Friday, July 24, 2009

Modesty (continued)

So who knew? I certainly didn't. Article after article made me aware of just how much pride Pop took in his work and the amount of recognition he received for it. When he retired, he was the guest of honor at a dinner where his mechanics were recognized for going 250,000 consecutive hours without a disabling injury. The article said that Fred "Butch" Jones had been Foreman of the men for the entire period in which they made this record.

I also learned of his honesty. The News said that Pop ended a dispute between he and Bert Maddock that was the result of a mistake Pop had made in ordering an item -- thus clearing the air.

In the short time I was at the library I also happened upon birth announcements for both me and my brother, Tim. Since our Dad was also working at the bus company at that time, both the father and

grandfather were recognized. Mom always told me that she thought I was going to be a boy because of the way she was carrying me. Little did I know how much they really expected a boy.
Tim's December 31st birthday is also acknowledged.

I was wondering where Pop's motto, "Modesty Becomes a Young Man" originated. The quote is attributed to Plautus, a Roman playwright who lived a few hundred years B.C.E. I was also surprised to learn that Pop did not retire until the age of 72. I can't imagine how difficult that must have been. I know he suffered from arthritis, and unlike his granddaughter, he couldn't look forward to the relief from pain that a knee replacement can provide.

I know I've only begun to scratch the surface, but I feel that I was so fortunate to get to take a peek into the work-a-day life of a strong, loving man I wish I could have known better. The next posting will discuss family life.

The "wave of the future" -- this picture was taken in 1957, the year following Pop's retirement.

"Modesty Becomes a Young Man"

"Modesty becomes a young man."

For the first time since I started writing this blog, I am finally able to write about someone I knew -- or realized I didn't know. Charles "Fred" Jones, my grandfather, was born on October 16, 1884 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the middle child of Charles Henry Jones and Rachel Wainright. If I would ask my siblings what they remember, the list would probably include the following:

Jan and Pop (as we called them) lived at 2424 Eastern Ave. (now Riverside Ave.) in the East End. The small frame house was located directly across the street from Highland Elementary School with a clear view of the Ohio River. While I was growing up, the house was painted "bus company yellow" as Rose would say, and I still remember the faded line just short of the first floor ceiling that marked the level of the infamous 1937 flood.

I remember a man who chewed tobacco, had a spitoon, talked to his parakeets, and loved to go for "rides" on a Sunday afternoon buying ice cream cones for all involved. There was always a jar of caramels and we constantly had to be asked to stop playing with the pedal on the Singer sewing machine in their bedroom.

Pop was just short of 65 years old when I was born. Jan had a clear preference for girls, so I was "in". There was no thought of shortening my name from Kathleen to Kathy or "Kath" as my family knows me because Jan loved my Irish name and couldn't understand why anyone would want to mess with such a beautiful name.

I knew Pop had worked at the "bus company" as had my Dad when I was young. I recall stories of Jan and Pop living on Columbia Avenue (what is now part of Columbia Parkway) when they were newlyweds. Dad used to point out the foundation of the former house when we drove by and talk about horse-drawn wagons that used to deliver milk each day.

In the name of "progress" Jan and Pop moved down from Columbia Parkway and built their home on Eastern Ave. The Breving Cousins, Rosemary, Fred and Bob were older and I contacted Rosemary and Fred to "fill in the blanks" for me, as I realized how much I didn't know. I'll write about our conversations in a later post.

I was "googling" the Cincinnati Street Railway and the Cincinnati Transit Company on the computer. Much to my surprise I found that there was an organization called the "Cincinnati Transit Historical Association" with bus and rail aficionados as members. Bill and I attended a meeting, hoping to connect with the organization's "librarian". The library was scheduled to be open the next day, so I made arrangements to see what I might find.

I knew from Pop's death certificate that he was a "retired foreman." Luckily for me, the "bus company" published a magazine for employees that often featured a story based on information supplied by the company foremen.

The picture of a man I barely knew began to emerge. In the July-August edition of The News, the headline read "Butch Jones Too Modest About Record." Now there's a question I want answered -- why was Charles "Fred" Jones known by his middle name or more often by the nickname "Butch"?

