Monday, February 21, 2011

Military Monday - The Boys of the 69th Indiana Volunteer Infantry

Kevin at Arbor Familiae has written a wonderful post about of the Boys of the 69th entitiled "These Men Were Heros Once".   Please visit Kevin's blog to enjoy a wonderful story of the men that served.

Link to his post is here

Friday, February 18, 2011

Another Google Alert makes my jaw drop!! - Part 5

The decade of 1900-1910 brought about a drastic decline in the life Cordelia had been living. Even while imprisoned she had enjoyed private accommodations and the freedom brought about by sexual favors to come and go from prison as she pleased. But beginning in 1900 all that would begin to crumble.  Once she was moved to San Quentin she lost her comfortable surroundings.  Then a series of events began a slow and steady decline of her life...

On 30 Aug 1900 Cordelia’s beloved father, Richard died suddenly after being kicked in the head by a horse.

In November of 1901 her sister Sadie was declared insane.

The Mountain Democrat (Placerville, California)

Nov 30, 1901 – Miss Sadie Brown, the sister of Mrs. Cordelia Botkin, the alleged poisoner of Mrs. John P. Dunning, whose escapade in climbing into the cab of an engine and driving a horse attached to a milk wagon until it was exhausted, has brought her prominently before the public in Santa Rosa, has been adjudged insane.

31 Apr 1904 Welcome, who had obtained a divorce from Cordelia , died in Stockton, California.

Welcome A. Botkin Dead
Gained Notoriety Thro’ Wife

Los Angeles Times – Welcome A. Botkin, divorced husband of Cordelia Botkin, died this morning at No. 125 Ellis Street. Death was due to heart failure and digestive complications. He had been ailing for several months, and the end was not unexpected. His only child, Beverly Botkin, was with him when his end came.

Through notoriety gained by his wife, Botkin attracted almost as much attention at the first trial of the poisoner of Mrs. Deane and Mrs. Dunning as the woman herself. At the time of her arrest he was possessed considerable means, which was consumed in securing legal aid for the defendant. After his money was gone and Cordelia Botkin had been convicted, he quietly secured a divorce, which was granted about two years ago.

Botkin was 67 years of age. He had been in the employ of the Armour Packing Company for many years and had represented their interests in nearly every large city in the West. For the past decade he had been stationed in California.

Cordelia has petitioned the court to let her attend Welcome's funeral but the request was denied.

31 Apr 1905 her only child and son Beverly died


SAN FRANCISCO, May 2. 1905 – Mrs. Cordelia Botkin convicted of the murder of Mrs. John P. Dunning of Dover, Delaware, by means of poisoned candy sent through the mail was today permitted to leave the county jail in charge of a deputy sheriff, so she might view the remains of her only son, who died a few days ago. She placed a few roses on the coffin and gave evidence of deep grief, but did not lose her self control.

17 Apr 1907 John Dunning, the man she killed for died of a brain tumor:

In early 1910 Cordelia’s health takes a turn for the worse and she appeals for parole.

Mrs. Botkin Pleads for Parole

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 12, 1910 – Mrs Cordelia Botkin, serving a life sentence at San Quentin for having sent a box of poisoned candy to Mrs. Dunning of Delaware, wife of a man with whom Mrs. Botkin’s name had been associated, had been associated, has applied to the Board of Prison Directors for parole. Her case was considered today at the regular meeting of the board at San Quentin. “Mrs. Florence Roberts, a well-known prison worker, known as “Mother Roberts” is exerting herself in Mrs. Botkin’s behalf.

Since the death of Mrs. Botkin’s son Beverly and her sister, Mrs. Botkin has grieved so much that she is a hopeless invalid.

An effort is being made to take her to spend her remaining days with her mother and faithful sister, Miss Dora Brown, who live at the modest cottage at the old homestead at Healdsburg.

Dunning, for love of whom Mrs. Botkin committed the deed, is dead, as well as all members of Mrs. Botkin’s family. Mrs. Botkin has been in various prisons for this crime for more than twelve years and the once handsome woman is now a broken hearted crushed wreck of femininity, two weak to leave her bed.

