Sunday, April 9, 2017

Inez (Underwood) Linn: A Pictorial In Memoriam (1917-2017)


On 1 Mar 1917, my grandma's youngest sister, Inez Flora Underwood was born. This last Tuesday she passed away, aged 100 years and 34 days.

I am posting several pictures of her found in my grandma's photo albums.

These pictures were probably taken in the 1930s.

In two of these pictures, Inez is in front of the Underwood family home in Netarts, Oregon.

The previous two photographs were evidently taken on the same day. Inez is wearing the same outfit and pictured with the same truck in both pictures. In the first, the background is the family home; in the second, the background appears to be the beach at Pacific City, Oregon, a fairly short drive from their home in Netarts. 

This picture appears to have been taken in Happy Camp, just outside the town of Netarts. The headless figure standing behind Inez is my Grandma Aileen.

This last picture is one of my favorites. I'm not really sure what is happening, butI like to think that Ray and Inez are flirting. Ray Linn became Inez's husband on 26 Oct 1940.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Wreck of the Emily G. Reed

In the town of Rockaway Beach, buried beneath the sand, rests the broken skeleton of a wooden barque called the Emily G. Reed. Over a hundred years ago, in 1908, she foundered in a storm and broke up, the pieces of her hull scattered from the north jetty to just south of St. Mary’s By the Sea, the local Catholic church. Most of the time her timbers remain hidden under the deep sand, and tourists play unknowingly upon the ship’s grave, but every once in a great while the forces of nature shift the sands and the old boards again appear.

The Oregon coast is home to many shipwrecks, and each has its story, but few can equal the drama in that of the Emily Reed. It began early on a Valentine’s Day morning, not long after midnight. Captain Kersel was endeavoring to sight Tillamook Rock in his journey northward from Australia to Portland with a load of coal. For several days the weather had been heavy, and he had to put much reliance on his chronometer, making mathematical computations to determine the longitude.

But then came the terrible realization: the chronometer was wrong. The ship was too far to the east, almost in the breakers. But this realization came too late. “We had scarcely a minute’s warning of breakers before the shock came,” recalled one of the survivors. The Emily Reed hit the beach bow on, and immediately began to break up. The first mate, Fred Zube, was forward, calling all hands on deck. The captain, his wife, and some of the crew were aft when the jolt came. A huge wave washed over the bow, smashing one of the lifeboats. Seamen Abilstedt and Jahunke, as well as the cook, whose name no one seems to have known, “came tumbling out of the forecastle with scarcely any clothing on their backs.” The three of them, led by Fred Zube, were unable to get to the other end of the ship, and their end was deep in churning water, so they quickly jumped into the remaining lifeboat and cut the lashings. Captain Kersel and the others, clinging to the roof of the aft-house, watched as a huge wave broke, and the lifeboat disappeared.

After witnessing this calamity, the captain ordered those who were with him to stay on the wreck until daylight broke. As the sea calmed, he sent his wife below, but he himself remained on the poop. When daylight came, low tide came with it. Some of the crew decided to see if they could swim ashore, first tying a rope to the wreckage. When they jumped overboard, they discovered that they could touch bottom and simply walk to land. The captain, his wife, his second mate, and the three other seamen who had survived all waded to shore.

Captain Kersel then had the sad duty of reporting the deaths of his crew. It was a long list, and most newspapers carried the headline “Eleven Lives Lost,” though, if the cook’s name were truly unknown, it seems the number was actually twelve:

First Mate Fred Zube (or Dubie)
Ship’s Carpenter Westlund
Seaman Sortzeit
Seaman Johnson
Seaman Dickson
Seaman Darling
Seaman Cohenstad
Seaman Gilbert
Seaman Ewald Abilstedt
Seaman Arthur Jahunke
Cabin Boy Hirschfeld
The cook

But then, three days after the wreck, in Neah Bay, Washington, nearly two hundred miles to the north, someone aboard the sloop Teckla heard by a feeble hail. The crew looked out and saw a steel lifeboat slowly drawing near. There were four figures in the boat, three just barely alive and one dead. Their tongues were so swollen from thirst that they could scarcely articulate. But after some much-needed food and drink, the leader of these men was able to tell his story.

