Saturday, February 1, 2014

Inconvenient Burials

The recent discovery of King Richard III's remains underneath a parking lot in Leicester England led me to wonder:  How often has this scenario played out to the extent we can be made aware?

For starters, we must acknowledge that most every piece of land on earth has some human remains underneath.  There are countless numbers of ancient tribal burial grounds that have been paved over with nary a thought, in the name of 'development'.

But in some cases, we do have stories available to us...

1.  King Richard III (1452-1485)

The (in)famous skeleton was discovered using ground penetrating radar.


2.  Mary Ellis (died 1828)

The tragic story of Mary Ellis, who died in New Brunswick, New Jersey while waiting for her sea captain lover to come back to her, at least has a happier ending than many.  The grave she and her family were placed in grave was kept in tact while a discount store parking lot built around her in the 1960s.  The site is now a movieplex parking lot, and the new construction appears to have honored Mary's grave.

3.  Funtown USA!

In Saco, Maine, a 150 year old burial ground containing at least 17 graves was left intact while they built a theme park.  In 2006, however, it was discovered, by a descendant of one of the departed, that the themepark was built too close to the graveyard, a violation of State cemetery violation law.  Somehow the park owners were given the right to move the cemetery to somewhere else, instead of creating a greater setback.  The graves were moved to Laurel Hill Cemetery on Beach Street in Saco.  I think in this case it would have been fun to turn the area into an attraction for the park, by telling stories of the deceased, and finding a way to honor their memory, while creating the appropriate State-required 25' buffer around the cemetery.  But, it appears that the family of the deceased wanted it this way.

Here's a timeline of three aerial photos of the site:

MAY 2010
MAY 2012
4.  Melvin-Lewis Cemetery, Colorado

A Wal-Mart and other stores have been placed very close to the old Melvin-Lewis Cemetery.  Unfortunately, due to vandalism, no headstones remain. A local family had one new headstone placed there to honor all of the family members.

5.  University of Mississippi Medical School

One thousand bodies (and more to be discovered) were found underground of a future parking lot slated for UM Med School.  The bodies were believed to be those of inmates at the Mississippi State Mental Asylum a century ago.  The burials took place from between the Civil War to the Asylum's closure in 1935.  For now (as of Feb. 2014) the bodies are to be left alone and the construction to be conducted elsewhere (even though other potential sites might also be burial grounds).


Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Plummers of Raymond

The Plummer family of Raymond originally came from England just after the Mayflower, as part of the Great Migration.  The earliest settler appears to have been Joseph Plummer (sometimes spelled "Plumer") in 1633. Joseph and his son, Joseph Jr. (1654-1728), were early settlers of Newbury, Massachusetts.

The son of Joseph Jr was Aaron Plumer (1693-1755).  In 1728, Aaron Plumer received a land grant from the town of Scarborough, on the condition that he leave Newbury and settle in Scarborough permanently.  He arrived in 1730, and the area later came to be known as Plumer's Neck (now known as Winnock's Neck), but the name Plummer's Island remains at the end of Winnock's Neck:

Aaron's son Moses (1723-1798) was born in Rowley Mass, and migrated to Scarborough with his father, where he remained for the rest of his life.  He married Mary Dyer of Scarborough.

Moses' son was Jesse Plummer (1754-1822) who moved from Scarborough and was the first in the family to move to Raymond.  Jesse's son, William Plummer, Sr. (1782-1828), had ten children in Raymond, and is the patriarch of the very large Plummer family remaining in Raymond today.

William Plummer IV (great grandson to William Sr.) (1870-1943) married to Georgia Anna Edwards of Raymond, and had two children:  Hazel (who died at age four), and their only son, Elwin Herbert Plummer (1915-1973), who married my aunt Laura Clarke (1925-2009) (after Laura had divorced Elwin's cousin Charlie Bickford).  Elwin and Laura ran the Plummer Farm in Raymond (pictured below) until Elwin passed in '73.




The Edwards Family of Raymond Maine

Elijah Hamblen Edwards (1844-1928) came originally from Otisfield, Maine (which was founded by his Edwards ancestors) and moved to Raymond along with his brother Francis when they were just teenagers.  Elijah married Eliza Jane Cobb of Poland Maine, and had five children together:

1.  Sarah Frances Edwards (1881-1964) was nicknamed "Fannie".  She married Eugene Bickford of Naples, Maine in 1897, who was 17 years older.

(ABOUT 1910)
Fanny was unable to have children, but she adopted her sister Nell's son, Charles Granville Varney, when he was a boy, renaming him Charlie Bickford.  In 1945, Charlie was first to marry my aunt Laura Matilda Clarke, after divorcing his first wife, Phyllis Cummings.

