Trip to Illinois and Wisconsin

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Larger images available upon request
In May 2008 Donna Brown (Virginia Billings' daughter) and her daughter, Kay Bauman, drove from Oklahoma City to the Peoria, Illinois area then to the Galena, Illinois and Lafayette County, Wisconsin area to enjoy the areas and conduct genealogical research on our Keithley/Turner family.  This is the journal that Donna kept and Kay assisted in developing.


peoriaKay and I left a few minutes after 6:00 a.m. to drive to Peoria. We talked and talked the whole way and arrived at the hotel around 6:30ish. We had stopped a few minutes before 11:00 and decided we were probably hungry enough to do lunch. We fixed tuna salad sandwiches and had a few bites of banana nut bread I made the night before from bananas I'd forgotten about that HAD to be used and then got back on the road. We made a pit stop just south of Doolittle and Kay took a couple of pictures in preparation for starting a blog (with photos) regarding this trip. In thinking about this being a genealogy trip we thought that although these details may seem mundane today, some long years in the future some generations may find these details of who we were, what we thought and what we confirmed may be interesting. Rest area near Doolittle, MOWe noted the land in Illinois is really flat; you could almost think you were in Oklahoma except the dirt doesn't have any red in it – in fact it appears to be a pretty washed-out lighter brown. There also seems to be a near total lack of animals where in Oklahoma we always have a lot of cows grazing on our red dirt. We began seeing birds that were black with strikingly red spots on their wings and perhaps even some yellow markings. When they are stopped, with wings in, the color is pretty much not visible so we weren't sure what we were seeing. They are so prevalent they may be a state bird (later we learned they are just very prevalent in the spring).  We stopped at a Taco Bell for dinner in Springfield and after topping off the gas tank headed on for the last leg of the trip. Barbara Landholt (Bernita Curtess' grand daughter) called while we were waiting for dinner and we confirmed the arrangements for meeting in the morning. We got settled in our room at Extended Stay Hotels just over the river in Peoria and began our nightly rituals. We both had a cup of hot tea. We had a lot of serious conversations and a lot of laughs – I'd try to replicate it but truly you just had to be there.


Elisha & Sarah TurnerBarbara and Kim Landholt came over to spend the day and join us in the 2 hour Fulton County loop that we planned to do in a day. This is the first time Barbara and I have seen each other probably since about 1960 when I was about 20; Kay had obviously never met her and neither of us had met Kim. We immediately felt comfortable with one another and talked for 1 hours in the hotel before we set out for the Fulton County sites. Barbara and Kim are bright, eager and funny, which made the day be fun and energetic. As we started to get in the car, Barbara asked if we had or would like to have a GPS; she had a portable unit in her car. Kim went over to get it. We programmed it and started on our day's journey. We went to Farmington (Kay couldn't remember why were going there). We did stop at a cemetery (Oak Ridge established in 1835) and spent some time walking the grounds there. We didn't find any family but did take some photos because it was a pretty cemetery.
We drove on over to Fairview. Once we arrived in town we pulled over to assess what to do there. We were across the street from the Fairview Cafe. The cafe looked to Kay to  be deserted and Kim noted that several people walked in so it must be open and perhaps it would do for lunch.  Finally, some young people walked out and we finally convinced Kay to ask them where the cemetery was located. I mean, a town of 20 blocks long and 7 blocks wide – everyone should know where everything is. They didn't know because they were college students who drive over there nearly every Sunday to eat the homecooked buffet foods (particularly the pies). We decided to continue driving down the main street to see if we could just see it – and we did, about 2 to 3 blocks down the street. We turned into the cemetery and drove about half the depth of the cemetery when Kay looked to the right at a pillar style headstone and read, “Elisha Turner.” We got out and found one side said “Elisha” and the other said “Sarah.” Their son and daughter-in-law's headstone was bedside theirs facing the road. We took several photographs there. 
