Category Archives: Missouri

More on the Kelley family. . .yes, they go way back!

Kelley Homestead

Kelley Homestead

This home was built by Aaron Kelley (son of Ezekiel) on the Kelley Homestead south of Hillsboro, Ohio in 1862/3.

Below is the lineage back to Ezekiel —
Ezekiel Kelley, born 1771 Maryland – died 1858 Ohio (father unknown)

son of Ezekiel —
Aaron Kelley, born 1817 Ohio – died 1893 Ohio

son of Aaron —
John Weller Kelley, born 1845 Ohio – died 1931 Nebraska

son of John —
Forrest Aaron Kelley, born 1878 Iowa – died 1945 Kansas

son of Forrest —
Robert Wilson Kelley, born 1912 Kansas – died 1977 Missouri

Below was Copied from The Highland Press, Hillsboro, Ohio

9/10/2012 11:22:00 AM
Southern Ohio Genealogical Society to conduct program on Ezekiel Kelley and Troutwine Cemetery

Thursday, Sept. 20 will be the first fall program of the Southern Ohio Genealogical Society.

The guest speaker will be Howard Kelly of Webertown, a community just west of Lynchburg in Highland County. Howard will be sharing the story of Ezekiel Kelley and the Troutwine Cemetery.

Howard’s ancestor, Ezekiel Kelley, first came to Highland County (circa 1797) as a meat hunter for the survey crew of Nathaniel Massie. Massie was one of the first surveyors in the Northwest Territory.

The hunters led the party, followed by the surveyors, the chainmen, the markers then the pack horses with the baggage. Also, about 200 yards in the rear of the others, a man called the spy made sure the party would not be attacked in the rear.

Ezekiel Kelley was among the party that made the first surveys of the territory that is now Highland County. He received $10.50 for his services.

Ezekiel homesteaded on Ballard Survey No. 2,352 some four miles southeast of Hillsboro, near New Market. A burial plot on the farm was selected when a member of the family died in 1806. Today, the cemetery on the hill overlooking the old home site is enclosed in a cement wall.

Howard Kelley, speaker, has also done extensive work at the Troutwive Cemetery which is located near Webertown just north of Route 50 near the Brown and Clinton county lines.

The land for this cemetery – one acre – was originally deeded March 7, 1847 to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Then again on March 7, 1873, another deed conveyed the “public burying ground” to the Trustees of Dodson Township.

Howard Kelley has been building muzzle-loading rifles since the early 1960s and also builds fiddles, banjos and is a fiddle player himself.

Below is Information on the Kelley Cemetery, copied from ancestry.com

And if you want to see who is buried there, go to http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=41669&CScn=kelly+cemetery&CScntry=4&CSst=37&

Name: Kelley Cemetery Map No. 122Location: Liberty Township Page: 261Remarks: This cemetery was in the KELLEY name for over 150 years. On July 18, 1806 Ezekiel KELLEY, the pioneer from Maryland, bought 100 acres from Henry MASSIE, recorded in Transcribed Book 11, page 20, Highland County Deed Records. His son Aaron KELLEY lived and died on this farm. M.G. and Esie Kelley owned the farm in 1916, and Florence D. KELLEY, their daughter-in-law, owned it until 1967.On June 28, 1841, in Original Book 9, page 83, Highland County, Deed Records, Ezekiel KELLEY and Catherine his wife conveyed to James KELLY, William LONG and Andrew HOTT the following described real estate “for a burying ground anf for no lives”. On July 27, 1882, in Original Book 59, page 423, Aaron KELLY conveyed to James KELLY, William LONG and Andrew HOTT ” for a burial ground 20 feet off of the west side of the grave yard on my farm in Little Rocky Fork in Liberty Township in Highland County, Ohio, the graveyard being described in deed date 1841 of Ezekiel KELLY to same parties…containing 20 ft off the west end thereof. “This cemetery is enclosed by a cement wall and broad cement steps as a stile give easy access into the cemetery. All stones copied. Copied word for word out of the “CEMETERY INSCRIPTIONS OF HIGHLAND COUNTY, OHIO, Complied by David N. McBride, Attorney at Law and Jane N. McBride, Past Regent, Waw-Wil-Way Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution Past President, General Duncan McArthur Chapter, Daughters of 1812, National Society Daughters of the American Colonists.

