Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sarah & Will: A Romance Begins (1898)

In the early summer of 1897, Sarah Eva Howe was 13 years old. William Levi Salyers, known to all in Carrollton as Will, was 18. We might assume Will paid little attention to Sarah in those days. From Sarah's writing, though, we discover that Will treated her with respect (and maybe a little flirtation), much as he might treat a girl his own age. I treasure this vignette about Sarah and Will at the soda fountain.
It was in the spring, rather early summer, of 1897 after M.A. Geier and Co. opened their soda fountain for the summer, that I went in to get a soda. The front window had been taken out (I mean the shelving) and a seat ran around, next to the glass (there were little tables, a couple of them, to rest your glasses on). I was sitting there when Will Salyers (one of the Big Boys) came in. He spoke to me, as always not as an insignificant Child but as a Person. He got himself a soda and chatted informally with me as he drank it. As he left, he tossed two nickels on the counter (sodas were just five cents then!) saying “I’ll pay for hers too.” I never forgot it – it was his first “treat.”
On 28 August 1897, Will's brother Bob died at the age of 16. Until that time (and for a short time after), Will had been known as a gregarious young man – maybe girl crazy, a bit of a ladies' man – who would ignore his responsibilities at his father's shop if there was fun to be had elsewhere. Will and Bob were two years apart in age and were, from what I can tell, buddies as well as brothers. To start the story about Will and Sarah, I need to repeat bits of a previous post (September 25). Sarah wrote this journal entry to her children.
People said [Bob's death] would "sober Will down," but it had the opposite effect. He hid his bitter grief down in his heart and was gayer than ever, going to parties again as fall came on . . .  He stayed with his father faithfully at the store, and really began to be interested in the business. Bob had been learning to "service" the bicycles that everyone was buying and riding; so Will took up that task as his own; and that, my children, marked the second link in the chain that began to faintly be shaped between us.
Sarah continued her story, telling her children how their parents' romantic relationship began. She talked about her new "wheel," her bicycle, a gift from her parents. Remember reading that Sarah's bicycle became a catalyst to romance? This paragraph from her scrapbook explains:
My beautiful new wheel needed no working on in 1898, but of course there were little gadgets to get for it, a bicycle lamp, a pump – and I used to linger to talk a little to the friendly young man (had he not bought me a soda once?) before I left the store. Mr. Salyers1, too, called me “his girl”; we bought a good deal at the store, and I was generally the errand girl. I knew Mrs. Salyers2 quite well too, she went to the Methodist Church and used to tie her sorrel, blaze-faced mare, old Lil, to our “mountain ash” tree out front. Jake ... frequently came with her and sat in the buggy till church was over. Old Lil had a bad habit of slipping her bridle and bit off her head when tied (to rest herself), and Papa frequently helped Mrs. Salyers put it back on.
Will was twenty that October – Bob would have been 18.3 The King aunts4 gave him a watch with Bob’s picture on the face of it.  ...   That late August and early September, when Papa went to New York, Mama and I had a good visit at Grandma's5, they were still at the Baymiller Street house but were planing to move to Price Hill, out of the heat and dirt of the city, and indeed they did early the following spring, to Ellison Ave. right across the street from Mama’s and Papa’s old friends, the Harpers (the man Chandler6 was named for).
In later pages, Sarah referred again to her bicycle and its connection to Will . . .
About this time [referring to 1896], bicycles came in force to Carrollton, but I didn’t get mine till 1898, which was also when I began seeing so much of Will Salyers as he had the bicycle shop. Will says he remembers me as always having Solon [her dog] with me . ... ”
Sarah wasn't the only young woman in that day to benefit from the introduction of the bicycle. We'll cover that topic in a later blog. For now, we have a glimpse into how a bicycle launched (or at least helped along) the romance of Sarah Eva Howe and Will Salyers.

1  Charles David Salyers, Will's father, born circa 1849, possibly in Mississippi, to David Hillis Salyers and Amelia Haskell Lamson, who married 12 September 1847 in Vevay, Switzerland County, Indiana. (Source: Switzerland County, Indiana, Marriage Records 1846-1849, pg 169; county courthouse records office)  
2 Katherine "Kate" King, born 2 July 1857 in Carroll County, Kentucky, to James Guthrie King and Mary Catherine Mayfield, who married in Trimble County on 13 August 1856. (Source: Kentucky Birth, Marriage and Death Records, Microfilm (1852-1910); Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives, Frankfort, Kentucky.) Kate married Charles D. Salyers on 4 November 1874 in Carrollton, Carroll County, Kentucky. (Source: FamilySearch GS Film 414690; online database Kentucky Marriages 1785-1979) 
3 Sarah's memory or her math is a year off here. The ages would have been 19 and 17.  
4 Based on the limited research I have done on this line, the "King aunts" would have been Kate's sisters Nannie (b. 1863), Josephine (born about 1866), and Mary (born about 1870). I welcome corrections and details.  
5 Sarah's maternal grandmother, Sarah Evaline Arnet Cost. She and her husband Richard Henry Cost lived in Cincinnati, Ohio.
6 Chandler Harper Howe, Sarah's brother, who died in 1889 at the age of 18 months.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Death Comes Far Too Soon – Robert King Salyers, 1880-1897

Sarah Eva Howe's scrapbooks are brimming with stories about her teen years, which for the most part seemed carefree and full of fun. The mood took a dramatic change when she wrote about August 1897. On the 28th day of that month, about two weeks after Sarah celebrated her 14th birthday, she and the entire community of Carrollton, Kentucky, were shocked at the death of a vibrant and popular 16-year-old. His name was Robert King Salyers.

