Posts tagged ‘ancestor’

07/08/2011

The Trimble Family History, Part II

A history recap: The previous post ended with the death of James Trimble’s wife, Bettie Luella Huddleston. They had four children, Etta, Betty, Samuel, and Mayme. Betty died in infancy, and James was working as a mason and contractor.

Nannie's Death Certificate

James Trimble married for a second time around 1893, about 12 years after the death of his first wife. He married Nannie Belle Miller. Nannie was born on September 23, 1866 in Kanawha County, WV. In some of the census records, Nannie’s maiden name is Morris, but  her birth and death records list it as Miller, so I believe it was just recorded incorrectly in the old census records.  Her parents were Archibald Miller and Margaret Ann Wiseman.  James was about 42, and she was 27 years old when they married. They had six children:  Arch (May 7, 1894 – 1981 ), Mary (June 13, 1896 – 1974), Corrine (Cora) (Abt 1899 -?), Osman (January 30, 1901 – 1988), Margaret (May 22, 1903 – 1987), and Jeanetta (March 27, 1909 – 1987). According to the census records, they had another child that did not survive. I don’t have any more information than that they had 7 children, 6 living.

James Trimble died on August 22, 1918, at the age of 67. He died of some sort of hemmorage. The death certificate is illegiable beyond that. Nannie died on August 16, 1947 from congestive heart failure. Both are buried in the Pratt Cemetery.

Not as much is known about Nannie and James. It seems like census data was even more difficult to find on than James and his first wife. Many of the names of Nannie and the children were recorded incorrectly, so I’m not positive about the names and dates here. I do have an interesting story, though.

Another historical home in the town is connected to my house. This house, known as the Shields’ Cottage, was built in 1880 and originally owned by Mrs. Morris. It was originally located across the street from the Trimble farmlands. Well, my house is pretty small, so when James married Nannie, he decided to buy this home for his children with Luella, and move Nannie in my house. His children were not that young at the time. Henrietta was his oldest child and I do not have a birthdate for her, though it had to be prior to 1875, so she was over 18. Anyway, James purchased the house and had it moved diagonally, across the road, and onto his property for his children. The cottage is still in the town, with the original front door.

05/21/2011

Rumor Has It

If you happen to live in a small town, then you are probably used to the camaraderie and the sense of community. Since the purchase of the house, many of our neighbors have come by to introduce themselves, and been pleasant and well, neighborly. They seem so interested in the renovation!  This was most evident last week when the house was being treated for termites. While I was waiting for them to finish, I chatted about the house with two neighbors, and gave house tours to four more! I am glad the community is so interested in the progress on the house.

Vintage Circus Poster, from google images

One of the ladies that stopped by was married to a distant descendent of the family. She told me a really interesting story about the last Trimble that lived in the house. Now, we know that he had a half-wolf/half-dog in the house, as well as a second really large dog. From his possessions and notes about the dogs, it was pretty obvious he was very proud of them. According to this source, both of these dogs were quite well-behaved, because the this man was a former animal trainer in the circus! Now, here’s the fly in this ointment. We have heard this guy was a violinist-pianist-alcoholic-mentally ill-artist-painter-writer. Was he really all these things and an animal trainer, too? I’m all for being a complex person with varied interests, but how many professions can one person have? Who was he really? It makes me wonder if he was all these things, or if he was just a mysterious figure in the community that people heard gossip about. I mean, growing up, to me he was “the guy with the wolves”.

I think part of the search for a description for him is because we purchased the house with all of this man’s earthly belongings still in it. It leaves me with a touch of sympathy and sadness, I suppose. I went through his things, I feel like I should know him on some level. On a deeper level, it makes me question all sorts of things. What does ones life amount to in the end? How would this community remember me?  Would I be that grad student-psychologist-renovator-decorator that likes loud punk rock and has an affinity for the color teal? What sort of rumors and gossip would be added to my story? I guess time will tell. As for the former owner, I may never know the truth. At least in his belongings, I found some printouts from a circus messageboard and some information on old circuses, so there is at least some evidence to support that rumor.

05/07/2011

A House History

Do you remember when I met the town historian of that fateful Saturday, and found a wealth of history about my house? Well one of the most interesting documents was the house history compiled by the architects that helped to make Pratt’s historical District. Because my house is “pivotal” to the historic designation, they wrote up everything they could gather about it, along with the other “pivotal” historic houses in the district.  Here is a copy of the document from the archive, entitled The Trimble Farm.