Land Office Record for Ezekiel Kelley

Land Office Record for Ezekiel Kelley

Ezekiel Kelley, Land Office Record

Ezekiel Kelley, Land Office Record

You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby . . .Not So Fast

Ugly Children

Ugly Children

Joan Rivers says that when she comes across an ugly baby and can’t think of what to say, she comments on how nice the crib is!

Here is some background in case you haven’t read my earlier posts. My older brother and I were both adopted from The Willows Maternity Sanitarium in Kansas City, Missouri. We aren’t related genetically, but grew up together and are close. As close as two complete recluses can be.

My brother is four years older. After my parents adopted him, they immediately set the wheels in motion to adopt another baby. Single child households were not common back in the late 1940’s – early 1950’s as these were the baby boom years after WWII.

In order to adopt another child, my older brother was taken to a child psychologist and interviewed. I’ve copied what the psychologist wrote about him.

Psychologist's Evaluation

Psychologist’s Evaluation

And she was dead on about my brother. From an early age, he showed incredible mechanical genius. He was a mad inventor even as a little kid. My brother made rocket fuel in the basement. He created a mechanical witch that popped out of the clothes hamper in the bathroom to scare me when I got up in the middle of the night to pee. And on and on. Mom said that whenever she visited his elementary school unannounced, he was always standing out in the hall being punished for one thing or another. Honestly, he was just bored. A.A. Hyde Elementary School didn’t appreciate his aptitude and also didn’t know how to handle him with the exception of making him stand in the hall.

In 1951, my parents were given the opportunity to adopt a baby girl (me). One month after my birth, they drove to Kansas City to pick me up. As you can see, I was skinny, very red and hairy. My eyes appeared oversized, much too big for my face.

Me at One Month.  Taken when Mom & Dad picked me up in Kansas City

Me at One Month. Taken when Mom & Dad picked me up in Kansas City

My big brother and me.

My big brother and me.


Four Month's Old

Four Month’s Old

The state of Missouri has finally changed their laws on Sealed Adoption Records. If both biological parents are dead (and you can prove it), you can petition the Court to receive a copy of your adoption file. (I have written more on this subject in earlier posts)

I finally received a very thick manila envelope of paperwork from the Circuit Court of Jackson County. Inside were pychological evaluations of my parents, letters of reference, copies of receipts, etc.

Of course, I have read through this file several times. I thought I had thoroughly read everything until yesterday when something new caught my eye!
pretty

Luckily for me, Mom didn’t see me through other people’s eyes. If she had known what the home visitor had written, that I was not pretty and not precocious, she would have driven to Kansas City and kicked her in the butt! Once they got us, Mom and Dad were the most loyal parents ever.

Below is copied from a letter that Mom wrote to the social worker in Kansas City. (a copy of her letter was in my big manila evelope)

Her hair is very dark for a tiny baby and her head is beautifully shaped. I have seen pretty babies, but none as pretty as Jan. Now, if we can just teach her all the things that must go with her being so beautiful.

I wish our pictures truly could show you how sweet our baby is, but some day we will be in Kansas City and we will bring her to see you.

Thanks Mom and Dad! R.I.P.

Scandal at The Willows Maternity Sanitarium when Singer Borrows Baby to Defraud ex-Hubby

I was born and adopted from The Willows Maternity Sanitarium in Kansas City, Missouri. During its heyday, the Willows advertised “Superior Babies for Adoption”. After searching for newspaper articles that made reference to The Willows, I came across a scandal that involved The Willows in 1924. (If you would like more background information on The Willows, please see my earlier posts)

The Willows Maternity Sanitarium, Kansas City, Missouri

The Willows Maternity Sanitarium, Kansas City, Missouri

Miss Lydia Locke appeared at the Willows Maternity Hospital in 1924 calling herself Mrs. Ira Johnson of Hannibal, Missouri. She had references in place and the Willows was satisfied enough with her story that she left with a newborn baby boy. Miss Locke allegedly “borrowed” that baby in order to receive an additional sum from her wealthy ex-husband, Arthur Hudson Marks. In the divorce decree she received $100,000 but was assured an additional $300,000 in case a child was born to her. (the amounts varied depending on the newspaper) She obtained a birth certificate from the family physician naming the baby boy “Arthur Hudson Marks, Jr.”

The Marks were divorced in September of 1923. Apparently Miss Locke was mathematically challenged or unaware of the average gestational period for humans, but in October of 1924 she appeared in New York with the baby. Miss Locke contacted her ex-husband and asked him to acknowledge the baby as his own.