Unidentified picture thought to be of Robert King Salyers
Sarah remarks in her writing that while she didn't know "Bob" well, she was deeply affected by the death of someone so close to her age. She was better acquainted with Bob's father, Charles David Salyers, because she was often sent to his tin and stove shop on errands for her family. She also knew Bob's older brother William Levi "Will" Salyers and his stepmother Flora Geier Salyers.

Sometime after 1915, Sarah wrote the following journal entry in a scrapbook, telling her four children about their late Uncle Bob and the impact of Bob's death on their father, Bob's brother Will.

Will Salyers, your dad, began going frequently to Madison this year ('98) – having just about parted from his flame of the year before (as well as with Nell Hafford, Ella Hampton, both former flames). Soon he and Neal Deucese, who became a bosom friend, were spending so much time in Madison, it was a wonder he ever attended to his father's business (as indeed he often didn't).
Bob, too, had several dear girl friends, especially Migie, Effie, and Grace, all neighbors. . . . but he also had a "sweetheart" Millie Chambers, in Warsaw, that he used to go to see. He was a wonderful boy, and wonderful looking, weighed 180 that summer, and was about six feet tall. Everybody loved him, boys as well as girls, but no one more than his brother Will, just two years older. 

During the spring, during a meeting at the Christian church, Bob joined the church and was baptized, but Will didn't want to go in with him, as he [Bob] wished. (I suppose Will thought it might curtail some of those Madison trips.) Bob had several attacks of what was called "indigestion" or "stomach ache." John Claborne said afterwards he had seen Bob bend double with pain at times but go right on.

In early August the real attack of appendicitis, an almost unknown disease in Carrollton at the time, came suddenly. Will was out of town – I never had the straight of it, but I believe his father got after him for staying all night (with Neal, I suppose) in Madison after a dance, and not showing up until late the next day. Will was so hurt he went down to his Uncle Will Salyers in Middlesboro without telling his father, but wrote back to him he had decided to stay down there and work for his Uncle Will awhile. Of course it caused family commotion, but Bob upheld Will and packed a trunk of his clothes to send Will. It was ready to send when the attack came. Dr. Frank came from Louisville and operated right at the house, on the kitchen table, but they had waited too long to call him, so there was no chance for him at all to recover. They sent for Will, and he came right away. Bob had kept calling for him in his delirium, but Will never knew whether he recognized him or not – he got there just before he died. It was a terrible blow to Mr. Salyers and to Will – one from which they never really recovered.
Will Salyers is on the right. His brother Bob is on the left. The other man is not identified.

(Below) The obituary published in the Carrollton Democrat confirms the popularity 
of 16-year old Robert King Salyers
 Sarah's commentary continued:
We went to the funeral – everybody went. It was held at the home; the house next door had not been built then, and the great crowd of boy and girl friends sat out in the beautiful spacious yard.
People said it would "sober Will down," but it had the opposite effect. He hid his bitter grief down in his heart and was gayer than ever, going to parties again as fall came on – but not so much to Madison; he began going with Stella Stucy, at Ghent, and he stayed with his father faithfully at the store and really began to be interested in the business. Bob had been learning to service the bicycles that everyone was buying and riding; so Will took up that task as his own, and that, my children, marked the second link in the chain that began to faintly be shaped between us.
The first link in that chain was forged when Will treated Sarah to a soda. Coming soon: How Sarah's bicycle became a catalyst to romance.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Bits & Pieces: Uncle Harry, Life-threatening Illnesses, Carrollton Social Notes, The Town's First Electric Streetlights

Bits & Pieces is a continuing series of posts containing scrapbook snippets that have great info but are too short for stand-alone posts. Some of these small items are too good to leave behind!

1. Sarah's Uncle Harry

Richard Henry Cost, Jr., a.k.a. Harry, must have been quite a character. Sarah estimated the photo's date as 1899 and wrote this caption: "Harry Cost acting as Hebrew vendor at his office."

That leaves us wondering: Why was Harry acting as a Hebrew vendor? Was he in a play? Was he just being goofy? How frustrating that we'll never know!

I'm not having much luck finding information about Harry, but I'll keep on digging.

As you may have seen in a previous post, Harry was Sarah's uncle (her mother's brother), but he was just seven years older than Sarah. Her references to him are rarely preceded by "Uncle," and I think they were probably more like cousins than uncle and niece.

