An Inheritance of Ghosts

Valentine Corley and Sarah [Walker?]

Posted in Sarah ([Walker?]) Corley, Sarah [Walker?], Valentine Corley by Gregg Mattocks on 13 September 2009

Valentine Corley [384]

Father: probably John Corley [768]

Mother: Unknown [769]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Sarah “Sally” [Walker?] [385]

Father: possibly Robert Walker [770]

Mother: possibly Agatha —– [771]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

*

Valentine Corley [384] was born about 1721, or perhaps somewhat earlier, in Virginia. If he was a son of John Corley, Valentine was probably born in Hanover County.

On 17 November 1735, John and Valentine Corley were witnesses to a land transaction between William Eddies of Orange County and Shurley Whatley of St. Paul’s Parish, Hanover County. This transaction would lead one to believe that Valentine had been born by about 1719 in order to have been of legal age to witness the deed.

It is known that Valentine had a wife named Sarah, and it is thought she may have been Sarah “Sally” [Walker?] [385]. That Sarah may have been a Walker is based on circumstantial evidence. Valentine was the executor of the estate of Robert Walker. Robert had named a daughter “Saley” in his will, and she may have been the woman who married Valentine Corley. Robert’s wife was named Agatha, and Valentine had a daughter named Agatha. Robert had a son Elijah Walker, Valentine had a grandson named Elijah W. Colley and Elijah W. Colley’s son was named Elijah Walker Colley.

On 12 January 1747, for thirty shillings, Valentine received a grant of 300 acres at Goochland County, Virginia, from the Commonwealth. The property was:

on the South side of Appamattox River on the Branches of Angola and bounded as followeth, to wit, Beginning at Edward Davisons Corner Pointers Thence new Line North two degrees West one hundred and six poles to William McCoys Pointers Thence on McCoys Line South eighty degrees West three hundred and fifty poles to his Corner Pine Then new Line South forty seven degrees East one hundred and forty poles to a black scrub Oak in Richard Wills Line On Wills Lines North fifty degrees East one hundred and four poles to a white Oak thence South forty degrees East one hundred and twenty four poles to Pointers South ten degrees West one hundred and sixty poles to Pointers South eighty degrees East sixty nine poles to Pointers Then on John Patterson North ten degrees East one hundred and forty four poles to his Pointers Same Course continued on Edward Davison one hundred and sixteen poles to the first Station With all Woods Underwoods Swamps Marshes Low Grounds Meadows Feedings and his due share of all Veins Mines and Quarries as well discovered as not discovered within the bounds aforesaid and being part of the said Quantity of three hundred acres of Land and the Rivers Waters and Watercourses therein contained Together with the Priviledges of Hunting Hawking ffishing Fowling and all other Profits Commodities and Hereditaments whatsoever to the same or any part thereof belonging or in any wise appertaining

The above grant was made on the condition that “for every fifty acres of Land and so proportionably for a lefser or greater Quantity then fifty acres the ffee Rent of one shilling yearly to be paid upon the feast of S’t Michael the Arch Angel And also Cultivating and Improving three acres part of every Fifty of the Tract above mentioned within three years after the date of these Presents.”

On 24 August 1749, Valentine was located at Orange County, Virginia.

On 16 August 1756, for forty shillings, Valentine received a grant of 400 acres at Amelia County, Virginia, from the Commonwealth. The property was:

between Bryer and Buffalo Rivers and bounded as followeth (to wit) Beginning at Abraham Bakers Corner pine thence along Flournoys Lines North thirty seven Degrees East eleven poles to his Corner thence West twenty two Degrees North ninety eight poles to Andersons Corner thence along his Lines North fifteen Degrees East two hundred and seventy eight poles to his Corner great forked pine thence East thirty one Degrees North one hundred and forty two poles to a Corner in his Line thence South East by South one hundred and ninety four poles to Martins line thence along his Lines South forty poles to Bakers line thence West two Degrees South thirty five poles along Bakers Line to the beginning

Valentine was known to have possessed land in Cumberland County, Virginia, as early as November 1759, when Richard Ward of Lunenburg County, Virginia, wrote a will leaving land to his son Benjamin Ward. The bequeathed land was described as being in Cumberland County adjoining the land of Valentine Colley.

The processioner’s returns of St. Patrick’s Parish, Prince Edward County, Virginia, from 1760 to 1767, list a “Voll Colley”.

Valentine was appointed executor by Robert Walker of Bedford County, Virginia, in a will composed 23 October 1766 and recorded 4 March 1767. Valentine (“Vollintine”) was further named as Robert Walker’s executor in the inventory of Robert’s estate dated 26 April 1768, and again in the settlement of Walker’s estate dated 26 March 1771.

On 10 April 1779, Valentine (of Cumberland County) sold to John Watson, Jr., of Prince Edward County, 176 acres of land located in Prince Edward County.

During the Revolutionary War, Valentine Corley, of Cumberland County, Virginia, provided supplies for the use of the military. Valentine had receipts for reimbursement for the following articles:

August 1780: 21 1/2 lbs. bacon, by Henry Skipwith, Comr. State 16s-1 1/2
November 1781: 225 lbs. beef, by Ben Wilson, Comr. State £1-17-6
December 1781: 2 bushels wheat, for State 8s
  Total £3-1-7 1/2

On 1 December 1783, Valentine deeded to his son James 150 acres comprising half of the property where Valentine was then living. Valentine is said to have deeded further land to James on 26 April 1784.

A Vaul Colley appeared as the head of household on the 1784 Virginia census of Cumberland County, with four “white souls” and two “dwellings”.

Valentine was among the Cumberland County petititoners who protested being taxed by the Commonwealth of Virginia to pay religious teachers:

To The Hon. The Speaker & Gent’n of the house of Delegates

The petitioners of the Inhabitants of Cumb’d County, Humbly Sheweth that whereas it hath pleased your Hon. House to Publish a bill Obliging the Inhabitants of the Comon Wealth to pay the Teachers of the Christian Religion & have required their Opinion concerning it Your Petio’s therefore do most earnestly declare Against it, Believing it to be Contrary to the Spirit of the Gospel & the bill of rights, Certain it is that the Blefsed Author of the Christian Religion not only Maintain’d & Support’d his Gospel in the World for Several hund’d Years Without the Aid of Civil Power but against all the powers of earth, The Excellent purity of its Precepts & the unblameable behaviour of its Ministers (With the divine blefsing) made its way thro all opposition, Nor was it the better for the Church when Constantine the Great first Established Christianity by human Laws, true there was rest from Persecution but how soon was the Church overrun With mor Superstition & Immorallity how unlike Mere Ministers now to what they Were before both in Orthodoxy of Principle & Purity of life, But it Said Religion is taking its flight & that Decision with its banefull Influence is Spreading itself over the State, if so it must be oweing to the Laws, not the want of religious Establishment, let Your Laws punish the Vices & Immorallity as of the times, & let their not be wanting Such men placed in Power & Authority who by their Example shall recommend Religion & by their faithfullnefs Scourge the Growing vices of the Times, Let Ministers Manifest to the World Y’t they were inwardly Moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon them Y’t office, that they Seek the good of Mankind & not Worldly Interest, that their Doctrine be Scriptural & their lives Upright, Then Shall Religion (if departed) Spedily Returned Deism with its dreadfull Consequences be Removed, But what Valuable Purpose would Such Afsesment Ans’r Would it introduce any More Unfull & faithfull men into the Ministry Society not, Those whom divine grace hath Call’d to that work, will esteem it their highest honour to do his Pleasure, on the Contrary it might call in Many Hirelings When chief Motive & design would be Temporal Interest, That religious Establishment & Government is linked together, & that the later can not Exist without the former is Something new; Witnefs Pensylvania where no Such Establishment hath taken place; Their Government stands firm & which of the Neighbouring States has better Members of brighter Moral & more upright Characters; The bill of Rights which Says that all men by nature are born equally free; so no Person in this Comonwealth shall injoy exclusive Priviledges except for Services Rendered the State, Shall not those then Who are not Profefsors of the Christian Religion Who were in this State at the Pafsing of this bill & others who have been invited Since by the benefits it held out When they shall be Obliged to Support the Christian Religion, think that Such Obligation is a Departure from the true Spirit & Meaning of it; Finally if such tax is against the Spirit of the Gospel if Christ for Several hundred Years not only without the aid of Civil Power but against all the powers of earth, Supported & defended it, if Religious Establishment has never been a means of Prospering the Gospel, if no more faithfull men would be Call’d into the Ministry, if it would not revive decayed Religion nor Stop the Growth of Deism, nor serve the Purpose of Govern’t & if against the bill of Rights Your Petitioners trust that the Wisdom & uprightnefs of Your Hon. House will leave them intirely free in Matters of Religion & the Manner of Supporting its Teachers & they shall ever Pray.

On 17 February 1786, Valentine (of Cumberland County) sold land in Prince Edward County to his son Asa for twenty pounds. This land was about 200 acres bounded by the property of John Watson, John Martin and John Biggers.

On 4 December 1791, Valentine sold, for fifty pounds, to his son William half of the place he was then living on.  A few weeks later, on 26 December 1791, at Cumberland County, Valentine is said to have granted a lease to William.

Valentine appeared on the 1800 Tax List for Cumberland County with one horse and one slave over 16.

Valentine’s will was dated 10 November 1801:

In the name of God Amen. I Valentine Corley of Cumberland County being in the decline of life but of sound mind and memory do insititute & make this my last will and testament in manner and form as following. Vizt—

Item. I lend to my beloved wife Sarah Corley all my stock of every kind house hold and kitchen furniture and four negroes to wit, Betty, Rose, David and Sarah, during her natural life. After the death of my wife my will and desire is that my son William Corley should take possession of the negro woman Sarah until my grand daughter Sally Brown comes with age, and that said son shall have the benefit from the labour of said Sarah if and till said Sally Brown comes to age.

Item. I give and bequeath to my daughter Aggathy Simmons one negro girl named Lucy.

Item. I give to my daughter Ann Pigg one negro boy named Rob.

Item. I give and bequeath to my daughter Milly Anglia one negro girl named Fanney.

Item. I give to my daughter Mary Duffer one negro boy named Pleasant.

I give to Pearce Butler one shilling sterling.

Item. I give to George Brown Jr. one shilling sterling.

Item. I give to James Corley’s children one shilling sterling.

Item. I give to my granddaughter Sally Brown one bed and bed quilt.

My will and desire is at the death of my wife that Betty, Rose and David shall be equally divided between my four daughters viz- Aggathy Simmons, Ann Pigg, Milly Anglia, and Mary Duffer. My will and desire is that the increase from this time until the death of my wife if any from Betty, Rosy and Sarah shall be equally divided between my three sons Viz. Caniel, William Corley, Asa Corley except the first one that is born if any, I give to my son William

Extranary, my will and desire is that Wiat Negro boy, also negro boy Daniel shall be divided in manner as follows between my three sons Viz. I give to my son William Corley, Wiat, and the other two to be equally divided between my other two sons to wit Caniel Corley and Asa Corley, further my will and desire is if there should be any of my stock left at the death of my wife that my son William shall have, lastly I do appoint Edmund Duffy, Francis Vaughan & Robert Anglia Executors to this my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 10th day of November of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and one.

  Signed and acknowledged
in the presence of
Asa Corley
Elijah Corley
Elizabeth Corley
Valentine Corley (seal)

Valentine had died by 26 January 1803 when his will was proved.

Valentine was survived by his wife Sarah.

It is not known if Sarah was the mother of any or all of Valentine’s children. However, there is no evidence that Valentine had any other wife.

Children of Valentine and perhaps Sarah ([Walker?]) Corley, birth order uncertain:

  • 384.1. Perhaps Sarah.
  • 384.2. Agatha.
  • 384.3. Ann.
  • 384.4. Milly.
  • 384.5. Mary.
  • 384.6. Caniel, born about 1747.
  • 384.7. William [192], born about 1754.
  • 384.8. James, born about 1755.
  • 384.9. Asa.
  • 384.10. Perhaps Patty.

Sources

  • —, Bedford County, Virginia, Will Book 1, page 42, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley. 
  • —, “Cumberland County, Virginia: 1800 Tax List,” Virginia Genealogist 17[1973]:198.
  • —, Cumberland County, Virginia, Will Book 3, page 216, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • Janice L. Abercrombie and Richard Slatten, Virginia Publick Claims: Cumberland County (Athens, Georgia: Iberian Publishing Company, no date), page 9.
  • Julie Williams Coley, “WilliamsC,” at http://antiquemll.hypermart.net/williamsc/, accessed 13 September 2009.
  • L. Earl Colley, “[Queries],” Southside Virginian (July-September 1992), page 137.
  • Jim Corley, “Descendants of Richard Corley,” at http://www.inetnow.net/~jimcorley/descend.htm, accessed 16 August 1998.
  • William Lindsay Hopkins, “Processioner’s Returns: St. Patrick’s Parish: Prince Edward County, Virginia: 1760-1767,” Virginia Genealogist 32[1988]:36/
  • Lynn DeRider Olivier, “Descendants of Richard Corley of VA,” at http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Valley/3829/corley.html, created 1 March 1998.
  • United States Census Office, Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790: Records of the State Enumerations: 1782 to 1785: Virginia (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1986), page 67.
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William Colley [or Corley] and Martha —–

Posted in Martha (-----) Colley [or Corley], Martha -----, William Colley [or Corley] by Gregg Mattocks on 10 September 2009

William Colley (or Corley) [192]

Father: Valentine Corley [384]

Mother: perhaps Sarah [Walker?] [385]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Martha —– [193]

Father: unknown [386]

Mother: unknown [387]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

*

William Colley (or Corley) [192] was born about 1754 at Cumberland County, Virginia. During the Revolutionary War, he served as a private in the Sixth Virginia Battalion.

William married, by 1784, Martha —– [193].

William appeared as the head of household in the 1784 census of Cumberland County, Virginia, in a family with three “white souls” and one “dwelling”.

William may have been the William Colley who appears in the following abstract of a 1781-82 land grant at Washington County, Virginia:

William Colley … 152 ac … Commissioners Certificate … granted to Richard Brindle, assigned to Colley … on a branch of the Middle fork of Holston River … Beginning corner to Andrew Smothers land … with John Ekys and Andrew Smothers … to John McMurrays land … November 25, 1782 – Richard Brindle, assignee of Elias McKey, assignee of Thomas Potter, assignee of Elias McCay … 200 ac … joining Arthur Bowens lines, 144 ac surveyed for Thomas Potter on June 10, 1774, includes improvements, actual settlement made in 1772 … August 28, 1781 – Assigned to William Colley by purchase on October 25, 1782. Signed: Richard Brindle

On 28 February 1784, a William Colley offered 100 acres for sale at Albemarle County to satisfy taxes due on that land in 1782 and 1783.  This property was still being offered for sale on 5 March 1785.

On 4 December 1791, William purchased, for fifty pounds, from his father Valentine, half of the land Valentine was then living on. Reportedly, on 26 December 1791, at Cumberland County, William was granted a lease by his father.

An advertisement in the 1 September 1795 issue of the American Gazette and Norfolk and Portsmouth Public Advertiser may have been placed by our William Colley:

Forty Dollars Reward, RUNAWAY from the subscriber the 26th of last May, a Virginia born negro man, named PATRICK, about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high; yellowish complexion, bad, lost one or two of his fore teeth; has small red eyes; is fond playing on the fiddle; and understands making of shoes; — Had on when he went away an oznaburgh shirt and trousers dark home spun jacket. He was formerly the property of capt. Henry Carter of Lancaster county. I expect he will endeavour to pass for a free man, as I am informed one of the soldiers belonging to Fort Norfolk, forged him a free pass. Whoever apprehends and delivers the said Negro to Josiah Hodges, in Norfolk, or the subscriber near Fort Norfolk, shall receive the above reward.

WILLIAM COLLEY. Norfolk, July,6, 1795.

Norfolk was at a considerable distance from Cumberland County, so it is not known if this record concerns our William Colley. No other record exists of William owning a slave named Patrick.

William appeared on the 1800 tax list for Cumberland County with five horses and four slaves over 16.

In the will of William’s father Valentine Corley, dated 10 November 1801 and proved 26 January 1803, Valentine left four slaves, including one named Sarah, to his wife for her use during her life. After the death of Valentine’s wife, William was to take possession of Sarah until Valentine’s granddaughter Sally Brown came of age. William was to have “the benefit from the labour of said Sarah” while the slave was in his possession.

Valentine further stipulated that “the increase from this time until the death of my wife if any from [slaves] Betty, Rosy and Sarah shall be equally divided between my three sons Viz. Caniel, William Corley, Asa Corley except the first one that is born if any, I give to my son William.” William was also bequeathed the slave Wiat outright. Finally, if there was any “stock” left after the death of Valentine’s wife, William was to have it.

In June 1805 and again on 25 August 1806, at Cumberland County, William was deeded property by Francis and Madeline Vaughan.

In 1810, William was living as the head of household at Cumberland County.

In September 1817, at Cumberland County, William was deeded by nephews George and James Corley.

In the 1820 Census of Cumberland County, a William F. [or J.] Colley was listed as the head of a household consisting of one male aged 45 or over, one female aged 45 or over, and one female aged 26 to 45. The older female was almost certainly William’s wife Martha. At this time, I beleive that the younger female was probably an unmarried daughter of William and Martha.

In the 1830 Census of Cumberland County, William Cauley, Sr., was listed as the head of a household consisting of one male aged 70 to 80 (William himself), one male aged 30 to 40, and one female aged 30 to 40. The identities of the the younger male and female in the household is not known at this time. They were perhaps one of William’s daughters and her husband. William’s wife Martha had apparently died in the years between the 1820 and 1830 census.

On 26 November 1832, at Cumberland County, William deeded property to William W. Colley.

William’s will was dated 9 March 1833.

I William Colly of the County of Cumberland being of sound and disposing mind and memory do make this my last Will and testament in manner and form following.

Item the first. My Will and desire is that my Executor herein after named proceed to pay off all my just debts as soon as practicable.

Item. The Second. I lend to my daughter Elizabeth Durham two negroes Frank and Betty and the increase of the female slave with an eaqual part of the rest of my personal Estate to be divided after my death which property I lend to my said daughter during her natural life, and at her death to be equally divided between the heirs of her body.

Item the Third. I give to my daughter Diannah Palmore two negroes, Stephen and Polly and the future increase of the said female slave together with an equal part of the personal property belonging to my Estate after my death, and the payment of my debts.

Item the Fourth. I give to my daughter Gilley Blanton a negro man by the name of Henry which she now has in possession and the further sum of five dollars and nothing more of my Estate.

Item the Fifth. I lend to my daughter Julia Pigg two negroes Albert and Emeline and the present and future increase of the female slave Emeline and an eaqual part of the rest of my personal estate at my death, all of which I lend to her during her life, and at her death I give the same to the children of my daughter Julia Pigg to be eaqually divided among them.

Item the Sixth. I give to my son William W. Colley the tract of land on which I now live, and which tract of land I have also deeded to him and the following negroes to wit, Anderson and Matilda with the future and present increase of the female slave Matilda and also an eaqual part of the rest of my estate at my death.

Item the Seventh. I give to my three grand children Wm. S. Colly, Julia A. Colly, and Elijah W. Colly the sum of five dollars each to be paid to them after my death by my Executor and no other part or portion of my estate whatever. And Lastly I do hereby appoint my son William W. Colly Executor to this my last will and testament hereby revoking all other wills heretofore made by me. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this the ninth day of March 1833.

his

William   Colley (seal)

mark

In the presents of these witnesses

Sam’l R. Simpson
William N. Lee
Charles S. Ligon

In an 1835 “list of non-commssioned officers and soldiers of the Virginia Line on Continental Establishment whose names appear on the Army register and who have not received bounty land” was “Colley, William, Soldier, Inf.”

William Colley died at Cumberland County by 26 February 1844.

At a Court held for Cumberland County the 26th day of February 1844 A Writing purporting the Last Will and testament of William Colley deceased bearing date the 9th day of March 1833, was this day again produced in Court by William W. Colley the Executor in said Will named in order to be proved. And Elijah W. Colly, Joseph A. Jenkins and wife and Lawrence Blanton in his own right and as Guardian for Catharine Ann Colley, appeared and opposed the proof of said Will. Whereupon divers witnesses were sworn and examined, Depositions seal, and the parties aforesaid by counsel fully heard. On consideration whereof it is the opinion of the Court, that the said Wm. Colley deceased, at the time of executing the said will aforesaid dated the 9th day of March 1833 was of sound and disposing mind and memory; and that he was under no undue influence. And William N. Lee, one of the surviving Witnesses to said Will having testified in Court, that the said William Colley signed and published the said Will in his presence, and as for his last will and testament, that he subscirbed his name as a witness thereto, in the presence of the said testator, and at his request and that the said testator was of sound sense and memory as far as he knew or believed, and having also testified that he saw Samuel R. Simpson and Charles S. Ligon the other witnesses to said Will subscirbe their names thereto also in the presence of the said testator, and at his request, and the hand writing of Samuel R. Simpson one of the witnesses to said Will, who is now dead proved by Leonard B. Simpson. It was ordered that the said writing be recorded, as the last Will and testament of the said William Colley deceased. And Elijah W. Colley, Joseph H. Jenkins and Julia his wife and Lawrence Blanton in his own right and as Guardian for Catharine Ann Colley prayed an appeal to the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery for Cumberland County, and the said Lawrence Blanton, having entered into bond with William Holeman his security, the appeal is allowed. And at a Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery continued and held for Cumberland County, at the Courthouse of said County, on the 30th day of August 1844 came the parties by their attorneys. Whereupon the transcrip_ of the record of the said County Court of Cumberland being seen and inspected, and sundry witnesses examined, ot seems to the Court here, that there is no error in the order of the siad County Court, admitting to record the will of the said William Colley, Therefore it is ordered that the same be affirmed.

And at a Court held for said County the 23rd day of September 1844, On the motion of William W. Colley Executor in said will named, who made oath thereto, and together with Wm. B. B. Walker and Wm. Phaup his securities entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of Eight thousand dollars conditioned as the law directs a certificate is granted the said William W. Colley for obtaining a probat_ of said will in due form.

Teste   B. B. Woodson, C.

Children of William and Martha (—–) Colley [or Corley]:

  • 192.1. William W. Colley.
  • 192.2. Elijah W. Colley [96], born about 1790.
  • 192.3. Elizabeth Colley.
  • 192.4. Diannah Colley, born about 1786.
  • 192.5. Gill[e]y Colley, born about 1787.
  • 192.6. Julia [or Judith] Colley.

Sources

  • —, “Cumberland County, Virginia: 1800 Tax List,” Virginia Genealogist 17[1973]:198.
  • —, Cumberland County, Virginia, Will Book 3, page 216, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Cumberland County, Virginia, Will Book 11, page 32, transcribed by Julie Coley, as found at “Will of William Colley,” at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~vacumber/wills/colley.html, accessed 31 August 2009.
  • —, Cumberland County, Virginia, Will Book 11, page 32, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, “Local Notices from the Virginia Gazette: Richmond, 1784,” Virginia Genealogist 30[1986]:35.
  • —, “Local Notices from the Virginia Gazette: Richmond, 1785,” Virginia Genealogist 32[1988]:194.
  • Elizabeth Petty Bentley, Index to the 1810 Census of Virginia (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1980).
  • Julie Williams Coley, “WilliamsC,” at http://antiquemll.hypermart.net/williamsc/, accessed 13 September 2009.
  • Jim Corley, “Descendants of Richard Corley,” at http://www.inetnow.net/~jimcorley/descend.htm, accessed 16 August 1998.
  • Lynn DeRider Olivier, “Descendants of Richard Corley of VA,” at http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Valley/3829/corley.html, created 1 March 1998.
  • Nita [Rueth], “The Colley Surname Message Board,” at http://www.familyhistory.com/messages, posted 3 August 2000.
  • United States Census Office, Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790: Records of the State Enumerations: 1782 to 1785: Virginia (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1986), page 67.

Elijah W. Colley and Catherine Mayo Ligon

Posted in Catherine Mayo (Ligon) Colley, Catherine Mayo Ligon, Elijah W. Colley by Gregg Mattocks on 3 September 2009

Elijah W. Colley [96]

Father: William Colley [192]

Mother: Martha —– [193]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Catherine Mayo Ligon [97]

Father: Leonard Seth Ligon [194]

Mother: Jannett Mayo [195]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

*

Elijah W. Colley [96] was born about 1790 at Cumberland County, Virginia.