(ABOUT 1916)

2.  Nellie H. Edwards (1889-1985) married George Albert Varney of Naples, Maine at the age of 15. They had Charlie Granville Varney in 1913.  Nell and George divorced shortly afterwards, and Nell gave Charlie up for adoption by her older sister Fanny.  She eventually remarried to Charles W. Guptill in 1920, and had one daughter, Myrtle Guptill, who died as a young lady.

(ABOUT 1910)

(ABOUT 1960)


3.  Granville Edwards (1891-1970) was a fireman who lived in Naples Maine with his wife Edith and their three children.

4.  Charles Clinton Edwards (1894-1983) moved up to Wilton with his wife Pearl and their four children, and worked in the woolen mill.  I believe his family called him Clayton.

5.  Georgia Anna Edwards (1895-1975) married William Herbert Plummer in 1914.  They had two children:  Hazel (who died at age four), and Elwin (1915-1973).  Elwin was the second man to marry my aunt Laura Matilda Clarke of Scarborough.

(ABOUT 1970)

(ABOUT 1965)

The Edwards Family of Otisfield

The Edwards family of Otisfield Maine (which was part of Cumberland County until 1978, when it  changed to Oxford County) appears to have come initially from Wales around 1700, with the migration of John Edwards, Sr. to Haverhill, Massachusetts.  His son, John, Jr., had many children in Haverhill.  Two of them, Jonathan and William, migrated to Otisfield in the early 1800s and were among this town's earliest settlers.


Jonathan Edwards (1747-1837) and his wife, Hannah Heath, migrated to New Hampshire in the 1770s and had their four children, including John "White Eye" Edwards, Sally Edwards-Morse, Nathaniel Edwards, and Stevens Edwards (more on him below).  This family migrated to Otisfield sometime prior to 1810.

Stevens Edwards (1773-1855) was born in Sandoun, New Hampshire.  He married Deliverance Hamblin of Gorham, Maine, and had eight children in Otisfield, including Stevens Edwards, Jr., who was nicknamed "Deacon Ronko".

Deacon Ronko (1811-1890) married Abigail Hamblin (potentially his cousin).  They had three sons in Otisfield (Elijah, William and Francis).  William moved to Mechanic Falls, but Elijah and Francis moved on to Raymond.

Elijah Hamblen Edwards (1844-1928), great grandson to Jonathan, married Eliza Jane Cobb of Poland Maine, and had five children who they raised in Raymond.  Elijah's grandsons, Charlie Bickford and Elwin Plummer, both married my aunt, Laura Matilda Clarke of Scarborough, Maine, whose maternal grandfather was John Henry Temm of Scarborough.


William Edwards (1755-1845) fought in the Revolution in Nathaniel Gage's Company, Colonel Garrish's Regiment of Guards.  He married Lydia Baker in Haverhill.  Their son, Ephraim Edwards (1797-1877), had two sons, Jonas and Dennis.

William's grandson Dennis (1832-1898) married Sadie Temm, who was sister to John Henry Temm (mentioned above).  Dennis died of a head wound stemming from an accident (a Brunswick train bound for Portland collided with his horse carriage at "Curtis Corner" in Freeport).

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

John Ozias Clark


John Ozias Clark (1847-1926) was a man of controversy in the Clark family.  He is the patriarch  to one of the largest Clark legacies in Connecticut, having fathered at least 15 children, many of whom told stories of sadness over how they were treated, many others of whom defended him and his actions.

John was born the summer of 1847, the third of twelve children born to Leonard & Esther Clark of East Haddam. He fought in the 20th Connecticut Regiment in the Civil War alongside his father, and married Alice Emerline Rose shortly afterwards.  John and Alice had 6 children:

1. SARAH ADELE CLARK (1869-1941).  Sarah was a spinster who lived in New Haven, and is buried at Race Hill Cemetery in North Madison, CT, alongside her mother.


2. EVERETT ROSE CLARK (1871-1949) married his second cousin, Besse Agnes Clark (who was a descendant of James A. Clark).  They had seven children, two of whom perished as babies in 1900 (having contracted disease brought on by exposure to John Ozias' sick daughter Esther, who also died in 1900, at a time when John was trying to make amends to Everett).  Everett did not get along with Besse after she had left him around 1918 and had run off with a young carpenter named George Gleason.  Everett had to raise the five surviving children by himself.  According to Everett's son Maurice, the State child welfare people came to the house to take the children away and Everett threw one of the men off the second floor of the house.  Maurice said they never came back again.  Everett considered her dead when she left. That's why he put "widower" on the 1920 Census. By the 1930 Census, he was living alone, and put himself down as Divorced.  Some of Everett's grandchildren and their descendants live in Connecticut today.

