In Search of the Perfect Tree

Brian, Debbie and Louie the cat in front of our tree in Missouri--Taken Christmas 1977

Brian, Debbie and Louie the cat in front of our tree in Missouri–Taken Christmas 1977


Once upon a time, we lived in the woods in Missouri. We lived there for three years before returning to “civilization.” My special memory about those years centers around our annual tree displayed in our dining room beside our circular table.  We always put up our tree the week before Christmas, enjoyed it through the holiday season and then took it down. But the day the tree was chosen was awesome.

Howard, Brian, Debbie and Heidi the poodle--Taken in Missouri December 1977

Howard, Brian, and Debbie getting ready for their adventure–Taken in Missouri December 1977

On the day of the grand selection, Howard, Brian, Debbie, Louie the cat and Heidi the poodle would embark upon their journey into the woods. Howard shoveled a path leading down toward the woods. And then the procession began: Howard leading the way with his axe in hand, Brian and Debbie behind him, Louie the cat springing from tree to tree along the path, and Heidi bringing up the rear. I stood on the back deck watching them disappear, and then returned indoors. While waiting for them to return, I lined the kitchen counter with boxes of ornaments and checked on their progress from time to time

Debbie, Brian, Me and Louie the cat--Taken in Missouri 1977

Debbie, Brian, Louie the cat and me–Taken in Missouri October 1977



We moved to the woods in October 1977, and Louie the cat moved in with us. He belonged to the prior residents and vanished into the woods the day they were moving. Thereafter, he accessed the house through the open dryer vent until we hooked up the dryer. When he resorted to sitting on the porch railing and meowing through the window, we decided to make him a member of our family. The former resident did stop by one day–a heart-stopping experience because Louie was already a member of our family, and we were afraid he wanted him back.

“Naw!” the man told us. “We have another cat now. Louie took off, and we decided he would be happier here.”

The man was just there for the window air conditioner.

Needless to say, we were greatly relieved. We had already grown attached to the little orange tabby.

Brian and Heidi the poodle on our back deck--Taken January 1978--just before the blizzard!

Brian and Heidi the poodle on our back deck–Taken January 1978, just before the blizzard.

Heidi the poodle joined our family Christmas 1977. We traveled to Ames, Iowa where Howard’s parents lived, enjoying our Christmas at home a day before our departure. The actual celebration was in Ames, and Howard’s parents had recently moved there. A medium-sized black poodle greeted us through the glass window in the foyer.

“Mom has another poodle!” Howard commented.

She wagged her pom-pom tail and shook the jingle bells on her head. We didn’t know it when we first arrived, but our family would have another member upon our departure. Heidi returned to Missouri with us. She missed the 1977 tree hunting expedition, but she was certainly present for Christmas 1978. After that experience, she always accompanied Howard whenever he headed down that path into the woods. So did Louie!


Presently, the tree gatherers returned: Howard dragging a tree behind him; Brian and Debbie hopping from drift to drift; Louie the cat still springing from tree to tree; and, Heidi bringing up the rear. Once the tree entered the house and was secure in its stand, Louie shot up the middle. For the three Christmases we lived there, I had to fetch the little rascal from inside the branches. Keeping him from repeating the performance was a major hassle! His other favorite trick was to drink up the sugar-water at the base of the tree!

Brian, Howard and Red the pony--Taken Summer 1978

Brian, Howard and Red the pony–Taken Summer 1978

We stayed in the woods from Fall 1977 until August 1980. By Spring 1978, we were joined by Red the pony, who no doubt also joined the tree procession as well.

The annual tree processions discontinued after our move to Colorado with the advent of artificial trees. And while I enjoy decking the halls each year, I will never forget the simple life we lived in the woods and the custom of selecting a real tree!




The Case of the Missing Figurine

Mother's favorite decoration, ca. 1953

Mother’s favorite Christmas decoration, ca. 1953

Sometime about December 1953, my mother decided to go shopping for a special Christmas figurine. We were living on L Street S.W. in Cedar Rapids, Iowa–the area where I grew up. My parents’ house was an older two-story with the dining room just off the kitchen. My mother (Elva Gail Spence Inman) had a large buffet inside the dining room, and she wanted to find a Christmas piece to display on top of it beside the candy dish. We were in school at the time, so she caught the bus and went downtown, engaging in her shopping expedition.

“I know what I want to get!” she told me. “And I hope they still have it in the store!”

Later that afternoon when we arrived home from school, a candy cane figurine adorned with angel children decorated the top of the buffet.

“Is that the one you wanted?” I asked.

“Yes, and I bought it in Sanford’s! It was the last one they had!”

Mom kept the figurine inside its box through the year.  Then each December, she removed it from the box and displayed it on the buffet. After Christmas was over, she returned it to the box where it remained for another year. She took excellent care of that figurine. I think she enjoyed it more than she did the tree. Mom wasn’t one to “deck the halls” like I do. She kept the holiday simple: a decorated tree standing in the living room; a Nativity scene on the book case; and that candy cane figurine on her buffet.

Mom passed away in September 2003. Shortly after her death, boxes began arriving from Iowa. One of them contained all of her Christmas decorations. And at the bottom of the box, I discovered the familiar green holiday box containing the candy cane figurine.

“Oh my! She still had this!” I exclaimed.

That was the first year I displayed the figurine in my front window, something I have done each year since 2003. And then came the present year. After spending nine hours “decking the halls”, I realized that something was missing. I scanned the living room while wondering what I had overlooked. That’s when I noticed the empty spot on the window sill!

My discovery propelled me downstairs to the room now cluttered with empty boxes. I always go the extra mile when the annual “decking” takes place. Each year I add something new to the environment. My sister once told me I reminded her of Snoopy and his heavily decorated dog house. Let’s face it! I like a lot of figures and lights! I think my love of “decking” was born from the department store windows I saw in Cedar Rapids as a child. Those windows were full of movable figures and lights–something you really don’t see any longer. So each year,  I royally “deck the halls”–a display that lasts a month.

I stood in the “storage” room, staring at the empty boxes.

How could I be so stupid? I wondered.

For eleven years, I had been so careful placing that figurine back in its original box and placing the box back inside the large storage box with other decorations. Then I packed away all those boxes beneath a large table for the year. Now, I was really frustrated, launching me into another ransacking of all the boxes in the room. No green Christmas box or figurine could be found. But I located a number of other items I had been looking for.

“It will turn up somewhere!” Howard told me.

That didn’t ease my concern! I was soon tearing into other places in other areas of the house, and I found more things long placed on the Lost-and-Hope-I-Find-It list. Some of those lost items are now members of the “decking”. But no figurine!

This year, the “decking” took place the day after Thanksgiving. By now, it was Saturday, and I was still flustered concerning the missing figure. I realized how little I knew about it. I wondered whether I could find something about it on the Internet.

China candy cane with kids on it!

My search term!

It wasn’t long before I was directed to eBay. And after accessing eBay, it wasn’t long before I discovered how expensive that little figurine had become ranging from $100 on up! I saw one for $295. Then I had to review last year’s photographs to verify whether my Mom’s figurine fell into this classification.

It did!