7 Mar 1910 Cordelia dies in Prison

Denton Journal: “Mrs. Cordelia Botkin, serving a life sentence at San Quentin, Cal., died on Monday, March 7.”

A journalist for the Oakland Tribune quoted the cause on her death certificate as “softening of the brain induced by melancholy.”

I spoke with the cemetery in Healdsburg where Cordelia is buried alongside her mother and father.  It seems her stone is covered over with grass and ground cover and needs to be unburied.  I've posted the memorial on FAG and have requested a photo.  I've explained in my request that the stone is buried and that I am hoping some adventurous soul will take on the project of uncovering it. 

It seems almost amazing to me that a woman so infamous in life would be so forgotten in death.

Now that I've come to know Cordelia's life story a little better, I wonder what life was like for Welcome and Beverly.  Their stories are next.........

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Another Google Alert makes my jaw drop - Part 4!!

To read the entire series you can return to Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

The Trial Heard Around the Country

Weekly Gazette Stockman (Reno, Nevada)

SAN FRANCSICO, Nov. 12, 1898 – The date of the trial of Mrs. Cordilia Botkin accused of the murder of Mrs. John P. Dunning, of Dover, Del., by means of a box of poisoned candy sent through the maile, has been set for December 5th. The indictment, charging her with crimes was read to her to-day and when asked to answer the charge she replied, “Not Guilty.”

Chief of Police Lees has prepared a strong case against the accused woman and confidently believes she will be convicted.

The Sandusky Star (Sandusky, Ohio)

Trial Proceeding Smoothly.

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 15, 1898 – The trial of Mrs. Cordelia Botkin is becoming more interesting to that part of the public which takes as interest in such proceedings. Never has a murder trial of such import progressed so rapidly in a San Francisco courtroom. Witnesses are subjected to but slight cross-examination as a rule and the attorneys on both sides rarely protest against the admission of evidence.

John Dunning, the man Cordelia was in love with had cheated on his wife and at times Cordelia with other women in San Francisco.  When called as a witness at the trial he was asked to reveal the names of the other women, when he refused he himself was sent to jail!
Proceedings in the Noted Dunning Poisoning Case.

SAN FRANCISCO Dec 20, 1898. – When the trial of Mrs. Botkin was resumed to-day, John P. Dunning, who had spent the night in jail for refusing to divulge the names of women with whom he had been intimate, was called to the stand. When asked if he was ready to furnish the desired information he replied that he would do so only when it was shown that some woman other than Mrs. Botkin was connected with the murder of his wife and her sister. Judge Cook remanded him to the custody of the Sheriff.


The Jury Returns a Verdict Of Murder in the First Degree.

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 31, 1898-Mrs. Cordelia Botkin was convicted last night of the murder of Mrs. John P. Dunning. At twenty minutes past 10 o’clock the jury, which had been out since 5 p.m., came into court with a verdict of guilty of murder in the first degree. Mrs. Botkin, however, escapes the gallows, for the jury decided to fix her punishment at imprisonment for life.

The verdict was a complete surprise. It was not for one moment thought that a conclusion would be reached so quickly.

Mrs. Botkin took her fate stoically. She betrayed no sign for many moments. But when the court-room had been cleared and the full realization of what had occurred struck home to her, she gave way, but soon recovered and was taken to jail.

The Marion Star (Marion, Ohio)

Dec 31, 1989 –
…The courtroom was cleared when just after Mrs. Botkin had announced to the deputy sheriff in a clear voice that she was ready to go with him to prison, occurred the only sensational incident of the evening. The condemned woman attempted to rise, when her highly strung nerves seemed to relax and suddenly she fell back into the arms of Mrs. Roberts. It was thought she had fainted but in a moment a glass of water revived her and she resumed her usual appearance, though the intense nervous strain was still apparent in the twitching of her facial muscles and the quick movement of her fingers drummed on the table. In a few minutes she apparently shook off all signs of excitement and quietly accompanied the deputy sheriff out of the courtroom.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana)

Dec 31, 1898


Accepts the Verdict of the Jury With the Utmost Composure.

