Sunday, February 27, 2011

Obituary of Leslie John Mix (1943 - 1951)

Today's obituary is more than just an obituary. It comes, as the others, from my grandmother's collection of newspaper obituaries. It this case though, it's sadly for a child, for my 1st cousin once removed, Leslie John MIX. He was the son of my granduncle Leslie Homer MIX, older brother to my grandmother. The child, known as "Mickey" according to the newspaper, drowned after falling into a creek in February 1951.

In addition to the obituary, there were news stories pasted on the paper as well showing. Other than what is stated in the newspaper, I only have what my grandmother verbally told me about her nephew, she said his mother's name was Ada GRAY, and that he was born Sept. 1, 1943 - "GRAY" as the surname of his mom appears confirmed by one of the names of the pallbearers, and 1943 at least works as a birth year.

His home address is listed as 211 S. Titus Ave. - this is in Ithaca, Tompkins Co., NY. When I look at a map, that street runs in between houses and the creek, so that means his house was right across the street from the creek.

Here are the scanned articles, and transcriptions are below:

Left Newspaper Clipping Text with photo:


DIVING OPERATIONS were started at the confluence of Six Mix Creek and Cayuga Inlet Tuesday in the search for the body of Leslie (Mickey) Mix, 7. At the left is Stewart Curtis of Cortland. Others (from left) are William Mix, the boy's uncle; John Mack of Ithaca, Clarence E. Smith of Cortland, the diver, and Leslie Mix, the boy's father. The spectators are on the south side of the W. State St. bridge. The boy fell into the creek Thursday night near the S. Cayuga St. bridge.

Middle newspaper clipping:

Diver Unable To Locate Drowned Boy

After making four descents into the Inlet through holes chopped in the ice and wading in several spots in Six Mile Creek to the southeast, Clarence E. Smith of Cortland, professional diver, gave up his quest Tuesday afternoon for the body of Leslie (Mickey) Mix, 7-year-old youngster of 211 S. Titus Ave.

Smith was unable to see in the muddy waters of the Inlet near where Six Mile Creek and the branch of the Inlet meet near the W. State St. bridge. But he probed the waters fully, as he did later through holes made in the ice in Six Mile Creek.

The Cortland man submerged himself through four different holes near the bridge, while the other holes in Six Mile Creek were chopped between there and the railroad bridge. Edward Whitlock, a volunteer, assisted in chopping holes in the ice.

The Mix boy's father, Leslie Mix of Burdett, was at the scene throughout, and assisted in the work. he hired the professional diver.

The boy was reported to have fallen into the creek near the S. Cayuga St. bridge late last week Thursday afternoon when he slipped on the icy bank. Searches have been conducted for the lad almost daily since then.

Obituary Text:

Last Rites Held for Leslie Mix (Leslie Mickey Mix)

Funeral services for Leslie John (Mickey) Mix, 7-year-old son of Mrs. Ada Mix of Ithaca and Leslie Mix of Burdett, who was drowned in Six Mile Creek Feb. 1, were held 10 a.m. today in the Oltz Funeral Home, 102 S. Geneva St. The Rev. Milton F. Sweet of Ludlowville officiated.

"Mickey" was in the second grade at St. John School.

Bearers were Eugene T. Gray, John L. Mack, Harry Drake, and Lawrence Mix.

Burial was in King Cemetery.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Obituary of Judson C. Bennett

Continuing on my theme of "Who is the Person in This Obituary", I chose another mystery obituary from my grandmother's collection of newspaper clippings to focus on.

All identifying information about the newspaper has been trimmed off, and in addition to that, the author of the obituary had a knack for saying things but not actually giving any information:

1. We know that Judson was 62 when he died, but no birth or death year is provided.
2. We know he had a widow, but no name is given.
3. We know he had a daughter and 2 sisters, but we are only provided with their married names.

Now, the writer did give us a few clues, particularly in that Judson was to be buried in the Quick Cemetery. That was interesting because my great-great-grandmother Hattie had a 2nd husband named Joe QUICK. He was remembered fondly by my great-grandmother (daughter of Hattie's first husband who died) as being a kind man. So despite not be directly related to him, I've always been interested in him.

First off, I went to find if Quick Cemetery has its residents listed anywhere and I easily found it online ( It's not a complete list, but some wonderful volunteers did their best.

Happily, there was just one Judson C. Bennett listed.

So now I know his birth year and death year, AND I know his wife's first name.

The obituary stated he died on "Thursday, November 28" so I wanted to verify that Nov. 28th was on a Thursday in 1929.

For that I went to the WolframAlpha search engine which is a great search engine when you want to find out data about stuff. I did a search on "november 28 1929" and the results told me that it was a Thursday, and also, that it was Thanksgiving Day for that year, which hadn't even occurred to me to think about.

