Iowa Travel Pics

Iowa 1
Stopped at the Music Man Square in Mason City, Iowa, the hometown of Meredith Willson, the writer and composer of the Music Man musical. If you’ve ever seen the show, or even watched the movie, you owe it to yourself to stop by this place.
First of all, Main Street is recreated…entirely indoors! With a music museum and full gift store completing the experience, it is well-worth the small admission price, which also includes a tour of Willson’s boyhood home, right next door.
Super great experience, but if you haven’t yet, see The Music Man before you visit. A must-see show for a must-see experience.

Iowa 2

Iowa 3

These two farms are a fair representation of what we saw across Iowa. We never got tired of seeing these iconic representations of the Iowa farm. Many, many farms were well over a hundred years old. Loved seeing every one.

Phillips Family Genealogy

Phillips Family Genealogy

I know very little about the Phillips branch of my family, but I am always looking to learn more!

What I do know: Mary Ann Phillips, born in 1854, Scotland County, Missouri married John Dalton. She died in Kansas City, Kansas in 1928.

Mary Ann’s parents were John Phillips and Nancy Blaine. John was born in 1808, possibly in Horse Cave, Hart County, Kentucky. Unfortunately, though I have been to Horse Cave, there is very little genealogy information in the surrounding area. I am planning to visit the Kentucky Archives this summer, and with luck, I hope to find out something more about the Phillips family. Nancy Blaine was born in New Jersey, according to the census, about 1815. Also according to the census, both her parents were from Ireland. I know Nancy and John were married in 1832, and they may have done so in Johnson County, Indiana. I will check into that while on the road this summer, too. John died in Scotland County, Missouri, in 1877. I know Nancy died after 1880, as she is on the 1880 census. But I don’t know where or when she died.

If you are related to this family line, please leave a comment. I would love to connect with you and compare notes!

Travels Through Iowa, 2013

While I was a little disappointed to not find any cornfields in Iowa, despite traveling up one side and down the other, maybe I’m behind the times: does Iowa not grow corn anymore? Is it because it’s an odd-numbered year? I have no idea.

I did find all four cemeteries I went looking for: three in Decatur County, and one in Adair County.

The three in Decatur County were the Warrick Cemetery, Decatur City Cemetery, and Bethel Cemetery. Decatur City was the only one in a town, and was very easy to locate. I found who I was looking for (Joseph Duncan Stanley, my 3x great-grandfather’s brother) quickly, which was lucky, because it looked like rain. Bethel Cemetery required some gravel roads, but not too bad. I did not find Margaret Stanley’s marker there, even though that’s where she is buried. The weather and the passage of time really take a toll on some stones, and some of the tombstones we saw were just weathered away to almost nothing. Warrick Cemetery really took some gravel roads out in the middle of nowhere, but we finally found it! Elizabeth Warrick’s stone was broken and face down, but when we turned it over, it was very readable. Some beautiful sycamore trees were growing outside the graveyard, easily 150-200 years old. All three cemeteries were very well kept, with grass mowed, trees providing shade, and just looked great. But all three also had stones that just did not last.

The last cemetery was the Winn Cemetery in Adair County. The write-up I saw failed to mention it was on private property, which was lucky because we wouldn’t have sought it out, otherwise. At the end of the road we found a very nice gentleman who explained how long he and his wife had owned the place, and what little they knew of the history in the area. He offered to walk us back to the graveyard, since the way was covered in weeds and had sheep and goats grazing. We walked back, and I found Eliza Jane Jones’s stone immediately. Her name has worn off, but you can still clearly read where it says “wife of L.H. Jones.” Whew!

Minnesota Travel Pics

Minnesota 1

This is a view out our trailer door at Ham Lake. (The tree in the foreground is not as close as it looks.) Unfortunately, it doesn’t show off the greenery of the trees and ferns as well as I had hoped.

Minnesota 2

One of many, many lilac bushes blooming everywhere. Truly gorgeous.

