Eli Wardwell Robinson (1810-?) & Emily Hill (1820-?)

Eli Wardwell Robinson and Emily Hill are my 4x great grandparents, the parents of my 3x great grandmother Emma Matilda Robinson.

Eli Wardwell Robinson was born about 1810 in New York. His parents are unknown.

Emily Hill was born about 1820 in New York. Her parents are unknown.

Eli and Emily married November 30, 1839 in Ashtabula County, Ohio.

On the 1840 US Census, Eli was head of a household of 4 in Madison, Lake County, Ohio: 1 male aged 20-29 (Eli); 1 female under age 5 (Martha); 2 females aged 20-29 (Emily and unknown).

On the 1860 US Census, the family was in Madison, Lake County, Ohio. Eli was 50 and a blacksmith, Emily was 40, and they had 3 children at home: Martha, age 19; Homer, age 17; Emma, age 13.

On the 1860 Agriculture Schedule of the Census, Eli’s assets are listed as: 80 improved acres, 92 unimproved acres, cash value of farm $4000, value of farming implements and machinery, $40, 4 horses, 9 milk cows, 11 other cattle, 14 swine, value of livestock $300, 145 bushels of wheat, -, 100 bushels of Indian corn, 40 bushels of oats, 15 bushels of peas and beans, 25 bushels of Irish potatoes, 6 bushels of sweet potatoes, value of orchard products $75, value of produce of market gardens $75, 500 pounds of butter, 25 tons of hay, value of animals slaughtered $50

On the 1870 US Census, the family was in Boone, Dallas County, Iowa. Eli was 60 and a farmer, Emily was 50, and Homer was 27 and a farmer. They lived nextdoor to daughter Emma and her family with Andrew Watrous.

On the 1870 Agriculture Schedule of the Census, Eli’s assets are listed as: 80 improved acres, 10 wooded acres, -, cash value of farm $4500, cash value of farming implements and machinery $250, total wages paid for the year $45, 4 horses, 3 milk cows, 3 other cattle, 12 swine, value of livestock $750, 800 bushels of spring wheat, 2000 bushels Indian corn, 600 bushels of oats, 15 bushels Irish potatoes, 10 tons of hay, value of animals sold for slaughter $20, value of all farm produce $165.

It is not known when or where Eli or Emily died. Emily’s Find A Grave memorial is here and Eli’s is here.

The children of Eli Wardwell Robinson & Emily Hill:

Martha Antoinette Robinson – Martha was born July 13, 1840 in Painesville, Lake County, Ohio. She married Emery Samuel Warren on November 27, 1862 in Polk County, Iowa. They farmed in Iowa and had 9 children. According to her memorial on Find A Grave, she was a suffragette and close friend of Susan B. Anthony, and supported prohibition through her work with the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. She was also the author of the book Shirt Tail Inn about her husband’s life. She died December 23, 1934 in Houston, Harris County, Texas. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Homer Stratton Robinson – Homer was born January 27, 1843 in Ohio. He married Luella Barnes, a dressmaker, on October 2, 1874 in Dallas County, Iowa. They had no children and lived in Iowa. He died April 25, 1919. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Emma Matilda Robinson – My 3x great grandmother Emma was born August 28, 1847 in Ohio. She married Andrew M. Watrous in about 1864 in Iowa. They had 5 children. Emma died February 19, 1916, probably in Nebraska. Her Find A Grave memorial is here. Read more about her here.

Andrew M. Watrous (1841-1918) and Emma Matilda Robinson (1847-1916)

Andrew M. Watrous & Emma Matilda Robinson are my 3X great grandparents. They are the parents of my 2x great grandfather Arthur Wardardt Watrous.

Andrew M. Watrous was born October 14, 1841 in Ohio. He was the son of Andrew Mayfield Watrous and Hannah Vanderbrook.

Emma Matilda Robinson was born August 28, 1847 in Ohio. She was the daughter of Eli Wardwell Robinson and Emily Elaina Hill. Their Find A Grave memorials are here and here.

On the 1850 US Census, Andrew was 9 years old and attending school. He lived in Orange, Delaware County, Ohio with his father Andrew, age 46, widowed, a shoemaker, and his siblings.

On the 1860 US Census, 20 year old Andrew lived in Walnut, Dallas County, Iowa. He was a farmer, He lived with father Andrew, age 55 and now a physician, and stepmother Matilda, age 54, and several siblings. Meanwhile. Emma was 13, and she lived in Madison, Lake County, Ohio with father Eli, age 50 and a blacksmith; mother Emily, age 40; and siblings.

Andrew & Emma married about 1864 in Iowa.

On the 1870 US Census, Andrew was 29 and working on a farm. Emma was 24, and had two children: Arthur, age 6; Alice, age 3. They lived next door to Emma’s parents in Boone, Dallas County, Iowa.

On the 1880 US Census, the family was in Knox, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Andrew was 36 and a well digger. Emma was 30. They had 4 children: Andrew, age 15; Alice, age 11; Grace, age 6; and Bertha, age 2. Alice and Grace were attending school.

