My Sister Gets All the Good Stuff


1878 – It was her older sister’s 30th wedding anniversary (actually it was her half-sister), so Phebe gifted Mary Jane with a “Linen Shirt Bosom” which was in keeping with the cotton and linen theme of the celebration.

There were many attendees with about 120 persons assembled to celebrate alongside Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Phelps. But there was ample room for them all including  the Shirland band that played several pieces of music.  The feast was sumptuous with bountiful edibles and tempting viands. The company did not break up until the small hours of the new day.

Given how long the party lasted, Phebe likely did not bring her 3 month old daughter May.  But little did she know, May’s future in-laws Ephraim and Nancy Powell were in attendance and brought towels as a gift.screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-5-57-25-pm



Quite Sick

I always thought they looked like strong, tough country folk.  See pic at bottom.  Here are some of their ailments that made the local news back in the day.  None of these were fatal illnesses. 

Ephraim & Nancy Powell
1878, September 27th Rockton Herald: Glad to see Mr. E. Powell in town again.  A severe attack of fever shows its effect on him. 

1900: May 24th Rockton Herald: Mrs. Powell is under the physician’s care at present.

1901: January 31st Rockton Herald:  Mrs. Powell is under Dr. Eakin’s care at present.

1901: February 7th Rockton Herald: Front page, “Mr. & Mrs. E. Powell returned from an extended visit with friends in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan.  Mrs. Powell has been quite poorly since their return.” Page 4 of 8, “Mrs. Powell is recovering”

1903: April 23rd Rockton Herald:  Mrs. E. Powell attended church Sunday the first time for many weeks, she has suffered with rheumatism.

1903: September 3rd Rockton Herald:  Mr. Powell has been having a serious siege with his hand, at one time blood poisoning was feared. 

1903: September 17th Rockton Herald:  E. Powell has been suffering a severe case of blood poisoning in his hand in which he ran a thorn.

1903: October 22nd Rockton Herald:  E. Powell has had quite a serious time with his hand lately.

1906: July 26th Rockton Herald:  Mr. E. Powell suffered a great many bruises and injuries in a runaway in Beloit, though is recovering, but not able to be out.

1908: June 11th Rockton Herald: Mrs. E. Powell fell down stairs last Thursday, bruising herself severely.  No bones were broken.

1909: February 11th Rockton Herald:  E Powell who has been quite sick with grip is better at this writing. 

1910: March 10th Rockton Herald:  Mrs. Ephraim Powell had a slight stroke of appoplexy Monday but is doing quite better. 

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Ephraim and Nancy Powell

Ephraim and Nancy Powell


Cheese Factory? Someone must sell the cheese!

In a recent post we learned that the town of Shirland, IL in 1881 had a great volume of milk production and opened a cheese making plant: CLICK HERE

As a dairy farmer, Henry Pollock was quoted in the article by saying his cows would net him $50/head that season which seemed to be above the norm for that time.

But taking this story a step further from dairy production >>> cheese making, we learn that one of the salesmen was none other than Ephraim Powell whose son was married to Henry’s daughter.

The April 1, 1881 Rockton Herald reported that Ephraim “disposed of several cheeses made at the Shirland factory during the month of February.  It is considered a very good article for the season.” (I take it to mean that he sold the cheese, not threw it out).  Just a brief time after this was reported, a “cheese convention” was held at the factory to elect officers for the coming year and to appoint salesmen that included Ephraim Powell.

Click to return to Henry’s page / Click to return to Ephraim’s page



Family of Samuel Powell / Chapter V of “The Powell Family” book published 1906

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Samuel Powell, son of Thomas Powell, was born in Frederick county, Maryland, June 5, 1807; died January 2, 1873. Married Sarah Kern about 1834, who died January 10, 1892. He was a farmer and soon after marriage settled on a farm near Freeburg, Ohio, where he lived the remainder of his life. He was successful in business; owning two fair sized farms at the time of his death, which were acquired by hard and continuous labor. He was a loyal member of the M. E. Church. The society at Freeburg was maintained largely by his support and influence. His was the home of the Itinerant. It was a great pleasure to him, on quarterly meeting occasions, to have a large number of the brethren from the other appointments to go home with him for dinner, twenty or more being thus entertained at one time. He fell into line with the Republican party at its organization and continued a faithful adherent. Of the ten children born to them, all lived and raised families and built up homes of their own. His Widow, who survived him nineteen years, after the loss by fire of the house on the old home farm, moved to Marlboro, Ohio, where she lived until called to her eternal home. The old family Bible, with its records, was burned in the house.

