Friday, January 29, 2016

James Robert McLernon and his Passport application and a few other documents

In 1919 James R. McLernon received a telegram that his mother was sick.  he had migrated to this country from Ireland and had to obtain a passport to leave and return to this country.  He lived in Delmar at the time and worked for the railroad

a photo that accompany the passport application

a reference letter to accompany the application

James had a wife whose name was Nettie E. they had an adopted child named Boyd Ward McLernon.  James continued to work for the railroad and  would die in Delmar in 1951 and is buried in St Stephens cemetery.

His WW2 draft card

and his naturalization application

Friday, January 22, 2016

An Ellis Family Story

As we know in Western Sussex County and Wicomico County some of the major surnames everyone seems to have in their family tree are Hearns, Ellis, Waller and Hastings.   There is a story concerning the Ellis family you may be interested in.  Joseph Ellis (1718-1785) lived in old Somerset county (Today Wicomico County) and he was married to Easter Culver.  Easter and Joseph produced at least eleven known children.  One of the children was Stephen Ellis who is the person most people around Delmar are descended from.  This however is not a story of Stephen.  This is about how after Joseph died in 1785 his wife Easter took the younger children and migrated to Georgia.  At this time there was a number of families from the Eastern Shore migrating to Georgia  and Creek Indian country. Easter and her family traveled with the Mattox family to Georgia.  At least one son, Levin, was already established in Hancock County Georgia.  Easter seem to have settled around Greene County as in 1787 her youngest daughter Temperance (Tempy 1783-1865) had gone to visit a neighbor’s family – James Scarlett.  While at the Scarletts, Creek Indians attacked the Scarlett farm taking Tempy captive, plus Elizabeth Scarlett (Wife of James) , James Hambrio and Harry a negro boy captive  and killing James Scarlett, and Stephen Scarlett.  Tempy was about 5 years old at the time.  She would be held by the Creek Indians as a slave until 1796 when she was about 14.
Tempy was freed from the Indians by Milly a person who ran a tavern and had a toll bridge on “Norcoce Chappo” creek which was on a trade route between Pensacola and Mt Pleasant, Alabama (today it called Milly Branch after Milly) .  Milly had heard rumors of the white child and went to see the Chief where she traded ten ponies and six head of cattle for her.  Eventually Tempy would make her way back to the home of James Seagrove, superintendent of Indian affairs at St. Mary Georgia. 

Tempy’s life would be haunted again by mishaps. After she married Thomas Frizzle (Frazell) around 1806 in Georgia.  They would move to Pike County Alabama and have at least six children.  Her husband would die in 1857 by poisoning from their cook, thirty other people would be sick and six would die (see Below writeup)
From the New York Times September 25, 1857, Page 2
The Late Poisoning Case in Alabama

From the Montgomery (Ala.) Mail
One of our subscribers, from Pike County, informed us yesterday of a most horrible and atrocious case of poisoning in that county, just below the line of Montgomery, and in the neighborhood of Bruceville. The annals of crime will hardly show a more extensive and diabolical piece of villainy.
It seems that a German, or Hungarian, whose name our informant had forgotten, was on intimate terms with a negro woman, the property of old Mr. Thomas Frazell, one of the earliest settlers of Pike, This man had once been in the employ of Mr. F, and was familiar With his premises. Some time since he had been detected in gambling with Mr. F.'s , negroes, and Mr. F. had instituted prosecution against him. On Saturday evening, 12 Inst., he was seen in conversation with the negro woman alluded to, at the well, although he had received orders from Mr. Frazell never to come about his premises.
On Sunday there were some 37 persons dining at Mr. Frazell's House, of whom about 30 were visitors from the neighborhood. All these became sick soon after eating, vomiting violently and the cook being arrested immediately, on a suspicion of poisoning at once proceeded to state as follows: She said that the white man above referred to, while at the well, had given her a vial containing arsenic, which he had instructed her to mingle with " the meal, the milk, the butter and the coffee". He was particularly desirous that it should go into every article of food because Mr. Frazell was in delicate health, and generally ate very sparingly. The Negro woman said she followed the instructions of her lover to the letter - who by the way, added to his instructions the remark "after the old man had taken that, he would hardly prosecute him in that case."
The poison was administered, as we have seen, but too successfully. The whole assemblage of persons were put under its influence: and at the last accounts six had died from Its effects.  Old Mr. Frazell died about sunset Sunday, the day of the poisoning. His overseer's wife and two children, Mrs. Cloud a widowed daughter of Mr. F., and Mr. F.'s grand-daughter died the next day. Several others were lying in a critical condition, and doubtless there will be more victims of this awfully fiendish crime.
Mr. Jack Frazell, son of the old man, happened to be out of meal, on the day of the poisoning, and sent to his father's and borrowed a bushel. All who partook of this, including a brother who had declined to eat at his father's, having come in after some of the company had got sick, were more or less affected.
After we had written the above, our informant, Mr. J. M. Johnson of Pike, called on us again, and gave us the name of the poisoner, which is Comiska.
Mr. J. further states that the infuriated people of the neighborhood have burnt the negro woman, and will perform the same service for Camiska on next Monday, In the meantime he is safely lodged in jail at Troy.  He neither denies nor admits anything.

