Category Archives: Clay County

Monthly Update – September

It was been a very busy month for me! School started last month and I am juggling lots of responsibilities at school, including being in the classroom for the first time in almost ten years. Because of my heavy workload at school, I am not taking on any new clients until November 1st when one of my assignments ends.

Dear Mother, Love Daddy

Dear Mother, Love Daddy coverBook sales continue to be slow and steady. I just received a large shipment of books. I ordered extra books in anticipation of my upcoming lecture this week. The books arrived last week and I was heartbroken to realize that the whole lot was badly printed. The pictures were all streaked and grainy. I even received one book that had been printed with an extra 50 pages. Fortunately, CreateSpace really stepped up. Within 24 hours, the company emailed me back to notify me they were sending a new shipment, and all I had to do was print a label and drop off the messed up books at my nearest UPS store. The new shipment of books arrived yesterday and today, and they look great.

I am looking forward to November when I have scheduled to begin work on the second volume of letters. I anticipate publication of the next volume in February or early March. I think I may have settled on the name of the book, but I am not quite ready to announce the new title.

If you are interested in purchasing an autographed copy of the book, send me a private message through the contact page. Or you can follow the link on the sidebar to purchase a copy from Amazon. For anyone who has read the book, I invite you to post a review on Amazon. I currently have seven reviews and I am trying to reach twenty to boost my rankings.

Sacramento Library

Genealogy Program Why GenealogyThis weekend is my big speaking debut. I am presenting my first lecture at the Franklin branch of the Sacramento Library at 2:00. My presentation is titled Why Genealogy? I will discuss six reasons why everyone should be working on their own genealogy now. Once I survive this presentation, I have several other lectures that I would like to prepare. I am working on fine-tuning my speech this week, and trying not to wander off-topic! I do so much better when I stick to my script.

As for future speaking engagements, I took the plunge and submitted a proposal to next year’s Jamboree in southern California. I am looking for more opportunities to speak in Northern California over the coming months. Contact me if you are looking for a new speaker for your society or group.

My monthly Ask A Genealogist sessions are also going very well. In August, I helped a patron find resources for Italian genealogy, assisted another patron with identifying dates for her collection of photographs, and jump-started another patron on her online tree research. I am having so much fun meeting fellow genealogy enthusiasts and researchers! To sign up for an appointment, contact the Franklin branch of the library.

Discovering Your Past

The second episode of Discovering Your Past premiered earlier this month. Dan conducted a family interview with his mother, and discussed tips for setting up a successful interview.  I talked Sue through writing a research plan for her Noble ancestors in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The video on my end was a little wonky, and I made a slight error in my Revolutionary War history. See if you can catch it! I can’t wait until we start working on the next episode. In the meantime, Dan and Sue did some exploring in North Berwick, Maine, to discover where some of Sue’s ancestors were buried. Check out Dan’s blog for the first part of their cemetery adventure.

Fashion Moments

Fashion Moments by Deborah SweeneyI have written over a dozen Fashion Moments posts this summer. I am amazed by the popularity of these posts. I will continue to write this weekly series because there definitely seems to be a need for fashion education for genealogists. I welcome any ideas or suggestions for future posts.

To view previous Fashion Moments posts, check out my board on Pinterest. I have boards for every decade of the nineteen century with examples of real clothing. Or go to the Blog tab at the top of this page, and click on the sub tab for Fashion Moments.

Personal Research

My own research has slowed down quite a bit this month. But I have taken a little time to explore Ancestry’s new will and probate databases. I have found some great documents but have also been disappointed by many of the gaps in coverage.

Some more family videos have been digitized, including more of Gladys and the children during WWII. The following video is about ten minutes long and includes snippets from 1942-1944. Amazingly, these clips are in color! There is even a very, very short clip of Roscoe and Gladys together at the very end!

May the genealogy and ancestral winds be in your favor this month!