3. GEORGE L. CLARK (1873-1882).  George died very young of drowning, according to the below article excerpt from "The Connecticut Valley Advertiser" July 1, 1882:
George W. Clark, A lad nearly nine years of age, was drowned in the pond of Boise Mill last Sunday afternoon while bathing with other boys. The body was soon recovered and every means used by our village physician, Dr. Knowlton, to resuscitate, but without avail. The mother of the boy, with quite a family of small children, recently came to this village from the town farm and is in destitute circumstances. The whereabouts of the father of the children is unknown.
4. ELLEN A. CLARK (1875-1887) died at age 12.

5. HARRIET ESTHER CLARK (1878-1968).  Harriet married George McCann and remained in East Haddam.  She had five children.  One of her sons, Horace, moved to Naugatuck, CT, and had ten children of his own.

6. FRANKLIN EUGENE CLARK (1880-1958).  Frank (pictured above with his brother Everett) had a horrific accident while playing with large firecrackers as a 14 year old boy, leaving him without a right arm.  When the injury occurred, he walked by himself about 15 miles to the hospital for treatment.  Frank worked for the town of Essex, CT, for a while.  He would handle a shovel and street broom as good as anyone else.  He also handled a team of oxen...all with a hook for a right hand!  He and his wife Kathy had two daughters.


Judging from the article regarding George's drowning in the summer of 1882, John Ozias had likely neglected his children quite soon after fathering the last of them with Alice.  It has been said by a descendant of Everett's that John had left his children behind to work in the Neptune Twine and Cord Mill Factory, and living at the nasty tenements known as Johnsonville.  John's father, Leonard Sherman came and got them from the work farm, and raised the boys himself for a time, and also had the girls raised by cousins in Madison and Guilford.

Alice applied to the East Haddam Alms House, and was accepted into it in Aug. of 1881...when Franklin Eugene Clark was just a year old. John O. left her prior to that, obviously. Alice was in and out of the poor house three times between 1881 and 1888. When she checked in during 1888, she stayed there until Oct. 4, 1917, when she was then transferred to the CT Hospital for the Insane (now CT Valley Hospital) in Middletown. 

Now, the degradation of her mental faculties must have happened while at the Alms House, because the town historian says that being 'insane' would have actually kept you from being ADMITTED to the Alms House in the first place. Alice and John officially divorced in 1900.

Some sources state that John had claimed Alice to have been unfaithful, and that this was grounds for his desertion and divorce.  Still other sources state that Alice kept her children away from John (hard to believe, given her status as a ward of the State).  Either way, Alice remained in State custody for the rest of her life, dying in 1929 at CT Valley Hospital.  Many of her descendants were surprised to read the obituary, given that they had believed she disappeared and had abandoned them, and had no idea that she was in State custody.

Five days after divorcing his first wife, John married Antonette Rose (potentially a cousin to Alice, according to one source, and was daughter to Laura Ann Bogue, mentioned in other blog posts), and had an additional 9 children.

7.  ESTHER E. CLARK (1900-1900).  Esther was carrying a disease when John brought her to Everett's house, and infected two of Everett's babies (see above).

8.  MARION CLARK (1901-1901).  Died as an infant.

9.  HOWARD LESLIE CLARK, (1902-1936).  Howard never married, and died at age 33 in an auto accident on CT Highway 66.  From the "Middletown Press", dated 3 February 1936...
Driver Killed As Car Is Overturned...

Hadlyme Resident Crushed Beneath Roadster Sunday On Meriden Road...

Middlefield, Feb 3. - Death rode the highways of Middlesex County over the week-end and claimed as its victim Howard E. Clark, aged 31 years, of Hadlyme, who was crushed beneath a roadster he was operating which had crashed into the rear of a parked pleasure car near the Mira Meechi section on the Middletown-Meriden highway. Two passengers in the machine with Clark crawled from beneath the wreckage, both slightly injured. Clark died instantly. His head was crushed and he suffered other hurts. Coroner Lownds A. Smith conducted a preliminary investigation and today set down his inquest tentatively for Friday morning in Middletown.

Clark according to state policeman Richard C. Hall of Westbrook barracks, had spent Saturday night in Waterbury and was returning home. While driving through Meriden he stopped to pick up Salvatore LaBella, of 650 High Street and Leo Solito, of 31 North Main Street, both of Middletown, who had been in the silver city attending a social function. They did not know him.

Clark's passengers told the state policeman afterwards that they were sorry that they accepted the lift and were frightened throughout the journey to the accident scene, because of Clark's erratic driving. They said he steered a zig-zag route and that steam from the radiator froze, obscuring the passengers vision.

