopted country of the United States for 44 years. He and his wife Eva (48) had just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. In all, the couple had eight children, but only six were still at home. One of their children had died young, and their oldest daughter Anna (20) had just recently married a fruit grower named George W. VanNoate, Jr., and the young couple was living with his parents.

William and Eva still had their oldest child with them, however. At age 22, George E. Moore was working as a telephone lineman. Seventeen year old Bessie J. was already out of school, but the youngest four, Ruth E. (15), William F. (12), Glenn O. (9), and Lawrence L. (6) were still hard at work in school. Only little Lawrence (my great grandfather) didn’t know how to read or write yet.