2. Family Battles with Bronchitis, Pneumonia, and Typhoid Fever.

Writing in later years, Sarah recalled her family's battles with life-threatening illnesses. Her baby brother Chandler was just 19 months old when he died of pneumonia on November 10, 1889. No wonder Sarah understood her mother's tears when baby sister Leonora was so ill in January 1898. A transcription follows the image of Sarah's handwriting.
Christmas, 1897, and Leonora’s first birthday came – a rather quiet Christmas, and soon after New Year’s that brought in the momentous year of 1898 (to the U.S. as well as to us), Leonora was very sick, with bronchitis. I remember seeing Mama stitching cotton batting into a little shirt, to keep her warm in her cradle, and the tears dripping as she did, for she remembered Chandler’s sickness and death at almost that age, with pneumonia. Mama was almost 37 when Leonora was born, and 38, of course, Christmas of ’97 (she was born Dec. 24, 1859) – and Papa had his 43rd birthday Jan. 18 of ’98. His hair was already completely gray, indeed I can’t remember him (and I do remember him from the time he was 31 and I was 3) with his hair anything but gray! Perhaps the very terrible spell of typhoid fever he had the year I first remember him left it that way. Typhoid was something in those days – Papa in bed 13 weeks and in 1890 Harry was in bed with it for four or five months.

3. An 'A' Grade on the Subject of Books

On April 2, 1897, Sarah Eva Howe did a school assignment, writing a response to the question "What Are Books Good For?" As usual, she got the top grade, an A. Here are excerpts from that theme, which was written on stationery of Carrollton Woolen Mills, a Howe family business.
If anyone had propounded that question to me, casually, I should have answered promptly: "To read," as that is the use to which I generally put them, but in an essay one should be more lengthy. Books are the heritage of all nations. It seems wonderful that a man can write down his very thoughts, and hundreds of years afterward, have them read by multitudes of people; but such is the case. ... Books of Theology, chief of which is the Bible, the Book of all Books, which combines poetry, story, history, prophesy, letters, proverbs, songs, facts, trite sayings, and which gives the oldest accounts of any book. ... Books of fiction serve to entertain, amuse and often instruct us, while many such books have a pure moral tone. Such books, if not misused, are very interesting and healthful and helpful to all; but the so-called French novels do very little or no good to either our minds or bodies.

4. Carrollton Social Notes 1895, 1896, 1897

A clipping from the Carrollton Democrat newspaper (publication date unknown) revisits what was happening in 1895.
  • W.T. Mosgrove sworn in as deputy sheriff. 
  • Matt Bridges admitted to Carroll county bar. 
  • Water works contract for Carrollton let for $19,755.64.
  • T.R. Bridges sailed for Europe
  • June 18, first issue of Carrollton Commercial, Republican. (Ceased publication October 8.)
  • July 28 – Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Leachman, 83 and 82 respectively, celebrated 60th marriage anniversary.
  • September 6, fire destroyed five buildings for Mrs. Gertrude Smith, C.D. Salyers' tin store, Browinski & Son's drug store, Kuhlman's shoe store and Dinkelspiel's stores; loss $60,000. (See the post dated September 15.)
  • Oct. 31, earthquake at 5:12 a.m.
  • Marriages: On January 9, 1895 G.W. Wells and Miss Cora Thompson at Worthville. June 11, Dr. B.L. Holmes and Miss Elizabeth Sanders. William Hill and Miss Dollie Latty. November 13, Barney Jeter and Miss Emma Sims. December 17, A. L. [or D?] Metcalfe and Miss Melissa Brindley. On December 26, 1895, John R. Davis and Miss Margie Cruse were married, Rev. Robert Hiner, D.D., performing the ceremony at the Southworth House in Carrollton. On the same day Dr. Hiner performed the marriage ceremony for Curtis Jackson and Miss Emma Dawson of Worthville community, a wedding trip to Glencoe following.
  • Michael Gill, 54, member of the fourth Kentucky Cavalry, C.S.A., died at Carson. His wife and several children, among them Miss Katie Gill, milliner here, surviving.
Published in the newspaper on January 1, 1896:
  • W.R. Fisher sold two cottages on High street to E.C. Smith for $1,000 cash.
  • Miss Sue Callendar, of this city, was married to Brent C. Wells, of Louisville.
  • Mrs. Harrison Corn, who has been ill, suffered a relapse last week, but is now somewhat improved.
Published in the newspaper on January 2, 1897:
  • Jett Bros. opened their new opera house, the Richland, with about 600 people present to see the historical drama, "The Man in the Iron Mask," Tuesday, December 29, 1896.
  • The new K. of P. hall was dedicated at Ghent December 30, 1896. [K. of P. stands for Knights of Pythias, an international fraternal and benevolent organization.]
  • February 2, 1896 – Elder G.M. Anderson called to Christian church. 
  • February 27, Rev. O.M. Huey called to Baptist church. 
  • April 2, Mrs. Mary Conway's 98th birthday. 
  • September 21, Rev. Wm. Shoesmith sent to M.E. church. 