Lewis & Mary Turner's homeWe went back to the Fairview Cafe for lunch. It was pretty darn good. We asked several people in the cafe if they knew anything about the Turner's or Keithley's. None did but they suggested we go about three blocks to Mary Jo Willis' home. They said she knew everything about the cemetery; we soon discovered she was a genealogist who was doing work on a number of people in the town and knew a lot. She lives across from the Reformed Church of Fairview, which was the third reformed church in the nation (the locals told us it was the house with 9-paned windows on the top all around her house). We pulled in the driveway and saw a woman there. Kim and Barbara got out and walked over to talk. Barbara said, “Mary Jo?” She replied, “Do I know you from my high school?” They giggled while Barbara started to ask about Elisha and Sarah. Mary Jo said, “I was just doing research on them last night.” After talking a bit, we followed her over to Lewis Morse Turner's (our ancestor, Amy's brother) house. It was right there on the corner where we had just turned to go to the cemetery. Mary Jo told us it was “the Sears house.” They ordered it from the Sears & Roebuck catalog (store). It was quite attractive (visit the Elisha page for more photos). Mary Jo walked up to the door and knocked. If they had been home she would have had us inside. She said it is really beautiful inside (the Turners no longer live there). This was their home they built when they moved into town from the fruit farm Elisha had owned and operated and that Lewis inherited. Mary Jo indicated that Finis (Lewis Turner's son), had a son, Merrill, who is still alive and living in Canton. Lewis was apparently a photographer of some local renown and she said Finis should be a source for seeing his photos. Donna, Mary Jo, KayShe also said, Mary Houser Turner said when she was pregnant with her last child, “This will be the end and that's why they named him Finis.” After exchanging information (emails, etc.) we thanked her and started for Canton.
We went to the Parlin-Ingersoll Library in Canton – they  have a pretty fair genealogy area (though the library justs allows them space there and they do not provide service for it.) We didn't find much of significance there. Kay might have found more had she had more time to find things for everyone to do, but she felt as if too many people had too much time on their hands while she searched enough to find areas for searching. We did look at some plat maps to try to be able to find both Elisha's and Joseph's land. Kay found a mention of Elisha's death in 1876 in the Canton Register that indicated he was 72 and that the funeral took place at his home.
We then went over to Lewistown where we went to the Oak Hill Cemetery to find my greatgrandmother's burial site as well as her daughter's and son-in-law's. We were successful there and, once again, took several photos. Amy's headstone is of the upright block style and I observed it to be somewhat similar in style to that of her son Joseph's in Sarcoxie, Missouri; he had just died the previous year in 1911. It could have been that the people selecting for it were the same or perhaps just the same time period. Her daughter Edith's was much smaller and of the flat style (later we learned from Arthur's will that he requested his executors pay his "sister forty dollars a day so long as she may live; and upon her death to supply from my estate sufficient means to provide her body with a respectable but inexpensive burial, they to be the sole judges of the character adn expense of such burial"). Edith's husband was not right there so Kay went to search for it. She found Mr. Davidson's site with his family (parents and siblings). Oak Hill Cemetery in Lewistown, ILWe surmise that because the Davidson family had a number of plots already set aside for family members that when Amy died (or during their planning for that event) that they bought two plots together for Edith and her mother. All the plots were located in the same section just not beside one another. We had driven a little bit out of town when Kim asked for a restroom stop. After driving a little further we deduced (with the help of the GPS which Kim had decided to name Gretchen)there would not be anything for quite some time (this is definitely rural country) we backtracked to Lewistown to use the facilities. We then headed back to Peoria. We tried to find Arthur's home in Peoria; it had been on Knoxville Street (1601). When we got there we found it to be a totally major commercial street (there was one residence still remaining and it was quite large and at least two stories of a dark red material; I'm sure it was beautiful in its day). We went back to the hotel; Barbara and Kim decided they didn't want to drive back to Naperville because they were too tired. They found a room at the Sleep Inn next door and then we went out for dinner. We headed over to Cheddar's where we relaxed and laughed our way through another good meal – two for one day is definitely overkill, but still fun. After dinner, Barbara dropped us off at the hotel and they drove next door to recouperate before driving back home the next morning. Kay talked to her husband Keith and we did minimal computer work before retiring as well.