(A) Elizabeth Powell, daughter of Samuel Powell, was born February 13, 1835. Married Lawrence Richter (who was born in Holland) April 19, 1860; died April 19, 1905. Mr. Richter was a blacksmith. They lived for a short time after marriage on her father’s farm and he worked at his trade. When Lincoln called for troops in 1861 he enlisted for three years in Co. K, 43d Regiment O.V. I. He re-enlisted and continued in the service until the close of the war. After his discharge he lived some time in the old neighborhood, then moved to Alliance, where they lived several years. From thence they moved to Sterling, Michigan, and later to a farm near Augress, same State, where he died. The widow continues to live on the old farm. The family are in fellowship with the Methodists and affiliate with the Republican party politically. Eight children were born of this union:

(a) Cora E. Richter—Born January 28, 1861. Married Oliver Fibado September 4, 1878. He is a teamster and they live in Bay City, Michigan. Twelve children were born to this union:

(1) Albert Fibado.—Born October 18, 1879. Married Hilda Yaher April 25, 1905.
(2) James A.—Born February 20, 1881; died May 24, 1891.
(3) Olive D. October 31,1882. Married Walter Schaff May 3, 1905. They live in Detroit, Michigan.
(4) Maggie B. February 26, 1885; died June 7, 1891.
(5) Arthur April 18, 1887; died March 1, 1888.
(6) Ida January 28, 1889; died November 1, 1891.
(7) Dora A. Born December 8, 1890.
(8) Rosa April 20, 1892.
(9) Clarence July 14, 1895.
(10) Florence July 13, 1897.
(11) Infant born January 27, 1900.
(12) Elma January 25, 1902: died in infancy.

(b) Emma J. Richter.—Born June 21, 1862. Married Fernando Cookson November 3, 1878. He is a carpenter and they live in Seattle, Washington. Seven children born to them:

(1) E. Minnie.~Born March 5, 1880. Married Charles W. Butterworth September 5, 1904. Live in Seattle, Washington. One son, William C., born September 5, 1905.
(2) Evelyn—Born March 27, 1884. Married Marion R. Thornton July 25, 1900. He is street car conductor and lives in Seattle, Washington. Two sons born to them: Albert, born June 18, 1901; and Fernando E, born October 6, 1903.
(3) Fernando—Born October 10, 1882; died April 4, 1883.
(4) Gertrude—Born January 4, 1886; died February 4, 1886.
(5) Leonard—Born July 15, 1889.
(6) Goldie F.—Born August 8, 1891.
(7) Emma J.——Born January 24, 1894.

(c) Sarah L. Richter.——Born October 9, 1866; died April 19, 1869.

(d) Ida M. Richter.—Born April 21, 1868. Married John Morris June 11, 1895. He is a farmer and they live at Dyra, Tennessee; They had four children; three dead and one living: (1) Earl Morris.

(e) Charles W. Richter.—Born September 2, 1870

(f) William M. Richter.—Born August 11, 1872. Married Sophia Burrister July 22, 1902. He is a sailor on the lakes. Their home is at Augress, Mich.

(g) Franklin S. Richter Born July 12, 1875. He married Coreen Martin and they have four children. He is a brakeman on the railroad and lives in Wisconsin.

(h) Benjamin P. Richter.——A twin brother of Franklin. Married Carrie Burrister June 29, 1905. He is a sailor and they live at Augress, Michigan.

(B) William Powell, son of Samuel Powell, was born April 26, 1836; died January 29, 1897. He married Lydia Lower January 28, 1858. He was a farmer and lived near Freeburg, Ohio, for a few years, operating a threshing machine in connection with farm work. He afterward bought a farm near Harrisburg, Stark county. About 1885 he took the contract to build the union school-house in Marlboro; That he might be near his work he moved to the village. Later he bought the property in which he had moved and lived there the remainder of his days. His widow still occupies the same house. He was a man of unusual strength and endurance, and seemed to have a delight in doing a little more than the ordinary. This peculiarity may have been the cause of the paralysis that finally ended his life. From early life he was a Methodist, and was loyal to the interests of the church.