Mr. Marks, not so biologically or mathematically challenged as Miss Locke, employed private detectives to learn how she obtained the baby. The poor little baby, now six weeks old, was ordered returned to the Willows Maternity Sanitarium. The articles don’t say what became of the infant. In any event, he was better off without the looney Miss Locke.

locke-nov8-1925-color
bride

palm off baby

Date:  Tuesday, Nov. 11, 1924  Paper:  Boston Herald (Boston, MA)

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 11, 1924 Paper: Boston Herald (Boston, MA)

Before adoption became a compassionate process of placing children in healthy homes, it was more like the dog pound. Below is a clipping from 1906 for “The Willows” that reads like a “free to a good home” pet adoption ad.
free to a good home

What Ever Happened to Harry, Part II.

Back in January, I wrote about Harry Morris & his disappearance.  You can see the earlier post published on January 13, 2013.  His grandson Joe & I have spent many hours searching online for Harry & have never found anything.  He simply disappeared from Kansas City — leaving his wife, Flora (Blume Kremer) Morris, with six children to care for.  Because a person can’t completely vanish in today’s world, I have had a hard time accepting that he just walked out.  I understand divorce and separation, but I can’t imagine never coming back to see your children. Thanks to Flora’s other recent immigrant family members from Russia and Lithuania, she somehow managed to keep her family together. And she eventually remarried and lived to be 81 years old, living from 1890 to 1971. Flora (Blume Kremer) was a resourceful and resilient woman.
Flora Kramer

Now with better communication, computers, DNA tests, etc., it is a rare occurrence that a man (or woman) can go to the corner store for a pack of cigarettes & never return.  Harry’s grandson, Joe, has had his DNA tested on familytreedna.com and maybe some day, someone will be a good DNA match and the pieces can be put together.

My interest in Harry Morris started when I began trying to help my daughter’s Russian & Eastern European side of her family create a family tree.  Over the last weeks, I have read many articles about the difficulties that these new immigrants had in adjusting to their lives in America.  I bought a used book titled “Mid-America’s Promise: A Profile of Kansas City Jewry” that was edited by Joseph D. Schultz & published in 1982.

Mid-America's promise
I bought this book hoping that it might contain some references to my daughter’s family members. Unfortunately, there aren’t any with the one exception of a photo of Robert “Bob” Bernstein who invented the McDonald’s Happy Meal. But, from this wonderful book I have learned how these Russian & Eastern European immigrants, at the turn of the 20th Century, ended up in Kansas City, MO.

I will try to keep this short, but a brilliant man named Jacob Billikopf was instrumental in the Kansas City immigration story. He was a recent immigrant from Lithuania who worked with other Jewish leaders to try and remedy the situation in New York. The wave of immigrants had begun to overwhelm New York’s resources and the city leader’s were quickly becoming desperate. The book explains how Jacob created the “Billikopf Route”. Many representatives of American Jewish charities traveled to Hamburg & Bremerhaven to try and convince the immigrants to land and move further west from NYC. Jacob Billikopf basically created the Galveston, TX route in order to help the immigrants find a “more assured future”. He managed Kansas City’s Jewish social services and found jobs and housing for the people willing to travel further west.

That said, it doesn’t explain what happened to Harry Morris. While many Eastern European immigrants were able to quickly assimilate, some were not. The ones who landed in NYC could hold onto their old ways, Yiddish language, and customs longer than the immigrants who moved further west. There was more pressure on those who took the “Billikopf Route” and some felt very isolated in their new country. There were also social and cultural rifts between the older German Jewish population and the new poorer Eastern European immigrants.

Desertion, the poor man’s “divorce”, happened so often among the Eastern Europeans that a National Desertion Bureau was formed to help locate the wayward Jewish husbands and fathers. Jacob Billikopf became very disturbed by the problems created by desertion and death. He and Judge Edward Porterfield wrote and passed a bill in 1911 that established a “Mothers’ Assistance Fund” in Kansas City. This bill was a forerunner to the Aid to Dependent Children programs across the country.