Valentine Corley, grandfather of Elijah, composed his will on 10 November 1801.  An Elijah Corley was a witness to this will. Our Elijah would have only been about 11 years old at the time, so it is unclear if he were the witness to Valentine’s will. However, I know of no other “Elijah Corley” living at the time, so it is possible the boy was the witness.

On 5 January 1811, Stephen and David Simmons sold to Elijah W. Corley of Cumberland County, for $207, 207 acres at Franklin County, Viriginia.  The property was described as:

… a certain tract or parcel of land lying in Franklin County and bounded as followeth (viz) Beginning at a crooked white oak on a road thence N 31 degrees W 182 poles to a white oak N 8 degrees W 60 poles to a White oak in Simmonses line, thence with his line 180 degrees W 26 poles to a White oak corner of Simmons. S 4 degrees W 20 poles crossing a branch to a White oak in Amonses line, thence with his line, N 51 degrees […] poles to a red oak on said road, thence with the said road a conditional […] to the beginning containing by Estimation two hundred and seven acres the same more or less….

Elijah married, 16 February 1815, at Powhatan County, Virginia, Catherine Mayo Ligon [97].  Horatio G. Saunders provided surety for the marriage.  Catherine was born about 1795 at Powhatan County, the daughter of Leonard Seth and Jannett (Mayo) Ligon.

Catherine’s father died when she was about 14.  On 24 August 1812, Catherine’s mother sold 575 acres at Powhatan County to John Radford.  The sale was approved by Catherine and her brother Leonard, both of lawful age.

Son William S. is presumed to have been born about 1816.  Daughter Julia Ann Elizabeth was born about 1818.

On 22 March 1819, at Cumberland County, Elijah was deeded by John P. and Dicy Palmore.

In the 1820 Census for Cumberland County, Elijah Colley was listed as the head of a household consisting of one male aged 26 to 45 [Elijah himself], one female aged 26 to 45 [Elijah’s wife Catherine], two males aged 10 to 16, three males under the age of 10 [one of whom was probably son William], and one female under the age of 10 [daughter Julia]. The identities of four of the boys in the household is not known at this time, though the two elder boys were two old to have been born after the marriage of Elijah and Catherine.

On 30 August 1820, at Cumberland County, Elijah gave surety for the marriage bond of Joseph S. Ligon and Adeline E. Palmore.

Son Elijah Walker was born about 1821.

On 27 March 1826, at Cumberland County, Elijah exchanged property with William Bellamy.  Reportedly there is also record of a sale of Cumberland County land from Joel M. and Eleanor Boatwright to Elijah.

Elijah’s last years were spent at his farm on Willis Creek in Cumberland County, a farm of about 216 acres.

The will of Elijah W. Colley was dated 10 October 1826.  As his wife was not mentioned, it is assumed she sometime between the census of 1820 and the date of the will.

I Elijah W Colley of Cumberland County being in Sound mind and memory do make and Constitute this my Last will and Testament.  Item I give and bequeath unto my Sister Elizabeth Durrum one tract of Land lying and being in the County of Prince Edward being the Land which I purchased of Joel Mann Containing one hundred and Six acres during her natural life and at her death. I give the Same to her Children to be equally divided between them. Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Julia Ann Eliza Colley one negro girl named Fanny. Item I give all the rest and residue of my property to my three Children Viz. Wm. S. Colley Julia Ann Eliza Colley and Elijah W Colley to be equally divided among them.  Lastly I Constitute Maurice Langhorne and William W Thornton my Exors to this my Last will and Testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand and Seal this the tenth day of October Eighteen hundred and twenty six

Elijah W Colley   (seal)

At a Court held for Cumberland County the 23rd day of March 1829. This Last will and Testament of Elijah W Colley decd was presented in Court and proved to be wholly in the hand writing of the decedent by the oaths of Laurence Blanton and William Colley and was thereupon ordered to be recorded and Maurice Langhorne and William M Thornton the Exrs named therein refusing to qualify as such on the motion of William W Colley who made oath thereto and entered into bond with Security in the penalty of Five thousand dollars condition as the Law directs administration is granted him on the Estate of the said Elijah W. Colley decd with his will annexed.

Teste P H Nunnally   D C

On 27 June 1836, Elijah’s children sold to Peter T. Phillips, for $1800, land that had been owned by Elijah.  The property was described as:

… a certain tract or parcel of Land, supposed to contain two hundred acres, be the same more or less, and lying in the County of Cumberland and State of Virginia, adjoining the lands of Edwd J. Carrington, Benjamin Price and others, and being the same tract or parcel of Land owned and possessed by the late Elijah W. Colley Decd….

On 4 April 1840, at Clay County, Missouri, Elijah’s daughter Julia, along with her husband Joseph Jenkins, sold, for $600, to Peter T. Phillips “one undivided third part of the farm and tract of land on which Elijah W. Colley was living at the time of his death,” that is, one-third of about 216 acres.  The terms of this deed would seem to be no more than a repeat of the terms of joint deed of 27 July 1836.  Why the original sale needed to be repeated is unclear.

Children of Elijah W. and Catherine Mayo (Ligon) Colley:

  • 96.1. William S.
  • 96.2. Julia Ann “Julian” Elizabeth, born about 1818.
  • 96.3. Elijah Walker [96], born about 1821.

Sources

  • —, Cumberland County, Virginia, Deed Book 23, page 68, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Cumberland County, Virginia, Deed Book 24, page 59, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Cumberland County, Virginia, Deed Book 25, page 70, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Cumberland County, Virginia, Will Book 3, page 216, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Cumberland County, Virginia, Will Book 8, page 547, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Franklin County, Virginia, Deed Book 6, pages 103-04, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Powhatan County, Virginia, Deed Book 4, page 438, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • Julie Williams Coley, “WilliamsC,” at http://antiquemll.hypermart.net/williamsc/, accessed 13 September 2009.
  • Katherine B. Elliott, Marriage Records, 1749-1840, Cumberland County, Virginia (Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1969), assorted records, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley, no page numbers given.
  • [Nadine Hodges, Audrey L. Woodruff, Howard Woodruff, Missouri Pioneers of Clay County (Bowling Green, Missouri: Infotech Publications, 1992), page 60.
  • Catherine Lindsay Knorr, Marriages of Powhatan County, Virginia, 1777-1830 (published by the compiler, 1957), as transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.Nita [Rueth], “The Colley Surname Message Board,” at http://www.familyhistory.com/messages, posted 3 August 2000.

Elijah Walker Colley and Emma C. Ligon

Posted in Elijah Walker Colley, Emma C. (Ligon) Colley, Emma C. Ligon by Gregg Mattocks on 31 August 2009

Elijah Walker Colley [48]

Father: Elijah W. Colley [96]

Mother: Catherine Mayo Ligon [97]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Emma C. Ligon [49]

Father: Richard T. Ligon [98]

Mother: Martha —– [99]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

*

Elijah Walker Colley [48] was born about 1821 at Cumberland County, Virginia.  His parents died when he was a young boy.  In the will of his father, dated 10 October 1826 and proved on 23 March 1829, Elijah, his brother, and his sister, after other legacies were made, were to receive “all the rest and residue” of their father’s estate “to be divided equally among them.”

It has been suggested that, after his parents’ death, the young Elijah went to live with his uncle Leonard Ward Ligon.  The reason for this assertion may be that, as Leonard Ligon was known to have removed at an early date from Virginia to Howard County, Missouri, (1816), and then on to Clay County, Missouri, (1819), and, as Elijah and his two siblings also settled in Clay County, perhaps the orphans went to Missouri at a young age to live with their uncle. 

Leonard Ligon was not Elijah’s guardian however.  The boy, along with his sister Julia and brother William, was made ward of Joseph Jenkins.  It is unknown if this Joseph Jenkins was one and the same as the Joseph H. Jenkins who later married Elijah’s sister Julia.  It seems to me unlikely, but the two Josephs were at least probably closely related.  A record of Jenkins’ assignment as ward has been preserved.

KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS, That we Joseph Jenkins, Joseph S. Palmore and William Phaup are held and firmly bound unto Wm. Montague, Booker Woodson, Thomas H. Walton, Geo. W. Crump, & Hez. Ford, Gentlemen Justices of the Court of Cumberland County, now sitting, in the sum of Three thousand dollars to the payment whereof well and truly to be made to the said Justices and their successors, we bind ourselves, and each of us, our and each of our heirs, executors and administrators, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents. Sealed with our seals, and dated this 25th day of July 1831, in the 56th year of the Commonwealth.

THE CONDITION OF THE ABOVE OBLIGATION IS SUCH, That if the above bound Joseph Jenkins his executors and administrators, shall well and truly pay and deliver, or cause to be paid and delivered unto Wm. S. Colley, Julia A. Colley and Elijah W. Colley, orphans of Elijah Colley, deceased, all such estate or estates as now is, or are, or hereafter shall appear to be due the said orphans when and as soon as they shall attain to lawful age, or when thereto required by the Justices of the said County Court; as also keep harmless the above named Justices, their, and every of their heirs, executors and administrators from all trouble and damages that shall or may arise about the said estate, then the above obligation to be void, otherwise to remain in full force.

On 27 June 1836, Elijah, of Cumberland County, along with his brother William, sister Julia, and Julia’s husband Joseph Jenkins, sold, to Peter T. Phillips for $1800, 200 acres at Cumberland County, land that had once been owned by Elijah’s father.

Sometime shortly after this, Elijah must have left Virginia for, on 2o November 1838, at Clay County, Missouri, he served as a witness to the will of his brother William.  Within three months William had died, and, on 18 February 1839, Elijah appeared before the clerk of the Clay County Court to prove the will.  In this will, William directed that Virginian Lawrence Blanton be made the guardian of his daughter Catharine.

From William’s will, it would appear that his wife Julia (Blanton) Colley was contemplating returning to Virginia with their daughter in the event of William’s death.  Perhaps Elijah too had second thoughts about staying in Missouri after his brother’s demise.

It would seem likely that Elijah was back in Virginia on 12 March 1842 when a Cumberland County deed recorded Elijah making a transfer of property there to P.J. Phillips.

In the will of Elijah’s grandfather William Colley, dated 9 March 1833 and proved 26 February 1844, Elijah – as well as his brother and sister – was bequeathed five dollars “and no other part of [sic]  portion of my estate whatsoever.”  Elijah, along with his sister Julia, Julia’s husband Joseph H. Jenkins, and Lawrence Blanton opposed the proof of the will but, upon hearing the testimony of “divers witnesses”, the court ordered that the will be recorded.  The protestors were allowed to appeal their case to the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery for Cumberland County.  The Superior Court heard the appeal on 30 August 1844, and upheld the lower court’s finding. 

By December of 1944, at Cumberland County, Elijah was suing his ward Joseph Jenkins for failure to pay the entirety of Elijah’s trust to him.  Elijah’s petition to the court has been preserved.

To the Honble Daniel A Wilson, Judge of the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery for the County of Cumberland:

Humbly complaining showeth unto your Honour your Orator Elijah W. Colley, that in the year _____ the County court of the said County of Cumberland appointed a certain Joseph Jenkins of the said County of Cumberland guardian of your orator and his brother and sister Wm S & Julia A Colley, and the said Jenkins entered into bond before the said Court in the penalty of $3000 with Joseph S. Palmore and William Phaup his securities, conditioned according to law for the faithful execution of the duties of the said Trust, as will more fully appear by a copy of the said bond herewith filed marked (a) and prayed to be considered a part of this bill – that the said Jenkins possessed himself of the estate of your said orator and his said brother and sister _____ and managed the same until your orator became of age, to wit, in the year ____, that your orator then desired and requested this Jenkins to settle his accounts with him and to pay and deliver over to him whatever money he owed him and to deliver over to him whatever property of his he then held – this the said Jenkins did deliver over to him his land, [illegible], but he failed to pay him the money due a large sum of money which he owes him upon a fair settlement of his accounts. Now in tender consideration of the promises and in as much as he is other wise without remedy except in a court of equity, when guardians and other trustees are made to account, he humbly prays that the said Joseph Jenkins, Joseph S. Palmer, William Phaup, Wm S. Colley & Julia A Colley – may be made defendants to this bill and required to answer the allegations thereof on oath as fully, and as particularly as if the same were here again repeated and they and each of them thereto interrogated; and especially that the said Joseph Jenkins may be compelled to settle his accounts with your Orator and that he and his securities aforesaid Joseph S. Palmer & William Phaup be compelled to pay to him any balance that on such settlement may be found due to him, and that your Honour will decree to your Orator all such other and further relief that his care may require – that you will grant him the Commonwealth’s [illegible] &c.

It was some time before Jenkins and his securities were finally compelled to appear to answer the charge.  First, Joseph S. Palmore and William Phaup, the securities, made the following declaration:

The answer of Joseph S. Palmore and Wm Phaup to a bill of Complaint Exhibited against themselves and others in the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery for the County of Cumberland by Elijah W. Colley. These respondents now and at all times saving and reserving to themselves the full benefit of exception to the many errors be in said bill contained, for answer thereto say, that they admit that Joseph Jenkins was appointed Guardian of the Complainant, his brother & sister by the County Court of said County and entered into bond in the penalty of $3000. conditioned according to law, with these respondents as his Securities, for his faithful performance of his duties as Guardian. Your respondents are unappraised of the amount of estate which came into the said Jos Jenkins hand as a Guardian of said Elijah W. Colley and consequently can neither admit nor deny any thing in relation thereto, but require strict proof before they shall be charged. Your respondents further answering say that they have been informed and therefore charge that after the said complainant had attained the age of twenty one years, he applied for, and succeeded in obtaining a full settlement of the account of said Joseph Jenkins his Guardian, [illegible] him on account of his transactions with the estate of his said ward, that upon said settlement, which sd complainant assented to as entirely correct, the said Jenkins exhibited a Considerable balance in his favour of Some Considerable amount as respondents have been informed, that the next question between the Guardian & the ward, now of full age, was how that balance should be settled, the said Guardian being then in possession of ample means to pay off and fully discharge said balance; that in consequence of an agreement between the said Complainant and said Jos. Jenkins then and there entered into, the latter executed his bond to the former for the balance of [illegible] he acknowledged to be due and also a deed of trust to secure the payment of said debt with others, conveying certain property therein named to a trustee, a copy of which deed is herewith filed as a part of this answer. that having taken the management of his own estate wholly into his own hands, not asking the aid of the officer the court to settle this account of his Guardian, he settled with his former Guardian himself and upon the execution of the additional bond of the said Joseph Jenkins, with the deed of trust as his Security, he agreed to defer the payment of the said bond for about eighteen months after the said settlement. Your respondents have also been informed and believe, and therefore charge that when the deed of trust aforesaid was about to be executed, the said Jenkins desiring fully to secure the said Colley the debt he owed him, decided that the deed should provide for the payment of said debt in full before any other debt named in said deed but that the [illegible] trusts & among them the said E.W. Colley being fully persuaded that the property [illegible] conveyed was ample to secure the full payment of all the debts therein mentioned, was satisfied with a different arrangement & accordingly made it, as appears by said deed. Your respondents have been advised and submit that when the said Colley attained the age of 21 years and assumed the management of his own affairs, he had a perfect right to make any arrangement that secured good to him in relation to his Estate, even to bestow it as a bounty upon his Guardian, but that he could not bind your respondents by any arrangement which he chose to make, they never having undertaken for him, but the Guardian, and that their bond & liability inder it was wholly discharged when he had settled with his guardian [illegible] other security for his debt or the balance due him, about which he never consulted your respondents and to which they never [illegible]ed. Your respondents insist that the said Colley has been fully satisfied by his Guardian so far as they are concerned and pray that his bill may be dismissed….

On 25 March 1846, Joseph Jenkins himself made a deposition at Cumberland County, much of which is quite difficult to read.

The separate answer of Joseph Jenkins to [illegible] bill of Complaint exhibited against him & others in the Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery for the County of Cumberland, by Elijah W. Colley. This respondent saving & reserving to himself the full benefit of exceptions to said bill for answer thereto saith that he has heard the answer of his codefendants Jos. S. Palmore and Wm Phaup [illegible] and now adopts their answer as his own the facts being therein correctly set forth except as to the allegation of his [illegible]ing to the first accused, of which in his judgment is [illegible] to it. He claims that he [illegible] to said Colley all his property, held by [illegible] as his guardian, [illegible] the account between them in full and secured the balance found due to him in a manner which entirely satisfied said Colley he being [illegible] & having knowledge of the whole amount [illegible] by the deed of trust which is made a part of the answer of his Codefendants Palmer & Phaup. He denies that he is liable to said Colley as Gdn for one cent or that he has ever refused to settle with him, & claims that he did settle with him and secure the payt of the money found due upon the said settlement. And having fully answered he prays to be [illegible] with his costs.

In the meantime, back in Missouri, on 1 May 1846, Elijah was issued a patent for 160 acres of federal land in Platte County, in the northwest quarter of Section 8 of Township 52 North, Range 33 West.

On 22 June 1846, Elijah, at Clay County, Missouri, was appointed attorney to act for Lawrence Blanton and Elijah’s former sister-in-law Julia Colley, both in Virginia.

Know all men by these presents that we Lawrence Blanton Guardian for Catharine A Colley and Julia E Colley widow and relict of William S Colley deceased all residents of the State of Virginia and County of Cumberland make execute authorize and appoint Elijah W Colley of the State of Missouri and by these presents have made constituted authorized and appointed the said Elijah W Colley our true and lawful attorney for the said Lawrence Blanton guardian of Catharine A Colley and for the said Julia E Colley widow and relict as aforesaid of W’m S Colley for us and in our names Jointly and Severally to ask demand sue for recover and receive for our use all debts and sums of money as are now due and owing or may hereafter be due and owing to the said Lawrence as guardian of the said Catharine Ann Colley or to the said Julia E Colley as widow of said W’m S Colley late of Clay County Missouri by and from Clayton Tillery Executor of the said William S Colley deceased. and in default of payment thereof to have use and take all lawful ways and means in the name of the said Lawrence Blanton guardian of Catharine A Colley and in the name of Julia E Colley or otherwise for the recovery of of [sic] the same and on receipt thereof acquittances or other sufficient discharges for the same for us and in our names to make seal and deliver and do all lawful acts and things whatever concerning the premises as fully in every respect as we might or could do were we personally present And an attorney or attorneys under him the said Elijah W Colley for the purposes aforesaid to make and appoint and every said appointment at his pleasure to revoke hereby ratifying and performing all and whatsoever our said attorney shall in our names lawfully do or cause to be done in and about the premises by virtue of these presents In Witness Whereof the parties [ illegible] hereunto set their hands & affixed their Seals this the 22 day of June in the year 1846

Meanwhile, back in Virginia, a July 1846 statement of Cumberland County Commissioner Hez. Ford revealed some details of the settlement of the case of Elijah Walker Colley v Joseph Jenkins, et al.

It appears that Jos. Jenkins never Settled any account of his ward, during his minority, that after his ward (Elijah W. Colley) arrived at the age of 21 years, that Colley Settled with his Gardn. when said Gardn. (Jos. Jenkins) Executed his bond to said Colley for the Sum of $928.02, being the amt. which appears due from said Jenkins as Gardn. to his said ward Colley and which bond was made pble on the 15th day of August 1846….

From the foregoing statement it will be seen, that Jos. Jenkins as the Gardn. of Elijah W. Colley, acknowledged himself indebted to his ward on the 15th day of August 1844 the sum of 928.02, which debt he undertook to secure, by executing a deed of trust upon property for the purpose, that from this sale of the property [illegible] secured, the said Colley recvd on the 24th Sept 1844, from the trustee, Jno. D. Jenkins, the sum of $600, having a ballance due from said Jos. Jenkins, at that time of $334.05, the interest upon which ballance, upon to this date, makes the sum of $370.34, which, your commissioner reports as the baln due from Jos. Jenkins Gardn. to his ward Elijah W. Colley.

Elijah was married, 27 April 1848, at Platte County, Missouri, by Darius Bainbridge, M.G., to Emma C. Ligon [49].  Bainbridge was the minister of the Old School Baptist Church.  Present at the marriage were “Parker & wife, Carr & wife, Jenkins and wife.”  Emma was born about 1826 or 1828 in Virginia, the daughter of Richard T. and Martha (—–) Ligon.  Elijah and Emma were first cousins.

Son William T. was born about 1849 or 1850.

In 1850, Elijah W., aged 27, was living on a farm with his wife “Emily”, aged 22, at Carroll Township, Platte County, Missouri.  Also in the household was their son William, Emma’s father Richard Ligon (Liggin), and Emma’s sister Virginia.

On 13 March 1852, Elijah purchased, for $1000, from John H. and Marion Bell of Kentucky, 160 acres at Platte County, the southeast quarter of Section 31, Township 53, Range 33.

This indenture made and entered into this thirteenth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty two by and between John H. Bell and Marion Bell his wife of the County of Fayette and State of Kentucky of the first part and Elijah W. Colley of Platte County and State of Missouri of the second part witnesseth that the said party of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of one thousand dollars by the said party of the second part to the said parties of the first part in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged have given granted bargained and sold and by these presents do give grant bargain sell alien convey and confirm unto the said party of the second part and to his heirs and assigns forever a certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Platte and State of Missouri namely South East quarter of section No. thirty one in Township No. fifty three of Range No. thirty three and containing one hundred and sixty acres – To have and to hold the said tract piece or parcel of land with all the appurtenances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining to the only proper use benefit and behoof of them said party of the second part and to his heirs and assigns forever and the said party of the first part for themselves their executors and administrators covenant and agree to and with the said party of the second part and his heirs and assigns the said tract piece or parcel of land and bargained premises and every part and parcel thereof unto the said party of the second part and his heirs and assigns against all manner of claims they will warrant and forever defend the same by these presents In testimony whereof the said John H. Bell and Marion Bell his wife party of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year above written

Son James Clay was born in June 1852 at Platte County.

On 28 June 1852, Elijah and Emma sold, for $400, to John L. DBerry, forty acres of the property they had purchased in March.

This indenture made and entered into this twenty eighth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty two by and between Elijah W. Colley and Emma C Colley his wife of the County of Platte and State of Missouri of the first part and John L DBerry of Platte County and State of Missouri of the second part Witnesseth that the said party of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of four hundred dollars to them in hand paid the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged have given granted bargained and sold and by these presents doth give grant bargain sell alien convey and confirm unto the sais [sic] party of the second part and to his heirs and assigns forever a certain tract or parcel of land lying and being in the County of Platte and State of Missouri namely the North East quarter of the South East quarter of section No. thirty one (31) of Township No. fifty three (53) & of Range No. thirty three (33) Containing forty acres more or less – To have and to hold the said tract piece or parcel of land with all the appurtenances thereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining to the only proper use benefit and behoof of him the said party of the second part and to his heirs and assigns forever and the said party of the first part for themselves their heirs executors and administrators covenant and agree to and with the said party of the second part and to heirs and assigns the said tract piece or parcel of land and bargained premises and every part and parcel thereof unto him the said party of the second part and to his heirs and assigns against all manner of claims they will warrant and forever defend the same by these presents – In testimony whereof the said Elijah W. Colley & Emma C. Colley his wife of the first part have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year above written

Son Richard Austin was born about 1855 or 1856.

Elijah had a Platte County warrant issued on 5 August 1857.  Details on this warrant are unknown at this time.

Son John Sethe was born in June 1858.

On 21 October 1858, E.W. Jenkins drew a note on Elijah for $75.00.  I believe that E.W. Jenkins was Elijah’s nephew Elijah Walker Jenkins.  Jenkins never paid off this debt.

In June 1860, E.W., a farmer, aged 39, was living with his wife Emma, aged 34, and their four children, at Carroll Township.  Also in the household was Emma’s father Richard Ligon.  The census of that year recorded that Elijah’s real estate was valued at $1200 and his personal property at $275.

Son Elijah Walker was born in September 1860.  Daughter Martha Alice was born about 1862 or 1863.

