Saturday, August 17, 2013

Facebook, the demise of the family

Is Facebook Ruining Our Lives? – An infographic by the team at Who Is Hosting

I have two children--a boy and a girl. I guess I should say a man and a woman except they are my little boy and girl.  These two were always close. Actually we were all very close--mom, dad, sister and brother.  Daughter marries a great guy.  They have our first three grandchildren.  Son and daughter still remain close.

Son then finds the love of his life, a wonderful girl.  They marry and give us three more grandchildren. We are so blessed.  Two wonderful children, two great in-laws, and six beautiful and fantastic grandchildren.  Life should be great, right?  Then an interloper enters our lives. The interloper has a name--Facebook.  Comments and rants are posted.  Readers do not have the benefit of seeing a person's face when they make a comment.  The comments are taken one way, whether that was the actual meaning or not.  Feelings are hurt, "friends" are dropped, life deteriorates.  

We had hoped that our children would always remain each other's best friends.  I'm hoping that this third wheel--Facebook--does not ruin this relationship.

All women stalk's website has a post, "9 Reason's Facebook is ruining our lives,"  

Number 7, Drama. It's everywhere.  I guess it goes back to how publicly you choose to portray yourself on social media sites. But if you’re not feeding into the Facebook drama, you’re at least a witness to it. Relationship statuses, event listings, even community pages are all fodder for the social networking soap opera. My advice is to limit your involvement. Comments can be deleted. But the hurt feelings and distrust that stems from the comment can’t be deleted so easily. If your Facebook feed is feeling especially snooty, snide or passive aggressive, you may want to re-evaluate your friends list.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

11months in four paragraphs

Last I posted was in September and I was busy trying to get my DAR application ready (and finding pirates in my closet).  It was a long process. My application had some "holes" in it I had to clear up by further research and writing letters supporting my application.  It was voted on in April and in May I became an official member of the DAR.  Now I have about five other ancestors I wish to pursue for additional DAR lineages. 

I've spent 1,999,999 hours in Emergency rooms with my mother. Anyway it feels like that many hours. It seems like ages since I've scrapped anything.  I miss it.

We added a new baby to our family in December -- a lemon and white beagle we named Angel. 

Over the last 30+ years we will occasionally look at houses to move to, but it never goes anywhere.  Well this year, we found our perfect home, in a community just a few miles from where we currently live.  We went are from 900 square feet on one floor to 2350 square feet on three floors, at a time most people our age are downsizing.  We have always wanted a two story and love to have our whole family together, which is pretty hard in our present house.  Since taking possession we've enjoyed entertaining family and friends.  
If you are in the neighborhood, stop in. We love aging company!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Murdering Pirate, Part 2

Researching my pirate ancestor, Barnabas Lowell, I found some additional information. The following was taken "History of Story County," A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement by W. O. Payne, Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co, page 36-37, discussing early settlers:

...those who came in this year, with all the exultance of their hopes, Had virtually all the empty to pick from. One of these incomers, who is left some record of his arrival, was Jeremiah Ray. He came in November, over the Jasper County Trail, crossing the county line near the headwaters of Wolf Creek, somewhat west of the residence of William Parker. Hey drove northwesterly, seeking the cabin of Sam McDaniel. Which seems to have been a rendezvous for what settlers there were then in the county, and was the place before noted at which the election of 1852 have been held in this portion of the county. About the time that he saw the smoke of the Macdaniel cabin, he met on the Prairie and man, who proved to be Barnabas Lowell, very unattractive of appearance, but nevertheless disposed to make his acquaintance. Lowell guided Ray and his family to the McDaniel cabin, where a rather rough crowd was found, who played cards and drank whiskey far into the night. So uninviting was the outfit that Ray and his wife declined the hospitalities of the cabin, and spent the night in a shelter of the wagon. Ray got away as early as he could the next morning; and, while it does not appear that there was anything worse about McDaniel than the sort of company about him, Lowell subsequently appears as being of the type that are too often found upon the far frontier, lawless and reckless, and suited to give a bad reputation to the locality where such type is found.  

Starting on page 41 is discussion of the murder of Mrs. Lowell:

