Maggie Blackstone was one of four Blackstone children found on the 1880 Cherokee Nation Intruders Census for Delaware District. An intruder was defined as “persons not recognized as citizens of the Cherokee Nation.” Maggie is noted to be 8 years old. The other three Blackstone children were Anna (age 10), Benjamin (age 5), and Kate (age 3). All are noted to be “white” and described as orphans. Maggie is said to be living with Frank Lamar, Ben and Kate with J. Johnson, and Anna with W. H. McCullough.
This census tells us that there were four orphaned white children living in an area where only Cherokee were allowed to live unless married to a Cherokee or had a reason to be in the area (i.e. work). It tells us that Maggie was probably born about 1872. And it tells us who had taken her in to their home in the absence of her parents. Unfortunately it tells us little more.
Frank Lamar was the son of James Russell Lamar and Elizabeth Paden. This is interesting in that Ben and Kate lived with J. Johnson. The “J” was probably meant to be an “I” and this was Isaac Johnson the husband of Martha Paden (Elizabeth Paden Lamar’s sister). Frank Lamar was probably born about 1855 or 1856 in the Cherokee Nation. He died in September 1897 in St. Louis. The following is an obituary found on the Internet:
Ft Gibson Post Newspaper, Ft Gibson I.T. Sep 30, 1897 Issue pg 4, Column 4: FT GIBSON NEWS: FRANK LAMAR DEAD. The St. Louis paper of Monday gave detailed accounts of the finding of the dead body of F LAMAR of Fairland I.T., in a deserted hallway adjoining a St Louis variety theater. At first it was thought LAMAR had been murdered, but investigation brought out the facts that he had accidentally fallen down stairs and received injuries from which he died. At any rate, this was the verdict of the coroner's inquest held over the body on Monday. It appears that LAMAR, Ben PHILLIPS, George NIDIFFER, J H CONELLY, D W VANN, F M CONNER and his son Alonzo, Bill RAINES and Bill DAVIS were a crowd of excursionists who went to St Louis Sunday. Sunday night they were all out together seeing the sites. About 12 o'clock LAMAR left the crowd at a variety theater, and it was supposed he had gone to his room at the hotel. Nothing more was seen of Lamar until his dead body was discovered as above stated the next morning. Frank LAMAR was 42 years old and leaves a wife and seven children. He has been a member of the Cherokee council from Delaware district for a number of years, and was well known and like by ever body.
Frank Lamar can be found on the 1880 Cherokee Nation Census in Delaware District and is listed as FBF Lamar, a 29 year old farmer. His wife Mary is also listed and one child, Mariah. Frank was Cherokee (thought not full blooded) and Mary was white. Unfortunately, this obituary tells us nothing in the search for information about Maggie Blackstone. It is interesting to note that the above newspaper article states that Frank had 7 children. In the 1900 census Mary is listed with 7 children but the youngest was born 2 months after Frank died. Who gave the information? Were they counting the unborn children? Was there an older child who had left home? Did they have the count wrong? Were they counting Maggie?
I have been unable to find Maggie in the 1890 list for intruders. Is it possible that she had married? She would have been 18. In the 1893 intruders census for Cooweeskowee District there is a Maggie Blackstone aged 16. There is no other information. I have doubts that this is our Maggie because the age is off by many years. Our Maggie would have been about 21 years old.
We next find Maggie on the 1900 census for Clatonia (District 48), Gage County, Nebraska. She is married to William Stone. Her birth date is August 1871 and she is 28 years old. It also states that she was born in Indian Territory and that her parent’s places of birth are not known. She has been married for three years and has one child-Sarah B. born March 1898 in Missouri. She is married to William Stone who was born June 1875 in Illinois. It states that William is a plumber and that they live in a house that they own free of debt.