His Wife and children are also members of the same church. He and his sons all staunch Republicans.

Five children were born of this union:

(a) Amanda .T.—Born May 23, 1859. Married H. C. Holibough October 11, 1877. They lived a number of years near Marlboro, Ohio, where Mr. H. was engaged in the fruit and nursery business. Later they moved to New Berlin, Ohio, Where he is engaged in the manufacture of cigars. They are members of the Christian Church and he is a Republican. Two children born to them: (1) Infant; (2) Robert M., born December 18, 1878. Married Wilda M. Snyder October 20, 1901. He is a farmer and lives near New Berlin, Ohio. A daughter, Bula, was born to them May 28, 1902; also an infant.

(b) John C.—-Born February 22, 1861. Married Sarah C. Bixler November 8, 1883. He is a farmer and has lived near Marlboro about all his life. Six children were born to these parents:

(1) Chloe E., born October 16, 1886: died in infancy, (2) Florence, born October 21, 1888; died in infancy (3) Irma L., born March 3, 1890 (4) Infant. (5) Howard W., born April 6, 1897; and (6) Hazel, born April 18, 1904.

(c) David June 30, 1863. Married Minnie Speelman November 25, 1885, who died April 18, 1891. He married Hattie Hively December 8, 1892. He is a farmer and has lived all his life in Marlboro township, Stark county, Ohio. A daughter, (1) Alvira L., born July 1, 1887, and a son, (2) Roy H., born December 8, 1889, are the fruit of first marriage. To the second union two Infants (3) (4) died; and two sons, (5) Raymond, born June 24, 1901, died April 9, 1902; and (6) Kenneth, born August 28, 1904, were given.

(d) Charles January 1, 1869. Married Elizabeth Brown October 4,1888. He is also a farmer and lives near Marlboro, Ohio.. Four sons bless this home: (1) Walter W., born February 9, 1889; (2) Clyde R, born October 31, 1890; (3) Ralph H., born September 4, 1894; and Russell L., born October 30, 1898..

(e) Phebe September 18, 1875. Married Delbert Hazen September 27, 1893. He is a farmer and lives near Marlboro, Ohio. The family are Methodists. Four children were born to them: (1) Walter M., born October 30, 1895; (2) Infant, born October 7, 1896; (3) Mabel. born August 24, 1897; and (4) Mildred, born October 2, 1900.

(C) David, son of Samuel Powell, was born November 25, 1837. Married Catharine Knoll March 7, 1861, who died January 28, 1898. He married Sarah A. Gibbens April 2, 1903. After his marriage he farmed and ran a threshing machine in the home neighborhood. In 1865 he moved to Marshall county, Indiana, near Bourbon, where he bought eighty acres of timber land and, as he says, “cut a hole in it and built a plank house. He then proceeded to clear the timber, deriving considerable income from sale of lumber. In 1869 he sold out and bought a cleared farm near by. In 1870 he bought an interest in a threshing machine, which he helped run, along with his farming, for twelve years. In 1882 he exchanged his farm near Bourbon for one of 200 acres near Plymouth, the county seat of same county, where he lived until 1901, when he returned to Bourbon township and farmed four years. The second marriage took place in the mean time. In March, 1905, he rented the farm and located in Bourbon, where he lives a retired life, enjoying the fruit of his labor, being in comfortable circumstances. With his happy, cheerful disposition, he should live many more years to help those around him by his neighborly kindness. He has always been “a red-hot” Republican. Two sons and a daughter were born of his first marriage:

(a) Charles July 21, 1863. Married Ida I Dill June 1; 1893, who was a successful teacher in the public schools. Began teaching at the early age of fifteen and taught thirty-four terms previous to marriage. Mr. P. has been employed at farming and operating threshing machines and a saw-mill ever since he was twenty years old. He is now giving more attention to the lumber business. He belongs to K. O. T. M. and I. O. O. F. orders, holding important official relations to both. He has succeeded in business and is in good financial standing, having quite considerable real and personal property. He lives near Bourbon, Indiana. Two sons were born to them: (1) Infant, born May 31, 1894; and (2) Lorie C., born December 6, 1898.