[Discussing residents of the county and a Mr. O'Brien who had set out on foot to meet his constituents on the other side of the wide, pathless and slough interrupted prairie, including Sam McDaniel.] The last named he met on the prairie and McDaniel told him that he was going to Newton to get two doctors to examine the body of Mrs. Lowell, who had died very suddently and was believed to have been murdered by her husband. Continuing on his circuit, he visited the Lowell cabin on the West side of east Indian, across the creek from the McDaniel farm, and assessed Lowell, and found Lowell there. Lowell had not yet been arested but was expecting tha he soon would be; and, in fact, O'Brien on his way home across the prairie, met Sheriff Zenor and Coroner Deal on their way to make the arrest.
Story County has been fortunate in not having very many murder cases, but of such cases as it has had, the most revolting appears to have been the first one. This was the case already referred to, wherein Barnabas Lowell was believed to have murdered his wife. Further developments did not in any wise remove the first impression. The essential fact of the matter seems to have been that Lowell tired of his wife and choked her to eath. Lowell, as before noted, was one of the following of Sam McDaniel. Associated with the two was a young man named Billings, whom McDaniel met in Jasper County and brought home, and who married McDaniel's sister. Lowell seems to have followed Billings to the neighborhood and brought with him his family, consisting of his second wife and two practically grown girls. Lowell crossed the creek and built his cabin in the edge of the timber on the east side, on a farm which, for many years, has been the property of John M. Wells.
The first person, outside the Lowell family, to be advised that anything was wrong, was Mrs. Mary Hagfue, a widow who had that Spring moved into the Country and established herself, for the time being, a little North of the Lowell cabin. She had been preceded by her son, Isaac, and was accompanied by her son-in-law, S. Harvey Dye, as well as by the younger children; and her family have been more or less prominent and always highly esteemed in the vicinity since. One of the Lowell girls came over on Sunday night and urged Mrs. Hague's immediate attention, as her mother was very ill. Mrs. Hague responding, found the woman dead. The circumstances immediately aroused suspicion, for there was no apparent reason for the woman's death, and she had been quite well when the family dined that day at the McDaniel cabin. Furthermore, there was about her neck a course handkerchief, which Lowell refused to have removed, and his whole attitude was that of one who did not want the body to be examined by Mrs. Hague or any of the other neighbors who had in the meantime come in. The body was buried in what was known as the Mount Cemetery on the McDaniel's farm; but the neighbors were not satisfied, and, as noted, McDaniel went to Newton for doctors and the doctors, when they came, found plenty of evidence of foul play. The Lowell girls, when matters had progressed far enough so that they dared to tell something of what they knew, in spite of their father's threats, related how he had shut the door between the two compartments of the Lowell cabin, and had refused to let them come in, notwithstanding the very great disburbance in the room where he and his wife were. There were so unds of striking, choking, and struggling, but Lowell was a man of much strenth and the struggle did not last very long. It was also said by the girls that their own mother, Lowell's former wife, had died under similar circumstances in Ohio; and it seems not to be doubted that Lowell was a man of Bluebeard disposition, who married women as he had opportunity and felt inclined, and disposed of them when weary of them.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm descended from a murdering pirate

As mentioned in my last post, "Family Secret," I learned that an ancestor, my 3rd great grandfather, was born in England and murdered his wife, my 3rd great grandmother. Today I learned that he was also a pirate. Maybe that is why I changed my language to "Pirate" on Talk Like a Pirate Day.

The following came in an email from a volunteer, Tamara Jorstad, who does lookups on the Nevada Evening Journal.  Thank you to Tamara and all the volunteers.

1853 -- Nevada Evening Journal Centennial Edition -- 1953

Nevada, Iowa, June 13, 1953

Vol. 59, No. 64, Section Page 16

Published June 13, 1953 *copyright protected *

100-Year-Old Court Docket Reveals First Murder Trial

Some of the very first pages of Story county history are unfolded in an old leather bound volume labeled “The First Justice Docket in Story County” the first entry in which is dated June 23, 1853.

This volume, which will be 100 years old this month, came near being burned in a pile of rubbish when the late John V. Waldron of Nevada found it in 1906. This early day record of proceedings in justice court was first presented to the Story County Historical Collection by Mrs. Waldron, October 1912, and since that time has been treasured, with other early day records, in the Story County Auditor’s office.

Page 1 of the Docket records the case of the “State of Iowa vs Barnabus Lowell, Charged with the Crime of Murder.” The warrant for the arrest of Lowell was issued by Eli Deal, coroner, to “Any Constable in the State of Iowa,” following a coroner’s inquest “held upon the body of Ann Lowell and information upon oath being laid before me by Aldophus Prouty, Nathan Webb and Jeremiah Cory. You are therefore commanded to arrest Barnabas Lowell and bring him before any Justice of the Peace in this county. Dated at McDaniels this 23rd day of June, A.D. 1853.”

Justice moved pretty fast in the early days for the next entry of June 26 shows that the defendant was before Joseph P. Robinson, Justice of the Peace, entered a plea of not guilty, and demanded a jury trial.

The jury of six men after deliberation brought in a verdict of first degree murder, and Story county being without a county jail, Lowell was ordered committed to the sheriff of Polk county for safe keeping “until the first day of the district court next to be holden in Story county.”

It must be remembered that while Story county was organized in April, 1853 by the election of county officers under act of the General Assembly of January, 1853, and while the county seat had been established on June 27, 1853, there had not yet been a term of district court.

Was a Pirate

The preliminary hearing on Barnabas Lowell had been held at the home of a Mr. Heald and it was said that Lowell lay on the bed and threatened those who testified against him. He was reputed to have been a pirate in his earlier years and that he carried a sheath knife on his leg.

The district judge at that time was Wm. McKay of Des Moines who convened a special term of court to attend to the Lowell case and court was held in the home of Judge Evans on the west edge of Milford township near Bloomington.

Because Squire Robinson was foreman of the Grand Jury and had been Justice of Peace in the preliminary hearing Lowell asked for, and was granted, a change of venue to Polk county where he was tried, convicted, and sent to the penitentiary for life, dying three and a half years later.

It is interesting that at the conclusion of the first district court case in Story county, the Court ordered the clerk to use the eagle side of the U. S. dollar as the official seal of the court.
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