Misc Stories – maternal side

These are miscellaneous stories about some of our ‘collateral relatives’ (not direct ancestors).  Click on a photo to enlarge; use arrows at right and left to navigate.

John Quincy Patten was born 10 January 1855, in Shelby County, Indiana.  He married Julia Maria Bacon in 1880 and by 1885, they had moved west to Reno County, Kansas, and started farming there.  John was elected sheriff of Reno County (County Seat, Hutchinson), Kansas, in January 1894 and held that office until January 1898.  J. Q. Patten went on to become Chief of Police in Hutchinson in 1911 and held that position for many years.  One of the newspaper articles described him thusly:  “John Q. Patten has been a careful, industrious and successful farmer.  He will bring those characteristics with him into the office of sheriff of Reno County.  He is the very type of a sheriff both physically and mentally.  He is genial and warm hearted, yet with an integrity equal to every function of the office.”  In 1895 he was unanimously elected president of the Kansas Sheriffs’ Association.  He was well-liked and respected throughout the state.  J.Q. was a great-uncle of the Applegate sisters and a brother of their grandfather, Vernon Cole Patten, M.D.
To put things into perspective for that time period, Dodge City was only 125 miles west of Hutchinson and was known for its wild-west reputation.  Dodge City is also the site of Boot Hill Cemetery.  Famous lawmen of Dodge City and Ford County include Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson.
The Lawmen of Dodge City and Ford County Kansas:

Caroline Williams, artist, was born 10 Nov 1908 in Covington, KY, to Carll Badger Williams and Mary Teal, who was a daughter of Katherine Watson Gordon and James Teal.  Carll Williams was director of the Art Department at the Cincinnati Enquirer and was an artist in his own right.  Caroline began working as a free-lance artist for the Enquirer in 1932, and a few months later her sketches were a regular feature; they appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer for nearly 50 years.  Books of her sketches were published and had world-wide popularity.  She also won numerous awards and citations from various associations.  She was not satisfied with the printing quality of her early drawings, so in 1945 she acquired an etching press, and then decided that she needed a hand press.  The printing presses were not suitable for a city apartment, so she bought a log cabin in Kentucky and completely remodeled it.  She also had bee hives for honey, goats in the field, fish in a pond, and vegetable and flower gardens.  She converted a smoke house and corn crib into her print shop, and at one time, there were three presses in the shed.  Her mother lived with her until she died in 1972.  Caroline died at the age of 79 in her sleep, from natural causes.  Caroline was the granddaughter of Katherine Gordon Teal, who was a sister to our great-grandfather, Henry Pond Gordon (1857-1934).  She was our 2nd cousin 1x removed.

Nelson Trusler Johnson was born 3 April 1887, in Washington, D.C., to Jeremiah Johnson and Salome Nelson Trusler.  His father was a newspaper publisher.  Nelson discovered early in life that he had a flair for languages and he became fluent in Chinese.  He began his career when he obtained a consular assignment to China as a student interpreter.  At age 33 he was a consul general, and then became the State Department’s authority on Far Eastern affairs.  He was U.S. Ambassador to China from 1935 to 1941 and was on the cover of Time Magazine on Dec. 11, 1939.  After his career in China, he was Minister to Australia, and was then secretary of the Far Eastern Commission.  He married Jane Augusta Washington Thornton Beck in October 1931.  She was the daughter of a Wyoming state senator and the granddaughter of a U.S. Senator from Kentucky.  Nelson was named for his grandfather, Nelson Trusler, who was attorney general in the Cabinet of President Hayes.  Nelson Trusler Johnson was a great-grandson of Elizabeth Gordon (1811-1875) and a great-great-grandson of William Gordon (1779-1860).  He was our 3rd cousin 1x removed.

William VanCamp was born 21 Jun 1889, in Franklin County, IN.  He was killed in the line of duty on Monday, 20 Aug 1923, while Sheriff of Franklin County.  He had served one term of two years and was approximately eight months into a second term at the time of his death.. The morning of August 20, he left Brookville in response to a telephone call made by a farmer living near Mt. Carmel.  Two men had been discovered with their car in a wooded area and that had aroused suspicion.  The farmer requested that the Sheriff investigate, and through a misunderstanding, Sheriff VanCamp did not join a group of farmers waiting for his arrival, but instead entered the woods alone.  Shortly thereafter several gunshots rang out and the two men in the car drove onto the highway and disappeared in the direction of Ohio.  The farmer and several neighbors hurried to where the strangers had been and found Sheriff VanCamp at the point of death from gunshot wounds.  The sheriff who had gone through service overseas without injury met his death within a few miles of his boyhood home.  William had been married only two months before, to Bertha Bruns.  Bertha first married Edwin M. Henley in 1902.  He died on 20 Jan 1921 from double pneumonia, as a result of the flu.  Bertha and William VanCamp were married on 26 July 1923; he died two months later.  Bertha married Norbert Baker in 1932.  Norbert died on 24 July 1969 and Bertha died on 12 Oct 1971.  There were no children from any of the marriages.  Bertha (1881-1971) was a granddaughter of Mahlon Clay Gordon (1826-1904).  She was a 2nd cousin 2x removed.

Daniel Wilson Moore (23 Jan 1840-8 May 1916), 80 years old and a life-long resident of Fayette County, Indiana, was fatally injured in April 1916, when a brood sow viciously attacked him.  He lingered for three weeks before succumbing to his injuries.  Daniel was a well-respected farmer and stockman and engaged in the buying and selling of livestock.  He was first married in 1863 to Caroline Ross, who died in 1865.  He then married Caroline Beckett in 1866 and they had five children together; she died in 1896.  In 1903 he married Mary Daly; she died in 1913.  Daniel was a grandson of William Gordon (1779-1860) and a 1st cousin 3x removed.

This next story is one of saddest in our family tree – what a terrible tragedy.
Ted and Thelma Bowman Wainscott (1902-1989) lived most of their life in Shelbyville, Indiana.  It was there where they lost four daughters in tragic circumstances.  Betty Lou and Julia Ann, ages 7 and 5 respectively, had attended a birthday party one afternoon and were walking home via the alley behind their home.  Someone had started a trash fire and was not attending it.  One girl was curious and got too close, catching her paper party dress on fire.  During the Great Depression, little girls often wore paper dresses over their clothing as a way to ‘dress up’.  The other sister ran to her sister to help and her clothes caught on fire, too.  When they ran toward home, the flames flared higher.  Their older brother, Dick (Richard), only 11 at the time, met them at the door when he heard their screams and wrapped them in a rug to smother the fire.  They died on the way to the hospital.  Almost 3 years later, another daughter, Patricia Jane, age 5 at the time, had asked her dad (Ted) if she could walk to the corner soda fountain to buy some candy.  It was only four doors away, and he was standing in the front yard watching her.  As she came out of the store, a drunk driver drove up on the sidewalk as he wildly cut the corner and mowed her down.  He dragged her several feet.  She died a few hours later at the hospital.  Two months later, Thelma, who was pregnant when Patricia died, delivered a stillborn daughter, Mary Louise, who strangled on the umbilical cord.  Those horrid 3 years of tragic deaths would haunt the family forever.  Ted and Thelma had 3 surviving older sons.  The couple lived well into their 80s.  Thelma was the great-granddaughter of Eveline Gordon Bowman (1813-1884), who was the daughter of William Gordon, our 3rd great-grandfather.  Thelma was our 3rd cousin 1x removed.