Where did Maggie and William married? How did they meet? In the 1900 census for Macomb, McDonough County, Illinois William’s father and his brother are listed. Maggie’s sister Anna and her husband are also on the census for Macomb. My guess is that Maggie was visiting Anna and met William in Macomb. But that is only a guess. It is interesting to note that Maggie was about 25 when she married William Stone which seems old for that period of time. Where was she living from the time she was found in the 1880 census until she married William? Note that Frank Lamar died about 6 months before Sarah was born. Could Maggie have lived with Frank and his family until she married?
The next reference we have for Maggie is her obituary dated March 10, 1908 in the Macomb Daily Journal on page eight.
Mrs. William Stone died in her home in Riverton, Illinois, March 6. The body was brought here this morning and taken to the Hainline undertaking parlor where the funeral will be held tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock. The interment in Oakwood Cemetery. Her age was 37. Maggie Blackstone was born at Fort Smith, Ark. in 1870. She was married to William Stone in 1896, to which union four children were born., Sarah Bell, age 10, Fred, age 5, Ermine, age 3, and a baby five weeks old She is survived by one brother, Benjamin Blackstone of Old Mexico; two sisters, Mrs. Jacobs whose residence in unknown, and Mrs. John Frowein of this city. Mr. and Mrs. John Frowein although they have a family of ten children of their own, will take the four orphan children in their care.
Before I move on there are a few things about this obituary that need to be cleared up. Ben was not living in Old Mexico. He was taking a load of mules to Panama and did not hear about Maggie’s death until he returned. Anna and John had seven children, not ten. Anna and John did not take the children in, they went to an orphanage where they were eventually placed into other homes. The youngest child was Opal Pearl (or Pearl Opal).
From the Oakwood cemetery records: Maggie B. Stone is buried in Block 5, lot 11. Died March 6, 1908. Buried March 11, 1908. Born Arkansas. Died at age 37. Last residence Riverton, Illinois.
It must be remembered that, the information given in an obituary (and a census report) is only as accurate as the knowledge of the person giving the information. We know that Maggie herself did not give it. We don’t know who gave the information in the 1880 census or the 1900 census. In 1900 William could have given the information.
I find a few things curious in the above information. One is that Maggie was buried in Macomb. Moving a body from the place of death surely was very expensive then as it is now. Several of us have tried to find a death certificate for Maggie. It was either not recorded or never filed. Record keeping was not mandatory then as it is now. Anna, Maggie and Ben kept in touch with each other even thought they were separated from each other from 1880 on. I have never been able to find the youngest child Kate after the 1880 census, though from Maggie’s obituary it would appear that she had lived long enough to marry and that they knew her married name was Jacobs.
Before I move on to discuss Maggie’s children I want to finish this portion with some notes I have on items of interest. First, William Stone. He was born in Monmouth, Warren County, Illinois June 14, 1875. His parents were William and Sarah Stone. They are buried near Maggie in Oakwood Cemetery. In the 1910 census William is living at Jefferson Barracks (St. Louis, MO) and is listed as a soldier. He married Olivia Louise Cords on January 7, 1914. In the 1920 census William and Olivia are living in Spaulding, Sangamon County, Illinois. William is listed as a coal miner. In the 1930 census they are back in St. Louis and William is now listed as a laborer at a quarry. Apparently he left Olivia some time before 1941 when she attempted to find him and was told by an insurance agent that he did not want to be found. We are unsure about his death date or place of death. When the 1940 census comes out (in 2015) we might be able to learn more. Second, John Charles Stone. He was William’s brother and born in August of 1871 in Illinois. In the 1900 census he is married and living in Macomb, McDonough County, Illinois with his wife and four children and a servant. In the 1910 census he is living with John and Anna Frowein and is listed as a widower. His wife was Gertie Sadler and she apparently died sometime between the 1900 census and the 1910 census. There are many John Stone’s out there though I believe he is the one listed in Rock Island Illinois in the 1920 and 1930 census as a widower. Third, Clatonia, Nebraska. Clatonia is located in the northwestern corner of Gage County. It was founded in the spring of 1892 so it was a relatively new town when Maggie and William lived there. I have included a bit of history for Clatonia and a map of the area. The Otoe-Missouri Reservation was at one time in the south eastern corner of Gage County and moved to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) though much further west of the Cherokee reservation where Maggie would have been in 1880. So I doubt there is a connection. Additionally I have included a map of Oklahoma that shows the reservations at that time as well as a copy of the 1880 and 1900 census reports. Fourth, records. A record of Maggie’s birth (in Arkansas) has not been located and neither has a marriage record (in Illinois or Missouri). Her death record, as noted above, was not recorded. These types of records were not required by law at the time they occurred. The 1890 census for the United States burned in a fire in Washington, D.C. Maggie was not found in the 1890 intruder’s census. A search for a “Maggie” who is married and white could be conducted for the 1890 Cherokee census (which did survive) but there would be little proof to support any Maggie found would be ours. Deeds in Gage County, Nebraska are filed by land description not by grantor or grantee. Without an exact address it would be impossible to find a deed for any land William and Maggie owned.
