Maternal

Luella Lockwood Moore

Last post, I mentioned that the son of George F. Moore married a woman named Luella Lockwood. Her family is pretty interesting, so I’ll write a little about them. Luella’s parents were Charles T. Lockwood and Josephine Crofoot (possibly a niece of Michael E. Crofoot, the namesake of The Crofoot in Pontiac, Michigan). C.T. Lockwood was born in New York in 1835. He and Josephine Crofoot married in 1861 in Oakland County, Michigan and had 2 children. In the August 1870 census, the family was living in Pontiac and C.T. taught music. Their children were Luella, aged 5 and LeBaron, aged 2. C.T. was a composer and wrote a number of songs, and his wife Josephine was also a “teacher of piano and voice culture,” especially after her husband’s death in October 1870.

Ad in the “Pontiac Bill Poster,” July 11, 1883, p. 1 from Digital Michigan Newspapers
Ad in the “Pontiac Jacksonian,” Apr. 19, 1866, p. 2 from Digital Michigan Newspapers

Luella Lockwood was born in Pontiac, Michigan on February 4, 1865. As mentioned above, when the census was taken on August 20, 1870 she was five years old living with her family and a servant named Nellie Jeffers. In the 1880 census, Josephine (37), Luella (15), and LeBaron (12) were living on Clark Street in Pontiac. Josephine was a music teacher while her children were going to school. On May 12, 1885, Luella married George F. Moore, Jr. in Pontiac. On January 6, 1887, their daughter Ruth Janet Moore was born in Detroit. According to the society pages in the Detroit Free Press, Luella passed the winter of 1890 at Colorado Springs and returned home in April 1890 (Apr. 27, 1890, p. 9).

A huge article from Dec. 4, 1891 detailed the Annual Ball at the Light Infantry Armory, “a brilliant gathering of Detroit’s beauty and fashion.” (Detroit Free Press, p. 1-2). George and Luella, George’s parents, and George’s sister, “ladies and gentleman who viewed the dancers from the gallery,” occupied box 16.

Luella spent the summer of 1892 at Normandie-by-the-Sea, a hotel in New Jersey. She then visited her sister-in-law Adela (Mrs. J. Ledlie Hees) at Fonda, New York. (Detroit Free Press, 9/25/1892, p. 17)

Left: From Facebook, the “Normandie-by-the-Sea located in what is now the Normandie section of north beach in Sea Bright. It was quite a massive resort, including its own train station, which is the small building shown on the left side of the image… . The building was unfortunately destroyed by fire on Sept. 29, 1916.”

Luella and George’s son, George F. Moore III, was born August 31, 1895 in Pontiac. In 1900, the family was living in Pontiac on North Saginaw Street. Luella’s mother, Josephine, was living with them, as were a servant (Emma Howden) and a nurse for the children (Pearl Owen). Ruth was 13 and George III was 5. Luella’s father-in-law died at Magnolia Springs, Florida on March 25, 1904 and the newspapers noted that it was sudden and that George Jr. was with him. George Jr. filed for divorce from Luella on August 4, 1904.

“George Frederick Moore has begun suit for divorce from Luella Lockwood Moore, to whom he was married in Pontiac in May, 1885. He charges his wife with wilful desertion since April 27, 1901, which Mrs. Moore, in an answer filed yesterday from Pontiac, denies. She also sets up that her husband did not sufficiently provide for her support. She asks that his bill be dismissed, but in case the decree is granted, she asks the custody of their 8-year-old son. They also have a daughter, aged 17. Moore is a prominent Detroit business man.”

Detroit Free Press, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 1904, page 10

The divorce was granted December 20, 1904. George Jr. died only four months later, on April 23, 1905 in Los Angeles. His will, written in April 1904, left his estate for the two children to be divided between when George III reached age of 30 (Detroit Free Press, Apr. 29, 1905, p. 12).