For many years the tract of land between Pratt and Paint Creek belonged to the Trimble family. Much of the area was put into farm land and beside it lay the old road to Hansford just north of the acreage and parallel to the C&O Railway. This county road crossed the Old Iron Paint Creek Bridge (now gone) and the vestiges of the wagon tracks can still be located on the Hansford side of the creek.

The early dwelling of the Trimble family was located on the east side of Paint Creek and was called “The Carrol House”. The grandparents of (today’s family) Osman Stockton Trimble and Jeanetta (White) Trimble bought the two-story frame house from Van B. Hanna and his wife Lucy. Later the house, unoccupied, burned and no sign of it remains today.

So the Trimble family originally lived in another house. I have never seen the wagon tracks that they mention in this document, but I’m not really certain where the old bridge was located, either. I’ll have to track that down and see if they are still there! I am skeptical about that, though.

Up in the village, however, near where Ferry Street became the original country road, James Trimble built a frame dwelling where many later generations grew up. The house still stands where it was built and it has kept its original design. It is an “L” shape with the lower end of the “L” facing the road. This gable end is covered with fish scale shingles at the top, and below contains a beautiful, small three-window bay that is capped with a decorative metal roof. Each side of this facade is flanked by matching ends of porches — the west side a very small porch and the east a part of the major porch that extends along the inner side of the “L”. The white-painted house (now with a composition roof) is in good condition and at present time is a rental property.

Behind the dwelling the land slopes down into a beautiful park-like area shaded by huge elm trees and extending several acres to the west. The remains of the Paint Creek railroad spur curls around the property and has become an access road to the lower end of the village. When Mr. Trimble sold the land for this railroad spur, he required the Company to build a wooden fence between the right-of-way and his home in order to protect his family and small children.

An old picture of the Trestle

Unfortunately, this land had been changed considerably since this document was written. I believe most of this railroad spur was demolished when another house was put behind my house. I have not seen any remains of it. Also, there is no longer a wooden fence around the property.

This tract of land from Ferry Street to Paint Creek, properly called the “Trimble Addition”, has been divided into lots and now is filled with neat, modern homes. No vestige of the old frame home on the Creek remains, but according to one source, some of the bricks from the place were used in the construction of part of the houses that were built in the addition  by members of the family. The remaining members still living in the village are Osman Trimble, Margaret Trimble Jarrett, and Jeanetta Trimble Montgomery

Obviously, there is a lot of information about the house in this document, gathered from descendents of the original builder of the home. Unfortunately, they have all passed away in the 20 years or so since this document was written.

03/28/2011

Spontaneous Discoveries, and Old Photos

A few days ago,  I was reminded that best adventures are unplanned. I fully intended to walk around Pratt, and take pictures of some of the remaining historical details for the blog. I started as planned, but was quickly sidetracked by a moving sale. While there, I met one of the town historians and keeper of the keys to the town archive. I had gone to the Old Town Hall and asked before, but it was during a sale, and I’m not sure the women working at the time knew what I was asking about. This lovely lady from the yard sale, showed me the archives, which were awesome, and let me photograph many of the old pictures, articles, and paperwork. I came away with a wealth of knowledge, and I’m sure there will be many blog posts stemming from this encounter in the future. I definitely appreciate her help and storytelling abilities.

It is because of this that I ended up with old-home-owner gold. A very old picture of the house, lots of information about the family that built it and lived there, and an interesting,  albeit grainy,  picture of the original builder!

The Trimble House - Home of one of the earlier families that settled the town.

Look how small the maples are! To me, it looks like there have not been  many changes to the house over the years.  The bay is original, although the angle of the photograph makes the roofline look smaller. The bay window  does not have the original windows, unlike the rest of the house. these are more decorative, and may be stained glass, I can’t tell. Unfortunately, now they are old aluminum windows. Though with the current road configurations, the bay window is towards the side of the house, but the Old County Road use to connect with Trimble Lane, making this the original front of the house. However, this picture is useful in that it tells me that their used to be gingerbread on the columns, which still remain on the house, and that their were no railings. It also shows some of the elaborate woodwork that used to be on the house. Look at the moldings under the bay window!

From Left: Ott Garnette, Ed Johnson, Dillard Jarrett, Joe Bott, James Trimble, and Tom Burke. This old photograph was taken in front of Holt's Store in 1910.

 

Captions and photographs can be found in Pratt’s Bicentennial Book, published in 1976. More information on the Trimble family can be found in this post.

03/26/2011

Another Brick in the Wall?