(b) Sarah L.—Born May 21, 1865; died February 15, 1872.

(c) William F.—Born October 14. 1872. Married Luella Moore April 15, 1900. Engaged in farming and threshing and is prospering. Live near Bourbon, Indiana. A daughter, (1) Vera, was born to them June 5, 1903.

(D) Ephraim, son of Samuel Powell, was born February 15, 1839. Married Nancy Geary of Homeworth, Ohio, August 5, 1862. He enlisted August 16, 1862, in Co. I, 115th Regiment O. V. I. His company was on detached duty most of the time, participating only in the battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and some minor engagements along Stone River. Was mustered out July 5, 1865. A few days after reaching home he went to Winnebago county, Illinois, Where his wife had preceded him, and bought a farm of eighty acres near Rockton. They lived on this farm three years, then sold it and bought one of 160 acres near by, which he still owns. Two years later he moved to Chicago and was in business there five years. Then returned to the farm, where he now lives a retired life, his youngest son having assumed the management of the farm; He began a religious life at an early age and united with the church of his father’s, in which he has held an official relation much of the time, being class leader at this writing. Mrs. P. was also a Methodist before her marriage. As a result of their Christian living they are made to rejoice in seeing their children accept Christ and come into the church fold. They are fully awake on the temperance question, and so vote Prohibition. Three sons and a daughter live to comfort their parents.

(a) Parker S. – Born September 27, 1866. Married Adella Collins March 26, 1890. In addition to the public school he attended select school in Rockford two years, then for a short time attended the business college at same place. When of age he entered the office of a machine shop at Rockford as book-keeper, and holds his place still, at a good salary. A son, (1) Harold, born in 1892, and a. daughter, (2) Daisy born in 1895, bring sunshine to this home.

(b) Hattie E. – Born February 7, 1871. Married Mathew Graham April 10, 1891, who died in July of same year. She married Samuel Pollock February 1893. He is a minister of the M. E. Church and at this writing is completing his college work at Evanston, Illinois, where they reside. He is also serving a charge a few miles from the city.

Of the first marriage a son, (1) Mathew was born some months after his father’s death. He lived with his grandparents until thirteen years old, then went to his mother at Evanston and is in school. Two little girls are the fruit of the second marriage: (2) Mary E., born in 1899, and (3) Ruth A., born in 1901.

(c) Dwight E.—Born July 20,1878. Married Mary (sic; May) Pollock October 17, 1901. He attended business college at Rockford two years, then two years at agricultural college at Madison, Wisconsin. He then bought a farm adjoining his father where he now lives. He is chorister in the M. E. Church and also a steward. A son, (1) Alden, born in 1903, gladdens the home.

(d) Fred W. – Born May 29, 1880. Married Myrta Young December 26, 1901. He also attended business college at Rockford and is now farming the home place. He is a member of the M. E. Church and a Prohibitionist. Two children came to them: (1) one dying in infancy, and (2) Leland Parker, born in 1904.

(E) Lovina, daughter of Samuel Powell, born July 5, 1841; died October 28, 1899. She was mar- ried to Henry Paulin September 19, 1861. He enlisted in 1862 in Co. I, 115th Regiment 0. V. 1., and took part with that company as noted in sketch of Ephraim Powell, with Whom he soldiered. The family moved west soon after his discharge, living in Iowa. and Kansas. He was a farmer and now lives in Washta, Iowa. We have failed to secure a sketch of this family, for which we are sorry, and must be content with a simple record. There were born to this union six children:

(a) William June 28, 1862. Married Hester Logan November 25, 1884, who died October 28, 1901. He is a carpenter and lives at Crookston, Minnesota. Six children were born to them: (1) Charles, born December 3. 1885; a farmer and lives at Crookston. (2) Edgar, born February 22, 1887. He is a farmer and lives at Crookston also. (3) Vernroy, born August 1. 1888.

Fifty Faithful Years

Fifty Faithful Yearspowell ephraim and nancy

Original poem by Mrs. Eva Rickes read at the Golden Wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Ephraim Powell of Shirland, IL August 5, 1912.