Almost without warning the car crashed into a rear fender on a parked Chevrolet sedan, then continued 15 feet overturned with its occupants and swinging completely around to face west. Solito and LaBella got out unaided but Clark's body was not extricated for some time. When police and others attempted to lift the roadster, it fell apart. It was a complete wreck. Clark was identified by two motor vehicle licenses found on his person.

John J. Kenesky, who gave an address of box 254, Middletown, informed police at the crash he was seated behind the wheel of the sedan, which was owned by George Koba of Middlefield. Kenesky, Koba, Loretta Jarzabek and Antoinette Bankoski comprised the group in this car which was stopped on its own side of the highway at the time and the lights left on to let one of the young ladies out as her home was nearby. They had been in Meriden.

Kenesky said they all heard the Clark car coming and after the crash saw the wrecked roadster continue along for several feet and topple over. They summoned Anthony Bankoski and his young lady friend, who were in another parked car in a nearby yard.

The accident occurred at 12:30 A.M., on Saturday and brought a response from Middletown police headquarters. Officers Lundberg and Novak being detailed and later state policeman Hall arrived as the territory was out of the jurisdiction of Middletown police. Patrolman Lundberg and Novak assisted state trooper Hall in his investigation. No action was taken against Kenesky.

Clark leaves his mother, Mrs. Nettie Clark; four sisters, Mrs. Dennison Hall, Mrs. Araunah Tooker, Mrs. Raymond Leavenworth and Miss Rachel Clark, all of Hadlyme.

Funeral services will be held at the Jewett Funeral Home in Old Lyme Wednesday at 2 P.M., Rev. Rawson Holgate will officiate. Burial will be in the Chester Cemetery, East Haddam.

10. LAURA MAE CLARK (1904-1986).  Laura married Araunah Charles Tooker (nephew to Lizzie Tooker, who married John Ozias' younger brother Niles) and was a lifelong resident of Hadlyme.  They had only one child, Freda Electa Tooker, who died as an infant.

11. RACHEL ESME CLARK (1906-1986).  Rachel married Ralph Ramon Tooker (brother to Araunah) and lived in Norwich.  She worked as a housekeeper for private homes in Lyme.  They had two children (Nathaniel, who died as a teenager, and Laura, who had three children).

12. LEILA BELLE CLARK (1908-1985).  Leila Belle married to a Dennison Edmund Hall, and later to a Searles Dean.

13. HAZEL ALBERTA CLARK (1910-1970).  Hazel married a Raymond Leavenworth, and had no children.

14. JOHN OZIAS CLARK (1913-1913).  Died as an infant.

15. SUSAN ELECTA CLARK (1915-1965).  Susan is pictured above with her father.  She married twice, to a Robert Dube and to a Raymond Rushlow.  She had one daughter, Virginia.  Susan died on her 50th birthday.


There was mention made of John having had yet another two families in Vermont.

John Ozias worked as a farm laborer, carpenter, and mason-tender.  He lived for a time in Westboro, MA, Alburgh and St. Albans, VT, and Norwich, Bozrah, and Guilford CT, but he lived his final years in East Haddam. When he died of paralytic shock, two of his children from his first marriage refused to attend the funeral, stating that their father was an evil man for abandoning them in favor of his second family, and for committing Alice.

The family of one of his daughters held on to the land that John owned on Clark Road in Hadlyme, CT, although the house is no longer there. John was 5'9", blue eyes, auburn hair.

and three infants (Esther, Marion & John)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Descendants of Patrick Wade (1834-1912)

Patrick Joseph Wade (1834-1912) was a gardener born in the Burrow of Portraine, County Dublin to James Wade and Margaret Riley.  He arrived in Portland Maine in 1861, during the Famine, along with his siblings, and later his father joined the family.

Patrick and his wife Jane McWilliams (1847-1907), who was also from Dublin, lived on 90 Danforth Street from 1866-1879.  Patrick bought 8 Briggs Street in 1867 from a Bill Lindsey.  Patrick lived there off and on (the primary tenant was Patrick's elder sister Alice & her husband Thomas, who was also a gardener).  Patrick and his family moved to the State Club Stables, in an adjoining rental house on 684 Congress Street in 1886, where Patrick worked as a hostler (stable hand).  In 1906, Patrick eventually returned to 8 Briggs Street. 

Patrick's father, James, moved to Portland at some point prior to his death in 1871, although no Portland Census records seem to pick him up in 1870.  James died about 6 months before his daughter Mary Ann did.

