Joseph Part 2 – The Second of Three Remarkable People
As I have continued to research my grandfather’s life I found that one person really stood out and made every effort to keep this family intact and that was Emma’s father B.B. He was the home that all family members could travel to. He regularly had Sunday dinners and all the family who could, would get together. I have pictures of Martha having Thanksgiving at B.B.s and as I mention later in this post, when you were ill, you could stay with B.B. I give much credit to him for my grandfather’s success.
One of the wonderful things about genealogy research is the discovery of new details which clarify events that took place in the past. I have just found another newspaper report that says that Joseph and Bentley stayed at their grandfather B.B.s house immediately following their mother’s death while his father was looking for a house keeper. The article also mentions that their father is arriving in town from Pittsburgh which is where he has been working.
Although Joseph the 2nd came to visit several times in 1905 and 1906, it is unclear if the boys were still staying with B.B. or if they were allowed to leave the orphanage for a visit. I have tried, unsuccessfully, to find out more about the orphanage in an effort to get records. On one of Joseph the 2nds visits to B.B.s, in October of 1906, he stayed for a month because he was recuperating from typhoid.
At this point it is estimated that Joseph was seven years old when he arrived at the Protestant Orphanage Asylum in Allegheny based on my aunt’s account of when he went there. His brother Bentley had just turned four. The asylum was actually closer to where his father worked and it is possible that he was able to visit them, one could hope that this was the case. Within six months of going to the orphanage, Mary Francis was able to take in Bentley to live with Martha.
A note on Martha is that she stayed with Mary Francis throughout her childhood and into the 1930s and had referred to her as ‘mother’. She attended Carnegie Library College in Pittsburgh, studying to be a librarian. She achieved her educational goal and was a highly regarded librarian who lived to be 93 years old.
When Bentley was about fifteen, it appears that he moved to Missouri as he is listed as a student in a high school yearbook in 1920. I am assuming that he is living with his aunt Ruth as she is listed there in the 1920 census but Bentley is not. It was common for people to go away to school and this could explain why he is not listed on the census. When he graduated high school he went on to get a Bachelor’s degree and was a Fellow in Physics at Rice Institute in 1923. The handbook listed his address in Missouri, the same city as his aunt Ruth. The following year he acquired his Masters. Another news article says he received his PhD from Yale but I am not sure if this is correct as I have no other documentation supporting this statement. My aunt refers to Bentley as the brainiac in the family. He was really smart and had many papers published in the field of physics.
Joseph stayed in the orphanage until he was 11 years old when he moved in with his great-aunt Agnes (his grandmother’s sister) who lives on a farm in New Jersey. His paternal grandmother was also living there. Joseph takes on the task of delivering eggs to help out at the farm. Joseph the 2nd is currently working and living in New Mexico but is still looking after his children. There were some accounting notes in the Simpson family diary (Mary Francis’ surname) that showed he had been sending money for the expenses of taking care of his children.
On September 9th, 1918, at the age of twenty, Joseph was drafted into WWI. He was very fortunate as the war ended 2 months later. On his draft notice Joseph’s father is listed as his nearest relative in the same county. Both he and his second wife Anna, are residing with his (Joseph the 2nds) sister Agnes (a different Agnes than the one Joseph lives with) in New Jersey. Interestingly enough, Joseph the 2nd was drafted a week after his son was drafted but there is no record that he actually served.
I did have an occasion to discuss with my grandfather his earlier years. About the time the war ended he spent quite a bit of time going to work with his father, in New York. Joseph the 2nd was a clerk at a stock broker’s office and Joseph began to do unofficial work as a ‘runner’ which meant he was responsible for delivering funds to purchase stock. He told me he was responsible for transporting large sums of money in a leather brief. Because he had demonstrated honesty and showed he was trustworthy he had been encouraged to get an education by some of them men at the office. Up until this time he had received no schooling at all. This encouragement and his follow through changed his life, forever.
The next in this series is Part 3, click here to view it.