They were, in fact, from the wreck of the Emily Reed, the lifeboat which the captain and the others had thought to be swamped. The wave, instead of swamping them, had swept the lifeboat to sea. They were alive, but without supplies. They had no food, no water, and only one oar. Fred Zube had a broken arm. A biting wind blew most of the time, and we know that Abilstedt, Jahunke, and the cook were barely dressed. The boat had been banged around in the wreckage, and had been punctured in several places, and the men had nothing with which to bale out the water.

They wore out their knives cutting away a compartment built into the boat, but once they wrenched it off they were able to use it as a baler. They set their course, clumsily managed with the single oar, away from shore, hoping to fall into the shipping lanes and thereby meet a steamship. The shore on this part of the coast they thought to be “desolate,” which wasn’t exactly true, but wasn’t much of an exaggeration, either.

On the second night, they saw lights on the shore, but it was too dark to chance venturing in. The cook declared he couldn’t stand the thirst anymore, and he took a drink of seawater. It was not long before he became delirious and lay down in the water at the bottom of the lifeboat.

The next morning, jubilation! There was a big steamer, and she stopped near them. One of the men shook the cook awake. “Don’t you want to be saved?” he asked, pointing to the steamer. The cook stood up, watching the ship. But apparently it had not seen them after all, for it was soon under weigh again. This seemed to break the cook’s spirit, and within a half hour he was dead.

The Tattoosh Island lighthouse appeared in the distance a few hours later, and they drew together their strength to steer the boat into the bay. “Sunday seemed the worst day we were out. We kept seeing all sorts of vessels passing back and forth but none of them would answer our hail. We were generally too far off to be made out plainly, I guess,” said Fred Zube. That is, until they finally met up with the Teckla.

With this news, the death toll of the wreck of the Emily Reed dropped from twelve to nine. Few people had seen the wreck, the area being largely uninhabited, but one Elmer D. Allen later described it thus: “Among the last of the proud, old sailing ships, she lay fast in the sand, broken in two with a pile of coal two stories high; masts, spars and sails toppled and her cargo of coal dumped to the center holding firmly the fore and aft. The beach was strewn with wreckage and coal.”

The area where it had met its fate, known at the time as Garibaldi Beach, soon changed its name to Rockaway, and settlers began to swarm in. The wreck on the beach awaited them, with its wealth of salvage. The pioneers stripped it of its copper, selling it for scrap, and after each storm collected the coal that washed up. The sands eventually crept over the old wreck, hiding it from view most of the time, but even today residents will sometimes find coal after a storm.

A few weeks ago the Emily Reed made one of its rare appearances, for only the third time within my memory. I took the opportunity to make the drive to the beach and take the pictures featured on this page, and the occasion became a spontaneous family reunion! My parents were there, and my uncle and aunt also drove down to see the reclusive shipwreck.

Selected Sources:

Disastrous Shipwreck,” The Argus, 19 Feb 1908, p. 7, col. 8; digital images, Trove ( : accessed 2 Apr 2017), Newspapers: The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848-1957).

Eleven Lost on Emily Reed,” The Spokesman-Review, 15 Feb 1908, p. 17, col. 1; digital images, Google News ( : accessed 2 Apr 2017), The Spokesman-Review: Jun 16, 1889-Dec 31, 2007.

Emily Reed Disaster,” The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 Jun 1908, p. 8, col. 6; digital images, Trove ( : accessed 2 Apr 2017), Newspapers: The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW: 1842-1954).

Perils of the Sea,” Barrier Miner, 6 Apr 1908, p. 6, col. 6; digital images, Trove ( : accessed 2 Apr 2017), Newspapers: Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW: 1888-1954).

Lori Tobias, “Shifting sands reveal 102-year-old shipwreck off Rockaway Beach,” The Oregonian, 29 Dec 2010, online archives at OregonLive ( : accessed 2 Apr 2017).

