52 Documents in 52 Weeks #49 – Daniel Plant’s Employment

Far left, Nellie and Daniel Plant

Person of Interest: Daniel W. Plant
Relationship: Husband of my great grandaunt Nellie Garfield Hunt


Source Citation: “Mr. Daniel Plant,” employment announcement, New Jersey Herald, 17 September 1908, p. 8, col. 1; Bound newspaper stacks, Sussex County Historical Society, Newton, New Jersey.


Document Description: This is a photo of a newspaper article appearing in a local Sussex County, New Jersey, newspaper. My father took a picture for me and the original newspaper is stored in the bound newspaper stacks in the Sussex County Historical Society on 82 Main Street in Newton, New Jersey. Rather than photo copy an unwieldy bound newspaper volume, he took a digital photo to send to me. The quality is much better and the fragile newspaper wasn’t further manhandled at the copy machine.


Document Scan/Transcription: Mr. Daniel Plant has severed his connections with the meat market and taken a position as agent of the L. & H. R. Railroad at Great Meadows. Daniel is a trustworthy, sober, industrious young man, just the kind railroad men are looking after and want to employ.


Analysis: I love this short little article. It says so much about Daniel and his employment opportunities with the railroad. I like that they actually list the fine qualities he possessed and that these qualities were the type that the railroad was looking for. In a bit of what seems like foreshadowing, the word “severed” is used in this article.

It also provides little tidbits to dig into and questions to answer.

  • Was the meat market well-known enough that the newspaper didn’t need to name it? Answer: Needs investigation.
  • What is the full name of the L. & H. R. Railroad? Answer: Lehigh and Hudson River Railroad. For some great history on this now defunct railroad, check out railfan Marty Feldner’s page at the Lehigh and Hudson River Railway.
  • What are the job responsibilities of an agent of the railroad? Answer: Needs investigation.
  • How young is Daniel? Answer: In 1908, at the time of this employment change, Daniel was 18.
  • Was sobriety an issue in Sussex County around the turn of the century? Why is this particular quality pointed out? Answer: Needs investigation.
  • Where is Great Meadows in location to Lafayette, New Jersey? Answer: About 25 miles southwest of Lafayette and about 18 miles southwest of Newton.

This is an original record as it’s an unedited photo of the actual article that ran in the newspaper. It is undetermined information in that you can’t really figure out who is the informant. Did his proud family submit the information, did a newspaper reporter talk to Daniel himself, or did the information come from a railroad representative? It is direct evidence in that it answers the question, “What did Daniel Plant, of Sussex County, New Jersey, do for a living in 1908?” It is indirect evidence in that you can’t determine the answer to the question, “How old was Daniel Plant, of Sussex County, New Jersey, when he became employed by the L. & H. R. Railroad?” Other evidence must be combined with this article in order to answer that question.

There are also a few other articles found in local newspapers about Daniel and the railroad in the following years. We learn that in 1910 Daniel lost a finger on his right hand while working. He was still with the railroad but is now at the Lackawanna station in Branchville Junction, which may or may not be part of the L. & H. R. Railroad.[1]

In 1915, we learn that he had been promoted to baggage-master at the passenger depot in Newton and that he had succeeded John McKee who had resigned.[2]

CONCLUSION

These are great examples of what you can find in the newspapers about the social lives of family members. In the pre-Facebook era, this was one way for the people to keep in touch with what might be happening in their towns. Short, little snippets of your ancestor’s lives could be waiting for you to find in the local and neighborhood newspapers.


[1] Daniel Plant,” news article, Sussex Register, 14 April 1910, p. 5, col. 3; Bound newspaper stacks, Sussex County Historical Society, Newton, New Jersey.
[2] “Daniel Plant, of Andover,” employment announcement, Sussex Register, 23 September 1915; Bound newspaper stacks, Sussex County Historical Society, Newton, New Jersey.

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52 Documents in 52 Weeks #27 – David Curtain’s Social Visit

Person of Interest: David Curtin
Relationship: Absolutely none!


Source Citation: “A Pleasant Little Social Visit,” news, the Pittsburg Press (Pennsylvania), 27 August 1890, p. 7, col. 3; image copy, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/image/141342906/ : accessed 30 June 2017), Historical Newspapers Collection.


Document Description: A digital clipping from a Pennsylvania newspaper found online at Newspapers.com.