According to Collector’s Weekly:

Founded by Hungarian sportswear designer George Zoltan Lefton, Lefton China of Chicago, Illinois, imported porcelain decorative objects such as figurines and head vases, as well as kitchen wares such as cookie jars and salt-and-pepper shakers, from postwar Japan. From 1945 through 1953, these pieces were stamped with the words “Made in Occupied Japan.” Figures from 1946 to 1953 may also bear a red sticker with either silver or gold trim on their bases, which reads “Lefton’s Exclusives Japan.” Objects made after 1953 added the words “Reg. U.S. Pat. Off,” while those made after 1960 swap that phrase for the simpler “Trade Mark.” Unfortunately, during the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s, the use of these stickers (and others) overlapped, so they are not a perfectly reliable way to date a piece of Lefton.

Beginning in the 1970s, Lefton began contracting with potteries around the world, from China and Malaysia to Italy and England. Fortunately, this global diversification had little impact on the quality of Lefton pieces, which is generally better than that of direct competitors such as Nike NAPCO and ENESCO. More variable is the look of Lefton figurines. For example, there is no such thing as the quintessential Lefton dog. Some are realistic, capturing the appearance of poodles, German shepherds, terriers, and basset hounds. Others are a good deal more syrupy and sentimental, such as the numerous versions of big-eyed puppies with bows around their necks. And then there are the figurines that are just plain silly—how else to describe a puppy wearing a hunting cap and carrying a shotgun, looking down at the innocent duckling that’s staring up at him from inside the canine’s bag?

Christmas figurines were a perennial favorite; Santa and Mrs. Claus, of course, but also adorable elves, angels, and children, some of which resembled candy canes with faces, arms, and legs. Especially popular is a character called Little Miss Mistletoe, whose cherubic face and short ponytail are tilted as she leans down to tie her red slipper. In fact, recurring characters were a big part of the Lefton catalog, so much so that Lefton had a number of lines devoted to them, from the secular Doll House Originals and Bloomer Girls to the religiously inspired Christopher Collection, which featured within it a group of Heavenly Hobos. In particular, many people gravitate to Lefton’s angels, which are often marked with the name of a month or a day of the week.(1)

The company’s founder, George Z. Lefton, was born in Hungary and set up his company in Chicago. Some of his pieces are marked George Z. Lefton, Geo Z. Lefton, G.Z.L. or just Lefton. An article titled “The Lefton Company” notes:

Japan was occupied by the Allied forces with its unconditional surrender in August of 1945. The Allies’ plan was to help Japan rebuild and grow, but not to allow Japan to have the manufacturing capabilities to rearm itself. Pottery and porcelain manufacturing fit into the areas of acceptability as set by General Douglas McArthur and the Allies.

Lefton was one of the first American businessmen to deal with the Japanese after World War II. The first pieces of Lefton China with the “Made in Occupied Japan” mark reached the United States in 1946.

Lefton China produced in Occupied Japan included a wide range of pieces, dating from 1946 to 1952. Designs ranged from delicate, formal pieces with gold edging and soft floral patterns to the whimsical and playful designs of the 1950s. Many of the pieces of Lefton China from Occupied Japan were produced by the Miyawo Company during this period. The quality and price were both good on Lefton China pieces from this period.(2)

Okay–so I discovered some information about the maker of the piece. But what if I no longer had the piece?

What if I threw it away?

A year ago, I had disposed of some of my boxes. What if I accidently threw the figurine away? What if it was in its original box, with that box lodged inside one of the larger boxes I tossed?

Don’t tell me that!

Wearily I searched eBay, wondering whether I could find a replacement.

Not at these prices!

Perhaps I could find one not in pristine condition–something on the “cheaper side.”

Making a long story short, I actually got two. One is probably the same vintage as my mother’s. It was displayed quite a bit and had been moved around as indicated by some dings and paint wearings. It also has different children figures sitting on the candy cane. I decided to display that piece in my front window. The other was the same type of piece with children figures and no markings. Apparently, the original owner bought it from Cracker Barrel. I checked out the Cracker Barrel collectible store site and discovered they have sold Lefton figures over the years. This one still has the plastic cover on it and is still in the original box. I may just keep it that way.

These acquisitions didn’t satisfy my desire for my mother’s lost piece. However, I soon realized that if I threw it away, searching for it was a waste of time. I might as well just forget about it.

It was Sunday night, November 29, 2015 Howard and I were settling in for the Broncos-Patriots game being played here in Denver. The first quarter was somewhat slow, and it appeared the Broncos were going to lose.

Just like I lost my mother’s figurine! I thought.

But I had made so many “David vs. Goliath” statements prior to the game, I kept thinking “The Broncos are not going to lose! They are going to win!” And that quickly translated to “Just like me! I did not throw the figurine away! I’m going to find it!”

Back downstairs, I studied the empty boxes still strewn about the room. Perhaps I should retrace my steps! Perhaps there was something I overlooked!

I sat on the floor beside the huge box that houses most of my decorations. The smaller boxes had been tossed out of it, so it was mostly empty. The large box partially extended from beneath the table. I scooted to the other side, pulled back the lid and peered inside. And I saw–


When I removed the lid, what to my wondering eye did I behold?


Followed by my yell up the stairway–


I squealed my way through the rest of the game while admiring Mom’s perfect figurine. It has no flaws and the labels Geo. Z. Lefton and Made in Japan clearly appear on the bottom. No, I would not display it in the front window. That’s where my dinked replacement will reside when it arrives. Mom’s figurine is now displayed inside the box with cellophane over it in a prominent place in the living room! And after the season is over, it will be the first item returned to the large box in the storage area.

Then came another exciting moment of the evening.

Anderson caught the ball and went flying down the field toward the end zone. I leaped from my chair with my favorite pen in hand, getting ready to record the score. Jumping up and down, I screamed: “RUN! RUN! RUN!” My pen flew from my hand just as Anderson crossed the goal line.

The Broncos beat the Patriots–and destroyed their perfect season 30-24– in overtime–in a snow storm–with a second-string quarterback who was playing his second full game–and some running backs!

Now about my favorite pen–



(1) “Vintage Lefton Figurines.” Collectors’ Weekly Website. Date Accessed: 29 Nov 2015. Available online at

(2) “The Lefton Company”. The American Antiquities Website. Date Accessed: 30 Nov 2015. Available online at


A Special Thanksgiving

A Special Baptism: our family on the left; Howard's brother, Prince's family on the right

A Special Baptism: our family on the left–L-R: Barbara (Me), Howard holding Brian. Howard’s brother, Prince’s family on the right: Prince holding Kari Jo and Cleone on the end. Edward L. Beall, Sr. in the middle. Photo taken the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Farmington Presbyterian Church, Farmington, Missouri

Thanksgiving 1968 was a special one for us. Our son Brian was born August 6, 1968 in Louisville, Kentucky, and his cousin, Kari Jo, was born August 29, 1968 in Wichita, Kansas. We were all scheduled to make a migration to Farmington, Missouri for Thanksgiving that year. One reason? The babies were to be baptized by their grandfather, Rev. Edward L. Beall, Sr. in the Farmington Presbyterian Church. This would be Baby Brian’s first big trip!

Howard was teaching school. It was the day before Thanksgiving, and he was scheduled to be home by mid-afternoon. I spent the morning packing and making certain our dachshund Heidi was taken care of. Howard backed into the driveway–we loaded the car–and then we were on our way to Farmington by way of St. Louis. We were driving a 1967 VW Bug at the time, so we were certainly loaded down. Brian went to sleep, something for which I was grateful!

