Dad’s good friends lost during the invasion of Bougainville

The landing at Empress Augusta Bay, Island of Bougainville, British Solomon Islands. By Unknown or not provided – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=53319

My Dad’s memoirs, which he wrote while in his early seventies, include some details of his service with Company A, Third Marine Division. Here he talks about Bougainville: Orders came for an invasion of Bougainville, British Solomon Islands. So we started to hustle once again, packing gear, cleaning weapons, etc. We all went aboard a LCVP (landing craft vehicle personnel) hove to the beach. There were dozens of them to accommodate our entire division. The staging area for the operation was a few hundred miles north of Guadalcanal. Our firepower consisted of two battleships, 1 heavy cruiser, 3 destroyers, a supply ship and a hospital ship, plus many landing craft. We were offshore from Empress Augusta Bay. At around 0500 the Navy began shelling the beach. At about 0700 we all went over the side on cargo nets to the waiting boats below. We landed on Cape Torokina. We experienced light opposition while some of our division down the coast by the Piva River ran into stiff fighting. The entire division consisting of approximately 10,000 men was involved in this operation. My very good friends “Tiny” Owens (Congressional Medal of Honor winner), Jimmy Carrick and Carl Martin were all killed at Piva River. Also Teofilo Romero—one heck of a nice guy. Of the estimated 28,000 Japs on the island, only about 300 surrendered. The rest were either killed or committed suicide. Ten days after the landing, Bougainville was considered secure.

*******************************************

The names of my Dad’s lost buddies stood out to me, of course, and I wanted to see what information I could find out about them. For three of them, I only found Find a Grave entries recording their burial places. Not surprisingly, much more can be found about Sgt. Owens. I can’t begin to imagine how deeply their loss was felt, not just by my father (then 22), but by all of Company A. They were so young, and gave all. May they — and my Dad (d. 1992) — rest in peace.

Sgt. Robert A. Owens (September 13, 1920 – November 1, 1943) – age 23 – hometown Drayton, SC; nicknamed “Tiny”, but there was nothing tiny about what he did at Bougainville on November 1, 1943. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously, his father accepting the medal on August 12, 1945, at the family home from Major General Clayton B. Vogel, Commanding General at Parris Island at that time. Here is Sgt. Owen’s story. He lies in rest at the Manila American Cemetery. Other links:

PFC Carl Osteen Martin (May 29, 1924 – November 2, 1943) – age 19 – buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Mt. Olive, North Carolina.

PFC James Purcell Carrick (August 19, 1925 – November 20, 1943) – age 18 – buried in Section 34, Site 1131, Arlington National Cemetery.

PFC Teofilo Romero (March 7, 1925 – November 1, 1943) – age 18 – buried in Puerto Rico National Cemetery in Bayamon, Puerto Rico (Section F, Site 2856). Teofilo appears in the front left of the below photo my father had in his photo collection.

Categories: Bougainville, Brodhead, WWII | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

“Rocking Cradle” — An update on my Mayflower Society membership “quest”

L0057479 Savoyard baby’s rocking cradle, 18th century, viewpoint show
Credit: Science Museum, London. Wellcome Images
images@wellcome.ac.uk
http://wellcomeimages.org
Savoyard baby’s rocking cradle, 18th century, viewpoint showing the inside of cradle, graduated grey background.
Published: –
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

I had an email the other day from someone representing the local chapter of the Mayflower Society, asking me how things were going with my attempts to link my third-great-grandmother Wealthy Ann (Cushman) Jaques with Mayflower passenger Mary Allerton.

I had not worked on this since before my mother fractured her leg two years ago, and I recalled that there had been some formidable-looking brick walls to hurdle. I advised her of such and then spent a day refreshing my memory and retracing my steps to see if I had missed anything or anything new had surfaced online.

Pretty much everything was as before with the remarkable exception of the appearance of Eleazar Cushman’s 1795 will on Ancestry.com. As you may recall, my theory has been that this Eleazar Cushman was the son of Seth Cushman and Abiah Allen, baptised on 17 July 1768 in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and that he and his wife Mercy (Marcia) Toocker are Wealthy’s parents. (See my previous posts on this topic by typing “Mayflower” into the search box.)