On 30 November 1863, Elijah signed up with the 82nd Regiment of the Enrolled Missouri Milita, under the command of Colonel James Hugh Moss, at Platte City, Platte County.  Elijah served as first lieutenant in Company H under Captain Charles B. Hodges.

That Elijah enrolled with the Union forces might lead one to believe that he had strong Unionist sympathies.  But such may not have been the case.

Clay and Platte counties bordered on the Missouri River, and counties on this river tended to have more slaves than places elsewhere in Missouri.  Twenty-five percent of Clay County’s population were slaves, while slaves accounted for only 10% of Missouri’s population as a whole.  Clay County’s economy was dependent on this slave labor.  In addition, many of Clay County’s residents had family ties to the South.  Thus the citizen’s sympathy for the Confederacy was often very strong.

Elijah’s father had owned at least one slave and, in his will, had left “one negro girl named Fanny” to Elijah’s sister.  Elijah’s brother William had also owned at least one slave.

The commander of Elijah Colley’s regiment, Colonel Moss, had Southern roots, had been a slaveowner himself, and supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1954 which allowed settlers in those territories to vote on whether to allow slaves there.  But Moss’s enthusiasm for the Southern cause began to wane as pro-slavery “border ruffians” from Kansas established camps in Clay County and seized the Federal arsenal in the town of Liberty.  Even before the Civil War began, the “border ruffians” engaged in violence and intimidation, and supported the secession of Kansas should it become a free state.  As one observer reported, “At the start of the rebellion, the people of Clay were a unit for the Union, but in the fall and winter of 1861 … it was quite the other way.”

The extremism was too much for Moss.  He began to speak out on behalf of the Union.  The secessionists declared that Moss must be got out of the way.  Moss and others with Union sympathies were driven from the county and their property was seized to support the Rebel army of General Price.

By 1862, the Rebels were in retreat from Missouri, and the state’s provisional government began to organize local militias to take over as Federal troops headed for the main battlefronts.  In March, the Missouri State Militia arrived in Liberty, and finally Moss could return home.  Small groups of rebels, “bushwhackers”, continued to stage attacks in this part of Missouri, and many civilians were attacked.  The militia, commanded by Colonel Penick, fought back by raiding the homes of suspected Southern sympathizers.  A neighbor of Jesse James (who lived in Clay County at the time) wrote, “They got in and were over half of the house before we knew they were on the place. They turned beds upside down, searched drawers and trunks, and jawed and disputed around considerably.”  Penick’s heavy-handed tactics served to turn much of the populace against him.

Missouri’s government organized another militia force, the Enrolled Missouri Militia, or EMM.  It was made up of part-time soldiers, local men who knew their communities.  Unfortunately, most of the men with strong Union sympathies had already joined the U.S. Army or Missouri State Militia.  Untrained, unequipped, and underpaid, the men of the EMM were forced to loot their rebel neighbors in order to subsist.  James Moss organized the EMM in Clay County, and it replaced Penick’s regiment.  Moss’s organization was not as pro-Union as one might expect.  Some of the officers in his regiment were slaveowners.  And, in February 1863, a militia officer reported “that Col. Moss of Clay County uses the Enrolled Militia of said county to prevent the escape of negroes.”  At least once the militia whipped the rebellious slave of a known secessionist.

The state government decided to organize “a smaller and meaner version of the EMM – the Provisional EMM – with men noted for their hardline attitudes.”  Colonel Moss was relieved of his duties in April 1863.  The rebels continued to become more desperate and radical as events unfolded, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, and, on the night 13 August 1863, a coordinated mass escape of Clay County slaves.

Moss convinced Missouri’s governor to put him back in charge of Clay County’s forces, to protect it, he said, from retaliation by angry “Red Leg” Kansans.  Moss wrote, “When I reached home I found that the entire military force  … was nothing more or less than an armed mob. My arrival was like the falling of a thunder bolt in their midst.”

In a public speech, Moss denounced the radicals, and he dismissed antislavery officers. He refused to hand over prisoners to the provost marshal, and he even enlisted former Confederate soldiers, the better to fight Red Legs. All this upset local Unionists, including O.P. Moss. “I remarked to my brother that we were running considerable risk in putting arms into the hands of such men indiscriminately.” The Colonel dismissed the argument, saying, “The war was far down South.”

Unionists soon began to complain about Moss’s force, dubbing it the Paw-Paw Militia, after the plants that filled the creek bottoms where the guerrillas hid. When Red Legs raided Clay County, the Paw-Paws put up a good fight; when the bushwhackers showed up, the Paw-Paws disappeared—or defected.

Those guerrillas showed up in force in early 1864. After spending the winter with Confederate forces in Texas, Frank James and his comrades returned in the spring. Frank now followed Fletch Taylor, who led his band into Clay County. There 16-year-old Jesse James joined the ranks.

Jesse’s introduction to guerrilla warfare was stark. Taylor used his gang as a death squad, going house to house to murder Unionist farmers. Jesse’s first skirmish with Union forces came weeks later, when Taylor ambushed a pursuing column led by Captain William B. Kemper, an MSM officer sent to replace Colonel Moss and his disloyal Paw-Paws.

After the ambush, Fletch Taylor sent a letter to the Liberty Tribune, explaining his approach. “I am going to stay here until the Radicals all leave this county,” he wrote. He excused his attacks on civilians by accusing Captain Kemper of doing the same thing. “I will carry war on as you carry it on. You can’t drive me out of this county…. If I find that you are warring on the citizens, so be it; I will retaliate—if you fight me alone, I will return the compliment.”

Taylor largely succeeded in eradicating the Unionists. “A general terror prevails,” one man wrote. “Today there is not in the county of Clay one unconditional loyal Union man who dares to go into the harvest field to do a day’s work. Many of them have left the State; all are now talking of going.”

Taylor, however, lost his right arm to a shotgun blast. So, around the start of August 1864, the James boys joined up with William T. Anderson, better known as “Bloody Bill.” Anderson moved into Clay County, making Zerelda Samuel’s farm his base, and picked up where Taylor left off.

With Colonel Moss now out of the way, the Union command once again targeted rebel civilians, including Zerelda Samuel and her frightened husband. Reuben asked Edward M. Samuel to intervene with the provost marshal. He wanted a pass to go to Indiana. This time, however, Edward wouldn’t help. “I told him, very bluntly and plainly, that it was his duty to help the military authorities in finding out his stepsons, and in bringing them to justice,” Edward reported. He mocked Reuben as “an easy, good natured, good for nothing fellow” who was “completely under the control of his wife.”

The Union command had tried any number of counter-insurgency tactics in Clay: They had planted garrisons, dispatched patrols, searched for bushwhacker camps; arrested rebel sympathizers; placed ambushes of their own. Nothing worked. They now saw only one solution: to empty the land of the insurgency’s supporters. The military drew up a plan to banish Clay County’s leading secessionist families—and at the top of the list were Zerelda and her weak-kneed husband. One colonel called them “the most disloyal of that disloyal locality.”

The plan was help up by a bureaucratic glitch. The provost marshal headquarters in St. Louis wanted a more detailed report before issuing the orders. As the fighting heated up in the fall of 1864, the local officers never got around to it.

Elijah was relieved from duty on 10 July 1864.  Apparently Elijah was issued Missouri State scrip for his service, for the amount of $795.90.  As best as I have been able to learn, due to a shortage of cash, Missouri issued this scrip in lieu of U.S. dollars.  The Missouri government believed that the federal government would imdemnify these “vouchers”, reimbursing the state for the expenses involved in defending the Union.  However, the United States was slow in exchanging the scrip. When it became known that fraud was being committed through the submission of counterfeit vouchers, the federal government was reluctant to continue to honor the scrip.  Elijah was still in possession of his Missouri scrip at his death several years later.

On 1 December 1866, Elijah and Emma sold to John Thatcher, for $1000, forty acres at Platte County, the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 6, Township 52 North, Range 33 West.  General Land Office records indicate that this property was originally granted to Ware S. May and Alva Farnsworth.

In August 1870, Elijah, a farmer aged 49, was living with his wife Emma, aged 42, and their five youngest children, at Liberty, Platte Township, Clay County, Missouri.  At that time, Elijah’s real estate was valued at $1000, and his personal estate was valued at $600.  Nearby lived son William and his wife.

Emma C. Colley died at Clay County, reportedly in either 1870 or 1878.  It seems likely that she predeceased her husband.

Elijah Walker Colley died at Clay County shortly before 13 November 1878.  On that date, James Colley waived his right to administer his father’s estate and John Chrisman, public administrator for Clay County, was put in charge instead.

An inventory was made on 5 December 1878, which, though difficult to read, seemed to indicate that, at the time of his death, Elijah owned 60 acres of land at Clay County in the north end of the southeast quarter and in the north end of the southwest quarter of Section 23, Township 53, Range 33.

Elijah’s estate was owed $75.00 for the 1858 note on E.W. Jenkins, and $150.90 for interest on this note.  Elijah’s 1957 Platte County warrant was valued at $1.50.  And his state-issued scrip for his service in the Enrolled Missouri Militia was tentatively valued at $795.90, though believed to be worthless. 

At a sale of Elijah’s personal estate made at his former residence, the following items were among the things sold: a clock, a coal oil lamp, two smoothing irons, a side board, six chairs, a stand table, four beds, a set of plates, six more plates, a dinner dish, another dish, a pitcher, a “lot” of knives and forks, a sugar bowl and dish, a set of cups and saucers, a teapot, a salt cup, a coffee mill, a strainer, a set of candle molds, a tin bucket, a dipper, a bread tray, a dining table, a cook stove, a wash board, a bed blanket, a “history”, a mirror, a window shade, a corn knife, a “sorrall mare”, a “sorrall horse”, nine fat hogs, an iron kettle, and ten bushels of corn.  Elijah’s daughter Alice bought one of the beds, and son Austin bought the “sorrall horse”.  The total earnings of the sale were $180.54.

During administration of the estate, Chrisman rented Elijah’s farm to A.G. Bernard for $150.00 a year.  Apparently the property was rented about 1 March 1879.

By 10 February 1880, it was clear to the administrator that the note on E.W. Jenkins would not be collectable.

On 4 June 1881 at Clay County, James Colley, James’ wife Cora, Alice Colley, and J.S. Colley sold, for $800, to Austin Colley, their interest in 60 acres of the estate of Walker Colley, deceased.  On 30 September following at Clay County, Elijah W. Colley sold, for $36, to his brother Austin, his interest in 60 acres of the estate of E.W. Colley, deceased.

The final settlement on Elijah’s estate was made on 13 February 1882.  The debt of E.W. Jenkins was written off, as was the Missouri Civil War scrip.  At the time of the settlement, Elijah’s personal estate was in debt for $44.00, which Elijah’s son Austin paid in order to save the real estate from being sold.

On 29 March 1882 at Clay County, Austin Colley sold, for $1800, to Aurelius Owen, about sixty acres that had once belonged to his father.  This land was part of the “East Quarter” of Section 23, Township 53 North, Range 33 West, and was bounded on the south and east by Smith’s Fork of the Platte River.  This land bordered on and perhaps was at least partly in the town of Smithville in Platte Township.

Children of Elijah Walker and Emma C. (Ligon) Colley:

  • 48.1.  William T., born about 1850.
  • 48.2.  James Clay [24], born 12 June 1852.
  • 48.3.  Richard Austin “Oscar”, born about 1856.
  • 48.4.  John Sethe, born about 1858.
  • 48.5.  Elijah Walker, born about 1860.
  • 48.6.  Martha Alice, born about 1863.

Sources

  • 1860 United States Census, Platte County, Missouri, (M653-640-566).
  • 1860 United States Census, Platte County, Missouri, (M653-640-567).
  • 1870 United States Census, Clay County, Missouri, page 784A (M593-770-784A).
  • 1870 United States Census, Clay County, Missouri, page 784A (M593-770-784B).
  • —, Clay County, Missouri, probate record (inventory, sale bill, account, and settlement) for Elijah W. Colley, recorded 14 February 1882, microfilm at Clay County Probate Clerk’s office, Liberty, Missouri, transcribed from a poor quality photocopy by Luster Earl Colley.  (Original papers are believed to have been given to the Clay County Historical Society).
  • —, Clay County, Missouri, unidentified deed, 29 March 1882, from the Luster Earl Colley genealogy collection [Reference 680].
  • —, Clay County, Missouri, Deed Book I, pages 310-11, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Clay County, Missouri, Deed Book 52, page 175, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Clay County, Missouri, Deed Book 54, page 300, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Clay County, Missouri, Will Book F, page 302, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Cumberland County, Virginia, Chancery Causes, 1750-1912, Elijah W. Walker v Joseph Jenkins, et al., 1848-030, Local Government Records Collection, Cumberland Court Records, the Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, digital images found at “Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index,” at http://www.lva.virginia.gov/chancery/case_detail.asp?CFN=049-1848-030, accessed 1 August 2009.
  • —, Cumberland County, Virginia, Deed Book 23, page 68, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Cumberland County, Virginia, Deed Book 25, page 270, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Cumberland County, Virginia, Will Book 8, page 547, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Cumberland County, Virginia, Will Book 11, page 32, transcribed by Julie Coley, as found at “Will of William Colley,” at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~vacumber/wills/colley.html, accessed 31 August 2009.
  • —, Cumberland County, Virginia, Will Book 11, page 32, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Missouri Miscellany, Volume 9 (March 1980), extracted by Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • —, Platte County, Missouri, unidentified deed (Elijah W. Colley and Emma C. Colley to John L. DBerry), 28 June 1852, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Platte County, Missouri, Deed Book L, pages 197-199, incompletely transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Platte County, Missouri, Deed Book T, pages 238-39, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • —, Platte County, Missouri, Marriage Book A, page 154, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • Bureau of Land Management, “Home – BLM GLO Records [General Land Office Records],” at http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/, Land Patent Accession/Serial Number, MO4440__.047, accessed 30 August 2009.
  • Bureau of Land Management, “Home – BLM GLO Records [General Land Office Records],” at http://www.glorecords.blm.gov/, Land Patent Accession/Serial Number, MO4440__.295, accessed 30 August 2009.
  • Luster Earl Colley, The Ligon Family in Platte County (North Syracuse, New York: unpublished, undated manuscript), from the Luster Earl Colley genealogical collection.
  • Elizabeth Prather Ellsberry, Marriage Records of Clay County, Missouri, 1852-1900, Volume 2 (Chillicothe, Missouri: E.P. Ellsberry, 1962), pages 11, 37.
  • W.W. Hixson and Company, Plat Book of Clay County, Missouri (Rockford, Illinois: W.W. Hixson and Company, 1930), page 16[?] (T.53 & 54N, Part of Platte, R.33W).
  • Nadine Hodges and Mrs. Howard W. Woodruff, Genealogical Notes from the “Liberty Tribune” 1874-1880, Volume 2 (Liberty, Missouri: no publisher, 1976), page 62.
  • [Nadine Hodges, Audrey L. Woodruff, Howard Woodruff, Missouri Pioneers of Clay County (Bowling Green, Missouri: Infotech Publications, 1992), page 60.
  • Office of Adjutant General, Record of Service Card, Civil War, 1861-1865, Box 17, Reel s814, as found at “Missouri Digital Heritage :  Soldiers’ Records: War of 1812 – World War I,” at http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/soldiers/, (name search = “Colley, Elijah W.”), accessed 30 August 2009.
  • Office of the Secretary of State, Missouri, “Missouri State Archives – Death Records Certificates [Elijah Walker Colley],” at http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/deathcertificates/, accessed 17 January 2007.
  • Office of the Secretary of State, Missouri, “Missouri State Archives – Death Records Certificates [John Sethe Colley],” at
    http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/deathcertificates/, accessed 17 January 2007.
  • Nita [Rueth], “The Colley Surname Message Board,” at http://www.familyhistory.com/messages, posted 26 July 2000.
  • Nita [Rueth], “The Colley Surname Message Board,” at http://www.familyhistory.com/messages, posted 3 August 2000.
  • T.J. Stiles, “The War on Terror, 1865: The Civil War in Missouri and the Rise of Jesse James,” the 2006 James Neal Primm Lecture at the St. Louis Mercantile Library (11 September 2006), printed as an essay at “The Economist, 10/5/02 – Biographer T.J. Stiles,” at http://www.tjstiles.net/work7.htm, accessed 31 August 2009.
  • Audrey L. Woodruff, Marriage Records: Platte County, Missouri: Marriage Records 1839-1855 (Bowling Green, Missouri: Infotech Publications, 1992), page 29.
  • W.H. Woodson, History of Clay County, Missouri (Topeka, Kansas: Historical Publishing Company, 1920), page 464, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.

James Clay Colley and Cora Shrite

Posted in Cora (Shrite) Colley, Cora Shrite, James Clay Colley by Gregg Mattocks on 27 August 2009

James Clay Colley [24]

Father: Elijah Walker Colley [48]

Mother: Emma C. Ligon [49]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Cora Shrite [25]

Father: John Preston Shrite [50]

Mother: America Clay Rule [51]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

*

James Clay Colley [24] was born 12 June 1852 at Platte County, Missouri.

In June 1860, James, aged 7, was living with his parents at Carroll Township, Platte County.

In 1870, James, recorded as a domestic[?], aged 18, was living with his parents at Liberty, Platte Township, Clay County, Missouri.

When James’ father died in 1878, James was offered administration of the estate.  James declined and, on 13 November 1878, administration was granted to a public administrator.

James married, 9 September 1879 at Platte County, as her first husband, Cora Shrite [25] (sometimes Cora Srite).  Cora was born 18 February 1859 at Platte County, the daughter of John Preston and America Clay (Rule) Shrite.

In 1860, Cora, aged 2, was living with her parents at Carroll Township.

In July 1870, Cora, aged 12, was living with her widowed mother at Carroll Township.

In the first settlement of his father’s estate made in February 1880, “J. Colly” was recorded as having received $10.00 from the estate “for Alice”.  Apparently James was acting as guardian of his sister Alice, still under age at the time. 

In June 1880, James Colley, a farmer, aged 28, was living with his wife Cora, aged 21, at Carroll Township.  Also in the household were James’ brother and sister, Austin and Alice.  Nearby lived Cora’s mother.

Son Arthur Clay was born in July 1880 in Missouri.

At Clay County on 4 June 1881, James and Cora, along with Alice and J.S. Colley, sold, for $800, to Austin Colley, 60 acres of the estate of James’ father, Walker Colley, deceased.  It is believed that James’ father died intestate, and that the estate was to be equally divided between the children.  At the time of this deed, final settlement of the estate had not yet been made.  It would seem that the siblings were deeding their father’s property to Austin so that he could in turn sell it.

The Colleys were living at Platte Township when daughter Jessie Lee was born in June 1884.  The record of the birth at the Missouri Secretary of State’s website gives Cora’s maiden name as Smith, but I believe this was a misreading.  J.J. Rice was the attending physician at Jessie’s birth.  James was working as a farmer at the time of his daughter’s birth.

Son James Alvin was born in June 1888 at Clay County.

On 8 December 1888, James and Cora conveyed to Robert W. McClelland – as security for payment of a debt of Vanner Smith – property at Clay County.  This property was described as the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 10, Township 53, Range 32.

James Clay Colley, aged 37, died 8 December 1889 at Clay County.  He was buried at Paradise Cemetery in Clay County, Missouri.

In September of 1890, as a result of non-payment of Vanner Smith’s debt, Robert McClelland proceeded to sell at public auction the property James and Cora had put up as security.  Notices of the auction were published in the Liberty Tribune (of Liberty, Clay County) from 12 September 1890 to 10 October 1890.  At the auction – held on Tuesday, 14 October 1890, at the courthouse in Liberty – the Colley property was sold for $1068 to George Neth, the high bidder.

Cora married second, as his second wife, 18 November 1890, Thomas P. McDaniel.  Thomas was born 20 January 1838 in Missouri.  His parents had been born in Kentucky.

Thomas had married first[?], Jane M. —–.  Jane was born 5 September 1835.

Our Thomas may have been the Thomas McDaniel, farmer, aged 33, born in Missouri, who, in July 1870, was living at Kidder Township, Caldwell County, Missouri.  In this household was wife Jane, aged 33 and born in Kentucky, as well as daughter Alice, aged 3.  Also in the household were three Taylor children, Edmond, aged 10, Amelia, aged 8, and John, aged 6.  It seems these three Taylors may well have been Jane’s children from a previous marriage.  Also in the household in this year was Louis Blask, aged 18, a farm laborer.

Ten years later, we find a Thomas McDaniel, farmer, aged 42, born in Missouri, living at Kidder Township.  His wife is not living with him.  But there is a daughter Alice P., aged 12, who corresponds with the Alice from the census record of 1870.  Also in the home are two younger sons, Frank B., aged 8, and Benjamin, aged 3.  A farm laborer Amos (last name indecipherable), aged 20, also lived with the family.  But where was Thomas’s wife Jane? 

Also enumerated in the 1880 Census of Kidder Township was the household of Edmond H. Taylor, aged 20.  He was living with his sister Amelia Taylor, aged 18, and his mother Jane McDaniel, aged 44 and born in Kentucky.  This household, Edmond, Amelia, and Jane, must have been the same three who were living in Thomas McDaniel’s household ten years earlier.  But why was Jane not living with her husband?  Had they separated?

The central question for us is whether the Thomas McDaniel of Caldwell County was one and the same as the Thomas McDaniel who later married Cora (Shrite) Colley.  We know that our Thomas’s first wife Jane died 29 November 1882 and was buried at Paradise Cemetery.  Also buried at Paradise Cemetery were a Ben M. McDaniel, born in 1876 and died in 1931; and a Frank McDaniels, who died in August 1885, reportedly aged 12 years, 7 months, 6 days, who was the son of “T.P. and Jane”.  It would seem then that the McDaniels of Caldwell County and those of Clay County were one and the same.

In June 1900, Thomas P. McDaniel, a farmer, aged 62, was living with his wife Cora, aged 41, and her three children at Paradise, Platte Township.  The census of that year recorded that Thomas and Cora had been married nine years, and that Cora had given birth to three children, all of whom were living.

Both Thomas and Cora were early members of the Christian Church at Paradise.  They were recorded as being members of that church in 1903.

Cora McDaniel died 6 January 1905 near Paradise.  She was buried at Paradise Cemetery.

A non-subscriber search of the 1910 Census at Ancestry.com revealed a Thomas McDaniel, born about 1838, living at Wyandotte County, Kansas.

Thomas P. McDaniel died 3 February 1917.  He was buried at Paradise Cemetery.

 Children of James Clay and Cora (Shrite) Colley:

  • 24.1.  Arthur Clay, born 21 July 1880.
  • 24.2.  Jessie Lee, born 4 or 5 June 1884.
  • 24.3.  James Alvin [12], born 19 June 1888.

Sources

  • 1860 United States Census, Platte County, Missouri, (M653-640-563).
  • 1860 United States Census, Platte County, Missouri, (M653-640-566).
  • 1860 United States Census, Platte County, Missouri, (M653-640-567).
  • 1870 United States Census, Caldwell County, Missouri, (M593-763-149A).
  • 1870 United States Census, Clay County, Missouri, (M593-770-784A).
  • 1870 United States Census, Clay County, Missouri, (M593-770-784B).
  • 1870 United States Census, Platte County, Missouri, (M593-799-305A). 
  • 1880 United States Census, Caldwell County, Missouri, (T9-677-318B).
  • 1880 United States Census, Caldwell County, Missouri, (T9-677-329A).
  • 1880 United States Census, Platte County, Missouri, (T9-710-97B).
  • 1900 United States Census, Platte County, Missouri, (T623-849-167B).
  • —, Clay County, Missouri, probate record (inventory, sale bill, account, and settlement) for Elijah W. Colley, recorded 14 February 1882, microfilm at Clay County Probate Clerk’s office, Liberty, Missouri, transcribed from a poor quality photocopy by Luster Earl Colley.  (Original papers are believed to have been given to the Clay County Historical Society).
  • —, Clay County, Missouri, unidentified deed, from the Luster Earl Colley genealogy collection [Reference 681].
  • —, Clay County, Missouri, Deed Book 52, page 175, transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • Ancestry.com, “Genealogy, Family Trees and Family History Records online – Ancestry.com,” at http://www.ancestry.com/, accessed 27 August 2009.
  • Sherry Fleischer, “Clay County MOGenWeb [Paradise Cemetery],” at http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~moclay/paracem2.html, accessed 27 August 2009.
  • —, “Ben M McDaniel (1876 – 1931) – Find A Grave Memorial,” at http://www.findagrave.com, accessed 27 August 2009.
  • —, “Frank McDaniels ( – 1885) – Find A Grave Memorial,” at http://www.findagrave.com, accessed 27 August 2009.
  • —, “Jane M McDaniels (1835 – 1882) – Find A Grave Memorial,” at http://www.findagrave.com, accessed 27 August 2009.
  • —, “Thomas P McDaniels (1838 – 1917) – Find A Grave Memorial,” at http://www.findagrave.com, accessed 27 August 2009.
  • Mrs. John Hall, “Paradise Cemetery, Clay County, Missouri,” Kansas City Genealogist 12[January 1972]:32.
  • Vida Catherine Colley, The Birthday and Anniversary Book, memoranda book of Vida Catherine Colley, (selected items), transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • Office of the Secretary of State, Missouri, “SOS, Missouri – State Archives: Birth and Death Records,” at
    http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/resources/birthdeath/, (Birth and Stillbirth Records Search, County = “Clay”, Name = “Colley”), accessed 13 August 2004.
  • W.M. Paxton, Annals of Platte County, Missouri (Kansas City, Missouri: Hudson-Kimberly Publishing Company, 1897), page 487.
  • Nita [Rueth], “The Colley Surname Message Board,” at http://www.familyhistory.com/messages, posted 3 August 2000.
  • Edith Sims, “Early Christian Church Members, Paradise, Mo.,” Kansas City Genealogist 23[1982-1983]:77-78, 179. 