Patrick & Jane married in Portland in 1866, and had twelve children:

1.  Margaret Ella Wade (1867 - 1869).  Named after Patrick's mother, but died at age 2 of scarlet fever.

2.  Carrie Starr Wade (1869 – 1905).  Carrie married salesman John W Dunn (1866-1910) and had four children.  They lived on 35 Taylor Street.  Like many of her family, and of that era, she passed away from pulmonary tuberculosis.  She and John had four children:

-Jeanette (1891-1979) married Thomas Joseph Keough, who was born to Irish immigrants (and I've confirmed is no relation to the Nova Scotian McKeough family which married into the Portland Irish families of my research).  Incidentally, Thomas' mother's maiden name was Dunn.  This may have been a marriage of cousins.  They had three children, Bill, Ruth and John.  Jeanette worked as a typist at the railroad office, and this family lived at 50 Western Promenade, right across the road from the Western Cemetery.  Her son, William Joseph Keough (1919-1942), was a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force, and died as a result of air operations during WWII.

-John Raymond Dunn (1892-1894) died at 2 years old.

-Margaret (1898-??) was orphaned at age 12 when both her parents were then dead.  It's unclear what happened to her.

-John Dunn (1900-1963) was a railroad clerk who never married.  He was orphaned at age 10.  He lived for a while in Lowell, Mass, and retired to South Portland Maine.

3.  Edward Wade (1870-1871).  Died at 6 months old.

4.  Margaret G. Wade (1874 - ).  Maggie was given the house on 8 Briggs Street from her father in 1910 just before he died of senility.  She married Charles B. Lee in Portland, in February of 1914, and in April of that year she sold off the house to her cousin, Mathew John Leonard.  No further information on her yet.

5.  Annie M. Wade (1874 – 1894).  Annie died of kidney failure at age 19.

6.  Joseph P Wade (1877 –  ).  No further information.

7.  Alice Harmond Wade (1879 –  1909).  Alice married James Thomas Delaney from Maine, and then moved to Worcester, Mass.  She died at age 30, and it's unclear if they had children.

8.  Julia Wade (1881 - 1882).  Julia died at age 1 of infant cholera.

9.  Jane Wade (1882 –  ).  Jennie studied to be a nurse, as of 1910.  She married John F. Quigg of Northern Ireland in June 1913, and moved to 41 Bartlett Street in Boston, where she started her family of five children.

10.  Lawrence D Wade (1884 –  1933).  Lawrence was mentally disabled, and spent his life in institutions:  Augusta State Mental Hospital, and Pownal School in New Gloucester.

11.  Helen Edith Wade (1886 –  1912).  Helen married Christian Jurgenson from Oakland, Maine in 1911.  She died 9 months later of eclampsia, giving birth to her son Wade, who died 2 days later.

12.  James E Wade (1888 – 1959).  James fought in WWI, and later married Mary Mitchell (born to Portuguese parents).  They moved to Orange County, NY, and later Rutland, Vermont, where he died in 1959 of arteriosclerotic heart disease.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Red Clark

ABT 1946

-Leonard Sherman Clark (1899 – 1974) was named after his grandfather Leonard Sherman Clark, yet was nicknamed "Red", due to his red hair.  In his later years, he simply went by "LS Clark".

Red was born in 1899 to parents Niles Martin Clark and Lizzie Tooker of East Haddam, CT.  His father Niles died when Red was just 11 years old.  It was around that time that Lizzie put Red (and his four brothers) into work home orphanages.  Much of the very colorful story below was provided to me from his sons.

Red was raised partly in the Temporary Home for Boys in Haddam, CT.  This was the type of work farm where boys would often be given short or long term assignments to live/work in various homes in the community, where they would earn their room and board by doing odd jobs, and often times would be exploited or abused by their keepers.  As Red had told the story to his boys, this youth of his was all about "slave labor", and that he always resented his mother for putting he and his brothers in orphanages, while she squandered the family fortune on her second husband, Mr. Folger, who was 20 years her junior.

Red's first job the Home sent him to was to a man named Captain Adams who had a place on Clark's Hill in East Haddam.  This was just after his father had died, and he was only 11.  When Captain Adams died, Red was returned to the Home.  He then was farmed out to a farmer, where Red had problems getting along with the other help there, including a boy by the name of Mike Cavanaugh. Their fighting was the cause of Red being returned to the Home again.

At this point he was assigned to work at the home of what he called the 'three old maids', spinster women.  One of the old maids, named Adele, had a lover and it appears Red walked in on them in a "compromising circumstance".  The man was a big German fellow and Red suspected him to be a German Spy.  Anti-German sentiment was building all throughout the 1910s, of course.  The German fellow took of his belt and was going to beat him, but he got the jump on him and caught him in the head with a big ceramic vase. Thinking he had killed the German, Red did not go back to the Home, but instead ran away deciding just to find a job. Before running away however, he saw a small stash of money that the three old maids kept in a jar, and promptly bought himself a cowboy hat.