It was just fifty years ago today
At four o’clock in the afternoon,
Our Nancy appeared in bridal array
For Ephraim, her cherished groom.

The affection they gave each other,
Was more precious than jewels, or

And their nuptial vows are unbroken,
Though they’ve struggled through
trials untold.

Just eleven days after their marriage
Came the call for more volunteers.
Our groom left his bride and enlisted,
Leaving her in a dark cloud of fear.

Think you that the parting was easy?
Those were times that tested men’s lives.
Twixt humanity’s cause imperiled,
And the pleadings of mothers, and wives.

For three long, cruel years, they were parted.
By the numberless horrors of war,
He, struggling with dangers, and hardships,
She, praying he be saved from a scar.

He was spared to come home to his trueheart,
And together they furnished a home,
On the prairie they furnished a home,
On the prairie not far from Rockton,
They were happy, and cared not to roam.

It was there that the stork left Parker,
A black-eyed mischievous lad.
He proceded to stir things up lively,
And kept them all merry, and glad.

In four years they moved to this homestead,
Where baby Hattie arrived one day;
You all can guess, if you only confess,
The “Dickens” and all was to pay.

Then that miserable cow in Chicago,
Kicked over that kerosene lamp.
The fire ran on, ‘till it reached the lake,
And the people were forced to de-camp.

A loud call for carpenters reached here,
And pitiful were the tales they told,
Of families out in the cinders,
With no feed, or sheltering fold.

The plea was too strong for our brother,
He moved his whole household, and bit,
And staid there, and worked like a hero,
‘Till all were as snug as a ship.

Then back he came to old Shirland,
And built him this pleasant home,
Then curly-haired Dwight and Freddie,
Came to help pick the Thanskgiving bones.

They all have helped in the church work,
And faithful have served through the years.
We don’t know what we’d do without them,
The mere thought just brings the tears.

fifty faithful years page 1 scan fifty faithful years page 2 scan

Family of Ephraim Powell / Chapter VI of “The Powell Family” book published 1946

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(IV) Ephraim, son of Samuel Powell, was born February 15, 1839; died January 10, 1919. Married Nancy Geary of Homeworth, Ohio, August 5, 1862, who died March 1, 1914. He served in Co. I, 115th Regiment O. V.  I. in the Civil War. After the War, he farmed near Rockton, Illinois. They were loyal and active Methodists. Four Children were born to them: Parker, Hattie, Dwight, Fred.

(A) Parker Samuel, was born September 27, 1866. Attended business college at Rockford, Illinois.  Was employed by the Ingersoll Milling Co., for 35 years.  Is now retired. He married Addelle Collins, March 26, 1890, Who died December 1, 1940. Present address: 2011 Cumberland St., Rockford, Illinois.

Two children were born to them: Harold, Daisy.
(a) Harold Maurice, born December 29, 1891, at Rockford, Illinois. Married Hazel Spielman of Freeport, Illinois October 5, 1923. He is employment Manager for the J. I. Case Farm Implement Factory at Rockford. Address: 422 Fulton Avenue, Rockford, Illinois.

(b) Daisy Lorain, born November 23, 1893 at Rockford, Ill. Married Lawrence K. McFarland of Mt. Gilead, Ohio, March 12, 1917. Address: 2011 Cumberland St., Rockford, Illinois,

(B) Hattie Elizabeth, was born February 7, 1871, died December 20, 1932. She married Mathew Graham, April 10, 1891, who died July 1891. She married Samuel E. Pollock, February, 1893, who was a Methodist minister. He died February 13, 1944 at Irvington, Alabama. There was one son of the first marriage: Mathew; and two daughters and one son of the second marriage: Mary, Ruth, Howard.
(a) Mathew Graham, born January, 5, 1891. Married LaFerne Bell of Hillsdale, Michigan in 1915. He is manager of Thompson Products Co., of Detroit, Michigan. Address: 65 Roslyn Road, Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan.  One daughter: Phyllis LaFerne.

(1) Phyllis LaFerne: born September 26, 1919. Married John Wood, October 4, 1941. Address: 65 Roslyn Road, Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan. One daughter: (2/ 1) “Wendy” Wood, born August 9, 1945.

