Jul 1, 2018

The Temple of Tolerance

I don't know how I found it on the internet, but the Temple of Tolerance seemed like a fascinating place to visit.  Wapakoneta, Ohio is only an hour and a half drive from my home.  So, on a blistering hot Saturday we set off to see this backyard wonder that was created by Jim Bowsher.

The GPS announced that we had arrived at our destination in the middle of the block in a residential area.  It was easy to see the place where we had intended to go.  The front yard was only the beginning of our adventure. 

We made our way down the driveway into the back yard. Once there, Jim Bowsher came out and encouraged us to look around and enjoy ourselves.  

I suggested to my nephew and his brother to explore on their own while I looked around.  The place was packed with objects to look at and I wanted to take in as much as I could. 

Once I made it through the maze like path I saw the temple.  The picture doesn't really do it justice nor can you get the sense of how enormous it really is. I climbed the steps to the top. 

There to greet us was two faces that I was understanding were Irish. On top of this was a lamb that I didn't notice until I was looking at the temple from below. 

This is a view of an alter inspired fire pit with other rock collections all around the yard.  

I tried to tune into the vibes of this place as I wandered in awe around the rock sanctuary.  I sat down for a few minutes and breathed in the scent of the spirituality that filled this sacred place. Peace surround me. Jim's soul went into this masterpiece and it can be felt strongly. 

Several family's visited at the same time that we did but they did a quick walk through and was gone. But this isn't how art is to be viewed.  

It is to be savored like a fine wine. Swished around in the senses till the palate is please with the taste of it. Most people look at art but not see it. 

If you are near Wapakoneta, Ohio it is worth your while to stop in to see The Temple of Tolerance.  Even if you are not near it is worth an effort to travel to. 

Jun 7, 2018

Royal Baking Powder: "Absolutely Pure" Had its beginnings in Fort Wayne, Indiana

I  watched an episode of Who do you think you are from the UK the other day and was surprised to hear that two of Clare Balding's relatives had their financial success beginnings in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The product her relatives created was Royal Baking Powder

The first baking powder consisted of cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda, and starch. The starch kept the other two ingredients from reacting against each other. 

I spent all morning trying to find a can of Royal Baking Powder, but to no avail. We have Rumford Baking Powder, Argo, and Clabber Girl here; You would think that a city with over 250,000 residents we would have more than three brands of baking powder to offer.  Store brands don't count in my book. 

Let me go back to the beginning, if I may. Brothers Cornelius and Joseph Hoagland formed a partnership in 1865 (the dates vary) to develop a baking powder company and they called it Royal Baking Powder Company.  These men were a firm of druggists and lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The baking powder was made with cream of tartar at that time. In 1873, William Zeigler and John H. Seal were brought in as investors. 

"The business grew for three or four years, when it was discovered that alum and soda made a stronger leaven, and cheaper. Worse still, alum was plentiful. Anybody could go into its manufacture, and many did. The Royal, to control the cream of tartar industry, had contracted to take from European countries immense quantities of argol, the wine-lees from which cream of tartar is made. They had to go on making the more expensive baking-powder or break a contract. That would be "bad business."

Later Zeigler claimed to have organized the company and he was the treasurer, but Joseph Hoagland claimed to be president. Hoagland put a lot of money into advertising the brand, spending a half million dollars a year in advertising.  After a few years the partnership broke up. 

I have Argo in my cabinet

Then Alum war began. Why have a war over baking powder? According to Shirley Corriher from her book Bakewise: 

Aluminum-free baking powders react with liquid and not with heat. And that, Corriher explains, makes them "faster acting that most double-acting powders. You need to move fast and get cakes made with [aluminum-free baking powders] into the oven promptly since most of the bubbles are released shortly after mixing." 

Zeigler made his baking powder with alum while the Hoagland's continued to use cream of tartar. Thus the slogan "Absolutely Pure" was put on the product.  Joseph Hoagland moved out of Indiana to New York and continued the operation there. Zeigler disputed the Hoagland's claim to purity, but failed. 

On December 10, 1899 the New York Times published Hoagland's obituary stating that Joseph Hoagland had been the president of the company for over 30 years.  It seems both men made the same claim. 

Today, baking powder labels boast that the product is aluminum free.  More importantly better for you. 

Bakewise by Shirley Corriher

The Baking Powder Controversy, Abraham Cressy Morrison. Published date 1904



May 26, 2018

Remember the Clue

The further back in time that you go the harder it is to trace your ancestors. But this last week I had a small break through in the brick wall of my genealogy research and learned a valuable lesson. Pay attention to the names in wills and on marriage certificates. 