When the detective read the warrants to Mrs. Botkin that woman displayed mild surprise, but did not seem at all shocked.  In fact, she had been looking forward to this very event.
“Well,” she said’ “the excitement has worn off at last and I am now prepared for anything.”

Mr. Botkin was present when his wife was placed under arrest, but he seemed confident of her innocence, and affectionate words were exchanged between them, the husband assisting the wife in packing up the things she would probably need after she had been placed in confinement.

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 31. – Mrs Botkin passed a bad night.  She sobbed continuously and was hysterical some of the time.  She still declares she is innocent,  she declares that the failure to convict in two recent murder trials in San Francisco influenced the jury, and she was made the scapegoat of public opinion. 

The Mountain Democrat, (Placerville, California),

Jan 14, 1899 – Welcome H. Botkin, husband of Mrs. Cordelia Botkin, who was convicted of murdering Mrs. J. P. Dunning, has closed his office in Stockton, where he was acting as manager of the Stockton Grain and Stock Exchange, and will go East to get away from the unpleasant notoriety.

Blurb in a society section of the GAZETTE

January 18th, 1899-Admirers of Mrs. Botkin are requested by the Memphis Appeal not to send her any candy. She doesn’t like it.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin)


Another Hearing in Noted Criminal Case at San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, CAL., Feb. 28, 1903 – The district attorney’s office contemplated putting Mrs. Cordelia Botkin On trial for the second time next week for the alleged murder of Dover, Del., women but a further delay in the famous case appears inevitable. Preparations to bring the famous case to trial again have been in progress for many months, but the death of Chief of Police Lees, who was active in the first trial, and several other things have combined to necessitate the long delay. Meanwhile the Delaware parties interested in the case have been complaining of the numerous postponements and the legislatures of that state last week took official action upon the apparent inactivity of the California authorities in the matter.

Mrs. Botkin, who is spending her fourth year in jail, has lost none of her beauty in prison. She has comfortable quarters in jail and is said to be happy in the hope that her second trial will result in her acquittal. The arrest and trial of Mrs. Botkin four years ago attracted national attention owing to the many novel and interesting features of the case.
It's interesting to note that the above article talks about Cordelia's comfortable accomodations at the county jail.  It seems Cordelia was given a private room with her own bed and personal items.  She also exchanged sexual favors with the guards and was allowed to leave at her own will and go shopping in town!  This arrangement was discovered one day when the judge who found her guilty and sentenced her to live in prison saw her on a streetcar, out shopping!

Trial of the Botkin Murder Case Resumed This Morning

SAN FRANCISCO, March 21, 1904. – The second trial of Mrs. Cordelia L. Botkin, charged with the murder of Mrs. John J. Dunning at Dover, Delaware. In August, 1898 by means of poisoned candy, was resumed in Judge Cook’s department of the superior court at 10:15 this morning.

At the request of the defense all witnesses were excluded from the court room. Judge Cook also ordered from the court room all children and minors, of whom a number were present, accompanied by women. Judge Cook declared it was no place for children.


SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 21, 1907 - Mrs. Cordelia Botkin, convicted of the murder by poison of Mrs. Deane and Mrs. Dunning at Dover, Del., will have to wait tree months longer before getting an opportunity of having her case review by a higher court. Ever since her conviction she has been making an effort to have the sentence of life imprisonment set aside and the case to have been heard in the appellate court today, but by agreement of the attorneys the hearing was put over until the next calendar, which will be fully three months hence.

After the earthquake, Mrs. Botkin who had been kept in the county jail pending the decision of the appellate court, was taken to the state penitentiary at San Quentin because she feared for her personal safety and was obliged to dispense with some of the comforts she had enjoyed at the county prison.
After the San Francisco earthquake, the jail Cordelia had been staying in was damaged to the point of being dangerous.  Cordelia was moved to San Quentin where she would live out her natural life after being found guilty again upon the close of her second trial.

