Friday, November 27, 2015


"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."

                                                                   - Will Rogers

This is a story about a dog named Gilley.  We would call him a Police Dog, but he was officially a Patrol, Narcotics and SWAT Canine.  On November 7, Capt. Randy DeAnda of the Rialto [California]  Police department sent out an email to all members of the Police Department.


Last night while on duty, Canine Officer Glen Anderson noticed his K-9 partner, Gilley, was sick.  Gilley was taken to a Veterinary Hospital in Ontario.  It was discovered that Gilley had a tumor attached to his heart, which was causing fluid to surround his heart and other vital organs.  Canine Officer Glen Anderson consulted with the Veterinarian regarding Gilley's medical condition, prognosis, his age and quality of life.  Their decision was to put Gilley down to avoid further pain and suffering.

Gilley was a phenomenal Patrol, Narcotics and SWAT Canine.  He served the department, community and all of his law enforcement partners for eight years... Gilley saved the department countless man hours and will truly be missed.


Gilley's statistics over those last 8 years are as follows:

Recovery of:   108 pounds of methamphetamine
                        380 pounds of marijuana
                        130 pounds of cocaine
                          31 pounds of heroin
                        Over a million dollars in cash

Credit for:        36 apprehensions
                         213 suspect finds and surrenders


Capt. DeAnda encouraged the members of the Police Department to keep Gilley's handler, Canine Officer Glen Anderson, in their thoughts and prayers.

Officer Anderson reported that in the first 72 hours more than 300 local law enforcement folk that he worked with over the years called or text him - a great outpouring of support for him and a salute to Gilley's own law enforcement career.

I say that Gilley takes an important and well-earned place among my "Immortal Nobodies."

Thursday, October 8, 2015


A baby in my arms.  He's not mine to keep, but he did live with us – us being my first husband, me, our small son and an even smaller daughter, both under the age of 2.  Why would I have another baby living with us?

His mom and dad were college friends of ours here in California.  While I was busy having children after college, his mom started teaching school and his father – well, I don't really remember much about him, mainly because what I thought I knew turned out to be false.  While we knew them, his mom became pregnant with this first child and in due time a darling little boy was born.  Kevin, they called him.  He was born in March of 1959.  My own third child was due in early June.

When the baby was ready to come home from the hospital - in those days they stayed in the hospital for 5 days after the baby was born - the doctors released Kevin to his father but kept his mother hospitalized.  She had become very sick and tests were being done to find out what was wrong.  The father came directly to our house from the hospital, asking me if I would care for the baby until  Kevin's mom was released.  Of course I said yes; what was one more baby in the mix.

To make a long story short, things were not what they seemed.  I kept the baby for 3 months and his mother got sicker and sicker.  The father rarely appeared at our house to see his son, and my husband and I felt something was terribly awry.  We called the baby's grandmother in Kansas and told them what we were seeing with the baby and his family.  They came as quickly as they could and took their very sick daughter and her new baby to a new home in Kansas.  Kevin's mother lived less than a month after leaving California. She had been diagnosed with Lupus Erythematosus.

My husband and I had discussed the possibility of adopting Kevin if that was the way the events would turn, and we both agreed that we stood ready, if needed, to take that sweet baby as our own, but hoping, of course, that his real mom would be able to raise him. 

Over the next few years we kept in touch with Kevin's grandparents, and I still have, after all these years, pictures of them, and us and baby Kevin.  And even a few of Kevin's school pictures.  But time moves on and contact was lost.  But I never forgot that horrible time and I always wondered how Kevin fared in his life. 

My hope in writing ImmortalNobodies is to tell a story of a non-famous person that brings a moment of their being to life, even if it is for only a short moment or two.  Most of the people I write about are on my family tree, some are people I've merely been acquainted with.  Others are strangers I only know about because of a "story."  As far as I know, Kevin never knew of my role in his life.  I have no way of knowing how much he was told about his first few months of life or of his mother's death.  I also believe that he was called Christopher, not Kevin, as he grew up.  I believe he married and had children.  So I'm going to believe that he had a good life after all.  I do know that he died in 2006, young at 47.  And he did leave children.  

For me, both he and his mother Dawn will always stand high in the ranks of my Immortal Nobodies.

Dawn in high school 

Mr.and Mrs. Tedlock in Long Beach taking baby home to Kansas.