Now I felt like I had enough info to go to to do a search and I'd actually be able to rule out other Judson Bennetts that might exist:

Judson C. Bennett
b. 1867
Married to: Mattie G. before 1892
At least one child: daughter L. Grace, 1892-1905
d. 28-Nov-1929 in Brooktondale, Tompkins Co., NY

I did a general search on Judson Bennett, born 1867 in New York and I got a family tree result that listed a wife of "Mattie Grace Quick".


I felt pretty good about this - not only was her last name QUICK, but her middle name was Grace and that's what they called their daughter as well. The family tree had sources listed as well, which always makes me feel better. In addition, I found multiple census records where I was happy to see that Judson always made a point of giving his name as "Judson C." with the middle initial. Mattie followed along and had herself listed as "Mattie G.".

So now that I've got all this, I went to my own family files and what do I find but a "Mattie Grace QUICK" who was the daughter of Joseph QUICK and his first wife, the same Joseph QUICK that became the 2nd husband to my great-great-grandmother. I had the info from an 1880 census when Joseph's first wife was still alive, but I had never know what had happened to the children.

Ta Da! Mystery solved as to why this obituary was saved - plus seems that this is likely an obituary saved by my great-grandmother and was passed along to my grandmother (since my grandma was only 9 years old when Judson died).

Mattie Grace QUICK BENNETT was a (much older) step-sister to my great-grandmother Cornelia.

Time for a celebratory cup of tea! Plus now I have to enter this newly found information into my family files!

Obituary Text:

J.C. Bennett Dies; Clerk of Caroline

Judson C. Bennett, 62, long prominent in church and political affairs in the Town of Caroline, died Thursday, November 28, at his home in Brooktondale. He is survived by his widow; a daughter, mrs. Frank Roe; two sisters, Mrs. William Bellis of Waverly and Mrs. Elmer Dickens of Montour Falls, and three grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 2 o'clock Sunday of Brooktondale. Rev. C. E. Humiston will officiate. Interment will be made in Quick Cemetery.

Mr. Bennett was town clerk of Caroline for 25 years and held the office of tax collector for several terms.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Obituary of Lydia Fountain (abt. 1876 - 1963)

Today it's another round of Who is the Person in This Obituary...

I've got an obituary for a "Lydia FOUNTAIN" from my grandmother's collection of newspaper obituaries. All identifying information was cut off. My feeling is that it was actually my great-grandmother who saved this obituary and it happened to come into my grandmother's possession. Here is the obituary:

Lydia's date of death is actually just a few days after my great-great grandmother passed away, so maybe they were friends? I'm not sure if Lydia is a relation or friend so I did a bit of investigating.

I found her and her husband Byron in the 1930 census, in Starkey, Yates County, NY. Interestingly, her name was spelled "Lida T.", not "Lydia". I figured this was a transcriber's mistake until I found her in the 1920 census as well, listed again as "Lida T.". She and Byron were again in Starkey, Yates County, NY.

I couldn't find her anywhere in the 1910 census so I moved on to 1900 - and thanks to her unusual name, I found "Lida T." in Starkey again, this time living with her first husband, their eldest child, and her parents, George and Frances PUTNAM. I knew it was her because the obituary listed her son as having a last name of "BERRY" and here she was married to a James BERRY.

Having her missing in 1910 bothered me, so I kept looking and managed to find her 2 children with James BERRY living with her parents in Starkey. So it looks like James passed away, her children were living with her parents, so what the heck was she doing?

I'm not 100% sure, but I have a likely candidate.

I found a "Lida T." (thanks for the unusual name George and Frances!!) married to a James W. COLWELL in 1910, nearby in Dryden, Tompkins County, NY. I was also surprised to find one of my relatives, a Norman MIX, living with them. He was listed in the census as a son-in-law, but there wasn't anyone else living there so I'm not yet sure what that's about. He might be the link between Lida and my great-grandmother since my great-grandmother was born an AKINS but she married into the MIX family.

So, I don't believe Lida is related, but was probably a friend of the family and that's why my great-grandmother saved her obituary.

Obituary Text:

Mrs. Lydia Fountain

WATKINS GLEN - Mrs. Lydia Fountain, 87, lifelong resident of the Dundee area, died in Schuyler Hospital, Montour Falls today, June 18, 1963. She was the widow of Bryon Fountain.

She is survived by a son, Alton Berry and a daughter, Mrs. Lee McChesney, both of Dundee; two grandchildren and two great-grand-children.

Funeral arrangements will be announced by Royce Funeral Home in Watkins Glen.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - 09 February 2011

Yep, it's a photo of a lady on TV. I know it was taken between 1957 and 1959. Anyone know who she is?