James Alvin Colley and Vida Catherine Miller

Posted in James Alvin Colley, Vida Catherine (Miller) Colley, Vida Catherine Miller by Gregg Mattocks on 27 August 2009

James Alvin Colley [12]

Father: James Clay Colley [24]

Mother: Cora Shrite [25]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Vida Catherine Miller [13]

Father: Walter Scott Miller [26]

Mother: Maggie Myrtle Woods [27]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

*

James Alvin “Pud” Colley [12] was born 19 June 1888 at Clay County, Missouri, the son of James Clay and Cora (Shrite) Colley.  Alvin’s father died in December 1889 and his mother remarried to Thomas P. McDaniel.

In June 1900, Alvin, aged 11 and working was a farm laborer, was living in his stepfather’s household – along with his mother, brother, and sister – at Paradise, Platte Township, Clay County.  Alvin’s mother died in January 1905 so that Alvin had lost both his parents by the time he was 16.  It is unknown if Alvin continued to live with his stepfather after his mother’s death.

By April 1910, Alvin had removed to Butler Township, St. Clair County, Missouri.  The census of that year recorded Alvin,  a farmer, aged 21, living with his “partner” John Lewis.

Alvin married, 23 September 1910, at Lowry City, Butler Township, St. Clair County, Vida Catherine Miller [13].  Vida was born 31 December 1891 at St. Clair County, the daughter of Walter Scott and Maggie Myrtle (Woods) Miller.

In June 1900, Vida C., aged 8, was living with her parents in the tenth ward of Kansas City, Jackson  County, Missouri.  By 1910 the family had moved to Lowry City.  In April of that year, Vida, aged 18, a seamstress working from home, was living with her parents at Lowry City.

With World War I under way, Alvin registered for the draft on 1 June 1917.  The registration form tells us that Alvin was self-employed as a baker in Lowry City at the time.  He claimed exemption from service as he had a wife to support.  In his registration, Alvin described himself as being of medium height, medium build, with brown eyes and red hair.  It would seem that Alvin never served in the military.

Son Luster Earl Colley was born to Alvin and Vida in October 1917.

In January 1920, Alvin, working as a garage mechanic, aged 31, was living with his wife Vida, aged 26, and their son Earl at Lowry City.  Son Francis Eugene was born in October of that year.

The Colleys probably owned a dog at this time, as a photograph of the two boys from this era shows them petting a large hound.

In April 1930, James A., a baker who owned his own bakery, aged 41, was living with his wife, Vida C., aged 38, and their two sons, in a home James owned on Sixth Street in Lowry City, Butler Township. The Colley house was then valued at $1400. The census of that year recorded that James was not a veteran.

Shortly after the marriage of Alvin’s son Earl to Doris Wears in July 1938, the newlywed couple came to work at the bakery, which their daughter Carol said was called the “Home Bakery”.  Carol thought Alvin’s bakery business might have been a franchise.

With the outbreak of World War II, Alvin was faced with a sugar shortage. Because the government would not allot his small business enough of this commodity, Alvin was forced to close the bakery. He left his home in Lowry City, and located in the Kansas City, Missouri, area, where he worked in the war industry. However, Alvin apparently had not sold his home in Lowry City and, after the war, returned there to live.

Alvin evidently enjoyed hunting as two photographs show him engaging in that recreation with his son Earl.  The first photograph, taken in 1943, shows Alvin and Earl holding up a string of quail in front of the Colley home in Lowry City.  A hunting dog lays at their feet.  The second photograph, dating from March 1945, depicts Alvin tossing a clay pigeon as Earl prepares to shoot it.

Carol Mattocks recalled running into her grandfather Alvin often on the streets of Lowry City.  When she would see him, the two would inevitably stop and chat for a bit.  Carol related that Alvin was known to many in town as “Pud” (or “Pood”).

In July of 1957 Vida, a residentof Lowry City, was admitted to the Wetzel Hospital in Clinton, Henry County, Missouri.

Vida Catherine Colley, aged 67, died at the hospital at 2:05 a.m. on 3 August 1957.  Cause of death was cerebral thrombosis due to arterial sclerosis.  Funeral arrangements were handled by Goodrich Funeral Home of Osceola, St. Clair County.  Vida was buried at Lowry City Cemetery in Lowry City.

Granddaughter Carol remembered seeing Alvin for the last time when she was in Lowry City shortly after the death of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963.

A photograph which dates from the late sixties or early seventies shows Alvin surrounded by his two sons and their families in front of the Lowry City Christian Church in Lowry City after Sunday services.

James Alvin Colley died 31 October 1974 at Lowry City.  He was buried alongside his wife at Lowry City Cemetery.

Children of James Alvin and Vida Catherine (Miller) Colley:

  • 12.1. Luster Earl [6], born 7 October 1917.
  • 12.2. Francis Eugene “Gene”, born about 28 October 1920.

Sources

  • 1900 United States Census, Clay County, Missouri, (T623-849-167B).
  • 1900 United States Census, Jackson County, Missouri, (T623-864-144B).
  • 1900 United States Census, Jackson County, Missouri, (T623-864-145A).
  • 1910 United States Census, St. Clair County, Missouri, (T624-801-182A).
  • 1910 United States Census, St. Clair County, Missouri, (T624-801-183B).
  • 1920 United States Census, St. Clair County, Missouri, (T625-943-149B)
  • 1930 United States Census, St. Clair County, Missouri, (T626-1221-143B).
  • —, Gravestone of James A. and Vida C. Colley, Lowry City Cemetery, Lowry City, Missouri.
  • —, World War I Draft Registration card for James Alvin Colley, Butler Precinct, St. Clair County, Missouri.
  • Michael Colley, “Dad’s Pictures,” at http://www.colley.com/pictures-selected-from-dads-album/index.htm, accessed 25 August 2009.
  • Vida Catherine Colley, The Birthday and Anniversary Book, memoranda book of Vida Catherine Colley, (selected items), transcribed by Luster Earl Colley.
  • Division of Health of Missouri, Standard Death Certficate, state file number 24288 [Vida Catherine Colley].
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, e-mail, 14 September 2004.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, telephone conversation, 5 September 2004.

Luster Earl Colley and Doris Marietta Wears

Posted in Doris Marietta (Wears) Colley, Doris Marietta Wears, Luster Earl Colley by Gregg Mattocks on 26 August 2009

Revised 26 December 2009.

Luster Earl Colley [6]

Father: James Alvin Colley [12]

Mother: Vida Catherine Miller [13]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

Doris Marietta Wears [7]

Father: Frederick William Wears [14]

Mother: Mary Jane Carver [15]

Mattocks Family Heritage entry

*

Luster Earl Colley [6] was born at 11 p.m. on 7 October 1917 at Lowry City, Butler Township, St. Clair County, Missouri.  His weight at birth was nine pounds. The attending physician was Leo Wright. Earl remembered that Dr. Wright lived across the street in Lowry City.

As a child, I spent almost as much time with Doc as I did with my father. I still cherish the books he gave me. He was a better teacher than any I ever had at school.

Earl and his mother at Lowry City, 1917

Earl and his mother at Lowry City, 1917

Earl with his father, about 1918, apparently on the porch of their Lowry City home

Earl with his father, about 1918, apparently on the porch of their Lowry City home

The census of January 1920 records Luster E., aged 2, living with his parents at Lowry City. Earl’s father worked as a baker in the town.

Earl and his brother Gene outside their Lowry City home, 1923

Earl and his brother Gene outside their Lowry City home, 1923

Earl with two unidentified youngsters

Earl, his brother Gene, and an unidentified youngster

Earl and his brother Gene

Earl and his brother Gene

Earl fondly recalled growing up, and especially cherished the meals he shared with his parents and brother Gene. “One of the things that made it pleasant,” he wrote, “was that my parents often told stories about their lives together before I was born.” As Earl said, he grew up in a “Make it do, wear it out” time and place. This frugality was a trait that stuck with him all his life. He considered it a treat when his mother made rice for breakfast. “Potatoes we grew ourselves; rice cost cash money,” Earl wrote. “And cash money was rather limited in my early days.” As late as 1994, Earl was still trying to “imitate my mother’s cooking as best I can.” One of his mother’s tricks was to make oatmeal using apple cider instead of water. Certainly cider might have been no more difficult that water back then, as Earl recalled “[t]he only source of water in the kitchen was a water bucket.” Late in life he wrote, “I often think, while having a hot shower, of getting the old washtub out, heating water on the kitchen stove, bathing all cramped up, and then having to empty the water.”

By 1926, Earl was at Lowry City Grade School, with Helen Dawson as his teacher.  All through his school years, Earl was in the same class as his future wife, Doris Wears.

Grades 4, 5, and 6 at Lowry City School in 1926-1927.  Earl is next to the right end of the third row.  Doris is probably in this photograph as well, perhaps one of the girls sitting at a desk in the center.

Grades 4, 5, and 6 at Lowry City School in 1926-1927. Earl is next to the right end of the third row. Doris is probably in this photograph as well, perhaps one of the girls sitting at a desk in the center.

Another photograph of Earl from Lowry City School, apparently the gent in the back.  I wonder if the boy sitting in front of him might be Earls brother Gene.

Another photograph of Earl from Lowry City School, apparently the gent in the back. I wonder if the boy sitting in front of him might be Earl's brother Gene.

Earl at school

Earl at school

The 14 November 1929 issue of the Lowry City Independent reported that seventh graders Earl and Doris had been placed on the honor roll for making “90 in all but one subject” “during the first quarter of school work.”

But it was not all about schoolwork. Earl wrote of the fun he had back then:

When I was a kid, we would cut a short length off a small branch of a box elder tree. We used a wire to dig the soft pith out of the stick. Then we whittled a plunger to fit the resulting tube. We then chewed a wad of newspaper into a couple of wads of pulp. One wad served as an airtight gasket for the rammer plunger and the other was used as a missile. We were able to achieve a respectable muzzle velocity and a fairly flat trajectory. There is nothing quite as hilarious as hitting an unsuspecting adult in the back of the neck with a soggy, disgusting missile soaked with kid spit. Fortunately, I was a fast runner.

That also reminds me of the cigar box containing flashlight batteries and a model T Ford ignition coil that I wrapped in pretty paper. But that is another story….

Earl, school photograph

Earl, school photograph

In April 1930, L. Earl, aged 12, was living with his parents on Sixth Street in Lowry City. At that time, it was recorded that he had not attended school since at least September 1929.

As a boy, Earl apparently played the saxophone with the school band. In later life he wrote to his granddaughter Melody:

Playing in the school band was one of the best things I ever did when I was your age. It gave me a chance to make a lot of friends, go a lot of places, and do a lot of things that I would probably have missed otherwise. I often played at dances, and part of the time I goofed off from the band and danced with some of the girls. Almost all of the girls wanted to dance with someone who played in the band. It was great! 

But acting was not Earl’s thing. Though often asked to perform in the school plays, he had “lots of other things to do” that he enjoyed more. When nearly eighty, Earl wrote of his teenage years.

Actually, I had a happy home and liked being a teen-ager so well I wasn’t really sure I wanted to grow up. Even now that I am over 6 feet tall, I don’t think I am all the way grown up yet. I used to think that when I could grow a moustache I would be grown up. Now I am not so sure.

What seems to be the school band.  Earl is probably the lad behind the right shoulder of the band leader.

What seems to be the school band. Earl is probably the lad behind the right shoulder of the band leader.

Earl on saxophone, brother Gene on trumpet

Earl on saxophone, brother Gene on trumpet

Earl and Gene withe their parents

Earl and Gene with their parents

A young Earl Colley

A young Earl Colley

As a young man, Earl sometimes hired out to do farmwork. In 1995, he wrote of the experience to his daughter Heather.

A farm friend that I sometimes worked for bought a mustang straight off the western range. She was so mean that he would not even let me hook up the tugs. I worked that animal in a 3 horse team between two rather placid part Belgians that were much heavier, and gave them the advantage when I set up the three horse evener. Even then, that mustang set the pace. I plowed a lot of ground that way with a 16 inch walking plow. Not many people alive today ever walked behind a plow.

We didn’t have things like 4-H in my day, but the State of Missouri had a law that you could not get a high school diploma without a specified amount of vocational agricultural courses. So we did much the same things you are experiencing, except that we would have a good laugh at anyone riding an English saddle, and we wore bib overalls most of the time.

Earl also wrote of visiting the farm of his uncle Ted Wells.

When I was a boy, Ted Wells, aunt Emma’s husband, owned a huge ranch in the neighborhood of Ponca City, Oklahoma. They had a 10 room house, bunk houses, barns, etc. way off the road in the middle of the ranch. My cousin Betty was nearest my age, and we used to ride all over the place.

Earl graduated from Lowry City High School in 1935.

Earls high school graduation photograph, 1935

Earl's high school graduation photograph, 1935

Earl’s daughter Carol wrote that, during the Depression, her father went to Chicago, Illinois, to attend “Television school (to learn to build them, I assume).”  It seems to me likely that Earl attended the American Television Institute.

American Television Institute

American Television Institute

1937 ad for ATI's home correspondence school

1937 ad for ATI's home correspondence school

1935 application to attend the American Television Institute

1935 application to attend the American Television Institute

In the years before World War II, Mr. [Ulises Armand] Sanabria formed and was the principal stockholder and president of American Television, a four year national correspondence school and a four year residence school in Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles. Doctor Lee De Forest was a consultant to Mr. Sanabria and the school.

It is not clear why Earl did not attend the much closer First National Television school in Kansas City. Perhaps Earl’s choice of the Chicago school was made because American Television was apparently offering to pay its students to manufacture television-telephones.  Or perhaps more likely Earl had taken ATI’s correspondence course and, as stipulated in the contract, he was taking advantage of the offer to receive four weeks of “free” training at the school.  Students also made monoscopes and CRTs (cathode ray tubes) as part of their training.

ATI's 1936 class manufacturing television-telephones

ATI's 1936 class manufacturing television-telephones

Earl married first, 3 July 1938, Doris Marietta Wears [7]. The marriage certificate reported that the couple was married at Wheatland, Hickory County, Missouri, by A.T. Mahaney, minister, though in 1992 Earl seemed to recall that he and Doris were married at Hermitage, Missouri. The certificate gave Earl’s residence as Chicago while Doris was living at Wyandotte County. Witnesses to the marriage were Dewey C. and Mildred Greenwell. Apparently in an effort to help keep the marriage secret, the certificate listed the groom as “Luster Colley” and the bride as “Marietta Wears”. Neither of these names were those commonly used by either Earl or Doris. 

Earl and Doris, apparently on their wedding day, 3 July 1938, by the Sac River in or near Osceola, St. Clair County, Missouri

Earl and Doris, apparently on their wedding day, 3 July 1938, by the Sac River in or near Osceola, St. Clair County, Missouri

Doris was born 11 January 1917 at Lowry City, the daughter of Frederick William and Mary Jane (Carver) Wears.

Doris with her aunt Juanita (Carver) LaRue

Doris with her aunt Juanita (Carver) LaRue

In January 1920, Doris, aged 3, was living with her parents at Lowry City.

Doris with her father

Doris with her father

Soon thereafter Doris moved with her parents to Higgins, Lipscomb County, Texas. From there the family moved to Kansas City, Kansas, where Doris attended kindergarten.  By the time Doris entered first grade, her family was back at Lowry City. Doris remembered that her cousin Imogene Settle, who was the same age, was a grade ahead of her in school because Imogene hadn’t had to attend kindergarten.

Doris and her brother Glenn

Doris and her brother Glenn

One of Doris’s closest childhood friends was a girl named Nina Simmons.  By 1926, Doris was attending grade school in the same class with her future husband Earl.

Doris at school

Doris at school

In April 1930, Doris M., aged 13, was living with her parents on Fifth Street in Lowry City. The census for that year recorded that Doris was not attending school at that time.

While her mother was in the hospital being treated for tuberculosis, Doris remembered that she had a lot of work to do, keeping the house clean and helping to take care of the younger children.

Lowry City High School

Lowry City High School

Commencement progran, Lowry City High School, 1935

Commencement program, Lowry City High School, 1935

Doris and Earl graduated from Lowry City High School in 1935. Commencement exercises were held on Thursday, 16 May, at 8 o’clock at the Electric Theater. Shortly after graduation, Doris moved to Kansas City, Kansas. There she lived with her Uncle William and Aunt Uilla Bagley and worked at a dime store. Later Doris found employment taking care of a couple’s children. That family’s religious beliefs were not “mainstream,” as Doris’s daughter Carol Mattocks remembered, and they may have been Seventh Day Adventists.

Doris went to work for the Hallmark Card Company in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri. Doris worked in the airbrush department. She apparently lived at Kansas City, Kansas, with her aunt Illa Bagley during her employment with Hallmark.

Hallmark Cards, Kansas City, Missouri

Hallmark Cards, Kansas City, Missouri

By 1934, employees of Hallmark were enjoying retirement pension funds, medical aid, life insurance, and vacation pay. In the following year, Hallmark became one of the first American companies to offer coffee breaks to its employees. In 1936, with nearly 800 employees, Hallmark moved its company headquarters to 25th and Grand Avenue in Kansas City. Innovations such as offset printing, gold stamping, silk-screening, and cellophane wrapping were introduced at this time.

Doris (right), with Robert Wilson and Marjorie LaRue, at the weddiing of Imogene Settle

Doris (right), with Robert Wilson and Marjorie LaRue, at the wedding of Robert Wilson and Imogene Settle in Kansas City, Missouri

In April 1936, Doris attended the wedding of her cousin Imogene Settle and Earl Wilson at Kansas City, Missouri. Doris’s parents were living back at St. Clair County by September 1937. On the 22nd of that month, Doris’s grandmother Emma Carver wrote from Gerster, St. Clair County, to her daughter Della that “Freds folks was here sunday Doris was home.”

In a letter of 19 November 1937, Emma expressed her deep concern over the strange behavior of Doris’s grandfather John Morgan Carver. Emma went on to write that “[I] guess Freds will be down Thanksgiving or Xmas when doris can get off. they have 3 hens here we will have one when they come | Xmas if nothing happen.” Another letter from Emma at Osceola to Della, dated 29 November 1937, revealed that “Fred took Doris an me to See John yesterday. he looked better out of his eyes but has’nt got any mind at all, he never paid any attention to me, seemed to realize Doris was there, but never ask a word nor said one word….when we started [to leave?] they helped him up stairs, he never new we was there I guess.” Doris remembered visiting her grandfather John Morgan Carver in what she called the “poor farm.” She recalled that the old man acted very oddly. When John Morgan Carver died, Doris did not learn the news for some time, because her mother kept the information from her to spare Doris the expense of attending the funeral.

After her marriage in July 1938, Doris continued to work for Hallmark Cards in Kansas City, in the airbrush department, but kept her marital status a secret to avoid being fired from the company.

When Earl returned from school in Chicago back to Missouri, the news of their marriage was announced. Doris quit Hallmark, and the couple moved to Lowry City. Earl later reported that from June 1934 until January 1942, he was often self-employed, working as an electrical contractor and servicing radios and appliances. Earl and Doris also worked at his father’s bakery. Doris remembered that their diet at this time consisted substantially of “flops” from the bakery.

World War II brought a sugar shortage and the bakery was forced to close. Earl and Jack Bray bought a service station in Lowry City where Earl worked for a time. Doris remembered that Jack and Esther Bray lived by Brown’s Ford Bridge in St. Clair County. The Bray family had a reputation for being dirty. Doris would sometimes go to the Bray home and wash dishes for them for hours.

Earl fishing

Earl fishing

Earl and Doris would go bicycling and fishing with another couple (the husband of this couple being named Woody). After one fishing excursion, the women waited and waited for the men to return. Finally they appeared. They had been kept at bay for hours by a threatening bull who did not leave them until its owner called his cattle home that evening.

Earl also remembered fishing with his father.

Dad used to be part owner of a big seine. A big party of families would go camping down on the Osage and we would seine out bushels of fish. We would pick out a few that we wanted to keep and put the rest back in the river. The women would cook the fish over a driftwood fire and we would eat them with fried potatoes and onions, corn bread, and coffee made from the river water. Any time I smell frying onions it brings back fond memories of the fun we had.

Doris was at Appleton City, St. Clair County, in January 1940, when daughter Carol Lee Colley was born.  Earl had wanted to name the new baby Carol Susan, but he was overrruled.  Nonetheless, Earl called his new daughter “Sue” and the nickname stuck. Earl remembered that the night that Carol was born was one of the coldest nights he could remember.

The Colley family moved to Platte City, Platte County, Missouri, where Earl worked at a car dealership “for some of the Lewis family.”  They also lived next door to the Lewises. John W. and Eunice (Armstrong) Lewis had lived in Lowry City at one time but had removed to Platte City where John and his son operated “an implement and automobile agency.” I believe that John W. Lewis was the same man who lived with Earl’s father Alvin Colley in Butler Township in 1910, suggesting that the Lewis and Colley families had strong ties.

Earl and Doris with daughter Carol

Earl and Doris with daughter Carol

In later life, Earl reminisced about how he and Doris would hold young Carol’s hands and swing the child between them, with Carol giggling gleefully.  Of Doris, Earl recalled “what a handsome woman she was and how people took notice when she walked into a room.” Years later, Earl recalled hunting for doves around this time. He wrote to his daughter Carol that “[y]our mother roasted them in sage dressing and I remember how well you liked them.”

With the entrance of the United States into World War II, Americans were called upon to make sacrifices for the war effort.

Doris with her parents and siblings.  Her brother Glenn is in uniform.

Doris with her parents and siblings. Her brother Glenn is in uniform.

Doris had every reason to be proud of her brother Glenn’s heroic actions as a Marine at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.  Earl was eager to make his contribution as well, but in the early days of the war, the military was not interested in this underweight young man.

Instead, in January 1942 Earl found work as a civilian with the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant at Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. The plant had begun operations in October 1941 and was owned by the Remington Arms Company. “From September 1941 to August 1945 the plant produced more than 5.7 billion cartridges.”

Earl and Doris found a house nearer to Earl’s work and moved with their daughter Carol from Lowry City, St. Clair County, to Buckner, Jackson County, Missouri. Earl and Doris’s parents also seem to have moved to this area for the duration of the war. The ammunition plant ran buses to Buckner to bring its employees to the factory. While in Buckner, the Colley family lived in one half of a house. The other half was occupied by a disorderly and unclean old man. Much to Doris’s dismay, Carol was often found in the yard sitting on this grubby man’s lap. During the family’s time in Buckner, Doris worked at a grocery store.


As the war wore on, the demands on the ammunition plant continued to grow. There was a shortage of labor, and what workers there were – many of them women – were required to work twelve-hour shifts.