After running away he went to Hartford to find work.  He claimed that a Doctor hired him after hearing his story, to do odd jobs, on the condition that he would attend High School at night.  This doctor put him on a road to appreciating education, and Red had always credited the doctor for inspiring him to continue his education, which led him to his ultimate career as an industrial engineer.  But there was still a long road to that, after leaving school, and the doctor's employ.

In January of 1916, he enlisted in the Navy at age 16 1/2, but had lied about his age in order to enlist.  American participation in WWI happened just fifteen months later.  After the War, in 1920, he was living with his mother, Lizzie Tooker, who was by then on her third husband, and living in Redbank, South Portland, Maine.  I believe he stayed in the South Portland area for several years.


In 1929, during the height of the Depression, he moved to Newburgh, New York (to be closer to his elder sister Claudia while she was between husbands).  Through Claudia he met and married a co-worker of hers from the sewing shop, Anna Marie Repko (who was from New Windsor just to the south, and was born to Austro-Czech parents Michael Repko and Susan Mueller), and had five children.  When Leonard married Anna in October of 1929, he was working as an accountant, and after the wedding, Leonard started work as a office manager at Moore Printing Company, then later a car salesman at Newburgh Auto Sales, and a few years later was working with the WPA. 



In 1930, Red and Anne moved to 90 Montgomery Street in Newburgh (just a few doors down from Claudia), then a year later, they moved south to 38 Quassaick Avenue in New Windsor.  In 1934, they moved back up to Newburgh, at 164 Lander Street.  Then in 1938, across the road to 173 Lander Street (this was at this point on the other side of town from his sister Claudia).  The Clarks stayed on Lander Street until about 1942, when the family moved to Utica, NY.

Later that same year they moved to Arlington, Texas, where Leonard worked as an Industrial Engineer for the War Manpower Commission, setting up assembly lines on war planes fighters. Leonard was investigated by the FBI for being a communist sympathizer in the 40s, which was an unfortunate case of mistaken identity (there were many Leonard Clarks out there).  The FBI cleared him of all charges, but during this time, it was discovered that he had lied about his age on the WWI enlistment papers, and was dishonorably discharged.

When WWII was over the family moved south to Hondo, Texas, where Leonard worked for Texas Employers Insurance Association as a Safety Engineer.  About 1947 the family moved east to Beaumont, Texas where Leonard then worked as a Encyclopedia Salesman.  As his son states, he made a fortune in the encyclopedia business and that he could "sell snowballs to Eskimos".  Leonard was fond of gambling, unfortunately, so the family saw very little of what he made.  However, his kids do have fond memories that their father loved them all dearly and that they never wanted for affection or food.


Eventually, after working many sales and life insurance jobs, he wound up in Corpus Christi in the mid 1950's.  In 1960, at 61 years of age, he and Anne moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where Leonard work for less than a year as an industrial engineer at Goodyear Aerospace at NAS Litchfield Park, Arizona, until his retirement around 1962.  He was a longtime member of National Safety Engineers Society.  His wife Anne became the breadwinner in their later years, working as a sewing machine operator for Penn-Mor Inc. (JC Penney's).  It was said that she could sew 1680 pairs of ladies' panties in a single eight hour shift!

Anna worked hard to get Leonard's dishonorable discharge reverted and apparently was successful, since he received an honorable discharge posthumously from President Jimmy Carter.  At the time of his death, he had five children, nine grandchildren and a great grandchild.

The story of Red Clark is interesting to me, given that he was so influenced by continuing education, and a career in science.  This is quite a different life than what his blue collar siblings and forefathers lived.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

1812 Memorial (Eastern Promenade)

A little known cemetery exists on Portland's Eastern Promenade.  It is maintained with care by the City, but the average citizen of Portland has never even heard of it.

The above photo shows the mass grave of 21 American Prisoners of War from the War of 1812.  It's likely that these soldiers have no living descendants or anyone who would visit the cemetery to pay familial respect, but this blog post would seek to remedy that, if it can indeed be done.  200 years is a long time to try and trace descendants of young men who died far from home.

Portland didn't directly participate in the War of 1812.  In fact, New England (and especially Maine) was very much against the War, and almost enacted secession proceedings because of the escalation to this war.  The reason being, it interfered with our lucrative trade deals (both on record and behind the scenes).  Portland privateering, however, did help to increase tensions with the British, ultimately escalating the conflict. 

Of course Portland did serve during the War, as it always had, as a port of entry for ships going to other places for battle.  Our timber export business was thriving at this time, and such timber was used for building a variety of ships, homes, and other structures, all over the eastern colonies, and the motherland in Britain.