Minnesota 3

We couldn’t very well drive in and out of Minnesota without stopping by Spam City, USA. This museum was really a great experience…and I don’t even like Spam. The place was really well laid out, with historical references and a video to watch, and a guy came by a couple of times with different Spam flavors to try. I did finally admit the bacon-flavored one is pretty darn good. By the way, the museum is totally free.

Perry Family Genealogy

Perry Family Genealogy

My great-grandfather was Raymond Oliver Perry. He was born in Visalia, California in 1892. He married Letha Alice Collins in 1917. He worked as a freighter, hauling freight through the mountains between California and Nevada. He was also a buckaroo, breaking horses in willow-branch corrals for various ranches. He served as foreman on ranches in Oregon, Nevada, and California, including the Miller and Lux Ranch and Bishop Ranch. His brand was the 2P, registered in Eastern Oregon. He died in Woodbridge, California, in 1976 and is buried at Cherokee Memorial Park next to his wife, in Lodi, California.

Ray’s parents were John Francis Perry and Anna Rose Stanley. John was born in 1858, in Fiddletown, California, in the heart of the gold mining country. He married Anna Rose in 1886, Lake County, Oregon. John did some mining himself, both in California, and later in Mexico. He drove cattle, worked as a trail hand, and built the homestead 50 miles east of Cedarville, California in Washoe County, Nevada. John died in 1942, and is buried at Yerington, Nevada. Anna Rose, who died in 1953, is buried beside him.

John’s parents were Elijah Perry and Dinah Ann Mapes. Elijah was born about 1823, possibly in Kentucky. Dinah was born in 1825, New York. They married in 1851, St. Louis, Missouri. Elijah set out soon after, with a few friends, on horseback through Indian country, to California and the gold mines. He must have found some, because he sent for Dinah and her two children, George Parker and Adelia Malett, from two previous marriages. They sailed from Texas to San Francisco, traveling around the Horn. Once they arrived, the family moved to Fiddletown, where Elijah continued mining. In 1861, Elijah joined the 1st Regiment, California Cavalry, Company A. He died of scurvy while serving with the regiment in Arizona. Unfortunately, scurvy was not only prevalent in the Army, it was also with miners. Dinah married for the 4th time, this time to William Brown, who died in 1878. She reportedly (by son John) died in San Jose, California in 1898. But I have yet to find any evidence of her dying here or anywhere.

I am grateful for the little bits of information I do have, but of course I have many more questions.

I would like to know where Elijah was born (county and state) and also who his parents were.
I would like to know where and when Dinah died. I would love to know who her parents were, but that may come in time.
Dinah apparently stayed with her family while waiting on a ship to California. I don’t know if they were her parents, or just relations, but I would like to know who they were and their relation to Dinah.

If you are related, or think you could be, to this family branch, drop me a line and let’s compare notes!

Travels Through Minnesota, 2013

We didn’t have any genealogy to do in Minnesota. Absolutely none. But, we did have three very dear friends (from three very different time periods) to visit, so on we went.

We ended up in three different towns, as well, but they all clustered together quite well: Ham Lake, northeast of Minneapolis; Burnsville, south of Minneapolis; and St. Paul. It’s really great when you can get three friends of your own who have never met to cooperate so well as to live close by each other so that you can visit them all easily. Just saying.

Ham Lake was really beautiful, with the lake, ponds, petting zoo, Canadian Geese, and sand-hill crane for enjoyment. The lilac bushes were in bloom, too, which were just gorgeous.

In Burnsville, we ate at a Norwegian breakfast place that was really outstanding. The local CVS drugstore got a little annoyed that we parked our truck and trailer there for an hour. Even though we were in the back. Of the empty parking lot. Oh, well.

St. Paul had a charming coffee shop we visited in their downtown section. We walked there through turn-of-the-last-century neighborhoods, with beautifully restored homes, gorgeous tall trees, and well-kept yards.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our time in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, and wouldn’t mind coming back a bit!