Tuesday, April 22, 2014

52 Ancestors- #16 Mary Jane (Dumprope) Clark

Mary Jane- Who Was She?

Mary Jane was my paternal great-great grandmother. I was always fascinated with this photograph of her. "She had a hole in her nose because she liked to chew and sniff snuff", my grandmother would tell me. The actual cause of death on her death certificate was "stomach cancer due to gene debility", but she lived until she was 83, so it did not seem to shorten her life considerably.
But you can see the suffering in her face.

Mary is the subject of some controversy in our family. We were always told that "her mother was an (American) Indian", and some people say you can see it in her features. A cousin who did some research years ago concluded that "Mary was an Algonquin Indian, her mother was a full-blooded Indian named Barsheba Seokie". Unfortunately, my cousin died soon after giving me this information, and I have been able to discover what her source for this information was. 

It has since been established that Mary Jane's mother was Barsheba Delong, and her family's American roots date to 1671 when Aryan Fransen came from Amsterdam, North Holland to America, settling in Kingston, Ulster, New York. There he married Rachel Jansen Pier, and their descendants remained until 1831, when Barsheba's parents, Henrick and Margaret (Joslin) Delong moved to Ameliasburg, Ontario. This information is established through records, so here is the version I believe to be true:

Mary Jane's Biography

Mary Jane was the youngest of seven children born to John D. Dumprope and Barsheba Delong. She was born at Ameliasburg, Prince Edward county, Ontario, Canada on 20 September 1830. Mary Jane's father died just before her 14th birthday, and within the next couple of years she married Sanford Jeremy Clark.

Sanford and Mary Jane joined most of her family in their move to Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin about 1848. They began their family with the birth of my great-grandfather in February 1850, followed by Barsheba Jane, Charles Rogers, Simon Edward, Ann, Wilhemina Agnes, Jeanette Sarah and Charlotte Beatrice. According to the 1900 census, Mary Jane reported that she had born 13 children, 6 of whom were still living at that time. The loss of children, at whatever age, is heartbreaking.

Sanford and Mary Jane moved to Door County, and farmed in the Clay Banks area until his sudden death in 1892, when Mary Jane returned to Sheboygan. She lived with her children for the rest of her life. In 1900 she was living with her daughter Charlotte (Lottie) and Theodore Lorenz. Five years later she is listed on the 1905 Wisconsin state census at Ahnapee, just south of Clay Banks, living with her son Edward's family and son Charles. Within the next 5 years she returned once more to Sheboygan. 

I found once reference to her in the Sheboygan Press of April 17, 1913, where it reported on the fall and serious injury of her grandson, Sanford Edward Clark in Sturgeon Bay:
SANFORD CLARK INJURED IN FALL (Sheboygan Press, April 17, 1913, page 5)

"Word reached here last evening by Mrs. M. J. Clark (Mary Jane) that her grandson, Mr. Sanford Clark, was seriously injured when he fell from a steamer at Sturgeon Bay. Mr. Clark was a former Sheboygan young man and is known in the city. His condition at the present time is alarming as he is not expected to recover. Mrs. M. J. Clark and Miss Grace Clark left for Sturgeon Bay this morning."
As I wrote in another article, Sanford made a full recovery, but his grandmother died 11 months later, on 20 March 1914. She is buried at Wildwood Cemetery in Sheboygan, on her daughter Minnie Feld's lot, but does not have a headstone.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

52 Ancestors #15- Sanford Jeremy Clark

Sanford Jeremy Clark

My paternal grandfather, Sanford Edward Clark, was a namesake of his grandfather, Sanford Jeremy.

Who was my great-great grandfather? I admit that he, like so many other forebears, is a bit of an enigma. All I have are tidbits of information, clues for future research. Here is what I do know:

Sanford Jeremy Clark was born on 24 December 1821 in Fort Erie, Welland County, Ontario, Canada. My original source for the information on this branch of the family gave his father's name as Jeremiah Roger Clark, but his mother is more elusive. Also unknown is where Jeremiah was born, and when and why he went to Canada. The same source suggested Ireland, as she found that written on several photos, but according to the 1880 census listing for Sanford, his father was born in Vermont and his mother in Canada.

