Monday, February 22, 2010

"Let's do what we do best, Scoob!" Mystery at the Corner of Brown and Hess (1879)



I recently found the location of my great great grandparents' 1879 residence in Dayton, Ohio. The home was listed at the "corner of Brown and Hess" in the obituary found in the Dayton Journal newspaper for their son, Charles Raymond Judson. You can read about it here: Remember Microfilm? Obituary of Charles Judson, age 3 (1879)


Google Maps shows a building still standing at the corner of Brown and Hess; could that be the Judson home still standing? Time to investigate:



Question: What kind of neighborhood is it today? Are these new or historical buildings?

Gameplan: Look for obvious clues


  • Google Search "Oregon Park Dayton OH"
=====>Result: The home is located in the Oregon Historic District and they have a website with newsletters, photos, and history of the district!

  • Google Maps: Local Business Search - I want to talk to someone nearby who can tell me about the neighborhood and if the building is currently a private residence. Perfect businesses to locate are Bed and BreakfastsChurches, and Libraries. I have also called a gas station and a restaurant before. Everyone has always been receptive to my humorous, out-of-the blue inquires.
=====>Result: Wonderful conversation with the owner of the INN PORT BED and BREAKFAST right down the street from the property. She was extremely friendly and offered as much information as she could about the building and the district. The building at the NE corner of Brown and Hess houses apartments - address 128-130 Brown Street. There used to be a school at the SE corner of Brown and Hess (where the park is now).



  • Google Maps: More (options): Street View: Let's take a walk...
=====>Result: The building matches the architecture of the other buildings on the street. It is definitely not recent construction. It might be too large to have been a single family residence in 1879.  


Question: Is this the same building that was standing there in 1879?

Gameplan: Identify available resources

  • Call in the Calvary: Do I have any genea-friends that either live near or research the Dayton, OH area?
=====>Result: YES! The amazing geneablogger and twitter friend Lori, author of Genealogy and Me commented on a post of mine a few weeks back inquiring about the location of my great great grandparents' home in Dayton since that was her hometown. Perfect! Little Miss Wonderful soon emailed me photos of the property and data that she had researched on the county tax office website. She also showed me where to find photos of the neighborhood buildings on the Oregon Historic District website which I had previously missed. She also mentioned that there was a Great Flood of 1913 in Dayton which later turned out to be a great clue!

  • Search Property Records: Montgomery County Ohio Real Estate Tax Information System









"Property Search," database, County Auditor's PageMontgomery County, Ohio (http://www.mcrealestate.org/Search/GenericSearch.aspx?mode=ADDRESS: accessed 23 Jan 2010), photograph, “entry for 128 Brown Street, Dayton, Ohio, Parcel ID R72 01509 0051;” photograph © Montgomery County, Ohio. Used with Permission further use prohibited. 

=====>Result: No, the county tax records show the building located at 128 Brown Street having been built in 1920. It also shows that the building is built on two lots: Parcel ID R72 01509 0051 and R72 01509 0052. 

"Property Search," database, County Auditor's PageMontgomery County, Ohio (http://www.mcrealestate.org/Search/GenericSearch.aspx?mode=ADDRESS: accessed 23 Jan 2010), “entry for 128 Brown Street, Dayton, Ohio, Parcel ID R72 01509 0051;” digital map image © Montgomery County, Ohio. Used with Permission further use prohibited. 


=====>Result: If the Judson house was located at the NE corner of Brown and Hess in 1879 it was not located in the building that currently stands there which was built in 1920. They would have lived on the lot identified by Parcel ID R72 01509 0052. After the Great Flood of 1913 in Dayton, several buildings were razed and new structures took their place. 




Question: The 1880 Federal Census lists the Judsons living on 4th street. Did they move after the deaths of their children or could the funeral have been held in the home of a relative? Who lived at the corner of Brown and Hess in 1880? 1879?


Gameplan: Identify primary resources from that time period that can provide an address.


  • Dayton City Directory 1879: Microfilm loan available from the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah to Local History Center
=====>Result:
1878/79 Williams' Dayton city directory... by Williams & Co.FHL US/CAN Film
1376783
1879/80 Williams' Dayton city directory... by Williams & Co.FHL US/CAN Film
1376783









  • Dayton Journal, Jan 1880, Obituary of Nellie Judson: Roll 37404 01/01/1880 - 06/30/1880
=====>Result: Already ordered through interlibrary loan from Ohio State Historical Society - results to follow.

  • Funeral Records, Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio: Phone call 29 Jan 2010. 
=====>Result: Online Internment Database, no further records on file (ie. receipts for plots or death certificates). No address of purchaser listed


  • Dayton City Directory 1880-81: Online at Ancestry.com: Proudfoot and Urquhart's Directory of Dayton and Montgomery County 1880-81 [Okay this was not indexed, but I knew the answer was in there so I spent my Sunday afternoon reading every entry on every page until......]
=====>Result: BINGO! Henry C. Eversole resided at the NE corner of Brown and Hess in 1880. 



So where are Lewis and Helen? They are listed as boarding at the Phillips house [on 4th Street]. 


Just to cover all the bases, the SE Corner of Brown and Hess housed an Intermediate school in 1880 The Dayton Metro Library website states that the Newcom school was "built in 1838" so the Judson residence had to be located on the NE corner. 





Summary: Lewis and Helen Judson resided at the corner of Brown and Hess in Dayton, Ohio Dec 1879 according to the Obituary of their son Charles Raymond Judson published in the Dayton Daily Journal Newspaper December 27, 1879 Vol. XVII. NO. 130 Column Six. Sometime within the year 1880 the Judson's relocated to the Phillips boarding house on 4th Street in Dayton. One can only speculate as to what prompted the move: doctors bills and burial costs or just painful memories? The 1880 Dayton City Directory shows a school located at the SE corner of Brown and Hess and a residence (Henry C. Eversole) at the NE corner. The Dayton Library website states that the Newcom school was built in 1838 hence the only possible location of residence for the Judson's was at the Northeast corner. The Montgomery County Ohio Real Estate Tax Information System shows Parcel ID R72 01509 0052 (30' x 99.17') located at the NE corner of Brown and Hess. The building currently standing at the NE corner of Brown and Hess was built in 1920 and is not the same building in which Judsons lived. 




Now where's my Scooby Snack?  ;)


Search Historical Newspaper Collections at Ancestry.com



Thanks to Scooby Doo Quotes from the Great Sayings blog!



6 comments:

  1. Excellent article, great grahpics, very very good research report! Enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great detective work, Her! And, isn't Lori wonderful? :)

    Renate

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well done! A great example of focusing on property records and how they can assist with genealogy!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What great detective work - made perfect by the Scooby quote, of course!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Another great piece of detective work! You're an inspiration!
    ~Regina

    ReplyDelete
  6. I enjoyed and appreciated this article. It's good to see how others proceed with research to find answers to problems. Thanks for sharing your method.

    ReplyDelete