Temperance Ellis Frizzle would die on August 22, 1865 at age 62.  At one time her story was taught in Alabama schools. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cambridge 1937 VimPep Gasoline

VimPep the Generous Mileage Gasoline

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Levin Kirk Gunby Phillips - Black Hills Pioneer of 1876

Levin Kirk Gunby Phillips was the son of Levin Wilmer Phillips (1796-1863) and Mary A. J. Gunby (1814-1857).  He was born November 25, 1851 in Barren Creek of what is now Wicomico County. He migrated to Ohio, Missouri,  and Montana where he was engaged in mining and then moved to Deadwood in the Black Hills Of South Dakota on April 30 1876, where he was a druggist and continued to invest in mining.  He was one of the Black Hills Pioneers of 76.  He became active in Republican politics and held a number of offices in the state, including Mayor of Deadwood and State treasurer.  He ran for Governor in 1898 losing by 385 votes.  The Salisbury Advertiser November 12, 1898 ran an article in which they incorrectly said he had been elected Governor.

He would marry first Louise, who would die March 30, 1885.  He married again to Annie Isabella Cooper on June 30th 1887.  Annie was born Feb 10th, 1865 in New Jersey, the daughter of Irish immigrants.  Kirk Phillips would die August 7, 1913.  He had no children by either wife.  He had become quite rich for the time and his probate record cover about 340 pages.  His 1907 will was a very simple, handwritten one and only one page;

In his will he mention he wants his three sisters taken care of.  They were Jenny (Virginia) Phillips age 63 in 1913, Emma Phillips age 59 in 1913, and Sallie Phillips age 57 in 1913.   They lived in Barren Creek.  As the probate progressed it picked up the sons of Martha Phillip Lowe, another sister (actually half sister).  Those sons lived in Delmar and they were Louis B. Lowe age 55, Herms Lowe age 53, and William Lowe age 51.

from the Wicomico News (Barren Creek) Oct 20, 1921

Annie Phillips would move to California by 1930 and would die in California on April 29, 1955.  Her body would be shipped back to Deadwood and be buried next to her husband in Mt. Moriah cemetery.  Kirk's first wife, Louise, is also buried at Mt. Moriah. Of note, Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are also buried at Mt. Moriah.  The Society of Black Hills Pioneers of which Kirk Phillips was a member at the time, handled the burying of Calamity Jane in 1903.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Steam Made Ice Cream

In the early 1900's steam manufactured Ice Cream was widely advertised.  Instead of being handcranked the crank was replaced by a pulley and that was hooked to a steam engine and turned.  Those Ice Cream Plants next to a rail line would also advertise they would ship anywhere by train. 
You tube has a number of videos showing ice cream made by steam but I found few still photographs of the process .

In some cases gasoline engines were used to churn the ice cream

as electric lines and improved electric motors became available steam engines would be replaced

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Robert Ford Shoots Dallas Ellis

Garage Worker Accused Of Murder
While authorities of Maryland and Delaware were searching for Robert Ford, a negro Garage mechanic of Salisbury, a coroners jury, summoned to inquire into the death of Dallas M. Ellis, Delmar trainman, who was killed at the home of John Trader, colored about two miles from Delmar late last Sunday afternoon, return a verdict charging Ford with the slaying.

The Jury with S. Ker Slemons as foreman met in the Stephens Building in Delmar Monday Night.  The other members of the jury were; E. W. Hastings, B. F. Marsh, W. A. Venables, T. C. Roe, J. E. Powell, Harry Gibson, Walter Mills, W. V. Hearthway, W. W. Whayland, W. B. Stephens, and A. A. Elliott. Justice of the Peace Harry E. Hudson acted as coroner.  The inquest was conducted by Levin C. Bailey, State's attorney for Wicomico County.  The following witnesses testified before the jury Marion Wootten, Frank Lowe, Oscar Phillips, John Trader, Leon Mills, Samuel J. Ellis, Clara Trader, Ben Trader, Sarah Trader, and Dr. Robert Ellegood, all of Delmar; Frank Littleton, Charlie Hastings, and Howard Hastings of Salisbury.  Walter Hastings and Mildred Trader of Delmar were summoned but did not appear.  The wide of the accused Negro was present but was not asked to testify.

According to the testimony brought out at the inquest Ellis walked into the yard of John Trader, a Negro musician, late last Sunday afternoon.  A single charge from a shotgun entered his right side, and he died while witnesses to the shooting were taking him to the office of Dr. Robert Ellegoode.

From The Crisfield Times Sept 21, 1929