Sanford (standing) and Jeremiah (seated) Clark, Mary Jane (seated) with two of their daughters

Married Life

Sanford married Mary Jane Dumprope, daughter of John D. and Barsheba (Delong) Dumprope. Mary Jane was born on 20 September 1830 at Ameliasburg, Prince Edward County, Ontario. Prince Edward county is on the northeastern shore of Lake Ontario, just west of the head of the St. Lawrence River. Wellend County, where Sanford was born, is 210 miles to the west and south around the western shore of Lake Ontario. Fort Erie is across the border from Buffalo, New York, where the Niagara River empties into Lake Erie. 

Sanford and Mary Jane Clark

However they met, Sanford and Mary Jane were married about 1847, as their first son William David was born about 1848-1850. Soon after their marriage, they joined several others of the Dumprope family in their move to Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, where they farmed at Sheboygan Falls for the next thirty years. Their children were all born here.

Their next move was to Door County, where they settled in the Clay Banks community known as Foscoro, along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Thus Sanford became the first of many Clarks (and associated families) who have called Door County home for almost 150 years. 

A painting depicting a farm at Clay Banks, reportedly built by Sanford and Mary Jane's oldest son William David, for his daughter Hannah and Oscar Tollefson.

Clay Banks and Foscoro

Today nothing remains of the once-bustling settlements that grew out of the country's need for lumber. Clay Banks once had a huge sawmill, at least six businesses, three schools, a telegraph terminal, and four post offices. Foscoro, named for the three owners of it's sawmill (Foster, Coe and Rowe), had a sawmill at the mouth of Stoney Creek, telegraph station, post office, and a number of stores. A 1,000-foot pier was constructed at Foscoro to ship lumber products to cities to the south like Milwaukee and Chicago. The length was necessary to keep ships off the shallow offshore reefs and boulders that litter the bottom of the lake. Many ships succumbed to the shoreline's treacherous waters. In later years, several tugs operated from this pier, to aid sailing vessels in entering the Sturgeon Bay ship canal. 

The March 30, 1883 issue of a local newspaper, the Weekly Expositor Independent, reported the following incident on page 2:
Samuel Wilson and Sanford Clark, of Stony Creek, both prominent grangers in that locality, were in town Monday. They brought in a wild cat scalp, but failed to get a bounty on it within the 60 days prescribed by law. Those having the scalps of such animals must recollect the law says within 60 days instead of 90.
The only other references to him I have found contain details of his death on July 12, 1892.

"The Republican" reported on July 21, 1892:
 "Two deaths have occurred in our midst of late, vis, Mrs. Nels Vista and Mr. Clark...The cause of death of Mr. Clark is unknown, he having been found dead some distance from his house."
  The "Door County Advocate" of July 16th reported on page 5:
SUDDEN DEATH. "William Clark (should be Sanford), whose home is in the southern part of Clay Banks, died very suddenly on Tuesday. He was out in the barn attending to some chores, and not returning on time Mrs. Clark began to look for him, and on entering the building she was almost paralyzed to find her husband lying dead on the floor before her. Heart failure is supposed to be the cause of the sudden taking off."
The "Algoma Record Herald" of July 14th contained a one-line obituary:
Clark, Sanford, from Foscoro, leaves wife and 6 grown children.
His memory card reads: 
In Loving Remembrance of Sandford Clark, 
Died July 12, 1892.
Aged 70 Yrs, 6 Mos, 18 Days
Sanford and Mary Jane

Saturday, April 5, 2014

52 Ancestors- #14 Amelia Dorothea (Liebe) Clark

Amelia Dorothea (Liebe) Clark

Amelia Liebe was my paternal great-grandmother. I never knew Amelia, as she died 16 years before I was born. This is her biography according to the story view produced at her Ancestry.com page:

When AMELIA DOROTHEA LIEBE was born on March 29, 1861, in Mosel, Wisconsin, her father, CARL, was 29 and her mother, WENDELINA, was 24. She married WILLIAM DAVID CLARK on October 30, 1882, in her hometown. They had eight children in 19 years. She died on November 6, 1934, in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, at the age of 73.
These are the bare facts of her life, but who was the person?

