Saturday, September 29, 2012

...starts with the Thomas Family: Adam Henry Thomas

Back to the last few children of Edward Gilmer Thomas and Sarah Amanda Lucas...

Adam Henry Thomas was the ninth child of Edward and Sarah. He was born 14 Sep 1870 at Walkers Creek, Rockbridge County, Virginia. He married Ida Vermont Hinkle on 13 Sep 1899 in Fayette County, West Virginia, he was 28 and she was 17. Ida was born 13 Mar 1883 (100 years to the day of my brother's birthday), her parents are listed as David Crawford Hinkle and Sue Faulkner Hinkle.

Adam Henry and Ida had 6 known children:

  1. Susan Beatrice - born 17 Nov 1900 in Rupert, Greenbrier County, WV; married William E Plumb on 17 Jan 1917 in Erskine, Fayette County, WV; died 14 May 1928 in Thurmond, Fayette County, WV; she is buried at Hilltop Cemetery in Oak Hill, Fayette County. (This death date is listed in the Family Group Sheet, but I have found no records, yet, to back it up.) I do not know if they had any children, there are none listed in the 1920 census with the couple. 
  2. Ethel Mabel - born 3 Dec 1902 in Stone Cliff, Fayette County; married 1) Homer E Kirk on 4 Dec 1923 in Fayetteville, Fayette County, Homer is listed as divorced, and 2) Harry R Lilly on 22 Jan 1925 (80 years to the day of my own wedding) in Beckley, Raleigh County, and 3) Henry R Robinson; Ethel is listed as having passed on 5 Dec 1995 in Charleston, WV; she is buried at High Lawn Cemetery in Oak Hill.
  3. Cora Gladys - born 16 Jun 1905 (according to the FGS, no record currently on WVCulture) in Stone Cliff, Fayette County; married 1) Herbert F Duncombe on 1 Jan 1924 in Mt Hope, Fayette County; they had 1 child, and Herbert passed away soon after from pneumonia (death certificate and death record) (Herbert's FindAGrave Memorial), 2) Mark Cotton.
  4. Albert Haven - born 18 May 1909 in Newlyn, Fayette County; married Nellie Taylor (no marriage record found yet, but they are living with her parents in the 1940 census); Albert died at almost 32 years old of "anemia - muscular miositis" on 15 Apr 1941; he is buried at Oak Hill.
  5. Rubena Vermont - born 22 Jul 1911 in Stone Cliff, Fayette County; married 1) Oscar Wood on 7 May 1928 in Mt Hope, Fayette County. Had several children. 2) Mike Kozma on 21 Apr 1949 in Mt Hope. Fayette County; Reubena passed away on 19 Feb 1990 in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, New Jersey.
  6. Carrie Deilis - born on 16 Oct 1916 (no birth record on WVCulture, yet) in Erskine, Fayette County; married Clarence W Parrish on 15 Nov 1936 in Mt Hope, Fayette County; she passed away on 17 Jan 1996 in Charleston, Kanawha County, West Virginia, and is buried at Big Chimney Cemetery in Kanawha County. 
Adam Henry Thomas passed away on 13 Feb 1926 in Weewin, Fayette County, and is buried at Oddfellows Cemetery in Oak Hill, Fayette County, as is his wife, Ida, who passed away on 18 Jul 1967 in Oak Hill. Ida remarried after Adam Henry's death, she married a John W McClure (who passed away in 1960).

Ida's Obituary from the Beckley Post Herald on 19 Jul 1967.

The children of Joseph Andrew Thomas and Mary Ellen Callison

 More photos of the children of Joseph Andrew Thomas and Mary Ellen Callison.

back: Carl Vernon, James Elzie
front: Earl Gilmer, Lester Robert "Lec,"
Joseph Berton "Bert"

Earl, Lec, Carl, Bert, and Elzie

Sep 1958, Earl, Bert, Lec, Bess, Elzie, and Carl Thomas. Unknown child.

This photo is from a family reunion in 1966 - Elzie, Lec, Bess, Bert, and Earl

 Not sure on a date for this one, but I assume after the 1966 reunion and 
before Carl's stroke in 1970 which confined him to a wheelchair. 
Back: Elzie, Bess, Bert, Earl
Front: Carl and Lec

Friday, September 28, 2012

... starts with the Thomas Family: Carl Vernon Thomas

Of all the people I have come across in this Thomas Family binder, Carl Vernon Thomas is the most intriguing to me. I would love to have known him, or had 5 minutes to speak with the man he was, especially in the 1940s. 

Carl Vernon Thomas was the youngest child of Joseph Andrew Thomas and Mary Ellen Callison. Carl's birth certificate (which Letha has in the binder) lists his birth date as 10 Oct 1913 in Springdale, West Virginia, the back side of the certificate states that "The original of this certificate was not filed until Jan. 3, 1941." His birth record is not currently available through the WVCulture website, as Fayette County births are only available for the years 1852, 1861-1911 (as of this writing 28 Sep 2012). 
James Elzie Thomas (kneeling with dog) and
Carl Vernon Thomas (boy with cap)

Carl had an unfortunate accident as a child that left him with a handicap, his right arm was left a stump (at what I believe was) just above the elbow. I've heard that it was possibly from a fall out of a tree, but I'm not entirely certain. Despite the disability, Carl went to school at the West Virginia Business College (does anyone know where this college is/was?). 