Luella, like her father, became a composer. The Detroit Free Press wrote an article discussing the publication of one of her songs “Dearie, I’d Do Anything for You.” The article also talks a little about her father (May 24, 1908, p. 40 – see article at left). In May 1910, the newspaper called her “Detroit’s well-known song writer” who was “having tremendous vogue with her song, ‘Yester-Eve.'” (May 8, 1910, p. 24). In June, “Cecille Berryman [was] singing Luella Lockwood Moore’s songs at Penobscot Inn.” And “Joseph Sheehan, the operatic tenor, [was] singing it in vaudeville.” (June 19, 1910, page 11). On June 22, 1910, she left for a visit to New York City. (Detroit Free Press, Jun. 23, 1910, p. 7). Her daughter Ruth married Roy E. Wiant on June 28, 1911 and the wedding service featured two of Luella’s songs: “During the entrance of the bridal party Miss Elizabeth Moore sang ‘Bridal Veil and Orange Blossoms,’ the music of which was composed by the bride’s mother…. The marriage service was read…during which ‘Perfume,’ a new composition by Mrs. Moore, was played by the organist, Mr. C. W. Morse.” Obviously, fashion was a big part of the day. The article let us know that “Mrs. Moore, mother of the bride, wore a gown of white lace, embroidered with silver spangles and white silk pattern figures with touches of pink under the net. The bodice was cut in a square. Mrs. Lockwood, grandmother of the bride, wore a handsome gown of soft gray marquisette under gray satin, with a garniture of lace in various shades of pink and old gold” (Detroit Free Press, Jul. 2, 1911, p. 49). In mid-July 1911, Ruth and her husband returned from their honeymoon and moved into Luella’s house at 300 Forest Ave. West while Luella was vacationing in the Adirondacks (Detroit Times, July 14, 1911, p. 6). In Fall 1911, the Wiants moved to Philadelpia.

The Colorado Springs Gazette of May 5, 1912 read, “Mrs. Luella Lockwood Moore of Detroit, is spending a short time at the Antlers. Her musical compositions have been favorably received and Fink’s orchestra is using several of them at the hotel. Among them is a suite of three numbers called “My Lady’s Boudoir,” the subtitles of which are “Perfume” (a barcarolle); “Chiffon” (a caprice); and “High Heels and Buckles” (a ballata)” (p. 4).

A view of The Antlers Hotel in Colorado Springs, c1910-1915. From My Genealogy Hound

Luella’s daughter Ruth gave birth to a son named John Ledlie Wiant (Jack) in Philadelphia on April 21, 1914. The next year, Ruth and her husband moved back to Detroit and bought a house at 129 Palmer Ave. East (Detroit Times, Jul. 14, 1915, p. 8). On October 25, 1915, there was a song writer’s contest at the Orpheum Theatre with seven participants, including Luella (now living at 38 Hague Ave.) and her song “Mother’s Kiss is the Sweetest Kiss of All” (Detroit Times, Oct. 25, 1915, p. 2). Luella’s son George F. Moore III married Doris Blakesy in Detroit in March 1918. In the 1920 census, Luella, her mother Josephine, George III, Doris, and a servant named Margaret Ballard were living on Atkinson in Detroit. George was an insurance broker.

In August 1922, Luella, her daughter, and her grandson were spending the summer season at the Gratiot Inn in Port Huron, Michigan. In an article in the Detroit Times, Luella told a reporter, “I really don’t know just how I create my compositions. Of course I have studied some, but mainly I believe it was because of my father’s marked ability and because of God’s will.” She continued, “I believe my vacation here at Lake Huron will be conducive to assist me in writing several songs which I can offer before the winter. These wonderful cool days and the fresh breezes off the lake, cannot fail to help me.” (Detroit Times, Aug. 13, 1922, p. 38).

