52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #26 – Black Sheep

Every family has a “black sheep.” Most family members pass along all the stories about the “black sheep” member, however trying to document the antics of the “black sheep” isn’t easy. Not so in my husband’s family. It seems the Post Dispatch newspaper in St. Louis routinely gossiped about the Singer family’s “black sheep,” his grandfather Morris (or Maurice) Singer.

Morris Singer

Maurice Singer

Morris/Maurice was born in 1886 in Leeds, England. He died from pneumonia in 1943 in St. Louis at age 56. He married Renee Annette Brener in 1906 in St. Louis. They had four children, 1908 – Beatrice Estelle Singer; 1909 Sylvia M. Singer; 1915 Samuel Brener Singer (John’s father); 1918 William Sutton Singer.

Annie Singer, Maurice’s wife, had been raised by her brother Samuel Brener and his wife Sophia Boasberg Brener because their father died when Annie was 7 and Annie’s mother died when Annie was 8 years old. Samuel Brener owned Brener & Company a jewelry manufacturer and retail store located at 605 S. Pine Street in St. Louis. In 1908 Maurice was a clerk in the Brener & Company jewelry store owned by his brother-in-law. By 1920, Maurice was the manager of Brener & Company.

A Year And A Day

In 1923 there was a reported robbery of the jewelry store and a claim was made to the insurance company for the loss. But the insurance company failed to recognize the claim and Maurice Singer sued in 1924. According to other news reports at the same time Maurice had a close working relationship with Jacob Ufland who owned Milton Watch Company in New York and National Jewelry Company of St. Louis. It seems that the value of the inventory was listed much higher than the actual stock and a federal investigation started when both of Ufland’s companies failed and he fled the United States for Germany with about $500,000 of his investors money which of course included Maurice Singer.  Maurice Singer was brought to trial for fraud and was sentenced to a year and a day at the Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta.

On his return to St. Louis, Maurice became a broker/salesman for a Kentucky Distiller. He became President of  ‘The Kind Word Club.’

Click on the links below to read the articles.

Morris Singer kind word club

Morris Singer whiskey salesman

Morris Singer baseball

Morris Singer golf

Morris was also appointed a Kentucky Colonel. The Governor of Kentucky has the privilege of appointing people from all over the the United States to this rank for their participation and support of non-profit organizations.  One newspaper article refers to Col. Morris Singer.
I have also confirmed the participation of Morris Singer as an investor involved with the Isle of Caprice Resort on the Dog Keys just off the coast of Biloxi, Mississippi. In fact the family lived in a beachfront hotel in Biloxi while the Isle of Caprice resort was built on the fresh water island. The resort enjoyed many successful years but nature and the weather caused the island to sink by 1932.
What a life for this ‘Black Sheep.’

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #25 – Same Name

Where did we get our names? I can tell you about some of them, guess on others and then there are those that are like “where in the world?” Dear cousins, if you have the answer please let me know.

Starting with my mother’s generation – Hancock Family –  Grace Evelyn Hancock was named for Grace Irene Squires Foreman her grandmother. Pearl Hancock would come from Lulu Pearl Brace Hancock also a grandmother.

Lulu Pearl Brace Hancock Baber

Lulu Pearl Brace Hancock Baber

Charlotte Iona Hancock and twin sister Charlene Iola Hancock. Charlotte could have come from Francis Charlotte Squires, Grace Irene Squires older sister. Don’t know where Charlene came from and absolutely no idea where Iona and Iola came from. Dorothy Eileen Hancock seems to be a stand alone name as well as Shirley Ruth Hancock. Robert Frank Hancock would come from Robert Sidney Foreman his grandfather, and Frank was the name of Grandpa Hancock’s half brother.

Top left is Mary Frances Foreman Hancock and Bernard Floyd Hancock, top right is Mary Salina Kenyon Squires grandmother to Mary Frances Foreman and bottom photo is Jacob Foreman father of Robert Sidney Foreman.

Squires/Foreman family – Mary Frances Foreman Hancock – Mary for her grandmother Mary Salina Kenyon Squires, and Mary Ivadine Squires her aunt, Frances from Charlotte Frances Squires her aunt.  Jacob Bernard Foreman – from his grandfather Jacob Foreman, Margaret Elizabeth Foreman – Elizabeth was her grandmother’s middle name Sarah Elizabeth Watt Foreman. Robert James Foreman – Robert from his grandfather Robert Sidney Foreman.

