Friday, January 27, 2017

George Richard Horne, Sr.

George Richard Horne, Sr., son of Moses Horne and Elizabeth Larimer, was born December 1, 1869 in Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. He was one of eight children—Amanda Larimer Horne, Jennie Horne, Lydia E. Horne, Josephine B. Horne, Ollie Bertha Horne, George Richard Horne, Sr., and Keziah Chambers Horne. There was an eighth child but I don’t know its sex or name. I found this child noted in 1900 census records when Elizabeth Horne was enumerated as having had eight children, five of which were living. He was my husband’s great grand uncle.

I wrote the following text when I researched and blogged about George’s sister Josephine on November 27, 2015:
I haven’t been able to find the Horne family in 1870 census records. Since George was born in Apollo in 1869 I expected to find them there. I ran an search but found nothing. Since that didn’t work I manually checked the 20 pages of Apollo census records and still found nothing. Disappointing to say the least since I need to identify the eighth child. In 1876, county land ownership maps for Apollo recorded the Horne family as living on Indiana Street in Apollo. The D. H. Williams and R. S. Cochran families were neighbors. I feel certain they were in Apollo in 1870. I just have to find them.
Nothing has changed. I again searched for the Horne family in 1870 census records and again, came up empty. I’ll keep searching.

On June 26, 1880, George and his family lived in Apollo. His father was a “dealer in groceries” and his mother a dressmaker. At the age of 10, George was enumerated as “clerk in store” so I assume he was helping his father in the grocery store.

1880 Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania Census

George married Emma I. Schmidt (parents unknown) in 1892, I assume in Apollo. Emma’s death certificate indicates that she was born in Switzerland. Together George and Emma had four children—Herbert Moses Horne, Ollie B. Horne, George Richard Horne, Jr., and Phyllis E. Horne. George and Emma didn’t waste time starting their family. Son Herbert was born in Apollo on January 17, 1893. Daughter Ollie was born in March 1895. Their son George Jr. was a Christmas Day baby, born in Apollo in 1896. And daughter Phyllis was born on August 3, 1898. By the time 1900 rolled around, their family was complete.

On June 7, 1900, George and his family lived on Farragut Street in the Allegheny Township of Vandergrift Borough, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. The family lived next door to Effie (Jack) and her husband Addision Beale. Effie Jack was the daughter of Eunice Alvira Smith and Daniel Jack. Eunice was the sister of John Milton Smith who married George’s sister, Amanda Larimer Horne (and my husband's great-grandmother). George’s sister Lydia and her family lived two doors away. George’s sister-in-law, Ida Schmidt, age 22 and born in Switzerland, lived with them.

1900 Vandergrift, Allegheny Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Census

On May 3, 1910, George and his family lived on Farragut Avenue in Vandergrift Ward 1, Westmoreland County. George was enumerated as a roller in a sheet mill. The census enumerator recorded George and Emma as having been married once each, for 18 years. Emma was the mother of four children, all of which were living. George’s sister-in-law, Edith Schmidt, age 30 and born in Sweden, lived with them.

1910 Vandergrift, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Census

George’s father, Moses, died of heart disease on April 11, 1910. George was the informant on the death certificate which was filed on April 12. Moses was buried at Apollo Cemetery in Apollo on April 13. His mother, Elizabeth, died in Apollo on May 1, 1913. She had suffered from senile dementia for three years. Elizabeth was buried beside her husband at Apollo Cemetery on May 3.