Document Scan/Transcription: A Pleasant Little Social Visit.
Charles Munday and his wife were charged before Alderman Ayer with assaulting David Curtin. Curtin alleges that he went to pay the Mundays a social visit, when the whole family attacked him. Mrs. Munday got in several hard knocks on Curtin’s eye and then pulled his hair until he cried for mercy. She was arrested and in default of bail was sent to jail to await a trial. Her husband was released.


Analysis: It’s a holiday week and I’m also at the mid-way point of this 52 Documents in 52 Weeks (52D52W) project. So, this one is not family related and on a much lighter note. I was looking for a newspaper article about one Repsher (or relations) who visited another. What I was finding was a lot of little snippets, with no Repshers, which didn’t inspire a blog post, for example…[1]

or this…[2]

Interesting but not exactly what I had in mind. Then I came across the subject of this week’s post! It made me laugh out loud. There has to be a wonderful, untold story in this “pleasant little social visit” that turned out not so pleasant for one Mr. David Curtain and landed Mrs. Munday a trip to the pokey.

For me, so many questions pop out from reading this one paragraph:

  • How did David Curtain know the Mundays?
  • What was the motivation for David’s visit?
  • What time of day did this occur? What was the weather like?
  • How old were all the parties involved?
  • What are the nationalities of the parties involved?
  • What was everyone wearing?
  • What sort of house or apartment did the Mundays live in? Who were their neighbors?
  • What was said that caused made the WHOLE family attack him? Who did the whole family consist of?
    • Was there a daughter involved that perhaps David Curtain was seeing?
    • Perhaps David had a crush on Mrs. Munday and was professing his love?
    • Was there alcohol involved and a bit of liquid courage or belligerence going on?
  • What was the fight like?
    • What sort of punches was Mrs. Munday throwing? Jabs? Left hooks? All-out roundhouses?
      • Is pulling hair allowed in a fight?
      • What did David say when he was crying for mercy? “Uncle!” or “Mercy” or some other colorful phrase?
      • What was a good cuss phrase in 1890?
    • How loud was the ruckus?
      • Did any furniture get broken?
      • Did a physician attend to anyone’s wounds?
      • Who ultimately broke up the fight? Neighbors? The police?
  • Why did they not put up bail for Mrs. Munday to get out? Was the family in financial straits?
  • Why did they release Charles Munday? Was Mrs. Munday the only one doing the punching?

Giving this little snippet to a creative writing class as an assignment to write the background story would yield a bunch of wildly variant stories!

Genealogically, though, what is the value of this entertaining newspaper snippet? Well, it does serve a couple of purposes. It tells us that David Curtin knew a Mr. and Mrs. Charles Munday. Thorough research involves exploring all aspects of family unit, including friends, associates, and neighbors a.k.a the F.A.N. network. This vignette adds to the tapestry of the Munday’s story. Also, it tells us that there’s most likely court documents that we could pursue to dig up some information on the Mundays and possibly David Curtain. An exploration of their neighborhood in 1890 could provide some insight into the way they were living and/or stress they were under as they led their day-to-day lives.

CONCLUSION

Despite the headline, David Curtain’s visit to the Munday’s house could not have been pleasant for him. He ended up being attacked and, as a result, Mrs. Munday was thrown in jail to await trail on assault charges. The newspaper clipping provides a good jumping off point to dig up court documents and motivation to ferret out the “rest of the story!”


[1] “Society in Braddock,” news, the Pittsburg Press (Pennsylvania), 24 July 1898, p. 12, col. 5; image copy, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/image/141935126/ : accessed 30 June 2017), Historical Newspapers Collection.
[2] “Gloucester City,” news, the Philadelphia Inquirer (Pennsylvania), 16 December 1894, p. 22, col. 5; image copy, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/image/168073484/ : accessed 30 June 2017), Historical Newspapers Collection.

52 Documents in 52 Weeks #8 – John and Laura Repsher’s 50th Wedding Anniversary

Persons of Interest: John and Laura Repsher of Analomink, Pennsylvania
Relationship: Great grand uncle and wife


Source Citation: “Open House Marks Golden Anniversary,” The Daily Record (East Stroudsburg), 27 February 1956, p. 5, cols. 4-5; image copy, Newspapers.com (https://www.newspapers.com/image/82838805 : accessed 02 December 2016), Historical Newspapers Collection.


