Archive for October, 2017

The Minor Children of Deaderick Collins 

October 31, 2017

I’ve been reading old newspapers online:, Chronicling America at the Library of Congress website, and most recently GenealogyBank.

Of course, there are still lots of newspapers that aren’t available online, and you have to go Old School with reels of microfilm and a microfilm reader.

This latest obsession started when my new DNA cousin Nick found that my 2x great-grandfather Deaderick Collins was killed when the train, on which he was a fireman, derailed. I found a newspaper account on microfilm.

Then I found online several more accounts of the same event, and then I found other accounts where 2 of Deaderick’s brothers, Hiram and Landon, were also killed in train accidents, and his cousin Richard, who was an engineer, was killed when the train’s boiler exploded. The more sensational the story, the more likely to be published. I had only heard of Deaderick and Landon Collins before I learned about the others by reading the newspapers.

It has been quite amazing to find these forgotten people.


There’s a good bit of unexplainable detail surrounding Deaderick’s wife, the former Ruth Gamble. I can’t explain why she had 4 children after Deaderick died in 1871, for a total of 7 children: Henrietta, Maude, Charles, William, Birdie, Ivy, and Joe. She sued the railroad and had been awarded $6000 in a court case that went all the way to the Tennessee Supreme Court. A little bit of money can certainly make one more attractive.

Just how attractive? I asked the Internet to convert $6000 in 1874 to modern dollars. Here’s a screenshot.

That’s pretty darn attractive.

I wondered, though, what was Ruth’s mental state after her husband was crushed to death by a train car? She had 3 little children, the youngest under a year. How was she supposed to support a family? I would be numb. I was numb when my then-husband left in 2002. There was a new house payment, a car payment, a child in private college, and a child in high school. And attorney’s fees. I remember thinking, “What will become of us?” And I thought if he hadn’t left, if he had died, at least I could hide the truth of what a scoundrel he was.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the facts of the two cases are the same, but the despair had to be similar.

Ruth was ill in 1913. I knew this from some old letters. I asked Chronicling America who supported this family story.

She died not long after the last newspaper account, but I can’t find an obituary.


I suddenly realized that I hadn’t checked GenealogyBank for news about Ruth and Deaderick. I had been using the free 7 day trial subscription for about 24 hours when this revelation hit me. Surely there would be confirmation of the train wreck or Ruth’s death.
There was nothing on Ruth, but Deaderick?

From the Knoxville Press and Messenger, February 3, 1875:


Qurum Court proceedings — Justice Jno. L Moses in the Chair:

M. D. Swan was appointed guardian of Henrietta, Isabella, Maud, Mag and Charles Deaderick Collins, minor children of Deaderick A. Collins. 

Y’all? Who are Isabella and Mag?

More Newspapers: GenealogyBank

October 28, 2017

I’m reading and Chronicling America, if by “reading” you understand that I am lying down poking at the iPhone.

I realize that there are still a lot of papers and time frames that aren’t online. But I’m confused. I’ve seen other folks post things from the Charleston newspaper on a Charleston history FB group. Why can’t I find the same things! It hit me. There must be another online database where I can throw some money.

Let’s ask our friend, Ms. Google. She knows everything.


Friendly reader and historian Lynda  provided the first search terms for John Stoney who died on Hilton Head Island in 1821. His obit is on genealogybank in the Charleston Courier. Plus 5k more search returns.

Let’s try Agnes Mann. I have an obit for her already from the Beaufort paper from 1906.

From the State newspaper in Columbia, SC, July 17, 1906:



Native of Germany Dies at Her Beaufort Home.

Special to The State.

Beaufort, July 16 — Mrs. Agnes Mann died on Saturday in her 78th year after an illness of three months.

The funeral services were held at St. Helena church on Sunday afternoon and were conducted by Rev. J. W. Campbell. The pallbearers were Messrs W. F. Mancher, W. R. Bristol, H. M. Stuart, Jr., W. J. Thomas, R. R. Legare and J. M. Lengnick.

Mrs. Mann, whose maiden name was Agnes Reese, was born in 1828 at Meintz, a German town situated on the banks of the Rhine. There she married Daniel Mann and with him came to Beaufort in 1848. Here she has lived ever since, taking an active part in charitable and church work. For 56 years she has been a member of St. Helena church. Until recently she took part in the beneficent work of the Ladies’ Charitable Aid society. Her cheerful, sweet, benignant personality and influence will be missed by a wide circle of friends.