(b) Mary E. Pollock, born April 11, 1899. Married Arthur Maplethorpe, September 21, 1920, who served in World War I. Address: Antioch, Illinois.

Four children: James, Arthur, Charles, Mary Jean.

(1) James Edgar Maplethorpe, born September 25, 1921. Served in the armed forces overseas in World War II.

(2) Arthur Maplethorpe, Jr. born June 12, 1924. Is Serving in the Navy.

(3) Charles Philip Maplethorpe, born November 30, 1925. Is in the A.S.T.P.

(4) Mary Jean Maplethorpe, born March 31, 1929.

(c) Ruth A. Pollock, born May 16, 1900. Married Walter I. Scott, November 9, 1932. He is a business man- milk dealer. Address: Antioch, Illinois. One daughter, Nancy Elizabeth.

(1) Nancy Elizabeth Scott, born November 12, 1941.

(d) Howard Robert Pollock, born July 19, 1910; died April 19, 1914.

(C) Dwight Ephraim was born July 20, 1878, Attended business college at Rockford, Illinois and agricultural college at Madison, Wisconsin. Married May Pollock, October 17, 1901, who died May, 1939. Methodists. Farmer. Address: Rockton, Illinois. Four children: Alden, Marian, Dwight Jr., Dorothy.

(a) Alden Leslie, born November 27, 1902 at Rockton, Illinois. Attended Illinois University, received his Ph. D. in Political Science in 1934. Is Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge.  Married Vera Mace, August 16, 1930. Methodist.   Address: Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Have an adopted son, William Mace.

(1) William Mace, born 1941.

(b) Marian Lucile, born April 1, 1906 at Rockton, Illinois. Graduated in 1926 from Rockford Hospital School for Nurses. Attended Illinois University. Received B. A. degree in 1933. Married Park Davis Morgan, September 23, 1933. He is a Captain in the Army in the Anti-Aircraft Division. He formerly was employed as mechanical engineer for the Standard Oil Company. Methodist.  Home address: Munster, Indiana. One son: John Park. (1) John Park Morgan, born February 3, 1940.

(c) Dwight Jr., born October 4, 1908 at Rockton, Illinois. Received B.A. degree from Illinois University in 1933 and Masters degree in Entomology in 1935 and Ph. D. in June, 1943. Is doing research Work in the Horticultural Department at the University of Illinois. Married Genevieve Cummings, August 16, 1935. Methodist. Address: 503 W. High, Urbana, Illinois. Three children: Phyllis Mae, Dwight Alden, Joann Lucille.

(1) Phyllis Mae, born March 26, 1939.

(2) Dwight Alden, born January 21, 1943.

(3) Joann Lucille, born January 7, 1944.

(d) Dorothy, born April 27, 1912 at Rockton. Attended Illinois University, received B. A. degree in 1933 and Masters degree in 1937 in English, at the Louisiana State University. Is a teacher by profession. Was an Ensign in the W.A.V.E.S. Methodist. Home address: Rockton, Illinois.

(D) Fred Wesley, born May 29, 1880. Attended business college at Rockford, Iliinois. Married Myrta Young, December 26, 1901. Farmer. Address: Rockton, Ill. Three children: Lamont, Leland, Marjorie.

(a) Lamont Eugene, born September 25, 1902; died in infancy.

(b) Leland Parker, born June 28, 1904. Married Beverly MacDonald, January 19, 1929. Government Engineer. Three children:  Rita, Pamela Joyce, Jocelyn Lee.

(1) Cherilee Rita, born September 19, 1930, at Shirland, Illinois

(2) Pamela Joyce, born April 8, 1935 at Olympia, Washington.

(3) Jocelyn Lee, born October 13, 1941, Kodiak Island, Alaska.

(G) Marjorie Joy, born December 26, 1907. Married Francis J. Cunningham, July 21, 1929. Address: 2011 Twenty-Fourth Ave., North, Seattle, Washington. Three children: Judith Marie, James Richard, Anne Jarvis.

(1) Judith Marie Cunningham, born May 16, 1930 at Seattle, Washington.

(2) James Richard Cunningham, born December 25, 1931 at Seattle, Washington.

(3) Anne Jarvis Cunningham, born August 14, 1933 at Seattle, Washington.