Part 5 will discuss the drastic changes that occur after Cordelia's moves to San Quentin.........

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We interrupt our regularly scheduled post to say....

Happy blogiversary to me, happy blogiversary to me, happy blogiversary dear Lisa, happy blogiversary to me!!!

I can't believe it has been one year since I started this blog!  The year has flown by.  When I think about all the genealogy adventures I've had in the last year I am literally gobsmacked.

I have located and explored two abandoned cemeteries, I have uncovered shocking stories about my family members and I've met many other family members I didn't know before both online and in person!

I can't wait to see what the year ahead holds for me.  Whatever it is, I'll bet it will be just as good!

Thank you everyone for reading and leaving comments on this blog.....I appreciate all of you from the bottom of my heart!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another Google Alert makes my jaw drop - Part 3!!!

You can catch up on the story of the infamous Cordelia BOTKIN in Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

When we left off Cordelia and Welcome were now separated.  Cordelia was living in San Francisco and Welcome was living in Stockton, CA. 

But what was Cordelia up to in San Francisco........this is were the story picks back up...

It's a fall day in 1895 and Cordelia and a friend were taking a stroll in Golden Gate Park.  They had  sat down on a bench to rest and must have noticed a gentleman having problems with the bicycle he was riding.  Cordelia went over and introduced herself to the man whose name she learns is John Dunning.  Cordelia introduces herself as a well do to woman from England names Ada.  John is forthright and introduces himself as a married man.  But that doesn't matter to Cordelia who finds herself interested in John.

The newspaper accounts of the story jump ahead at this point.  Eventually John learns who Cordelia really is, the wife of a successful business man and mother of one son 10 years his senior.  She learns more about John who is, a successful news correspondent with the Associated Press with a wife and a young daughter.  

It isn't long before Cordelia introduces John to the wild side of San Francisco and he falls into a life of gambling, sex and debauchery.  John loses his job, his wife and his daughter all due to the influence of Cordelia.  When the Spanish-American war broke out the news service remembered John.  They offered him a job as a news correspondent in Puerto Rico.  John jumped at the chance to get his life back and accepted.  He told Cordelia that the affair was over and that after his assignment he would be reuniting with his wife who had moved back home to Delaware with their daughter.

Cordelia cried and begged John not to go.  She even tried to convince the war board to send her to Cuba as a nurse so that she could be with John.  The board turned her down due to her age. 

In August of 1898 Cordelia hatches a plan to get her competition, John's wife, Elizabeth, out of the picture.  She purchased a box of candy in San Francisco, laced it with poison, wrote a note, "with love to yourself and baby, Mrs. C" and mailed it to John's wife in Delaware.  Elizabeth, her sister Ida, and other family members ate the chocolate laced with arsenic. Elizabeth and Ida both died.  The father, suspicious that the candy may have been poisoned had it tested and found the arsenic.  Meanwhile, John was summoned home from Cuba and was able to identify the handwriting on the note as Cordelia's. 

Cordelia is arrested in San Francisco for the murder of  Elizabeth and Ida.  The trial is about to begin, but like Cordelia herself, it would cause a sensation and keep the city of San Francisco spellbound for many months.

Part 4 - the trial of Cordelia BOTKIN is next......

Friday, February 11, 2011

Another Google Alert makes my jaw drop!! - Part 2

Part 1 - Cordelia Botkin, psychopathic killer can be found here.

Now that I knew Cordelia was, in fact, related (wife of my 2nd cousin 6x removed to be exact) I was curious to learn more about her.  Who was Cordelia Adelaide BROWN and where did she come from?  For answers I first turned to Ancestry.

Cordelia was born in 1854 in Brownsville, Nebraska to Richard and Lemina Alderman BROWN.  She was one of seven girls born to Richard and Lemina.  On the 26 Sep 1872 in Kansas City, Missouri, at the age of 18, she married Welcome A. BOTKIN.  Welcome was 15 years older than Cordelia at the time of their marriage.