©2015 Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found:

Dear Brother (Clarence)

Letter transcription:

Clay City Ind.
Nov. 8, 1943

Dear Brother,

No excuse for not writing now since weather conditions won’t permit gathering corn. Have cribbed about 360 bu. and most of balance is to[o] moist. The fall season has been pretty good at that. Wheat looks good but some soy beans are still to combine.

Well how are you getting along by this time? O.K. we hope. The reports concerning the war on all fronts are sure sounding good and let’s hope they continue. Kenneth has started flying a few weeks ago and seems to like it fine. He only weighs 190 lbs now. He is located at Springfield Mo. Wilma likes her work in nursing. At present she gets to come home Saturday noon until Sunday 7 P.M. However, I don’t think it will last very long as they are rushed quite a bit.

You can see that you are getting a new writer so it rather deprives me of some news. No need telling it twice. I’ll try and not put off writing so long next time. I was so busy this summer that I just couldn’t find time to write even to Kenneth. The girls had to do that. (over)

Pa & Ma are feeling good. They were at Kentland, Wilmington & Chicago last week while Floyds were here. They visited Uncle Silvester. He had been very low but is pretty good I guess now.

It is 9:00 o’clock now so I guess I’ll have to go to bed. May try a little duck or goose hunting in the morning since the snow blizzard has set in. I killed 8 ducks a couple days ago, & sure would like a chance on a goose. Well here’s hoping that the strife will be over very shortly and all can return to civilian life. Write when you can.

Your Bro

This letter was delayed until we got your new address until Nov. 10. Ground froze a little but I think it will warm up a little now. The sun is trying to get thru.

©2015 copyright owned and transcribed by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found:

Smallpox Epidemic, Part LXV

Indianapolis Journal - 1900-04-12 (Smallpox epidemic), p. 5Dr. Griffith and family, of Cory, are under quarantine because they visited the family of E.G. O’Brien, of Saline City, whose little child is said to have died of smallpox. Dr. Griffith declares it was spinal meningitis.

“Indiana Notes,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 12 April 1900, p. 5, col. 4-5; digital image, Chronicling America ( : accessed 3 February 2015).


Smallpox Epidemic, Part LXIV

Indianapolis Journal - 1900-04-11 (Smallpox epidemic), p. 3There remain but three houses under quarantine for smallpox at Clay City. The cases are those of three women, who were mildly infected and are nearing convalescence.

“Indiana Notes,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 11 April 1900, p. 3, col. 7; digital image, Chronicling America ( : accessed 3 February 2015).


Smallpox Epidemic, Part LXII

Indianapolis Journal - 1900-04-08 (Smallpox epidemic), p. 3DISEASE IN THE STATE.

Facts Contained in Reports to State
Board of Health.

Reports to the State Board of Health show the following facts concerning disease in the State during March, as compared with the previous month: Increased – Rheumatism, measles, tonsilities, influenza. Decrease – Pneumonia, bronchitis, intermittent fever, diarrhea, diphtheria, croup, typhoid fever, erysipelas, whooping cough, inflammation of the bowels. No material change – Consumption, peritonitis, scarlet fever, puerperal fever and cholera morbus. Smallpox was reported from the following counties: Posey, Washington, Greene, Marion, Clay, Jackson, Vanderburg and Gibson. There was a marked decrease of smallpox in March; until March 31 the total number of cases reported in the State was 56, as against 750 on Feb. 28.

The State Board of Health announces that the annual conference of the State health officers will be held in this city on May 8 and 9. The feature of the meeting will be a symposium on school hygiene.

“Disease in the State,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 8 April 1900, p. 3, col. 3; digital image, Chronicling America ( : accessed 3 February 2015).

Smallpox Epidemic, Part LXI

Indianapolis Journal - 1900-04-07 (Smallpox epidemic)MALIGNANT SMALLPOX

It Caused the Death of a Little Child
At Saline City.

