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Reason WAITS was my great great great grandfather James G WAITS’ brother, and the source of the letters that I quoted a couple of weeks ago in this post.
For some reason, Reason has been on my radar a lot this week so I thought it would be fitting to post these photos of his very unusual and cool headstone that a www.findagrave.com volunteer posted. She said that someone before her chalked the monument, which can damage the headstone and make it deteriorate faster. Not a good idea, in my book.
Actually, doing anything to a headstone is frowned upon in the genealogy and cemetery world. There’s an ongoing debate over what’s acceptable and what’s not. For more on that, check out this blog post from Dick Eastman.
And the follow up post:
But for now, let’s get back to today’s Tombstone!
b: 19 Nov 1819 in Brown County, Ohio
m: 19 Nov 1844 to Susan SIPES (1825-1855) in Ray, Missouri
m: 31 Oct 1858 to Melissa Jane CLEMMONS (1839-1927) in Atchinson, Missouri
d: 23 Feb 1892 in Fairfax, Atchinson County, Missouri
He had 4 children with Susan, and 7 children with Melissa.
I really don’t know a lot about him at this point, but I get the feeling this will change sometime in the very near future. I found a cousin on Ancestry.com that is one of his descendants, and she just emailed me this morning to say that she found a ton of WAITS photos and documents in a family scrapbook that she hasn’t looked at in a while. So I scanned the copies of Reason’s letters and she is going to copy what she has and send it to me. So this story will break wide open in the next few weeks!
“The pains of death are past
Labor and sorrow cease
And life’s long warfare closed at last
His soul is found in peace”
For my first Treasure Chest Thursday, I thought it would be appropriate to post a photo or two of… well… my treasure chest!
This is the metal suitcase that all of my old photos were kept in. I’m not sure where it came from or who originally owned it or where it’s been. Although it’s pretty dented up, you can see on the left side there that it has remained relatively glossy on the surfaces that weren’t used much. What surprises me about this suitcase is that it’s remarkably sturdy, yet light at the same time! I think it must be aluminum because I can lift it easily.
The lock is long gone, but the clasps that keep the lid shut are completely functional. There are metal corners to reinforce the structure and I must say that they’ve done their job well! The handle is also missing, but someone had the presence of mind to tie one dandy rope handle up. My Dad was in the Navy, so I wonder if he may have been the one who tied this fancy one up. Do they still teach sailors how to tie all of those knots or is that pretty much a useless skill now-a-days?
Inside the chest, you’ll find a wooden box inside of a metal box. The inner box is covered in this lovely brown and blue flowered wallpaper. At least it looks like wallpaper to me. There is one hinge on the right side that keeps the top open remarkably well. And blue ribbons tied at the top to keep things somewhat organized for trips. I can only imagine that it must have been pretty, bright, and cheerful in its day.
Whenever I open my treasure chest, I always flash back to the first time I found it. My Dad had just passed away and we were cleaning out his house so we could put it up for sale. I’d lived on my own for a really long time, so I wasn’t interested in any of the day to day items. Everything else was just “stuff” to me… except this. I was immediately drawn to it and when I popped the top open, I knew why. Hidden inside this beat up old suitcase were piles and piles of old photos. Sadly, some of them are in pretty bad shape from sliding around in there rubbing against each other. Thankfully, there was a smaller box inside that contained more photos, so they are in much better condition. I had no idea who any of the people were, but something inside me was insisting that I find out!
It’s been five years since Dad died and I inherited this beat up old suitcase. I’ve moved a few times and keep purging unwanted belongings by the carloads, but still have my treasure chest. I call it Grandma’s trunk because that’s just the vibe that I get from it. I don’t know when it was made or how far its traveled. But I get the feeling that sooner or later I’ll be going through photos with someone and there it’ll be… sitting in all it’s former glory… and the mystery of its owner will be unraveled. Until then, it will stay perched on the top shelf of the closet in my office. Safe and sound.
I thought it would be fitting today to show you Edwin William Waits’ tombstone, since he was a major part of my day yesterday.
Edwin was born in Milford, Seward, Nebraska, USA and died in Marion, Oregon, USA. It’s my understanding that he was married with kids. Was it common back then to take someone’s body across country and not bury them with their spouse? That seemed to happen a lot in my family.
I took this photo at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Ruby, Seward, Nebraska, USA on Memorial Day, 2009 and noticed that a few of my family’s graves had flowers on them. Same thing in the Seward Cemetery. Assuming that the visitors are cousins, I’d really like to talk to them and let them know about my research and blog and see if they want to compare notes. Does anyone have any ideas on how I would get in touch with them? I’ve thought about leaving a note in a ziploc next Memorial Day, but that’s nine months away. Seems a shame to let it go that long if we live in the same area.
UPDATE 2 !(9/8/09)
Robin and I have been comparing the 2nd gent to his brother, pictured here. The hair is definitely the same, but it’s hard to tell since his face would have filled out quite a bit since the first picture. The first photo was taken at the same time as Edwin’s grainy one (have I mentioned lately that I really want a scan of the original to these photocopied photos?). It’s not as obvious as Edwin’s picture, but still a possibility?
My cousin Robin figured out who the top guy is! It’s my great grandfather’s youngest brother Edwin William Waits. The only other photo I have is that really grainy one that’s a scan of a photocopy. Good eyes, Robin!! Now figure out who his friend is! lol!
The 1900 census shows Edwin in Seward NE. In 1917/1918, he registered for the draft for WWI, but I haven’t seen anything that shows that he enlisted. His draft card shows that he was working for the Union Pacific Railroad as a machinists helper and was married.
I’m still dying to know what’s written on the back of that photo, though. I think I’ll take everyone’s advice and take it to a professional! Thanks for all of the feedback!! =)
This photo has driven me mad since I first saw it. I really stands out against the photos of farms and farmers that it was mixed in with.
Who are these guys? I can only assume that they’re either from the WAIT or FLEMING sides of my family since that’s the photo album I found them in. I can see a bit of family resemblence between the two of them, especially their noses and ears… but their eyes and mouths and hair are completely different. When was the photo taken? My guess is some time in the 1800s. How old are they? Late teens? Early 20s? What’s with the fur coat? I haven’t come across anyone in my tree yet who lived anywhere that a fur coat was warranted or practical. Not to mention affordable! The guy on the bottom is wearing a turtleneck and what looks like a wool pea coat? They certainly took great care in their appearance… it’s almost like they knew I’d be staring at this picture for hours and they wanted to look their best. What sort of event would warrant a photo like this to be taken?
Look at the back of the same photo. There’s black scrapbook paper glued to it from where it was taken out of a photo album, but you can tell there’s something written underneath it. Argh! Not to mention that part of the word on the left was cropped off when they trimmed the photo. It looks like “Ed” and what looks like the beginning of a capital ”W” to me. At the end of the last word is definitely “tt”… what’s the letter they’re connected to… “a”… “i”…. something like that? Or am I just imagining things because I subconsciously want their last name to be Wait or some version of that. Was this photo originally in a frame? When were these postcards available? Could this have been a reprint on post card stock or is this the original photo? I think I saw some sort of solution in a scrapbooking store once that was used specifially for dissolving the glue on pictures like this, but I would be more afraid of ruining it than anything.
If anyone has any guesses or advice on this photo, please comment away!