But after the Revolution, our obligation to ship timber abroad had ceased, and the new nation could then focus its efforts on building the new Empire.  However, the new United States still participated in timber trade with the English, but now as a financial endeavor.  Several Portland businessmen, like the McLellan brothers, built quite a fortune on the backs of such trade, which dramatically ended when the Embargo Act was passed in 1807, forcing the McLellans and others to close business, sell their properties and default on debts.  The embargo was a response to the British quelling our trade with the French.

Despite the lack of battle seen by Portland during the War, one particular battle still resonates on Portland soil.  The Battle of Queenston Heights, which took place in Canada in October of 1812, was the first major skirmish with the British, and resulted in British victory.  Many American POWs were captured and imprisoned in Quebec.  Upon parole one month later, a group of these soldiers were to be exchanged in Boston, so were placed upon the ship HMS Regulus on November 19.  Several of the soldiers became very ill with malnutrition, dysentery and fever, so the ship took anchor in Portland harbor just before Christmas, under a truce flag, whereby the soldiers could receive care at the Town Hospital (then on the Eastern Promenade) prior to the ship continuing on to Boston.

There were 20 soldiers from the ship who died in passage, and another 26 soldiers who were cared for at the Town Hospital, beginning on 29 December (see image below, referred to later as the "POW List").  One of the soldiers who had died in passage, Barney Freelove (See #18 on the right below), was buried at the 1812 Monument.  I wonder if any of the other DOAs were also buried there?  8 of the 21 soldiers buried at the mass grave were listed as unknown.  I wonder if we can deduce which of these men were of the eight?


21 of these soldiers perished within a month, and were buried at the mass grave on the Promenade (pictured above).

A stone placed in the center of the gravesite in 1887 carries a bronze plaque with the following inscription:

Within this enclosure
were buried 21 soldiers
captured by the English
at the Battle
of Queenston, Canada
in the War of 1812
and died in hospital here
while on their way to
Boston for exchange.

This post will attempt to assemble some information about these soldiers, in the event that other researchers are looking for them:

Unfortunately, eight of these soldiers are listed as unknown in identity, which forced me to focus only on the 13 identified by markers at the burial site.  Some soldiers were found on the NARA file entitled U.S. Army, Registers of Enlistment, 1798-1914 (such file is referred to hereafter as the "NARA File").  After going through all records, I feel that I've been able to successfully identify five of these eight unknown soldiers, and they are listed at the end of this post:

Starting with the 12 marked soldier graves...

Barrows, John

No matching records found yet, in a search online and on Ancestry.  A different John Barrows appears in the Captain Eastman's Calvary in Wiscasset, ME in 1814.  The heirs of a "Major John Barrows" of the Revolution sold property to a John Underwood in 1818.  Many other records appear for this rather common name.  None can be definitively tied to this soldier as yet, and nobody of this name appears in the NARA File.  Now, looking closely at the POW List, the only name remotely resembling this would be James Brower.  This name also produces no results in a search of the NARA File.

Curtis, Davie

No matching records found yet, in a search online and on Ancestry.  Four different soldiers named David Curtis appear in the NARA File, each with data provided which would conflict with this soldier's story.  Looking closely at the POW List, the only name resembling this would be Daniel Curtis.  This name also produces conflicting results.

Davis, James L.

This soldier was easily located in the NARA File, with the appropriate data on the Queenston Battle.  However,  he was listed as James L. Davis, here and in the POW List above, yet the City lists him as James P. Davis.  He was the only one of the sick soldiers who was a corporal.  The rest were privates. This soldier is showing on the NARA File as having enlisted in the 13th US Infantry, yet the stone created by the City erroneously lists 23rd.

Goodenow, Ezekiel

This soldier was easily located in the NARA File.  This roster has him enlisted in June of 1812, immediately prior to the Battle of Queenston, for a period of 5 years in the 13th US Infantry.  According to Ancestry records, he was born in 1774, in Princeton, Massachusetts, the third of ten children to Edward Goodnow and Lois Rice.  He married Sophia Harrington in 1801, Salem, Massachusetts.  He died in January of 1813.

Freelove, Barney

This soldier was easily located in the NARA File.  This roster has him enlisted in Auburn, Maine as of May 1812 for a period of 18 months in the 13th US Infantry (yet the City has him listed as having been in the 23rd).  He was born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and was 5'10 3/4".  He married Sally Pettis in Freetown, Massachusetts in 1802.  He died January 1, 1813, according to the NARA File, but he appears on the POW List above as having died in passage, so he must have died prior to December 29th.