My last photo of Kevin sent to me by the Tedlocks

Wednesday, September 16, 2015



I first ran into Mrs. Biddle on her way to a funeral.  The newspaper report of young Rolland Humphrey Stevens' death in 1903 ended with the following:  "Mrs. Biddle of Carbondale, George Stephens of Ashton, OT, and A. H. Stephens of Kansas City arrived in the city yesterday to attend the funeral, which will be held today [Nov 1, 1903] at 3:30 o'clock from the family residence."

Roll, as he was called, was only 17 and had just started on his first job out of Business School - a "Train Butch" who walked through the cars while the train was chugging to its destination, selling travelers food or snacks, newspapers, books or whatever he carried that trip to make train travel a little more comfortable.  It was his first - and only trip - as there was an accident in Cimarron, Kansas, and he was one of the three people killed.

Roll's mom had died giving birth to a second son in 1899.  His dad's business necessitated his traveling a great deal between Oklahoma Territory and Kansas.  At various times unidentified pictures were taken by photographers in Purcell, Blackwell, Guthrie, (Oklahoma) and Hutchinson, Sterling, Carbondale and Wichita, Kansas and put in a big velvet album that was passed down in the family.  So we knew there were plenty of aunts and uncles to tend to Roll and his two younger sisters.

But there were no people with the surname of Biddle in his background.  It was a mystery: Why was Mrs. Biddle coming to Roll's funeral?

After several years of research on other family members, I came back to the Stevenses.  There were a few loose ends I wanted to wrap up.  One was getting to know Lillian Humphrey Stevens a little better.  Her children, Roll, Estelle and Helen, were my own grandma's cousins.  Grandma's mom was Nellie Stevens, a younger sister to Frank Dana Stevens.  My grandma would have played with these kids. I wanted to find out a little more about them.

In looking at some census records for Estelle Stevens, who was 9 years old in 1900 (shortly after her mother died) I found all three of these children living in Osage County, Kansas with Amos and Mary E. Biddle.  And Mary was listed as their grandmother.  I checked the cemetery and found that a John A. Humphrey had died in 1876 and his wife had later married Amos Biddle.  And I found that in 1880 Lillian May Humphrey was 17 and a school teacher.   My records showed that Lillian and Frank D. Stevens had married in 1885 and babies came fast -- and my grandma was born in 1885 and she and the girls probably played "dolls" together, like all little girls do.  Who would think that in a short period a few years down the road, Lillian, Frank D. Jr, and Roll would all be dead, way too soon.

(Estelle, Helen, and Rolland)

So when Roll died, of course his grandmother, Mrs. Biddle, came to the funeral.  One thing the obituary did not note and I found very interesting is that Lillian May Humphrey Stevens named her first child after her own brother - Rolland Humphrey.

Bits and pieces of this story have been in my mom's side of the family for years.  But we just didn't know how the pieces fit together.  Now we do.

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Wichita Mourns Popular Woman Taken in Death
An infection Claims Life of Mrs. Henry Wallenstein, Jr.

Mrs. Dana Wallenstein, 25, wife of Henry Wallenstein, Jr. of the firm of Wallenstein & Raffman, died Wednesday afternoon in Colorado Springs after a short Illness.

For the past month Mrs. Wallenstein and her two daughters, Nadine and Dana, had been in a cabin in the mountains near Colorado Springs.  About two weeks ago a pimple appeared on her chin which later developed into a carbuncle.  This became infected last week, but not until Friday was it thought serious, at which time she was taken to Blockner (sic) Glockner Hospital in Colorado Springs.  Monday and Tuesday her condition seemed improved, but Wednesday she rapidly grew worse and died at 1:30 p.m. of septic poisoning.

Mr. Wallenstein was called to Colorado Springs last week and was at her bedside when death came; as were also her parents, Mr. and Mrs. F. D. Stevens, 4000 East Douglas and Henry Wallenstein, Sr.


Mrs. Wallenstein's many friends in Wichita always remarked about her devotion to her small daughters.  Although she was interested in community and other activities, being a member of Entre Nous and other organizations, her paramount concern was her home.  She was a member of Temple Emanuel, Reformed Jewish Church.  Mrs. Wallenstein had no enemies and was always the most gentile of women.  She carefully avoided petty difficulties and was usually the peacemaker in any community differences.  She was always ready to help those in distress, and her kindly spirit made her many devoted friends.