Maggie’s Kids Maggie’s obituary states that she had four children: Sarah Bell, Fred, Ermine, and a baby. After Maggie’s death the children were taken to an orphanage. William gave the orphanage money and told them not to adopt the kids out but when he went back they were gone. It is thought that he may have continued to keep in contact with the two oldest children.
The oldest child was Sarah Bell. She was born March 17, 1898 (per her obituary) in Missouri. Her middle name may have been Isabelle. She is first found in the 1900 census in Nebraska with her parents. In the 1910 census for Irish Grove, Menard County, Illinois there is a Sarah B. Stone listed as an adopted child living with Petiman and Melvina Knoles. They were an older, childless couple. Menard County is just to the north of Sangamon County (see map). In the 1920 census she is in Greenville, Menard County, Illinois and married to Olof Johnson. She married on June 8, 1919 (License #9078, Book C, Page 51). Her name on the census is “Sadie.” Again in the 1930 census she is in Greenville and still listed as “Sadie.” All of the census reports list her birthplace as Missouri except the 1930 which states she was born in Illinois. Sarah and Olaf had two children: Mary Margaret, born about 1922 and Charles E. born about 1926. Sarah (Sadie) died on July 5 1973 and Olof died in April of 1980.
In September of this year (2006) I contacted a researcher in Menard County (Jeanne Weaver). She was able to find Sarah’s marriage and death certificate. I have not yet obtained those records but she did send her obituary via an e-mail attachment. It reads as follows:
Sadie Johnson dead at 75. Greenview-Funeral services for were held at 2 pm Saturday, July 7 at the Greenview Christian Church for Mrs. Sadie Johnson, who passed away at 3 am, Thursday July 5. Rev R. E. Florence officiated.
Mrs. Johnson, 75, was born March 17, 1898, the daughter of William and Margaret Stone in Macomb. She was married June 8, 1919 to Olof Johnson in Greenview. Surviving are her husband, a daughter, Mrs. Mary Margaret Becker of Greenview, a son, Rev Charles Edw. Johnson of Rockford; one brother, Ernest Garber of Bayonne, New Jersey; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by one brother. She was a member of the Greenview Christian Church, where she served as a deaconess and as a Sunday School teacher for 40 years; a member of the American Legion Auxiliary; and active in community affairs.
Interment was held in Elmwood cemetery. The researcher was able to interview Mary Margaret on September 20, 2006. Jeanne said that Mary Margaret is 85 years old and does have trouble with her memory. She was, after a bit of time, able to remember several things. Below are the notes from that interview: Started making some phone calls to see if I could get info on Mary Margaret Johnson Becker. Found her. Have been talking to her for about an hour - long distance. She is a really wonderful lady who enthusiastically talked about her family. She is almost 85, and having trouble with her memory. At first she didn't remember anything about her mother being in an orphanage. After talking with her for awhile she just started talking about her mother and the orphanage. Told me her mother was in an orphanage in Whitehall. Father Knoles, as her mother called him, was older. He and his wife didn't have any children. They loved her very much. When Prettyman's wife died the neighbors called the orphanage to come and get Sadie because they didn't believe that a young girl should be in the household of that old man!!!