In September 1922, Luella’s brother LeBaron Lockwood was working as a photographer and living in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The local newspaper there reported that Luella was “terribly injured in an automobile accident in Detroit. Mr. Lockwood, who received word from his mother in Detroit about the accident, states that Mrs. Moore has not yet regained consciousness…” (Sault Ste. Marie Evening News, Sept. 30, 1922, p. 3). I wasn’t able to find an article in the Detroit newspapers about the accident, but I know Luella did regain consciousness. Meanwhile, in September 1923, George and his wife Doris divorced. The next few years were tragic for the family. Luella’s daughter Ruth died on October 25, 1925 at the age of 38. Her cause of death was a grand mal seizure/epilepsy with a contributory cause of terminal broncho-pneumonia. George III died the next year at the age of 30. He died of edema of the brain. Luella’s mother Josephine Crofoot Lockwood died on August 24, 1927 at the age of 84. She had been a widow for 57 years. Luella died just a few months later at the age of 62. She died October 18, 1927 of hemiplegia (defined as paralysis of one side of the body) and edema of the lungs. She was buried in Elmwood Cemetery. At the time of their deaths, George, Josephine and Luella were living at 1129 Atkinson Avenue.

52 Ancestors · Maternal · Prompts

#42 Charles T. Wilson

This week’s theme is adventure, so I thought I’d discuss my grandfather leaving Ontario and coming to Michigan in 1928. Charles Thompson Wilson arrived in Detroit, Michigan on April 11, 1928. On the border crossing document, the name of the ship is “C.N. 115” which stands for Canadian National #115. So instead of arriving on a ship, he arrived on a train from Windsor, Ontario through a railway tunnel under the Detroit River. The Michigan Central Railway Tunnel was completed in 1910. Before that rail cars were transported across the river by ferry. The Ambassador Bridge for car traffic was completed in 1929.

ctwilson_4-11-28
http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=detroitpl&h=667777&ti=0&indiv=try&gss=pt

Just one week later, on April 18, 1928, he swore his declaration of intention to become a U.S. citizen. He was living in Grosse Pointe at 152 Kerby. I’m not sure who he was living with; he had put John Purdy at 333 Mona Ave. in Detroit as his contact on his border passage document.

ctwilson_4-18-28

Week 42 (Oct. 14-20): Adventure

52 Ancestors · Maternal · Prompts

#46 Henry Oakes

Detroit House of Correction, circa 1884 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detroit_House_of_Correction)

Random Fact: My great-great grandfather Henry Oakes (aka Henry Oax, Heinrich Ochs, Henry Ochs) was sent to the Detroit House of Correction for 5 years for horse stealing in Wyoming Territory. He was received at the jail March 28, 1871 and was let out August 30, 1875.

I am so fortunate to be able to hear his side of the story from his 1891 deposition from his Civil War Pension File:

When I was discharged from the regular army I went as brakeman on the U.P.R.R. – ran from Laramie to Rollin Springs. Brake man a little less than a year – got my left hand [?] [?] and was in a hospital with that in Laramie City. I can’t tell how long. Went braking again on same route. I can’t say how long then the whole crew was “pulled off.” I laid(?) round Laramie I don’t know how long and I kind of think I came from there to Detroit. No I worked quite awhile at the European Hotel at Laramie City as 2nd(?) cook. Then I had charge of the dining room there quite a spell. Then to Detroit. Was brought to Detroit and put in House of Correction for 5 years for horse stealing. Had started herding cattle and was roped in. Was taking 3 horses from Laramie to Ft. Bridger for a man whose name I can’t recollect and was arrested with the horses in my possession. The man who sent me with the horses kept a [?] house at Laramie and he skipped out.

52 Ancestors Week 46 (November 12-18)

52 Ancestors · Paternal · Prompts

#36 Timken-Detroit Axle Company

My grandfather Edward Lee Wells (1905-1955) worked in various capacities for Timken-Detroit Axle Company from the 1920s until his death on June 19, 1955. The company started on Clark and Fort Streets in Detroit in 1909.