Hewes, Daniel

I found a Daniel Hews in the NARA File, but this one had enlisted in February of 1813.  I also found an Ancestry Tree which shows a Daniel Hewes born in 1776, married twice in Boston, with four children born by 1809, and no death date or military record yet attached.  This could be a match. 

Hight, Isaac

I found an Isaac Hight in the NARA File, enlisting for five years in May 1812.   No further information.

Hull, Warren

I did find one Warren Hull on the NARA File, who had enlisted in June of 1812, but no further information is attached to him.  Unfortunately, in online searches, this soldier's name has been eclipsed by the more famous Warren Hull who was a young soldier in the Revolution, and fought later in the War of 1812, and died in 1838 at his estate in Western New York.  Now, looking at the POW List, it appears his name was more likely WARNER Hull.  Yet no results found on this name either, when searching the NARA File.

Newton, Asa

This soldier was easily located in the NARA File.  This roster has him enlisted in June of 1812, just  prior to the Battle of Queenston, for a period of 5 years in the 23rd US Infantry.   He is noted to have died 11 Jan 1813 of "St. McCarby's Ditch", whatever that means.  The NARA File makes reference to a pension file for this soldier, in which there may be further detail.  Ancestry Family Trees show that this soldier was born in Barnard, Vermont, and that he had a son named John T. Newton (1810-1873) who was born in Maryland and died in Missouri, and had three children and four stepchildren.  So far this is the only soldier profiled here who appears to have likely descendants living today.

Sloan, Sylvanus

This soldier was easily located in the NARA File.  This roster has him enlisted in June of 1812, just  prior to the Battle of Queenston, for a period of 5 years in the 23rd US Infantry.   He is noted to have died 19 Jan 1813, making him one of the last bodies to have been placed in the mass grave.  Reference in the NARA File was made to a pension case.  An Ancestry Family Tree dictates that he was born in 1796 in Rhode Island, and was only 17 when he died.  He likely had no descendants.

Smith, Alexander

This soldier was easily located in the NARA File.  This roster has him enlisted in July of 1812, just  prior to the Battle of Queenston, for a period of 5 years in the 13rd US Infantry.   He is noted to have died 15 Jan 1813.  Due to his very common name, I'm unable at this time to find additional information.

Smith, Benjamin

This soldier was easily located in the NARA File.  This roster has him enlisted in July of 1812, just  prior to the Battle of Queenston, for a period of 5 years in the 23rd US Infantry.   He is noted to have died in Jan 1813.  Due to his very common name, I'm unable at this time to find additional information. I'm not certain whether he is related to Alexander Smith above.

Vandermark, Cornelius

This soldier was located in the NARA File.  Now, in looking at the POW List above, it appears the shipmate listed him as Charles Vandermark.  This name produces no results.


Now, for some soldiers who are listed in the POW List who are also in the NARA File as having died in Portland, yet don't show on the City's list of buried soldiers.  They are likely of the eight "unknown soldiers".

Lord, Joseph

This soldier was easily located in the NARA File.  This roster has him enlisted in July of 1812, just  prior to the Battle of Queenston, for a period of 18 months in the 23rd US Infantry.   He is noted to have died in Portland in Jan 1813. 

Rice, William

This soldier was easily located in the NARA File.  This roster has him enlisted in July of 1812, just  prior to the Battle of Queenston, for a period of 5 years in the 13th US Infantry.   He is noted to have died in Portland in Nov, 1812. While the ship didn't dock in Portland until December, the fact that Portland is listed as place of death makes this soldier a likely burial at the Eastern Promenade site.  Note was made of a pension case, so there may be more detail there.

Snow, Daniel G.

This soldier was easily located in the NARA File.  This roster has him enlisted in May of 1812, just  prior to the Battle of Queenston, for a period of 5 years in the 13th US Infantry.   He is noted to have died on Jan 1813 in Portland, so it's very likely he's buried at the Eastern Promenade site.  Note was made of a pension case, so there may be more detail there.

Witt, Ira

This soldier was easily located in the NARA File.  This roster has him enlisted in July of 1812, just  prior to the Battle of Queenston, for a period of 5 years in the 23rd US Infantry.   He is noted to have died in Portland in Jan 1813.

Wood, Thomas F.

This soldier was easily located in the NARA File.  This roster has him enlisted in July of 1812, just  prior to the Battle of Queenston, for a period of 5 years in the 13th US Infantry.   He is noted to have died on Jan 1813.  This was during the time that the ship was docked in Portland so it makes this soldier a likely burial at the Eastern Promenade site.  Note was made of a pension case, so there may be more detail there.


Special thanks to Margaret Colford, who took the photographs featured on this page.

Anyone is welcome to view my FindAGrave Memorial Page for this cemetery.