 5. Street Lights in Carrollton

From an undated clipping from the Carrollton Democrat, this remembrance of Carrollton in 1898:
On Saturday night, April 16, the touch of a small lever sent a 220-volt current through 16 miles of wire in the city of Carrollton. Twenty-six arc lights, of 2,000-candle power each, on alternate street corners, illuminated the streets. The new electric light plant was said to be the best and most complete of its size to be found anywhere. The Carrollton Democrat issued four extra pages in celebration of the event.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Stylin' in the 1890s – Sarah Comments on Fashion

Was Sarah Eva Howe a fashionista of the 1890s? I'm sure she dressed stylishly. After all, her father and uncles owned the premier clothing store in Carrollton, Kentucky. They traveled to New York and other markets to select styles for fashion-conscious citizens of their town. Surely Sarah and others in her family dressed well to set the example.

Sarah's scrapbooks about the 1890s and early 1900s include many newspaper and magazine clippings about women's fashions of the day. I wish she had given us more photos of herself and her family in their favorite styles, but I've had to make some assumptions based on the clippings and Sarah's handwritten commentaries.

Sarah did sketches of favorite styles. This sketch, which she marked "a la Gainsborough," features a lady's hat and "fur boa." I think the phrase in parentheses says "not painted." Sarah did some paintings from her sketches, but apparently she did not paint from this one.

This clipping shows fashionable styles for little girls circa 1895. The caption says "for August." Imagine today's active children wearing them on hot, humid summer days!

This beautiful dress is made of "lawn," a lightweight fabric used for summer styles. The caption calls it a walking dress. "All walking skirts in the 1890s were designed to completely clear the ground," reports one of my favorite websites for estimating when certain styles were popular. This one appears to have a short train, so I'm confused between the image and the definition.

I think Sarah must have been a big fan of walking dresses, because her scrapbook has many clippings of them. The sketch on the right, I think, meets the definition of a walking dress. The walking stick in the woman's hand is a clue. Judging from the sleeves, I'd date this style at 1896. The text under the drawing is part of an advice column published in the Ladies' Home Journal circa 1896.

The image below illustrates what a woman wore to work in an office. (Women who worked in the 1890s were probably single and self-supporting. I think it was rare for married women to work outside the home.) Note the sleeves. They are similar to examples I've seen dated 1895-96 on the website mentioned above and on another great fashion styles research site, a blog by Sara Elise.

In Sarah's handwriting below the image are her comments about sleeve styles and the trouble they caused, especially in summer.
This picture not only shows a desk like Papa used – his desk, a beautiful red cedar one with a roll top, sat in our parlor for many years (and we kept everything in it! besides papers, I mean)  – but shows the working clothes of the period 1895-96. Sleeves got much larger than this though, and were extended with patent linings. For summer, they presented a difficult problem – straps were sewed from arm hole to elbow, inside, and the full sleeves puffed out between them.

Sarah wasn't above poking fun at the absurdly puffy, "leg-of-mutton" sleeves of her day. She saved this cartoon in one of her scrapbooks.

Maybe the cape in the sketch on the right was an answer to staying warm during the puffed-sleeves era. Again, the magazine offers advice, this time cautioning against wearing a watch to a social function and recommending the proper veil to accent a riding habit.
An article published in the Journal in 1893 recommends the classic black serge bathing suit. I looked through Sarah's scrapbooks for images of swimwear from the period. Alas, no luck. I did find a great illustration online, though.

The drawing at the end of that article shows a woman shopping. Note that the sleeves are full from shoulder to elbow, but they are gathered – not puffed – at the shoulder. From my research, this appears to be typical of women's clothing between 1892 and 1895 or so. (Seems a lot more practical to me!)

Sarah's scrapbook mentions unmentionables. Apparently, she saw this Ladies' Home Journal clipping in one of the magazine's "flashback" columns in the mid-1940s, and it reminded her of a corset worn by her mother during the 1890s.

 . . . the corset – Mama  wore one, but without straps. Mama had some lovely summer clothes, but almost all in black and white; she was "in mourning" for someone almost my entire childhood, as was the custom in well regulated families, for in-laws, too. First for her baby who died in 1889, then for Grandpa Howe (1890) then Uncle John Howe in 1891, then her grandmother Cost died.

I haven't come across any photos of family members in mourning clothes, but the fashion blog I mentioned includes a photo of a mourning dress of the 1894-1896 period in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It also includes images of the strapless corset circa 1898, some outrageous red shoes dated 1892, an elegant wedding dress, a gym suit, and other fashions of that day.

The following quotes come from Ladies' Home Journal articles pasted into Sarah's scrapbooks. They revisit columns the magazine published between 1890 and 1902. Enjoy!

“Yellow and pink alone or together will be extremely chic this spring,” writes Isabel Mallon in Some Easter Hats and Bonnets, “while flowers of every variety, from orchids to huge chrysanthemums, tulips, lilies and green roses, top the new chapeaux.”