In the midst of these events, Earl, as he told the story, came up with an idea for a mechanism which would monitor the ammunition manufacturing machines so that humans would not be required to perform this work. On his own time, working from a shop in Lowry City, Earl built a prototype of his invention.

The managers of the plant were loath to interrupt production to test the new device on the actual machines. Finally it was agreed that Earl could try out his invention one Sunday night at midnight. He was given until 8 a.m. to have his gadget installed and running. The contraption worked, so it was ultimately patented and incorporated into the regular production line.

Earl claimed that the invention was his idea, but that he was forced by the Remington Arms Company to share the credit for the idea. The patent for the “Machine Control Means,” which was applied for on 28 October 1942 and granted on 22 August 1944.  The device is described as follows:

Drawing of Earls Machine Control Means

Drawing of Earl's "Machine Control Means"

This invention relates to a stopping means for machinery, and particularly, to a light sensitive or photoelectric cell stopping system for ammunition making machines.

In the manufacture of ammunition, machines are used to assemble the various component parts and it is frequently desirable to have a safety means to stop the machine in the event a component or part thereof is absent at a particular station. The usual machine has a transfer means to move the component from station to station. The absence of a component may be caused by the component being gripped by the forming tool at a station and erroneously removed from the transfer means. Another piece may then be carried underneath the tool and when this latter occurs, the tool, upon its next reciprocation, will carry the erroneously engaged component onto a new component with resultant breakage or stoppage of the machine.

Earl and his father (and perhaps Earls setter Nubie as well) at the old Colley home in Lowry City, 1943

Earl and his father (and perhaps Earl's setter Nubie as well) at the old Colley home in Lowry City, 1943

A photograph from 1943 shows Earl and his father after a quail hunting trip standing in front of the Colley family home in Lowry City.  Around this time Earl owned an English setter named Nubie who, in addition to being a joy to daughter Carol, was undoubtedly Earl’s faithful hunting companion.

… I am like a bird dog I used to have. She loved to hunt. If another party in sight or hearing was finding birds, and we were not, she left us to hunt with the other party. She went where the action was the most exciting.

Earl at Lexington, Missouri, 1944

Earl at Lexington, Missouri, 1944

By 1944, Earl had apparently taken up piloting, as there are photographs from this date, taken at Lexington, Missouri, showing Earl standing next to a single-engine airplane. 

Earl in uniform

Earl in uniform

Earl was eventually admitted into the service, and Doris and Carol soon went to live with Doris’s parents at 525 Brookside in the Fairmount community just east of Kansas City, Missouri, in Jackson County.

Earl, about 1944 or 1945

Earl, about 1944 or 1945

Earl

Earl

Earl

Earl

Earl, a resident of Jackson County, Missouri, enlisted as a private in the Army on 23 March 1944 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He enlisted for the duration of the war plus six months, receiving serial number 37732889. At the time of his joining, it was recorded that Earl had attended four years of high school and was married. He reported his civilian work experience as “gunsmith (armorer) or diesel mechanic (automobile mechanic, diesel engine) or camera repairman (camera repairman, still camera) or instrument repairman, nonelectrical (instrument maker) or utility repairman (mechanic, general) or equipment maintenance man, motion picture (motion picture equipment repairman) or radio repairman (radio electrician) or office machine serviceman or electric motor repairman or refrigeration mechanic or shop maintenance mechanic or master mechanic or locksmith or calker.” Earl served with the Army Air Corps.

Earl with his daughter Carol

Earl with his daughter Carol

Doris and Earl with daughter Carol

Doris and Earl with daughter Carol

Earl with his daughter Carol and Carols grandparents

Earl with his daughter Carol and Carol's grandparents

Earl and his brother Gene were both stationed for a while near Lake Tahoe, California, (perhaps in Nevada), a time of which Earl later had many fond memories. Earl wrote:

Used to land a small airplane at the old Tahoe airport, which was something of an adventure. The lake was at one end of the short dirt runway, and a cliff at the other.

Earl was serving as a private, but hoping for a promotion, when he received a letter from his mother on 2 January 1945. The letter was addressed to the 101st A.A.C.S., Reno Army Air Base, Reno, Nevada, and had a return address of Buckner, Missouri.

Am glad you found a camera. We talked to Jack [John Lewis?] Sunday and he said he didn’t have any film now but I’ll keep asking. You need not bother about the 116 for us for Gene sent two some time ago & we haven’t used them. Let me know if I sent the right picture the last time. Know the film was the one you wanted. You will appreciate the pictures you take now, in later years. We enjoy looking over ours and wish we had taken more. We sure did enjoy the verses you sent. Didn’t know you had that in you. Dad liked the one about the coyote best but I tho’t they were both good and we are so proud of you and your accomplishments….

Sunday was my birthday so now your Mother is 53 years old. Dad took me down tot he coffee shop for dinner. We drove over to Fred’s to take Doris and Carol Christmas. They were not home so we went back to Fairmount to the show. Fred told Dad last night that they went up town to the show. Dad had told them we would be over one day but didn’t tell him when. He said Carol was having a time with the blackboard. We gave Doris Bath powder in a pretty pink box with a bail on it, like a bucket.

Earl and his father shooting clay targets, Lowry City, March 1945

Earl and his father shooting clay targets, Lowry City, March 1945

Earl eventually attained the rank of sergeant. While in the Air Force, Earl served as an electronics technician, and worked on the installation and maintenance of electronic aids to air navigation and communication. In March 1945, Earl was in uniform at Lowry City shooting clay targets with his father.

Earl, the marksman

Earl, the marksman

Earl and, I believe, his brother Gene

Earl and, I believe, his brother Gene

Earl at work

Earl at work

Earl at play

Earl at play

After Earl’s enlistment, Doris and Carol moved with the Wears family to 9426 East 7th in Fairmount, a home that Carol remembered was located near the railroad tracks. On 19 May 1944, Doris found employment with the department store Emery-Bird-Thayer. Doris had applied for a position as a shoe salesperson, but when it was learned that she had experience on business machines, Doris was placed instead in the store’s auditing office.

On 20 December 1945, Doris appeared at the Jackson County, Missouri, Circuit Court before Judge James H. Breaddus, seeking a divorce from Earl.

Now on this day comes plaintiff in person and by attorney and defendant, although having heretofore filed entry of appearance and waiver of rights and under the Soldiers’ and Sailores; Civil Relief Act, now fails to appear.

Doris’s petition for divorce was granted.

It is further ordered and adjudged by the Court that the costs be paid by plaintiff and that she recover of defendant and have therefore, execution. It is further ordered and adjudged by the Court that the plaintiff have the care, custody and control of the minor child, Carol Lee Colley 5 years old born of said marriage relation. It is further ordered and adjudged by the Court that defendant pay to plaintiff for support and maintenance of said minor child, the sum of $10.00 per week, beginning today and payable weekly, and that execution issue therefor.

Doris’s divorce lawyer operated out of the Prudential Building in downtown Kansas City, across the street from the department store.  Some gossiped that the divorce was caused by the influence of Doris’s mother Mary Jane Wears.

The 1946 edition of Polk’s Independence (Jackson County, Missouri) City Directory listed Earl and Doris living on East 7th in Fairmount. In reality, the couple had separated by the time this directory was published. This address was the same as that given in the directory for Doris’s parents.

In 1945, with the end of the war, Doris’s parents returned to Lowry City in time for Doris’s brother Harold to begin attending his senior year of high school there. Doris remained in Kansas City with her job, but sent her daughter off to Lowry City to live with her maternal grandparents. Doris soon became a supervisor of the auditing department at Emery-Bird-Thayer. At one time, Doris’s sister Helen worked under Doris at the department store. Doris and Helen lived together in a Kansas City apartment for a while.  Doris continued to work for Emery-Bird-Thayer for many years.

Emery-Bird-Thayer Department Store, Kansas City, Missouri

Emery-Bird-Thayer Department Store, Kansas City, Missouri

By the 1890’s, the size and population of Kansas City reflected decades of growth. Emery, Bird, Thayer Company constructed a giant building on 11th Street, encompassing the entire block from Walnut to Grand. This building, with its arcades, neo-Romanesque capitals, and brick construction was a triumph of Victorian architecture, and a centerpiece of downtown Kansas City throughout the first half of the 20th century. Its walls, designed by the architecture firm of Van Brunt and Howe, imitated the style of Paris buildings.

The store became known for what it pledged to offer in a 1924 public statement: “This great store will be here every day, striving to please you with reliable merchandise combined with excellent service”. Buyers traveled throughout Europe and Asia for goods to send home to the store. Employees of the store were reputed to be the most helpful in town.

A typical employee of the store was a woman is the shoe department who could name three generations of several families to whom she had sold shoes. A look at the membership of the “Quarter Century Club”, swelling in 1935, shows a list of various employees who had been with the company for over 25 years: A window trimmer, a buyer who started as a porter, cooks, an advertising manager, a carpet layer, a carpenter, a candy-maker, and sales staff from various departments. Perhaps most interesting, the company’s officers were all on the list, as well. In its heyday, Emery, Bird, Thayer drew its leadership from within. It was a store run by Kansas Citians and owned by Kansas Citians.

The bright life of Emery, Bird, Thayer continued through the 1930’s and ’40’s, when Petticoat Lane drew crowds to Downtown Kansas City every day. Again, Emery, Bird, Thayer drew its success from transportation. It was easy to get to Kansas City by train, then proceed downtown by trolley, electric street car, or motor bus. Tea parties for girls and their dolls took place in the elegant Tea Room, Christmas shopping was a celebration in itself, the store offered a place to eat, rest, and purchase all necessities and frivolities. The store saw new years, presidents, and world wars arrive and depart.

The downtown district where Emery-Bird-Thayer was located was a magnet for shoppers.

It’s just a two-block strip of 11th Street between Main and Grand, but for many years and for many Kansas Citians it was the heart of the downtown experience. As the hub of the downtown retail district, Petticoat Lane was an important and familiar facet of the lives of at least six generations of city residents. From well before the turn of the century to the late 1960s, the stores on Petticoat Lane provided not only goods and services to local shoppers, but vivid, lifelong memories as well. The warmth of the Tea Room at Emery, Bird, Thayer, the scent of new linens at Woolf Brothers, and the feel of a crisp new blouse from Harzfeld’s are merely a few of the associations Kansas Citians have of this beloved district.

The post World War II years brought change to Emery, Bird, Thayer, as they did for the entire city. In the winter of 1958, the African-American community in Kansas City boycotted and picketed five Downtown department stores, including Emery, Bird, Thayer, for refusing to serve black people in their cafeterias. The protest came on the heels of the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott; Downtown theaters had integrated in 1955, and hotels the following year. By the Spring of 1959, the Downtown stores had integrated eating spaces.

We know that Doris’s sister Helen was living at 4415 East Ninth street in Kansas City by about 1950.   Apparently this was the address where Doris and Helen lived together, as Doris was at this address several years later.

On 26 August 1950, Doris’s brother Glenn visited Lowry City. A photograph of that date shows the following people gathered together there: Doris; Doris’s father Fred; Doris’s brothers Glenn, John, and Harold; Glenn’s son Glenn Carver; and Doris’s daughter Carol.

A photograph of 11 September 1950 shows Doris with her parents, her daughter, her brothers John and Harold, her sister Helen, her uncle Sylvester La Rue, and Harold’s future wife Gloria Hadsall.

About November 1951 or 1952, Doris was honored by Emery-Bird-Thayer, as its Woman of the Month. At that time, Doris was characterized as a “very efficient” supervisor of auditing. She was a “charming woman” who enjoyed reading, and who visited her daughter each weekend in Lowry City. It was noted that Doris had just returned from a visit to St. Louis, Missouri, where she had helped install the audit system in Scruggs, Vandervoort, and Barney’s Clayton Store, which had just opened.

Doris took a vacation in June 1954. Upon returning home, she discovered a letter had arrived from her former husband Earl. Earl wanted his daughter Carol to come visit him in Syracuse, New York. Doris wrote back:

Don’t know what to say about Carol going with you as I won’t see her until next week end and want to discuss it with her.

Am sure she would like the idea if it weren’t for changing trains but don’t know what she’d say to that as she’s never done that.

Glenn and Irma are in Quantico and want her to come there for a visit this summer and I wondered if she could get a train from you live to Wash. D.C. They could meet her there and we were planning to go to Quantico Aug. if nothing happens and it isn’t too hot.

Could you find out about trains and let me know so I could write them?

Just don’t know how she’ll feel about going and am sure she won’t stay too long but think it would be awfully nice trip for her.  Thanks so much for asking her & I’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Have to quit as this pen is out of ink. 

A week later, Doris once again wrote to Earl:

Talked to Carol about the trip you suggested and she’s very pleased and wants me to thank you but decided she’d rather not ride the train home alone.

Also after checking trains and finding out she has to change she just doesn’t feel like she is ready to do that alone.

I’m sure she would enjoy it but don’t feel it wise to push her into some thing like that….

Thanks again for the offer. Maybe after our trip this summer she’ll feel different.

Doris and Carol did travel that summer to Quantico, and to Mount Vernon, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., reportedly staying about a week. They visited with Doris’s brother Glenn and his family while there.

When Doris’s father died in June 1957, Doris was reported to have been living at 4415 East Ninth street in Kansas City.  Her sister Helen had married by this time and was no longer living with her.  After her father’s death, Doris’s mother Mary Jane came to Kansas City to live with her daughter. Doris and Mary Jane rented an apartment on East Twelfth street and Doris’s daughter Carol lived with them there for a short time before returning to Lowry City to complete high school. Not much later, Mary Jane and Doris moved across the street into a house at 5213 East Twelfth.

Doris continued working at Emery-Bird-Thayer, if I remember correctly, until it finally closed its doors in 1968. The demise of the store was attributed to changing shopping patterns.

The 1950’s saw automobiles begin to heavily influence the way cities were designed. Freeways cut through cities, suburbs sprouted up and sprawled out on the edges of town. People flew from city to city in airplanes, and the airports in the urban core did not offer enough space for jets. This time, however, Emery, Bird, Thayer did not benefit from the era’s dominant mode of transportation. The company attempted to open stores on the Plaza and in the suburbs, but the magic of the Downtown building was fading. In 1968 the store closed. Nearly 800 employees lost their jobs, and Kansas City lost its most historic business.

The beautiful old building which had housed Emery-Bird-Thayer was razed in 1971.  After working at Emery-Bird-Thayer, Doris went on to work for Macy’s department store, then in the office of a bank, and finally for the Jackson County courthouse.

Jackson County Courthouse, Kansas City, Missouri

Jackson County Courthouse, Kansas City, Missouri

Shortly before April 1969, Doris and her mother were visited by Doris’s brother Glenn Wears of San Diego, California. Shortly thereafter, upon the death of Doris’s mother, daughter Carol traveled from Colorado to attend the funeral services, “and spent several days with her mother.”

After retirement, Doris lived briefly in Raytown, Jackson County, Missouri.  She then moved to Gresham, Multnomah County, Oregon, to live with her daughter Carol and Carol’s husband Chauncey Leon Mattocks.

Somewhat later the three moved to Ocean Park, Pacific County, Washington, near the town of Long Beach. While living in Ocean Park, Doris volunteered to work at the local Chamber of Commerce’s information center. She also attended church regularly, hosted card parties for her friends, and attended AARP meetings. While living on the coast, Doris was often visited by her brothers and sister and their spouses. When Doris’s nephew Gary Juchet died about February 1995, Doris, Carol, and Leon traveled back to Missouri to attend his funeral.

In the summer of 1996, Doris’s son-in-law Leon was diagnosed with cancer. This meant that Leon and Carol had to spend a good deal of time visiting doctors and hospitals in Portland, Oregon, often staying with their son Mark for days at a time. Doris’s former husband Earl Colley wrote of the time:

That means that she [Carol] is unable to take care of Doris. I have the impression that neighbors and Doris’ fellow church members are helping by caring for Doris. Doris had her turn caring for her mother for years, and it looks as if Carol will now have the same situation a generation later. If Doris had remained childless, she might be in a nursing home by now. 

On 20 November 1996, Leon wrote about his mother-in-law’s schedule the following morning:

That’s about the time that Nana goes to exercise class. Yep, you heard that right! I mean like: Hup! Hup! Hup! Poke em out now girls. I sed Poke em out!! Oh well, gives her something to do and it might even do her a little good!

After Leon’s death, Carol and Doris returned to Gresham.  At that time, Doris entered a retirement facility on Powell Boulevard.  After this facility closed, Doris moved to the nearby Courtyard Fountains Assisted Living Center in Gresham. Doris lived there until she took a fall in September 2009. After being hospitalized for a time with a broken rib, Doris was transferred to the Village Nursing Home in Gresham, just a few blocks away from where her daughter Carol lived.

After his divorce from Doris, Earl Colley married a second time, probably about 1946 in California, Jane “Jeanie” Kathryn Maury.  Jeanie was the daughter of Earl Joseph and Rose (Wall) Maury. By Jane, Earl had a son, Michael.

Jane outside the Bunney Hospital in Fairfield, California, winter of 1945/1946

Jane outside the Bunney Hospital in Fairfield, California, winter of 1945/1946

About the time of her marriage, Jane worked as a nurse at the Bunney Hospital in Fairfield, Salina County, California.  Fairfield is between Sacramento and San Francisco. Earl reported living for a time at Fairfield. He recalled once driving down Highway 1 to Long Beach, California, in a Model A Ford.

Jane in front of her home in Fairfield, California, about 1945

Jane in front of her home in Fairfield, California, about 1945

Jane at Fairfield, California, summer of 1946

Jane at Fairfield, California, summer of 1946

Jane

Jane

Earl at San Bernardino, circa 1946

Earl at San Bernardino, circa 1946

In the year 1946, Earl was at San Bernardino, San Bernardino County, California.  San Bernardino is near Los Angeles, and quite a distance from Fairfield.  So it is unclear whether Earl met Jane in Fairfield, in San Bernardino, or elsewhere.  It is also not clear why Earl was in California.  I would assume his military service took him there. Earl served with the Air Force until May 1946. From that time until December 1946, Earl continued in the same line of work but as a civilian.

Earl and Jane with son Michael

Earl and Jane with son Michael

Earl, Jane, and son Michael at the Gillilan home, Long Beach, California, about 1946

Earl, Jane, and son Michael at the Gillilan home, Long Beach, California, about 1946

Earl later wrote his son Michael about a hobby that he and Jeanie shared.

A long time ago, I borrowed a big cut film camera from a friend to make some pictures of our family. It was a  happy time. That was before color film was available to amateurs. Photography was our favorite hobby. We had the bathroom in our apartment rigged as a dark room where we would develop and print our own pictures. Jeanie loved to use photographic tint to color our prints. We spent most of our spare change on this hobby rather than going to movies and that sort of thing. 

From January to June 1947, Earl worked in Riverside County, California, as a radio engineer. He was an assistant to the chief engineer for a large law enforcement radio communication system used by federal and local agencies.

Earl soon divorced his second wife. Many years later, Earl wrote to his future daughter-in-law Nancy Hori that “[i]f I could start over, I would never marry any woman who had any reservations about sharing my interests and traditions.” Was he thinking about Jane when he wrote this? Or Doris? He did not say.

Jane and son Michael

Jane and son Michael at a park in San Bernardino about 1947

It would seem that Earl tried to maintain contact with his former wife and son, but apparently Jane’s mother intercepted all the letters and gifts that Earl sent, so that Jane nor Michael never saw them.

Jane remarried, about 1952, John Bysinger. By July 1967, Jane had re-established contact with Earl, and wrote him a letter from Moline, Illinois.

 Thank you for the decent & prompt reply but I must set you straight. I went to work after we parted company & did not have access to the mail deliveries & knew of only one gift you sent Michael & then too late – it had been returned before I even saw it. I guess my Mother thought she was doing the correct thing and about all I can say is that was before ecumenism or any idea of aggiornamento came into existence. I’m sorry – as you must have had hurt feelings & Iwould not knowingly set out to hurt you or anyone. There were many times I wished to hear from you & discuss things with you – but you know I was very childish in many ways and influenced by others. Sometimes it was wise – sometimes not so wise – but somehow we wade thru a rose garden with muddy boots, “crushing rose buds with our feet.” Pope – I think – Alexander.

 Anyway, Michael was nearly always a good person – once he said “damn” & confessed it to me as if I were Mrs. God or something superior. He gave me little trouble & I tried to raise him in the love and fear of God as best as I knew how. He is & always was closer to me than any person in this world. He was a very thrifty person – that is a quality of yours he inherited. Once when he had a paper route & was saving for a new bike (2 speed new Schwinn) he told me he spent 6¢ for candy that particular week. He had one great failing – he was always late for everything – a born procrastinator. He was late so many times for 1st yr. high school I had to go before the board of education once & face a very stern supt. of schools. Now, the lovable stinker & I can look back & laugh but it wasn’t laughable at the time….

When Michael was about 4-1/2 to 5 yrs. old I remarried – a Bohemian – good character honest – hardworking – love for family & home – 44 mos. – South Pacific – & a stabilizing person in my life. Knew him 2 yrs. – we had 3 boys & four girls.

The folks helped us in the purchase of an old but good house – large lot – 5 bedrms, but so much work needed to make it home. Boy do I know city code inside out & upside down. We are located in a good residential area – thank the Lord – close to 3 Hospitals – on a hill – not too far from nor too close to “pub”, schools, bus line, bank – chiropractor, hardware shop – & small businesses, not a shopping center. Everyone knows everyone else & we have neighbors – even the one that complained to the FCC that are wonderful. Oh yes Earl – I still smoke like an old pot-bellied stove & enjoy my beer – but with restraint. One must be careful of the example one sets when others are involved – to say the least.

My husband John works as a machinist – piece work – at International Harvester East Moline Works. We have had a great struggle – but I think as a few more years & no more children roll by we will survive – still owe a little on the house.

I don’t think you knew it but I was always a farmer at heart – I have had for many years – a nice garden & its mine from planting to reaping – weeds, dirty feet, back aches and all. I have for past 3 yrs. come up [with] first ripe tomatoe. As for flowers – if it grows & blooms, I have it & share my fruit of labor [with] my neighbors. I set out 5 Maple trees & one Ash this spring & all are doing well. Mike obtained a beautiful white lilac for me about 5 yrs. ago.

Sounds like an autobiography, doesn’t it?!? You know though – we never had harsh feelings for each other. I wish you would fill me in on some of your years – So many times I thought of Carole – her mother & you & your present status.

Michael grads. from “Boat” sometime mid Aug. Family & friends are encouraged to attend. My husband will stay home with the small children – Paddy[?] (my oldest sister) & I will be going – just who else I will take I can’t say yet – perhaps a couple of little girls and if you wish to attend you will be welcome but reservations must be made in advance….

When I told Mike – before he left – that I contacted Gene concerning you – he seemed uneasy about meeting you – a stranger, yet not a stranger – he wondered what he would talk about. Being a mature adult I felt you would be well able to handle the situation – you certainly have some common interests. He is not a chatterbox – at least when he left here. I do expect a great change in him in some ways. 

Earl in front of his University of Missouri housing on 122 H Street, Columbia, in the summer of 1947

Earl in front of his University of Missouri housing on 122 H Street, Columbia, in the summer of 1947

In the summer of 1947, Earl Colley was photographed on the campus of the University of Missouri at Columbia, Boone County, Missouri.  Earl began engineering classes there in this year.  His daughter Heather gave the following recollection of what her father told her:

As the war was ending, there were a whole lot of men going into the work force that had no employable skills. Going to College to get a degree took 4 years. These men needed a job now. So the president of the US decided (or maybe it was the university president, I have to check on that) that colleges would have classes to give men an employable skill (Vocation?). so the University of MO at Columbia asked my father (maybe he applied first?) to teach some classes there. He said “yes, if I can also take classes”. So he became an instructor and a student there. That’s where he met my mother.

Earl with his moustache

Earl with his moustache

Of teaching, Earl once wrote:

My experience in teaching has been that an ignorant student is not so regrettable. Curing ignorance is not an impossible task. That is what teachers are paid to do. But disinterest, or actual hostility to learning, is something I have never found myself competent to cure.

Earl also wrote:

The ability to write well was a major advantage to me. Many engineers were capable of great ideas, but could not express them in a way to arouse the enthusiasm of others. The combination of these skills made it possible for me to gain favorable notice in proposing and bidding on contracts.