Special to the Indianapolis Journal.
BRAZIL, Ind., April 6. – The little son of Attorney E.G. O’Brien, residing at Saline City, died this morning of malignant smallpox, after having been ill only twenty-four hours. Drs. Griffith, Finch and Gantz attended the child, and they all agreed that the disease was virulent smallpox.

Two more cases are reported in the town, but it is believed the patients will recover.

“Malignant Smallpox,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 7 April 1900, p. 2, col. 5; digital image, Chronicling America ( : accessed 3 February 2015).

Smallpox Epidemic, Part LVII

Indianapolis Journal - 1900-03-27 (Smallpox epidemic)IN A GIRLS’ COLLEGE

Smallpox at the Sacred Heart School,
Near Fort Wayne.

Special to the Indianapolis Journal.
FORT WAYNE, Ind., March 26. – Smallpox has appeared at the Academy of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic boarding school for girls, and health officers have placed the institution under quarantine. The patient is a Chicago woman, mother of one of the students, who was visiting her daughter when she was taken ill.

Many of the leading Catholic families of this part of the State have daughters among the pupils.

But Two Cases at Clay City.

Special to the Indianapolis Journal.
CLAY CITY, Ind., March 26. – But two families are now under smallpox quarantine here, those of Douglas Cooprider and Wiley Luther. The quarantine is being rigidly enforced. Neighbors of these families are keeping a close watch on then, and declare that if the quarantine is violated the offenders will be severly dealt with. Close neighbors of Cooprider report four cases there. No fear of further spread of the disease is entertained. Business has fully recovered.

Another Case Near Sullivan.

Special to the Indianapolis Journal.
SULLIVAN, Ind., March 26 – Another case of smallpox has made its appearance near Alma Cave, in the family of George Griffith. The disease is well developed, and it is reported to be of a virulent type.

“In A Girl’s College,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 27 March 1900, p. 2, col. 3; digital image, Chronicling America ( : accessed 31 January 2015).

Smallpox Epidemic, Part LV

Indianapolis Journal - 1900-03-20 (Smallpox epidemic)People Averse to Disinfection

The State Board of Health was notified by Dr. Modesitt, health officer at Clay City, yesterday that he had met with forcible opposition in his effort to disinfect homes in Clay City and asked for instructions. Dr. Hurty sent instructions to Dr. Modesitt to arrest all the offenders and then to disinfect the homes.

A new case of smallpox was reported from West Lebanon, Warren county.

“People Averse to Disinfection,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 20 March 1900, p. 8, col. 1; digital image, Chronicling America ( : accessed 6 December 2014).

Smallpox Epidemic, Part LIV

Indianapolis Journal - 1900-03-18 (Smallpox epidemic)Health Board Bulletin.

The monthly bulletin of the State Board of Health for February is ready to be sent out. It contains the usual tables of the mortality statistics of the month by counties, geographical districts and by cities and towns. The bulletin in speaking of smallpox says the epidemic began to recede about the middle of the month. It says: “After the work of suppression began in earnest at Clay City and in the southern portion of Clay county there was a marked decrease until by March 1 there were left only twenty-five cases in the three infected townships, whereas at the beginning of the month there were eighty cases in Clay City alone.” All the reports show conclusively that while the number of cases have decreased, the type of the disease has become more severe.

“Health Board Bulletin,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 18 March 1900, p. 8, col. 3; digital image, Chronicling America ( : accessed 6 December 2014).


Smallpox Epidemic, Part LIII

Indianapolis Journal - 1900-03-17 (Smallpox epidemic)Recovering from the Plague.

Special to the Indianapolis Journal.
CLAY CITY, Ind., March 16. – There are now only two or three cases of smallpox here and business has almost fully recovered. Traveling men who have been missing the place since the quarantine began are again making their rounds here and there is little fear of a further spread of the disease. There is only one new case this week, that of Wiley Luther, whose house was carded yesterday.

“Recovering From The Plague,” The Indianapolis Journal (Indianapolis, Indiana), 17 March 1900, p. 2, col. 4; digital image, Chronicling America ( : accessed 6 December 2014).