“Country cousin: The bicycle dress should be light and free and loosely fitted. A whalebone bodice and riding trousers are worn under a shirtwaist of flannel, with a plain round skirt sufficient weighted in the hem to keep it in place.”

“Do you wear your hat right? . . . It should be worn almost square on the head. Who has not seen a bonnet on the back of the head, giving to the wearer an air of absolute dissipation? And again, a bonnet perched well forward on the face gives a savage air, decidedly suggestive of an inclination to fight.”

Children’s furs: A neck scarf of chinchilla, beaver, mink or Russian ermine varies in price from $2.50 to $20.

“Black velvet and accordion pleats are in again. A touch of gold is absolutely indispensable, but one must be chary in its use or a tawdry effect is given.”   

[Merriam-Webster definition of chary: cautious about doing something.]

To Baby’s mother: You will find that physicians do not approve of short socks at any age.”

Thursday, September 15, 2016

FIRE! FIRE! Carrollton Business District Burns – Again, 1895

In Ashes Are Some of Carrollton's Finest Houses
Special dispatch to the Enquirer
Carrollton, Ky., September 5. – Fire broke out in this city to-day at 12:30 o'clock, and as a result the following buildings, with their contents, are in ashes: Mrs. Gertrude Smith, three business houses, occupied by M. & M. Denkelspiel, general merchants; Browinski & Son, druggists; and H.J. Kuhlman, shoe merchant; C.D. Salyers, stove store and stock. The loss on this property is fully $65,000. All of the parties have reasonable insurance, except Mr. Kuhlman, who has none. Fifteen other persons and firms were damaged more or less by the fire and intense heat, bringing the total loss to nearly $75,000. The post-office and Jett's large whiskey house were saved only by the most heroic fight, but the post office was greatly damaged.
Cincinnati Enquirer, September 6, 1895

That article and an undated, unattributed article that may or may not refer to the same fire, were not in Sarah Eva Howe's scrapbooks, but I found them online, thanks to the folks who manage and contribute to Northern Kentucky Views.

Sarah's scrapbooks inform us about the impact of the fire on the Howe family. She identified the date of this photo as "after the fire," 1895.

 Family letters tell the tale. This card is to John J. Howe from his sister Lille. (Both were Sarah's first cousins, children of her father's brother William F. Howe.)

Dear John – Fire broke out yesterday morning in the rear of Browinski Adcock's store – soon checked however – more damage from smoke and water than from fire. The store was full of smoke when Papa went in yesterday, but hope we can get allowance from insurance to cover damage. Salyers also got full benefit of smoke.
Hastily, Lille
Monday Morning

Apparently, Lille's card didn't reach John as soon as his family expected. This letter is from his mother,  Louisiana "Lou" Winslow Howe.

Dear John – We received your letter to Papa and were surprised that you had not heard of the fire at the time of its writing. There was no essential damage to the goods in Howe Brothers, but the injury to their reputation induced the insurance adjuster to allow them damages. They do not consider it wise to be advertising just how much they got but part of it was paid yesterday and that enables them to offer their stock at reduced rates. They had a fine trade yesterday. Called on Jen to act as cashier and their deposit at 4 o'clock in the afternoon was considerably over 200 dollars. We expect you home next Thursday. I send you a copy of the Directory which if you are not ashamed of you may leave with cousin Bessie for her mother.
Yours lovingly,

 In later scrapbook pages, Sarah wrote a comment about the ability of the City of Carrollton to combat fires.
When the “fathers” started to put in the Carrollton “water works” in 1895, they dug the reservoir up on the side of the highest hill outside town. The pipes were all laid & the reservoir ready in the fall of 1895 when the terrible Main St. fire broke out when Mr. Salyers’ last big store was burned — but there was no water yet. . . . There was some water in the reservoir but not very much – muddy and dark looking.
The Howe family had experienced a business fire before. Their Carrollton Woolen Mill, the first of the family businesses, caught fire in 1878.
“A part of the woolen factory owned by John Howe & Sons was destroyed by fire to-day at one o'clock, while the hands were at dinner and the watchman left in charge.  the picker-house, about ten feet apart from the main factory, took fire and was entirely consumed,  Loss about $4,000, and insured for $2,700.”   
Cincinnati Enquirer, November 23, 1878
According to another newspaper article, undated, one block in the Carrollton business district was destroyed or severely damaged by fire four times in 20 years. Some merchants lost their businesses multiple times. The article mentions several of the same businesses affected by the fire of 1895, but I can't be certain that it refers to the same fire. The website, Northern Kentucky Views, includes these excerpts and links to news about those fires:

“A destructive fire occurred at Carrollton, Ky., Sunday. One-half of the most valuable block of buildings in the center of town was destroyed. The principal sufferers are Messrs. Thurman, Martin, Booker, and Hamilton & Smith. The amount of losses is not stated.”
New York Times, September 22, 1874