As a teacher, Earl organized a non-degree program in electronics, wrote lab manuals, obtained materials and facilities, and taught courses. In addition to being a teacher and student, Earl also served as a research assistant and research technician while at the university.

Earl married, as his third wife, about 1948, Aldine Ruth Ahrens.  Aldine was born 19 August 1926 at St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Frederick Henry and Laura Dorothy (Werder) Ahrens. Aldine grew up in the St. Louis, Missouri, area where her father worked as a plumbing contractor. In April 1930, Aldine, aged 3 years and 8 months, was living with her parents and two brothers at 4511 Natural Bridge Avenue in St. Louis.

Modern view of Natural Bridge Avenue, near where Aldine lived as a child

We know from Earl’s correspondence that Aldine took calculus in college and got an “A” in the subject.

Aldine worked as a medical lab technician in the Health Center at Stephens Female College in Columbia, Missouri. Earl and Aldine met in Columbia. Earl wrote, “It was quite a joke around Columbia about the big iron fence around Stevens [sic]College. There seemed to be a consensus that the fence was not high enough to serve its purpose.”

Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri

Earl and Aldine’s wedding was attended by both of their parents.

Earl and Aldines wedding, with their parents

Earl and Aldine's wedding, with their parents

Earl and Aldines wedding

Earl and Aldine's wedding

The 1951 issue of the University of Missouri’s yearbook, the Savitar, revealed that Earl was an engineering student there.  He belonged to two honorary engineering societies, Tau Beta Pi and the exclusive Eta Kappa Nu. Earl was also a member of the Engine Club and the Missouri chapter of the American Institute of Electrical Engineering amalgamated with the Institute of Radio Engineering.  Photographs of these organizations seem to suggest that Earl was older than most of his classmates.

Tau Beta Pi, 1951. Earl is fourth from the right in the top row.

EXTRAORDINARY ENGINEERS were those selected for Tau Beta Pi, honorary society which offers membership to all branches of engineering. These elite handlers of the slide rule were chosen on the basis of outstanding scholarship and exemplary character. Other Tau Bet awards are dangling from the key chains of alumni who have reached a lofty place in the field of engineering.

Eta Kappa Nu, 1951. Earl is third from the left in the top row.

EXCLUSIVE is the word for Eta Kappa Nu, honorary scholarship fraternity for engineering students, which this year found only four men scholastically eligible for initiation into the ranks. Activities weren’t limited to such intellectual matters as engineering lab exhibits, but also included two banquets and a picnic.

Engine Club, 1951. Earl is second from the left in the middle row.

PRESENT SLIDE RULES is the order of the day for all engineers as they head for Destination Moon 301 and other classes. But hard work and long hours bring the outstanding sophomore each year a special slide rule – the gift of the brother engineers.

ST. PATRICK WAS AN ENGINEER – as a matter of fact, he shows up for the festivities occurring on his birthday each year. Coming incognito, he appears at the Engine Ball at the last minute for the high spot of the evening – the crowning of the Queen. Other features of this Engine Club-sponsored St. Pat’s week include a beard-growing contest, a knighting ceremony (with St. Pat in charge) and the famous “no women allowed” Hamburg Show.

The Missouri chapter of the American Institute of Electrical Engineeering and Institute of Radio Engineering, 1951. Earl is third from the left in the middle row.

SENDING 25 MEN to the national convention at Oklahoma City, the Missouri chapter of the American Institute of Electrical Engineering, amalgamated with the local Institute of Radio Engineering, spent the year sparking interest in those particular fields. President Dick Wood engineered such activities as a picnic and a banquet with the Rolla School of Mines branch of AIEE.

Earl graduated from the University of Missouri in June 1951with a degree in electrical engineering. Earl later wrote that he also studied some German while he was in college.

While living at 122 Sanford Avenue in Columbus, Missouri, Earl and Aldine received a letter from Earl’s mother. Vida mentioned Aldine’s recent trip to St. Louis. Also mentioned was Aldine’s recent operation, from which she seemed to have recuperated, but the operation apparently had kept Aldine from accompanying Earl on a trip to Lowry City. Vida also wrote, “Would surely hate for Earl to leave the State but wouldn’t know what suggestions to make.”

A summary Earl made of his work experience shows him working for General Electric in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York, beginning in June 1951. At first he was employed as a field engineer in the Transmitter Division under manager M.R. Duncan. In this position he designed and installed “modifications to time-multiplexed multi-channel microwave long-haul relat communications systems.” In June 1952, Earl became a design engineer in GE’s Commercial and Government Equipment Division, working under R. Williamson. His new responsibilities included designing “components for digital multiplexers and modulators applied to multi-channel microwave communication and control systems.”

GE building at Electronics Park near Syracuse

GE building at Electronics Park near Syracuse

The first General Electric plant opened in Syracuse in 1942 in a converted streetcar repair shop. It produced the SCR-584 S-band radar, an anti-aircraft gun laying system, delivering 900 of these sets by the end of the war. Soon after, GE built a $16 million facility in Syracuse to manufacture destroyer escort propulsion turbine generators. By May of 1943, 4,000 GE employees were producing radio and radar equipment throughout the city. Because of its diverse workforce, its proximity to suppliers, and the presence of Syracuse University for research, GE began construction of its Electronics Park complex where various electronics technologies were developed and manufactured as an outgrowth of military products. It was here that FM receivers were manufactured for buses, along with mobile radio equipment, radar products, and various consumer products from toy phonographs to television consoles.

GE employment in Syracuse, which peaked in the late 1950s, stabilized in 1970 at approximately 18,000 people. At the time, 27.4 percent of a total workforce of 251,718 in a three-county area around the city was employed in the manufacturing sector, with the majority working for GE, Carrier, Crouse-Hinds, and General Motors. Manufacturing in Syracuse began to decline in the mid-1970s as globalization encouraged major companies to move their plants south or offshore. ln 1994, when Lockheed Martin completed the purchase of its radar division, GE had approximately 2,300 employees in Syracuse. As of 2005, Lockheed continues to design and manufacture radar systems in one small part of the once illustrious Electronics Park, which GE generously donated to the city.

While working at GE, Earl engaged in training programs in professional business management, computer applications and programming, probability and statistics, logic design, and the statistical theory of communications.

It has been said that Earl and Aldine moved to North Syracuse in late 1952, though Earl was obviously working in New York before that time.  Earl began attending Syracuse University in 1952. It was perhaps at this university that Earl joined the honorary societies Pi Mu Epsilon and Sigma Xi.

When their children were young, the family lived in a house on Keith Avenue in North Syracuse. Earl recalled his daughter Barbara sitting on his lap as a young child as he read the newspaper and how, even when quite little, she was able to identify the smaller words. Later in life, Earl would take advantage of every opportunity to read to his grandchildren.

From June 1953, Earl worked in GE’s Commercial Equipment Division as a systems engineer. He listed his duties at this time as: “Formulate systems specifications, conduct design reviews, integrate system components and design interconnection of components, develop digital processing equipment to interface with system to perform customer functions.”

In 1956, Earl was transferred to the Heavy Military Electronic Department under N.R. Shumway, where Earl served as a project engineer. Earl was “responsible for assigned sub-systems of the General Electric Mod II and Mod III Radio Guidance Systems, particularly integration of the Company produced components with the Burroughs computer.” These guidance systems seem to have been used in surface-launched guided missiles.   

Earl and Aldines children Barbara and David in front of the home on Keith Drive, February 1958
Earl and Aldine’s children Barbara and David in front of the home on Keith Drive, February 1958
Earl and Aldine with their children Barbara, David, and Edward

Earl and Aldine with their children Barbara, David, and Edward

As his family grew, Earl began construction on a new home for the family.  Located on Wells Avenue in North Syracuse, the house was built entirely by Earl (with his family’s help).  Earl recalled that he would set the nails in the subfloor boards and his young daughter Barbara would finish nailing them in, sitting on the floor and tapping “a hundred taps per nail” until the nail was secured. Earl remembered his children running and dodging between the bare tstuds as the construction was in progress, and they would often draw crayon pictures on the back side of the gypsum board. Never did Earl go into debt to build his new home, but rather he slowly added to the house as each new paycheck rolled in.  Earl called the house on Wells his home until his death.

Aldine’s father died in 1957 in St. Louis. It is not known if Earl and Aldine attended the funeral.

Earl at work on his new home on Wells Avenue

Earl at work on his new home on Wells Avenue

Earl’s father Alvin visited his son in New York around July 1958. Alvin enjoyed being around his grandchildren and wished he could have stayed on to help Earl build his new house.

Earl and Aldine with their children and Earls father, photo apparently taken in North Syracuse

Earl and Aldine with their children and Earl's father in Syracuse

In 1959, Earl transferred to the Defense Systems Department at GE, under the supervision of W.T. Chapin. As a project engineer, Earl was:

responsible for management of a multi-department technical team of the “‘COMSAT” program; directed, reviewed and contributed to proposals, made customer presentations and provided marketing support for a Company effort to enter the Communications Satellite business area. This effort terminated at the time it became evident that the present “COMSAT” business would be dominant in the business area.

Earl then went on to provide “technical direction of 1 to 4 people doing research and development of algebraic digital codes for modulation of radio guidance radars.”

 Developed algorithm for calculation of time-phase characterisitics of a GALOIS field derived pseudo-random code sequence and published result in IEEE Transactions on Computers. Advanced state of the art in areas of Code Correlation, majority logic and detection. Responsible for Electronic’s Laboratory contacts and developments in the area of high speed digital logic. Delegate to General Electric Learning Machines Council.

Earl was an amateur pilot, and his daughter Heather recalled that, when she was young, her father owned two airplanes.

Earl with a pontoon plane

Earl with a pontoon plane

Earl would often take his children camping, fishing, hiking, and bicycling.  He also served as a Boy Scout leader.

Years ago, our whole household often rode out bicycles together. It was great fun. At that time, a new highway was being constructed in our neighborhood. When it was all paved, it was a long time before it was opened for automobile traffic. On our bicycles we had exclusive use of the whole road, and could ride for long distances with no traffic to interfere.

Earl, Aldine, and their little Scouts

Earl, Aldine, and their little Scouts

In 1962, Earl’s work with GE caused him to become the project engineer for the redesign of a peripheral computer for the NUDETS system. NUDETS is an acronym for “nuclear detonation” and seems also to be used to describe a U.S. system for detecting, locating, and reporting nuclear detonations in the earth’s atmosphere and in near space.

Earl continued to work with GE on various projects in the Special Information Products Department and the Heavy Military Electronic Department.

Work involved real-time computer application, system modeling and error detection and correction codes. Utilized such computers as the Packard-Bell 250, Varian 520 i mini-computer and General Electric 605. In working with inter-computer data links developed a new parameter measure for channels with non-gaussian noise. 

The following letter was addressed to Earl on 27 February 1970, from G.R. Nelson, GE’s manager of Advance Technology Projects, Heavy Military Electronic Systems. The letterhead revealed that Earl was working in Building 4 on Court Street. 

This will confirm our discussion concerning the business outlook in Heavy Militray Electronic Systems. Because of the forecast declining activity, it has become necessary to declare a lack of work in certain salaried occupations.

As I advised you today, your position is one of those affected. Therefore, effective February 27, 1970 you are given four weeks notice that you are surplus due to lack of work.

Should you have not found placement by March 27, 1970, we will again review your situation to determine if salary extension is justified in accordance with HMES Instructions 6.2-46 dated April 17, 1967.

It is indeed unfortunate that business conditions leave no other course of action. We will make every effort to place you in a suitable position within the Company. Meanwhile, I suggest that you too use this period to actively seek employment on your own initiative, but always keeping me and Personnel currently advised on your plans and activities for in-Company placement.

I sincerely hope that our combined efforts will prove successful in placing you within the General Electric Company.

In April 1970, Earl was indeed laid off by GE. He was variously unemployed and self-employed  for a while. Earl worked at servicing digital equipment used in money-handling equipment. He also provided “100 man days of consulting engineering to Syracuse University Research Corp. and Syracuse Police Department in the area of transmission and processing of data.” During this time, Earl also worked as a volunteer for the Syracuse Area Volunteer Engineers, Scientists and Technicians Association. Earl later wrote:

Engineering is an enjoyable line of work, but is sort of a feast or famine profession. At one time you will get a daily phone calls [sic] offering all kinds of inducements to leave your present job and come work for someone else. A few months later no one will hire you at any price because you are overqualified.

In November 1972, Earl was re-hired by General Electric and was transferred to Roi-Namur in the Kwajalein Atoll of the Marshall Islands. Earl was once again working in the Heavy Military Electronics Department, this time under managers C.E. Fehlau and L.A. Branaman. Earl described his duties on the island:

Engineer – responsible for support and design of modifications to customers requirements for a special purpose radar signal processor system at site, Roi-Namur, Marshall Islands. Work included general site work as ditigal [sic] logic designer, designing systems interfacing with Data General Corp. mini-computers, Control Data Corp. 6600 computer and other associated devices. Generated diagnostic and control software programs applicable to hardware design and applications.

Roi-Namur, Marshall Islands

I have heard that Earl worked in the Marshall Islands tracking satellites. Four large radars are located on the island of Roi-Namur. Roi-Namur was also the home to the U.S. Kwajalein Missile Range. Many missiles with nuclear capabilities were tested in the Kwajalein Atoll over the years. Earl undoubtedly witnessed many of these tests and was probably involved in them. His daughter Carol remembered hearing that no visitors were allowed on the island where Earl worked. The island was small and probably had a population of no more than 200 persons. Earl wrote that “[f]or the year and a half I worked at Roi-Namur island out in tha pacific ocean, I had more free time than I had in Syracuse.”

My room-mate out on Roi-Namur had a really good sound system, and played good music. I usually went to bed earlier than he did and at first he volunteered to plug in his head phones. I told him I preferred to go to sleep to the sound of good music. Thank goodness I didn’t draw a room-mate who plays rock and roll.

Earl lamented that Christmas never seemed much like Christmas when he was in the Pacific Islands. I remember as a child receiving postcards from Earl as he traveled and in the Marshall Islands and also as he traveled in Southeast Asia or China.

Sprint missile launch, Roi-Namur Island, 1970

Sprint missile launch, Roi-Namur Island, 1970

 
Earl, perhaps during his stay in the Marshall or Mariana Islands

Earl bicycling, perhaps in the Marshall Islands

Sometime before the death of Earl’s father in 1974, Earl, Aldine, and their children visited Lowry City, Missouri.  There is a photograph of them there in front of the Lowry City Christian Church, along with Earl’s father James and Earl’s brother Francis Eugene.

As Earl was reportedly still working at Roi-Namur in March 1975, it is not known whether he was able to return to Lowry City in November 1974 for his father’s funeral.

Colley family in front of Lowry City Christian Church.  Earls father Alvin is in the picture, as well as Earls brother Gene, Genes wife Mary, and assorted children of Earl and Gene.

Colley family in front of Lowry City Christian Church. Earl's father Alvin is in the picture, as well as Earl himself, Earl's brother Gene, Gene's wife Mary, and assorted children of Earl and Gene.

Earl in the Colorado Rockies during his visit to his daughter Carol, circa 1975-1976.

Earl in the Colorado Rockies during his visit to his daughter Carol, 1975.

In 1975, Earl and Aldine traveled to Aurora, Adams County, Colorado, to visit the family of Earl’s daughter Carol, as well as their son David who was also living there. This was apparently the first time that Carol had met her stepmother. While in Colorado, Aldine had cooked for the Mattocks family, and I especially enjoyed her apple dumplings. Carol thought that, at the time, Earl and Aldine may have been returning from a trip to Salt Flats, Utah, where she thought Earl may have been looking for employment.

In April 1975, Earl seems to have been back in Syracuse, where he worked at completing GE’s full-time software engineering program. In September, Earl joined the STR Test Software team. As part of this group, Earl produced varied test programs, both in Datacraft and Fortran assembly languages. He later did work utilizing IBM’s advanced signal processor.

Aldine presiding over the Thanksgiving table, 1976

Aldine presiding over the Thanksgiving table, 1976

On 28 September 1976, Earl was at the courthouse at Platte City, Platte County, Missouri, examining and copying genealogical material.  Two days later he was at the courthouse in neighboring Clay County, Missouri, doing the same thing.

Earl and Aldine were home for Thanksgiving in 1976, and at least some of their children were with them.

In the summer of 1977, Earl and Aldine’s son Ed was stationed with the Army in Germany. From correspondence I have read, it seems that both parents were contemplating traveling to Germany at this time to visit their son and daughter-in-law. In the end, only Aldine made the trip, and then not until the fall of 1978. It was about this time that Earl developed bursitis in his shoulder. Drugs and a chiropractor could not relieve the pain, but finally an orthopedic surgeon “pushed a long needle into the top of my shoulder and into the joint” and Earl got some relief.

About this time, Earl bought a new Ford Maverick, but it was not used much that winter, because he did not want the car to suffer from the chemicals that the “highway people” put on the roads to melt the snow. Instead Earl drove his old 1961 Ford while Aldine drove a red Pinto wagon. By March of 1978, Earl reported that they had received over twelve feet of snow that winter with more expected.

Earl was looking forward to getting his garden planted that spring and harvesting the leeks and parsnips he left in the ground over winter. One of Earl’s favorite dishes at that time was onions and parsnips fried crusty and chewy in bacon fat. At the time, Earl said he was trying to get his weight down below 200 pounds and was willing to do anything “except exercise or cut down on eating.”

That year my brothers and I received three matching quilts that Aldine had made for us. They adorned our beds for many years.

At this time, Earl was part of the engineering team working on General Electric’s TACTAS program. TACTAS, short for Tactical Towed Array SONAR, was a military system that provided passive detection of enemy submarines, allowing the user to detect, classify, and track a large number of contacts at increased ranges. It was basically a long cable full of microphones that was towed about a mile behind a ship.

Earl’s employment with General Electric soon led him to travel to Daytona Beach, Florida. Earl was among six or seven employees of the Heavy Military Electronics Engineering Department temporarily transferred from the Syracuse location to Florida. There, the employees would work on the NASA Apollo space program in the Simulation Area at GE’s Ground Systems Department.

Compared to earlier programs, Apollo-Saturn required drastically more coordination…. The Apollo program added scores of contractors, labor unions, and government organizations. The new relationships brought conflicts. There were differences of opinion with contractors and struggles for power among the NASA centers – divisive tendencies that were balanced by the unifying urge of the lunar goal.

NASA Headquarters, unable to handle the many integration requirements of Apollo by itself, sought help from an outside source – the General Electric Company. NASA asked GE to do three things: develop checkout equipment for launch operations; assess reliability, which was largely the reduction and analysis of data from various tests; and perform the integration role….

Due to the broad nature of the contract and because it appeared to place the General Electric Company in the position of supervising or directing other NASA contractors, the House Committee on Science and Astronautics gave the GE contract considerable attention during the authorization hearings on the fiscal 1964 budget. In March 1963, the Manned Space Flight Subcommittee conducted hearings at GE’s Daytona Beach, Florida, office…. NASA finally resolved the dispute in August [1964]. The centers and stage contractors prevailed; GE would not manage space vehicle development. OMSF would rely on a review board to help control and integrate the Apollo program, using GE as a management consultant and data processor. GE retained the reliability assessment and checkout roles.

Earl in the General Electric parking lot at Daytona Beach, Florida

Earl in the General Electric parking lot at Daytona Beach, Florida

While Earl was stationed in Daytona Beach, GE agreed to furnish a one bedroom apartment with full room service, a rental car to be shared by three employees, and $14.50 per diem to cover meals, laundry, and lawn care. Earl was to be allowed a trip home every three weeks if not joined in Daytona Beach by any of his dependents. Alternatively, his spouse could join him on the trip. GE would pay for transportation costs, two nights’ lodging, and meals for three days, both to and from Syracuse, for the employee and his spouse.

Earl’s records indicate that he flew to Florida on 5 May 1978. Aldine joined him there on May 25. While at Datona Beach, Earl focused on the IRAN Digital Processing System. His responsibilities included writing the requirements and design specifications, coding in Fortran, and testing “a diagnostic program to produce test patterns on an image processor system.” Earl’s Daytona Beach office was located in GE’s Building 1, Room 1355.

With Earl’s work in Florida complete, he and Aldine returned to Syracuse on 30 June 1978. Early in October, Earl made a business trip to Rochester, New York, to attend a computer software seminar. Later that month, he traveled to San Francisco, California, to take Hewlett-Packard’s KTE-M Course.

Aldine soon left for Germany to visit her son Ed and his wife Kathy, and to be there for the birth of their child. Aldine wrote to Earl of her visit.

We have been to the farm where the cat[?] is several times. The first time I petted the pretty bunnies, then went in and ate a rabbit dinner.

Colley Family 1979 Baldwinsville NY

Earl and Aldine with their children and grandchildren in the summer of 1979, in front of daughter Barbara’s home at Baldwinsville, New York

Gene and Mary Colley by their mobile home in front the Wells Avenue home of Earl and Aldine Colley, August 1979

Gene and Mary Colley by their mobile home in front of the Wells Avenue home of Earl and Aldine Colley, August 1979

In August 1979, Earl and Aldine were visited at their Wells Avenue home by Earl’s brother Francis Eugene “Gene” Colley, and Gene’s wife Mary.

Earl and his brother Gene

Earl and his brother Gene

Late in 1979, Earl and Aldine’s son David came home for a visit and the family got together to celebrate. 
Earl, perhaps at his retirement

Earl, perhaps at his retirement

On 12 January 1980, Earl wrote to his brother Gene who was apparently wintering in Texas, that the weather in Syracuse was very nice, with less than two feet of snow and the temperature rarely dipping below zero. If it had not been for his work obligations, Earl wrote that he would be tempted to put his suitcases in the car and pay his brother a visit.

Earl wrote that he was expecting his son Ed’s family to stop by that day. Earl and Aldine thought of Ed’s wife Kathy “as our own daughter.” Earl was alos looking forward to the marriage of his daughter Heather to Larry Antonacci. The Colleys had Larry’s parents over for dinner one evening and liked them “in spite of the vast difference in our backgrounds.”

Earl also wrote about his work, saying that he had received an 11% raise, which Earl lamented was not enough to keep up with inflation.

In discussing it with my manager, he said he just had so much allocated to distribute among the staff, and that I got a little more than an even share. We are short handed and the recruiters are trying to get young Engineers, stating offers this spring look like about $20,000. But they will not pay the older people well. They are supposed to be getting a young fellow with about 4 years experience in to help me. I told the manager that when I get him to the place where he can take over, I am going to give very strong consideration to retiring.

Earl did indeed retire from General Electric in 1980 after thirty years of service. He was still working for GE in March of that year when he was invited to a company party to celebrate the “25th anniversary of the highly successful General Electric Radio Guidance Program, which was originally known as the 8014 Project.” Employees who had “provided a measure of dedicated service” to the program were invited to the party. As best as I can determine, this program was devoted to the development of the Atlas ICBM guidance system.

In 1982, Earl and Aldine traveled to Washington State for the marriage of their son David to Nancy Hori. During the trip, Earl and Aldine also visited with Earl’s daughter Carol and her family in Gresham, Oregon.

Earl observed that “[r]etirement is great except that you have to get so old to do it.” On 24 April 1983, Earl wrote to his brother:

We have rain today that has taken away almost all of the remaining snow. When it drys up a bit I should get some garden planted. I have tomato and pepper plants growing in a sunny window. After a thaw a while back I got a couple of rows of spinach planted. Cold and snow do spinach no harm. It comes along quicly [sic] after the snow is gone and we really like the young, tender leaves in early salads after having mostly head lettuce salads in the winter.

With winter almost over, neither of us have all our planned winter products done. Aldine is going to be showing some of her winters work at a Craft Fair next week. 

Strawberries also grew in Earl and Aldine’s garden, but it was difficult to get to them before the birds did. Earl reported that he had frequent visits from Ed and his family, as Ed was stationed in nearby Rochester, New York. While daughter Barbie and her husband Frank went on vacation in California, they left daughter Karen with Earl and Aldine. Heather’s children also stayed with their Colley grandparents while Heather was moving.