In 1874, Cordelia gave birth to their only child, a son named Beverly Brown BOTKIN.  In the 1880 census Welcome, Cordelia and Beverly are living in Kansas City, MO where Welcome is working as a banker.

The 1878 United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made men, Missouri Volume, contains a sketch of Welcome, calling him "a man of social, genial disposition, well calculated to make and retain friends."  It also states that Cordelia "of Kansas City, daughter of Richard and Lumina Brown, and old family of that city now in California"  Nothing in the biography indicates what is to come in the life of Welcome, Cordelia and Beverly. 

It appears that sometime in the late 1880's the family moved to Stockton, CA where Welcome became a salesman for the Armour Packing Company.  They seperated sometime around 1894.  Although estranged, Welcome in Stockton and Cordelia in San Francisco, Welcome continued to support Cordelia.  They spent just enough time together to maintain their maritial status, a situation that agreed with both of them.  But their lives couldn't have been more different.  While Welcome remained a steady and successful businessman, Cordelia's life was marked with drinking, gambling and partaking of the fun to be had in San Francisco. 

Then came the day in September of 1895 when Cordelia met John Dunning in Golden Gate Park.  A meeting that would eventually lead to murder.......

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Another Google Alert makes my jaw drop!! - Part 1

If you haven't signed up to receive Google Alerts you must do!  Just google, Google Alerts and follow the four easy steps to signing up. it now....I'll wait........

Hummmm, deee dummm, dummmm..........

Did you do it?  Good, now sit back and prepare to be stunned by my latest alert!

This is what appeared in my inbox yesterday:

Ten Evil Psychopaths You Probably Don't Know (trust me the title got my attention!)

# 10  Cordelia Botkin
         Candy for my Sweetheart

Cordelia Botkin was the estranged wife of a prominent businessman in San Francisco in the last decade of the 19th century. She (41 years old) met John Dunning (31) when his bicycle broke down in the park. Botkin made very obvious sexual advances, and consequently Dunning (who was married to a former congressman’s daughter) entered into a torrid affair with her. He eventually left his wife and fell into a life of gambling, sex and alcoholism – all fueled (and financed) by Botkin. He eventually decided to end the affair and return to his wife, a fact of which he informed Botkin. Not wanting to be left alone, she sent a box of poisoned candy to Dunning’s wife made to look like a gift from a friend. Dunning’s wife and five friends and family members ate the chocolate. Four recovered but the wife and her sister died. The remaining chocolates were tested and found to be laced with arsenic. The trail of the candy eventually led back to Botkin, who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. In a strange twist to the tale, the judge who sent her to jail saw her out shopping in town a few weeks later; an investigation uncovered the fact that Botkin was exchanging sexual favors in order to be allowed to leave jail whenever she wanted. She died in jail at the age of 56. Her cause of death was: “softening of the brain due to melancholy.”

At first I wasn't sure how, or if, Cordelia was one of my BOTKIN ancestors.  The article doesn't mention the name of her estranged husband.  However, a quick Google search revealed that her husband was Welcome A. BOTKIN. 

This is when my heart really started pounding....I have a Welcome A. BOTKIN in my family tree!  Problem was I had his wife listed as Della Brown.  I learned very quickly that Della was a nickname for Cordelia Adelaide Brown, the real name of his wife and the psychopathic killer the article is written about!

Welcome is the son of Charles and  Dorcas BOTKIN and I just started doing further research on their children.  I've only gotten through child number 2 out of 12.  Since Welcome is number 10 it would have been awhile before I started digging into his story.

