Sepia Saturday – January 2017 – Wesley L. Hunt

The Sepia Saturday site has switched back to weekly posts so I’ve chosen one of the January posts, their number #349, to write about as my monthly Sepia post. It doesn’t match where I ended up on my Sepia postings (#363) because I wanted weekly posts to finish out my posts for the year.

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-1-49-47-pmSepia prompt photo shows a man in front of a restaurant who is taking pictures of people on the street to sell to them. He has various samples hanging from his camera showing the different decorative options available to hold the photos. This reminded me a photo I have in my collection which has similar decoration around it.

Hannah Jane (Longcor) and William Henry Hunt had son Charles Lincoln Hunt on 11 August 1871.[1] Charles married a woman named Daisy around 1894.[2] Charles and Daisy’s first son, Wesley Lincoln Hunt was born in 15 June 1893.[3] Wesley is my 1st cousin 2x removed.

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Current location of 54 St. Paul’s Avenue (corner of Baldwin and St. Pauls) in Jersey City, 2017. Source: http://njparcels.com/property/0906/6801/15

Charles had passed away sometime between 1905 (see son Henry’s age below) and April of 1910. According to the 1910 U.S. census, wife Daisy was a 33-year-old widow living at 54 St. Paul’s Avenue in Jersey City, New Jersey. There are numerous family units, eight in all, living in the same dwelling (#58) and paying rent (as opposed to owning) which means the family was likely living in an apartment building. Wesley was 16 years old and his siblings at this time were Violet (10), Charles (7) and Henry (4). Daisy was reported as having four children so far with all four still living. If this information was correct, that means that this was the complete family group for Charles and Daisy Hunt. All were listed as being born in New Jersey except Daisy’s father who was reported as being born in Pennsylvania. Daisy was working to support the now fatherless family as a server in an ice shop which I suspect means an ice cream shop. Oldest son Wesley was contributing to the household by working as plumber in a plumber’s shop. Given his young age, I would speculate that he’s apprenticed to the shop owner.

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Wesley Lincoln Hunt

I have yet to find him in the 1920 census. His mother Daisy had remarried a man named William Steinberger and they had some children together but Wesley was not listed in that household.[4]

He was listed in his grandmother Hannah (Longcor) Hunt’s probate file as an heir to her estate. On the 28th day of March 1929, Wesley was living in Allendale, New Jersey.[5]

I do have a photo of him and that brings me back around to the prompt photo. Wesley’s photo looks a lot like the ones the man is selling on the street, perhaps a bit larger. He’s very young in the picture, I would estimate early 20s or so. Wesley was standing in front of what looks to be a street/train car and there was a three-pronged light fixture hanging from the ceiling/roof. You can make out a man’s face in the window on Wesley’s right side. The reflection in the window to his left appears to capture things from the street versus being the people inside the carriage car.

He was wearing a formal uniform of some sort and there was a badge that was pinned to his right chest. Ten buttons ran down the front of his jacket, five on each side. A hat with a badge completed the outfit. Wesley was standing with his hands behind his back holding something and peeking out from behind his right knee looks to be the end of a billy club. I would suspect he was working as a transit policeman either in New Jersey or nearby New York. I did find a pinned photo on Pinterest that shows the same uniform (same button formation, same badge, same hat, same items on the collar) on a man standing in front of a NYC transit police car.

The border on the picture throws me for a loop. Why is there a race horse with a jockey? It does not seem to fit the theme of Wesley’s picture or add anything to our knowledge about his current occupation. Perhaps it was the only one available or Wesley liked horse racing.

Wesley was enumerated in the 1930 with his wife, children, and other relatives.[6] My hunch was right! Wesley’s occupation was a city policeman. Wesley (37) and wife Grace (32) were enumerated with children George (9-5/12), Audrey (6-6/12), and Gloria (4-1/12) at 180 Bergen Avenue in the 7th ward of Jersey City. Grace was 18 and Wesley was 23 when they were married which means the couple married about 1916. I now know Grace’s maiden name was most likely Kellmer since Wesley’s widowed mother-in-law Anna Kellmer (61) was living with them. Also in the household was Wesley’s married sister-in-law Maud Dugar (34) and what is most likely her son (Wesley’s nephew) 17-year-old Emmet Dugar. They had a boarder named Michael Patrick (23).