About this time, Earl’s son-in-law Frank offered to sell Earl his RV. Earl considered it for some time, but finally declined the offer. He realized that, “with the limited traveling we do, staying in hotels in the long run is more economical.” Earl was satisifed visiting the lakes in his own area, and was of the opinion that “it is difficult to find a more comfortable place in a summer day than my own yard.”

Earl had re-shingled the south side of his house the previous summer and planned on doing the north side in the coming summer. He worked at his own pace and erected scaffolding to make the job safer and easier.

About October 1986, Aldine was planning a trip to visit her son Ed and his family at Huber Heights, Ohio. Earl did not accompany her on this trip.

Earl co-authored a genealogy book with fellow researcher Timothy P. Hart of Lexington, Massachusetts. The two published the 234-page Rule Families and Connections: A Work in Progress in 1998. Earl wrote the body of the text while Tim composed the table of contents, introduction, and index, and “did all the mechanical work.” The book had a very limited production and was given away free to libraries across the country. As best I can tell, Tim produced the book on a commercial-grade printer he owned. As of this writing, the only library listed by the online WorldCat database as having Earl’s book on its shelves is the Kentucky Historical Society Library in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Tim and I had great hopes that the Rule book we printed and distributed free to a number of libraries would bring us letters from lots of eager Rule researchers. We were much disappointed when that did not happen. We had planned to print another edition of the books in a relatively short time. I have a number of biographies ready for such a sequel.

In 1989, Earl and Aldine were scheduled to go to Dayton, Ohio, to attend their son Ed’s graduation. Ed was accepted into the Air Force’s PHD program and was relocated to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Apparently this was the occasion for a family reunion at Christmas, with Ed being visited not only by Earl and Aldine, but also by the families of his siblings Barbie, David, and Heather.

About October 1990, Earl went into the hospital for surgery, probably for his prostate. He wrote that “the pretty nurses were so good to me I almost enjoyed some parts of my stay.” The nurses saw to it that Earl received extra large portions on his food trays.

Aldine went to visit her son Ed’s family in Monument, Colorado, around February 1991, but Earl did not accompany her. It was probably around this time that Earl’s prostate problems made it difficult for him to travel. Misty reported that Aldine and Ed made window coverings during Aldine’s visit.

In a letter from November 1991, Earl wrote that he spent a lot of time with his computer. Frequently, he would walk to the local library, and sometimes would ride the bus to the downtown branch and spend the day there. He wrote that enjoyed fixing things, but complained that they broke faster than he could fix them. Aldine did most of the cooking, but Earl would try his hand at it when she was away.

Christmas of 1991 was spent with son Ed’s family in Monument, Colorado. During this trip, Earl and Aldine were also able to visit some of Aldine’s family in nearby Denver, Colorado. It would appear that Aldine stayed on for a time after Earl returned home. In February, Earl wrote:

One of Aldine’s friends from her quilting club came over last night to get some more quilt batting. The quilting club is making children’s quilts for the Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc. They had run out of batting. It comes in huge rolls, although it weighs very little. We stuffed a roll into the back seat of her car. I was glad to see it go. Our house looks like a warehouse, with batting, bolts of fabric, etc everywhere there is an otherwise unoccupied space. I expect that Aldine will be surprised that the quilt club is alive and well while she is absent.

Aldine made another trip to Colorado the following May.

In 1992, Aldine tied for third place with a quilt she entered in the New York State Fair. The prize was $4. Aldine was also elected president of the local Quilt Guild in this year.

Around August 1992, Earl’s brother Gene and Gene’s wife Mary came to Syracuse for a visit.

In September 1992, Earl was diagnosed with diabetes melitus but this diagnosis did not slow him down any. Thanksgiving was spent with daughter Barbie’s family. Heather and her children were also present, and Earl noted that it was the first time he had seen Heather in three years.

Christmas season of 1992 was again spent with son Ed’s family in Monument, Colorado, and also at an Ahrens family reunion in Denver, Colorado. Aldine’s brother Fred handed a paper to Earl, an old photocopy that had been found among the papers of Fred and Aldine’s mother when she died. This paper, with its old German handwriting, started Earl on a quest to find out more about Aldine’s heritage. On 25 January 1993, Earl wrote of a medical emergency which occurred while he and Aldine were at Ed’s home.

I woke in the middle of the night, gasping for breath. Ed lives out on a dirt road where the antelopes graze. Fortunately, he had snow chains in his car. He rushed me to Penrose hospital in Colorado Springs, where the Dr. on duty called in a surgical team. They did a quick tracheotomy. The hospital did a culture on me and the infection control specialist found that I had fallen victim to a bacteria that usually affects small children, and is very rare in adults. As a result, I was unable to travel for some time. We just got back a few days ago. The hole in my throat is beginning to heal closed and I get better every day.

In the summer of 1993, son Ed’s family descended on the Colley home in Syracuse prior to moving to Germany. Earl had lots of fun with his grandchildren.

We rode the big municipal bus to the county library a couple of times or so. We went to the “Hands On!” science museum. We picked berries. We played baseball and Alan participated in some pickup basketball games at the Pit. “The Pit” is our neighborhood park about a couple of blocks away. We skate there in the winter and play basketball in the summer. But basketball is not my game. For baseball, I am permanent pitcher and umpire.

That summer Aldine made a trip to Washington State to visit her son David and his family. While in Washington, she also visited Earl’s daughter Carol and Carol’s husband Leon at Ocean Park. It was a rather strange visit, in that Earl’s former wife Doris was living with Carol at the time. Aldine was gracious however, as I have always known her to be.

Earl decided to give his old Ford Maverick to his granddaughter Melody and drove the car down to Virginia to deliver it to her. While there Earl learned that Melody could use a new computer, so when he got home he pieced together some stray parts. Aldine was planning on attending a quilt convention in the neighborhood, so she delivered the “new” computer to Melody.

Around this time, Earl was hospitalized and put in intensive care. He recovered well.

Earl and Aldine made a trip to Germany late in 1993 to spend Christmas with their son Ed and his family who lived in the town of Heltersburg. Earl wrote:

It sounds extravagant to go to Europe, but we caught an off season Airline price war, and took advantage of the Senior Citizen discount. The air fare was less than a ticket to many places in the US. And room and board are free at Ed and Kathy’s. With their own family of 8, two more at the table they could not even notice on the grocery bill. 

Earl and Ed visited three Evangelical-Lutheran churches in Germany where Aldine’s ancestors were recorded in the church books.

… Ed and I visited the Evangelical Church at Nienburg. We were welcomed most graciously by an 86 year old German man who says he has been working in the church records without pay for 24 years. He has sort of a family history library of his own, where he keeps records of families that are descended from church members. He read the old document that I showed him in much less time than it took for me to read it. He was immediately able to go to the old church record books, and made extracts of many of the family records for us. Ed had his camera with him. The old volunteer allowed us to take macro photographs of some of the pages. Ed has processed these images in his dark room and they came out great. There was no Xerox machine at this church office. This old gentleman took us for a tour through the church. I think I recall that it is about 900 years old. It was an eerie feeling to view the old baptismal font where the ancestors of my children were christened so long ago. We spent the whole day there, and found that the Ahrens family had come to Nienburg from a nearby small village of Drakenburg. And we found that the Henze family had come from Stolzenau.

The next day, we went to Drakenburg. We had telephoned the Pfarrer of the Ev.-Luth. Church in Drakenburg, but could get no answer. So we called on him in the morning at his parsonage. We told him about the old gentleman at Niemburg, who had suggested that we call on him. At first the Pfarrer was rather curt. “That old man must think I have nothing else to do.”, he said. But he finally said he would help us if we came back at 3 PM. In the meantime, we looked in the telephone book, and found a FRITZ AHRENS, who runs a heavy equipment sales and repair business in Drakenburg. We went over there and spoke with one of the employees, perhaps a son of the owner, who said the boss was eating his breakfast. As is true of many German businesses in small communites, The business is in one end of a building, and the owner’s residence in the other end. The employee went in to tell the boss that he had callers. When Fritz had heard our reason for calling, he heartily invited us in to his house, where we were treated as honored guests by Fritz and his wife. Fritz brought out his family records and we spread out all our records. We soon found a common Ancestor in Jobst Ahrens, several generations ago. Seems that the Ahrens family have been blacksmiths for many generations in Drakenburg. One son would always take over the family blacksmith business, while other sons would leave for other trades. Fritz was the current descendant who had modernized the blacksmithing trade into a heavy equipment repair facility. A while before 3 PM we took temporary leave of Fritz and his wife and went over to meet the Pfarrer. He was rather civil and allowed us to copy items that he dictated from the Church Books that are in his care. There was no copying machine available, and under the somewhat strained circumstances, we did not ask to make photographs. It was helpful, but an inefficient way to collect data. When we felt we were no longer welcome, we went back to Fritz’s home with the new material we had learned. Fritz says that the old Pastor is near retirement age, and in a couple of years or so there will probably be a young Pastor there who will hopefully be more cooperative.

Then we went to Stolzenau to look for more Henze ancestors. At the E.-Luth. Church office we found a most pleasant lady clerk. She brought out the Church record books and put them on a table in her office. We were allowed to sit there and use the books while she went about her regular duties. There was a Xerox machine in another room. She made copies for us of two pages that were of particular interest. She also helped us when we had trouble reading the old handwriting. We found much additional data but, as usual, there is never enough time to do everything of interest. At Stolzenau, we found that the Henze family had come there in previous generations from Einbeck. Bu that will have to wait for another expedition.

 Christmas was spent with the Rüter family in Kiel.

When Earl and Aldine returned to their home in New York, they came back to a mess.

When you return from being away from home, all the troubles you would have had on a daily basis if you had stayed at home will hit you all at once when you return. It SNOWED here before we got home. The big village snow plow had pushed a huge bank of packed snow into our driveway. Barbie hired a professional snow-plower to clear the end of the driveway up to where we had left cars parked. Then Barbie shoveled a path so we could get into the house. Barbie has a Nordic Track exercise machine at home. But I’ll bet she did not need it after she got that snow shoveled. Barbie also turned our refrigerator on and shopped for the necessary supplies we would nedd to survive until we could shop for ourselves. She also left us a pot of home made Cream of Broccoli soup. We heated that, ate it all, and went straight to bed. It is a long day traveling from Frankfurt, Germany to Syracuse, NY.

Then the troubles started. The kitchen faucet had been unused for so long, it would not work. So I shut off the service valves, and Aldine’s kitchen was back to what we had in Lowry City in the old days. The only source of water in the kitchen was a water bucket. Women of today are just not very well adjusted to that kind of life. To get rerpairs, I needed transportation.

When Ed was sent to Germany, he left his Ford here with us. That was parked on the driveway. Beside it was our little Ford Ranger pickup. I decided to dig the pickup out of the snow pile first, so I would have a car on the road. That required a lot of shoveling. When I finally got it unwedged from the snow, I got Aldine to start the engine and warm it up. It started and ran great, so I told her to back it up a few feet so I could get around it better to clear away more snow. When she did that, it revealed a big puddle of oil on the driveway. We shut down the engine immediately, if not sooner! I had visions that the engine was surely ruined. But a closer examination showed that nothing was wrong except the calcium chloride used on our roads had corroded a hole in the oil filter can. When the engine was running, the oil pump was pumping crankcase oil out through the hole. So, it looked very simple. Just screw on a new two dollar oil filter. I had a spare oil filter and I had a brand new oil filter wrench that I had bought, and had never been used. So I crawled through the snow under the truck, and the new oil filter wrench was just slightly too small! You will not believe all this. If it had not happened to me, I would not believe it. I had to walk to the closest auto supply store, where I bought a larger wrench. That wrench fit, but I guess that slush had accumulated under the old oil filter and had frozen there. Our temperature was as low as 21 below zero. The second wrench collapsed under the strain. I finally got to another auto supply store where I bought a real brute of a wrench. Then another crawl under the truck finally broke the old filter loose. The rest was easy. Now the truck is running and Ed’s car is also dug out and operational. With the exception of a few things too dreary to mention, things are getting almost back to normal.

In October 1994, Earl wrote to his brother Gene.

You write that you do better at walking than at sitting. I am much the same. I often walk 4 times around our half-mile circle. But if I sit too long in one place, I hurt. I have a tree that is between my house and the house next door. It has grown so tall that I am afraid the top limbs might cause damage to either my house or the neighbor’s. So I have been cutting out the top limbs. People who see me doing that assume that I am in perfect health. They don’t know that I have to frequently climb down to make an emergency trip to the bathroom. My Doctor just gives me one prescription, to drink 64 ounces of water every day. That is a cheap prescription, but it is sure a nuisance. 64 ounces in means 64 ounces out. And I have to plan ahead to stay close to the plumbing facilities. Aldine, Barbie, and the girls went to Germany this past summer. I would like to have gone. They went with Ed and his family in their big van to Italy, France, etc. The typical tourist thing. I knew they would not schedule the frequent pit stops I need. When Ed and I travel together, we stop often. As Ed says: the Germans drink so much beer and coffee that they have to provide lots of places to give it away. And Germans are a lo less embarassed about the necessity than are Americans. I have to adjust to my limitations. For example, I can travel on big airplanes with lots of bathrooms, but not on small planes.

I have been spending a couple of days a week at a library where I have lots of good friends. I spend a lot of time mending cars and household repairs. I spend some time with my computer writing letters to my children, doing what Aldine calls “counting my money” (actually trying to keep some to count) and exchanging messages on my computer net. I like to read, both English and German, especially history. I ride my bicycle and walk quite a bit for exercise and to do errands. One of my favorite hobbies is eating, but my participation is limited by my doctor’s admonition to keep my weight to 185 pounds. I love salads, but only when they are well lubricated with rich dressing.

Typical way I spend my time – Aldine just issued a distress call that she has a problem with her sewing machine. After an hour or so of taking it apart and cleaning away the fuzz off the fabric that accumulates in the mechanism, it works again. I must have done that a hundred times, and about 99 of those times I didn’t know what I did to fix it.

Aldine spends a lot of her time making quilts, traveling to quilt shows, shopping for quilt fabric at the malls, playing bridge, going to dinner theater, running the roads, going on cruises, and on rare occasions doing a bit of housekeeping. She takes a lot of pills, but they seem to be a good investment, because they keep her engine running. And that is better than the alternative. Of course, she is just a youth of 68 years, and she may not be so well when she grows up.

On the second trip to Germany in 1994, Earl and Aldine flew United Airlines. Of the trip, Earl wrote:

While we were in Germany, we avoided the cities and the tourist traps. We usually slept overnight in private homes of German families. They put up a little sign in front of their house saying “zimmer frei,” which literally translates to “room free”. That means they have a guest room they are willing to rent. They don’t have any foolish laws there about having to rent it to just anyone who comes along. They look you over and may say they don’t want to rent it to you. But we must have looked friendly. One farm house where we stayed charged us 10 marks each for bed and breakfast. And what a breakfast. […]othcen, cheese, wurst, butter, eggs, preserves and coffee. Much of it they made themselves. Any place you sleep you always have breakfast. No German family would even think of having you leave their home hungry. And these farm homes are spic and span clean. You get the sweet smell of barnyard to let you know you are in the country, but everything is clean.

While in Germany, Earl did a good deal of research into Aldine’s family history.

Ed and I went over into what was a short time ago the Russian zone of Germany. We went to read some of the old church book records of Aldine’s family before they came to the US. This is a rural area, and most of the people there had never seen an American. The Pastor of the Church called the two local daily newspapers to tell them about us. Both papers sent reporters out to interview us and took our pictures. The[n] they each put our pictures in the local paper with an article about what we were doing there. The people regarded us as a curiousity [sic], but they were very nice and hospitable. Some of the old communist buildings are still there, but there are a few new things that have been built by outside capital, and they are a definite contrast with the old buildings.

Ed had planned a big Christmas gathering in Heltersberg that all of Earl and Aldine’s German friends were expected to attend.

Earl and Aldine returned home on 12 January 1995 to much less snow than the previous year. Daughter Barb had stocked their refrigerator with food prior to their arrival.

Aldine enjoyed attending craft fairs. One of Aldine’s specialties was a “quillow”, apparently a quilted pillow, which she would sell at these fairs. At other times, Aldine would make strawberry-themed items for strawberry festivals, or she might make hats with a Buffalo Bills theme for the local football fans. Her sunflower hats also sold quite well. Sometimes Aldine would be accompanied to the craft fairs by her granddaughter Sandy, who would sell homemade hair ornaments. Earl once tried to interest Aldine in participating in a couple of the computer bulletin boards that dealt with crafts, but Aldine was not particularly interested and claimed that trying to read the screen hurt her neck. When not doing sewing or at one of the craft shows, Aldine would play cards with her friends, attend the quilting club, shop at the numerous malls in the neighborhood, and eat at restaurants. Aldine was by all accounts a pretty good cook herself. Earl wrote that she made a delicious fish soup from a family recipe provided by their daughter-in-law Nancy Hori. Nancy and her husband David would often send Earl and Aldine salmon from their fishing trips in the Pacific Northwest, which Aldine would roast in the oven and Earl would thoroughly enjoy. Earl especially loved Aldine’s Dampf-knodeln, claiming that hers were even better than the ones he had eaten in Germany.

Earl

Earl

In August 1995, after returning from Germany and while waiting for their new home to be completed in Los Angeles County, Ed’s large family stayed with Earl and Aldine, while Ed was in California.

It was almost impossible to walk anywhere in our house, what with all their luggage and Oma’s stock of quilt supplies. Kathy had a bedroom for her and Matthew. Carolyn and Misty slept in the fold-out sofa bed. The rest of them slept anywhere they could find a place to stretch out.

Later that year, Aldine visited at Ed’s new home in California. Meanwhile Earl was at home dealing with an especially rough winter. He reported that he had received about 100 inches of snow so far that season “and I have shoveled it, every bit!” Aldine just narrowly missed being caught in a big storm on her way home and being stuck in Philadelphia. As Earl noted, “That would have been a terrible blow to the bridge clubs and quilt club.” Earl wrote at this time:

I am renovating the laundry room. The hardest part was getting the old washer/dryer out. It was put in place before that part of the house was complete, and it weighs a ton. I had to take it apart to get it out. I will remove the old floor that is rotten from standing soapy water. I would like to put down solid floor covering to resist future damage, but the room has so many irregular crannies that I don’t think I could ever do it. So I suppose I will have to use plastic tile again, and hope for the best. Just for the two of us, we don’t do as much laundry as we used to, and I hope to keep the spills mopped up better this time.

Later, in 1996, Aldine, along with her son Ed’s family, paid a visit to Aldine’s daughter Heather in Virginia. Then Aldine and Ed’s family traveled to the Carolinas. There Ed took his family and headed off in a van for their home in California. Aldine was left with Ed’s Ford LTD to drive, taking it to visit some friends of hers and then driving it home to New York. This meant that Earl and Aldine once more had a car to use. Earl wrote that his “last car was the old rusty Ford wagon [1980 Fairlane] that was handed down from Barbie when she bought a new car. I finally sold it for $150.” Of this wagon, Earl wrote:

The only part of the old wagon that was not in good operating condition was the battery cherging mechanism. Being a typical tightwad engineer, I put in about 50 cents worth of fixed resistors in place of the defective voltage regulator. I kept a voltmeter plugged into the cigarette lighter. When the battery voltage got too high, I turned on the headlights to increase the battery drain.

Earl did most of his commuting on foot or by bicycle, even trips to the grocery store.

In August 1996, Aldine attended a craft fair at Seneca Lake, New York. Late in 1996 or early in 1997, Aldine traveled to Washington State to visit her son David and his wife Nancy. After the trip, Nancy wrote to Aldine that, “when you get you [sic] samples ready, we’ll be happen [sic] to show them at the store we went to.”

Earl’s stock investments did “surprisingly well” for him in 1996. He bought himself a car, a little green Saturn.

It is so small that Oma [Aldine] will not take it because the old ladies that she hauls to bridge parties, restaurants, and quilt parties would not be able to get in and out of it. But I never need to carry any passengers, so it is no problem to me. Once I get intot he drivers seat there is lots of room for just one person. It does not use much gas. It probably would not go very fast, but the speed limit from here to the library is only 40. And I am not your usual wild driver. 

In April, Aldine traveled to Branson, Missouri, to spend a couple of weeks attending country music shows there. While she was gone, Earl wrote to his granddaughter Carolyn.

When you need to share with someone some of the reasons being a teen-ager is so hard, tell me about it. I probably can’t fix it, but telling someone may help you to understand how to fix it yourself. 

Earl was proud of the large “tribe” which made up his family. He signed off on one letter to his brother Gene:

It seems I have reported most of the best and worst about my branch of our tribe. I always enjoy your stories about your branch of the tribe. Since I have the advantage of quantity, you are going to have to really bear down on quality to keep up with me.

Shortly after his eightieth birthday, in October 1997, Earl wrote me to tell of the celebration:

My birthday was predated a little bit to Sunday, since everyone has more time on Sunday.  Aldine and I went over to Barbie’s house for my birthday party.  Barbie made ham loaf and all the fixins that I like and my birthday cake was a black raspberry pie.  Barbie knows what I like.  When everyone was full of good food, they brought out a heap of mail from my descendants, that they had been saving.  They demanded that I read it all out loud and pass around the pictures.  I never had so much mail all at one time and had so many say such nice things about me.  Fathers usually have to be dead to get so much favorable fan mail.  It was so much fun I would like to be 80 again next year.

I have a new status symbol as a Family History Expert.  I have been working as a substitute at the Mormon Library for several years.  Just recently they gave me a promotion, and I am now a member of the regular staff.  There was no pay raise.  Everyone on the staff gets the same pay, nothing.  But I feel well paid in fun and being able to associate with the nicest, smartest people in the whole world.

I have been working on several projects.  One project is to gather data for an eventual history of Butler Township, St. Clair Township, MO.  A lot of your ancestors came from that place.  I doubt I will ever live so long as to write the book, but maybe you and your mother can take over where I leave off.

I have a working version of a program I wrote in “C” language that I hope will combine census records in a new useful way.  I have entered a lot of data from the 1900, 1910, and 1920 census of Butler township in a raw data base.  I hope to do the 1880 census for Butler Twp this winter.  The new idea of my program is that it will combine a sorted version of the combined censuses so the people will be grouped together.  That way, you will be able to see on a single screen how a person ages and how their situation changed as the decades pass.  I also have entered a lot of WW1 draft data and a lot of marriage records for Butler Twp and other parts of St. Clair County….

I hope your mother can soon get her life back on track and have time to pursue our mutual interest in family history.  She tells me that property values in the peninsula are so poor that she expects a difficult time in selling her house.  We have the same surplus real estate situation here, and I would have a difficult time selling my house.  I would really like to avoid the tribulations of being a home owner and move back to Columbia, MO.  The Missouri Historical Society is there and the MO University Library.  As an alumnus of the University and an ex-teacher, I would be eligible for using a lot of the School facilities.

Tell me about the computer you are now using.  I still have my old 386 DX machine.  For a long time I also had another machine on my desk based on a 286 mother board that I bought second hand for $29.  But I could not run WINDOWS on that.  I resisted WINDOWS long after most of my friends were using it, but almost all software now requires windows.  When JUNO (no cost internet access) was offered it was the last straw.  JUNO requires WINDOWS.  Being too much of a tightwad to pay for “Intel inside”, I upgraded to a K5 processor made by AMD.  It works great, and I don’t see how paying the price for a Pentium would have given me any better service.  Other components are also gettig cheap, so I have 32 Meg of ROM, a slow PC disk reader, and a 2.5 Gig hard drive.

I really make good use of having two computers side by side.  I do a lot of writing.  I use the old 386 as if it were a dedicated word processor, and use the K5 machine to look up data as the subject of my writing demands.  It is possible to switch windows on a single screen to get that result, but my system allows me to have two full screens visible at the same time.

For Christmas 1997, Aldine went to Los Angeles to visit with her grandchildren. Earl stayed at home, with a pork roast “sizzling and crusty in the pan” and a baked sweet potato on the side. Earl wrote, “It doesn’t get any better than that.” 

In July 1999, a Colley family reunion was held in the Adirondacks Mountains of New York.  Many of Earl’s family were in attendance.

The Colley clan at the family reunion held in the New York Adirondacks in July 1999.  Perhaps Earl was the one taking the picture.

The Colley clan at the family reunion held in the New York Adirondacks in July 1999. Perhaps Earl was the one taking the picture.