Not anymore, receiving this latest Google Alert moved him right to the top of my research list!  I can't wait to see what I can learn about Welcome, Cordelia and their son Beverley!  If you are as curious about them as I then follow along! Tomorrow I'll  post Part 2 of their story!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Theodosius Botkin

Bellefontaine City Cemetery
Bellefontaine, Logan, Ohio

(Photo Courtesy of Deb Allison, FAG volunteer)

Theodosius BOTKIN
25 Jun 1846 - 17 May 1918

Civil War Soldier: 1861 - 1865
Mound City, Kansas Probate Judge: 1875 - ?
Judge of the 32nd District Court Stevens County, Kansas: 1889 - 1892
Elected to the Kansas House of Representatives: 1896
Spanish-American War Soldier: 1898
U.S. Consul at Campbellton, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia: 1918

Monday, February 7, 2011

Military Monday - My Civil War Photos Arrived!!!

Way back in October I was at work eating lunch at my desk, as usual, and catching up on my blog reading. On that day I ran across a posting on Photo Detective with Maureen A. Taylor regarding ways to locate photos of your ancestors who fought in the Civil War.  Maureen states in her posting that "according to the 1860 census, there were at least 1,500 individuals who operated as photographers just prior to the war. This number only includes those who claimed it as their primary business and doesn't include individuals who had side businesses snapping pictures. That's a lot of photographers."  "......these photographers took an estimated one million pictures, but only several thousand still exist."

So how to go about finding them?  One of the ways she suggested was to check the United States Army Heritage & Education Center. The site has thousands of images and an online database. Not everything is online, but I took a shot and put in the surname BOTKIN.   Here's what I found:

Results for "botkin" in AHCO Digital Document System
View results by databases. View combined results.

1/2 sitting image of Pvt. William T. Botkin, Co. D, 69th Regt., Ind. Vol. Inf.

1/2 sitting wartime image of Pvt. John W. Botkin, Co. D, 69th Regt., Ind. Vol. Inf.

I gave a shout of disbelieve at my desk.  These are my ancestors!  John and William are brothers who enlisted in the 69th Indiana Volunteer Infantry along with 3 of their cousins!  I've written about John and William here, here and here.  I immediately began reading the site trying to determine how to order copies of the pictures. 

In true government style, the site was a bit difficult to understand.  Even after calling ahead to check, I still sent in the wrong amount of money the first time around and had to start the process all over again.  But 4 months and $62.00 later I found the package I have been waiting for in my mail.  Inside was a CD with the digital photos of John and William.  Here they are:


William T. BOTKIN

I'll admit, seeing the photo of William made me cry.  He died during the civil war in St. Louis, MO at the age of 21 of consumption.  I have a son of my own near that age and I felt the sorrow his mother must have felt at losing her son so young.  In fact, she herself died just 6 months later.  But I'm so happy to have copies of the photos in my possession!

If you are searching for photos of your Civil War ancestors be sure and read Maureen's posting here.  She gives other ideas where to look.  The search may be like looking for a needle in a haystack but the results can be tremendous!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Google Alert Pays Off In A Big, Big Way!!

As anyone who is close to me will tell you, I live in the land of Google!  IGoogle, Google Earth, Google Books, Google Reader, you name it, I love it.  But one of my favorite Google tools has to be Google Alert. 
By setting alerts for some of my less common surnames, Google does the web searching for me every day and alerts me when it finds something new on the web pertaining to that surname. 

Well last week I received an alert on a Theodosius BOTKIN.  It is the 150 anniversary of Kansas as a state and various articles have been appearing on the Internet.  In the past couple of weeks two such articles have contained information regarding this Theodosius BOTKIN.  At the time the first alert appeared in my inbox I didn't have Theodosius in my family tree software.  But I did know that a branch of the BOTKIN family in Ohio did move to Kansas.  I had a good hunch he was related but I didn't know how. 

A quick search of my favorite databases, Ancestry, FamilySearch, Find a Grave, Rootsweb and, of course, Google revealed that Theodosius is the son of Isaac Curl BOTKIN and Sarah DALRYMPLE and grandson of George BOTKIN and Sarah HESTER making Theodosius my 3rd cousin 5x removed.

