Sunday, November 27, 2011

Joneses in the 1870 Census

Joneses in the 1870 Census
Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Cincinnati Ward 17, Hamilton, Ohio; Roll: M593_1215; Page: 261A; Image: 525; Family History Library Film: 552714.
There are a lot of clues about the Jones Family in the 1870 U.S, Census.  We can see that Elizabeth, wife of Alexander, is listed as a widow, keeping house.  Her net worth is listed as $100.  She lists her birthplace as Pennsylvania and fudges on her age.  She claims to be 44 years-old but is actually a couple of years older.  The mark in the box to the right is under the column that suggests that she cannot write.  It says that she can read although I recall other documents that did not make that claim.

In 1879, five children are living with her:  Martha (age 22), Charles H. (age 19), John (age 18), Thomas (age 14), and Elizabeth (age 8).  William (age 28) is no longer living with the family and may be married.  Although the document lists their residence as the 17th Ward, no specific street is listed.  For this information, I checked the Cincinnati City Directory.  As of 1868, the family is living in a two-story frame house right on the banks of the Ohio River.

See area shaded in pale yellow in the bend of the river.  Click to enlarge.
Pictured is part of the 17th Ward taken from a Titus Map of the area in 1869.

1868 Cincinnati City Directory

By 1870 the two older boys, Charles and John, were working in a saw mill.  Thomas and Elizabeth are in school, and Martha (the oldest girl) is "living at home."  According to a letter written by Lillian Mears to Edith Breving outlining our family history:

Your grandfather (Charles) and Uncle Tom (Charles' brother) worked for the Crane Lumber 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!

It is hard to know the exact location of the Crane Lumber Yard where they worked because the company was located in several locations on Eastern Ave. over the years.  Lumber was needed to support the steamboat-building industry as well as housing for the rapidly-expanding population.  It is at times a bit shocking to see how the Cincinnati hillsides were stripped of their virgin forests in an area prone to mudslides.  One of the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps pictures one Crane Lumber Yard in the area currently occupied by LeBlond Park, less than a quarter of a mile downstream from the home on the "River Bank."

The home highlighted in blue would eventually become the home of Charles Henry Jones.  If you look carefully at the picture below, you can see one of the hillsides that has been stripped of vegetation.  This picture in entitled "boatbuilding" and is From the Collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Charles Henry Jones is my great-grandfather.  He is now of marriageable age.  Our Jones Family History is about to take another turn.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Living on the Ohio

Note:  This post, with minimal updates, was originally posted on Jones Family Matters on June 10, 2009.

Rear of St. Rose Church facing the Ohio River. The Water Pumping Station is to the right.
I knew from City Directories and Census documents that Elizabeth Kinley Jones (widow of Alexander) and her family lived on the banks of the Ohio River. Family stories as well as the 1880 Census showed the family living on Lumber St. off of Eastern Ave. Lumber St. is right next to St. Rose Church which was built in 1867. It was originally known as St. Rosa and was built to serve the German population of the area.

A few years back I went to the Hamilton Co. Recorder's Office and did a property search. I discovered that the property occupied by St. Rose Church was originally part of the George Torrence Estates. He divided his property among his children, and his daughter Nancy inherited Lots 10 and 11. The Church is on Lot 11.

The deed states that Nancy Torrence sold Lot 11 for $10,000 to Bishop John Purcell. She then donated $1000 back to help fund the construction of the Church. This was in 1867. No mention was made of any part of the property being used for a home.

This frustrated me for years because Elizabeth Jones, widow of Alexander, is listed in the 1868 City Directory as living in a house, east of Lumber St. The 1880 Census lists Elizabeth and her children as the only residents on Lumber St. besides the three priests serving St. Rose and their housekeeper.

At a meeting of the Hamilton County Genealogical Society, Bill Graver, a volunteer for the Cincinnati Historical Society introduced himself and told me he thought he could help solve the mystery.  The following week my husband Bill and I met with Mr. Graver at the Historical Society Library.  He had located a historical map showing the house in question 250' from the southeast corner of the church on the river bank. The house was a two-story frame house with an iron chimney. It was located on Lot 10 of the Torrence Estate on property that is currently occupied by the Cincinnati Water Works Pumping Station (not the Gas Works) owned by the City of Cincinnati.