The Colleys in the Adirondacks, July 1999

The Colleys in the Adirondacks, July 1999

Earl at work in his garden at his Wells Avenue home

Earl at work in his garden at his Wells Avenue home

Aldine enjoying her grandchildren

Aldine enjoying her grandchildren

In September 2004, Earl was continuing to volunteer at the Latter-day Saints Family History Center, assisting patrons with their genealogical research. Earl enjoyed working at the center, claiming that the people there were “very nice, very intelligent, very friendly, and they avoid the use of unpleasant expletives.” At one time, the library director wanted to put Earl formally on the “payroll,” but the committee wanted to limit the number of non-Church members on the staff. Earl was often consulted at the library for his expertsie in Southern research.

Earl wrote me that “Aldine often nags me to write an autobiography and a biography of my father and I have long intended to do that. But the hours and days pass too fast.”

Earl and Aldine

Earl and Aldine

Santa (Earl) and grandkids

Santa (Earl) and grandkids

Earls 90th birthday

Earl's 90th birthday

In the spring of 2009, the healths of Earl and Aldine began to markedly decline.  Aldine went to a nursing home.  Earl ended up in the hospital, where he developed an angioma (a benign tumor) on his forehead.  Eventually he was released to live with his daughter Barbara.  On 31 May 2009, Barbara wrote to Earl’s famly to let him know about his current condition.

Dad continues to hold his own.   He has more strength than when in the hospital/nursing home.   He is able to lift his head off the pillow and do leg exercises.   The main source of pain is the arthritis in his shoulders and neck.   He has an on-demand pain medication (Lortab) that he can take as often as every 4 hours.   In the hospital/nursing home, he was asking for it as often as possible.  However, since he’s come to my house, he has only been taking it once or twice a day.  He doesn’t like to take drugs unnecessarily and only requests it when the pain is at its worst.

The Hospice nurse came on Thursday morning for the weekly checkup.   Dad’s blood pressure is excellent, his heart sounds good, and his stomach seems to be processing fine.  The lung cancer doesn’t cause pain – it only causes the cough.   It seems to me that the cough is a little better these days – perhaps the radiation was beneficial.   On the morning before the nurse came, Dad treated himself to part of an apple fritter.   When he confessed to the nurse, she told him he should eat WHATEVER he wants, WHENEVER he wants it – not to worry at all about the sugar.  She said that anything that tastes good is fine.  But that advice didn’t seem to change his eating habits – he still worries about his sugar intake.   When I told Mom what the nurse had said, her eyes lit up.   I quickly reminded her that the same advice did NOT apply to her!

On Monday, Dad’s next door neighbors from Wells Ave came to visit him.   They brought a bouquet of beautiful irises from their yard.   They are absolutely wonderful people.   They have been clearing Dad’s driveway and mowing his lawn for years.  In return, Dad keeps their gas can full – a minor expense!

On Friday, Doris Hildebrandt (a good friend from church) made a delicious dinner and delivered it to our door.  I invited Mom to come over and share it with us – it was the second time she had seen Dad since she moved into her apartment on April 11.   Mom sat by the side of his bed but they had very little to say to each other.   Dad asked “How are things in your castle?”  Mom replied that she was working on a quilt.   That was about the extent of the conversation.   They sat in silence most of the time, with Dad staring at the ceiling.  He’s not able to turn his head to the side very well.  When I talk to him, I usually stand over him with my mouth close to his ear.   Of course, Mom’s not able to stand for long so she couldn’t do that.   As they sat in silence, Mom looked very sad.   I wonder what she was thinking – maybe about when they were young and newly married and deliriously happy?

I took Mom to see the doctor on Thursday.   He told her a little bird had called to say she had not been taking her medications as she should have.   He seems to be very caring.   He made some minor adjustments to her meds and the schedule and wants to see her again in 3 months.   If I could figure out a way to get her to do her exercises, she would be so much better off.   Ideally, she should do them twice a day, but getting her to do them once is like pulling teeth (bad analogy I guess).   I asked the doctor to write a prescription for physical therapy thinking it might help if she had to report her schedule/progress to someone else.

One of Dad’s complaints is an itchy back.   I frequently give him back rubs (which is a little difficult when he’s laying on his side).   The nurse said she would try to get a prescription for an anti-itch oral medication.   I haven’t heard back from her – I’ll follow up on Monday.

Please keep your emails coming!   They are the bright spots in Dad’s life.   Michael sent a great email about his assignments at work – I felt as if I was reading a different language to Dad.  He thought it was great!   Kathy sent a long email describing their family activities and Lance sent a letter along with photos of mountain climbing and Boy Scout activities.   All the letters, emails and photos spark memories and stories.

Ear with, I think, daughters Barbara and Heather

Earl with, I think, daughters Barbara and Heather

On 5 June following, Barbara wrote:

Dad rallied over the last couple weeks, but started slipping yesterday.   The Hospice nurse was here this morning and estimates that he has less than a month to live.

His chest hurts more than in the past – he often likes to lay with a heating pad on his chest.  The cough is no worse, in fact I think the radiation helped a little.   When he begins to cough, I put hot washcloths on his face and change them when they begin to cool.   It relaxes him and breathing the moist air through the hot washcloth seems to help.   With this treatment, the cough subsides pretty quickly.

When he first wakes up, he talks jibberish, but after he’s awake for a while, he is still quite coherent.   When he awoke earlier today, he told me to “be sure to keep that molecule full of words that have the letter “e” in them”.

On 24 June, Barbara updated:

Dad is going downhill.   He slept very little on Sunday night.   He was very restless and agitated, talking nonsense and trying to get out of bed.   He’s very weak but he managed to get his legs over the side rails and insist that I get him up.   Neither Dad nor I got any sleep that night.   On Monday, he was restless in the morning but better in the afternoon.   Monday night wasn’t too bad – he got me up 3 times which is typical.   Tuesday he was very calm and quiet – often he seemed to be in a daze.   The Hospice nurse will be here tomorrow (Thursday) for her weekly visit.   Last Thursday, she said she had no idea how much longer he might hang on – maybe a matter of days, maybe a matter of months.   He eats 1/3 of an apple fritter with cream cheese and coffee each day but almost nothing else.

Dad almost never makes sense any more.   He’s very confused about everything.  He frequently asks about the whereabouts of his clothes.   Yesterday, he thought we needed to get to the airport.   Over the weekend, he wanted to know if we had all done our homework.   (I told him we had.)   The one thing he remembers is that I am caring for him.   He calls my name when he needs anything.   It seems odd that he remembers to call for me but can’t make sense of anything else.

David – Thank you for your email to Dad describing your attempted climb of Mt. Rainier.  He was astonished at the altitudes you mentioned – he wanted to know what our altitude was so I checked the Internet to learn we are at 420 feet.   About a half hour later, he was talking to me and thinking we were in Washington state.

Mom isn’t doing very well.   She had been experiencing nausea and/or vomiting every 3 – 4 days.   Lately, it’s been every 1 – 2 days.   I have been in continuous contact with her doctor via email.  He has been eliminating one medication at a time in hopes that we can get her turned around.   She has an appointment to see him tomorrow morning.   Hopefully, we’ll have more information then.   I’m really worried about her.

Two days later, Earl had deteriorated even further.

Up until now, Dad has been taking Vicodin every 4 hours to ease his pain.  It is no longer giving him enough relief at night so as of last night, he is now taking morphine as well.   During the day, he sleeps much of the time and is relatively comfortable.   But the nights are difficult – he is restless and hurting and in need of a lot of attention.   I don’t get much sleep at night … I told Karen that I’m practicing for January!

When the nurse was here on Thursday, she took his vitals and the numbers looked pretty good.   She says though, that the numbers don’t always tell the whole story.  Other behaviors make it seem that he cannot continue to live much longer.   Unfortunately, she has no way of predicting the timeframe.

I took Mom to see her doctor on Thursday.   He gave her a thorough exam and ordered a chest x-ray and complete blood work-up.   The good news is that things look fine.   He was suspicious that the nausea and vomiting might have been caused by something other than the medication, but he now believes it IS the medication.   He has been eliminating some of her drugs and as a result, she hasn’t thrown up in a record 3 days!   He prescribed an acid reducer in hopes that it will help as well.   It looks like we may be close to getting Mom straightened around.   She has another appointment in 2 weeks.

Luster Earl Colley, aged 91, died 30 June 2009 at North Syracuse, New York.  Earl requested that there be no funeral services and his remains were donated, by his wish, for scientific research.  Arrangements were handled by Gates Funeral Home, Baldwinsville, New York.

After Earl’s death, his daughter Barbara wrote:

It was an honor and a privilege to care for Dad the last couple months.   Every time I look in the dining room, it’s surprising to see a table and chairs instead of a hospital bed and all the paraphernalia we used to keep him comfortable.

I gave him his last dose of morphine at 7:30 Tuesday morning.   His breathing was very shallow and it looked like the end was very near.   A few minutes later, I checked and his breathing was even more shallow.   As I sat and watched him, his breathing became more and more faint.   He passed away around 7:45.

I really miss him but for his sake, I’m glad he is gone.   He wanted so much to get out of bed and finally on Tuesday morning he did.   After his passing, the Hospice nurse came to pronounce the death.  Afterwards, the funeral home picked him up and transported him to Upstate Medical Center where his body will be used for education and research, something he arranged many years ago.

Dad was so proud of every one of us.   He often talked about his descendants and all the DNA he had passed on.   Although he sometimes had an unusual way of showing it, he loved us all.

Back in 1991, Earl wrote a lengthy letter to his granddaughter Misty in which he waxed philosophical about many things. Among his reflections was a paragraph on family.

I am glad you are studying about your ancestors. Partly, you are studying about me, because I am your ancestor. You are my descendant. For thousands of years, people who were descendants of the same person lived together in tribes. Everyone in the tribe helped everyone else in the tribe. So there was usually much love and affection among the people of the tribe. We are two members of the same tribe, so we have a very special reason to have love and affection for each other. I am always very happy to have someone in my tribe do something good. Because a part of you is just like a part of me, when you do something special I can be just as proud as if I had done something special myself.

Only child of Luster Earl and Doris Marietta (Wears) Colley:

  • 6.1. Carol Lee “Suz” [3].

Only child of Luster Earl and Jane Kathryn (Maury) Colley:

  • 6.2. Michael Earl.

Children of Luster Earl and Aldine Ruth (Ahrens) Colley:

  • 6.3. Barbara Ruth.
  • 6.4. David Earl.
  • 6.5. Edward Alvin.
  • 6.6. Heather Ann.

Sources

  • 1920 United States Census, St. Clair County, Missouri, (T625-943-147A). [LINK]
  • 1920 United States Census, St. Clair County, Missouri, (T625-943-149B). [LINK]
  • 1920 United States Census, St. Louis, Missouri, transcription, Enumeration District 570, Sheet 8, from the Luster Earl Colley genealogical collection.
  • 1930 United States Census, St. Clair County, Missouri, (T626-1221-143A). [LINK]
  • 1930 United States Census, St. Clair County, Missouri, (T626-1221-143B). [LINK]
  • 1930 United States Census, St. Louis (Independent City), Missouri, (T626-1238-22B).
  • —, 1989 Christmas home video of a Colley family gathering at the home of Edward Alvin Colley in Ohio, VHS format, found among the genealogical papers at Luster Earl Colley’s death in 2009.
  • —, Certificate of Birth, Bureau of Vital Statisitcs, State of Missouri, Registration District Number 763, File Number 53987 [Luster Earl Colley, born 7 October 1917].
  • —, “Cited at Pearl Harbor,” unidentified and undated Missouri newspaper clipping [circa 1942], from the papers of Denise Smalling.
  • —, Commencement exercises announcement, Lowry City [Missouri] High School, 1935, from the papers of Denise Smalling.
  • —, “Comprehensive Hallmark Timeline,” at http://pressroom.hallmark.com/comprehensive_timline.html, created March 2002.
  • —, Decree of Divorce (copy), Doris Marietta Colley v Luster Earl Colley, Jackson County Circuit Court, Book 625, page 329, number 504823 (20 December 1945). 
  • —, Doctor’s Invoice 859940, James A. Dispenza, North Syracuse, New York (doctor), Luster E. Colley (patient), dated 10 July 1992, from the loose papers of Luster Earl Colley’s estate.
  • —, “Emery, Bird, Thayer,” at http://www.kclibrary.org/localhistory/exhibits/business/ebt.htm, accessed 29 September 2004.
  • —, “Former Lowry Resident Dies,” St. Clair County Courier [1969, exact date unknown], from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • —, “[Fred W. Wears] Obituary,” unidentified newspaper clipping ([29 June 1957]), from the papers of Carol Lee Mattocks.
  • —, Fred W. Wears funeral oration transcript (died 28 June 1957), from the papers of Doris Marietta Colley.
  • —, Fred W. Wears memorial card (died 28 June 1957).
  • —, General Electric ESD-SY Expense Sheets, Form ESD 6049, various expense forms completed by Luster Earl Colley during the year 1978, from the loose papers of Luster Earl Colley’s estate.
  • —, General Electric Individual Experience Record, a form completed by Luster Earl Colley, completed in typescript 21 May 1974, with handwritten notes made at a later date.
  • —, “L. Earl Colley [obituary],” at http://obits.syracuse.com/obituaries/syracuse/, accessed 27 July 2009, originally published in the Syracuse Post-Standard (2 July 2009).
  • —, “Lowry City Schools Honor Roll,” Lowry City Independent (14 November 1929), transcribed at “St. Clair County Schools,” at http://www.mogenweb.org/stclair/School/school1929lowryhonorroll.htm, accessed 26 August 2009.
  • —, “Machine Control Means – Google Patent Search,” at http://www.google.com/patents?id=CR5nAAAAEBAJ, accessed 22 March 2009.
  • —, Marriage Certificate, Luster Colley and Marietta Wears, 3 July 1938, Hickory County, Missouri, from the papers of Doris Marietta Colley.
  • —, “MISTRAM – Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia,” at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MISTRAM, accessed 14 December 2009.
  • —, “Mrs. Mary J. Wears [Death Notice],” unidentified and undated Kansas City, Missouri, newspaper clipping [25 April 1969], from the papers of Denise Smalling.
  • —, “Petticoat Lane Exhibit,” at http://www.kclibrary.org/localhistory/exhibits/plane/main.htm, accessed 29 September 2004.
  • —, Polk’s Independence (Jackson County, Missouri) City Directory 1946 (Kansas City, Missouri: Gate City Directory Company, 1946), page 78.
  • —, “Roi-Namur – Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia,” at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roi-Namur, accessed 15 December 2009.
  • —, “Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site – Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia,” at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Reagan_Ballistic_Missile_Defense_Test_Site, accessed 15 December 2009.
  • —, “Woman of the Month,” from an Emery-Bird-Thayer newsletter, circa November 1951 or 1952.
  • —, “Zwei Amerikaner in Dallmin: Earl und Edward Colley wälzen die Kirchenbücher,” Der Prignitzer [Brandenburg, Germany] (4 January 1995). 
  • Heather Antonacci photograph collection.
  • Heather Antonacci to Gregg Leon Mattocks, e-mail, 29 August 2009.
  • Charles D. Benson and William Barnaby Faherty, Moonport: A History of Apollo Launch Facilities and Operations (NASA Special Publication-4204 in the NASA History Series, 1978), Chapter 9, page 1.
  • William E. Bladsell (Project Manager, Data Systems Engineering, General Electric) to “Office”, letter, 6 March 1978.
  • Jane Bysinger to L. Earl Colley, letter, 10 July 1967.
  • [Sarah Emma Carver] Mother to Della and Ben [Settle], letter, 22 September 1937, from the papers of Denise Smalling.
  • [Sarah Emma Carver] to Juanita [La Rue] (but delivered to Mrs. B.H. Settle), letter, 19 November 1937, from the papers of Denise Smalling.
  • [Sarah Emma Carver] to Della Settle, letter, 29 November 1937, from the papers of Denise Smalling.
  • Aldine Ruth Colley to Earl Colley, letter, 29 September 1978.
  • Doris Marietta Colley scrapbooks.
  • Doris Marietta Colley to L.E. Colley, letter, 27 June 1954.
  • Doris Marietta Colley to Luster Earl Colley, letter, 5 July 1954.
  • Edward Alvin Colley to Mrs. Aldine Colley, letter, 10 June 1977.
  • Francis Eugene Colley to Earl and Aldine Colley, letter, 29 November 1995.
  • James Alvin Colley to Mr. and Mrs. L.E. Colley, letter, postmarked 22 July 1958 and dated “Tuesday”.
  • James Alvin Colley to Mr. and Mrs. L.E. Colley, letter, postmarked 16 or 18 August 1958 and dated “Monday”.
  • Luster Earl Colley, notes from his genealogical collection.
  • Luster Earl Colley, pedigree chart for Aldine Ruth Ahrens, 1992.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Alan Colley, letter, 8 October 1986.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Alan Colley, letter, 10 January 1996.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Aldine Colley, letter, 26 May 1992.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Brock Aaron Mattocks, et al., letter, 14 May 1994.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carol Lee Mattocks and family, letter, March 1978.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carol Lee Mattocks, letter, 6 February 1992.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carol Lee Mattocks, letter, 3 March 1992.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carol Lee and Gregg Leon Mattocks, letter, 14 March 1992.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carol Lee Mattocks, letter, 18 June 1992.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carol Lee Mattocks, letter, 28 September 1992.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carol Lee Mattocks, letter, 5 November 1992.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carol Lee Mattocks, letter, 7 December 1992.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carol Lee Mattocks, letter, 6 February 1993.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carol Lee Mattocks, letter, 13 July 1993.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carol Lee Mattocks, letter, 13 August 1993.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carol Lee Mattocks, letter, 9 October 1993.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carol Lee Mattocks, letter, 26 October 1993.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carol Lee Mattocks, letter, 27 January 1994.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carol Lee Mattocks, letter, 25 December 1997.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carol Lee Mattocks, e-mail, 24 December 1998.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carolyn Colley, letter, 25 April 1997.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Carolyn Colley, letter, 29 April 1997.
  • Luster Earl Colley to “Colorado Springs Pulmonary Cons. PC”, letter, 3 February 1993.
  • Luster Earl Colley to David Earl Colley family, letter, 3 February 1994.
  • Luster Earl Colley to David Earl Colley, letter, 16 March 1995.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Edward Alvin Colley, letter, 21 June 1994.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Edward Alvin Colley and family, letter, 13 January 1995.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Francis Eugene and Mary Colley, letter, 15 December 1979.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Francis Eugene and Mary Colley, letter, 12 January 1980.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Francis Eugene and Mary Colley, letter, 14 December 1995.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Francis Eugene Colley, letter, 24 April 1983.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Francis Eugene Colley, letter, 21 October 1994.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Francis Eugene Colley, letter, 24 October 1995.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Francis Eugene Colley, letter, 24 August 1996.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Frank and Ione Brown, letter, 25 January 1993.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Mr. and Mrs. Franklyn Brown, letter, 21 January 1994.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Gregg Leon Mattocks, letter, 14 October 1997.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Gregg Leon Mattocks, e-mail, 6 October 1998.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Gregg Leon Mattocks, e-mail, 16 September 2004.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Heather Antonacci, letter, 14 December 1995.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Melody Antonacci, letter, 17 November 1990.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Michael E. Colley, letter, 4 July 1995.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Michael E. Colley, letter, 31 October 1997.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Michael E. Colley, letter, 24 December 1997.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Misty Colley, letter, 4 March 1991.
  • Luster Earl Colley to “Mountain Medical Building”, letter, 29 January 1993.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Nancy Hori, letter, 4 May 1981.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Nancy Hori, letter, 19 November 1994.
  • Luster Earl Colley to Nancy Hori, letter, 19 February 1997.
  • Michael E. and Barbara Colley to Luster Earl Colley and others, letter, 19 December 1989.
  • Michael E. Colley to Luster Earl and Aldine Ruth Colley, letter, 4 October 1992. 
  • Michael E. Colley, “Dad’s Pictures,” at http://www.colley.com/pictures-selected-from-dads-album/index.htm, accessed 25 August 2009.
  • Misty Colley to Luster Earl “Opa” Colley, letter, 24 February 1991.
  • Vida Catherine Colley to Luster E. Colley, letter, 2 January 1945.
  • Vida Catherine Colley to Mr. and Mrs. L.E. Colley, letter, postmarked 10 February, no year but in or before 1952.
  • Early Television Foundation, “ETF – American Television Institute,” at http://www.earlytelevision.org/ati.html, accessed 29 August 2009.
  • Early Television Foundation, “ETF – Ulises Armand Sanabria,” at http://www.earlytelevision.org/u_a_sanabria.html, accessed 29 August 2009.
  • Early Television Foundation, “ETF – W9XAL,” at http://www.earlytelevision.org/w9xal.html, accessed 29 August 2009.
  • Federation of American Scientists, “AN/SQR-19 Tactical Towed Array SONAR (TACTAS),” at http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/weaps/an-sqr-19.htm, accessed 14 December 2009.
  • Patrick Graupp and Robert J. Wrona, The TWI Workbook: Essential Skills for Supervisors (New York: Productivity Press, 2006), page xxi.
  • Nancy Hori to Luster Earl Colley, letter, postmarked 11 February 1997.
  • Henry Lehmann (General Manager, Military Electronic Systems Operations, General Electric) to Luster Earl Colley, letter, 4 March 1980.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks recollections.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, e-mail, 6 September 2004.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, e-mail, 9 September 2004.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, e-mail, 10 September 2004.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, e-mail, 11 September 2004.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, e-mail, 14 September 2004.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, e-mail, 17 September 2004.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, e-mail, 19 September 2004.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, telephone conversation, 5 September 2004.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, telephone conversation, 10 September 2004.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, telephone conversation, 12 September 2004.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, telephone conversation, 27 August 2009.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Luster Earl and Aldine Ruth Colley, letter, 22 October 1975.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Luster Earl Colley, letter, 17 February 1992.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Luster Earl and Aldine Ruth Colley, letter, 7 August 1993.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Luster Earl Colley, letter, 19 August 1994.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks to Luster Earl Colley and family, letter, 17 February 1995.
  • Carol Lee Mattocks, List of Places Lived in Order (list made for Gregg Leon Mattocks, circa 1999).
  • Chauncey Leon Mattocks to Gregg Leon Mattocks, letter, 20 November 1996.
  • Gregg Leon Mattocks recollections.
  • National Security Space Road Map, “USNDS (U),” at http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/nssrm/initiatives/usnds.htm, accessed 15 December 2009.
  • G.R. Nelson (Manager, Advance Technology Projects, Heavy Military Electronic Systems, General Electric) to L.E. Colley, letter, 27 February 1970.
  • OCLC Online Computer Library Center, “Rule families and connections : a work in progress (Book, 1988) [WorldCat.org],” at http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/48102364, accessed 20 December 2009.
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  • D.R. Savage (Manager-Auditing, General Electric) to J.P. Chiasson, letter, 1 May 1978.
  • Denise Smalling photo album, viewed by the author in 2004.
  • TVHistory.TV, “U. A. Sanabria (USA),” at http://www.tvhistory.tv/Sanabria.htm, accessed 29 August 2009.
  • U.S. National Archives & Records Administration, “Access to Archival Databases – Record Detail,” at http://aad.archives.gov/aad/record_detail, [from Record Group 64: Records of the National Archives and Records Administration; Series: World War II Army Enlistment Records, 6/1/2002 – 9/30/2002], accessed 17 February 2005.
  • University of Missouri, “The Savitar – The MU Yearbook,” at http://digital.library.umsystem.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?page=home;c=savitar, accessed 25 August 2009.
  • Harold Gene Wears recollections.
  • Barbara Winegard to Carol Lee Mattocks, et. al, e-mail, 23 May 2009.
  • Barbara Winegard to Carol Lee Mattocks, et. al, e-mails, 31 May 2009.
  • Barbara Winegard to Carol Lee Mattocks, et. al, e-mail, 5 June 2009.
  • Barbara Winegard to Carol Lee Mattocks, et. al, e-mail, 24 June 2009.
  • Barbara Winegard to Carol Lee Mattocks, et. al, e-mail, 26 June 2009.
  • Barbara Winegard to Carol Lee Mattocks, et. al, e-mail, 2 July 2009.