The problems caused by desertion didn’t occur only in Kansas City. The situation was so bad that the Jewish Daily Forward, the largest-circulation Yiddish daily in the world, began running the “Gallery of Missing Men,” a page full of mug shots of these husbands. It was published to shame them into returning to their families. Or maybe to warn other women about these scoundrels.
gallery of missing men

And now for more family photos from Daddy Ray’s Slides!

uncle bob5

Cousin Susan and Uncle Bob. (and Gretel)

edna

Great Aunt Edna Romick, Aunt Helen and Mom

marissa

Marissa, Mom and me. Taken in Coral Gables, FL

Marissa Jan Mom

Grandma Florence, baby Marissa and me

aunt edna

Mom meeting Aunt Edna on the tarmac. Remember Braniff? Remember meeting a plane? This is obviously a very old photo.

Uncle Bob

Uncle Bob down at the Winfield Farm. Don’t know the gentleman on the right. Maybe Farmer Brown?

uncle bob1

Uncle Bob looking very serious. He actually loved to tell jokes and laughed a lot.

uncle bob 3

Dr. Bob performing surgery on the turkey with Joe and Susan.

kelley kitchen

The Kelleys and the Pages with Aunt Edna (with the bright red hair)

kelley residene

Kelley residence in St. Louis

peter & Harriett

Mom and Pete at the farm.

coral gables

Dinner party in Coral Gables with Tim & Helen, Mary & Karl, Val, Marissa and Mom

Time for Some More Embarrassing Family Photos (from Daddy Ray’s slides)

I mailed a box of Daddy Ray’s slides off to http://digmypics.com/ They have great recommendations & after the job they did on these 50 plus year old slides, I am very happy with them. If you have any old slides that you would like made into jpeg files, I recommend them.

Love Mom's white sunglasses

Love the glasses that the Kelley sisters are sporting.

Two Year Old Birthday Party.  I think it was probably Pete's birthday.

Two Year Old Birthday Party. I think it was probably Pete’s birthday.

Grandma Page & me in our kitchen.

Great photo of Grandma Page (& baby Jan)

Tim and I enjoying our big picture books.

I am amazed that cousin Tim could read “The Brave Little Steam Shovel” all by himself.

Aunt Helen's fabulous turkey.

Aunt Helen’s fabulous turkey, along with some goofy girls & Aunties Helen & Harriett

Here's that darn Bumpas family.

Here’s that darn Bumpas family.  Darn those Bumpases (is that plural for Bumpas?)

Breakfast in the Kelley's yard.

Breakfast in the Kelley’s yard.

I must have been the birthday girl since I have the crown on!  Make a wish!

I must have been the birthday girl since I have the crown on! Make a wish!

Cousin Martha & Jan taking the combine out for a spin.

Cousin Martha & Jan taking the combine out for a spin.

A Kansas City Detective Story, “What Ever Happened to Harry?”

Harry Morris came to the United Stated from Russia. He was handsome and ended up in Kansas City, Missouri.

Harry Morris

Harry Morris

He married Flora Kramer (Kremer), daughter of Aron Kremer & Tema Malka Rykles from Kejdany,Kovno,Russia, Lithuania. After their marriage in 1909 — they had six living children Sam, Milton, Joseph, Ida, Max & Isador.

Flora Kremer Morris

Flora Kremer Morris

Census

Census

The Morris Children

The Morris Children

Sometime after the 1920 United States Federal Census, Harry Morris disappeared. Harry left Flora with six children & no one has ever been able to find out what happend to him. His guardian, Samuel Tranin, had gotten into trouble with the legal system, but there is no evidence that that Harry was a part of his trouble.

If anyone could offer any hints on how to find information on an almost 100 year old cold case, please let us all know. Even this long ago, it is interesting that someone could completely disappear.

More about the “System” at the Family Court in Jackson County, Missouri

Since the law allowing adoptees to receive identifying information was passed in 2011, there has been a huge amount of interest and it has created a backlog of adoptee’s cases waiting for review. There is a very small staff available for this review and they feel the need to cross all t’s and dot the i’s. Individuals requesting information have a several month waiting period before their file reaches the top of the pile. The request for information is not the top priority of the Family Court. The Family Court attorney has so many other activities to pursue like child welfare, support and family disputes that reviewing the adoptees’ requests is at the bottom of their list of priorities.

Because they are such sticklers for detail, they even feel the need to “review” requests when the birth parent would be over 100 years of age. I guess the parent might still be alive, but it is doubtful. I can only imagine the Court interviewing the birth parent in their respective nursing home. The poor birth parent probably wouldn’t remember what they had for breakfast, that they once had children or that they even had sex for that matter.