Eleazar (Eleasur) died on 9 August 1795 at age 27 and is buried in the Center Church Ancient Burying Ground in present-day downtown Hartford, CT. Per the Mortuary Notice, Connecticut Courant, Mon., 10 Aug 1795, he was a ship carpenter and died suddenly of “…drinking too freely of cold water.” For an interesting post “Drinking Cold Water and Other 19th Century Causes of Death,” which cites a famous doctor’s observations from 1805—not long after Eleazar died, click here.

Eleazar’s estate’s executors were James Hillyer and Joseph Toocker. This Joseph Toocker was either Mercy’s father or brother, both named Joseph, probably her father.

The materials include a statement submitted by Mercy:
“Hartford April 2nd, 1796 / This Certifies that it is at my request and desire that James Hillyer of Hartford should undertake as Administrator of the Estate of My husband Eleazar Cushman Late of Hartford (illegible word) witness my hand. Mercy Cushman”

The Administrator’s account of the estate, dated April 9, 1796, is not entirely legible to me. It includes an inventory page and an expenses page.

The inventory, which contains 26 items valued at £8.46, includes “one feather bed. under bed and pillows,” sheets and pillowcases, “one old jacket,” “one pair old shoes,” “one old cotton jacket,” “one cravat,” “eight earthen plates”, “stone jugg,” “frying pan,” “shovel & tongs,” “looking glass,” “one set of silver teaspoons,” “chest of drawers,” “9 knives & forks very old,” “iron teakittle” and a few other things.

The expenses page includes items totaling £8.46: burial and grave digging (90 p.), coffin (£1.90), 60p for one doctor and 36p for another, and what appears to be monies (£4.06) for “household furnishings allowed the widow” and “provisions for the family.”

One other thing in the inventory, which really caught my eye, was “rocking cradle” valued at 30p. Could this be the cradle in which my third-great-grandmother spent her earliest of days???

The “quest” continues… It’s not something that keeps me up at night by any means, but I do hope to connect the dots someday for the sake of the young ones in the family and those in my family tree who back in the 1930s tried, but failed to link their great-grandmother Wealthy Ann Cushman to the famed Mayflower passenger.

Categories: Angus, Cushman, Jaques, mayflower, Mayflower 1620 | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

For sale: Depuy family farmhouse, built in 1700s in Monroe Co., Pennsylvania

Scene from Luke W. Brodhead’s book The Delaware Water Gap, published 1870

One of the oldest homes in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, is for sale. Built on the 3,000 acres of land Nicholas Depuy (Depui) purchased directly from the Minisink Indians in 1727, the roughly 3,500-square-foot stone house has 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms and is listed for $299K.

According to Landmarks of Historic Interest along the Lackawanna Railroad, published sometime in the 1930s (p. 13 references an event on January 10, 1930; otherwise, I did not see a date), this home, known then as “Croasdale Manor,” was purchased by Aaron Depuy (1714-1785) in 1745 from his father Nicholas (m. Wentjen Roosa). (Note: Aaron Depuy’s niece Elizabeth Depuy (daughter of Samuel and Jane Depuy) was married to General Daniel Brodhead.)

To view the listing and accompanying photos, click here.

Upon further investigation, I learned that the house entered the Croasdale Family in 1837*.

Page 20 of Landmarks of Historic Interest along the Lackawanna Railroad (pub. 1900)

The above-mentioned publication states (see screenshot inset) that the then (1930s) owner was a Mrs. Clementine Croasdale. I pulled her birth and death dates from the Social Security Death Index on Ancestry: 1896-1981. Baptism records on Ancestry show that her parents were Louis Rupprecht and Rose Schlos, and that her husband was Lee Croasdale, born in Stroudsburg in 1895 and died in Georgia in 1951. I don’t think she was the then owner because the 1930 census shows her living with her parents and her son William at 130 Lackawanna Avenue, an ordinary home in East Stroudsburg, PA.

