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11 August 2012

Who is Clarence N. Armstrong killed in train wreck?

The only information on Clarence Armstrong (1872-1904) is his obituary, grave stone and a photograph. 

Palestine Daily Herald (Palestine, Tex), Vol. 2, No. 261, Ed. 1, Thursday, May 5, 1904
Hamilton, W. M. and H. V. Hamilton, editors. Palestine Daily Herald (Palestine, Tex), Vol. 2, No. 261, Ed. 1, Thursday, May 5, 1904, Newspaper, May 5, 1904; digital images, ( : accessed August 01, 2012), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting UNT Libraries, Denton, Texas.

Page 1

Fatal collision On South End

Conductor Frank Austin and Fireman Armstrong Killed---Others Injured.








This morning at 11:20 a fatal head-on collision occurred between Phelps and Dodge, on the south end, resulting in the death of Conductor Frank Austin and Fireman Armstrong, and the serious injury of Engineer Will Myers, Brakeman John Bryant and Conductor Joe Wolfe.

  But meager details could be had, as the Western Union wires were down, but it is learned the collision was between freight No. 51, south bound, and a light engine going north. It is also reported the freight had orders to meet this engine at Dodge, but from some cause failed to obey orders.

 Conductor Vinyard, on the north-bound World’s Fair Flyer, telegraphed to local conductors to arrange to meet the body of Conductor Austin, which will be brought in on that train.

 Conductor Austin lived on Lacy street, and leaves a wife and one child.

 Fireman Armstrong was a single man, and boarded at the Galveston House.

 It was impossible up to press hour to get further particulars of the injured.

 The wreck is reported a very serious one.

The Portal to Texas History has several follow-up articles.

The following is from the Seneca, Illinois newspaper.
The Marseilles Plaindealer, Marseilles, Friday, May 13, 1904 Vol XXVIII, No. 20 transcribed 23 Dec 2000 microfilm Barb Hanson
Engineer Armstrong Killed
  The remains of Clarence N. Armstrong were brought here Monday from Palestine, Texas, for burial. He was killed in a railroad wreck at that place May 5th. It was a head end collision. Mr. Armstrong was engineer on one of the trains and he and another man was killed as of results of the accident.
 He is the brother of Mrs. Eugene Couch and Mrs. Roy Kilmer of this place. He was a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and tof the Fireman also. They meet a representative, Mr. Briggs, with the remains. Service were held at the M.E. church, Monday at 2p.m. The remains were buried at Mount Hope Cemetery – Seneca – Record News.

Clarence is the uncle to my maternal grandmother.
I found this great website while researching for the newspapers regarding the train wreck. See the article on 'Genealogy resource: The Portal to Texas History website' for more information.

Black Sheep Sunday - Atlanta Federal Prison

Six Prisoners Entered Federal Prison Yesterday.
Two of Them on Whom the Steel Door Shut Are Past Sixty-Five Years of Age-Both Sentenced for Pension Fraud.
 The first prisoners to pass through the steel door of the new federal prison went in yesterday afternoon. The men-six in number-were under the watchful eye of Chief Deputy Marshal J.H. Rinard.
 Two of the prisoners,m whose ages made them particularly noticeable, were G.W. Clarke, an white man, 65 years old, and Caesar Davis, a negro, who has recently passed the prescribed limit of three score and ten years. The two old men are serving sentences of five years each for violating the United States pension law. The prisoners transferred to the new prison yesterday began serving their sentences in the Fulton county jail, as the new prison was not ready for occupancy at the time of their conviction, which was at the October term of the United States court before Judge Newman. The other lawbreakers transferred to the new prison yesterday were R.D. Stallings, of Carroll county, who will serve a five years' sentence for counterfeiting. Handy Middlebrook, a negro, will serve three years for a similar offense. John Sanford, convicted of robbing a postoffice, will serve three years and J.H Henson and Oscar Bishop will serve fifteen months each for making "moonshine" whisky.
 Davis is the only one of the prisoners received yesterday whose home is in this county.
 United States Marshal Walter Johnson received a message yesterday stating that the federal prison was ready for the reception of prisoners. He notified Warden Hawk, who had the seven federal prisoners in his charge, to remove them to the new prison. None of the prisoners expressed any dissatisfaction at the change of quarters.
 There was no formal ceremony at the opening of the new prison. A deputy marshal, under instructions from Marshal Johnson's office, brought the prisoners to the new prison, where they were assigned to their respective cells without delay.

source citation:
"PRISON DOORS SHUT IN EARNEST," news, The Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia, 31 January 1902, six prisoners entered federal prison yesterday; online image, ( : accessed 7 August 2012).

More articles on the Atlanta Federal Prison

09 August 2012

obituary: 2 soldiers from GA die in N.C.

Two Soldiers Killed.
 Charlotte, N. C., Sept. 6 – While en route to Manassas Frank Lassiter of Americus, Ga., was run over by a car at Greensboro, this state, and an unknown private had his skull fractured near Fayetteville.

Palestine Daily Herald (Palestine, Tex), Vol. 3, No. 53, Ed. 1, Tuesday, September 6, 1904
Page 2

The Portal of Texas History  Accessed 9 August 2012.

We never know where information will be found. This obit for Georgia soldiers killed in North Carolina was found in a Texas newspaper.

01 August 2012

The importance of quality family research

To the family historian, researching the past is very time consuming and necessary. Details are most important. What is the purpose of all this research? While reading a novel the following quote sums everything.

If you don’t know the stories of your own past, Dulcie thought sadly, what can you cling to when you feel alone? If you don’t have a family history to tell you who you are, everything flies apart.

The quote is taken from Cat to the Dogs by Shirley Rousseau Murphy on page 118. This Joe Grey Mystery was published in 2000. Dulcie and Joe happen to be cats living in Molena Point, California. They entertain and share their thoughts, families, and mysteries with their readers. Even cats know the importance of family.

According to, John Farmer (1789-1893) first standardized U.S. genealogical research in the early 1800s. Even before this, families keep lineage records in an attempt to prove kinship, wealth, or entitlement.

Share your research and family stories by writing internet articles. Start a blog today! A few examples include the Clayton State University genealogy group’s blog at and Vicki Evans’ blog at; Write to me at subject line blog stories.