4a23980v
Detroit Publishing Co. [Between 1910 and 1920]. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2016815614/

Edward, his mother Nannie, and his siblings Willis, Mary, William, and Jesse came to Detroit from Virginia in about 1923. He married my grandmother Velma Belknap on November 23, 1932. On the marriage license, his occupation was factory work.

edw_vel

In 1933, Edward and Velma were living in Lincoln Park, Michigan and he was a truck operator at Timken-Detroit Axle Company. In the 1940 U.S. Federal Census, Edward, Velma and their four children were living in Allen Park and his job was as a stock chaser at the axle company. His income was $1600 and he had worked 50 weeks out of the year. In 1947, now with seven children, the family was living in Melvindale and Edward was a press operator at Timken Axle. In 1953, with eight children, Edward was listed in the city directory as a mechanic at Timken. In 1954, the last directory before his death, Edward was a service representative for Timken.

7-7-1917_satevepost
Advertisement from the July 7, 1917 Saturday Evening Post for Timken-Detroit Axles

In the 1950s, my grandfather had to travel a lot to Chicago and back for his job.There is a family story that my grandmother once visited him there and that is where my youngest uncle was conceived (he was born March 31, 1953). Edward died ten days shy of his 50th birthday of a heart attack.

52 Ancestors #36 – Working for a living

52 Ancestors · Maternal · Prompts

#35 Mildred Wade Bolt

Mildred Wade was the wife of my 1st cousin 4x removed, William I. Bolt. She was born July 22, 1856 in Hillsdale, Michigan. Both her parents died by 1870 and she went to live with her grandmother in Geneva, Ohio. In 1877, she married William I. Bolt in Jackson, Michigan. William was my great-great-great grandfather William D. Bolt’s nephew and the son of Isaiah Bolt. William was a plumber and Mildred was a teacher of elocution in Detroit. They lived at 1191 Jefferson Ave. In 1888, she founded the Detroit School of Expression and became its principal.

bolt_dse
Various ads from the Detroit Free Press

In what must’ve been the annual back-to-school issue on Wednesday, August 29, 1906, the Detroit Free Press devoted a large section to “Schools and Colleges of the Northwest.” The paragraph describing Mildred’s school is as follows:

Mrs. Mildred A. Bolt, principal of the Detroit School of Expression, is not only a teacher of the highest ability, but she possesses those invaluable qualities of earnestness and enthusiasm which seem to be transmitted to her pupils, inspiring them to greater diligence and higher aims.

Mrs. Bolt studied elocution with Prof. Moses True Brown, of Boston; attended lectures under Prof. S. H. Clarke, at Chicago University and graduated from the Detroit Training School, where she studied under Mrs. Edna Chaffee Noble.

Under her immediate direction is a staff of highly efficient teachers, who assist her in conducting the classes in elocution, English literature, Delsarte, philosophy, Shakespearian study, voice training, dramatic reading, criticism, physical culture, deportment and general literature.

Five new teachers will be added to the faculty this year, making it possible to give an increased amount of personal attention to each student. The Detroit School of Expression is located in one of Detroit’s finest residence sections, 1191-1195 Jefferson avenue, and was established by Mrs. Bolt in 1888.

William died at the age of 50 in 1907. Mildred’s home continued to be at 1191 Jefferson until at least 1920. Mildred was well-known in Detroit society and was involved in the Detroit Shakespeare Club. She died of uterine cancer on July 24, 1922 at 3578 Joseph Campau, which was the home of Dr. and Mrs. Siefert. Louise Siefert was the Secretary-Treasurer of the school. I’m glad Mildred had a friend to go to at the end.

Ad for the school after Mildred’s death lists her as the founder

Mildred and William were buried in Detroit’s Woodlawn Cemetery.

94449904_134362655558
From the Detroit Free Press, July 27, 1922

52 Ancestors #35 – School Days

52 Ancestors · Maternal · Prompts

#29 Lafayette Theatre

I couldn’t think of anyone that would fit into the “musical” category (although I did play the clarinet in 6th-8th grades), so I thought I would focus on someone that worked in a Detroit theatre. Or more specifically, focus on that theatre.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census (enumerated April 27, 1910), my great-grandmother Mae Oakes was listed as aged 19 (although she was born May 18, 1892 and, if my math is right, that would make her 17 almost 18). Mae had been married in December 1908 to my great-grandfather, but he wasn’t living with her in 1910. Anyway, her occupation was ticket-clerk at “Laf. Theatre.” She and her mother Mina were lodgers of Alta Fisher at 77 W. Elizabeth St.