Another source**, which I believe to be correct, says that when in 1931 the famed nearby Kittatinny Hotel burned to the ground, the Croasdale house belonged to Mrs. Elenora Croasdale. Elenora Davis Brodhead Croasdale (1862-1950) was the daughter of Luke Wills Brodhead (1821-1902; historian and collector of Indian artifacts and manager of a resort at Delaware Water Gap) and the wife of Howard Andre Croasdale (1857-1923). They had two children: Harold T. Croasdale (1889-1978; see below) and Laurence Croasdale (1885-1913); died of pulmonary tuberculosis at age 27).

Croasdale Manor swimming pool, postcard from 1936

“Croasdale Manor,” which had also been used through the years at various times as a resort and an inn, remained in the Croasdale family until Harold T. Croasdale (d. December 1978; predeceased by wife; no living children) willed the home and adjacent property to Lafayette College for use for cultural events and to support cultural events if ever sold. Eventually the house was sold*** to a  jazz trombonist and his musician wife.

Harold Croasdale had graduated from Lafayette College in 1911, and the January 1979 college alumni newsletter (PDF link below) that carries his obituary stated that his “consuming passion, beginning in 1964, was reconstructing Croasdale Manor, which had been destroyed by fire in 1939. […] He had it rebuilt, stone by stone, pegged board by pegged board, following drawings he had made after the fire. He and his wife, Anna May Brooks, who died in 1975, had discovered a wrought iron chest in a sealed fireplace in the old home. In the chest were two deeds—one from William Penn, granting land to Croasdale’s forbears; the other, dated 1727, was the original deed for the land, which was purchased from the Indians.”  These two deeds support historic events: Nicholas Depuy was forced to buy the land again after the transaction with the Indians was deemed illegitimate.

So evidently the house stood in ruins from 1939 to 1964, when Harold took it upon himself to rebuild and restore the home to its former glory. Perhaps, he’d have liked to have gotten started sooner with the restoration, but funds weren’t available? Yes, that appears to have been the case. Look up “At Croasdale Manor A Dream Takes Shape,” The Pocono Record, June 17, 1967, available on Newspapers.com. I got a “Free View” — no idea why. The article discusses the renovations and other details. 

Let’s hope the home, which appears to need a little TLC, finds a new owner and continues to be loved and preserved for generations to come.

=============================================================

*”Harold T. Croasdale ’11, longtime Class Correspondent, dies at 89,” Lafayette Alumni News, January 1979.  digital.lafayette.edu/collections/magazine/lafalumnews-19790100/pdf

**”Fire Which Destroyed Kittatinny Ends Full Century of Hotel Life,” The Morning Sun, October 31, 1901. https://www.poconorecord.com/assets/pdf/PR1570430.PDF

***”Restrictions on Gift Home Are Disputed Monroe County Mansion Was Donated to College,” The Morning Call, August 9, 1988. https://www.mcall.com/news/mc-xpm-1988-08-09-2652445-story.html

“At Croasdale Manor A Dream Takes Shape,” The Pocono Record, June 17, 1967. (viewable on Newspapers.com as a free view)

Categories: Brodhead, De Puy (De Pui), Delaware Water Gap, Monroe Co., Pennsylvania | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Remembering President John Adams’ 1826 Independence Day toast

President John Adams (b. 1735) passed away on the 4th of July in 1826.

From the diary* of Reverend George Whitney, who on June 30, 1826, led a small delegation into the home of the 90-year-old feeble and frail former President:

“Spent a few minutes with him in conversation, and took from him a toast, to be presented on the Fourth of July as coming from him. I should have liked a longer one; but as it is, this will be acceptable. ‘I will give you,’ said he, ‘Independence forever!’” He was asked if he would not add any thing to it, and he replied, “not a word.”

John Adams, second President of the United States. Pendleton’s Lithography, ca. 1825-1828 (Source: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print)

*July Fourth Toast by John Adams, 30 June 1826,” Founders Online, National Archives, accessed April 11, 2019, https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Adams/99-02-02-8030. [This is an Early Access document from The Adams Papers. It is not an authoritative final version.]