Document Description: An announcement in a newspaper about the 50th wedding anniversary celebration. The entire newspaper page for this day has been digitized and these are the screen clippings.


screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-10-12-48-am

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-10-12-34-amDocument Scan and Transcription: Open House Marks Golden Anniversary
Analomink – The 50th wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. John Repsher was on Monday, February 20 but the celebration in their honor was held this Saturday afternoon with an open house in the POS of a A Hall for about 100 guests.

Mr. and Mrs. Repsher were married February 20, 1906 at the East Stroudsburg parsonage by Rev. C. B. Johnson.

Mrs. Repsher, the former Laura Staples, was born in Analomink on December 9, 1887, daughter of the late John D. and Caroline Hallett Staples. Mr. Repsher was born in Pocono Lake on May 17, 1882, the son of the late John and Caroline Bonser Repsher.

They had five children of whom four are living: Mrs. Robert Van Vliet and Mrs. Russell Transue of Analomink, Ross Repsher of Quakertown and Lester Repsher, at home. They have 9 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.

screen-shot-2016-12-02-at-10-12-13-amThe Repshers have always lived in Analomink and are members of the Analomink Methodist Church. Mr. Repsher worked for many years at the lumber dock owned by C. A. Coleman. When that was disbanded he went to work for Line Material Company and was retired about a year ago.

For the party, the hall had been decorated with festoons of gold crepe paper. Tables were decorated with gold table cloths and doilies and gold candlesticks. At the table for the guests of honor, bouquets of gold carnations and marigolds flanked the wedding cake decorated with figures of a bride and bridegroom.

Refreshments were served and the guests of honor received many gifts.


Analysis: This particular wedding anniversary announcement is a genealogist’s dream article. It is chock full of information related to the John and Laura Repsher family. Birth dates, birth places, maiden names, husbands, and parents abound! I did have a question on what the “POS of A Hall” was. Turns out I learned about a new organization when I went to find out what this meant. It stands for Patriotic Order Sons of America. According to their website:

“The Patriotic Order Sons of America was organized December 10, 1847 to preserve the Public School System, The Constitution of the United Sates and our American way of life. It was incorporated by an Act of the Pennsylvania State Legislature, February 27, 1867. The subordinate unit, Washington Camp #150 was chartered by the Parent Corporation in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, May 21, 1871.”

I consider the online copy of a page from the Daily Record to be an original document even though it’s been digitized. As long as the content does not appear to be changed during the process (whether that’s copying, scanning or digitizing), the digital copy can be considered as good as the original. This article looks to be completely untouched as part of the entire page that’s been digitized. I’ve clipped portions of that page so that I can insert it into this article and so that you could read the print.

The information in the article is mixed in nature with both primary (firsthand) and secondary (secondhand, hearsay) information found. Assuming Laura and John were the informants, they would know what children they had together and the listing of Mrs. Robert Van Vliet, Ross, Lester and Mrs. Rusell Transue would be primary. Both John and Laura’s birth dates are secondary as neither would remember being born but they are relying what other people have told them about their birth dates, places, and parents. Their wedding date is primary information; they were both there and remember quite distinctly where and when they were married and who performed the ceremony.

The evidence is direct (explicit) related to John and Laura’s marriage. It answers, quite succinctly, the question, “When were John Repsher and Laura Staples of Analomink, Pennsylvania, married?” There is also direct evidence related to their births but since that is secondary information, further evidence should be found to corroborate the dates.

From the information in the article, we can construct a basic family group.

John Repsher (son of John and Caroline (Bonser) Repsher, born 17 May 1882, Pocono Lake, Pennsylvania) married Laura Staples (daughter of John D. and Caroline (Hallett) Staples, born 09 December 1887) on 20 February 1906 at East Stroudsburg. They had the following children:

  1. ________, daughter, married Robert Van Vliet
  2. ________, daughter, married Russell Transue
  3. Ross, son
  4. Lester, son
  5. ________, child died before 27 February 1956

CONCLUSION

This is a robust 50th wedding anniversary announcement with lots of excellent genealogical information both of primary and secondary nature. It helps fill in some blanks in my family tree in that I didn’t have Laura Staples’ mother’s name. I’m treating the online, digital copy as an original, just like I’d inspected it at a historical society or at the publisher’s archives.