Growing Up in Mosel

Amelia was the fourth of fourteen children born to German immigrant parents. According to 19th century German naming patterns, at baptism children were given two names. The first was a spiritual or saint's name in honor of a favorite saint. Therefore, several children in the same family could have the same, or similar, first name. The second or middle name was the name the person was know by withing the family.

According to her baptismal record, Amelia's given name was Emilie Dorothea, not to be confused with her sisters named Emilia Minna (who went by the name of Minnie) and Amalia Therese (who was known as Molly). 

The thirteen Liebe children grew up in the two-room cabin built by their father Carl soon after his arrival at Mosel in Sheboygan county. The upstairs loft was lined with the children's beds. There was always work to be done, in the house and on the farm. Since the first boy was not born until after the births of eight of his sisters, the girls must have had a hand in farm chores as well as in the house. The house was simple, but known for always being spotless and brightened by geraniums. There would have been a garden to tend and harvest, and meals to prepare, probably using old family recipes handed down for generations. The Liebe cabin was covered in grapevines and ivy, which no doubt served to keep it cool in the summer, but there was a separate summer kitchen, built of stone, where Wendeline and her daughters would cook in the hot days of summer.

The community of Mosel was made up of other first-generation German immigrants. In fact, in 1875 the population of the town was 1,100- all German with the exception of one Englishman and two Irishmen. The family attended the Evangelical Lutheran Church just down the road. Amelia was confirmed there in 1875.

Emilia Dorothea Liebe, daughter of Carl Liebe and Wendeline born Schaf, born 29 Mach 1861 (original in German)

 Marriage and a New Home

When Amelia was 21, on 30 October 1882, she married William David Clark. He was a 35-year-old farmer from Sheboygan Falls who was now farming in Door County:
William Clark (Father- Sanford Clark/Mother- Mary Dawppebpl), and
Emilie Dorothea Liebe (Father- Moritz Liebe/ Mother-Wendeline Schaef)
Farmer- Town of Claybanks, Door Co., WI (Residence)
BP- Sheboygan Falls, Sheboygan Co., WI
Ceremony- by rites at Evengelical Lutheran Church.
Wittnesses- Carl Moritz Liebe and F. Schick; Minister- Martin Deumminger (Mosel)

Cert. Oct 30, 1882; Reg. 4 Nov. 1882
Dave and Amelia Clark

The move from her home in Mosel to Clay Banks in Door County was 100 miles in distance, but there were no highways or automobiles to make the trip in today's hour and a half. There is a good chance that Amelia did not often get to see her parents after her marriage. Her oldest sister Thekla "Hulda" Braunsdorf, and brothers Gustave and Adolph also resettled in Door County. The reunion of her surviving seven siblings at the Liebe homestead in 1940 did not include her, as she had died six years earlier.

William "Dave" and Amelia had seven children, 4 sons and 3 daughters. Another daughter, Daisy, was born when Amelia was 42, and died soon after her birth.

Amelia was 14 years younger than her husband, and stories have been told of how she had to endure his bad temper. My Dad recalled one incident when she was bending over to tie his grandfather's shoes. She must have tied them too tightly, and he swore and kicked her.

Amelia (left) and Dave (right) with daughter Hannah (just behind Amelia)
and her children, and granddaughter Lucille (right of Amelia)

Amelia and Dave spent most of their married life at Clay Banks. They lived for a short time with my grandparents, son Sanford and Eva. The last few years were spent with their daughter Charlotte "Lottie" and Chan Schuyler in Sturgeon Bay. Amelia died 6 November 1934 of Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), due to Asthma. She was buried at the Clay Banks cemetery.

Amelia Clark


Death Certificate

Obituary from Door County Advocate