The Indiana Gazette headlines, December 20, 1915
Tragedy struck the Horne family in 1915 when George was killed in a train accident. He died on December 19, 1915 from a fractured skull and other injuries caused after being struck by a locomotive on the Conemaugh Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad at the West Apollo Crossing. The account of the accident was the lead story in The Indiana Gazette in Indiana, Indiana County, Pennsylvania on December 20, 1915.
Three Relatives of Indiana Families Are Killed In a Collision
Brother-in-law of Ray Craig; An Uncle of Mrs. John McGregor and A Nephew of John McConnell Met Horrible Deaths Near Apollo Early Sunday Morning 
Two More Died in the Hospital
Robert Milliron, aged 37 years, a mill worker of Vandergrift, and a brother-in-law of Ray Craig, local Adams Express agent and George Horne, aged 50, a mill worker of Vandergrift, and an uncle of Mrs. John McGregor, of Indiana, were instantly killed, together with Clifford McConnell, aged 27 years, of Vandergrift, a nephew of John McConnell, of Indiana, when the jitney bus in which they were riding with W. H. George, of Vandergrift, Robert R. Trautman, Herbert Horne and Henry Graden, also of Vandergrift was struck by a fast freight on the Conemaugh division of the Pennsylvania Railroad at a grade crossing in West Apollo, early yesterday morning.
Herbert Horne, who is a cousin of Mrs. John McGregor, is in a critical condition from internal injuries in the Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, with but slight hopes entertained for his recovery.
The occupants of the jitney bus were returning to their home in Vandergrift, when the accident occurred. It is believed George was unable to stop the bus because of a steep grade crossing in West Apollo. The bus had almost crossed the tracks when the fast freight train rounded a curve and crashed into the rear of the machine. Milliron and George were crushed between the freight engine and the wrecked jitney bus while the three others were hurled clear of the track. The bus was entirely demolished.
Physicians at the hospital said that Trautman and Horne cannot live. Graden was reported improving at his home but physicians said that while he is expected to recover his condition is still serious. 
(A telegram just received announced the deaths of Trautman and Horne.)
After the accident the injured were carried into the Elks club but Milliron died before medical attention could be given. Horne and McConnell were dead when found. Trautman and Herbert Horne after being attended by physicians were placed on a special train and taken to Pittsburgh. They were taken from the Pittsburgh station to the hospital in the Allegheny police patrol. 
The story was also picked up by the Associated Press and ran in The Morning Herald in Uniontown, Fayette County, Pennsylvania on December 20, 1915.
4 Killed, 3 Hurt When Fast Train Hits Jitney Bus 
(By Associated Press to The Herald)
Pittsburgh, December 19.—Four persons were killed and three injured, two probably fatally, early today when a fast freight train on the Conemaugh division of the Pennsylvania railroad struck a jitney bus at a grade crossing in West Apollo. Geo. Horne, aged 50, and Clifford McConnell, aged 27, were instantly killed, while Hobert Milliron, aged 37, died shortly after the accident. W. H. George, aged 42, was brought here and died in a local hospital several hours later.
Robert R. Troutman, aged 27, and Herbert Horne, aged 23, a friend of George Horne, aged 23, a friend of their condition is critical [sic]. Henry Graden, aged 37, is in a serious condition but may recover. All the dead and injured were from Vandergrift. The bus was owned and operated by George. It is believed that George was unable to stop the automobile because of the steep grade at the crossing.
Altoona Tribune,
December 20, 1915
In the Morning Herald story, Herbert Horne was listed as a “friend of George Horne, aged 23, …” however, George had a son named Herbert who would have been about the same age so I believe this was probably him. If that’s the case, Herbert didn’t die from his injuries but instead survived and lived until December 19, 1933 when he died of cardiac failure.

The story was picked up a third time by the Altoona Tribune in Altoona, Pennsylvania on December 20.
A Railroad Train Struck a Jitney 
Vandergrift, December 19.—Three persons were killed, three were probably fatally hurt and one escaped injury last night when a jitney bus containing seven passengers was struck by a Pennsylvania railroad train at a grade crossing in West Apollo, near here. 
The killed are George Hoine [sic], aged 54; Robert Milliron, 37, and Clifford McConnell, 23, all of Vandergrift. W. H. George, aged 42, owner of the machine died tonight. Robert R. Trautman, aged 27, and Herbert Horne, 23, are probably fatally injured.
George was buried at Vandergrift Cemetery in Vandergrift, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. His will was probated in Westmoreland County in 1916.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Henry Briest’s Bible

Several years ago, I stopped by the Prince William County Library in Manassas, Virginia to return a book I borrowed via interlibrary loan. On my way to the exit, I noticed a box of books for sale near the door so stopped to take a look. One book caught my attention—a small leather bound Bible.

