Monday, February 14, 2011

Clarissa Viles Taute

Long at last, here is a photo of the oldest daughter of Jotham Viles and Mary Ann Leech, Clarissa A. Viles. Clarissa Viles was born on 1 October 1849 in Delavan, Walworth, Wisconsin. She died on 21 August 1913 in Paton, Greene, Iowa. This photo was displayed at her funeral on 21 September 1913 and I  cropped it from the funeral photograph. Alice Thankful Taute Pemble took the funeral photograph.

Clarissa certainly inherited the chin dimple that seems to be a Viles trait.

Now, I would like a photo of Clarissa's husband, Augustus Taute.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow and More Snow

This week, the United States was hit hard by a large winter storm. Some 30 states were reported to be affected. Where I live, we first were hit with freezing rain and then sleet. Chicago was hit hard with snow.

This is a picture of Gretchen Taute taken in Lemmon, South Dakota during the winter of 1937. It may have been 1938 or 39.

There is mountain of snow and getting around could not have been easy.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Chistmas Eve Dinner

This past Sunday, we were driving home from church and Prairie Home Companion was on the radio. Garrison Keillor described a traditional Norwegian Christmas meal with the lutefisk. I just cannot describe it better. So if you really want to know what lutefisk is without tasting it, listen to Garrison's description in the December 18, 2010 News From Lake Wobegon. He was spot on.

We would start the meal with fruit soup which is made with pearl tapioca, a variety of dried fruits, stick cinnamon and grape juice. Then, the main course would include lutefisk (cod fish cured in lye) with boiled potatoes drown in melted butter. There would be a vegetable, a salad, and lots of lefse which looks a lot like a tortilla except that it is made out of potatoes. We would butter the lefse and sprinkle it with sugar and cinnamon  and then roll it up. We usually had one or two fruit pies for dessert. There would also be several cookies like krumkaka, fattigmond and rosettes.

My grandmother without an ounce of Norwegian blood would make this meal on Christmas Eve. My grandmother with both Norwegian and Swedish heritage would make several English dishes.

Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mrs. William H. Moore - Helen Leach or Helen Fine?

Another perfect afternoon was wasted after I decided to enter "Helen Leach" into to see if ANY new documents popped up. And well, yes, something did. Helen Leach/Leech b. 1838 in Maine is the sister of Mary Ann Leach/Leech, one of the main subjects of this blog. I have tracked down all of Mary Ann's brothers and parents. But, Helen has eluded my past searches. Helen is enumerated with her mother, Hannah Leech, in 1850 in Delevan, Walworth, Wisconsin and appears to be enumerated with her mother, Hannah, in the 1855 Wisconsin Census in Delavan, Walworth, Wisconsin (it used to be on but is not appearing on Previously, I was not been able to find Helen in the 1860 Federal Census or in the Walworth County Marriages. So, when I found the entry below, I got a little excited. Especially when I found Helen and her husband, William in Walworth County, Wisconsin in 1860! Helen is enumerated as 21 years old, born in Maine. All consistent with my Helen.

Name: Anna A. Houghtting
Death Date: 13 Apr 1919

Death Place: San Berrito, Cameron, Texas

Gender: Female

Race: W

Death Age: 47 years 10 months 16 days

Estimated Birth Date:

Birth Date: 17 Jun 1872

Birthplace: Rockford, Iowa

Marital Status: Married

Spouse's Name:

Father's Name: Wm H. Moore

Father's Birthplace: Old Town, New Jersey

Mother's Name: Helen M. Leach

Mother's Birthplace: Maine

Occupation: Farmer

Place of Residence:


Burial Date: 14 Apr 1919

Additional Relatives: X

Film Number: 2073563

Digital Film Number: 4023777

Image Number: 85

Reference Number: 85

What has me a bit concerned, is that several online family trees have the wife of William H. Moore as Helen "FINE". No one listed a marriage but that is what is needed here. A marriage record that states William H. Moore married Helen ???. Well, so far, I have not found one. 
Hopefully, one of the Moore/Fine descendants have found a marriage record or have additional information that I am missing. But, a quick check of my trusted Maine research sites, and I was coming up with a couple of questionable "FINE" families in Maine during the 1840-1850 time frame and maybe none. Yet, in the 1860 Census and in the 1870 Census enumerated in Rockford, Floyd, IA, Helen is born in Maine. In both of the 1860 and 1870 census, William is listed as being born in New Jersey. There are certainly several "Fine" families in New Jersey but none appear to have a daughter named Helen born in 1838 in Maine.

In the next post, more clues from Anna Houghtling's death certificate and more census clues.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Joseph H Leech - Land Patent

Land Patent for Joseph H. Leech

When I found this land patent on the Bureau of Land Management's website, I wanted to know if this was the same Joseph Leech, son of William R. Leech and Hannah Sewell, born in Maine>moved to Wisconsin with his mother>moved to Iowa with his brother-in-law, Jotham Viles>settled in Bon Homme County, South Dakota. Valuable information can be gleaned from the patent file. Here are some things that I found in the file:

No. 14335
Land Office at Michell, D.T. [Dakota Territory]
Sec. 15, Town. 103, Range 67
Patented Apr 20 1888
Recored Vol. 21, Page 76

The land was purchased on 5 Dec 1885 by Joseph H Leech, residing in Brule County, Territory of Dakota, North East Quarter of Section 15 in Township 103 of Range No 67 of the 5 Principal Meridian containing 160 acres. He bought the land for $1.25 per acre totaling Two Hundred Dollars.

An Affiviavit dated 20 Apr  1888 by Joseph H Leech, was sworn and subscribed in Bon Homme County, Territory of Dakota.

Date of Residence,  May 7, 1883
Date of Entry, May 7, 1883
Date of Proof, Dec. 1, 1885
Date of Advertised, Dec. 1, 1885
Date of Certification, Dec. 5, 1885

Improvements, Frame house, shingle roof 12 x 20, 40 acres broken
Value of $600
Residence claimed, 2 y. 6 mos 24
Claimant's family, Wife & 5 children

Paid $14.00 on May 7, 1883 to the Register for a Homestead Application.

The house was built in 1882 and Joseph purchased the house from the entry man.

An Non-Mineral Affidavit signed in Davison County, Territory of Dakota by Joseph H Leech on 1 Dec 1885.

C M Gregory (acquainted with Joseph Leech for 30 years) and Clark A Edgecomb signed Homestead Proof - Testimony of Witness for Joseph.

On 1 Dec 1885, Joseph claimed to be 39 years old and native of the United States. He had a wife and 5 children. He had only been gone from the property for 3 days to harvest grain since May 7, 1883.

Joseph H. Leech was given a Homestead Certificate No. 14335.

What did I learn from this file? It is highly probable that this is the same Joseph Leech who was born in Maine and later lived in Bon Homme County, South Dakota based on age,affidavit taken in Bon Homme County, nativity, and consistent with arrival date to South Dakota reported on South Dakota 1905 Census by two daughters . Joseph and his family arrived in South Dakota on or before May 1883. Assuming that this is the correct Joseph, Joseph and his wife, Alice had a child who was most likely born between December 1882 and May 1883 and died before 1900. Alice mostly like died in South Dakota before 1900.

Now the question is who the heck is C M Gregory that had known Joseph for 30 years? This implies that C M Gregory lived in Wisconsin with Joseph.