Sunday, May 17, 2015

Tenants of the Owen Block - B.F. Dickson

Mr. and Mr. Barton F. Dickson moved into 121 Chestnut Street in January 1894. He was employed by the L & N. Railroad  as superintendent of  the St. Louis - Henderson division. The family's stay at the Owen Flats was marked by sadness. Just 10 months after their move, their daughter, Bessie, just six months old, died of cholera infantum. [1] Friends were invited to the funeral, but the grieving family chose to have a private burial at Oak Hill Cemetery.

On the 22nd of April 1896, John, the six year old son of Mr. and Mr. Dickson, was playing with several neighborhood children along Chestnut Street. They found a container with an unknown mixture and, being inquisitive children, decided to taste it. The events  were published in the local newspaper:[2]

                "As the result of swallowing a compound of poisons concocted for exterminating
 roaches, while at play, two children, John Dickson and Loretta Ricketts lie dead at their homes, 119 and 121 Chestnut street.

                "Frolicking in the front yard of the Ricketts' with a group of neighborhood children, they ran across a half-empty can of the poison, and as one of its parts was a syrup of some sort, they eagerly ate the death-dealing mixture."

The funeral for John Dickson was conducted at the Dickson home and burial took place at Oak Hill Cemetery. The pall bearers were headed by Mr. Walsh of the L. & N. Railroad of Howell and the different departments of the company were represented[3] , thus showing their deep regret in the death of the little boy and their respect for the bereaved parents.

B.F. Dickson was appointed captain of an engineering corps at the beginning of the Spanish-American War and enlisted a number of Evansville young men in his company.  He had charge of the preparation of the camp at Montauk Point, New York, where the soldiers from the Cuban campaign were taken for recuperation before they were mustered out. After the war, Dickson was employed with the Southern Railroad Company and later became superintendent of the street railway at Kansas City, Missouri, where he died 10 May 1904. His remains were buried at Oak Hill Cemetery.

[1] "Bessie Dickson  Death of Infant. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B.F. Dickson," Evansville Courier, 4 October 1894, p. 8.
[2] "They Are Dead!" Evansville Courier, 23 April 1896, p. 2.
[3] "Two Little Graves," Evansville Journal, 25 April 1896, p. 4.

Published 17 May 2015, Rambling Thoughts ... Out of My Mind, Brenda Joyce Jerome, C.G.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Tenants of the Owen Block - Short Term

Renovations continue at the Owen Block
Photographed 25 April 2015

Some folks who moved to the Owen Block after it was constructed in 1882  did not stay long. It appears that many stayed for a year or so and then moved elsewhere.  Below are three families who were short term residents at the Owen Block.

Fred Jones, manager of Blemker Stone Company of Evansville, moved to the Owen Block in May 1883 and still lived there in December 1884. By July 1885, Mr. and Mrs. Jones had moved to Golconda, Illinois[1], staying there but a short time before moving to Dallas. It was reported in an Evansville newspaper that Jones, manager of Avery Branch Plow House of Dallas, had passed through Evansville. "He reports his boy, who was born here and named after Dr. Owen, as being proud of his Hoosier birth."[2]

"William L. Heysinger, local manager of the Monarch Sleeping Car Company, was married on the 17th inst. at Columbia, S.C. to Miss Mary L. McAlister. He held high position in Mr. Lincoln's administration."[3] A month later the newspaper reported the newlyweds had taken a suite of rooms at 123 Chestnut Street in the Owen Block.[4] The next year the couple had moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where he continued as an agent for the Monarch Parlor Sleeping Car Company.[5]

Ethelbert T. Kemper was 20 years old when he was enumerated on the 1880 Garrard County, Kentucky census[6] in the household of Andrew Kemper.  E.T. Kemper married Annie Van Pelt by 1890. Mr. and Mrs. Kemper, along with their children John and Laura, moved to Evansville before 1900. That year they were enumerated on the Vanderburgh County census at 127 Chestnut Street, Owen Block.[7]  The Kemper family moved on to Indianapolis by 1910. Annie Kemper died in 12 February 1919 in Fayette County, Kentucky[8] and her husband, Ethelbert T. Kemper, died  1944 in Elmhurst, DuPage County, Illinois. [9] Both are buried in Lexington, Kentucky.

[1] "Personal," Evansville Courier, 2 July 1885, p. 4.
[2] "Personal," Evansville Daily Journal, 14 May 1887, p. 9.
[3] "Street Talk," Evansville Daily Courier, 19 November 1886, p. 4.
[4] "Personal," Evansville Journal, 12 December 1886, p. 5.
[5] 1887 Jacksonville, Florida City Directory, p. 127.
[6] 1880 Garrard County, Kentucky census, E.D. 44, p. 543D.
[7] 1900 Vanderburgh County, Indiana census, Pigeon Township, E.D. 0088, p. 9A.
[8] Kentucky Death Certificate #5534, Annie VanPelt Kemper, age 56, parents William VanPelt and Deborah Warner,, accessed 20 March 2015.
[9] Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths 1916-1947, Ethelbert T. Kemper, born 23 September 1860 and died 26 June 1944. His parents were listed as Andrew Kemper and Martha Lawless.

Published 1 May 2015, Rambling Thoughts ... Out Of My Mind, Brenda Joyce Jerome, C.G.