Mrs. Wallenstein was prominent in social circles in Wichita.  She was educated in the public schools here and attended Lindenwood College in Missouri.  Before her marriage to Mr. Wallenstein she was Miss Dana Stevens and their wedding five year ago last June was of much social prominence uniting, as it did, to socially prominent families.  Mr. and Mrs. Wallenstein lived at 120 North Broadway. 

Mrs. Wallenstein is survived by her husband; two daughters, Nadine and Dana, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. F. D. Stevens, two brothers, Frank and Larry, both of Wichita, and one sister, Rosana, Wichita.  The body will be brought to Wichita Friday morning and the funeral will be held at 4 o'clock Friday afternoon.

31 August, 1927

Monday, August 24, 2015


Not all is what it seems.  It's really hard to build a person from a few documents and a bit of speculation.  If this young man pictured above is truly Robert Livingston Jeffries, M.D., then he was my 2nd great granduncle, for what it is worth.

Apparently, if the document in the Provost Marshal's file at the National Archives is correct, he started out as a Rebel Spy in the Civil War.  He was a member of the well-known Achilles Whitehead Jeffries family in Union, Franklin County, Missouri.  His father was a prosperous farmer, attorney and slaveholder of 10 or 11 slaves.  The document referred to was related to his arrest by the Federal forces.

As one reads through the documents, it would appear that he spent some time in custody in Cincinnati, Ohio and then for health reasons he asked to be released.  He signed a loyalty oath in order to effect this release and apparently shortly thereafter, he became a spy for the U.S. Government.  He told his father in a letter (referred to in a different letter) that he was working for the Secret Service.

This was in late 1864.  At that time he headed to Paris, Kentucky, where after a short time he was set upon by some "guerillas," robbed and then shot, dying on the spot.  His body was taken to a nearby residence and he was given a decent burial.  The story is told by military documents flying back and forth between Kentucky and Cincinnati, and sad letters of inquiry from his father, Achilles W.

It appears in these documents that the guerillas were caught, 2 killed and 2 captured.  Those captured were tried and found guilty.

There are several interesting books that speak to Provost Marshal documents that are not yet digitized and that help this information to seem correct.  However, there also is a book written by Ellsworth (name appearing under the photo above) that varies so widely from the National Archive material that it is hard to even be sure that the picture above, which is in the holdings of the Thomas Henry Hines holdings at the University of Kentucky, is, in fact, Robert L. Jeffries.

It is true that both sides used lots of spies, and it is true that many spies changed sides - probably because it was in their own best interest to do so.  Because this relative is so distant from me -- his sister Martha Jeffries is my 2nd great grandma - I will not be doing any further research on Robert, or on his brother Benjamin Franklin Jeffries or his brother Andrew Jackson Jeffries - and other more commonly named siblings.  I'm moving on.... but I surely do think Robert Livingston Jeffries qualifies as an Immortal Nobody.

And in case you don't know who Robert Livingston Jeffries was named after, do a Google search on Robert Livingston and you will find he is right in there with the others - and he was in the right place at the right time to help secure the Louisiana Purchase for the U.S.

Monday, August 10, 2015


St. Louis [MO] Republican - July 22, 1862


A few days ago mention was made in the Republican of the killing of Miss Emily Hall, a  young lady of Union, Franklin county, by her brother, Legrand Hall, who shot her with a musket.  The following facts, which we learned yesterday from a gentleman acquainted with the circumstances show that the murder was one of the most cruel and cold blooded of any that has ever taken place.  It appears that the murder has for years been regarded as a desperate character. A few years ago he was convicted of the murder of Andrew Bullock, and sentenced to the penitentiary.  Shortly after he was pardoned out by Gov. Stewart, at the request of a Circuit Judge.  His father recently made his will, and gave $500 more to his two other children than to Legrand.  The latter took offense at this, and determined to have revenge.  He endeavored to make an arrangement with an old negro to kill the whole family on the 4th of July, but the negro declined.  Mr. Hall, the father, was on his death bed on the night of the murder, and his children, including Legrand, were present.

Late in the evening Legrand went out of the death chamber and soon after called his sister Emily to join him.  The sister had no sooner stepped outside the room than she was shot dead by her brother, who then fled.  The citizens of the vicinity soon after turned out and succeeded in capturing him, and he was lodged in jail.  The day was fixed for the preliminary examination, and he appeared in Court provided with law books and papers to defend himself.  The examination had progressed but a short time, when he was seized by the infuriated citizens.  A rope was tied about his neck, and he was swung up on the limb of a tree, and thus speedily and summarily executed.