As I recall, it was cloudy–typical of a November day. We drove across southern Indiana and Illinois, and the rain began in one of those states. It rained lightly at first. I remember stopping at a restaurant somewhere in Illinois where I ordered my favorite breaded pork tenderloin sandwich and onion rings–something I generally don’t get outside of Missouri or Iowa. I laid Brian down in the booth beside me. He smiled at first. Then he decided that (a) he was in a strange place; (b) he was tired; (c) he was hungry–and he YELLED at the top of his lungs. Shoving the rest of the sandwich and onion rings down my throat, I bundled him up and went out to the car so the patrons could eat in peace! Wouldn’t you know it? He was sound asleep the minute I fed him. I sat inside the car, listening to the falling rain, wondering whether this was a foretaste of events that would happen.

And that’s when the drama began!

It was pouring down rain by the time we reached the Missouri River. And halfway across the bridge, our windshield wiper motor died right in the center of the bridge!

Talk about a frightening experience!

By some miracle, we made it across the bridge without incident. But we still had 60 miles to go. The rain was still pelting our car. There was no way we could drive 60 miles in the dark without windshield wipers! Howard called his father, who drove to St. Louis to pick us up. We left our car near a station and headed south to Farmington.

But the drama didn’t end there!

Just as we arrived at the house, Howard’s mother was leaving.

“I have to drive to Potosi!” she told us. “Prince and Cleone broke down there!”

Just then, the phone rang. Prince’s car finally started, so Mildred didn’t have to rescue them. We waited for them to arrive, talked for a while. And we all finally settled down to sleep.

But the drama didn’t end there!

When morning broke, the rain stopped–but it transformed into snow overnight leaving a sheet of ice on everything!

Howard’s brother, Ley, his wife Brenda, and their daughter Carmen were scheduled to fly into St. Louis from Kansas City, Missouri the next morning (Thanksgiving Day). Howard’s mother drove to St. Louis to pick them up, and Howard went with her. He wanted to retrieve his car in St. Louis since we didn’t want to walk back home to Kentucky! They checked on his car first, which was fine. Then they travelled to the airport where they waited–

–and waited–

–and waited.

Finally, they heard the announcement:

All flights from Kansas City have been cancelled!

The reason?

It seems that earlier that morning, a plane from Kansas City slid on ice on the runway in St. Louis. So they weren’t going to send any more of their planes to St. Louis unless and until the ice has been cleared. Now, I don’t know whether you are acquainted with the relationship between these two cities. There has always been a rivalry between them outside of opposing football teams. We lived in Kansas City in the 1960s before moving to Kentucky, and I remember how that rivalry was so pronounced. It may have moderated since then, but it was really strong at that time. I think it dated back to the Civil War. St. Louis regarded Kansas City as a haven for incorrigible outlaws and Kansas City regarded St. Louis as a haven for eastern Yankee snobs.

[Kansas City didn’t like Kansans (Jayhawkers) either in the 1960s. But that is another story].

“My kids were scheduled to fly in here!” my mother-in-law complained. “How are they supposed to get here?”

“Well, you’ll have to sit down and wait,” she was informed. “They are on their way–by bus!”


“I believe that’s the direct route.”

She called to update us on the situation.

“This isn’t fair!” she complained. “I want to be there in Farmington holding my babies, and I have to sit here in this stupid airport all day. Well–we’ll have Thanksgiving when we all get there!”

Six hours later, they all arrived. Howard followed them down in his car, relieved that it was finally safe in Farmington. And once they all stopped talking and settled down at the table–the Thanksgiving feast was tremendous. Everyone enjoyed both the food and the conversation!

Then, when the dishes were out of the way–

“Well, we have to celebrate Christmas!” my Mother-in-Law announced. “You’re all here now, and you won’t be here next month!”

So, out came the tree, the other decorations, and the music. Once the halls were appropriately decked, we had our gift exchange. It was probably after midnight again when we finally ran out of gas! I remember the touch football game in the yard the next day. Then Brenda, Ley and Carmen had to return to Kansas City since Ley had to be at work at TWA that evening.

Sunday was the day of the baptism, the event so conveniently worked into our Thanksgiving-Christmas celebration!

The baptism was a signature event. Howard’s Uncle MacPherson Beall (people called him Mac) and his family drove to Farmington from St. Louis for the occasion. And Clan Beall all descended upon the Farmington Presbyterian Church, sitting in the designated section for honored guests. My father-in-law had been minister at that church for several years, so the gathering was a quite an occasion. Then came the moment of the baptism. Brian’s parents (us) and Kari Jo’s parents (them) journeyed to the front with the babies in tow. What I remember most about the baptism is that Baby Brian recognized his Grandpa Beall and began his little chant: “Da-da-da-da-da-”

“I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost! Amen!”

We had to have another celebration after all of that!

The MacPherson Bealls went to the house in Farmington as did the rest of the Clan. We had another feast (Thanksgiving leftovers) and plenty of dinner table conversation. Beall table conversations generally turned to politics and other world events. In those days, the conversation focused on Richard Nixon (the newly elected President) and what he planned to do about ending that awful war (Vietnam)–and whether or not Howard’s cousin, Scott, would be called up for duty. He said he expected it; his wife said “No!” (He did serve as a medic. He retired several years ago after many years as a surgeon!)

Our return trip to Kentucky was without mishap or misadventure. Brian slept most of the way. The sun shone brightly and the roads were clear.

And our little dog Heidi was certainly glad to see us!


Decking the Halls

Christmas Poinsettia, 2014

Christmas Poinsettia, 2014

When I saw my pumpkins bouncing down the street in the high wind this morning, I dashed after them. Fortunately, I managed to catch them before they bounced out of my reach, and I returned them to the house. Instead of placing them on the porch again, I took them inside and stored them downstairs. And just before opening the front door, I grabbed the wreathe from the mailbox. It was about to take flight as well.

Thanksgiving is a week from tomorrow. My pumpkins and wreathe were my outside Thanksgiving decorations. They didn’t make it until the holiday. I didn’t want to chase them to Kansas! The interior decorations are still in place. Gradually, I will start moving them downstairs through next week, replacing them with Christmas objects.

Now, if I could just get into the mood!

Christmas is coming, and I don’t feel like it. In the past, I always looked forward to Christmas.  It was my favorite holiday. Christmas almost slipped up on me this year without my realizing it!

2015 has been a year of challenges–the big one centering upon our son’s continued battle with cancer. He was declared cancer-free in May and two months later, his cancer was back. So he has spent the rest of the year undergoing chemo and other treatments fighting the disease. The doctor told him this was something he would have to fight the rest of his life. He has a particularly aggressive form of cancer.  I pray he receives a good report when he undergoes a scan in December.

Howard underwent his cancer treatments in February and March this spring consisting of five days a week for thirty-nine treatments. That was where we met our friend, Rex Swett. I’ve written about him previously. On Valentine’s Day, Rex and his wife appeared at the Cancer Center with small boxes of Valentine candy for everyone. I still have our Valentine boxes. The candy vanished long ago, thanks to the sweet tooth both of us have. I’m still trying to figure out a way to display those boxes. Rex passed away in August. But he became a good friend those short months we knew him. I believe that he knew he had only six months to live when he started his treatments at the center. His wife told me they were trying to think of all the unique things they could do over the next six months. One of his ideas was to take a train trip from east to west across Canada and end up on the West Coast. He didn’t get to do that, but he did make it to his State High School Basketball Hall of Fame Banquet in South Dakota in March. We got together in June for dinner. That is the last time I saw him.