Categories: Adams John, Fourth of July | 1 Comment

A Florida Friday: The house that cowboy hats (and lots of other hats) built

The John B. Stetson House in DeLand, Florida; photo by Ebyabe, 1 March 2008 – Permission granted to copy, use image under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license – see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

I love old houses, and I’m sure I am not alone in that regard.

Here in Florida, it can be a challenge to find homes over a certain age, depending on where you live, of course, especially the further south you go.

Because truly old homes are not as plentiful as up north, I periodically search for ones for sale on websites like Realtor, etc., where you can filter out results based on age and other criteria. It’s fun (IMO) to look at old home interiors you would otherwise probably never get to see. I was doing that a few days ago when I came across the John B. Stetson mansion at 1031 Camphor Lane in Deland, Volusia County, Florida. We’d been in that area a couple of times in recent years, visiting nearby De Leon Springs and Blue Springs, but had no idea the Stetson mansion, celebrated for its history and its architectural mix of Moorish, Gothic, and Tudor styles, would have been within such easy striking distance.

John Batterson Stetson (1830-1906) portrait. Wikipedia – public domain image

Who was John B. Stetson? If you have not heard of him, you may still be familiar with the Stetson hat.

Born in 1830 to a New Jersey hatter and his wife, Stetson, while still a young man, was diagnosed with tuberculosis and told he may not have much longer to live. He took off for the West, wanting to lay his eyes on that expansive majestic land while he still could. That’s when he came into contact with the region’s settlers and cowboys, who until then had largely been wearing caps made of coonskin and other furs, not very practical. Returning home to Philadelphia, he came up with the Stetson hat, and started turning them out in 1865. They sold like hotcakes and became known as “the boss of the plains.”

The Holly Standard, March 8, 1883 (Credit: http://www.fultonhistory.com)

Stetson lived well into his seventies and along the way became known for his generosity as an employer and a philanthropist. His hat-making business had treated him well. His company survived and thrived, and it’s still going strong today: https://www.stetson.com

Seeing as how Stetson’s Florida mansion, built in 1886, is up for sale (for $4.7 million), this is an ideal time to get a look inside at the interior without paying an admission fee and without having to physically go there. The sellers purchased the house a decade ago and completely restored and renovated it.  The result is stunning, and although this is a private residence, they have generously been permitting people to tour the estate and experience this very interesting piece of history. In fact, it’s the #1 Deland attraction on Trip Advisor. Hopefully the eventual buyers will want to keep this up.

To go to the listing and its 122 photographs, click here: John B. Stetson house. For the Stetson Mansion website, click here.

The Boone County Recorder (KY), October 28, 1875 (Credit: http://www.fultonhistory.com)

The Rockdale Messenger (TX), 9 September 1904 (Credit: http://www.fultonhistory.com)

From the New York Daily Star, May 24, 1929 (Credit: http://www.fultonhistory.com)

The New York Daily Star, 20 September 1929 (Credit: http://www.fultonhistory.com)

The New York Daily Star, 16 May 1930 (Credit: http://www.fultonhistory.com)

The Evening Telegram (NY), 30 September 1904 (Credit: http://www.fultonhistory.com)

Categories: 1870s, 1890s, 1900s, Advertisements, Deland, Florida, Stetson John B | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

January 1876 autograph album: A gift to Elizabeth Sargent Trewin from her Sunday School class

Elizabeth Sargent Trewin (Image from my family’s personal collection)

In January 1876, my great-grandmother Elizabeth Sargent (b. 15 September 1854 in Northampton, England) was given an autograph book by her Jersey City, New Jersey, Sunday School class. She was 21 years old and evidently was a teacher to students not much younger than she. This was six-and-a-half years before she married widower William Trewin and became a second mother to his two sons, Bert (10) and Clarence (12). My grandmother Zillah arrived in June 1883, 11 months after they walked down the aisle. I have written numerous posts about both these families so if you are new to this blog and want to know more about them, it’s here! Just use the search box, or scroll down a bit and click on the relevant link in the directory on the left side of this page.