Based on this information, my brother Tim, sister-in-law Dusty and I went with tape measure in hand to find the exact location of the "Jones Homestead." The river level in 2009 is much higher than the level in 1880 but you can get a distinct feel for their closeness and love for the Ohio. Note: I mislabeled the map as the "Cincinnati Gas Works." It should have read "Cincinnati Water Works Pumping Station."

Tim marking the approximate spot of the Jones Homestead.


Current look of the river bank. The walls at the top of the bank surround the Water Works Pumping Plant.  See below.

View of the river bank from the St. Rose Church parking lot.

Photo Credit:
This is how the Pumping Station looked on Eastern Ave. (now Riverside Dr.) before the 1937 flood.  Because the plant was not originally protected by tall walls, the pumps failed and the city was without clean water for a week.  The picture of the bank as it appears now shows the walls that now surround the plant.  Notice St. Rose Church located to the right of the plant.

Since the Church was built in 1867 and the Cincinnati City Directory lists the family as living in the house on the river bank in 1868, the Joneses and St. Rose saw the beginning of a relationship that would last for 100 years.  So how did the family pay the rent?  I'll tell you about that in the next post.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Movin' on Out to the East Side

Typical of the times, when Alexander and Elizabeth first settled in Cincinnati, they lived in the "basin" area.  It's easy to track their moves by using City Directories.  The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has an online virtual library where you can search 115 years worth of City Directories that have been digitized and are online.  They date all the way back to 1819.

Current Day Race Street between 14th and 15th
As mentioned in the previous post, Alexander first appeared in the 1843 City Directory.  He was listed as a carpenter living on Race Street between 14th and 15th.  This is about one block north of where Music Hall is located.  You have to be careful when making assumptions that the address listed in the City Directory corresponds to the address for an area today.  When our Joneses lived in the basin area, "house numbers" did not yet exist.  In 1897, the streets of Cincinnati were renumbered.  Streets changed names.  Just think about Front Street, later named Eastern Avenue, and now called Riverside Drive.  I was surprised to find out that in the 1848 Daguerreotype picture of Cincinnati, the experts have not been able to identify any building pictured then that still exists now.  I am sure the buildings shown above did not exist in 1843.

By 1860, the family seems to be living in the "East End."  After Alexander died in 1862, his widow, Elizabeth, does not appear in the City Directories again until 1870.  Here is a copy of the listing.
1870 Cincinnati City Directory
I'd love to know how she supported herself during that time.  Her eldest son, William, was also listed in the City Directory.  He was 18 years old in 1870 and probably assisted in the support of the family.  He is listed as working at the Mowry Car and Wheel Works.

According to Kenny's Illustrated Cincinnati, the Mowry Car and Wheel "Works are the most extensive manufacturers of Car Wheels in Cincinnati or the West. They are situated on the bank of the Ohio, about one mile above the Little Miami Railroad Depot. The different buildings consist of foundry, forge, finishing, pattern, and other shops, besides large yards for coal, iron, etc., covering altogether about five acres of ground. They manufacture all descriptions of Railroad and Street Car Wheels, and build all kin*}* or Railroad Freight Cars, and have, during the past twenty-five years, supplied most of the leading roads in the United States.  N.G. Green is the general superintendent.  (p. 289)

Mowry Car Wheel Works (located in area of current-day LeBlond Park on the riverfront).
Source:  1891 Cincinnati Sanborn Fire Insurance Map

View of the Ohio River from LeBlond Park (former location of Mowry Car Wheel Works)
As mentioned earlier, I have not been able to find where the family lived after Alexander's death.   It's not until 1870 that the family appears to have some type of stability in living arrangement.  Of course, in the next post we'll be heading to the river bank, right on the shores of the Ohio River.