As for me, I really have nothing to complain about. I just underwent my annual “wellness visit”, and it appears that I am fine. Everything seems to be functioning the way these body parts and organs are supposed to be functioning. So I will be writing this blog for a few more years.

I’ve had some wonderful successes with my Ancestry DNA matches. As of today, I think I have around 355. I’m also making headway on some illusive family lines. Finally got my mother’s Spence, Perry and Inman lines in shape! That took a year. Now I’m working on some of my father’s lines. I’m also in 22 DNA Circles. Looked at them today and noticed that membership in those circles is growing. Howard’s DNA matches are also blooming. I took my test last December, so I’ve been receiving matches for almost a year. Got a kit for Howard on Father’s Day, and he has almost caught up with me. But then, his surnames–Beall, Warfield, Polk, Dorsey, DeLashmutt, etc.–are popular. We did find out that we are connected on three lines: Beall, Gaither and Owings. So we are distant cousins.

And, hey! I ran into someone who connects with me on my Dad’s Cline line!  Just wrote an article on the Clines a few weeks ago, and now I have a DNA match on that line.  Also ran into someone with a match on the Drury line. So I’m getting there.

This blog has taken the place of writing books.  I like the format because as I make future discoveries, I can update the articles. I also have it indexed by the family line I’m writing about, and I have included other topics as well. I can also focus on different family groups from time to time rather than staying focused on just one.

So, this is basically our year to date.

Over the next few days, the interior Thanksgiving decorations will gradually disappear into boxes downstairs, and Christmas decorations will reappear from other boxes. As I put them in place, I will reflect on Christmases past. Perhaps I will add some of those memories to this blog in the form of a Christmas Past–Christmas Present–Christmas Future series.

Now that would get me into the spirit!




Through the Heart of a Hurricane: Maj. Gen. Floyd Bernard Wood (1908-1956)

Maj. Gen. Floyd Bernard Wood (1908-1956), Arlington National Cemetery. Photo From Find-a-Grave

Maj. Gen. Floyd Bernard Wood (1908-1956), Arlington National Cemetery. Photo From Find-a-Grave

Myrtle (Wood) Dunning, Floyd’s sister, remembers that Floyd was very gifted intellectually.  He graduated from college in northern Texas at age 19.  He studied music (violin?) in college, but taught high school following his graduation.  He found that he didn’t like teaching and subsequently became a pilot in the Army Air Corps. 

The Hill Aerospace Museum, in its listing of USAF chronology, records the following:

“14 Sep 1944:  Col. Floyd Wood, Maj. Harry Wexler, and Lt. Frank Record, flying a Douglas A-20 “Havoc,” are the first to fly into the heart of a hurricane to obtain meteorological data.”

Time Magazine carried an article about the flight.

According to an article about his death that appeared in the Evening Capital, Annapolis, MD on 04 Apr, 1956:  “Floyd was a 1927 graduate of North Texas State Teachers College and received a master of science degree in meteorology from MIT in 1937.

He was chief weather officer of the USAF in the South Pacific in 1942 and chief weather officer of the Air Force in Washington in 1943.

From 1945 to ’47, he served with the Joint Brazil-US Military Commission at Rio de Janeiro and returned to the US for various assignments with the Air-Material Command at Wright Field, Dayton, OH.  In June 1951, he became chief of staff of the newly organized Wright Air Development Center at Wright-Patterson AFB and joined the Air Research and Development Command Headquarters (ARDC) in Baltimore, MD in April 1952.

He was promoted to Major General in July 1954 and assumed the post of Deputy Commander for Research and Development in August of 1955.

Floyd died in a plane crash shortly after takeoff from Friendship Airport, MD en route to Elgin AFB, Florida.

At the time of his death in April 1956, he was Deputy Commander for Research and Development, attached to the Air Research and Development Command Headquarters (ARDC) in Baltimore.

In June 1956, he had been slated to take over as commander of the Air Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, California.”

He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, VA(1).


Howard first told me the story about General Wood when we were dating in the early 1960s. He also told me that General Wood was one of his father’s cousins. I parked that memory somewhere in the back of my brain until I remembered it recently. That’s when I asked him about it.

“Didn’t you tell me your father had a cousin who was a General who did something spectacular?” I asked.

“Floyd Wood!”

Then he launched into the story I set out above. It was the same story he told me in the early 1960s.

I stared at Howard’s pedigree chart on my computer screen.

“I don’t see it!” I responded.  “Wood?”


“I don’t see any the Wood surname in your tree!”

“Keep looking!”

So I started looking. And I started a separate tree for the General and moved back from there.

Suddenly, I discovered something.


“Did you find something?”

“Some of these people are already in my database!”

I connected them and returned to the General. The relationship calculator on his profile now disclosed that the General and I were fifth cousins twice removed.

“Why am I connected with him?” I asked. “He’s your Dad’s cousin!”

When I traced through the connections, I discovered that the General’s Wood line connected with my third great-grandmother, Nancy Haskins!

Nancy was born November 7, 1807 in Macon County, Tennessee, and she died January 8, 1876 in Sulphur Springs, Benton County, Arkansas. On March 25, 1824, she married my third great grandfather– Joel Owensby Hood (1803-1891) —in Roane County, Tennessee. Nancy Haskins and Joel Hood’s daughter, Manerva Caroline Hood (1824-1901)–my second great grandmother–married my second great-grandfather, William David Spence (1827-1907). Their son, my great-grandfather, Salathiel Monroe Spence (1854-1921), married my great grandmother, Josephine Virginia Kessler (1865-1925), and their son, William Franklin Spence (1884-1973) was my maternal grandfather!

Nancy’s connection with the General occurs on her maternal side of the family. Her parents were John D. Haskins (1782-1868) and Susanna Elizabeth C. Tinkham (1790-1860). And Susanna Tinkahm’s parents were John Tinkham (1754-1829) and Mary Wood (1756-1808).


Mary Wood’s brother James Thomas Wood (1764-1799) was the General’s second great-grandfather. Their parents were David Wood (1737-1813) and Mary Watson (1745-1792). And that’s how the General and I became fifth cousins twice removed!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch–

I was staring at the pedigree chart, looking for Howard’s father’s connection with the General. Only this time I was searching for the General’s ancestors who lived in North Carolina. And I finally found them in his mother’s Raby line. The common connection is between the Raby line and Howard’s paternal grandmother’s North Carolina Dalton line!

Yes! I knew the Dalton Gang had to squeeze in here somewhere!

The common ancestors on the Raby line are William Raby (1723-1821) and Elizabeth Shires (1752-1783). Their son, James Raby, Sr. (1770-1861) was the second great-grandfather of the General. James Raby’s brother, Frederick Raby (1775-1850), was the father of Dempsey Manuel Raby (1800-1870), who was in turn the father of Mary Pauline “Polly” Raby (1826-1885). Mary Pauline married Columbus W. Dalton (1829-1901)–and that is the Dalton-Raby connection in Howard’s father’s family.