Great, Great Grandmother

Sarah Elizabeth Watt Foreman ca. 1864

Robert Sidney (Sid) Foreman and Grace Irene Squires Foreman

Robert Sydney Foreman and Grace Irene Squires Foreman about 1904.

Brace/Totten family – Doesn’t appear any names came from this family group to the Hancock children, other than Pearl.  Lois Emerette Goodell Totten’s children were Mary Phoebe, Elmina Rosalie, Edith Estella, Alice Winnifred, Hattie Elvira, Celia, and Edna Louella the sons were Milton, Everett, Clarence and Carl. When you have 11 children it must be hard to come up with names.  Lois Emerette’s oldest daughter, Mary Phoebe Totten Brace children’s names  were Lulu, Bessie, Hazel, Beatrice and Althea, the sons were William Earle, John Kessler and Elwin. Bessie, Hazel, John Kessler and an unnamed newborn boy died of typhoid in 1897 and Althea was murdered in 1948.

tin type of William & Lois Totten

William Franklin Totten and his wife Lois Emerette Goodell Totten

Some of the other family names which were not passed down would be Sabrina, Arte Mesa, Nora Kate, Mary Belle, Eben, Joel, Edwin, Harriet, Sarah, Wilbur, Micah, Nathan, Mercy, Polly, Adelia, Thankful, Sylvanus, Neazor, Levi, Cuthbert, Hannah and Zeruah. Lucky you, right!

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #24 – Father’s Day

My beautiful picture

The father I remember, photo by my brother Don in 1966, Bossier City, Louisiana. Probably a Sunday afternoon, and that is probably a beer in his hand. Sunday’s and beer went together.

Jerry and Signe abt 1930

Jerry Stalter and Signe Viola Stalter his older sister in 1928. She died in 1929 when she was hit by a streetcar in St. Paul, MInnesota. She was 6 years old.

Jerry Frimpter Stalter was born August 10, 1924 in St. Paul, Minnesota to Perry Hunt Stalter and Signe Helmena Anderson. Jerry died March 1, 2007 in Humble, Texas. He was married to Grace Evelyn Hancock until they divorced in 1964 and then married to Bobbie Rose Quigley.

From the earliest time I can remember, Jerry loved to square dance, go fishing and to baseball games, golf and just be part of everything life had to offer. That included raising four children all a year apart, as well as a step daughter and a son from his second marriage.

Life always seemed to be busy with baseball games, swimming lessons, piano lessons, visiting Grandma and Grandpa Hancock, school and church activities. As we got older Jerry missed a lot of that because he took a job with Johnson’s Wax and traveled two weeks at a time going to Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and Utah. He had favorite stores and restaurants in many of the small towns that he worked and he would always come back with stories about the wide open country and the things he had seen and the people he met.

Jerry Stalter on Trail Ridge Road abt 1956-57

Dad loved going to the mountains. When he was home over the weekend we would drive up to the mountains, find a picnic spot and spend the afternoon hiking or playing whiffle ball. Many times we would meet my aunts and uncles and cousins for a big family picnic. The men would play horseshoes and the women would sit in lawn chairs and talk while watching the children.

Jerry loved the challenge of driving in the mountains. I swear it seemed like he took the curves faster than other drivers. But then, I always sat in the middle and couldn’t really see out the window very well, just rocked side to side between my dad and my mom. I was happy when I graduated to the back seat.

I don’t really know at what point my parents decided to get a divorce. It was confusing to me, I was only 13 years old at the time. But looking back, I believe they made the right decision. Dad married Bobbie who was a wonderful, loving mother to her daughter and their son and always opened her heart and home to Don and I when we visited.

Mom married Art Mann who actually was much like my dad, fun loving and kind. He helped teach me to drive and then even trusted me with his car on Saturday nights that he and my mom were not going out to dance at the Westminster Elks Club. He was a wonderful ‘grandpa’ to our children.

Carol and Donald Stalter with father Jerry Stalter 1997

My dad, Jerry Stalter, myself and brother Don Stalter, gathered in Mesa, Arizona after the death of Uncle Vic Stalter, Jerry’s brother in 1997.

Although I called Jerry by phone when he lived in a nursing home in Texas, I always had to time my calls so that he wouldn’t miss bingo or whatever activity for the day was taking place. Predictable!

