Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Charles Henry Jones

Charles Henry, sometimes referred to as "Harry" was born January 23, 1850 in Cincinnati. He was the third of six children and was our g-grandfather. I love what I know (and don't know) about Charles Henry. In Lillian's letter to Edith, she described him this way:

Charles Jones was a handsome, fair man, much like your Bob (my Dad's brother, father of Bob and Gina). Everyone liked him and people said he was the finest man who ever walked Eastern Avenue. He looked something like your father, (Fred --our grandfather) except that his coloring was different (blue-eyed and blond hair). See for yourself. Here is his picture.

I think we'd all agree -- he was handsome!
As a young man, Charles and his brother Tom, worked at the Crane Lumber Yard building caskets.

Once again Lillian's letter tells us "Your grandfather (Charles) and Uncle Tom (Charles' brother) worked for the Crane Lumber Co. on Eastern Ave. They manufactured caskets, and every noon the men would stretch out in a nice clean casket, before the satin linings were put in, and take a nap!"
In 1874 and '75, Charles' occupation was listed in the City Directory as a "sawyer". By 1876 he was a machinist. Eventually Charles made his living as a "carriage maker". On January 25, 1882 Charles married Rachel Adela Wainright in the Emanuel Episcopal Church.
Lillian's letter described Rachel this way:
Rachel was a very refined, intelligent woman who was slightly crippled, I think, walking with a little limp. Her health was delicate and she died early. Charles Jones remarried, but his second wife was not a good mother to her stepchildren, mother said. Charles was a kind man, very easy-going, but the children needed Rachel's guidance. Had she lived she would have insisted on a good education for Fred, Leo, and Edith.

Researching Rachel has been a labor of love. I have always felt drawn to her based on this description. I wanted to know more. Rachel was the daughter of Britton Wainright and Mary Elizabeth Darby. Believe me, each of them is a story in itself. Britton died at the age of 43, leaving Mary Elizabeth a widow with three children. They were living in New Albany, IN at the time of Britton's death. Mary Elizabeth brought the family back to Cincinnati. I'll write about each of their stories later.

Rachel had what we would now refer to as tuberculosis (they called it consumption). They lived in a two-family home on Gladstone which is just above the railroad tracks off Collins Ave. The house was just torn down a couple of years ago. Rachel's mother lived with them, I assume to assist in her care and help with the children. Rachel died in 1892 at the age of 41. At the time of her death, Edith was 10 years old, Fred was just short of 8 years old and little Leo was only 5 years old. After her death, I have some documentation that says the children were "put into private homes".

Charles married Alwilda Collins, who deserves her own posting. There seems to have been no love lost between Rachel's mother and Alwilda. Let me show you Rachel's grave in Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate, KY. I'll let you draw your own conclusion.

Note the inscription at the base of the grave marker:
"Erected by her mother and children"

What about her husband?

Charles was only 59 years old when he died in 1909. On his Death Certificate, his son, Fred was the informant and apparently living at home at 2316 Gladstone. Charles' occupation was listed as a "millwright" and the cause of death was chronic nephritis.

He is buried next to his second wife, Alwilda, in the Walnut Hills Cemetery. I intend to blog on details related to that, too.

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