On the 1885 Iowa State Census, the family was in Atlantic, Cass County, Iowa. Andrew was 45 and a well digger, Emma was 38, and all 5 of their children were in the home.

On the 1895 Iowa State Census, the family was in Griswold, Cass County, Iowa.

On the 1900 US Census, the family was in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri. Andrew was 59 and a carriage blacksmith. Emma was 53. They had been married 38 years and had 5 children. Four of their children lived in their home: Grace, age 26 and a seamstress; Bertha, age 21 and a seamstress; Herbert, age 17 and an upholsterer; and their granddaughter, my great grandmother Lula May, age 12 and attending school.

Granddaughter Lula May went to Kansas City, where she married in 1907. Emma and Andrew separated, with Andrew along with his father Arthur going in Kansas City.

On the 1910 US Census, Emma was 62 and listed as divorced. She lived in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri with daughter Grace, age 35 and a seamstress in a garment factory; and son Herbert, age 26 and an electrician for the telephone company.

The 1913 St. Joseph City Directory notes that Emma moved to Grand Island, Nebraska. She went to be with daughter Grace who had married Ike Brigman. The rest of the family was in Kansas City by this time.

Andrew and Emma are buried together in Kansas City, Missouri, despite not living together after 1900. Emma died February 19, 1916, probably in Nebraska. Her Find A Grave memorial is here. Andrew died April 9, 1918 in Jackson County, Missouri. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

The children of Andrew M. Watrous & Emma Matilda Robinson:

Arthur Wardardt Watrous – My 2x great grandfather Arthur was born August 14, 1864 in Polk County, Iowa. He married Caroline “Carrie” E. Deutsch on March 4, 1886 in Atlantic, Iowa. They had 4 children. He divorced or separated from Carrie and married Phoebe Elizabeth Heiser in about 1895 according to their reporting on the 1910 US Census. (Phoebe was Carrie’s niece, the daughter of her sister Barbara. She died in 1920. Arthur married Elizabeth Bauman on February 14, 1921 in Jackson County, Missouri. Arthur died September 26, 1932 in an automobile accident in Kansas City, Missouri. His Find A Grave memorial is here.Read more about him here.

Alice Emma Watrous – Alice was born January 10, 1868 in Avoca, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. She married Charles E. Deutch on January 10, 1889 in Cass County, Iowa. (Charles was brother to her brother Arthur’s wife Carrie.) They had 6 children. She died February 22, 1937 in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri. She was 69 years old. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Grace Ethel Watrous – Grace was born in 1873 in Avoca, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. She married Isaac “Ike” Brigman on April 28, 1912 in St. Joseph, Missouri. She was found with him on the 1920 US Census. In 1930 she lived in Kansas City with her sister Alice, and worked as a machine operator in a dress factory. Kansas City Directory lists her in 1930 as Grace Brigman, and in the 1933 as Grace Watrous. She died in 1947, and her headstone has her maiden name. She had no children. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Bertha Maude Watrous – Bertha was born June 29, 1878 in Cass County, Iowa. She married Orelius Davis on December 15, 1907 in St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri. He was a photographer. She married Frank E. Cook on December 22, 1922 in St. Joseph, Berrier County, Michigan. She had no children. She died August 29, 1949 in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. She was 71 years old, and was a retired professional photographer. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Herbert Robinson Watrous – Herbert was born March 4, 1883 in Cass County, Iowa. He married Maude Stokes in 1910. She died in 1949. He married Joan Wilson Pagett on March 9, 1950 in Jackson County, Missouri. He had a long career with Bell Telephone, and he had no children. He died December 28, 1956 in Jackson County, Missouri. He was 73 years old. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

James William Barber (1884-1951) & Lula May Watrous (1885-1960)

My great grandfather James William Barber was born in Kansas City, Missouri on September 6, 1884 to Joseph Barboro and Sarah Ann Clovis. (You can read all about them here.) His last name went through many changes over the years.

Since the 1890 US Census is lost to fire and I can’t find his family on the 1900 US Census, my first record of James is after his marriage on the 1910 US Census.

My great grandmother Lula May Watrous was born December 26, 1887 in Cass County, Iowa. Her parents Arthur Wardhardt Watrous and Caroline Deutsch. (Soon I’ll write about them.)

Photo: Lula & James Barber and their son James Jr.

Lula May first appears on the 1895 Iowa Census, in Pleasant, Iowa. She is 8. The 1890 US Census was lost to fire, and I can’t find the rest of her family on the 1900 US Census. Lula is found living in St. Joseph, Missouri with grandparents Andrew and Emma Watrous and three of their children. She is 12.

By the 1910 US Census James and Lula have been married 3 years. Their last name is recorded as Barbaro. James is 25 and an electrician, which remains his occupation until retirement. Lula is 23. They live in Kansas City, Missouri where they remain until death. Living with them is 1 year old Ellen and a boarder, 24 year old David Sargent, a photographer.