Things you might need to know if this is YOUR relative:

The father's name was ABNER HALL.  He died shortly after Emily was shot.
The murderer's name was William LeGrand Hall. He was an attorney
Miss Emily's name was Caroline Emily.

William was Abner's oldest child.  John Hall (my great-great-grandfather), was Abner's 2nd child.
After William killed Emily, he set out for John's house (John was NOT at his father's bedside) intent on killing him next, probably because his father had appointed John executor of his considerable estate.  Obviously I would not be here if William had succeeded in killing John.

There is a slightly different version of this story in the well-known book on Franklin County by Herman Kiel.  That story ends this way:  "Hall's body was left to hang about three hours, when it was cut down and buried in the old graveyard about one-third of a mile northeast of Union.  There is no doubt in the minds of many of the best citizens that the victim of this lynching was insane."

It is possible that there was insanity in the family.  In an earlier blog I wrote of Byron Hall who killed two policemen - and he was the son of Abner's youngest son James A. Hall.

I have set no requirement for those whom I choose to be my Immortal Nobodies.  Some are my family and some are not.  Some are "good" and some are not.  I am ok with adding poor William to the list.

The picture by Shar (above) is one of an unidentified stone in the Old Union Poor Cemetery.  I do not believe William got a stone.  I do not know where any of the Halls who lived and died in Union, Missouri were buried.  There's much I know, and a whole lot I don't know, which is just the way genealogy is.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


OBITUARY:  Amador Dispatch May 4, 1906, Volume 47, Issue 33 

Mandana Rice died on 4/29/06 between 11 p.m. and 12 a.m. in her home about 4 miles east of Jackson.  She was born Mandana Bradley on August 11, 1822 in Randolph County, Missouri.  She married David B. Rice and crossed the plains in 1853.  One year later they moved to Amador County and since 1858 she lived in the same house near New York Ranch.  Her husband died 25 years ago.  She had 8 children, 2 deceased, 15 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.  She was 83 years, 8 months and 18 days of age.  Funeral services were held on May 2, 1906.

INQUEST HELD ON April 29, 1906, Jackson, Amador County, CA
State of California, County of Amador

Documents held by Amador County Archives, Jackson, California; Larry Cenotto, Archivist.
An Inquisition upon the body of Mandania Rice who was found dead on April 30(sic), 1906 near New York Ranch, Amador County.

April 30, 1906 She was found dead in bed.  Questions asked of her son W. C. Rice:
Q: What is your name
A:  W. C. Rice
Q:  Are you a son of the deceased?
A:  Yes, sir
Q:  Were you living in the house at the time of her death?
A:  Yes, sir.
Q:  When did you last see her alive?
A:  About 8 o'clock April 29, 1906.
Q:  Did she seem to be in good health?
A:  She seemed to be as usual.
Q:  Would you please explain to the jurors how she talked last evening?
A:  It was about Eleven O'clock when she called me and said, "I am sick.  I am afull (sic) sick and I want some Salatiras (?) water and I said can I do anything for you and she said "no, don't bother yourself" and I went back to sleep and I got up at five o'clock and went out and fed the chickens and then came in the kitchen and started the fire, and came in to kindle the fire in the sitting room and called to her and called again and got no answer so I went in the room and I found her dead, partly in bed and feet resting on the floor.
Q:  What did you do when you found her?
A:  I ran up to Amos Harman and then I went to Jackson.
Q:  Is there any questions for the jurors to ask the witness?

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 30th day of April 1906


Mandana was the sister of my 2nd great grandmother, Susan A. Bradley Davis.  It took me about 30 years of researching before I located her -- and then it was because of a Power of Attorney entered into a Schuyler County, Missouri Deed Book in 1852.  Her father Thomas Bradley had recently died, and her mother Elizabeth wanted to sell the old home place but needed all the heirs (their children) to go on record as approving of the sail.  Mandana had moved to California; the family knew but we researchers didn't have a clue.  She gave her Power of Attorney to her brother-in-law John G. Davis, and in it she indicated that she and her husband, David Rice, now lived in Amador County, California.  This Power of attorney was entered in the Deed Book, along with the signatures of all the other heirs.

Mandana didn't know that she was lost and found, but I did some 100+ years later.