Mrs. Mann is survived by two daughters, Mrs. L. C. Scheper and Miss Emily Mann, and by one son, Mr. Daniel Mann, and by 23 grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Mr. Daniel Mann, her husband, was a Confederate soldier and fought through the war in the B. V. A. He died March 17, 1872.

I knew that she was from Eltville, Germany, from the records at the Laurel Grove Cemetery. Now I have another place to search in Meintz where she married her husband Daniel.

I might have to call out of work.

An 1886 Map of Knoxville

October 19, 2017

Yesterday I shared a map of 1871 Knoxville from the Library of Congress website. It’s a beauty. 

Let’s say that you clicked on the link, then poked around the website, and saw that there is also an 1886 Map of Knoxville from a similar bird’s eye view. The growth in Knoxville exploded in 15 years. 

The 1886 Map is on the wall over a doorway at the East Tennessee Historical Society. I was especially interested in that one because it showed the Knoxville Woolen Mills on the map legend, and some of my people worked at that mill. I could never find the actual location because it’s an enormous map mounted high on the wall, and my neck was hurting from looking up, basically in the classic looking-at-the-eclipse posture. 

Let’s suppose you haven’t seen the 1886 and really, REALLY want to, and you don’t want your neck to hurt. Through the magic of time, space, and the internet, here it is. 

Chicago citation style: Wellge, H, Beck & Pauli, and Wellge & Co Norris. Knoxville, Tenn. county seat of Knox County 1886. [Milwaukee, Norris, Wellge & Co, 1886] Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, (Accessed October 18, 2017.)

And now I know where the woolen mills are in relation to Depot Street. 

For fun, here’s the 1871 Map of Knoxville that I posted yesterday with the general location of my great-great-grandparents house on Depot Street. 

Thanks, Internet!

An 1871 Map of Knoxville 

October 18, 2017

Recently I learned that my 2xgreat-grandfather, Deaderick A. Collins, was living on Depot Street in Knoxville, Tennessee, when he was killed in a train wreck near Sweetwater. 

And I thought, now wouldn’t that just be the best thing ever if I could find a map of 1871 Knoxville?

So I asked the big internet, and she delivered. 

From the Library of Congress, a map of 1871 Knoxville, looking northwest…

Chicago citation style: Ruger, A, and Merchant’S Lithographing Company. Bird’s eye view of the city of Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee 1871. [Chicago, Merchants Lith Co, 1871] Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, (Accessed October 18, 2017.)

I added the magnifier tool to highlight where Depot Street was. It must have been hot and noisy and dirty living on Depot Street where the trains came and went. 

If you would like to look at this excellent map on the Library of Congress site, just ask the internet. 

Reading the Newspaper: Another Distraction

October 15, 2017

I’ve been reading the newspaper lately.

Mostly I get my news from social media. Sugar used to make fun of that, for how could social media accurately reflect the news? This was, of course, before he joined FaceBook and learned to hone his friendships. If I see that your news is mostly recipes and happy families stories about how wonderful your life is, I’m probably going to hide your stories on the newsfeed. We can still be friends, but I don’t want to see your domestic tranquility when basically there is very little cooking, baking, or DIY hacks going on in your life that I can apply to mine.

So my newsfeed reflects stories from people that seem to think like I do.

Recently when I was at the East Tennessee Historical Society, I found my 2xgreat grandfather’s death, one Deaderick or D.A. Collins, confirmed by newspaper microfilm. I had a date to look for, and I used the microfilm reel that the librarian sorted out for me from the large drawer of many reels. I couldn’t find the account I wanted, which didn’t make sense, because I would think that someone getting crushed to death in a train wreck would be news-worthy. I went back to the microfilm drawer, and I saw that there was another newspaper from the same time period and location, except that it was a daily paper, and the librarian had given me the weekly paper. How could anyone know that the Knoxville Daily Chronicle and the Knoxville Weekly Chronicle wouldn’t have the same stories? At any rate, I found my story.

Later that night in my motel room, I was able to photograph the copy of the article using my iphone and an app called CamScanner. I didn’t have to wait until I got home to scan it on my home scanner, which was lucky because home was having a hurricane.


All this dancing around brings me to the newspapers. Wouldn’t it be easier than traveling 400+ miles to look at microfilm if I just looked at the newspapers online?

I think you know the answer.

I bit the bullet and purchased a subscription for, and I found that their records are not complete. I did find some more articles about the train wreck, and the fact that Deaderick’s body was taken to the cemetery to be interred, although the article didn’t say which cemetery.