In 1918, James used the last name Barbero on his World War I draft registration card.

On the 1920 US Census their last name is recorded, again, as Barbero. James is 35, Lula is 33, their daughter Ellen is 11, and daughter Delores is 4.

By 1930 US Census their last name is recorded Barber. My mother told me that he had to change his name, because he struggled to get employment with an Italian last name. Barber sticks, and is the name the children use as adults. James is 45 and an electrical contractor. Lula is 42. Ellen is 21, Delores is 14, James is 3.

On the 1940 US Census James is 56. He doesn’t list an occupation so perhaps that was still a struggle even with the name change. Lula is 53 and a seamstress in garment factory. They have a full house. Daughter Ellen (age 30) is married to Wallace Cowan (age 37, salesman at auto store) and they have Wallace J (age 8) and Carol A (age 2, my mother). Also listed is Delores, age 24, who is married. She’s also enumerated with her husband and children on the same census, living a few blocks away. James Jr. is 13.

One fun thing about researching people who lived in Kansas City, Missouri – Ancestry.com has city directories so you can follow their moves from year to year. There are many years missing but here’s what I found for James and Lula:
1904 – 1200 Penn
1905 – 2008 Bales
1906 -3213 E 18th
1907 – 2307 Indiana
1908 – 574 Holmes
1913 – 1318 E 33
1915 & 1918 – 4837 E 18th
1931, 1933 – 1832 Lister (Their last name has become Barber.)
1957 Lula M (widow of James) machine operator Gernes Garment 2512 Monroe Ave

(Photo: This was taken around 1945. At the far right is my mother Carol Ann Cowan, then her father Wallace Paul Cowan, then her mother Ellen Cecelia Barber Cowan, and then her brother. The girl in the front is Delores Jeanne Darr, and behind her is probably her mother Delores Edna Barber Darr. To the girl’s left is her brother Dwight Dudley Darr, Jr. Between the children at the back of the table is Lula May Watrous Barber and James William Barber. James and Lula’s son James Jr. was serving in World War II at the time.)

James died December 26, 1951. His Find A Grave memorial is here. His obituary, published in East Side News on January 3, 1952, read:

JAMES WILLIAM BARBER DEAD
Heart Attack is Fatal to Retired East
Side Electrician December 26th – Was 68 Years Old

James William Barber, 2512 Monroe avenue, for many year a resident of the East Side, died at the Northeast Osteopathic hospital Wednesday morning, December 26th. He was stricken at his home the previous day, following the family’s Christmas dinner, and was removed to the hospital.

Mr. Barber was born in Kansas City and had spent his entire life here. He was a retired electrician. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Lula M. Barber, of the home; a son, James W. Barber, Jr., Martin City; two daughters, Mrs. W. P. Cowan, 2304 1/2 Truman road, and Mrs. D. D. Darr, 7012 Prospect, and four sisters.

Funeral services were held at the Newcomer Chapel Friday, conducted by Rev. Edw. W. Potts, pastor of the Paseo Methodist church. Internment was made in Forest Hill cemetery.

Lula died November 19, 1960. Her Find A Grave memorial is here. (Her birth year is incorrect on her death certificate and grave.) Her obituary (where and when published is unknown) read:

Mrs. Lula May Barber
Mrs. Lula May Barber, 75, of 2512 Monroe, died last night at her home. She was born in Atlantic, Ia., and had lived here 55 years. She was the widow of James W. Barber. Mrs. Barber, a garment worker, was to retire Nov. 30. She leaves two daugthers, Mrs. Dwight D. Darr, 12211 East Sixty-seventh, Jackson County, and Mrs. W. P. Cowan, 2304 1/2 Truman Road; a son, James Barber Jr., 9400 Lewis; a sister, Miss Bernice Watrous, St. Louis; seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Funeral services will be at 3:30 o’clock Monday at the Newcomer chapel, Brush Creek and the Paseo. Burial will be in Forest Hill cemetery.

There is a Kansas City Garment District Museum and hope to visit next time I’m in Kansas City to learn more about my great grandmother’s working conditions.

The children of James William Barber & Lula May Watrous:

(Photo: Ellen and Delores)

Ellen Cecelia Barber – My grandmother Ellen was born June 9, 1908 in Kansas City, Missouri. She married Wallace Paul Cowan in Platte County, Missouri in 1930 and they had 2 children. She died February 2, 1990, which was two years to the day after her husband. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Delores Edna Barber – Delores was born in 1916 in Kansas City, Missouri. She married Dwight Dudley Darr (a florist) on September 8, 1934 in Jackson County, Missouri. They had two children. Dwight served in the Navy during World War II. Delores died May 18, 1966 and Dwight died October 2, 1988. They are buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri.

BARBER James Jr (2)

James Barber – Jim was born August 10, 1926 in Kansas City, Missouri. He married Billie Jean Raines on April 6, 1948 in Jackson County, Missouri. They moved to Colorado and had three children. Billie died May 30, 1985. Jim died December 14, 1988. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

(Photo: James Barber)