John Quincy Boner (1830-1908) and his wife Sarah Ann Clark had already lost three children to illness by 1876, when they built this home in Milan, Mo. Thankfully, the stately home with its inviting, wraparound porch, is still standing, as I discovered on a visit there last summer. Two children — Minnie (12) and Charles […]
When New Orleans lawyer Ernest Benjamin Kruttschnitt died in 1906, praise came from all quarters. A partner in one of the city’s most illustrious law firms, Kruttschnitt (1852-1906) had tried many of the most important cases of his time. A long-time president of the New Orleans School Board, he twice turned down opportunities to become […]
The project started out innocently enough. I merely wanted to confirm some of the often bizarre stories my parents and grandparents had told me at family events, typically after a few drinks.
Genealogical research often turns up more than you really want to know. I got a rude reminder of this truism before the Christmas holidays, when a genealogist working in Cobourg, Ontario discovered that my earliest North American ancestor, William Thompson (1806-1849), assaulted a tailor, didn’t pay the fine, and spent time in the lock-up. The […]
Was William Thompson da man? Or was it William Boyce Thompson? A dissident family faction weighs in.
I was recently sitting comfortably in a reading room of the Library of Congress, going through some papers left behind by Hermann Hagedorn, William Boyce Thompson’s biographer. I was minding my own business, trying to speed-read interviews related to the Magnate’s acquisition of a mining venture in Ely, Nevada, dreaming of my next cup of […]
There’s a picture on the Internet of a small cypress palm tree planted by railroad executive Julius Kruttschnitt, Sr., in 1897 at a train station in Burlingame, Ca., that had opened only a couple years before. The photo, taken in 1901, shows two small children playing near the palm, which was already rising above their […]
Imagine my good fortune after spending nearly a full working day at the Missouri Historical Society to stumble upon a new document written by my Great, Great, Great Grandfather J.R. Boyce (1817-1898). As close followers probably remember, we previously had the good fortune to conduct a graveside interview with J.R., who fled to Montana to avoid […]