My cousin Nick, who found the initial death date for Deaderick by using Google book searches, also found other newspaper articles on chroniclingamerica on the Library of Congress site. Now I have a problem, or perhaps a partial solution.

Two sources of old newspapers that I can look at online? And saves your clippings that can be attached to an ancestry tree, or emailed, or facebooked, or tweeted, or embedded? And chroniclingamerica’s clippings can be saved to your computer, and you can photoshop them?

For instance, Agnes Mann in which she advertises in the Beaufort Tribune on October 27, 1875, for the Beaufort House in Beaufort, SC, as the proprietress:

MannAgnes 10-27-1875 advert in Beaufort Tribune

In the most delightful part of the city

She advertised several times in the Port Royal Standard and Commercial, this next example being from February 3, 1876…

MannAgnes 2-3-1876 advert in Port Royal Standard & Commercial

Having opened and refurbished this old and established house

This is really a time-saver and a time-sucker. and chroniclingamerica? Absolutely.

Mr. Tickles

October 14, 2017

An orange and white cat showed up at work. He was a handsome, affectionate male. He started out by sitting on one of the cars, asking for attention. This is generally not a good way to elicit empathy, what with the love affair that most people have with their cars. He only did it once, and then moved on to more direct tactics.

He would wind himself in and out between my legs as I walked to the feeding station. Then when I would leave the car’s hatch open and sit on the edge and dangle my legs over, he would use mind control.

Something had to be done about his business. Sugar made an appointment at the spay neuter clinic, and of course Mr. Testicles did not show up in a timely fashion. He stopped showing up at all, and the worry was that he was out catting around, getting into trouble of one sort or the other.

Recently he reappeared, two days before the next tentative neuter appointment. I raced to PetSmart at lunchtime to get a crate, stuffed him into said crate that evening, transported him home where I kept him in a big kennel,  then later the next night I transferred him into a trap for transport.

The next morning, Sugar dropped him off for Tickles’s brain surgery.

The day after surgery, I transported him back to work.

He disappeared for a few days. Perhaps he was visiting his lady friends to show off his surgical scars, or hanging out with the guys, showing off his tattoo.

He’s back now, none the worse for wear.

Welcome to the ‘hood, Mr. Tickles!

The Lenoir City Museum and Cotton Mill Site

October 8, 2017

So I had planned a trip back home for a 150th anniversary at the church I grew up in. I hadn’t planned a hurricane to happen at the same time. While I was out of town, I was having such a good time that I put off returning home for one more day. Because post-hurricane and interstate travel is not a fun scenario.

This postponement allowed me to attend an open house at the Lenoir City Museum and Cotton Mill Site honoring Richard Marius. The fact that Mr. Marius passed away on November 5, 1999, was not an issue. His widow attended on his behalf.

I knew that there was a museum in Lenoir City, and that there were limited hours, so I had never been able to squeeze in a visit on a rare trip home.

Look! It’s Ole Yeller!

Hundreds of artifacts are gathered here. Come on in, sign the guest book, and say hello to General William Lenoir. The museum is basically 4 rooms, and we’ll start in the first room and travel clockwise.

More of the main room

“General, it would take considerable boot to get us to swap it (the Lenoir estate) for the state of Rhode Island.”

Israel Pickens Lenoir’s response to Union General Ambrose Burnside, upon his request to purchase the Lenoir property, while marching his troops through East Tennessee during the Civil War 1863.

Ignore the missing frosted cookies from the platter. I do not know what happened here.

To the left of the main room is a room devoted to the churches and schools of Lenoir City.

The original podium of Central Methodist Church, which is over 100 years old

The next room is a tribute to the military.

Into the next room, we find an enormous amount of memorabilia regarding the railroad. The East Tennessee Virginia & Georgia Railroad line was through here. Lenoir City was not a city, but only a railroad stop known at Lenoir’s Station or Lenoirs. Later on, there was an industry known as the Car Works, but they didn’t make automobiles. They made railroad cars.

In 1871, my g-g-grandfather Deaderick A. Collins was a fireman on this line. The train that he was on had already passed through Lenoirs on the afternoon on October 2, when it hit cattle on the track just east of Sweetwater. The engine and the tender derailed, and he was crushed in the wreckage.

I suspect I will become even more interested in the railroad. But even if you are not interested in the railroad, you should still pop into the Lenoir City Museum.

There might even be cookies.