77 W. Elizabeth St. didn’t exist in the 1921 Old and New House Number for the City of Detroit, but 79’s address was changed to 203. If I look at Google Maps now, 203 is about at the corner of W. Elizabeth and Clifford, smack dab in the middle of parking lots for Comerica Park and Fox Theatre.

billy_repaid_1
An autographed photograph of reporter Billy Repaid who worked for WJR in the 1930s. Apparently he was an acquaintance of my great-grandmother’s from the theatre days. His inscription to her says, “With kindest regards to ‘Mae.’ Remember the LaFayette, huh? Billy Repaid”

The “Laf. Theatre” listed on the 1910 census stood for the Lafayette Theatre. Here’s a little history on the theatre where my great-grandmother worked. The Lafayette Theatre first opened in 1893 as “Campbell’s Empire Theatre.” According to the New York Dramatic Mirror of 12/30/1893, it was built on the former Latimer’s Livery Stable and was located at 17 and 19 Lafayette Avenue, near Griswold.

Empire Theatre on the 1897 Sanborn Fire Map (Detroit, vol. 1, sheet 2)
Empire Theatre on the 1897 Sanborn Fire Map (Detroit, vol. 1, sheet 2)
large
Empire Theatre, between 1893 and 1904. From http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/38410/photos/42725

The Empire Theatre closed in May 1904 and reopened as the Lafayette in August 1904. In Polk’s Detroit Directory of 1907, the Lafayette was located at 15-17 Lafayette Blvd. Here is an ad from Wood’s Official Railway guide from about 1909.

lafayette1909
Advertisement for Lafayette Theatre from 1909 about the time my great-grandmother worked there as a ticket clerk
lafayette
The theatre’s listing in the Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide for 1909-1910 (p. 218)

Sometime before 1913, the Lafayette came down and a new theatre, called the Orpheum, went up in its place. It opened in 1914.

In 1925, the interior was completely remodeled and the theatre was eventually named the Schubert-Lafayette. It was demolished in 1964. The spot is now a parking lot for the Dime Building.

Other Citations:

Hauser, Michael. “Downtown Detroit’s Magnificent Movie Palaces.” Presentation at the 2013 Michigan in Perspective: The Local History Conference.

http://historicdetroit.org/building/shubert-lafayette-theatre/

52 Ancestors #29 – Musical

52 Ancestors · Maternal · Prompts

#15 – Joseph Smiechowski

Joseph Ralph Smiechowski was my great-grandmother’s (Mae Moore Oakes) second husband. They were married in 1916 in Detroit, Michigan. I have found his last name spelled a few different ways, including Smiechowsky and Smilchowski.

jrs_mdo_marriage
Smiechowski / Oakes Marriage Registration, 19 June 1916 (Click image to enlarge)

Joseph was born 6 September 1893 in Detroit to Wladyslaw (Walter) Smiechowski and Eva Wolff. He had one brother Edward (born 1895) and two sisters, Amelia (born 1898) and Anna (born 1900). In the 1900 census, the family was living on St. Joseph St. in Detroit.  In the 1910 census, they were living on Theodore Street. Joseph was 16 and employed as a shipping clerk at a tannery. On 19 June 1916, Joseph and my great-grandmother, Mae, were married in Detroit.  One of the witnesses was her brother, Earl Moore.  Mae had a daughter, Helen, who turned four years old on their wedding day. On his World War I draft registration card, dated 1 June 1917, Joseph is described as medium height, stout, with blue eyes and light hair.  He lists his dependents as a “wife and child 5 yrs old.” In various documents, his occupation is listed as decorator or painter.

jrs_wwi

In the 1920 census, the little family was living on Sheridan Street in Detroit. My grandmother Helen was listed as Helen Smiechowski, instead of Helen Oakes and as Joseph’s daughter instead of step-daughter.