The Bible is brown leather and has an ornate design on the front and back covers. It measures 5 ½ inches tall by 3 ¼ inches wide. The outside edge is one inch thick and gold in color.

When you open the Bible, you see that someone wrote the name “Henry Briest” in pencil on the first page.

The back of that page has “Henry Briest Trenton New Jersey” written in ink.

The title page reads:
The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments, translated out of the original tongues, and with the former translations diligently compared and revised, by His Majesty’s Special Command. Appointed to be read in churches. Printed by Authority. Glasgow: William Collins, Licensed Queen’s Printer. MDCCCLXIV.

The back side of the title page reads:
Licence. In terms of Her Majesty’s Letters Patent to Her Printers for Scotland, and of the Instructions issued by Her Majesty in Council, dated Eleventh July, Eighteen Hundred and Thirty-nine, I hereby License and Authorize William Collins and Company, Printers in Glasgow, to Print, within the Premises situated Number One Hundred and Eleven North Montrose Street, Glasgow, and to Publish, as by the Authority of Her Majesty, an Edition of the Holy Bible, in Pearl Type, Trigesimo-secundo Size, consisting of Fifteen Thousand Copies, as proposed in their Declaration, dated Fifth August, Eighteen Hundred and Sixty-one; the terms and conditions of the said Instructions being always and in all points fully compiled with and observed by the said William Collins and Company. J. Moncrief, Edinburgh, 20th August, 1861.

The last page of the Bible was used to do a little math with someone writing the numbers 31, 24, 31, and 39 – 125.

The Bible is coming apart at the spine and some of the pages are pulling away from the glue, but otherwise is in pretty good condition.

My husband’s grandfather, George Durie Athya, was born in Glasgow, Scotland so because of that connection, I decided to make the purchase and paid the price marked on the Bible—10 cents.

Neither I nor my husband have any connection to Henry Briest but that doesn’t mean I’m not curious about who he was. The dates on the Bible’s title page made me wonder if Henry was a Civil War soldier who might have carried it into battle. Unfortunately, because I don’t know when he was born or who his parents were, it’s not that easy to figure him out. I performed a search on and found several men named Henry Briest:

  • Born in Trenton on October 16, 1851. His parents were George and Elizabeth Briest. The Civil War started in 1861 so this Henry would have only been 10 years old and too young to serve. 
  • Born in Minnesota about 1859 and still living there in 1930. Again, too young. 
  • Born in Germany in 1853 but ended up in Minnesota so is probably related to the second Henry listed here.
  • Served as a private in Company K, 14th Regiment 14, U.S. Colored Infantry. He died on December 15, 1864 and was buried at Chattanooga National Cemetery in Tennessee. This regiment was organized in Gallatin, Tennessee, nowhere near Trenton.
  • Lewis H. Briest, born 1846, served as a private in the 1st Regiment, New Jersey Infantry. He was a musician in his regiment. His middle initial is “H” so he could have been Henry but I always find him listed as Lewis, never Henry so I don’t believe this is him.
  • The best option is a man who served as a private in Company A of the 3rd Battalion, New Jersey Veteran Infantry which organized at Camp Bayard in Trenton, New Jersey. So far, I haven’t been able to connect him to a family but I feel he’s probably the man I’m looking for.

Did Henry Briest in fact serve in the Civil War and carry this Bible into battle? And just how did his Bible end up in Manassas, Virginia? The 3rd Infantry fought at Manassas Junction. Perhaps he was there and lost the Bible.