Eva's birth certificateI woke up a little later than I expected and stepped into the shower almost immediately. By the time I was dressed Kay was up and working on creating a file to send to Mary Jo Willis on the Turner connection. She had told Mary Jo she would send it the night before but she tried and realized she was WAY TOO tired to do that kind of work. It is not a process she does often so it provided a longer challenge than she had expected. We finally got on the road around 9:00 and headed over to Best Buy to try to purchase a GPS system (we really did enjoy it the day before and appreciated its benefits). Best Buy wasn't open so we stepped on into Target and Kay did buy one on sale. We went back to the car to set it up and started on our way to the Lewistown Court House. We really enjoyed the GPS until it told us to turn a way that didn't seem logical. Even though we had been to Lewistown the day before so really knew where we were going we followed it to the town of Liverpool in case it was actually a “faster” way to get there– it took us to three different street names that were the same as those in Lewistown. Liverpool was only about two miles off the road from the road we had been on so not a major diversion to check the way the GPS was functioning. We have no idea why it would have routed us there since Liverpool and Lewistown aren't the same at all and Liverpool was just an incredibly small village. We finally had to give up and Violet's birth certificatebacktrack to where we were and put in a fourth street name in Lewistown to actually get us there. But we continued to give her additional chances to show us her value and we were basically impressed with the usefulness of the GPS. We went to the courthouse and stated out in the court records for births, marriages and deaths. We did find that Eva was born in Fairview and her doctor was Dr. Curtis who was the same one who delivered Violet. Her name was pretty seriously misspelled (Ketheley), which was one of the reasons it was missed by anyone doing a search just for Keithley. It showed her mother's name to be Maria or Mariah McCoon. We found Violet Belle on the previous page and checked hers as well and her mother was listed as Martha Ann Keithley (Jester). Kay said that was what her children had said (though they also said it could be Patten or Conn) and it was what they used on her death certificate. Kay bought copies of both birth certificates. We went down to the land records section where Kay wanted to look for the land Joseph and Martha owned in Fairview. I told Kay she had a deed or mortgage page on a piece of property they owned but she couldn't remember it. We searched the Section 21 and found several listings for the property with Joseph's name. He bought it in March of 1883 from a Mr. & Mrs. Williamson. He sold it to his mother's brother-in-law Thomas Hunt Travers in 1888. There were also several transactions to a Berkey family and some of them seemed to be quit claim transactions. We also searched through Sections 21 and 22 to see if we could find any name that might be similar to McCoon in case Joseph met Martha Ann around their home. We didn't find that but we did see the transactions for Elisha and Lewis and each of the children received a share of Elisha's land in his estate, which they then deeded over to Lewis. We then went upstairs to wills and probate to see if we could find anything there we did find Elisha's will was handwritten by him in 1878 a year before he died. The clerk clerk making a photocopy for us missed the top line that had had the date on. He asked that all his property be given to Lewis with the stipulation that he provide a home for his mother as long as she lived and that he give his brother, George, $200 and each of his sisters the same amount as soon as he could. He also said he didn't want his children to argue at law about the will. Kay also got a copy of the executor's bond document because it had signatures of the two executors – Lewis and Thomas Travers – and each of the siblings. By the time we finished that it was almost 2:00. We went to the store and got pimento cheese for sandwiches and drove over to the Oak Hill Cemetery just across from Amy & Edith's headstones for a shady and peaceful place to eat lunch. Kay got an email from Mary Jo about some of Lewis Turner's photos that were at the Fairview Library and asked if we would like to come over. Jacob's landWe called Merrill Turner (Finis's son who might have the photos); he wasn't in and Kay left a message for him. We then drove back to Fairview. We drove around briefly to try to find the library but didn't find it. Kay seemed hesitant to knock on Mary Jo's door; however, when we did, she greeted us as I expected, with joyful enthusiasm. Mary Jo introduced us to her husband, Frank Willis, who is undergoing treatment for cancer. There was a very large painting of a man that looked like Frank who was playing the violin. She said her daughter is an artist and had painted that and a Dutch-type painting of her ancesters. Frank was apparently an orchestra violinist and the high school band director; Mary Jo was a school teacher (mostly 2nd & 3rd  grades). She went with us to the library and we looked through some photographs (donated by Merrill Turner) of the early 1900s – most weren't marked for date. There were several that included Lewis Turner's family and house. We then went into another room and looked for funeral listings that might be helpful. The only thing we found there was another picture of Lewis and his family out of a vertical file. Kay went out to the car and got her scanner and scanned several of the photographs (visit the Elisha page). Mary Jo had us drive her back to her house to get something: she had driven over to Galesville's Staples to have a large copy made for Kay of the 1895 plat map of Fairview township, including Sections 21 and 23. It was a beautifully done color copy that looked like the expensive paper it was originally printed on. Then she rode with us to show us where the Section 21 land was (on a little one-lane gravel road she called Goat Road) and then over to the area where Joseph's land was. She was so very helpful and such a warm and joyful woman. We came back to Peoria, went to the store and came back to fix dinner and watch (for me) Dancing With the Stars. After the show went off we both went to our computers and started documenting where we are to date.