This autograph album captures autographs she acquired over the years and includes a couple of entries made by my mother who was 3 when Elizabeth died in February 1926.

Some of the entries are very faded, and I have tried to adjust those for some degree of readability. The entries that stand out to me are those made by family members:

Lulu Ludey, a niece by marriage, who wrote on November 26, 1885, at age 10: “Aunt Lizzie – When you are Old and Drinking your tea, put on your specs and Think of me. Your niece, Lulu Ludey”

Betty Boles, granddaughter, who wrote on November 27, 1933, at age 10: “For get me not. The violet loves a sunny bank, The cowslip loves the lea – The scarlet creeper loves the elm. But I love only thee. Your loving Granddaughter, Betty Boles”

Elizabeth Sargent’s autograph album (From my family’s personal collection)

Albert (Bert) Trewin, stepson, wrote on April 12, 1883, at not quite age 11: “Mamma, Lost yesterday somewhere between sunrise and sunset two golden hours each filled with sixty golden minutes, No reward is offered for they are gone forever. Your son, B. Trewin”

Zillah Trewin, daughter, who wrote in 1892, at age 9: “Mama – When after years when this you see I wonder what your name will be, Yours truly, Zillah Trewin”

Betty Boles, granddaughter, wrote in January 1933, at age 9: “Roses are red, Violets are blue, Sugar is sweet, and so are you. With love your granddaughter, Betty Boles”

Zillah Trewin, daughter, wrote on January 2, 1897, at age 14: “Dear Mama, Six little words I have for thee, Be happy and think of me. From your loving daughter, Zillah M. Trewin”

I “got lost” in this little album yesterday and must say reading through the entries lifted my spirits. Apart from my 96-year-old mother, all of these people are long long gone, and yet they seem very near to me today.

Presented to Miss Sargent by her Sunday School Class as a token of love. January 1876

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Categories: Boles, Heirlooms, Jersey City, Hudson Co., Memorabilia, New Jersey, Sargent, Trewin | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

A Florida Friday: Some thousand-year-old oaks

For this “Florida Friday” post, I’m sharing a few scenes from a recent visit to the 9,000-acre Highlands Hammock State Park, which is located outside the town of Sebring in lower central Florida. Established in 1931, it was one of the first state parks in Florida. Here, some of the oaks are said to be over a thousand years old. The Civilian Conservation Corps was responsible for building many of the structures and the numerous boardwalks and trails. The park was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2018. Though it is off the beaten path for most visitors to this state, it is well worth a visit—as are all the Florida state parks, actually! Have a great weekend.

 

Categories: Florida, Hiking, Nature, Trees | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Annual Reunion of DePuy and Brodhead families – August 24, 2019; ‘Wheat Plains’ GoFundMe page available

“Wheat Plains,” the old Brodhead Homestead, Pike Co., Pennsylvania – Image from my family’s private collection

If you are a DePuy or Brodhead descendant and have not heard, the Association for these two families is holding its annual reunion on August 24th this year. It starts at 9 AM at the National Park Service’s Bushkill Meeting Center at 6414 Milford Road (Rte 209) in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. There will likely be a voluntary service project followed by dinner the day before – places still TBD.

To register your participation, you first need to join the Association ($20/year) so that you can receive its quarterly newsletters. The reunion fee is $12.50 per individual or $20 per couple. Funds go towards lunch & meeting room costs.  Contact:  DePuy/Brodhead Family Association, 9031 11th Place West, Everett, WA 98204-2694. Email: depuy.brodhead.family.assoc@gmail.com

By the way, I also just noticed that a GoFundMe page was set up a while back to raise funds for the renovations needed at the historic Brodhead ‘Wheat Plains’ house. There is a $100,000 goal. Click here. The Association is working on other ideas that could help raise funds and build awareness. The house and its grounds certainly mean a great deal to Brodhead descendants and the descendants of other families who settled in that part of Pennsylvania way back in the early 1700s; hopefully a broader base of support will emerge over time, however. As word spreads of the need to preserve this house and others like it in the area, I sure hope people start opening their wallets, if only to give a small gift.

