January 2006

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Eli Thompson (E.T.) Stone, Florence Stone, Samuel Werden Stone, 1925. 

I was a little hasty in my wondering as to whether gr-gr-gr Granpa Eli was a machinest when he lived in Syracuse, NY prior to moving to De Soto, Missouri.  In checking the 1880 senses listed on the LDS genealogy website, Eli was indeed a machinest in Syracuse, and probably for the railroad (sorry, but I presently have no knowledge of railroad history in northern New York) .

In looking at the 1880 census record for Eli and his household, I find it interesting that his younger sister and brother, Florence and Samuel (Werden) Stone, are living with Eli and his wife, “Lula” (Ursula) and their two oldest children.  Eli’s father and mother, Anthony Corey Stone & Julia Aurelia Thompson (Stone) are also living in Syracuse (according to the 1880 census), but the children are with their older, married brother, Eli.   Just another puzzle piece to try and figure out, I guess.

Oh, and one more thing; Ursula’s parent’s birthplace is listed as Quebec, Canada.  I had assumed that they were born in Ontario, the same province where Ursula herself was born.  I might have something in my records that explains that, so we shall see what is up with that.      

Household Record, 1880 United States Census
________________________________________

Name  Relation  Marital  Status  Gender  Race  Age  Birthplace  Occ.  Father’s Birthplace  Mother’s Birthplace
Eli T. STONE
Self           M             Male       W          24        NY           Works In Machine Shop      NY        NY
Lula STONE
Wife         M             Female    W         23       ONT CAN   Keeping House   QUE CAN  QUE CAN
Florence STONE
Sister       S              Female    W            13        NY           At School             NY           NY
Samuel STONE
Brother    S              Male        W            4         NY                                           NY           NY
Walter STONE
Son          S              Male        W            3          NY                                          NY           ONT CAN
Benny STONE
Son          S              Male        W            1          NY                                          NY           ONT CAN
________________________________________
Source Information:
Census Place         8th Ward, Syracuse, Onondaga, New York
Family History Library Film                  1254908NA Film Number     T9-0908
Page Number         534B
________________________________________

Household Breakdown:
Eli T. STONE         
Male
________________________________________
Other Information:
Birth Year:  <1856>
Birthplace: NY
Age: 24
Occupation: Works In Machine Shop
Marital Status: M
Race: W
Head of Household:  Eli T. STONE
Relation:  Self
Father’s Birthplace: NY
Mother’s Birthplace:  NY
________________________________________
Lula STONE          
Female
________________________________________
Other Information:
Birth Year:   <1857>
Birthplace:   ONT CAN
Age:  23
Occupation: Keeping House
Marital Status: M
Race: W
Head of Household:  Eli T. STONE
Relation:  Wife
Father’s Birthplace:  QUE CAN
Mother’s Birthplace:  QUE CAN
________________________________________
Florence STONE  
Female
________________________________________
Other Information:
Birth Year: <1867>
Birthplace: NY
Age: 13
Occupation: At School
Marital Status:  S
Race: W
Head of Household:  Eli T. STONE

Relation:  Sister
Father’s Birthplace: NY
Mother’s Birthplace: NY
________________________________________
Samuel STONE     
Male
________________________________________
Other Information:
Birth Year:  1876>
Birthplace:  NY
Age: 4
Occupation:
Marital Status: S
Race: W
Head of Household: Eli T. STONE
Relation:  Brother
Father’s Birthplace: NY
Mother’s Birthplace: NY
________________________________________
Walter STONE      
Male
________________________________________
Other Information:
Birth Year: <1877>
Birthplace: NY
Age: 3
Occupation:
Marital Status: S
Race: W
Head of Household:   Eli T. STONE
Relation:  Son
Father’s Birthplace: NY
Mother’s Birthplace: ONT CAN
________________________________________
Benny STONE      
Male
________________________________________
Other Information:
Birth Year:  <1879>
Birthplace: NY
Age:  1
Occupation:
Marital Status:  S
Race:  W
Head of Household: Eli T. STONE
Relation:  Son
Father’s Birthplace: NY
Mother’s Birthplace: ONT CAN

Having information such as obituaries and brief accounts of family history passed from generation to generation on scraps of paper may not seem like much, but with the internet as your library, you can still construct a semblence of the life of one of your ancestors.  Take my great, great, grandfather, E.T. Stone who I’ve been blogging about.  From his obituary, I know where he was born, who he married, what he did, and where and when he moved.  From there it’s possible to research one or all of these facts, and with some time and luck, possibly discover more details about their lives and times. 

In the case of Grandpa Eli, as once of his occupations, his obituary record states:

“In 1882 he moved to De Soto, Mo., where he was engaged as a machinist.  in 1886 he was transferred to Belmont, Mo. where he served as foreman of the machine shops.”

After a short time of internet research, I came across a publication of Godspeed’s History Of Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Crawford & Gasconade Counties, Missouri, published in 1888, by The Goodspeed Publishing Co., Chicago, which had been uploaded to Rootsweb.com.  In the chapter entitled “Towns and Villages“, there’s a short history of the city of De Soto, Missouri, it’s “early years” (relative to 1888!), it’s official corporation as a city, and it’s occupational makeup.  In particular, there’s a brief account of occupations pertaining to railroads, which Grandpa Eli was engaged in:

“The buildings of these shops, which are very extensive, covering several acres of ground, were erected in 1879 and 1880, and were put in full operation in 1882. In the “car works” department 150 men are employed, and the pay roll amounts to $8,000 per month, and in the “machine shops” department 250 men are employed, and the pay roll amounts to $14,000 per month, thus making the total number of men employed 400, and the total monthly pay roll $22,000. In addition to the men employed in these works there are about 150 road engineers and firemen who reside in the city. In these works passenger and freight cars of first-class workmanship are built from the ground up. From twelve to fifteen passenger cars and from five to six hundred freight ears are run through the car shops for general repairs each month, entailing an expenditure of about $5,000. The principal work in the machine shop consists in repairing locomotives, entailing an expenditure of from $10,000 to $12,000 per month. A great many of the employes have their homes in De Soto, and are interested in the welfare of the city. The officers in charge prefer to employ such men as come to De Soto to live instead of the transient class…The railroad machine shop and the business portion of De Soto and some of the residences are located in the valley, while the schoolhouse and the churches and the greater portion of the finest residences are located on the heights west of the main business street. On the whole the location of the city is romantic and pleasant. Standing on the heights, by the schoolhouse, one obtains a magnificently grand view of the city in the valley beneath: and of the residences and native forests on the hills surrounding. De Soto, with its population of from 3,500 to 4,000, is certainly a pleasant place in which to live.”

Eli and Ursula met and married in Syracuse, NY in 1875, then 7 years later moved to the St. Louis area, where Eli worked as a machinest, and later, the foreman of a machine shop.  I don’t know if he was a machinest in Syracruse; I don’t know how and why they chose to make the big move to Missouri.  But a few generations of Eli’s decendents remained in the St. Louis area, calling it home and making their mark.  My mother, who was Eli & Ursula’s great granddaughter was born and raised in St. Louis, as were her father and mother.  So I have some relatively deep roots in St. Louis, a city through which I’ve only passed through once. 

De Soto City Cemetery, De Soto, Jefferson County, Missouri listing shows who and where my STONE family are buried:

Stone Eli T. 1856 1938 De Soto City Lot & Plot: 88, J, 9, 74
Stone Rowland Edgar Mar 1884 Jul 1896 De Soto City Lot & Plot: 88, J, 10, 74
Stone Ursula A. 1855 1949 De Soto City Lot & Plot: 88, J, 8, 74

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