Kay and I packed and had coffee and then left for downtown Peoria to check the courthouse for birth, death, marriage, land and will records. It took us forever to get there because the GPS was taking us to another city (we never really determined where – it was quite a challenge to override her and Kay kept putting in other options to try to actually get downtown. We finally ended up following signs and our visual perspective while she (the GPS computer uses a female voice) kept saying “calculating.” Arthur KeithleyWe had the address of Arthur's law office, which was one block from the courthouse and we drove there to see it, but it was no longer there. We drove another block down to a riverfront area that had a steamboat parked. Apparently at certain times of the year you can take riverboat tours, which we missed by a couple of weeks. The only thing we found was Arthur Keithley's will and thick probate file (not surprising since Arthur was an attorney), which had his signature as well as expense records to be paid where he covered a monthly stipend and the funeral/burial costs of his half-sister, Edith Davidson. Kay did get a copy of his will for the signature. Birth records were unclear and the only way to see them was to buy them for $11 each and it could only be done sometime in the future when volunteers came in and did a search, copy and mail out service (for $12). We went to the Peoria Library and searched cemetery and newspaper records. We found next to nothing. Kay did find the newspaper report of the death of Arthur that indicated he was buried in the Springdale Cemetery; however, the Springdale Cemetery index didn't list him. Some of the Giles' family were buried there so it makes sense that he would be too (Giles was his wife's family). When we left the library we determined we likely had all we were going to get in Peoria and set off to ride the Grandview Drive route. When Teddy Roosevelt was in the area in the early part of the 19th century he said of Grandview Drive that it was one of the prettiest drives in the country. We stopped by Riverfront Park just north of downtown and took several photos of the plants, trees, birds and the Illinois River. Grand View DriveWe then drove to Grandview Park where we ate lunch. There was a wonderful fragrance in the park – we found it in a flowering shrub (large) that has white blossoms that hang in a hanging-down cluster and a wonderful fragrance that permeates the air throughout the vicinity.  After taking a few pictures we drove on Grandview Drive – it really was wonderful. The view and the magnificent houses that overlook the river really are fabulous. We finally got started on our way to Galena around 3:00. We had trouble setting the GPS because the route it wanted to do wasn't the one we wanted. We accepted it to start with knowing we would soon override the directions and have her calculate the route again. When we got to Moline, I thought it was time to override and I had Kay turn onto I-74, which took us a wrong direction. We ended up wandering through Moline without benefit of map or GPS. I suggested Kay stop at a convenience store for me to ask directions (which would probably cover a ten-block area but the Indian/Iraqi/Iranian, etc. who was managing the store seemed to have no capacity to read a map and interpret the area for me. However, we eventually did get back to Highway 84, which is a Mississippi River highway. It was slow going but more interesting than the typical highway views. We did find a place where we could go one block west and be right at the river's edge. We watched two boys and two  probable grandfathers fishing and took photographs of them and the River; then back on 84 toward Galena. Kay found a sign she wanted to photograph (about therapy buggy rides) and while she was taking those photos a turkey wandered by. She aimed the camera on the turkey who then stopped and stared directly at her and gobbled before he turned and walked off. Kay got back in the car and started to back out when she saw the turkey open up his tail feathers.  Unfortunately, she had put her camera up and he only left the feathers spread out for a moment. So, we had to move on. The GPS told us to take a road that seemed divergent but we decided to honor her 'superior' wisdom and we set out on Blackjack Road – a little backroads blacktop. sunsetNot too far into the guided trip, Kay was thinking about driving carefully because you never know what might be around the next corner – then we were almost staring eye to eye with a deer. She turned and hopped back to safety and we drove on – more alertly. This was definitely a back road but eventually we got to the road where the Inn was located. We hadn't been to the store yet to purchase supplies for dinner but we did want to check in. We asked directions to the closest stores so we could get to the store and back in about 20 minutes (before it got dark and we had to maneuver the curvy roads in the