Further research into Theodosius revealed an even more astonishing picture.........he was lawyer, a judge,  and a scoundrel straight out of the pages of a wild west novel!  In fact, he has been written about in many books appearing on Google Books, Ballots and Bullets: The Bloody County Seat Wars of Kansas, PrairyErth: (a deep map), When Kansas Was Young, and various books written about the impeachment of Theodosius Botkin.  An excerpt from the book PrairyErth by William Least Heat Moon (page 532) gives a taste of who Theodosius was:

".....the next day neighbors come to visit and they tell Sam not to go into the courtroom of Judge Theodosius Botkin, who keeps a brace of pistols next to his gavel, uses armed bodyguards, and has survived impeachment on grounds of drunkenness, partisanship, and fraud.  The people know that if Botkin can get Sam in jail, a murder is easy to cover over.  Sam repeats that he sees no real danger, yet, when a woman asks whether Margaret will go, he says, yes, if they kill me I want her there to close my eyes.
     Tuesday morning they depart, Sam riding the ten miles in the buggy between Margaret and their housekeeper Mrs. Carpenter......and they arrive in Hugoton by eleven o'clock.....Sam arrives at the Methodist church being used as a courthouse.  Judge Botkin, who holds Sam responsible for his impeachment, hears that Woods has arrived and inexplicably adjourns court until afternoon.  Sam enters, and looks over the docket.  The judge leaves, stepping past James Brennan lounging in the doorway.  The judge says "hello, Jimmy" and he walks on towards the buggy and heartily greets Margaret, who has never met him, and heads up the street......Sam comes through the door passing close to the slouched man whose right hand is concealed to his side, and goes down the wooden stairs and towards his buggy.  Brennan......fires once and hits Sam in the back...."

In all Sam Wood was shot by James Brennan three times and died on the floor of the church.  Everyone in town knows who hired James Brennan to assassinate Sam Wood but neither Theodosius Botkin or James Brennan are convicted of the crime.  A jury can't be found for the trial. 

In the end, Theodosius, fearing for his life moves from Kansas to Salt Lake, Utah where he sits up a law practice.  He was serving as U.S. Consul at Campbellton, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, when he died, May 27, 1918 at the age of 71.  He is buried in Bellefontaine City Cemetery, Bellefontaine, Logan, Ohio.  His Find a Grave memorial can be found here

His memorial is simple and tells nothing of the story of the man he was.  In addition, I don't find him in many family trees listed on Ancestry or Rootsweb and the information in those trees contain incomplete or inaccurate information.  It seems time has forgotten Theodosious. 

But now that I found him, I can't wait to learn more.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I Stand Corrected

A couple of weeks ago I published a post on this blog, in response to one that Brenda posted at Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, regarding my local genealogy society.  The post was critical of the society and expressed why I had chosen not to become a member.

A person who I admire very much read the posting and commented on it, correcting some assumptions that I made.  Due to her words I removed the entry.

But then I started thinking.....I've always told my sons if they didn't like something but refused to get involved to change the situation then they lost their right to complain.  If you are not a part of the solution, then you are a part of the problem.  Yet here I sat voicing my frustrations with a society I was not a member of. 

Can we all say hypocritical?

So I took the leap. I sent in my dues and joined the society.  Monday night I attend my first meeting as an official member and the experience was a positive one in many ways.

First, a friend from my church genealogy group attended with me and also joined that evening.  Together we believe it is time for us to join forces with the society.  In her word "it's the right thing to with other genealogy folks."

I found the members, as a whole, very inviting.  The speaker they engaged for the evening gave a fascinating talk on the history of the Pokagon Indians in the area and answered many questions the members had afterwards.  The program scheduled for next month sounds equally as good and I can't wait to attend again.

Also, I was able to speak with a member who is experienced in indexing cemeteries regarding the project our small genealogy group has taken on.  She gave me some extremely useful advice we can implement when the snow melts and we return to our work in the Spring.  How's that for networking!

I still have some concerns about the society, but for now, I'll keep them to myself.  Except for one.......there is still the issue of members falling asleep as soon as the speaker begins talking.  Out of respect for the speaker I wish they would at least sit in the back row and not in front. 

Maybe my first suggestion will be for stronger coffee.............