In my mind, I could hear the words "remember the clue" from the game You Don't Know Jack as I waded through the mountainous stacks of documents that I have accumulated over the years. I sat at my desk looking through the documents on Archibald Campbell, the patriarch of my family thus far. I relied heavily on a book that I discovered written about my Campbell family and trusted the information that was in the book. That is, until now. 

Archibald Campbell (1728-1801) lived in Bedford County, Virginia. He married a woman named Elizabeth. I searched and searched for a marriage record for Archibald and Elizabeth but couldn't find anything. The numerous county boundary changes didn't help me much either. However, Elizabeth's last name was never mentioned on a document that I found until I started remembering names listed in other documents. The author of the book stated that Elizabeth was a Baker and gave information on the Baker family. There were other's who said that Elizabeth was a Beard. Over the years I collected information on both women and when I had time I would go over the information very carefully. 

I am descended from James Campbell, Archibald's first son. I have James marriage certificate to Jane Means dated April 27, 1784, Campbell County (was formed in 1782 from Bedford County), Virginia. The witnesses were Jane Means, James Robinson (Roberson), Rachel (grand-daughter of John Beard) Robinson and Elizabeth Beard.  Not a Baker was named among them. 

I have a copy of John Beard's will dated April 20, 1780, four years before the marriage of James Campbell and Jane Means, who also lived in Bedford County, Virginia. In the will the following were named: Rachel Robinson, James Robinson, Thomas McReynolds, Elizabeth Campbell (Beard), Charles Hall, James Campbell, and Archibald Campbell. It was Rachel Robinson that was the deciding factor for me.  She was listed in her grandfather's will and as a witness for James Campbell's marriage.  I didn't see any names that looked familiar in the Baker line.  

Charles Hall married Agnes Campbell, Archibald's daughter. Elizabeth Beard, was Elizabeth Campbell's mother. Thomas McReynold's was related through the marriage of Archibald's daughter Nancy who married Samuel McReynold's. 

Now, I can confidently move ahead in my search to the next generation back in time. It is imperative that there is a paper trail confirming what you believe is true. Most of all, don't trust the work of others, even if it is with good intention.  Remember the clue...

May 21, 2018

The Pandemic Influenza outbreak of 1918-1919

A few years ago, I brought home some pictures of my relatives that was in a box which was about to be thrown out by some cousins who didn't know who the people were in them. I rummaged through the box and brought home all the ones with Smith written on them hoping that someone would help me be able to identify our relatives. 

The picture below was broken off on the lower right corner and the upper portion was missing.  On the back it says: John Smith, Grandfather, Sarah Smith, Amanda, Myrtle, Jim, and Guy. It was taken in the early 1900's. They lived in Marion County, Tennessee at the time of this picture. 

This is the original photograph with a little photoshop work.

In 1918 the world was at war.  In mid November the war came to an end. The soldiers were dispatched back home. And, in 1918, one of the largest, if not the largest Influenza Pandemics took the world by storm. Nearly everyone had a story of someone that they knew who succumbed to the influenza epidemic.  Three children (Amanda, Myrtle, and Guy) of my Smith family passed away in succession. Any yet, you learn almost nothing about the influenza epidemic in school. 

Obituaries of Marion County, Tennessee 1895-1920  (Harris)

There were claims that as many as 50,000 people lost their lives, more than the casualties of WWI. The bubonic plague (black death) killed an estimated 62 million Europeans from 1347-1350. The influenza outbreak moved in swiftly and globally in a short amount of time. It is believed that the returning sailors to Boston was the entering point for this killer of humanity into the United States.  

Image: courtesy of the National Museum of Health and Medicine

As one in four Americans contracted the flu, almost all public gatherings had to be cancelled including church services, schools, and theaters to name a few until the flu ran its course. 

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

So, when you start to feel like you are coming down with the flu or a cold. Stay home, rest, and drink plenty of fluids.  I sure would hate to see this kind of thing happen again. 


Tennessee Magazine story by Bill Carey 2014 
Tennessee Encyclopedia story by Allen R. Coggins 

May 16, 2018

Is his name Tom or Edgar? Another name changer in the family.


My great uncle Thomas Woodrow Campbell had another name at birth. His life was a mystery to me for a long time.  I would search and search and couldn't find anything regarding this man. I found him with his parents William Elbert Campbell and Amanda Massey in the 1920 Census in Grundy County, Tennessee, 1930 Census in Walker County, Georgia, and the 1940 Census in Hamilton County, Tennessee.  He was listed as Tom or Thomas on each Census record.  Tom was the only child of my great-grandparents that was born in Kentucky.  My great-grandfather was a coal miner, so, this meant that they moved around a lot. William (Elbert) tried farming, but that didn't work out so well for him and he kept going back to coal mining.