A fire that started in the grocery and hardware store of D.O. Wilkins on Main Street destroyed a row of eight businesses and damaged several others. An article about the fire, with a list of businesses ruined, appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer, October 16, 1884

 Other major fires not in the business district:
“The distilleries of Messrs. Root & Co., and Mr. Snyders, at Carrollton, were  destroyed by fire last night, together with all the contents and a large number of hogs. The loss is estimated at $100,000.”
 NY Times, July 8, 1854

J. B. Rollin's ice plant was destroyed by fire early today.  the loss is estimated at $8,000. The fire was supposed to have been of incendiary origin.” 
Cincinnati Enquirer, April 7, 1915

Sunday, September 11, 2016

It's National Grandparents Day! Meet Sarah's Maternal
Grandparents, Richard H. and Sarah Evaline Arnet Cost

 On this Grandparents Day, we get better acquainted with Sarah Eva Howe's maternal grandparents, Richard Henry Cost and Sarah Evaline Arnet. 

Once again, I discover that Sarah Eva Howe's scrapbooks contain more information about the men in her family tree than about the women. As you read this post, please hold me blameless for saying more about her grandfather than about her grandmother.

Richard Henry Cost was born 25 October 1831
in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, to Henry
Cost (1808-1876) and Mary Arison (1811-1889)1.
On 23 April 1857 in Cincinnati, he married Sarah Evaline Arnet2. He died 11 July 1910 in Cincinnati and was buried in Spring Grove Cemetery

Sarah Evaline Arnet was born 9 July 1836 in Ohio to David Arnet (1806-1897) and Elizabeth Voris/Vorheis (abt 1810-1892).3 She died 19 June 1917 in the Price Hill area of greater Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, and was buried next to her husband in Spring Grove Cemetery.4

The photo below from the Howe-Salyers family album is dated 1911 and labeled with Sarah's name and a notation "age 75."  I think this looks like a much younger woman, and the clothing style looks earlier than 1911. Either the photo is in the wrong place or is mislabeled. 
In 1850, Richard H. Cost was living with his parents in Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky. Richard married Sarah in 1857, and by 1860 the couple was living in Cincinnati. From the  U.S. census, we know this family continued to live in Cincinnati (at least they were there in the census years!) until Henry died in 1910. One of their homes was at 516 W. Court Street, Cincinnati.

I developed the following list of children for Henry and Sarah. While the obituary below says the couple had 10 children, I have been able to name only nine. I have documentation only for Alice Ada, who became the mother of Sarah Eva Howe, our scrapbooker. I welcome corrections and source information on the other children.

Children of Richard H. and Sarah E. Arnet Cost:
Asa Wilbur, Cost 1858-1875
Alice Ada Cost 1859-1939
Jessie Fremont Cost 1861-1920
Lillie Maria Cost c1867-c1873
Mary Naomi Cost 1869-?
Clara Evelyn Cost 1871-1873
Ida Lenora/Leonora Cost c1874-1921
Richard Henry Cost Jr. 1876-1949
Morris Elliott Cost 1879-1961


Spring Grove Cemetery, where both Richard and Sarah are buried, is a National Historic Landmark. By some accounts, it is the second-largest cemetery in the U.S. The first internment there occurred on 1 September 1845. I found these Spring Grove burial records online.

 While I have yet to locate an obituary for Sarah Evaline Arnet Cost, her granddaughter's scrapbook had this typed memorial to grandfather Richard Henry Cost:

   As a young man he was engaged in the Steam Boat trade between Cincinnati and New Orleans.
In 1870 he embarked in the Commission business on lower Vine Street, and from that time until a few years ago, when advancing years forced his retirement from active business, occupied a prominent place in the business circles of Cincinnati. He was honored by his business associates by being elected a Director of the Chamber of Commerce, and served creditably in that capacity, as well as on many important Committees.
   His last business connection was Manager of the Chamber of Commerce Insurance Company, in which capacity he came closely in touch with many of its members. Among all he was held in the highest esteem. He always had a warm spot in his heart for the younger men, and nothing delighted him so much as to be able to assist and encourage them. His genial ways and his readiness to speak a word of praise or encouragement and his genuine interest in their success earned for him among these men the title of “Uncle Dick,” indicating so plainly the pleasant relations and loving esteem in which he was generally held.
    In April 1857, he was united in marriage to Sarah Arnet. Ten children were born of this union, of whom six survive.
   To his family he was always kind and indulgent, and his chiefest concern was for their welfare.
   Having been so active in the days of his strength, it was hard for him to give up to the demands of advancing years. His heart was saddened as day after day record was made of the death of some beloved friend. His thoughts of these times reverted to days of old and in speaking of these friends he never wanted for words to tell of their merits.
He lived a long and useful life, and the recollection of his virtues overshadow any memory of his faults. He fought the good fight and has gone to his reward.