1920 census (Click on image to enlarge)
1920 census (Click on image to enlarge)

Mae filed for divorce on 17 December 1924 and the divorce was granted on 11 May 1925. Causes listed were extreme cruelty and non-support. Mae went on to marry her third husband Alfred Johnson in July 1925.

In the 1930 census, Joseph was living with his parents on Pressler Street in Detroit.

I recently found his death certificate on the SeekingMichigan.org site.  Joseph died 21 Sept 1936.  His place of death is listed as Motor Boat Lane, Detroit, Michigan. This road appears to be next to a marina or an inlet of the Detroit River near the Manoogian Mansion.  His cause of death was “asphyxiation by suffocation drowning.” His father Walter is listed as the informant.  His address was 6629 Burns, and I assume Joseph was living there at the time of his death, but the certificate lists his address as unknown. Burns Street was only about 5 or 6 blocks over from Motor Boat Lane. I had no idea when I started looking for his death date, that Mr. Smiechowski had come to such a tragic end.

_________________________________

Image citations:

“Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N3TS-CLW : accessed 5 January 2016), Joseph R. Smiechowski and Mae D Moore Oakes, 19 Jun 1916; citing Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, v 6 p 443 rn 131966, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL microfilm 2,342,718.

“United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images,FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6XQ-4NM : accessed 5 January 2016), Joseph Ralph Smiechowski, 1917-1918; citing Detroit City, Michigan, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,675,371.

“United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZW1-7LF : accessed 5 January 2016), Joseph Smilchowski, Detroit Ward 17, Wayne, Michigan, United States; citing sheet 20A, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,820,816.

52 Ancestors #16 – How do you spell that?

52 Ancestors · Maternal · Prompts

#7 – Mae Moore Oakes Smiechowski Johnson

Helen, Mae and Earl Moore
Mae Moore, at right, c1897

My great-grandmother was married three times, which surprised my mother who always thought she was the sweetest lady and how could she have married three men?  Third times a charm, I think, because she was married to her third husband, Alfred Johnson, for 46 years until her death.

Mae Dillon Moore was born in Plymouth, Michigan on May 18, 1892 to Fred and Mina (Bolt) Moore.  She had two brothers, Glenn and Earl and a sister Helen.  On December 23, 1908 at the age of 16, she married William E. Oakes.  In the 1910 U.S. Census, she and her mother, Mina, are living as lodgers in the home of Alta Fisher on W. Elizabeth St. in Detroit.  I haven’t found her husband William yet in the 1910 census, but obviously they were living apart.  However, my grandmother, Helen Dorothy Oakes, was born on June 19, 1912, so we know it wasn’t a permanent separation!  Mae filed for divorce from William on August 31, 1914 for cruelty and non-support.  The divorce was final on July 13, 1915.  William died in 1928.

Mae and Helen, c1913
Mae and Helen, c1913

Mae married Joseph R. Smiechowski on June 19, 1916, her daughter Helen’s fourth birthday.  Mae’s brother Earl was one of the witnesses.  In the 1920 U.S. census, Joseph, Mae, and Helen are living at 1521 Sheridan Avenue in Detroit.  My grandmother was listed as Helen Smiechowski.  Joseph was a painter whose father was from Poland.  Mae filed for divorce from Joseph on December 17, 1924 for extreme cruelty and non-support.  The divorce was final on May 11, 1925.  Joseph died in 1936.

Alfred and Mae
Alfred and Mae

Coincidentally (or not), Mae’s third husband Alfred was married to Cecelia Martin and their divorce was finalized on December 8, 1924, just days before Mae filed for divorce from her second husband.  Hmm.  Mae and Alfred were married July 3, 1925 (less than two months after her divorce).  They lived at 14810 Parkgrove in Detroit for over forty years.  They had no children.  Mae died on June 6, 1971 of colon cancer and Alfred died January 27, 1975 of spinal cancer.  They are buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Detroit.

Mae and Alfred, c1950s
Mae and Alfred, c1950s

52 Ancestors #7 – Love