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 (1887-1960)

updated February 2019

Lula May Watrous, James Barber Jr., James William Barber

James William Barber and Lula May Watrous were my great grandparents, the parents of my grandmother Ellen Cecelia Barber.

James William Barber was born in Kansas City, Missouri on September 6, 1884 to Joseph Sbarboro and Sarah Ann Clovis. James was the 7th of their 10 children, and their only son to live to adulthood. You can read all about them here. His last name went through changes over the years – Sbarboro, Barboro, Barber.

Lula May Watrous was born December 26, 1887 in Cass County, Iowa to Arthur Wardhardt Watrous and Caroline E. Deutsch. She was the oldest of their 4 children. Read more about them here.

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

Lula first appeared on the 1895 Iowa Census, in Pleasant, Iowa. Lula’s parents divorced soon after, and her father remarried in about 1896. He soon moved to Kansas City and Carrie moved to St. Joseph. I can’t find her parents on the 1900 US Census, but Lula lived in St. Joseph, Missouri with grandparents Andrew and Emma Watrous and three of their children. She was 12, and was listed as their daughter.

Lula’s mother Carrie died in around 1902.

James and Lula married June 10, 1907 in Wyandotte County, Kansas. James was 22 years old and Lula was 19 years old. Daughter Ellen was born in 1908.

By the 1910 US Census James and Lula had been married 3 years. Their last name was recorded as Barbaro. James was 25 and an electrician, which remained his occupation until retirement. Lula was 23. They lived in Kansas City, Missouri where they remained until their deaths. Daughter Ellen was 1 year old. A boarder, 24 year old David Sargent, a photographer, shared their home.

In 1915, daughter Delores was born.

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

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

In 1925, son James was born. In 1927, James’ sister Minnie and his father Joseph died.

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

In 1931, James’ mother Sarah died. In 1932, Lula’s father died. In 1935, James’ sister Della died.

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

In 1946, James’ sister Celestia died. In 1948, Lula’s brother Roy died.

One fun thing about researching people who lived in Kansas City, Missouri – 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 had become Barber.)
1957 Lula M (widow of James) machine operator Gernes Garment 2512 Monroe Ave

About 1945. At the far right is my mother Carol Ann Cowan, then her father Wallace Paul Cowan, then her mother Ellen Cecelia Barber, and then her brother. The girl in the front is Delores Jeanne Darr, and behind her is probably her mother Delores Edna Barber. 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 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:

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.

In 1955, Lula’s brother Floyd died.

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:

Ellen Cecelia Barber & Delores Edna Barber

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 July 24, 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. Her Find a Grave memorial is here.

BARBER James Jr (2)

James Barber, Jr.

James Barber Jr. – 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.