Howard’s paternal grandmother, Minnie Brengle Grogan Beall (1869-1948), was the daughter of Martin Grogan (1828-1890) and Nancy Kinner Dalton (1830-1894), the granddaughter of James Hunter Dalton (1796-1880) and Nancy Critz (1799-1880), the great-granddaughter of Nicholas Dalton (1770-1838) and Rachel Hunter (1774-1863), and the second great-granddaughter of Samuel Dalton (1738-1789). Samuel’s father was Samuel Dalton (1699-1805)–progenitor of the Rockingham-Stokes County Dalton families, who lived to be 106! (I nicknamed him Old Samuel Who Lived So Long!) Some people believe that Samuel the Progenitor is also the ancestor of the infamous Dalton Gang, who expired in a shootout in Coffeyville, Kansas. Others believe that the Daltons descend from Samuel’s brother, Timothy Dalton (1690-1775). I have not resolved this issue as yet and am still working on it! At any rate, it appears that Columbus W. Dalton, husband of Mary Pauline “Polly Raby, descended from Timothy Dalton, and not from Samuel.

Now, this is really a round-about way to locate the cousin status between Howard’s father and the General. In a way, it reminds me of the Robert E. Lee story that circulated in my paternal grandmother’s family for years. Yes, there was a connection–but you had to take a number of detours through various cousins getting there!

I feel as though I have just flown through a hurricane!

At any rate, this is what I discovered. And I think I will let it go at that!


How about that! I wrote this article earlier today and tonight I have an addendum to add. So, I believe I will add it here.

As some of you may know, our son Brian is battling cancer. This has been a year long fight, and it is still ongoing. Today is Veteran’s Day. Howard is a veteran of the Air Force and Brian is a veteran of the Army. We had planned to go to I-Hops this morning for breakfast, but a winter storm intercepted those plans. Then this afternoon, Brian called. The storm moved out. The sun was shining. He decided to go to Applebee’s with us for dinner.  We picked him up and got there early ahead of the crowd.

The dinner conversation soon changed to what I was doing and whether I was writing anything. I told him about this blog. And then I told him about Maj. General Floyd Bernard Wood. Howard took over the story from there.

“I remember that story!” Brian said. “Dad told me that story when I was little. And I saw a documentary about him later.”

Howard saw the same documentary. Then Howard told a part of the story I think I remember hearing long ago.

Howard’s mother’s family lived on a farm outside the small town of Sykesville, Maryland. Sykesville is perhaps 40 miles from Baltimore. I believe Howard’s family lived in Missouri when this story took place. He was about thirteen at the time. His mother Mildred Lee Warfield Beall (1917-2007) wanted to visit her family, so she talked his father into driving them back to Maryland for a visit. The General was stationed in Baltimore at this time, so my future father-in-law–Edward L. Beall, Sr. (1907-1992)–decided to take his sons to Baltimore for a visit  with his distant cousin.

Howard actually met the General! My future father-in-law took the boys to the General’s office, and they were invited inside.

Ed Beall was quite a person. Whenever someone famous was speaking somewhere, Ed not only attended the engagement, but he managed to shake the person’s hand. A partial list of famous people he met and shook hands with include: (1) Then Senator John F. Kennedy, who stopped in Cedar Rapids, Iowa while on his way to a campaign speech while he was running for President; (2) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when he made a speech at Coe College in Cedar Rapids; (3) Clarence Darrow; (4) William Jennings Bryan; (5) Harry S. Truman–the Bealls only lived a few doors from his house in Independence. And when Howard was thirteen, Ed took his sons to meet the man who flew through the center of a hurricane who was his distant cousin!

In the words of Paul Harvey: “And now you know the rest of the story!”



(1) “Floyd Bernard Wood.” Story originally shared on by jmwood17, 04 May 2010., Provo, Utah. Date accessed: 11 Nov 2015. Available online at

A Ship Without Weapons

William Gordon Spence (1918-1983) Taken in the 1940s. This photo hung on our wall for years.

William Gordon Spence (1918-1983) Taken in the 1940s. This photo hung on our wall for years.  His features favored my grandmother’s Hopper family.

The story I am about to tell happened a couple of years before I was born immediately after December 7, 1941. My mother’s brother, William Gordon Spence, was on a navy ship that had no weapons somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Had that ship been detected, it would have been destroyed and all those on board would have been killed.

From the Find-a-Grave Memorial I created and maintain for my uncle, William Gordon Spence was born December 30, 1918 in Neosho, Newton County, Missouri, and he died March 5, 1983 in San Francisco, California. The rest of the biography follows–much of which was taken from The Sterns Family History I found in my Grandmother’s photo album:

“William Gordon Spence was the only son of William Franklin Spence and Oda Elizabeth Hopper Spence. His two sisters were Elva Gail Spence Inman and Marian Elizabeth Spence Van Fossen. He moved with his family to Iowa about 1925 and lived in the town of Marian. He joined the U.S. Navy prior to World War II and made the Navy his career. On April 21, 1951, he married Veronica “Ronni” del Palacio/Anselmi in Los Angeles. Ronnie had two children by a previous marriage: Michele Anselmi Tarkington and Raymond Mario Anselmi. The Spences were based in Hawaii prior to relocation to San Francisco ca. 1955. They lived there the rest of their married lives. William Spence died in San Francisco on March 5, 1983 and is buried in the military section of Olivet Memorial Park Cemetery in Colma, California, (Grave 748)”(1). 

Unfortunately, I do not know the name of the ship my uncle was on. He joined the Navy during an isolationist period, and the ship did not have weapons. They were somewhere in the Pacific the day of the Pearl Harbor attack and knew they had to return to the mainland immediately. Since they had no weapons or any means of defense, they had cut all communications for fear of detection. All radio transmissions were silenced.

“And for two months, we didn’t know whether he was alive or dead,” my grandmother told me.

Then my grandparents received the news that the ship returned to California safely. Everyone on board was fine!

I can only imagine what those people on the ship and their families back home experienced while all of this was underway. I think the ship must have traveled north and moved mostly at night or through in intense fog and then made its way down the coast. At any rate, once the weapons were installed on the ship, it was sent out on duty again.

I heard this story when I was really small–late 1940s. And I heard it repeated by my parents and grandparents from time to time. I grew up wondering whether anyone else knew about that ship.

Fast forward to late 1990s.

Howard and I were living in Colorado. A friend of ours–a Navy veteran– lived with us at the time while he was going to school. He worked as a security guard at the local mall. One night, he came home with a movie he rented–some war picture I no longer remember.

“I heard the darndest story today!” he said as we turned on the movie. “I’ll tell you about it later.”

About halfway through the movie, I spoke up:

“This thing reminds me of a story I heard years ago about an uncle of mine. He was on a naval ship that had no weapons on it when Pearl Harbor exploded. They had to sneak back to the mainland, and for two months, my grandparents and parents didn’t know whether he was alive or dead. The ship returned safely, but what a harrowing experience!”

“You had a uncle on that ship?” our friend exclaimed.

“My mom’s brother!” I answered, surprised that anyone knew the story.

“I met a man at the mall today! He was on that same ship!”

So we forgot the movie and compared the two stories: my memory of my uncle’s experience and the man’s memories of the same experience on the same ship.

What a coincidence!



(1) William Gordon Spence Find-a-Grave Memorial No. 97969745. Website. Created: 29 Sep 2012. Date Accessed: 7 Nov 2015. Available online at


The Search For Sarah Polly White (Snow) (1780-1830)–Wife of Daniel Inman (1776-1848)–AN UPDATE!