I have questions that can’t be answered so instead, I’ll end with a couple of interesting facts:

  • The Roman Numeral MDCCCLXIV is equivalent to number 1864.
  • The Queen referred to on the title page of the Bible would have been Victoria. According to Wikipedia, “Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death.”

Photo by John Jabez Edwin Mayall [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Mary Opal Stone

My granddaddy, Samuel Jackson Holland, was married three times during his lifetime. I knew two of his wives—numbers two and three. My granny and direct ancestor, Daisy Lee Shields, was his second wife. My grandmother, Patsy Reba Seibers, was his third wife.

Daisy Lee Shields

Patsy Reba Seibers

His first wife, Mary “Opal” Stone, died in 1931 so obviously, I never knew her. If fact, if she had lived, I would never have been born! We knew very little about Opal and I’ve been curious about her for a while so decided to let help me discover what I could about her. Here’s what I found.

Mary Opal Stone, daughter of Luther William Jefferson Stone and Ella Shellhorse, was born about 1905. Census records for 1910 and 1930 show she was born in Georgia. The census record for 1920 however shows she was born in Texas. I don’t find any evidence of that so am not sure what to think about it. It appears that her parents spent most of their lives in Gordon County, Georgia so I’m assuming that’s where she was born. Of course, we all know it’s dangerous to assume these things so I should still look for proof of her birthplace.

Marriage license for Luther Stone and Ella Shellhorse

Opal’s paternal grandparents were Winfield Scott Stone, born 1854, and Sarah F. Bunch, born 1857.

Winfield Scott Stone
Photo from Kimberly Cochran,

Her paternal great-grandfather was William Jefferson Bunch—a confederate soldier born January 1, 1835 in North Carolina. Jefferson died on January 27, 1863 in Roane County, Tennessee while serving in Company F of the First Regiment, Georgia Cavalry. Her paternal great-grandmother was Amanda, born about 1839 in Georgia.

Photo by Evening Blues, Find A Grave Memorial# 11291343.

When Opal was born, she already had two older brothers—Buren F. Stone, born on November 5, 1899 in Calhoun, Gordon County, Georgia and Leonard Stone, born about 1902 in Georgia, most likely Gordon County.

On April 29, 1910, Opal and her family lived on Shag Road in Fairmount, Gordon County, Georgia. Opal was listed as a 6-year-old son, born in Georgia. Her parents had been married for 13 years. It was the first marriage for both. Opal’s father was a farmer. By 1910, two more brothers had been added to the family—Vester, born about 1907 and Doyal, born December 13, 1909. Both Vester and Doyal were born in Georgia.

1910 Fairmount, Gordon County, Georgia census record

Another brother, Henry C. Stone, joined the family on March 6, 1913. Henry was born in Georgia as well. Sometime after Henry’s birth and before 1916, Opal’s mother must have died, although I can’t find a death record to confirm that. I did find another researcher that recorded Ella’s death date as November 2, 1915, however, she didn’t show proof of that fact. The researcher also listed Ella’s full name as Mary Ella Shellhorse. All something to work from, but needs to be proven.

Four months after Ella’s death, Opal’s father married his second wife, Zola O. Durham, on March 26, 1916 in Gordon County.

Marriage license for Luther Stone and Zola Durham

On January 3, 1920, Opal and her family lived at Callahan and Spring Place Road in the Eighth Militia District of Gordon County, Georgia. The census enumerator got Opal’s sex right this time, however, she was recorded as born in Texas. Opal was a farm laborer on a home farm. Her stepmother was enumerated as Ola Stone. Luther and Zola produced three more siblings for Opal—a brother named William Harold Stone, born on January 30, 1917 in Calhoun, Gordon County, Georgia; a sister named Oma Lee Stone, an April Fool’s baby born in 1919 in Gordon County; and a sister named Edna Mae Stone, a Valentine’s Day baby born in 1921 in Calhoun.