Pop was the foreman of the Hewitt Avenue "car barn". He apparently took a lot of pride in his work and had quite a reputation. The article stated:

Because his motto is "Modesty becomes a young man," Foreman Fred 'Butch' Jones said not a word at the July Conference of Foremen about the fact that there was not a single P.C.C. car failure in Walnut Hills during the month of June. (P.C.C. stands for a special Presidential Cabin Car that was in limited operation at the time).

As I scanned month after month of publications I read citation after citation recognizing the work he oversaw (i.e., Mr. Jones' division had gone 630,000 miles with only one pull in).

At one point, "Butch" decided he wanted to paint his entire shop white. He offered to do it himself, if necessary. He was apparently proud of his white shop as a picture in The News pictures Pop waving his cane at another foreman who suggested that perhaps his shop was even better.

To be continued . . .

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Wainwrights in the United States

In earlier posts I mentioned that the Wainwrights in the United States originally spelled their last name with two "w's". One record says that it was William Wainright (father of Britton) who dropped the second "w". I also stated that William Wainright was the son of Vincent, our family's connection to the Revolutionary War.

When I first started researching our roots in the United States, there was more than one record online. I try to document any individual that I include in our family tree. This is one instance where I accepted someone else's documentation.

There are three sources of information for the family pedigree outlined above. The first is Genealogy of the Family Line of Thomas Wainwright published in 1957 by Edith Wainwright and Halstead Wainwright. The second, and most important source is correspondence I have had over the last year with Rodney Wainwright of New York. He took a copy of the above publication and compared it page by page with the documentation he had. The vast majority of information was supported. The third source was the website for the Wing Family in America, Inc. Jane Wing was the maternal grandmother of Vincent Wainwright. All of this documentation seems to agree when it comes to the basic facts. Rodney Wainwright provided me with the majority of the information listed in the pedigree, especially in the maternal lines.

It became apparent that there was a lot of documentation from the time of William Wainright back, but little existed coming forward. Even the Wing Family site only listed Britton and Eliza Ann as children of William Wainright and Ruth Wright. I have spent the last year trying to find additional children with a fair degree of success.

As near as I can tell, William Wainright and his wife Ruth Wright had seven children. There may have been more but these are the ones I have been able to document.

William (2-23-1809 to 4-23-1834) -Listed in the 1831 City Directory as William Jr., a blacksmith, in business with his brother, Vincent. The Cincinnati Daily Gazette states in a death notice that he died of small pox at the age of 25.

Ann Eliza (1-4-1813 in New York City, died 1-12 1890 in Broadwell, Ohio near Athens. Married Henry (Harry) Broadwell in 1834 and relocated to Athens, Ohio and had many children.

Vincent - (abt. 1-10-1810 to abt. 7-19-1849) Married Mahitable Morrow on May 2, 1843. They had a son, Britton in 1848. Both the father and the son died in July 1849 in the cholera epidemic. As mentioned above, Vincent was a blacksmith in business at one point with his older brother.

Britton (9-26-1819 to 7-9-1863) -- Our gg-grandfather -- plenty was written about him in earlier postings.

Rachel -- married James Lusk in 1843 in Cincinnati. James was a ship's carpenter according to one of the Census documents. Ruth Wainright was living with the Lusks in Newport, KY when she died.

John -- married Elizabeth Raney on 12-22-1836. He also died abt. July 1849 making me speculate that he, too, could have been a victim of the cholera epidemic. I have a copy of John's will written July 1, 1849 naming his wife Elizabeth and children William Henry, David R., John B., and Jane Elizabeth as beneficiaries.

Daniel -- married Prudence Grapevine on November 6, 1842 in Cincinnati. Daniel's occupation was listed as a "drayman" in several City Directories. His marriage license states that he was married by Wesley Rowe, a minister who was listed as the officiant for several of the Wainright weddings. I do not know when Daniel was born, but he may have been one of the older siblings since the City Directory for 1839-40 says that he was born in New York.

There are a couple of other candidates for Wainright siblings, but the documentation is not strong enough to include them in this list. I leave it for future researchers.

Several Wainrights and Darbys fought in the Civil War. At some point I may post what I know about our family's participation in the Civil War. The participation was not limited to men. Some other time . . .