Tennessee didn't start keeping birth and death records until 1910. I was hoping that Kentucky was a bit better about this issue. I put in as many combinations I could think of on Ancestry.com and nothing came up. Then I decided to omit the first name of the child but include the parents names. Et voila! I found a birth index. 

You ask why he changed his name. I asked the same question and will never know.  The thing is, this man was able to get into the army, obtain a Social Security card, and a driver's license without a valid birth certificate that matched his name.  How can people do this?  I was able to find his marriage information eventually but I still cannot find when Uncle Tom passed away. I have hope that I will someday. 

Apr 27, 2018

Scotland: The land of stone lifting and burly men in kilts.

Scotland, the land of mountain wildernesses, the thistle, and stone lifting to prove one's manhood. When one of co-workers wheeled himself over to my desk to tell me about Scotland's ancient ritual for men to prove their manhood, I was enthralled. Visions of burly bearded men in kilts danced through my head.

 The stone put is called heavy athletics in the modern day Highland games.  A stone that weighs approximately 20-30 pounds is firmly held with one hand as it rests on the neck of the man before it is flung into the air with amazing agility.  It is said that a clean hand and a dirty neck is the perfect combination for success in this event. 

Stone lifting has been going on in the British Isles, especially Scotland, for a very long time. You were not considered a man until you could life a Manhood Stone to your waist or on top of a stone wall.  The Dinnie Stones are two stones  with metal handles that are lifted simultaneously weighing approximately 734 pounds.  Doing this is not for the faint of heart.  The documentary below is from Rogue and the cinematography is wonderful. Watching this made me want to go to Scotland and witness this manly sporting event.  

Apr 20, 2018

Shhh...I secretly have a crush on Jimmy Stewart

We've all had a crush or two on an actor and I am no exception. It all started a few months ago when The Philadelphia Story was showing at a local theater. They show old movies on the big screen while the audience reclines in large comfy seats.  I have seen the movie several times and never tire of watching it. The second movie was Vertigo. Since it was an Alfred Hitchcock movie I thought that I would preview the movie before I actually saw it in the theater.  Me and scary movies don't get on well together and I may not want to watch it. It was then that I realized I have missed a great actor. 

James Stewart was around 50 years old at the time he starred in Vertigo, which was out in theaters in 1958, two years before I was born. When I was growing up the actors were Burt Reynolds, John Travolta, Tom Selleck, Clint Eastwood, and lots more.

But it was his eyes that made me first take notice. They were an intense blue and I was immediately attracted to him. As I watched this classic film I saw a soft spoken man who wore a suit as everyday attire. His manners were masculine yet not brutish, and he leaned down to talk to those who were not as tall as he while looking directly into their eyes, giving his full attention. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy. 

Jimmy Stewart was popular 30 years before my time. He started his acting career in the 30's during The Depression. His career was put on hiatus when he signed up for military duty, and it was during this time that he became a pilot. A love of his that continued afterwards. 

Since Vertigo, I have seen Rear Window, Harvey, The Shop Around the Corner, It's a Wonderful Life, The Philadelphia Story, Destry Rides Again, and The Glen Miller Story.  This is only a few compared to the numerous films that he starred in during his acting career. 

Maybe we should pay more  attention to those actors who helped shape the industry as we know it today. He was an actor who kept his clothes on and still remained popular.  I like that idea. 

Mar 7, 2018

John Thomas Bolden A.K.A. Jack or was his name something else?

I know that I have shared this before but I have been tracing my ancestors for over twenty years.  It is a lot easier now that we have web sites like Ancestry, Family Search, and others.  Even with all of the information that is available the "find" can still be rather brutal.  I have sat at the computer and searched for information on one person for hours and not come up with anything. Then when I come back to look again I hit a goldmine or not. 

Here is what I had encountered over the weekend.  My grandmother was Azzie Lee Bolden, my mother's mother. She is the young woman in the far right of the picture which was taken around 1922 or 1923.  Her father was Alfred Lee Bolden, the dapper looking man standing behind her. I don't have a picture of Alfred Lee Bolden's father, John Thomas Bolden but wish that I had one. John Thomas Bolden's father was John Thomas Bolden too or should I say Bolding. The name kind of morphed as my ancestors migrated across America.  They started out Bolding and ended up Bolden when they moved. This is where things start to get tricky for me.  

