52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #39 – On The Farm

Looking through all the pictures I have and knowing that it is indeed a blessing to have the photographs that I have, I can’t help but wish I had more. Pictures are for me the simplest way to tell a story.

For this weeks prompt of “On The Farm” I have selected a few pictures that I think best describe the moments of good life on the farm.

Leon Baber, Lulu Brace Hancock Baber, Bernard Hancock

L to R – Leon Baber , Lulu Brace Hancock Baber and Bernard Hancock at the Baber farm near Eastonville, Elbert County, Colorado in the early 1940’s.

Jacob and Sarah

Jacob and Elizabeth Watt Foreman at their home in Vernon, Yuma County, Colorado after selling his farm near Vernon about 1910.

Sid's Steam Engine cutting sod 1898

Sid Foreman and his steam engine cutting sod on the eastern prairie in 1898. Sid is standing in front of the horses and he has a beard.

Margaret Coe Frimpter 2

Margaret Coe Frimpter, my father’s great grandmother, on their farm in Orange County, New York. I don’t have a date for this, but based on the way she is dressed with the long skirt, could be the 1890’s.

Perry Stalter(2)

Perry Hunt Stalter, Margaret Coe Frimpter’s grandson at Jacob Stalter’s farm in Depew, Creek County, Oklahoma. Perry’s mother Sarah Jane Frimpter Stalter died when he was 9 years old. Date on this is difficult, but in 1920 according to the census Perry was in the Army at Fort Snelling in Minnesota. So this picture is probably between 1915 and 1918.


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #37 – Closest To Your Birthday

The Hunt Is On

Probably the best thing about a November birthday, other than being a year older when I was a kid, was pheasant season. My dad loved to hunt and many times my brother and I would trek along with my dad to scare up the birds and fetch the kill.  We didn’t have a dog.  We walked a lot of farm acres on these hunting trips.


Mom would cook whatever we wanted for our birthday dinner and I was always hopeful dad would have a fruitful hunting trip so that I could have pheasant for my birthday dinner. When we returned home from the hunting trip, whether it was pheasant or dove, the first task was to dress the birds. I never understood why it was called “dress” because what we did was  pull the head and feathers off the birds.  With the pheasants, we always saved the long, multi colored wing and tail feathers for a craft or decorating project.

The birthday cake was also the choice of the birthday person. Mine was always chocolate devils food, which was a scratch cake recipe from Grandma’s recipe box with 7 minute white cooked frosting. I tried to make this cake in St. Louis after John and I were married and it literally fell flat. I didn’t know it was a high altitude recipe.

My beautiful picture

Carol about 1956 or so.

The worst thing about hunting was when it was time to find a bathroom, which we never seemed to find and had to settle for nature. Another problem was the stickers that would catch in your clothing.

Things got more exciting when more than one person had a rifle. We had to be careful when we walked out in the field to flush the birds. I loved the sound of the shot guns, I loved being out in the fields with my dad and my brother, and I still like pheasant.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #41 – Sports

Play Ball!

John Watt and Elizabeth Cook Watt (my 3x great grandparents) had 9 children, among them Sarah Elizabeth Watt and Solomon Watt. Sarah Watt married Jacob Foreman and they are my 2nd great grandparents. Solomon Watt, my 3x great uncle, married and had 9 children one being George Watt the subject of this blog. George Watt is my 1st Cousin 3x removed.

Both Sarah and Solomon’s children were born in Pike County, Illinois. Sarah and Jacob Foreman’s children in the small town of Time, Illinois and Solomon’s children nearby in Milton, Illinois. Both families were farmers. The families were close and their children attended the same schools growing up as evidenced in Robert Sidney Foreman’s autograph book from 1886.

When I researched the census for the Watt family I found that George Watt had left the farm country in Illinois in 1898 and settled in Little Rock, Arkansas and his job was listed as baseball player in the 1900 census. More research revealed he played as a relief pitcher for the professional minor league team called the Arkansas Travelers from 1898 to 1908.