Alonzo Inman (1842-1912)–my paternal great-grandfather.

This article was originally written in 2015. When I finished the original version, I thought my search had ended, and I was satisfied with the results. After our son’s passing in March 2016, I put away genealogy for a while. My interest has recently been renewed, but I did not realize it would take me back to this article.

Shortly before Christmas, I received a message from one of my contacts. We met several years ago when our DNA matched on Ancestry. The match concerned my father’s paternal Inman line and the two brothers we descended from. Her message concerned some medical records she obtained concerning her direct. She would be happy to share them with me by sending copies. Then with the rush of Christmas, I forgot all about them and was surprised when I received them the end of December or first of January.

“Who would send me a large envelope from Indiana?” I asked when it arrived.

And I was thrilled when I discovered the contents!

I’m not going to post the records on this site, nor am I going to identify the person concerned.  What I discovered in those records, however, were answers to questions I had about my father’s line for years. I will use my great- grandfather, Alonzo Inman, as a guide for this discussion. While the medical records do not pertain to him, they do provide insight into his ancestry.  One phrase stands out in particular:

“His parents and grandparents were close cousins!”

That phrase took me through another ancestral search and led to a complete revision of this article. My discussion begins briefly with Alonzo Inman.

Alonzo Inman (1842-1912)

Alonzo Inman was born June 24, 1842 in Illinois to Loren Inman (1810-1878) and Lucy Carpenter (1812-1890). (1), (2)  The parents of Loren Inman were Daniel Inman (1776-1848) and Sarah Polly White (Snow) (1780-1830). And the parents of Lucy Carpenter were  Harvey Carpenter (1775-1840) and Charlotte “Charity” Marinda Cook (1776-1840). The 1850 Census for Sugar Grove, Kane County, Illinois lists the Loren Inman Family as follows:

  • Lorin (sp) Inman  39
  • Lucy Inman 39
  • Harvey C Inman 14
  • Joseph Inman 9
  • Alonzo Inman 8
  • Ethen Inman 4
  • Charlotte M Inman 1 (3)

The Ethen Inman listed on this record should have been Ephraim Inman. Dora Ellen Inman was born in 1852. And apparently, two unnamed infant Inmans were born to this family who did not survive. I do not know whether they were born in Illinois or in Iowa, where the family later settled.

By 1860, the Loren Inman family relocated to Iowa and settled in Union Twp., Floyd County, where they appear on the census for that year. The post office is listed as Marble Rock.

  • Loren Inman 49
  • Lucy Inman 48
  • Harvey Inman 24
  • Joseph Inman 19
  • Alonzo Inman 18
  • Ephraim Inman 13
  • Marinda Inman 11
  • Dora E. Inman 7 (4)

The road leading out to the Inman farm/farms was later called “Inman Road.” I don’t know whether this still holds true but when the farms were first established, they were all lined up along that road. When I was about five years old, my dad’s brother, Forrest, came out from New York to visit us. We all drove up to Marble Rock one day and walked the Alonzo Inman-later the Loren Waiste Inman farm. That was in 1948. All of the houses were still standing along that road. My parents made another trip there in 1961. For the most part, the houses were standing, including the Alonzo Inman place that was built before the Civil War. We walked the grounds again, and I remember being surrounded by sheep. In 1997, my husband and I made our one and only trip to Marble Rock. Only one house was left standing. I could not tell whether it was in the process of being torn down or remodeled.

The last house standing in 1997 on Inman Road

We were joined by a flock of guinea hens who were curious about what we were doing! I was so glad to find the location of the Alonzo Inman/Loren Waiste Inman farm where my father was raised. I remembered my trip there in 1961 and the fact that the farm was at the end of the road. The pictures below depict the farm as it appeared in 1915-1920s and the site of the farm as it appeared on our trip there in 1997.

Alonzo Inman-Loren Waiste Inman Farm ca. 1915-1920s, Inman Road, Floyd County, Iowa

Site of the Alonzo Inman-Loren Waiste Inman Farm, Union Twp., Floyd Co., Iowa 1997. You can distinguish that fence row in front of both pictures.

On October 27, 1869, Alonzo Inman married Caroline Elizabeth Waiste (1842-1933) in Charles City, Floyd County, Iowa. Born in Vermont, Carrie was the daughter of Uriah (Uri) Smith Waiste (1814-1873) and Polly Cline (1813-1886). Carrie had traveled by steamboat to Iowa to become a country school teacher. Her mother would join her there later.

[Note: I need to mention here that the Civil War would take its toll on members of these families. Alonzo Inman’s brother, Joseph L. Inman (1841-1863) died of an illness in Memphis, Tennessee January 6, 1863. Carrie Waiste Inman’s father served with Co. F, 142nd, NY Inf. His son, Henry Smith Thomas Waiste (1845-1921) was a private with the 60th New York Infantry. I have copies of their old Civil War letters, but they are difficult to read.  One of Alonzo’s uncles, Willard Inman (1801-1870) lost two of his sons in the Civil War: Franklin E. Inman (1844-1864), who died of illness in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, and Cassius F. Inman (1846-1863), who joined the Union Army at the age of 16 as a drummer boy, and who died of illness the following year at the age of 17 in a hospital in Chalmette, Saint Bernard Parish, Louisiana. These are just a few of the examples.]

Alonzo and Carrie Inman had the following children:

  • Loren Waiste Inman (1870-1942)–my paternal grandfather
  • Charles H. Inman (1872-1880)
  • Martha Esther Inman (1876-1899).

Young Loren Waiste Inman

Young Martha Inman

Young Loren Waiste Inman and Martha Esther Inman

Loren Waiste Inman [my paternal grandfather] married Adelia Viola Clay (1869-1951) [my paternal grandmother] in Marble Rock, Iowa on April 4, 1893. She was the daughter of Levi Clay (1843-1917) and Mary Elizabeth Stillians (1849-1915).

Loren Waiste Inman during his politician days. He was a state senator from Floyd County, Iowa (Republican) 1909-1910 etc. His picture still hangs in the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. Reportedly, he had the largest mustache in the State Legislature


A young Viola Clay in Adair, Iowa

Adelia Viola Clay, Adair, Iowa. This photo was taken by her uncle, John Stillians


The Loren Waiste Inman Family: (L-R) Harold Clay Inman (1894-1958), Forrest Glen Inman (1895-1965), Viola Clay Inman (1869-1951), Gordon Loren Inman (my father) (1908-1974), Loren Waiste Inman (1870-1942), Lelah Esther Inman, (1902-1981) Caroline Elizabeth Waiste Inman (1842-1933) Another son, Lloyd Burr Inman (1899-1901) had already passed away when this picture was taken.


The Cousin Connection: A Time for Sarah

So where do I go from here? I wondered as I considered my options.  I read and reread the reocurring comment posted on the medical records I received:

“His parents and grandparents were close cousins!”

The writer didn’t say they were first cousins! The writer said they were close cousins! That gave me some room to wiggle around.