dark). When we returned from the store we decided to take photos of the accommodations before we started bringing in our stuff and changing the appearance. The LeFevre Inn where we stayed was truly awesome. It had two Murphy beds inset in closets with a fireplace between them; a large leather sofa and two comfortable leather chairs and coffee table situated in front of the fireplace and in view of the flat-panel TV hung over the mantle; a dining room table and chairs, a full kitchen and a bath plus a room with a jetted two-person whirlpool tub. The suite opened to a wood balcony that overlooks the whole valley. They advertised unforgettable sunsets. After taking pictures, we unloaded our stuff and got settled in while I fixed the TV dinners and then we sat down to watch the elimination part of Dancing With the Stars. After a little bit of computer work, we went to bed. I got up a little after 5:30 and started the coffee and went in to bathe and wash my hair. By the time I was out of the shower Kay was up and drinking coffee and working on her computer. I finished my hair and joined Kay with coffee and the computer. We left a little before 9:00 and went into Galena. The courthouse didn't open until 9:00 and the historical section of the library didn't open until 3:00. The courthouse had very little; we found one Keithley marriage but again, to look at birth records you had to pay $12.00 to get a copy – at least here they would copy it immediately rather than having to wait to have it mailed so Kay opted to get it. The birth certificate was for John Keithly and Elizabeth Alder who married in January 1854 in Jo Daviees County. On the marriage certificate the justice of peace wrote, “The gentleman swears the lady is twenty.” We did find a land record for John Keithly out in Hanover Township (there was no mention of a wife on the document but often in that time period men bought land without reference to a wife [on one of the sale documents there was a social commentary of the time when the court clerk documented taking a wife aside out of hearing of the husband to question her as to whether she was willingly signing to sell or if there had been any pressure to cause this and to explain her potential loss of future benefits to the land should she sign the document]); since we really don't know who he is we decided not to drive back there. We actually drove right by the land on Highway 84 – near something called Whistling Wings. There were quite a few Turners (listing as both E.W. and Edward W.) in land transactions but it soon appeared they were all for the Edward W. Turner. GalenaWhile we waited for the library we went to the historical museum. They offered a 16-minute video of the origins of the area; we thought it might give us a better perspective on why the family might have come here. It actually did help a little. It discussed the economic situation as well as the safety factors due to Indian relationships. Steam boats and mining were the major factors bringing folks in. The Galena people chose to not have the railroad come too close against the better judgment of one of the major residents. As the railroad increased its transporting function forthe minors and farmers and the silting effect on the river causing both the width and depth to lessen and restrict boat transportation caused a severe downturn to the Galena economy. After finishing the museum and driving the streets of Galena, we went over to the tourist center to get any information to help us enjoy the area more; after that we went down to Grant Park and had lunch. We took some pictures of Galena from the opposite shore of the Galena River as well as some photos of the park and a really pretty raised flower bed. We then drove by Grant's home and then on over to the library. We stopped in at the Galena Cellars to pick up a wine for Kay to take back to Keith. When we got to the library we were a little too early so we went upstairs and looked at Jo Daviees history type books. This library seemed unusually large for this area. It looked like it might have originally been a government type building such as a courthourse but the Librarian told us it was originally built as the library. At 3:00 we went down to the historical section and flipped through cemetery indexes and city directories as well as did some newspaper archives for possible Keithley family info. We found one reference to a John Keithly as well as a Mrs. E.A.Keithley living in Elizabeth who was listed at the bottom as Mrs. F Keithley. By this time it was 5:00 so we went to the store for TV dinners and returned to the Inn to eat. We watched “Miss Potter” while we ate dinner. Kay noticed the rays of the setting sun in her peripheral vision and got the camera to take a picture of the sunset and then we restarted the movie and did the last few minutes. Then we got back to working on the computers (photos, journals and making a plan for what to do in Wisconsin). Finally to bed to rest.