Survivors of the Emily Reed,” Lewiston Evening Journal, 18 Feb 1908, p. 1, col. 5; digital images, Google News ( : accessed 2 Apr 2017), Lewiston Evening Journal: Apr 20, 1861-Jul 26, 1980.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Friday Funny: A quiet, grave time

I was recently looking through my small collection of antique post cards, and came across this gem. It is a comic post card depicting a man smoking a pipe and pouring himself a drink while sitting atop the headstone which presumably belonged to his wife. The stone reads:
and the caption reads “A quiet, grave time, at last!” At the top, someone has penned in the initials J.W.

On the reverse is a one cent stamp, with a post mark dated 1 Aug 1908 at 9 a.m. in Vancouver, Washington. The card is addressed to Mr. P. Gusted (or perhaps it is Lusted?), Portland, Oregon, and appears to have the memo that it is in care of “W. V. tel. Co.” The correspondence reads,
Hello Nephew,
Will be over Sun. morning if everything is Ho-K.
and it is signed either “your Uncy. Geo.” or “your Uncy. Leo.”

A quick Ancestry search through Portland city directories revealed no P. Gusted or P. Lusted, although there were others of both those surnames. I was reluctant to attempt more in-depth research, so I can currently shed no light on the recipient of this card. The sender is even more mysterious, as he signed only his first name. As for the initials “J. W.” on the front of the card—well, I have no idea what those mean.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Roots Quest 2017

This is an experiment; for the first time I am attempting to compose and post from my new-to-me smartphone. 

Yesterday I attended the Roots Quest 2017 conference in Forest Grove, Oregon. Of course there were a few nuggets in the classes, but what I really want to share is a display/scavenger hunt they had set up in the cafeteria. They had taken documents  (from the various presenters' research) and blown them up to about double ledger size. The scavenger hunt part involved inspecting the documents to find the answers to a list of questions, such as "What is the date of William Schnell's marriage?" or "What kind of person was Amanda Tice?" The answer to the latter, incidentally, was "industrous," according to a pauper register.

I thought this display would be a lovely idea for a family reunion.

I realize this post is slightly inane and poorly written, however, as I said before, it is serving mainly as an experiment to test out this app on my phone.

Conclusion: I doubt if I will be using the app to compose posts in the future. I had to use my laptop to fix some problems with this post, and I was dissatisfied with the editing abilities of the app. Besides, I prefer to compose first in a word processor. But I'm glad I tried the experiment.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Military Monday: 1 May 1781 – Pierce Butler Pennel and the Militia’s Rendezvous

A "Brown Bess" flintlock musket
By Antique Military Rifles (Originally posted to Flickr as Brown Bess) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Staunton River splashed against its banks by Ward’s Ferry. Birds chirped in the trees. Spring flowers peeped up from the ground here and there, with the promise of more to come. Off in the distance a new sound broke through the natural stillness: a sound of footsteps approaching. Louder and clearer they became, and were joined by other footsteps, and voices. Animals vanished into the underbrush. Soon the splashing of the river was drowned out by the arrival of the numerous voices and footsteps of men. There were about a hundred of these men, some, perhaps, attended by their families who assembled there to wish them a hearty or a tearful farewell. “Ragtag” is a term often applied to these men and their peers, with their piecemeal attempts at a uniform, their spotty training, and their diversity of arms. Most provided their own weapons: fowling pieces or muskets, the latter usually equipped with bayonets, and perhaps a flintlock “Brown Bess” captured from the enemy in a previous engagement. Knives and swords, and perhaps even tomahawks, were also represented among these men’s accoutrements.

These men belonged to the Bedford county militia; they were the latest company under the command of Capt. Adam Clements. Many of these men were already battle-hardened, having returned to their homes from their previous tour of duty within the past month. Some had fought against General Corwallis’ troops at the recent patriot defeat at the Guilford Courthouse, only a month and a half before, where they saw what appeared to be the British artillery firing on their own men in their zeal to drive away the American rebels. And now these American rebels were returning to action, once again leaving their homes, their families, and their farms neglected.

It must have been hard to do. Although the call to duty was in defense of their liberty, if their crops were ruined, they may end up in an even worse position than if they were forced to remain under British rule. A few of those called up could ill afford the time away and sought replacements. Some were fortunate enough to have a brother willing to serve in their place. Sometimes a substitute could be hired, but there is no evidence that any of the men meeting at Ward’s Ferry that day were hired. Most men heeded their own call to duty.