Anyway, back to the reunion, if you’ve never been to this part of Pennsylvania, especially in the summertime, you are in for a treat if you go!

Categories: Brodhead, De Puy (De Pui) | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wealthy Ann Jaques Angus (1815 – 1892)

Wealthy Ann Jaques Angus – early in her marriage (m. 1839); image from my family’s personal collection.

Today’s post shares an obituary that must surely be familiar to many Angus descendants, but since some may never have seen it, I am including it in this blog. It was originally published in the Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal on March 7, 1892. My grandmother typed up the below copy for her two sons.

I have done numerous posts about the James and Wealthy Angus family, so if you are visiting this blog for the first time, you can use the directory on the side of the page to find all the posts relevant to the Angus family. You can also use the search box.

Wealthy Ann Jaques Angus, born on 15 December 1815, was the daughter of prominent Manhattan tailor Isaac Jaques and his first wife Wealthy Cushman. At age 23, she married 28-year-old James Winans Angus.

Piece of Wealthy Ann Jaques Angus’s wedding dress – plaid was quite common in those days. This dress would have been her “best dress” for only the most special of occasions. It was also worn by her daughter (my great grandmother) Wealthy Ann Angus Woodruff (fabric and accompanying note from my family’s personal collection).

Roughly five years into the young couple’s marriage, his coach-making business took him from New Jersey to Mexico City. Eventually she and their two young children joined him, sharing part of the journey—the trip across the Vera Cruz Mountains—with a young Ulysses S. Grant, who had just recently graduated from West Point.

James’s coach-making business took a back seat when the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) broke out. Appointed a commissary by General Winfield Scott, James was responsible for providing supplies to the US Army. The obituary contains other exciting details from their life in Mexico, and I will let you enjoy reading them yourself.

Wealthy Ann Jaques Angus, widow of James Winans Angus, circa 1890; image from my family’s personal collection.

Wealthy was widowed at age 47 and left with 10 children to tend to. Of the 10, only two were over the age of 18. Without James, the family breadwinner, finances naturally became exceptionally tight. Yet somehow she managed to keep the ship afloat, selling off bits and pieces of real estate James had purchased during their married years, and no doubt relying on her older children, once working, to help out on the home front. Wealthy Ann Jaques Angus died of kidney disease* in 1892. She was 74.

Angus family home in Elizabeth, NJ, from 1848-1871. It stood at 927 Elizabeth Avenue.

My grandmother Fannie B. Woodruff Brodhead (Wealthy Angus’s granddaughter via daughter Wealthy Angus Woodruff) was fiercely proud of her Angus roots. Born 11 June 1882 (137 years ago tomorrow!), she was nearly 10 when her grandmother Angus died—old enough to have many memories of time spent visiting her grandmother at the big Angus house at 927 Elizabeth Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ.

Unfortunately, I was just a little 5-year-old when my grandmother died, so I never had a chance to ask her anything of importance. But, here I am a half century later, doing my bit to pass along family history details nonetheless; details she left behind in the hope someone would take up the mantle. Fortunately, someone usually does. I think she would be pleased to know this obituary still has an audience all these years later.

*One Line of Descendants of James Angus by Harriet Stryker-Rodda, Certified Genealogist, Elizabeth, NJ, 1969

Wealthy Ann Jaques Angus obituary – copied by my grandmother, a granddaughter via Wealthy’s daughter Wealthy Angus Woodruff, for her two sons.

Categories: Angus, Elizabeth, Union Co., Grant, Gen. Ulysses S., Mexican-American, Mexico, New Jersey, Scott General Winfield | Tags: , | Leave a comment

A Florida Friday: Flowers, flamingos, and a feeling of serenity…

Some images from a recent stroll through the historic Everglades Wonder Gardens in Bonita Springs, Florida. It was the end of the day, and I had this small zoo/botanical garden to myself. Nothing like nature to lift one’s spirits and relieve the stressors of the day.  I hope you have a chance to spend some time this coming weekend in the great outdoors.

Categories: Bonita Springs, Florida, Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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