Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sunday's Stories, 52 Ancestor Weeks, Week # 36, Letta Amelia (nee Clifford) Lashbrook

Copyright 2014, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

This is week 36 of my participation Amy Johnson Crow's, once a week challenge to blog about one ancestor a week, tell their story, biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on that one ancestor. More about the challenge can be found at her Blog, No Story Too Small.

Letta Amelia Clifford was born on Oct 27, 1856 (maybe, see further notes further into this biography) near Toronto, York County, Ontario, Canada (possibly in Whitby, Ontario County, Ontario), no birth record has been found.  Her parents were Charles E Clifford and his wife Plutheria (Phoebe\Phebe) L. Clifford (yes, Plutheria's surname as given on her marriage record is Clifford, so, she was born a Clifford or was married to one prior to her married to Charles).

Letta is found on the 1861 census for Oshawa, Ontario County, Ontario, Canada in the home of her parents:  Charles Clifford (bottom of page 28), finisher, born UC (Upper Canada), Christian, age 32, living in a frame home.  On page 29, at the top, is the rest of his family: Phebe, born US, age 30, Christian; Ada, born US, age 6; Charles born UC, age 4; Letta, born UC, age 2; and Flora, born UC, age 1.

Between the 1861 census and 1870 this family seems to have been traveling about and in a great deal of personal turmoil, as I next find Letta on the 1870 U.S. Census living in Floyd Township, Floyd County, Iowa with one John Wesley Webster and his wife Lorinda H. Bemis.  Family tradition and this census seem to support the story that Letta was "adopted" by John Wesley Webster.  Also living in the house hold was "Georguit" age 7, David Webster age 69, Chas. F. & Amanda & Charles Bemus.

It is interesting to note that Lettie's maiden name is given as Webster on the death certificate of her daughter, Elizabeth Mae Stringer.  On the death certificate of her daughter Etta A. Jensen, Lettie's name is given as Lettie Clifford.   Lettie's name is given as Lettie A. Webster on the birth certificate of her daughter, Linnie Ruth, and as Lettie Clifford Webster on the death certificate of her daughter, Linnie Ruth.

Adoption records of Floyd County, Iowa are sealed so no additional data can be obtained from there.  However, a record in the probate files has been located.  In Book B, page 212 of Probate files, in Floyd County, Iowa the following entry is found:
     "In the matter of the application of Phebe L. Cliford for Gaurdianship of her Children Charles N. Cliford, Ada L. Cliford and Lettie N. Cliford.
     And now on this day to wit the first day March 1869 Phebe L. Cliford appeared in open court and the Defendant Charles Cliford not appearing but made Default and Phebe L. Cliford and John Webster being Sworn in the Cause and the testimony being Considered by the Court Whereupon it is Considered by the Court that the Said Phebe L. Cliford ought to be appointed Gaurdien of her said Children.  It is thierfor adjudged by the Court that the Said Phebe L. Cliford be appointed Gaurdien of the Said Charles N. Cliford and Ada L. Cliford upon giving bond in the penal Sum of one hundred Dollars and that Letters issue the Cause as to Letta N. Cliford be dissmissed."
    See the other records, as found in Book B, Page 205 and subsequent which states that Letta A. Clifford was 10 years old, in 1869, making her year of birth 1859, not 1856 as her death record would indicate. Note, according to the 1900, 1910, and 1920 US census, she was born in 1859.

On March 6, 1878, Letta married Wallace Henry Lashbrook in Charles City, Floyd County, Iowa.  We have no idea how they met.

The announcement of Lettie and Wallace's marriage was found in the March 7, 1878 issue of the Charles City Intelligencer, Charles City, Floyd County, Iowa:
     LASHBROOK - - CLIFFORD - - At the Park Hotel in this city, Wednesday, March 6th by the Rev. J. Wadhams, Mr. W. H. Lashbrook and Miss Lettie Clifford, all of Floyd.
     A number of friends of the young couple from Osage and Floyd were present.  They left on the evening train for the north for their bridal tour."

(I have written about this marriage before, the post includes an image of the marriage record.)