One of these Bedford county militiamen was Pierce Butler Pennel. Whether he was one of those who had recently returned from action is unknown, but it is certainly possible and even probable. Of his fellow militiamen in this company who later applied for pensions, all but one (John Lambert) declared prior service. The muster rolls for many of these previous companies no longer exist, so the declarations of pensioners must be relied upon as evidence.

In May of 1781, the War of the American Revolution had already been dragging on for many long years. A few of the older men, true patriots, had been serving on and off for half a decade or so. Now this company was headed south into the Carolinas to come to the aid of General Nathanael Greene and his forces in their campaign to drive the British from the south.

Ward’s Ferry was probably the most logical and convenient location for this rendezvous of the militia. Not only could it provide for the necessary crossing of the Staunton River in the men’s impending march south, but the proprietor was Maj. John Ward, who was to be one of the commanders of their regiment. He lived in “the Mansion” nearby, and could easily join his men from there.

With the forces assembled, and the leaders prepared, it was time to begin the long march to the south.


Pierce B Pennell, muster rolls of Co. Capt. Adam Clement's Militia, 1 May 1781; U.S., Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783; digital images, Operations, Inc., "Virginia: Western Battalion, 1781-1782 (Folder 341) - Various Organizations (Folder 364)," Ancestry ( : accessed 12 Jan 2017).

Will Graves & C. Leon Harris, Southern Campaigns Revolutionary War Pension Statements & Rosters ( : accessed 14 Jan 2017), pdf numbered B57 "Militia List –Capt. Adam Clements"; pdf numbered W5635 "Pension Application of John Arthur W5635"; pdf numbered W5636 "Pension Application of Thomas Arthur W5636"; pdf numbered W345 "Pension Application of William Caldwell W345"; pdf numbered S30387 "Pension Application of Thomas Dixon S30387"; pdf numbered S8567 "Pension Application of Archelaus Gilliam S8567"; pdf numbered S16403 "Pension Application of Robert Hall S16403"; pdf numbered W7648 "Pension Application of Edward Hancock W7648"; pdf numbered X916 "Pension Application of Samuel Hancock X916"; pdf numbered S16445 "Pension Application of John Lambert S16445"; pdf numbered W8071 "Pension Application of PatrickLynch W8071"; pdf numbered S6299 "Pension Application of Luke Valentine S6299"; pdf numbered S7802 "Pension Application of Charles Walker S7802"; pdf numbered S16583 "Pension Application of Joseph Wood S16583"; pdf numbered W2506 "Pension Application of George Woodard W2506"; pdf numbered S17208 "Pension Application of Jacob Woodard S17208."

Other Works Consulted:

Ivy Kenneth Blecher, Three Centuries of American Wars: History of American Wars (accessed 20 Feb 2017), "Revolutionary War Weapons." 

Janice Poole, "Rose Dove Dalton and Albert Lee Dalton Homeplace," Genealogy: Our Astounding Past, 16 Mar 2010 (accessed 20 Feb 2017).  

J. D. Lewis, Carolana ( : accessed 20 Feb 2017), "The American Revolution in North Carolina: The Battle of Guilford Court House." 

J. Lloyd Durham, "Outfitting an American Revolutionary Soldier," Tar Heel Junior Historian (Fall 1992); reprinted online, North Carolina Government & Heritage Library at the State Library of North Carolina, NCpedia (accessed 20 Feb 2017). 

North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, "North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program," database and images, North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program (accessed 20 Feb 2017); Marker ID=J-3: Guilford Courthouse

R. H. Early, Campbell Chronicles and Family Sketches: Embracing the History of Campbell County, Virginia 1782-1926 (Lynchburg, Virginia: J. P. Bell Company, 1927), "Ward Family," transcribed and contributed for use in the USGenWeb Archives by Joy Fisher .

Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey (hosts). "The Battle of Guilford Courthouse." Podcast audio. Stuff You Missed in History Class., 31 Aug 2015. Web.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

 A Valentine from my grandfather Jack Hoyt to my grandmother Rose. Unknown date.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Military Monday: Lowell’s Army Buddies (Part 5): Trading Addresses

Although this is the only photo in this post which was unmarked, I know the subject very well. It is Uncle Lowell himself. There were two copies of this picture in his collection, and my guess is that he had originally a whole handful of them, which he signed and passed out to his buddies.

I have saved the best for last! In this short series presenting my great-Uncle Lowell’s small collection of pictures from his time in the Army, we have finally reached the pile of marked photographs. This sub-collection appears to be Lowell’s buddies, many of them giving their postal address. I presume that they were exchanged towards the end of their basic training (or perhaps their tours of duty), as a way to keep in touch in the future.

Lowell had enlisted on 10 Nov 1943, started service on 1 Dec 1943, and was released from service on 18 Apr 1946. For at least part of that time, he served with the Military Police.

If you find a photograph of your own loved one on this page, you may want to check out the first, second, third, and fourth posts in this series. There may be another, unmarked, photo among those pictures. And if you are able to identify any of those people, please let me know. I would love to find out!

This is one of the few pictures with names and addresses on it that is set in front of a building with slatted siding. I love that it shows the men playing dice and drinking beer. The names are Albert Matkovich, with the address 1271 E 170 St, Cleveland, Ohio, and B. L. (or B. F.?) Simpson, with the address P.O. 62, Bells, Tenn.

Albert Matkovich must have really wanted to keep in touch, because there are two more signed pictures of him in Lowell’s collection.

This picture, also signed by Albert Matkovich, appears to have been taken in the same general area. Some of the buildings in the background have the same type of siding as the building in the picture above, and several wooden walkways are visible which are similar to the walkway shown in the picture above. This time Albert Matkovich is shown hard at work shoveling. His address is still 1271 E 170 St, Cleveland, Ohio.

Here is Albert Matkovich yet again, with the same address of 1271 E 170 St, Cleveland, Ohio. It is set in front of some sort of long building with windows its entire length, perhaps a barracks? The building number is “I 94 H,” and if you look carefully you will see that every photograph posted below (with the possible exception of one) was taken in front of the same building, as was the picture of Lowell at the top of this post.

In this picture of Pvt Desmond Call you can see a gas mask hanging from the shutter of the window. His address is Soda Springs, Idaho. These were the days of general delivery, in which one could address a letter with only a name and city and the letter would still be delivered. I have found a several cards or letters among my grandparents’ papers which are addressed so simply.

In this photograph of Ed Whitten, he does not rely on general delivery, but gives his full address of 48 Rockvale Circle, Jamaica Plain, Mass. He also parenthetically explains that he lives in the Boston area. In the picture, he is showing his rifle.

This photograph is the one possible exception to the series of photos in front of building “I 94 H.” It is the only one in which the address is not visible, and the only one in which the window shutters are closed. It does, however, appear to be the same building. The man in the picture is identified as Rocco Robertson of Providence, Rhode Island. On the back the street address “87 Harold St” is added.

This photograph of S. J. Marquis is once again taken in front of building “I 94 H,” but in examining the address it becomes apparent that the image has been reversed! He gives his address as 637 Prindle St., Chehalis, Washington. With the relatively short distance of this address from Lowell’s own in Portland, Oregon, I wonder if they ever got together again after the war.

This last photo in front of building “I 94 H,” also showing that gas mask dangling from the window shutter, is of Wynn Tingey of Tremonton, Utah.


National Archives and Records Administration, "U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946," database, Ancestry ( : accessed 24 Aug 2015), entry for Lowell A Brosius; citing Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946 [Archival Database]; ARC: 1263923. World War II Army Enlistment Records; Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 64; National Archives at College Park. College Park, Maryland, U.S.A.

National Cemetery Administration, "U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006," database, Ancestry ( : accessed 25 Aug 2015), entry for Lowell Brosius, Willamette National Cemetery; citing National Cemetery Administration. Nationwide Gravesite Locator.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS [Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem] Death File, 1850-2010," database, Ancestry ( : accessed 25 Aug 2015), entry for Lowell Brosius; citing Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) Death File. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.