1 Burial Record, Spring Grove Cemetery, accessed 23 Aug 2016 at Also, Ohio, Deaths, 1809-1932, 1938-2007, accessed 23 Aug 2016 at

2 "Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958," database, FamilySearch ( : 8 December 2014), R. H. Cost and Sarah E. Arnot, 23 Apr 1857; citing Hamilton, Oh, reference 2:3QMH9VK; FHL microfilm 344,471.

3 Burial Record, Spring Grove Cemetery, accessed 23 August 2016 at

4 "Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 21 May 2014), 1917 > 37121-40150 > image 3065 of 3302.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Celebrating a Cost Family Wedding in Cincinnati, 1897

Today, Sarah recalls a trip to Cincinnati for the wedding of "Aunt Lee,"  Ida Leonora Cost, sister of Sarah's mother Alice Ada Cost Howe. Sarah was two months shy of her 14th birthday when she went to the wedding.

Sarah begins with memories about the wedding site, the church where for years her mother and aunts played piano for Sunday School and church services.
The Cost home from Aunt Em's1 then Mama's time, thru Aunt Jessie's2 young days, then especially Aunt Momie3 was always filled with music and gay singing and talking and overflowing with young people. Also going to St. Paul’s Church Young Peoples and Sunday School, where Aunt Momie played for several years (Aunt Jessie had played six years after Mama left.) There they of course met many nice young men, and in 1897, on October 11th, Mama’s wedding day4, Aunt Lee married Earl Burdette Russell, a young railroad man whom she had met there at St. Paul’s. She was 24, and Mame about 29 or 30 at that time.

We went up to the wedding. It was the most fun and excitement of my young life “so far.” Leonora5 was not quite 10 months old, but already trying to say a few words and as Aunt Lee’s namesake (as well as Mama’s) she was of course an honor guest at the wedding, but I was the one who thrilled to the romance of it all. I was very much taken with Earl who was gay, handsome and friendly. He and Lee took me over to see their little two room apartment on Barr Street where Aunt Katie and Uncle John Smith had gone to housekeeping in ’88 but had moved to Carrollton when Grandpa Howe died. One thing that slightly shocked me with my “Southern” elaborate ideas was the casualness of Aunt Lee’s preparations for such a great event. Up to the afternoon of the wedding she had still not quite decided which of the new dresses she had gotten she would wear to be married in!! I believe she finally chose a blue cloth dress, and wore it also to go away in. Grandma Cost had gotten both Aunt Lee and Aunt Mame the latest thing in capes, black curly lamb quite long. She wanted to buy Mama one, but Mama had a good coat (and said to give her the money. With this and some various gifts of money which had been presented to me at various birthday occasions, she and Papa bought my beloved bicycle, the friend and comrade ... of the next three years for me. It was in the spring of '98, I think, that they bought it.)

A clipping in Sarah's scrapbooks refers to a hat similar to the one she wore to the wedding. I think the photo below is the one she mentions in her description.
. . . Lee and Earl went to Chicago on their wedding trip and Aunt Mame and Harry6 and I went to the station with them. We enjoyed so much staying in the spacious Grandpa Arnet home. It seemed so much changed tho to me, for as I remembered it the parlor was dark and still, and everyone was so quiet – but when the Cost family moved into a house, things began to hum. Harry was now 21, and working in a railroad office (but not the one he worked in most of his life). Morris7 was 19, and crazy about horses, he always had a job driving for some firm – Adams Express Company for awhile but that was later, and he had some thrilling adventures with them.

 Grandpa had always humored Morris, just as Grandma did Harry. Because of Harry’s long illness in 1890, and his trouble with a catarrhal8 infection as he got older, Grandma felt he was “delicate” so she never encouraged him to do any “hard” work, if indeed he was even inclined to do it. He wrote beautifully, was very intelligent, could play the piano by ear from an early age, and wore his clothes well. Grandpa on the other hand, indulged Morris by letting him leave school and get a job (as young boys could then) long before he should have done so. So when Grandma came into her legacy9, both the boys “relaxed” and thought they could take a vacation for awhile, look around for better jobs, and perhaps eventually buy a place in the country to farm, as both of them had always wanted to do (and as they did later on). In the meantime they were most charming and indulgent companions for their 14-year-old niece.

I chuckled aloud when I read Sarah's observations about her uncles Harry and Morris and their inclinations against hard work. Harry was only seven years older than Sarah, and Harry was three years younger than Harry. To Sarah, the boys were more like cousins than uncles.

This photo of Harry and Morris was not in the scrapbook but in a Cost family album. Of course, the boys were older at the time of the wedding, but I couldn't resist including this image here. Look at those faces! It's easy to imagine the Cost parents "humoring" these two sons.

Did you catch Sarah's comment about her joy in receiving her first bicycle? Stay tuned! That bicycle will play a major role in a future relationship.