Letta and Wallace had 5 children:

Archibald Norman Lashbrook, who would later be known as Arthur Norman Stevens, Sr.  
(Many articles about "Archie" have shown up here on Reflections.)

Lillian L. Lashbrook, an infant, who was reportedly born in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, whose birth record has not been found, but who was located in the death records of Jackson County, Michigan.

Elizabeth Mae Lashbrook

Henrietta Amelia Lashbrook

and, Linnie Ruth Lashbrook.

By 1880, we find Letta in the U.S. Census of Whalen, Fillmore County, Minnesota with her husband and her young son:  Wallace aged 25, miller, born Illinois, parents both born England; wife Lettie aged 21 born Canada, parents both born Canada; and son Archibald, aged 1 year, born Minnesota.   (This census was found early on in my research and was the beginning of a 20 plus year affliction called "researching the Lashbrook clan!)

During the mid to late 1880's we find Letta and Wallace living in Jackson, Jackson County, Michigan.  The discovery of their residency in Jackson sent me into overtime research mania and field trip, as that is less than 45 minutes from where Man and I currently reside.

Letta is found on the following state and federal census enumerations:
1895 Minnesota State Census, Minneapolis, Hennepin County
1900 U.S. Census of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota
1905 Minnesota State census, Minneapolis, Hennepin County
1910 U.S. Census, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota
1920 U.S. Census, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota
1930 U.S. Census, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota

Lettie's obituary appeared in the Minneapolis Tribune on July 1, 1930 as follows:
     "LASHBROOK, Lettie A., age 74 years, Res. at 3118 Morgan av N. passed away Sunday, June 29th, 1930.  Survived by three daughters, Mrs. C. Brown, Mrs. Etta Barr and Mrs. W.A. Stringer; also 8 grandchildren.  Funeral services Wed. July 2nd. 1930, 2:30 p.m., from the residence.  Interment Crystal Lake cemetery."

Another version of Lettie's obituary, with photo, was provided by Ruth Stringer Beck, publication data unknown:
     "Funeral Wednesday
      For Mrs. Lashbrook
      Funeral services for Mrs. Lettie Lashbrook, who died late yesterday, will be conducted at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the family home, 3118 Morgan avenue N.  Mrs. Lashbrook had been ill for about 4 months.  She was 74 years old, and had been a resident of Minneapolis for 50 years.  She is survived by three daughters, Mrs. E. Barr and Mrs. W. A. Stringer of Minneapolis, and Mrs. C. Brown of St. Paul, and five grandchildren."

Lettie's Will had this interesting stipulation, the second item: After payment of such funeral expenses and debts, I do hereby give, devise and bequeath unto my son, Archie N. Lashbrook, the sum of Five Hundred Dollars, in cash, to be paid to him, only, in the event that he is found or appears at the time of my death and the probating of my Will, and in the event that he is not found, or does not appear, at the time of my death or the probating of my Will, it is my wish and will that said sum of Five Hundred Dollars is to be returned back into my estate, to be divided pro rata among the beneficiaries hereinafter named.

The third item of Lettie's Will read: In the event my son, Archie N. Lashbrook does not appear and cannot be found, at the time of my death, or the probating of this my Last Will and Testament, it is then my wish and I do hereby give, devise and bequeath unto my beloved granddaughter, Lettie Lashbrook, the sum of Three Hundred Dollars.

The Decree of Distribution of Lettie's estate, dated May 4, 1931, states: That Archie N. Lashbrook had not been found at the time of the death of the deceased.

Letta and Wallace are buried in the Crystal Lake Cemetery, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota. Man and I visited there to pay our respects in 2005.

I manage Letta's Find A Grave memorial.

Wish list for Letta:  Additional photos of her during her life.  Related, I would love to find out what happened to her father, Charles E.  

* Additional source data can be obtained by contacting me, see the right hand column for a yahoo email address.

** 52 Ancestors Weeks Button courtesy of Amy Johnson Crow.

*** I use many resources to research, is a free site. is a pay site for which I pay, no discounts, etc.  Fold3, is another site I subscribe to and pay for.  None of these sites have asked me to review them, or use them.  See my Disclaimers page for further details.


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