new diggings This was the day for Wisconsin research. Kay and I left around 8:45. Getting out of Galena was a bit a punt – even with the GPS. It kept telling us to make turns where there were no streets and then recalculating the trip. Galena is mostly pretty narrow streets going up hills. Before we got out of town, Kay saw a house with three very large head molds (3' high or so) lying on the front porch; she turned around to go back and take a photo. It's really not very far to Shullsburg and New Diggings is before that. We stopped when we saw the sign for Lafayette County, which is in Wisconsin. Kay walked back to take a photo of the sign and I stood and took pictures of the hilly and treed land on one side and the plowed and fertile farmland on the other. We got back in the car and drove a little bit farther when Kay noticed a pretty stream and she stopped again for a photo op. It really was a pretty stream in a rolling hillside with cows grazing off to the left. We saw almost no cows, or goats, chickens, pigs for that matter, during the trip through Illinois, but in Wisconsin we started seeing cows. As Kay said, “This is the land of Wisconsin cheese; of course, they have cows.” Some of the cows in this area (even the few in Illinois) often seemed to be particularly furry – not necessarily long-haired but thick and furry. We saw some cows today that had very short legs and squat bodies as well as very short noses/faces – Definitely a different breed than we had ever seen. New Diggings is a very small stop in the road. There is a bar, a general store and two churches along with a few houses. If we had hoped to do any research there we would have been out of luck (fortunately, we deduced early on this town was for a visual only). On to Shullsburg. It's difficult to understand why the family members would live at different times in Galena, Elizabeth, Woodbine, Hanover, New Diggings, Shullsburg, Pleasant Valley, etc. These towns aren't too very far from one another but a trip from Galena to Darlington would have been a two-day journey. Shullsburg is a town with a creamery that has been a cheese & dairy manufacturing facility and store. We stopped there and bought cheese. They did apparently stop the manufacture a few years back but do still sell cheeses that are made in the general area.  We each bought some cheese and Kay bought several other items as well. Shullsburg has an attraction called Gravity Hill, which is about two miles outside of town. We got directions and set out. There was a sign that said straight ahead to Gravity Hill and we expected there to be a sign that said, “This is Gravity Hill.” We were mistaken and pretty soon it became evident we had missed it. She had picked up a Xeroxed sheet of directions to the site and I had been watching it. The sheet of directions had the location marked as a black square and at one point we passed over a little black top patch in the road.  I thought, “I wonder if we'll find Gravity Hill with such a black square?” Sure enough, when we drove back, Kay turned around at the black square and put the car in neutral. The car started rolling backward as you would expect it to do on a downward sloping street. woodHowever, as you look at the rising hill in front of you, the more down you are going the more it appears you are backing upwards. It is obviously an optical illusion and it really does feel strange. When we drove into Darlington Kay noted a wooden carved cardinal and decided to go back and do another photo op. It was quite tall – maybe 7 to 8 feet high. It appeared the stump was a tree still buried in the ground and the top part of the tree stump had been carved into a cardinal with a long tail and painted red. We took several photos and headed on into town. (Later, when we were at the library, we learned that the artist, Dick Anderson, carved this in 1993 when a local feed mill owner called him and asked him to carve something out of a huge pine tree in front of his home.)  