Carl Vernon Thomas, back row on the far left.
Due to his handicap, Carl was unable to participate in World War II, but he aided the United States military as a civilian. In Letha's binder are 3 letters that speak volumes to Carl's hard work, loyalty, and character. The first is dated 1 October 1945, written by none other than the Major General of the Office of the Air Surgeon, David N. W. Grant (wikipedia entry with photo).

The second, dated 27 July 1947, written by Lt. Colonel William H. Perkins:

The last, 14 November 1947, written by Major General Malcom C. Grow (who would become the first Surgeon General of the United States in 1949, wikipedia entry).

These letters are, to me, priceless. They tell the story of Carl in ways that I may never have heard otherwise. The story ends sadly with the loss of his position (due to it being given to a government employee with "veteran's preference"), but the absolutely glowing recommendations and the image I am  left with of Carl are truly awesome. I wonder how Carl felt... he had served the office, according to the letters, since at least 1943. After he left the Office of the Air Surgeon, Carl worked for a catering service. I am so very pleased to have these letters available to me, and to be able to share them.  

Carl lived with Letha (his niece) and her husband Jim Osborne, so it is no wonder that she saved these important documents for us to know Carl. He passed away on 29 Nov 1986 in Indialantic, Brevard, Florida. Further evidence of the character and life of Carl Vernon Thomas is in the eulogy that Letha saved (written by Rev. James Allen). 

Obituaries of Carl Vernon Thomas (1913-1986)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

... starts with the Thomas Family: Bessie Jane Thomas

Bess, circa 1934

The  sixth child of Joseph Andrew Thomas and Mary Ellen Callison, and the only daughter, was Bessie Jane, or simply Bess. Bess was born 19 Nov 1907 either in Smoot (as seen here on line 34), or in Dawson (as submitted by L. H. McClung, Physician), both being in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. These communities are extremely small, and are only about 5 miles apart.

Bess married a man by the name of Seymour Stickler on 11 Nov 1936 in Maplewood, Fayette, West Virginia. According to their Marriage Record, Seymour was 33 years old, a widower (his first wife died in 1933), a miner, and was born to W. L. and Delphia Stickler in Lockbridge, Summers County, WV. Bess is listed as 29 years of age at her marriage.

Seymour's first marriage, on 17 Sep 1927 in Fayetteville, WV, was to a Dorothy Spade, daughter of Letcher Esco Spae and Vernie Lee Sanner, born about Feb 1908. She is listed in the Friday, Nov 3, 1933, Charleston Daily Mail (page 5 - found on
Funeral Services were held Monday for Mrs. Seymour Stickler, 23 years old, of Lockbridge, who died Saturday en route to a Hinton hospital.
Upon further investigation, her death certificate is on the WVCulture website. Her cause of death is listed as "Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy."

My heart hurts for her, Seymour, and their entire families.

Bess and Seymour's marriage was not a long one, and it would appear that they divorced before 1941.  Seymour is listed (as D for divorced) marrying a Martha Rorke (age 32, born in Pocahontas County, WV) on 18 Oct 1941 in Summers County, West Virginia. Seymour and Martha had at least six children together, one dying in infancy.

Gene Stickler and his mother, Bess Thomas Stickler
Bess passed away on 17 Jan 1996, at the age of 89. She is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, in Wadsworth, Medina County, Ohio. There is a memorial on for her.  Seymour died in Aug 1975, in Lockbridge, Summers County, West Virginia. I've posted his Obit (below) from the Beckley Post-Herald on 18 Aug 1975.

Bess and Seymour had one child, Gene Thomas Stickler. He also has a memorial on, which can be seen here.

Writing and learning about Bess, and even more about her husband Seymour, is intriguing to me. As it turns out, I was somehow destined to have a connection to Seymour. In a strange set of coincidences, Dorothy Spade, Seymour's first wife, was my Great Grand Aunt as she was my Paternal Great Grandfather's sister. Bess Thomas, Seymour's second wife, was ALSO my Great Grand Aunt being my other Paternal Great Grandfather's sister. This blog follows the research of my Paternal Grandmother's family by my Grand Aunt (my Paternal Grandmother's sister). Does that make any sense? Here's another way to explain it... My Paternal grandparents were Oather Spade and Glenna Thomas. Dorothy Spade was my Grandfather Oather Spade's Aunt. So Seymour was my Grandfather Oather's uncle by marriage. Bess was my Grandmother Glenna's Aunt, so Seymour was also my Grandmother's uncle by marriage. 

Weird enough yet?


Well, you're in luck! Because, while the details are still sketchy, my MOTHER's brother married a Stickler. In Northwest Ohio. My Aunt by marriage is indeed also related in some way to Seymour Stickler.