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           February, 2007

      Carol Sanderson, Editor
      Charles Hansen, Advisor

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  Another Resource
— Carol Sanderson

        Another research resource has been mentioned but not really discussed in this newsletter before. I thought that I would try to highlight some of the things one might find there.

        This resource is county and town histories. They might even be found at the state level too. County and town histories especially may help you in many ways. I was reading about some of these and the article said that in this particular town history was recorded the births, marriages and deaths in that town up to the time of the writing of that history. It also dealt with a group of people who had moved from one town to another and the cause for their migration was found in it.

        I have not used too many of these myself but have on several occasions found lots of information in them. In looking for information about my husband's great grandfather, I found mention of him and his family in a town history. I found that he had laid out some of the roads in the town and had held other offices. He was also one of the charter members of one of the churches in town. I think the best thing I found in that history was a picture of a farm that was a family business. No one that I knew of had that picture and none knew of that farm.

        In another history of a town that I knew my mother's family was from I found a genealogy of the family covering five generations. There were also short biographies of some of them. It definitely helped build a better picture of the family and to flesh out other members.

        You can find these histories in libraries at town county and state levels. On some occasions bookstores, particularly those that sell used or old books may have them. One summer, I was in a bookstore that I sought out every time I was in the area just looking to see if there was anything that caught my eye. I found a history of a town where some ancestors had lived. I had visited my husband's grandmother there so I decided to buy it. I knew the family had been there soon after the Revolutionary War so was ready to devour the information inside.

        The book told about some of the first settlers...names and something about them. One fact I had not known was that the home and other building owned by this grandmother had once been a tavern and stage stop. That was not when her family owned it though. It also told about some of the other houses around in that neighborhood.

        The book had a reproduction of a map showing plats of land owned by various people in 1789. I knew of another family name from those early times there and searched for them on the map. I found the first ancestor there and land belonging to his brother nearby. The text of the book told about this first ancestor being commissioned to find land for a meetinghouse/church.

        One summer there were four cousins working on this line and we used that book and another, which had been written about part of that line to get more information. We sure enjoyed working and finding out what we did. The sharing of information was great but the books helped us to clear up some questions we had.

        Reading these histories, even if one finds nothing about the family, is a great way to get to understand some things that my be puzzling to you and give you an understanding of what it was like when your ancestors were there. I heartily recommend searching in local histories for information.





  The Campbell House
— Charles Hansen

        Amasa B. B Campbell (1845-1912) and John A. Finch were sent by a group of Youngstown, Ohio investors to investigate the Coeur 'd Alene Mining District. Both Amasa Campbell and John Finch got rich working and investing in the mines. Amasa went back to Youngstown and married Grace Fox (1859-1924) and they had a daughter Helen (1892-1964). Amasa Campbell and John Finch hired architect Kirtland K. Cutter to design their houses. Finch chose a Neoclassical Revival Home, Campbell chose an English Tudor Revival home. After Grace Campbell died in 1924 Helen Campbell (then Mrs. W.W. Powell) gave the house to the Eastern Washington State Historical Society in memory of her mother. It became a community museum, with historical and art exibits. In 1960 they opened a new museum and the house was returned to its former Age of Elegance.  Today it operates as a house museum with the volunteers taking the jobs of maids or cooks to show the people around.

        What does this have to do with genealogy? The Campbell family has been researched very well. But the Historical Societty knew next to nothing about the maids, cooks, gardeners, and carriage men. They had gathered from the Campbell house records and checks a list of 104 maids, cooks, gardeners and carriage men who had worked in the Campbell house from 1898 to 1922. They came to Eastern Washington Genealogical Society to look for volunteers for help find information on the 104 persons who had worked for the Campbells.

        I picked five Scandinavian sounding names and started researching. On three of the maids I found quite a lot. However, there was nothing to tie them to the Campbell house, nor was I even sure some of the information was on the same three people I was looking for as the names were the same, but ages and spelling of their names did not fit on a lot of the information. One maid had married just after quitting at the Campbell house and then the couple moved to Pasco, Washington and I lost them there.

        The last one I picked was Caroline Oleson, a Swedish immigrant. I got very lucky on her as she married Frank Bark also a Swedish immigrant. They got married in the German Methodist Episcopal Church here in Spokane. That seemed odd to me as the Swedish Methodist Episcopal Church was right next door. Why the German church? Since I did not know anything about the German Methodist Episcopal Church, I typed it into the Yahoo search engine and up popped a church in Minnesota with some explanation of the church, and a history of the Minnesota church. Reading the list of former pastors of the Minnesota church, I found that the pastor who had married the couple in Spokane had been a pastor of the Minnesota Church before he came to Spokane.

        Frank Bark died 1912 in Spokane and his tombstone says Spanish American War Vet, Musician 15th Minnesota infantry. Typing in 15th Minnesota Infantry. Spanish American War brings up a couple of websites. One on the party thrown by the townspeople to see the troops off to war, and one telling about the mustering in just two months before the end of the war in St. Paul, Minnesota. The second told about the 15th Minnesota Infantry being famous. Now I am not real sure I would want to be famous like the 15th Minnesota, as they were famous for being the sickest unit in the Spanish American War. At one time one unit of 108 men and 3 officers, 103 were out on sick leave, and then the website gave a list of the number of the 15th Minnesota that had died during training. The 15th Minnesota had not left the USA, but was in Georgia for training when the war ended.

        Remember the Minnesota church? It was in a suburb of St. Paul where Frank Bark had joined the 15th Minnesota. Did he know the pastor who married him and Caroline from Minnesota? That may be why they got married in a German Methodist Episcopal church. I also found the birth records for their three children, and the first one was born a day after they got married. That see,ed to be common for the first child to be born before the marriage in Scandinavia and since both were from Sweden, it probably is what they were used to. After Frank died Caroline continued to work as a domestic in various houses here in Spokane, but not the Campbell house again. In the 1920s she and her three children moved to Seattle and she died in 1941 and two of her children died in Seattle also.

        Right now, I am working on the coachman Joseph Rainsberry and he was from Ireland. He married Mathilda Kison, a German from Russia. Mathilda's family had settled in Ritzville, Washington in an area that had a lot of Germans from Russia, and even today has a lot of Germans and a great Octoberfest. A real mystery for Joseph is that the 1910 census lists Joseph Rainsberry as a servant at the Campbell house, but the head of the house is listed as Volney Williamson, not Amasa Campbell. Amasa, Grace and Helen Campbell are listed two pages before Volney also at the Campbell house. City Directory shows Volney Williamson in the house across the street from the Campbell House, but the 1910 census shows a Harry Woodin in the house across the street, and a note across the census says Harry Woodin is in Europe with his wife. 1909 Postal forwarding addresses, Williamson, V.D. and Mrs. to the Campbell House. Woodin, C. Harry from 2317 Pacific to the house across the street from the Campbell House. 1910 Postal forwarding address, Williamson, Volney D. from Campbell House to S 1001 Monroe. And C. Harry Woodin still in house across street. Amasa and Grace Campbell did go to Europe in 1910, did they go with the Woodins? Was Volney Williamson a house sitter? According to the History of Spokane Volney was a multi-millionaire from mines inAustralia, Mexico, South America and in the Coeur d' Alenes, so would he be a house sitter? I have not solved that mystery yet.

        The Campbell House has a website you might enjoy.





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