1 Emma Cost, a paternal aunt to Sarah's mother Alice Ada Cost Howe. Emma was born about 1852, just seven years before Alice, so the girls probably grew up more like cousins than aunt-niece.
2 Jessie Fremont Cost, born 1861; sister of Sarah's mother Alice Ada Cost Howe.
3 Mary Naomi Cost, born 1869; Sarah's mother's sister
4 This wedding was on Sarah's parent's 15th wedding anniversary. Alice Ada Cost and Robert James Howe married 11 October 1882.
5 Sarah's little sister Leonora Alice Howe, born 20 December 1896
6 Richard Henry Cost, Jr., born 1876; Sarah's mother's brother
7 Morris Elliott Cost, born 1879; Sarah's mother's brother
8 Related to copious discharge associated with inflammation of mucous membranes, especially of the nose and throat. Source:
9 The inheritance received when Sarah's great-grandfather David Arnet died in January 1897

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Get Ready for Some Football! Sarah Remembers the Wildcats of 1893

Today marks the kick-off and the first home game of the 2016 University of Kentucky football season – the perfect day to share Sarah Eva Howe's perspective on the sport and this wonderful picture pasted into one of her scrapbooks.

Sarah wrote these comments:
We knew very little about football in the early ‘90s in Carrollton, even baseball was seldom played by the “elite” till a team was formed about 1897 of some boys from CHS [Carrollton High School] . . . 

I do wish we had the names of these boys. I feel sure we knew some of their children, perhaps grandchildren! Boys were older in college then, especially football boys who had to be really tough. ... There was a poem appeared around this time called “Eliakim.”1 I enjoyed it so much as it always reminded me of Brother Rowland and Will2 — he and Vachel3 afterwards played on the “amateur team” that played in the “old college” yard.  

Why do the jerseys in the picture say KSC? Until 1913, the University of Kentucky was known as Kentucky State College. The Wildcat mascot and team nickname came about before that, in 1909. By considering the history and the caption on the photo in Sarah's scrapbook, we know she clipped it from a newspaper or magazine published after 1909. (As I've bemoaned in previous posts, Sarah was a marvelous storyteller and keeper of ephemera, but not at all good about dating the items she kept.)

Sarah's reference to knowing descendants of the men in the Wildcats team photo was written much later than 1893 and rings true. She moved with her husband and children (then in their teens and early 20s) to Lexington in 1929. Descendants of the players of 1893 might well have lived in Lexington.

Sarah, of course, wrote the words of the poem in her scrapbook.
I’m a college man, my friend, and sixty was my year,
But as a Christian minister you’d scarcely think it fit
That I should view a football game as I am doing here.
But I’ve a son who’s in the game, and that quite alters it!
See, that is he at tackle there — I see they’ve stopped the play
To put a new man opposite and bear the first away.
I sometimes feel my son pursues the sport with too much vim,
For no one ever lasts a half against Eliakim!
A sober youth, Eliakim, he’s studying to be a parson like his father.
He is meek and slow to wrath,
A very proper type of humble minded piety.
But when he bucks the center, sir, he always clears a path!
What’s that you say — three minutes left?
The score is tied, the game is near its close?
They’ll surely send Eliakim. Yes, bless him! There he goes!
He’s through! The game is ended! We have won and all through him!
Rah!! Whoop her up for Sixty and my son Eliakim!
Now for some Wildcat football history from sources other than Sarah's scrapbooks. This information comes from a Wikipedia entry titled Kentucky-Tennessee Rivalry. Note that the rivalry began the year the photo was taken: 1893. Kentucky won that first game 56-0!

Tennessee and Kentucky have faced off on the gridiron since 1893, making it one of the oldest rivalries in major college football. It was close in the early years, with Kentucky holding a series lead after the first 22 match-ups. But since the early 1930s, Tennessee has dominated the cross-border rivalry. . . . Both schools were charter members of the Southeastern Conference when it was established in 1932. Since that season, Tennessee has a 53–14–3 record against Kentucky, including a streak of 26 straight victories from 1985 to 2010, which is one of the longest such streaks in NCAA history. The Wildcats did not win any games against the Volunteers during the 1940s, 1990s, or 2000s. The only decade of the SEC era in which UK posted a winning record against Tennessee was the 1950s, when they went 6–3–1. The series was not without disappointment even during that period for Kentucky fans, however, as the Vols dealt Bear Bryant's 1950 Wildcat squad their only defeat during their school-best 11–1 season.

Unfortunately, in games played from 1893 through 2015, Tennessee leads the series 78 to 24 with 9 ties. Let's hope UK boosts its wins to 25 when they play Tennessee on Nov. 12.

Are you a descendant of a Wildcat football player in the photo? If so, please send me his name and his position in the photo – plus any other info you want to share – so I can add it to the post.

1 A Biblical name meaning "whom God will raise up." Source:
2 W.T. Rowland, the pastor of Carrollton Methodist Episcopal Church of Carrollton, Kentucky. Will was his son. The Howe family attended and supported this church.
3 Vachel Rowland, likely the brother of Will Rowland and son of the pastor. Will was a bit older than Sarah, and Vachel was her classmate. Both are mentioned in other posts.