The orphanage said she was of age to make her own decision, so she didn't go back to the orphanage, but lived by room and board in Greenview. One of the places she lived was across the street from Olof Johnson. They fell in love and according to Mary Margaret, an absolutely wonderful man. He didn't get through grade school, but learned how to do everything, and was good at everything. Worked for awhile as a coal miner. World War I loomed and Olof said they couldn't marry until he returned from France.
Mary M. has a barrel of letters (from Olof in France) and other items from her mother. She remembers her mother had two brothers who kept in touch, Ernest and Fred. Today she couldn't remember much about Fred other than he was in Chicago for awhile, was an alcoholic. Ernest took Sadie to Chicago to visit him once. Fred did come to see her once in a while, but he'd disappear and she'd have to go get him out of the tavern. She said Sadie's mother died in childbirth. Her mother told her that her father put her in the orphanage and just left her, and she thought he hadn't kept in touch. I told her your story, and she was surprised. Her brother lives in De Moines, Iowa, is in bad health, and has two adopted children. He's a retired minister. Mary Margaret married Lowell Becker (didn't get the date). They have three children: Mark, born 1950; Tamara L. born 1952; and Julia Ann, born 1964. Mary Margaret was very happy to hear any information about her family. She would love for you to contact her. I think you could probably find out more from her if you talked with her on the phone, because she remembers more when she's been talking for awhile.
Fred has been more difficult to find. In the 1910 census for Illinois there are only two children noted to be “adopted” with the name of Fred born about 1903. One is Fred Spencer the adopted son of Katherine Spencer. Katherine was a widow and lived in Decatur, Macon County, Illinois. Katherine had grown children and I am not sure if this was a relative that she took in or our Fred. The other possibility is Fred Johnson. He is noted to be the adopted son of Richard P. and Nancy Johnson. They were from Kentucky, but at the time of the 1910 census they were living in White Hall Township, Greene County, Illinois. By the 1920 census they were back in Kentucky and living in White Oak, Adair County. They had no other children. Because Mary Margaret had indicated that Fred had lived in Chicago at one time, cousin Glenda Baker began looking for him in the 1920 census. She found a Fred Stone in Chicago living with his wife Abigail and daughter Margaret. They are living in the same household as Abigail’s brother, John McCarthy. This Fred Stone is noted to be born in Illinois about 1903. I think this may well be Maggie’s son especially since his birth date is 1903, his place of birth is Illinois and he has a daughter named Margaret. Obviously further research must be done to further pinpoint this person as Maggie’s son.
Son Ermine mentioned in the obituary was actually Ernest. He can be found in the 1910 census living with Joseph B. Garber and his wife Fronia (nee Bates) in Hopedale, Tazewell County, Illinois. They were a childless couple. Ernest Stone is noted to be four years old & born in Illinois. In the 1920 census he is in the same place and is a 14 year old born in Illinois and now noted to be Ernest W. Garber. Fronia died in 1934 and in her obituary it is noted that her foster son Ernest lives in New York. Joseph died in 1946 in Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois. I have been unable to find Ernest in further census reports. Sarah Johnson’s obituary states that her brother Ernest lives in Bayonne, New Jersey. On the social security death index there is an Ernest Garber who died in December of 1982 in Bayonne (Hudson County), New Jersey. This man was born October 23, 1903. I have ordered this record and am waiting for it to arrive.
Opal Pearl can be found in the 1910 census in Oxville Precinct, Scott County, Illinois as “Pearl Stone” and is 2 years old. In the 1920 census she is noted to be 11 years old and is listed as “Pearl O.” She was adopted by Maggie Remington. Maggie Remington was born Maggie Fitzsimmons about 1864-1866. By the 1910 census she is listed as a widow with no children of her own. She died January 12, 1922 and is buried in the Oxville cemetery as “Margaret Remington.” I have not been able to find Opal Pearl in the 1930 census.
This concludes the information I have about Maggie and her children. I am open to comments and suggestions about the above information as well as where we should direct further research.