Memories come only once, life is short embrace it while you can.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #23 – Going to the Chapel

When my husband and I were married, 50 years ago, my mother refused to go to a Catholic Church for my wedding. My father advised me to do whatever I wanted, they were divorced. So My Uncle Vic escorted me down the aisle to the two priests who performed the ceremony during lent in a Catholic church.  We signed all the papers for being underage, John was 20 and I was 19, for not being Catholic but pledging to raise our children in the Catholic church and whatever else they put in front of us.

FB wedding pic

Interestingly his parents had a similar dilemma. His mother’s family was Irish Catholic and his father was Russian Jewish. His father, Sam Singer, converted to Catholic when he married Rosemary McMahon. They were married at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Luebbering, Franklin County, Missouri as well as the County Courthouse in Union, Missouri. The children were all raised Catholic.

The most interesting marriage I found in his family records was both happy and sad. Simon Farbstein was married to my husband’s great aunt, Lottie Singer. Simon died in 1922 at age 28, when their son, Jack was 10 years old and daughter Bernice was 8 years old.

Simon Farbstein

Lottie married Jack Ansel in 1925 after Simon’s death. In 1935 daughter Bernice gets married and the notice in the newspapers reads like a fairy princess wedding. Christmas night of 1935 at the Washington Hotel before an improvised alter with greenery and ivory tapers. The bride’s uncle Dr. J. J. Singer gave her in marriage. She wore a gown of heavy white crepe and a veil of tulle, fastened with orange blossoms. She carried white roses and lillies of the valley. All this during the depression.

Mrs. Jack Kramer

Bernice’s stepfather, Jack Ansel must have loved children. He provided a good life for Bernice and her brother Jack who died in 1941 at the age of 28. My husband, John and his cousins still remember the movie tickets Jack Ansel provided for them to visit the local theaters and the comic books he would bring to their homes.

Love those memories.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #22 – So Far Away

Living in the 21st Century medical assistance is something most of us take for granted to be nearby and instantly obtained. However, in 1895 living in Vernon, Colorado, a small rural town ten miles south of Wray, Colorado, professional medical attention was “So Far Away” for my second great grandfather Jacob Foreman.

Denver General Hospital

Early picture of Denver General Hospital. The building on the right is the original Arapahoe county Hospital pre- 1904 which was the year Denver became a county.

According to the Colorado State Archives Patient Register for Arapahoe County Hospital  (known to most of us as Denver General Hospital), Jacob Foreman, age 54, was admitted February 9, 1895 and treated for multiple neuritis.  He had lived in the county for 7 years, immigrating to Colorado in 1887. Was born in Ohio and married. He was patient number 176 and was discharged on March 4, 1895 his condition being “improved” after three weeks. The entry also notes as a contact John Baxter at 1420 S. 13 Street in Vernon. Mr. Baxter was the neighbor who provided the ‘ride’ to Denver. The term multiple neuritis describes an inflamed nerve causing pain in the body.

In a letter from Jacob to his brother living in Time, Pike County, Illinois Jacob regrettably requests $100.00 to pay for the hospital and 354 mile round trip by wagon and team to Denver.

Jacob Foreman was born in 1840 in Highland County, Ohio and moved to Time, Pike County, Illinois as a young man. He served in the Civil War in the 28th Regiment of the Illinois Infantry, Company E. Jacob Foreman married Sarah Elizabeth Watt in Pittsfield, Pike County, Illinois on March 17, 1867. The family moved from Illinois to Kansas in 1877 but were unable to find a suitable home and settled in Coloma, Carroll County, Missouri in 1878 near several of Sarah’s brother’s and their families.

Vernon Park

Vernon Park – center of town.

In 1887 the family moved to Vernon, Arapahoe County (now Yuma County), Colorado. Jacob paid a $10.00 fee to homestead 160 acres under the government Homestead Act as well as an additional 160 acres under the Timber Culture Act. The government requirement was to work the land for 5 years and then title would be transferred to the homesteaders name.

Left – Town of Vernon in 1900. Right – Close up David Foreman’s home next to Christian Church where he and Jacob were ministers.

Jacob sold his homestead in 1906 and he and Sarah and son George moved to Mustang, Oklahoma near Jacob’s brother Robert Allen Foreman. By 1920 Jacob and Sarah returned to Vernon to be near their children, living in the town of Vernon. Jacob died in 1923 and Sarah died in 1928.

Jacob and Sarah

Jacob and Sarah Foreman ca 1922, Vernon, Colorado