As already noted, Alonzo Inman’s parents were Loren Inman and Lucy Carpenter. His paternal grandparents were Daniel Inman and Sarah Polly White (Snow). And his maternal grandparents were Harvey Carpenter and Charlotte “Charity” Marinda Cook. I had no problem with most of these cousin connections. I had discovered many cousins in several lines: Inman, Sprague, Bacon, Carpenter, Cook, Sabin and others. There was just one problem, however. In 2015, I originally decided that Sarah Polly White (Snow) was originally a Snow. When I pulled up the chart for the people I perceived to be Sarah White Snow’s ancestors, I could not find a single cousin in the Snow line that would connect with the other lines in my tree. As far as I know, I do not have any common ancestor on that Snow line.

So back to the drawing board again!

I am so grateful for the many official records released by since 2015. I did not have this information earlier and may have had it sooner had I not taken my leave of absence for a while. What follows is the rest of the story.

Sarah Polly White birth record from the Pomfret Records of Birth, Connecticut Town Records, pre-1870–the Barbour Collection.

Sarah Polly White was one of a pair of twins born February 13, 1780 in Pomfret, Windham, Connecticut to Daniel White (1746-1804) and Mehitible/Mehetible Cummins (1750-1822). The other twin was Mehitible/Mehetable White (1780-1841). Mehitable White married Lemuel Morse, Sr. (1779-1854). She died January 2, 1841 in Lyme, Huron County, Ohio. The children of Daniel White and Mehitabel Cummins as identified in the Connecticut Town Records follow:

  • Jonathan White (1769-1839)
  • Danforth White (1771-1841)
  • Anna White (1773-1847)
  • Elizabeth White (1775-1845)
  • Daniel White (1777-1836)
  • Sarah Polly White (1780-1830)–the subject of discussion here. She was extremely weak at first and was not projected to live. The Benjamin Snow family took her in to their household and raised her as their daughter. She used the Snow surname at a later time resulting in the confusion as to whether she was a White or a Snow.
  • Mehitible/Mehetable White (1780-1841)–Sarah Polly White’s twin. She married Lemuel Morse (1779-1854) and settled in Huron County, Ohio.
  • Sarah White (1781-1781)–a second daughter named Sarah. She apparently died at birth or shortly thereafter.
  • Dorcas White (1782-1847)
  • Walter White (1784-1812)
  • Resolved White (1787-1875)
  • Artemesia White (1789-1847)
  • Sarah Polly White (1792-1840)–a third daughter named Sarah (and a second one named Sarah Polly). She married George Hammond (1790-1860) and settled in Auburn Twp., Huron County, Ohio.

I should note that the Connecticut Town Records confused three of the Sarahs–Sarah Polly (the subject of discussion here), Sarah, who died in 1781, and Sarah Polly (born 1792). Mehitable had a twin named Sarah Polly. According to Mehetable’s Find-a-Grave record, Mehetable was born February 13, 1780 and not in 1792, per the following:

Mehetable White Morse Gravestone from Find-a-Grave Memorial. Photo by Kathy (Posey) Meadows


Mehetable White Morse

  • Birth 13 Feb 1780 Pomfret, Windham County, Connecticut, USA
  • Death 2 Jan 1841 Huron County, Ohio, USA
  • Burial Bellevue Cemetery Bellevue, Huron County, Ohio, USA
  • Plot Section 1, Row 24
  • Memorial ID 33212688 (5)

This makes Mehetable White and the first Sarah Polly twins!


The Snow Factor: Benjamin Snow (1752-1800)

Benjamin Snow was born August 13, 1752 in Ashford, Windham, Connecticut, and he died in Connecticut in 1800. He was the son of Joseph Snow (1713-1787) and Abigail Sarah Cornel/Cornwall (1712-1797). His wife was Hannah Chubb (1749-1800). Hannah was the daughter of William Prentice Chubb (1723-1753) and Rachel Squire (b. 1723). Hannah was born in Ashford, Windham, Connecticut. They were married March 30, 1773 in Ashford and they stayed there.  Their children follow:.

  • Jonathan Snow, Jr. (1774-1810)  Jonathan was born January 21, 1774, and he died between 1810 and 1820. The exact date of death is unknown. On April 24, 1794, he married Relief Johnson (1773-1831) in Ashford, Windham, Connecticut. Their children were: Annie Snow (b. 1794), Alice Snow (b. 1797), Hezekiah Snow (1798-1842), Hannah Snow (no dates).
  • Eunice Snow (1776-1850). Eunice was born April 6, 1776, and she died in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania April 25, 1850. She married Jesse Ames (1780-1861). Their children were: Roswell Squire Ames (1800-1886); Leon Ames (1804-1805); Simeon Ames (1806-1806); Margaret Philena Ames (1807-1871); Otis Ames (1809-1871); Jasper Ames (1811-1887); Chauncy Ames (1813-1848); Annis Ames (1817-1878)
  • Annis Snow (1778-1779/80)
  • Willard Snow (1782-1784). Willard was Sarah Polly White’s pride and joy. She joined the Snow family shortly after her birth. Willard was born December 30, 1782, and he died July 28, 1784. Sarah was just two years older than Willard. She remembered him well and probably missed him a great deal. Her first son, Willard Inman, may have been named after him.
  • Dudley Snow (1784-1830). Dudley may well have been another of Sarah Polly’s treasures. He served in the War of 1812 and died at sea in 1830. He married Mary Polly Penhallow (1787-1848) on March 2, 1806 in Belchertown, Massachusetts. Their children were: Abijah Rockwell Snow (1810-1892); William D V Snow (1812-1900); Parmelia Snow (b. 1821); Daniel Pinney Snow (1825-1902); [He may well been named after Daniel Inman]; and, James Snow (1828-1898).

There was definitely a scarcity of children in the Snow family when compared with Sarah’s birth family. For this reason, I believe the Whites made the arrangement permanent when the Snows took in the infant Sarah. She later used the Snow surname, thereby creating the White vs. Snow controversy surrounding her name. I do not know how much contact the two families had with one another after Sarah was placed with the Snows. They were friends. The Whites lived in Pomfret and the Snows lived in Ashford. It may have pained the Whites that they gave up Sarah. That could explain why they named their next daughter Sarah. However, that Sarah did not live. And they named their last child Sarah Polly when she was born in 1792. That Sarah Polly White bonded well with her sister Mehitible/Mehetable; the two sisters eventually moved to Ohio with their families.


The Rest of the Story

As already noted, there is no cousin connection with Alonzo Inman in the Snow line. The cousin connections are alive and well in the White line, however with the following surnames: Bacon, Carpenter, Sabin, Inman and Mayo and others.

In 1800, Sarah Polly White (Snow) married Daniel Inman in Dudley, Worchester, Massachusetts.(6) Daniel was the son of Joseph Inman (1750-1819) and Lucy Sprague (1753-1836). By the time of her marriage to Daniel Inman,  Sarah’s foster parents had passed away.  Her natural father Daniel White and her mother Mehetabel/Mehitible Cummins were still alive. Daniel White died June 30, 1804 in Windsor, Berkshire, Massachusetts.(7)

Daniel White death notice in the Massachusetts Town Records for Windsor


He is apparently buried in Windsor, but his grave has never been discovered.

Mehetabel/Mehitible Cummins joined the Daniel Inman family in Ontario, New York, where she passed away in 1822. Her Find-a-Grave entry follows:

Mehetable Cummins White Gravestone, Find-a-Grave Memorial. Photo by Frank C. Hawkins

Mehetabel Cummins White
Birth 28 Mar 1750 Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut, USA
Death 19 Jan 1822 Gorham, Ontario County, New York, USA
Burial Baldwins Corner Cemetery Rushville, Ontario County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 21749721 (8)

She was able to finally bond with her daughter during the final years of her life.