Perhaps it would benefit the Court to temporarily hire someone to clean up the backlog and free the Court Attorney to work on more pressing matters. But again, I am not a stickler for detail or even for keeping secrets that are no longer important to most people. My adoptive parents told me from day one that I was adopted. We had way too many cousins in the family who would have known the truth and we all know how children love to keep family secrets — not.

I know passing legislation is difficult. And then once it has been passed, even more difficult to enforce when there isn’t enough staff in place. My answer to the problem is to simply make the records available once the adoptee is of a certain age. Or if the birth parents are dead. Wait, isn’t that what they just passed? So why the wait and why all of the review? Anyone with a computer can access the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) which contains over 90,000,000 records.

Kansas City was the Adoption Hub of America

copied from the Kansas City Public Library  http://www.kclibrary.org/kchistory/adoption

Adoptions

Two factors made Kansas City the “baby hub” of the United States: the railroads and only one child placement agency, the adoption department of the Juvenile Court.

Parents from all over the United States used to pack their pregnant, unwed daughters onto the train and send them to Kansas City where taxis waited at the station to transport them to one of several maternity homes, including The Willows, Fairmount, St. Vincent’s, Florence Crittenton, Kansas City Cradle, and others. In 1929, “292 young women from 25 states slipped into Kansas City that year to give birth at The Willows, the city’s largest maternity home.” And scores more came to the others.

Reporter Norma Lee Browning wrote in the Chicago Sunday Tribune Grafic Magazine on July 2, 1950, “There is one city, however, that has solved its own ‘black market’ baby problems by devising a simplified court adoption system that has gained a nation-wide reputation for its high standards, fine work, and success in the child placement field. That is Kansas City, Mo. The adoption court there places about 1,000 babies a year, thus making it one of the largest and possibly ‘the’ largest child placement agency in AMERICA.”

When attitudes began changing in the 1960s and ‘70s, most of these homes closed.

Because so many children were adopted in Kansas City during the first half of the twentieth century, the Missouri Valley Special Collections department receives numerous requests for information about the maternity homes and also about their records. We have information about the homes, but we do not have any records.

The following excerpts are from a booklet titled “By-Paths and Cross-Roads; Accidents of Fair Travelers on the Highway of Life”, published by The Willows Maternity Sanitarium, primarily for physicians, copyright 1918 by E. P. Haworth.

The Willows Maternity Sanitarium is an institution devoted exclusively to the care and seclusion of unfortunate young women, offering them congenial, homelike surroundings before confinement and exceptional medical and hospital care during delivery and convalescence. In most cases arrangements are also made for the finding of a home for the patient’s baby for adoption.

The institution will not knowingly accept a young woman of the immoral or degenerate type, its service being reserved for worthy and deserving young women who have made a misstep and who face social and moral ruin. The Willows’ method is the safe, Christian and ethical solution to one of the most difficult problems of the medical community.

Early entrance during gestation is important for preparing the patient for accoutrement through systematic hygienic methods and massage. A special system of abdominal and perineal massage has been originated for preventing striae gravidarum and as an aid to labor. The abdominal markings of a single girl, caused by carrying a child, are telltale signs that might be discovered at any time and cause her misfortune to become known. This combination of massages, including the skin, perineal and vaginal massage, has been successful in sending numbers of girls, who have taken them, away from The Willows without marks or signs to show of their experience.

My Complaint Email to Ms. Schottel of the Jackson County Family Court

Dear Ms. Schottel,

I have complied with the law in regard to obtaining information about my biological parents. I hired a Search Specialist, Laura Long, in 2011. She submitted to you a report stating that my bio. parents are deceased.

You sent me a letter on June 6, 2011 stating that my biological parents are deceased. From your letter — “Regretfully, the search has uncovered the fact that both your biological parents are deceased.” Are you saying that you no longer believe in the contents of your letter?

Obviously something is wrong with the system of the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri. I have a right to obtain the identifying information about my biological parents and I feel that you are denying me access.

I have sent you the form requesting information, a photo copy of my driver’s license and proof of my adoption. I have also sent copies of my bio. mother’s birth and death certificates. And now you want the original records. What will you want next?

I am a 61 year old adoptee whose biological and adopted parents are deceased. Are you hoping that I will also die before you have to send me information on myself?

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