We went to the courthouse. It's an impressive structure that Kay had read a local individual had left 70% of his estate to fully fund the building of the courthouse. They had something neither of us had seen before – a death index that included indexes for maiden names of women buried in the county. Unfortunately, there weren't any women of interest to us. Wisconsin law regarding marriages at the time we were interested in apparently required an interview that had several interesting questions. They were asked parents' names of both bride and groom as well as the time the marriage was consummated. Apparently, based on the answer given by the officiating person, by consummated they meant the time the ceremony occurred. They also listed the witnesses on many of them. We did find several Keithleys and Turners. We did actually see the record Kay had sent for concerning Enoch and Amy Keithley – it had been difficult to find because Enoch was listed as Enoch Ethley – they apparently elided the K sound of Keithley to the end of the Enoch. There wasn't any additional information on their marriage filing; however, Enoch was apparently at the wedding of his sister, Amanda, as a witness. We had discovered the day before at the Galena courthouse that John Keithley was listed on the 1855 census singly but the name above his was a Nancy Gordon – female between 10 and 20 years of age. Since Arthur Keithley's family tradition indicates Enoch's (and John's) mother's name was Elizabeth Gordon, it may be that Nancy is related somehow. The strange thing was, of course, where was this young girl actually living – with John? That didn't seem likely but the other names above hers were a couple named Sale or Sales (not a name we had ever heard). Here comes the connection – in addition to Enoch as a witness at his sister's wedding, a Mrs. Sale (or Sole) was there. At that point, we really had a lot of names around the guess work of Elizabeth Gordon as Enoch's mother. We also found the wedding information of one of Elisha Turner's daughters stating that the ceremony had taken place at the home of Elisa Turner in White Oak Springs, which is the township next to New Diggings. At this point, little snippets of information are useful, so we were grateful. We set out to return to our wonderful lodging in Galena and to make a plan for going to Girard, Kansas on Friday to search for some potential information on Mabel and her mother to see if we can determine if it was the same or a different mother by that time. Kay has thought that perhaps Martha Ann was dead and that Mabel's mother might be different. We'll see, hopefully.


signaturesWe woke up at 4:15 when the automatic coffee maker began brewing.  We were packed and on the road to Girard, Kansas to see what we could learn about Eva's mother.  Family tradition indicates that Eva's sister, Mabel, was born in Girard and that their mother died when Mabel was an infant or quite young.  Around 11:00 or so we made a stop to refuel and get a bite to eat.  We had quite a scare when, after getting a banana out of our dry goods, Kay somehow lost the car keys.  Since Kay had also emptied the banana peels into a large trash can at the convenience store, she decided to hunt there for the keys.  She told the employees what she was going to do and they provided her with latex gloves, thank goodness.  After emptying the entire contents, there were still no car keys.  So we went back to the car as we knew the keys were there because we used them to open the car door.  Finally, Kay found them.  Apparently, they had dropped out of her hand and into a bag hiding from us.  Whew, we were relieved to find the keys.  As we continued on to Girard we decided to work on this journal to make use of our 11 hour trip.  As we reflected on the information we found on the trip it became more apparent that when we could piece it all together we had found some real jewels.  Kay had added to her signature collection and was quite pleased. We made a few odd turns because we were still occasionally reluctant to trust Maggie.  However, she was right and we progressed on.  We arrived at the Girard courthouse about 2:30 and looked at their birth and death indexes.  Their indexes only go up to 1911 and that was okay since Mabel was born in 1889.  There were no Keithleys or any variation nor any McCoons, Jesters or any other name we could think pertinent to look up.  So, we went to the Girard Public Library Heritage Collection and looked in many indexes.  We found that there were some Keithleys there in 1885, according to the State Census.  J.W. Keithley was 48 in 1885 and his wife, Jane, was 42.  They were from Missouri and had 10 children living with them.  None of these are names familiar to me.  I feel sure they are related but do not know how yet.  We finished at the library by 4:30ish and decided to head on home to Oklahoma City.  We arrived home safely by about 9:30.

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