Saturday, April 12, 2008

A TR connection?

Today, I received a book -- a History of the San Lorenzo Valley, and inside, a cursory look revealed both a story about Bessie Glass helping to catch a diamond thief, and a photo of the Grand Central Hotel (of which Joseph was half-owner starting in 1905, and eventually ran in 1909.)

Taking another look at a photo (Felton Townspeople) that Sarah had provided, I was able to ID the building in the "Felton Townspeople" photo as also being the Grand Central Hotel. (The lady with the bicycle is Lucy Ball.) It also figures in several other Felton photographs from Sarah.

So what's the deal with Teddy Roosevelt? Well, biggify the top photo, and check out the 4th guy from the left. I mentioned off-handedly to Jeff, "Hey, look: Teddy Roosevelt!" At first, we were like, yeah, right, everybody looked like TR in those days. But then, looking at the facts, it didn't sound so crazy...

Why it might be TR:

  • Teddy Roosevelt visited Felton in May 1903 to dedicate Big Basin State Park (he was instrumental in saving the redwoods here) - the photo is consistent with the time frame;
  • Joseph Ball was county Supervisor at the time of Roosevelt's visit; he likely would have been part of the welcoming committee (I suspect that Joseph Ball is in this photo, but there's no way to identify him);
  • Clothing is consistent with May weather. Some of the men are wearing straw boaters; Lucy is in white cotton.
  • The Felton TR lookalike is holding up the kid that looks like Charlie McCarthy. That seems like something TR would do during a photo opp.
Why it probably isn't TR:

  • Felton guy is a little frayed around the edges. TR was a dandy.
  • When TR visited the San Lorenzo Valley, 12,000 people showed up. It would appear that if this were TR, there would be a crowd.
The probability is very low, but it's been a fun ponderable..... we need Archie from C.S.I. to do a biometric analysis.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Annie McCoy Ball's Obit

Last weekend we took a field trip to the Boulder Creek Library where we spent the day scrolling through microfilm looking at old issues of the "Mountain Echo," a newspaper published for the San Lorenzo Valley (Felton, Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, etc.) around the turn of the century (about 1895 - 1915).

After wrestling with ancient microfilm technology (and reading through 167 ads for remedies for piles and catarrh), we came away with a ream of info on family members from the Felton area. The best find was a good obituary for your great-great grandmother (Annie McCoy Ball) who died suddenly at the age of 45. Here's the transcription:


Mrs Annie Letitia Ball, wife of Supervisor Joseph Ball, died suddenly and unexpectedly at the family apartments in the Hotel Ben Lomond last Sunday night at 10:30 o'clock. Mrs Ball had been subject to attacks of heart trouble during the past year and it was one of these that caused her sudden taking off as stated above, the immediate cause of death being diagnosed as paralysis of the heart.

Mrs Ball had been about her duties as usual the day before her death and seemed to be as well as usual and in good spirits. There was nothing to indicate her being called so suddenly. Like a thunderbolt from a clear sky the shaft of the destroyer came and in a few minutes after it struck the wife and mother had passed from the earth.

The funeral took place Tuesday afternoon and was largely attended. The home services were held at the Hotel Ben Lomond at one o'clock. Rev Wm Hicks, of the Presbyterian church of this place, officiating. The remains were then taken by the afternoon train to Santa Cruz, accompanied by many other friends and a long procession of carriages
wended its way to the Odd Fellow's cemetery, where the impressive burial services were conducted by Isabella Rebekah Lodge, I. O. O. F., of Santa Cruz, of which Mrs Ball was a member in good standing. Court adjourned and all of the county officials attended. Many beautiful floral pieces testified to the sympathy and good will of friends and the esteem in which deceased (sic) was held. Interment was in the family plot in the Odd Fellow's cemetery.

Mrs Annie L. Ball was a sister of Mrs L N Hayes, Mrs T B Hubbard and Mrs G C West, all of San Jose, and was the second daughter of Mr and Mrs H. W. McKoy, old residents of Felton, where her life from girlhood, until recently, has been passed. She was united in marriage to Mr Jos. Ball in the early seventies. Three children blessed the union, one deceased, and the two daughters, Lucy and Bessie, now grown to womanhood, and left to mourn the loss of a faithful, devoted mother. Mrs. Ball was a native of El Dorado county, this state, and was aged 45 years at the time of her death. Her bereaved family have the sincere sympathy of a wide circle of friends in their great and unexpected affliction.

DATE: 16 MAR 1901

Also found an obituary for your great-great grandfather, John Glass. He had no funeral ceremony other than the I.O.O.F. rites:
The funeral of John Glass took place in Santa Cruz last Sunday at 11 AM from Odd Fellow's Hall and the interment was in the Odd Fellow's cemetery. There was no ceremony other than the burial service of the order, which was used both in the hall and at the grave. The pall bearers were: A M Fraser, Dan Hartman, G P Lane and Thos Maddock of Boulder Creek; Jas. H Curtis of Felton and Prof W T Forsyth of Santa Cruz.

Date: 28 JUN 1902

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Mystery of the Uniform

Of all the photos Sarah has shared with us, this is one of my favorites. It's your great grandfather, Charles Bennett Ware (Kathleen Ware's father), in full uniform. I asked Sarah about the uniform, but she didn't have any info on his military service.

I once did a drawing of Teddy Roosevelt which featured a pin identical to the one on Ware's hat, and because it seemed he would have been of age to fight in the Spanish American War, I started by researching uniforms from that war. I got a match. Next, I looked up Spanish American War service records and got a hit on Charles Ware. Turns out, he served as a corporal in the Spanish American War, in Company E of the Illinois Infantry.