John Thomas Bolden the 1st father was Jonathan Lee Bolding of Pickens County, South Carolina.  J.T. (John Thomas) was born in 1834 in the same county. John met and married Margaret White on August 9, 1855 in Pickens. He enlisted around May 15, 1861 in the Confederate army and fought with Company H, 2nd S.C. Rifles Regiment until his death on June 10, 1863.  J.T. was captured and killed by the Federals in the swamps near Suffolk, VA.  Are you with me so far? Let's continue.  

In 1870 the family decided to move to Forsyth County, Georgia.  John Thomas Bolden the 2nd went by the name of Jack. I understand that the nickname for John is Jack. Jack married Martha Fowler on October 10. 1880 in Forsyth County, Georgia. I am okay with this so far. Then I started trying to put my book in order.  Here is where I nearly lost my sanity. 

I tried to separate both of the John Thomas Bolden\Bolding from each other.  When trying to research a relatives steps I always use the Census.  In general they provide a vast amount of information, supposedly.  It really depends on the Census taker and the person providing the information. 

J.T. was living in Pickens County, S.C. in 1860 with his wife Margaret and four children.  Remember he is killed in 1863 so he will not be listed on the 1870 Census.  He is not the person I am looking for anyway, it is the second John Thomas Bolding\Bolden. In 1870 I find Margaret with four children living in Anderson, S.C. One of her children was named Jackson. Ok, I thought, this is my second John Thomas.  Then in 1880 in Forsyth County, GA Margaret has three children listed. Jackson is now listed as Andrew Jackson. Oh what the hell! I keep searching. In 1900, Margaret is living in Forysth County with her youngest son.  I couldn't find Andrew Jackson anywhere.  I found a marriage certificate for John T. Bolling and Martha Fowler in Forsyth County in 1880. I found John living with his wife in Murray County in the 1900 Census. In each Census thereafter John Thomas was either listed by John Thomas or Jack.  The key name is Jack.  He was always called by this name.  

For years I searched and searched for John Thomas when he was right under my nose all along.  This is not the first relative that changed their name that I have found in my family search and it will probably not be the last. 

P.S. I don't go by my given name either. 

Feb 25, 2018

Go West Jacob Routh

Jacob Routh was born in Dandridge, Jefferson County, Tennessee on December 22, 1818. Dandridge, the home of Douglas Lake, is billed as the second oldest city in the state. The Routh's descended from the Huguenots who had become Quakers by religious persuasion. 

After the death of his father in 1841, Jacob and his brother Joseph operated the farm and grist mill, raising horses and hogs to pay off the bills that their father left. In the off seasons the brothers took turns selling Currier & Ives prints, picture frames, shoes, and feathers. In 1845, Jacob built a house for his mother on the Dumplin Creek Farm. It was sold in 1851. 

Jacob heard the "Go West Young Man" call and headed to Texas October 2, 1851.  The entourage included his mother, sister Elizabeth, brother Joseph, nine year old slave Thomas. They were accompanied by Robert Fleming Campbell's family, wife Mary Ann, infant son, and six children from a previous marriage, plus an elderly slave named Aggy and another slave of whom I don't have a name.  Squire Campbell, a planter, lost all of his crops in 1850 due to a flood and felt that Texas would be a better place to live.  Both families headed west together. They arrived at their destination 45 days later. 

Jacob bought a thousand acres of land on Spring Creek paying $2.00 an acre, and built a house near present day Renner Road and Central in Richardson. While Robert built a house near where Campbell Road and Central Expressway intersect. Routh Road in Dallas is also named after Jacob. 

Love made an entrance to the scene on the long route to Texas. Jacob fell in love with Robert's daughter Lodemia Ann Campbell and they were married in 1853, and in the same year Jacob decided to become a Baptist minister.  Routh founded a church in the one-room log cabin he built for a school-house on his farm. 

Jacob and Lodemia produced nine children from their marriage. His daughter Clara said this about her father in a letter, " Father was a man of great hospitality and home was seldom without guests, sometimes friends, but often people who were passing though the country and wanted a place to stay. He took delight in experimenting with fruits, flowers, and vegetables, not minding work, or expense. He was very affectionate and devoted to his family. Father was a great believer in education and progress in all things."

Jacob Routh passed away April 30, 1879 of Tuberculosis at the age of 61.  A Pioneer who helped to make this world a better place to live in. 


The Jacob Routh Papers, Uniiversity of Texas at Austin

Historic Richardson by Gwyn Gillespie


Feb 18, 2018

Procrastination has a deadline

What is on your bucket list?  We call a list of things that we want to do before we pass away a "bucket list" or before we "kick the bucket." As you age time goes by faster than you realize and before you know it your lifespan is nearly to the end. Most people scramble to get it all in before they are no longer able to able to get around like they did in their younger years.  I want to encourage you to move quickly and not look back.  You are not going in that direction.