Everyone was listed as being born in New Jersey except for Anna Kellmer’s father who was born in New York and her mother who was born in Ireland. Wesley and Grace were paying $95 per month in rent and they owned a radio. Sister-in-law Maud was the only other employed person in the household working as a saleslady in a dress house. Wesley’s son George had started school but his two daughters had not. Wesley, Grace, Anna, and Maud can all read and write. Wesley was a veteran of World War I which means he could be serving in 1920 and explains why I don’t find him as a head of household at that time.

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A slight mystery pops up when Wesley (47) is found in the 1940 census as a lodger with a marital status of single.[7] Wait, what happened to Grace and the kids? I can’t tell from the information found within this census. Wesley was still working as a policeman and had earned $3,000 in the prior year. He was living as a lodger in the household of Chris and Roda Larsen at 19 Pierce Avenue in Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey. Wesley was living in the same place (Jersey City) in 1935.

world-war-ii-draft-registration-cards-1942-wesley-lincoln-huntThe fact that his wife is no longer around is reinforced with another document. On 25 April 1942, Wesley registered with the draft board for World War II, commonly called the old man’s registry.[8] Wesley Lincoln Hunt stated that he was 48 years old, born on 15 June 1893 in Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey. He was still living at 19 Pierce Avenue, the same as reported in the 1940 census. He was a police officer and listed the police department as the person who would always know where he was. No Grace or kids listed here.

The last little bit on Wesley is his listing in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) as passing away on 02 November 1957.[9] Someone presented the Social Security Administration with a death claim on 15 November 1957, possibly Grace or one of the children.

I haven’t found a death certificate or tombstone or burial plot for Wesley but, to be honest, I won’t be looking that hard for it. He’s a 1st cousin 2x removed and I have many other things to research with regards to my direct ancestors. It’s a matter of priorities when it comes to genealogy research. So, the disappearing family is interesting and it could be something to work on later. But a quick snapshot by a street photographer captured the image of Wesley about and interested me enough to find him in the 1930 census with a wife and children that I previously didn’t know about.


[1] William H. Hunt (Pvt., Co. I, 70th NY. Inf., Civil War), pension no. W.C. 852,451, Form 3-402 questionnaire dated 04 May 1898 for certificate number #359,438; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[2] 1900 U. S. census, Hudson County, New Jersey, population schedule, Jersey City, ED 162, p. 22B (penned), dwelling 296, family 496, Charles Hunt; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 June 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication M623, roll 979.
[3] 1900 U. S. census, Hudson County, New Jersey, population schedule, Jersey City, ED 162, p. 22B (penned), dwelling 296, family 496, Charles Hunt; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 June 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication M623, roll 979. Also, 1910 U. S. census, Hudson County, New Jersey, population schedule, Jersey City, ED 213, p. 6B (penned), dwelling 58, family 119, Daisy Hunt; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 June 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication M624, roll 892.
[4] 1920 U. S. census, Hudson County, New Jersey, population schedule, Jersey City, ED 242, p. 9A (penned), dwelling 107, family 198, William Steinberger; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 June 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication T625, roll 1047.
[5] Sussex County, New Jersey, Petitions and Renunciations Volume I: 416-417, Hannah J. Hunt (1929); Sussex County Surrogate’s Office, Newton.
[6] 1930 U. S. census, Hudson County, New Jersey, population schedule, Jersey City, ED 75, page 14A (penned) and 91 (stamped), dwelling 108, family 310, Wesley Hunt; digital image, Ancestry (http:www.ancestry.com : accessed 31 December 2016); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1352.
[7] 1940 U. S. census, Hudson County, New Jersey, population schedule, Jersey City, ED 9-75, sheet 2A, family 28, Chris Larsen household; digital image, Ancestry (http:www.ancestry.com : accessed 01 January 2017); citing NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 2411.
[8] “U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942,” digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 03 January 2017), card for Wesley Lincoln Hunt, no. U93, Hudson County, New Jersey; citing NARA microfilm publication M1986.
[9] “Social Security Death Index (SSDI),” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com), entry for Wesley L.Hunt, 02 November 1957, SS no. 148-22-9162; citing Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.

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