1920 Gordon County, Georgia census record

Opal married my granddaddy, Samuel Jackson Holland, son of Elijah Jeffers Holland and Cornelia Jane “Janie” Dove, about 1922 in Georgia. Together they had one child—William Luther Holland, born on October 31, 1923 in Georgia. They called him W.L. It appears that W.L. was named for Opal’s father Luther William Jefferson Stone.

Samuel Jackson Holland

William Luther Holland

On April 23, 1930, Sam, Opal, W.L., and his mother Janie lived off of Cedar Valley Road in Whitfield County, Georgia. Their next-door neighbors were Milas and Effie Shields, uncle and aunt of my granny, Daisy Lee Shields. Sam’s mother Janie died at the age of 58 in Varnell, Whitfield County, on September 19, 1930. Janie was buried at Deep Springs Baptist Church Cemetery in Dalton, Whitfield County. Seven short months later, Opal died at the age of 26 on April 26, 1931 in Whitfield County. Sam and Opal had been married for nine years at the time of her death. W.L. was just seven years old when his mother died.

1930 Whitfield County, Georgia census record

Two months after Opal’s death, Sam (my Granddaddy) married Daisy Lee Shields (my Granny), daughter of James Stewart Shields and Hattie Jane Rhinehart. Granny helped Granddaddy pay Opal and Janie’s funeral expenses by making and selling quilts.

And that’s all I know about Opal. The circumstances of her death and the location of her final resting place are a mystery to me. She died young, just 26 years of age. What happened to her? Was it an illness, an accident, or perhaps childbirth? I wish I knew. As far as her burial, one would assume that she was buried at Deep Springs Baptist Church Cemetery with the rest of Sam’s family. Or possibly at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church Cemetery in Calhoun where her father was buried. I’m hoping the Georgia Archives will release the 1931 death certificates soon and maybe we’ll find out.

Granddaddy never shared anything about Opal. He didn’t talk much about his family. By the time he was 26 years old, he had lost his father, brother, sister, mother, and wife, leaving him the sole surviving member of his family. He kept his pain to himself.

I still can’t tell you Opal’s entire life story but I know a lot more about her than I did last week. I hope to find her someday. Perhaps I’ll get lucky and find a photo of her as well. One can only hope.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Jackson china crock (or perhaps a sugar bowl)

This crock, or sugar bowl (I’m not sure which), is restaurant ware china that once belonged to my great-grandmother Elizabeth (Jones) Burnette. Oddly enough, it came into my possession via my in-laws. They were planning a trip through Atlanta and decided to stop and visit my Daddy while there. I remember telling them to bring me something back, not expecting anything. Lo and behold, they brought this crock back to me saying “this is from your Daddy.” Inside the crock was a note handwritten by my father-in-law:
Sam’s Grandmother
Elizabeth Jones Bernette—came from her mother who was a Jones

The neutral colored crock is small and very heavy. Both the lid and bowl have two thin green lines around them. The handles on the bowl are faces. It is well-worn and has chips on both the lid and bowl. The stamp on the base reads:
Jackson China
Made for J. Bornstein & Sons

Jackson China manufactured hotel/restaurant ware china¹ in Falls Creek, Pennsylvania. J. Bornstein & Sons was a wholesale notions house located at 562 First Avenue in Seattle, Washington² in the early 1900s.

My great-grandmother, Elizabeth (Jones) Burnette, was the daughter of Henry Clayborn Jones Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth Tuck. She was born October 21, 1872 in Loganville, Walton County, Georgia. She died in Greensboro, Greene County, Georgia on December 2, 1956. Unfortunately, I never knew her. Assuming the crock passed from her to my grandmother Floria Burnette Lankford, that would mean I’m at least the fourth generation to possess it.

Thomas Terrell Burnette family (ca. 1908).
My great-grandmother, Elizabeth (Jones) Burnette with her husband and children.
My grandmother, Floria Mae (Burnette) Lankford is standing to the left, behind her mother.

1. Brick and Clay Record, vol. 59, Industrial Publications, Inc., copyright 1921.
2. The Seattle Star, Seattle, Washington, April 21, 1917.