1902 Little Rock Travelers Team-1

The 1901 Arkansas Traveler Team

The Dead Ball Era 1900 to 1919

At this time the games tended to be low scoring, dominated by such pitchers as Walter Johnson, Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, and Grover Cleveland Alexander to the extent that the period 1900–1919 is commonly called the “Dead-ball era”. The term also accurately describes the condition of the baseball itself. Baseballs cost three dollars apiece, which in 1900 would be equal to $88 today; club owners were therefore reluctant to spend much money on new balls if not necessary. It was not unusual for a single baseball to last an entire game. By the end of the game, the ball would be dark with grass, mud, and tobacco juice, and it would be misshapen and lumpy from contact with the bat. Balls were only replaced if they were hit into the crowd and lost, and many clubs employed security guards expressly for the purpose of retrieving balls hit into the stands—a practice unthinkable today.

As a consequence, home runs were rare, and the “inside game” dominated—singles, bunts, stolen bases, the hit-and-run play, and other tactics dominated the strategies of the time. from the Arkansas Travelers Archives.

From the Archives of Professional Minor League Baseball Statistics from the Southern League which included the Arkansas Travelers:

In its early years, the Texas League, like any new business, was struggling to stay organized and turn a profit. The Spanish-American War stopped operations in 1898, as would other wars in later years. From 1899 through 1902, only the southern teams survived under another league designation, and the northern cities, except for a one-year run by Dallas, struggled to find organization. Travel was a major concern as new railroad tracks were still to be laid and a wagon trip between cities was an all-day or two-day excursion.

George Watt Pitcher 1905

These archives show George Watt played from 1902, when he would have been 26 years old to 1910 in the Southern League as a relief pitcher with statistics showing 178 games played; 69 wins; 67 losses. Games started 31, innings pitched 447, hits allowed 370, runs scored 82, and base on balls 86. 

George Watt pitching record 1901-1

George’s last two years in the Southern League were with the Zanesville, Ohio team which was part of the Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland League. He continued to play baseball until 1918.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #36 – Work

While growing up I was always fascinated listening to my grandfather, Bernard Hancock, talk about what he did at “work.” I didn’t understand most of it, but when he felt like talking, he could tell a good story.

For him work involved many different types of labor and skills. He worked on farms helping his step-dad John Baber build a big barn, he worked on the Moffat Tunnel as a clerk in the company store.

East Portal Moffat Tunnel

East Portal of the Moffat Tunnel at Rollinsville, Colorado

When I graduated from high school and started my first job at the Denver Mint in 1966, he told me about the robbery of the Mint in 1922. He worked in a garage across the street.


Grandpa Hancock worked in Loveland for many years as a laborer according to the census as well as a truck driver through 1940 when the family moved back to Denver.

Bernard Hancock Retirement -35

Bernard Hancock at Gates Rubber Company. Hard hats and overalls!

Bernard went to work for Gates Rubber Company as a boilermaker and in 1962 he retired.

Bernard Foreman Retirement -37

Bernard receiving his retirement honors with daughter Charlene standing by his side.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #35 – Back To School

Mary Frances Foreman Hancock (Grandma Hancock) was born January 8, 1906 in Elbert, Colorado. The picture of the Lincoln School just west of Elbert was taken on June 5, 1913. I am unable to identify these students however one should be Mary Frances Foreman and one should be her brother Jacob Foreman. She would have  been 7 years old in 1913 and Jacob would have been 6 years old.

The building is still there and celebrated it’s 100th birthday a few years ago. The building is owned by Bob Gresham and the Gresham family maintains the grounds and has furnished the inside of the school house much like it looked in 1913.

Lincoln School, June 5, 1913 - 7 copy
Old school house v.2

I love to see the photos taken of children on the first day of a new school year. The photos below are what I would imagine Sid Foreman and Grace Squires Foreman would have taken of their children on what could have been the first day of the school year.


Mary Frances Foreman (Grandma Hancock)

Francis, Margaret and Bernard Foreman

Mary Frances Foreman, Margaret Elizabeth Foreman, Jacob Bernard Foreman