The Trimble Brick Plant

Another history post! Remember the old brick I found in the house, mentioned in this post, marked Trimble, O? My uncle was intrigued and looked into it a bit. He found this site and this site mention a Trimble Brick Company in Trimble, Ohio. Turns out, that is where the brick was manufactured. In the 1880’s -1930’s brickmaking flourished within the Hocking Valley in Ohio, one of these plants was the Trimble Brick Company. I could not find an exact date that the Trimble Brick Company was established, but it was in full swing in 1904. It specialized in paving brick, sidewalk brick, and some building brick. Trimble, Ohio maintains that brick from the Trimble Brick Plant was used to pave the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1909-1910. Yet, the Trimble Brick Company was not the only brick company to make this claim. Another Ohio company, The Metropolitan Paving Company also claims that their brick was used for this purpose. The speedway claims that only brick from Indiana was used.

Mining the Brick Materials for the Trimble Plant, 1910

What makes all of this more interesting was that the first street paved with bricks from the Hocking Valley, bricks made specifically for paving streets, was in Charleston, WV. It was paved in 1873, with “good quality brick” and was reportedly still in working order in 1929.

A better picture of the brick

So, even though I know where and when the brick was manufactured and made, I still have no idea why it was at the house. Did someone take it because of the Trimble connection? That is my guess. If I was a mason, I would think it was pretty cool to have a brick with my name on it. I wonder if there was more to the story, though. Was this brick one that was used to pave the roads of Charleston? Did James Trimble or one of his sons help pave , or repair the road in Charleston, and that is how they ended up with it? That is all supposition, and I will probably never know for sure, but I did end up with a great souvenir!

Another view of the Trimble Brick plant

03/14/2011

The Writing is on the Wall

Doodles from a small child under the wallpaper

While removing some of the wallpaper, I discovered some random scribbles and writing on the walls. The picture in the center of the triad below with the numbers is clearly the measurements used to install the wallpaper, so no big surprise there. When I pulled off some of the wallpaper in the living room, I found the usual marks, but near the floor, I ran into little messy scribbles and strange animals. They had to be made by a small child. They are in pencil, as the wallpaper marks. I can just imagine the small child around the 70’s that was “helping” put up the wallpaper by drawing these little sketches on the wall. 

           

 

03/04/2011

The Story of a Mason

After finding out the house was  “the James Trimble House” in the Historic District of Pratt, the first thing I did was to search for more information on about James Trimble. Okay, that’s a lie. The first thing I did was exclaim “Wait! There’s a historic district in Pratt !?!” Then, after I drove by slowly and gawked at all my neighbors’ houses that also live in the historic district, googling could commence. This is what I discovered:

James W. Trimble (1851 - 1918) Death Certificate

James W. Trimble was born in January 1851 in Fayette County, Virginia. He died at the age of 67 on August 22, 1918 in Pratt, WV. His parents were Osman Trimble (1812 – 1893) and Jeanetta White (1829-1893). He married his first wife, Bettie Luella Huddleston, on July 2, 1873.  Now Bettie Lou’s parents were Job Huddleston (1814-1893) and Elizabeth McCoy (1826-after 1911). She was born on July 1, 1856 in Kanawha County, Virginia.  Don’t let the Virginia part throw you, as we were still a part of Virginia in 1851, WV became a state in 1863  (and no, I never won the Golden Horseshoe).

Birth Record for Mary "Mayme" Trimble (1879-?)

James and Bettie had 4 children, Henrietta (?-?), Betty (about 1875 ), Samuel (about 1877), and Mary (about 1879 – ?). Here is where it gets a little murky. Betty, born in 1875, died in infancy. Henrietta, is sometimes referred to as “Etta”. Eventually, Mary is referred to as “Mayme” in the census and marriage records and there is another, younger Mary Trimble. So, I’ll probably refer to her as Mayme from here.  Bettie never lived in my house, as she died on April 18, 1881. James remarried, and had more children, but I’ll save that for another day.

James W. Trimble  was listed as a mason, and a contractor on his death certificate, as well as on both the 1870 and 1880 census records. So what does all this mean? I’m not really sure. Is it a way to connect? Feel closer to the house and the people who created it…probably. I think it adds more to the mystery, and to the story. The house has a brick foundation and brick fireplace. Did James lay the brick for house? Build the mantle and foundation with his own hands? Did Bettie design the house before passing away? Or was it James, or his second wife that decided where the rooms should be? These things will probably never be known. Yet, it is fun to try. I can imagine James picking out the spot for the house, laying out each brick, to provide a home for his family. Now, it will be my home. Thanks, James.

*Post edited 3/28/2011 to incorporate new information obtained from the town archives