The children of Daniel Inman and Sarah Polly White (Snow) follow:

  • Willard Inman (1801-bef 1870)  Willard was born in Pomfret, Windham, Connecticut in 1801, and he died in Jefferson, Butler Iowa before 1870. His wife was Lydia M. Peck. Their children were: Sarah S. Inman (1825-1879); Elsie (Alcy) Lowena Inman (1827-1906); Pvt. Daniel Willard Inman (1835-1909); Major Chester William Inman (1837-1894); 1st Lt. Joseph George Inman (1838-1893); Harriet S. Inman (1840-1913); Lucy Caroline “Carrie” Inman (1843-1880); Franklin E. Inman (1844-1864); Cassius F. Inman (1846-1863).
  • David Trumbull Inman (1802-1866)  David was born in Ontario, Wayne, New York in 1801, and he died in Illinois in 1866. His wife’s name was Alamanda. I do not have information about his children.
  • Alcy Inman (1807-1873). Alcy was born in Ontario, New York in 1807, and she died in Marble Rock, Floyd County, Iowa in 1873. Her husband was Robert D. Frost (1831-1907). Their children were: Joseph Inman Robert Frost (1831-1907); Sarah Frost (b. 1839); Josephine Frost (1843-1920); Robert David Frost (1846-1921).
  • Joseph Inman (1809-1880). Joseph was born in 1809 in New York, and he died in March 1880 in Marble Rock, Floyd County, Iowa. His wife’s name was Caroline, who was born in 1810. I have no further information.
  • Loren Inman (1810-1878). Loren was born in Ontario, Wayne County, New York in 1810, and he died September 12, 1878 in Marble Rock, Floyd County, Iowa. His wife was Lucy Carpenter (1812-1890). They have already been discussed, but I will list their children here:
    • Harvey Carpenter Inman (1836-1886)–his wife was Sarah E. McCollom (1838-1924). Their son was Harry Edward Inman (1869-1933) [Note: Actually the son of Ephraim Inman and Harriet Clay–adopted by Harvey Carpenter Inman and Sarah E. McCollom.
    • Joseph L. Inman (1841-1863). He joined the Union Army in 1862 and died at age 22 of an illness in Memphis, Tennessee I have already discussed him earlier.
    • Alonzo Inman (1842-1912). My great-grandfather. I have already discussed him earlier.
    • Ephraim Inman (1846-1914). Ephraim was born September 1, 1806 in Aurora, DuPage, Illinois and he died August 9, 1914 in Buchanan County, Iowa. His wife was Harriet Clay (1849-1906). Harriet and my grandmother, Adelia Viola Clay, were cousins. Grandma left Adair, Iowa and went to Floyd County to help Harriet while her husband was ill. That’s how my grandparents met at the local church one Sunday!  The children of Ephraim Inman and Harriet Clay were: Louis Joseph Inman (1867-1908); Harry Edward Inman (1869-1933)–adopted by Harvey Carpenter Inman and Sarah E. McCollom; Harvey Ephraim Inman (1871-1960); Nellie Louisa Inman (1873-1941); Lucy Ellen Inman (1875-1943); Sarah R Inman (b. 1883). Bernice Caroline Inman (1887-1967).
    • Charlotte Marinda Inman (1849-1892). Charlotte was born August 5, 1849 in Sugar Grove, Kane County, Illinois, and she died in Brainerd, Minnesota in 1892. Apparently, she had two marriages. I cannot prove the first marriage nor the son who was reportedly born of that marriage. She may have married a Frank Bell in Floyd County, Iowa in 1865. They may have had a son named Edward Bell (1866-1870). They may have divorced in Brainerd, Minnesota in 1866. She appears to have married Andrew Jackson Baumgardner (1828-1905) before 1870 in Floyd County, Iowa. They were divorced before 1880 because he remarried in 1881. (He appears to have had four wives). Charlotte spent her final years with her sister.
    • Dora Ellen Inman (1852-1930). Dora Ellen was born December 25, 1852 in Aurora, Illinois and she died February 28, 1932 in Portland, Multnonah, Oregon. Her husband was Henry Smith Thomas Waiste (1845-1921). He was one of Caroline Elizabeth Waiste’s brothers. Caroline was Alonzo Inman’s  wife. I mentioned Henry Waiste previously. Their children were Lucy Bell Waiste (1872-1929), Charles Edgar Waiste (1876-1922), Robert Alonzo Waiste (1891-1964), Fay Caroline Waiste (1893-1894.)
    • 2 Unknown Infants–names and dates of birth and death unknown.
  • Nelson Proctor Inman (1822-1872). Nelson was born March 1822 in Genesee County, New York, and he died in 1872 in Sheffield, Franklin County, Iowa. His wife was Laura Jane Denny (1826-1916). Their children were: Nancy J. Inman (1852-1916); John Nelson Inman (1854-1942); William Henry Harrison Inman (1856-1950); Daniel Alonzo Inman (1860-1916); Ida Irene Inman (1862-1864); Lucy Adele Inman (1864-1967).


Daniel Inman Illinois Public Land Purchase, July 1844

There is some dispute concerning the location of Sarah Polly White Inman’s death–whether it occurred in New York or in Illinois. She was still alive in New York in 1830. Daniel Inman began purchasing land in Illinois May 31, 1842.(9)  He was living in Illinois when he began making these purchases, so he may have been there as early as 1840. I cannot find an 1840 Census Record for him. Sarah would have died in New York because Kane County, Illinois wasn’t formed until 1836. There is no definite date of death for her other than the 1830 Census. She would have died after that census record and before Daniel’s move to Illinois (approx. 1840).



(1) Waiste Family Bible originally owned by Polly Cline Waiste, now in the possession of Barbara Inman Beall

(2) Alonzo Inman Death Certificate, Iowa Department of Records, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Des Moines, Iowa.

(3) 1850 U.S. Census, Sugar Grove, Kane County, Illinois for the Loren Inman family. U.S. Department of Federal Census, Washington DC. Copy obtained from, Provo, Utah.

(4) 1860 U.S. Census, Union Twp., Floyd County, Iowa for the Loren Inman Family. U. S. Department of Federal Census, Washington DC. Copy obtained from, Provo, Utah.

(5) Mehetable White Morse Find-a-Grave Memorial # 33212688. Accessed 5 Jan 2014. Available online at

(6) Inman, Charles Gordon. Daniel Inman of Connecticut, Ontario, New York, and Sugar Grove, Ill. and His Descendants ca. 1776-ca. 1976 with Ancestral Notes to the Early Seventeenth Century. Personal Copy.

(7)Daniel White Death Record. Massachusetts Town Death Records. New England Historic Genealogical SocietyPublisherOnline publication – Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999.Original data – Vital Records of Bellingham Massachusetts to the Year 1850. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1904.

(8) Mehetabel Cummins White Find-a-Grave Entry. Available online at

(9)1830 Census for Daniel Inman; Census Place: Ontario, Wayne, New York; Series: M19; Roll: 117; Page: 56; Family History Library Film: 001717 Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data – Fifth Census of the United States, 1830. (NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census,

(10)) Daniel Inman Illinois Land Purchase Certificate, July 1844.  Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1999.