Born: July 23, 1878 in Girard, Erie County, Pa.
Died: March 21, 1973 in Worcester, Mass.
MABEL MAGILL June 06, 1907 in Conneaut, Ashtabula Co., Ohio
Notes for Mabel Magill: -She was a stenographer at the time of her marriage
to Jefferson VT
Obituary for Mabel Magill Van Tassel died September 08, 1941 in Erie, Pa. and is interred along side her parents in the Conneaut, Ohio cemetery.
Mabel Magill VT
|Mabel and Jeff's
(2) EMMA K. BARRETT March 01, 1942, daughter of SHEPARD BARRETT and CAROLINE
Notes for EMMA K. BARRETT: Widow of Mr. Thompson.
(3) KATHERINE MCGARRETT.
Notes for Jefferson Miller Van Tassel: Jefferson was named after his maternal grandfather - Jefferson Miller (a police officer in the city of Erie, Pa.) He was born and raised in Girard, Erie Co. Pa. Jefferson was never one to stay in one place for a long period of time.
Jefferson played right field for the Van Tassel Brothers baseball team. His love for baseball continued throughout his life. One grandson remembers "sitting out in grandpa's car in the summer evenings and listening to the Indians ballgame on the radio."
On August 3, 1902, a poster announced "The Baseball Event of the 20th Century." It notes Jefferson as living in Greenville, Pa.
In 1906 Jefferson established a business at 57 West Avenue, Elyria Ohio. The advertisement at right, proclaims: "THE WISE FURNACE! If you're dissatisfied with your present heating system we would like to explain the Wise Method in detail. Incomparably the most Dependable, Economical, Practical and Common Sense Furnace on the market." At the time of his marriage to Mabel Magill in 1907, he listed his residence as Cleveland, Ohio.
His trade, like eight of his brothers and father, was that of a tinner. Even in a family of tinners, Jefferson's skills stood out. Being so adept at tinsmithing, Jefferson could find work or set up shop wherever he decided to put down roots in his travels. It was said Jefferson could do about anything with tin and he used his skills to invent things.
On December 26, 1911 while living in Conneaut, Ohio, Jefferson Miller Van Tassel received U.S. Patent # 1,012,764 for an improved design to an eave drainspout and "more particularly to new and novel means for connecting a drain pipe to a gutter or eavestrough." In addition, it provided a means to catch debris and eliminated the need to solder the drain to the downspout which was customary at the time. For a drawing and detailed description of Jefferson's invention click here.
In the 1920 U.S. Census, Jefferson was enumerated living in the household of his father-in-law, Charles J. Magill (age 65) in the city of Conneaut, Ohio. Also living in the household were his wife Mabel (age 35), his sons Charles R. (11) and Richard L. (9), and his daughter Myrabell, age 4.
In the 1920's Jefferson took his family and headed west to California, travelling overland by car. After about a year he returned to the northeastern Ohio/northwestern Pennsylvania area. After the children were grown and having outlived three wives, Jeff would spend his time betweeen Massachusetts and Florida, stopping off for indefinite periods to visit friends and relatives along the way. He would always "earn his keep" during these visits by doing any odd household projects that needed attention. In the latter years of his life he took up residence with his son Charles in Blooming Valley, Crawford County, Pa. Even at the age of 94 his yearning to "hit the road" got the best of him and he packed up his bags, caught a bus to Worcester Massachussetts, and rented an apartment where he spent his remaining days.
1985 - Recollection of a visit by Jefferson VT and family to Niles, Michigan by Harold Van Tassel (son of Jefferson's brother Grover Cleveland Van Tassel)
“I mentioned the almost annual trips we made from Niles, Michigan “back East” to Eastern Ohio, Western Pennsylvania & Western New York; when I thought gosh – none of those “Eastern Van Tassels” ever came West to visit us in Niles. Actually we were the furthest West, except Uncle Lee & his wife Maude who lived in Austin, Texas, and the rest of the clan never did see much of them."
"However there was one exception which lingers in my memory – and that was when in the “1920’s” Uncle Jeff & his wife Mable & their 3 children, Busty, Richard & Myrabelle, from Conneaut, Ohio stopped on their way to California (the land of opportunity). Uncle Jeff was the “Gypsy” of the family, & saw more of the United States than any of his 9 brothers & 2 sisters. Wherever he went he could always get a job immediately as he was a “World Class” sheet metal worker & could lay-out & assemble anything in sheet metal. Uncle Jeff had a “Chandler” automobile, which by today’s standards would compare with a Deluxe Oldsmobile or Buick, and that car was loaded with all their personal possessions, (except the kitchen sink); things were piled inside, tied on top & on the running boards. (Yes cars in those days had running boards from the front fenders to the rear, & held the acetylene tank for headlights, as well as a tool box to make the emergency repairs to the car, as gas stations & repair shops were few & far between) And all this before the modern interstate highway system."
"How they made it over those old mountain roads I’ll never know – but they did. However in a short time (less than 2 years as I recall) they were back in good old “Ohio.”
-Harold Van Tassel, 21 March, 1985
Children of JEFFERSON VAN TASSEL and MABEL MAGILL are:
2. RICHARD LEROY VAN TASSEL, b. November 03, 1910; (see My line of descent,
Big Brother Charles
|Two brothers, Buss (l) and Dick (r) later in life.|
Married Harvey M. Brown, (b. October 11, 1912, d. August 4, 2000), July 3, 1941, Jamestown New York
Attended Academy High Erie PA graduated in 1933. Worked as a Clerk Typist for Keystone Towel Company, Berry Compressor Co, where she met Harvey Brown and they were married on July 3, 1941.
The children relate that buying birthday cards for mom and dad was not hard to remember, although they did get funny looks from the store clerks--"Do you want both of these cards today?"
Three children are:: Martin, Charles, and Kathleen.
Little Sister Myra Belle
*Much appreciation to Kathy Weisman (daughter of Myra Belle VT) for photos appearing on this page.
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