Monday, July 20, 2015

The Many Moves of Frank Clark and His Family

Frank Clark and Ella Myrtle Nower
Frank Bernard and Ella Myrtle (Nower) Clark
Frank  Bernard and Ella Myrtle (Nower) Clark were my great grandparents.  Their daughter, Juanita Ruth, was my father's mother.  

As I recently looked back at the census data for Frank and Myrtle, the thing that stands out most is the fact that they moved a lot!  Each census in which they are found as a family indicates a different location for them.  

Frank and his wife, Ella Myrtle were married in Georgetown, Ohio by a Presbyterian minister, Reverend W. W. Montgomery October 2, 1907.  A marriage announcement found in the Maysville, Kentucky newspaper, Daily Public Ledger, dated October 3, 1907 states that Frank's residence was Hebron, Illinois, but that he had been visiting Dover, Kentucky for some months.  Dover was where Ella Myrtle lived. (page 1, column 2)
Marriage of Frank Clark and Ella Myrtle Nower

The 1910 United States Federal Census is the first census that the Frank Clark family is found listed.  Frank B and Ella M, as they are recorded, were living at 1115 East 8th Street in Kansas City, Missouri.  Frank's occupation was reported as a painter / contractor.  Their first child, Richard C was 2 years old at the time.  His birth place is recorded as Illinois.  From that, it can be assumed that the family left Kentucky and Ohio shortly after the marriage and lived in Illinois, possibly Hebron, for a period of time. The Kansas City dwelling in which they lived was also occupied by two other families so it is possible that it was an apartment building.  Looking on Google Maps, there is an East 8th Street, but it is impossible to know whether that is the same street where Frank, Ella, and Richard lived because street names and numbers often change due to construction or other reasons.

Frank was working for the steam railroad as a carpenter in 1920.  In this census, the family was living in a rented house at 1326 Sixth Street in Dayton, Kentucky which is located in Campbell County across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio.  Frank was forty-three years old and Myrtle, as she is listed, was thirty-five. The family had grown and eleven year old Richard now had three sisters and a brother.  Juanita was nine years old and Ernest was six.  They, along with Richard, attended school.  The two little girls, Evelyn and Francis, were four years, eight months old and two years, two months old, respectively.  Juanita had been born in Indiana while the three youngest were born in Kentucky.  It is not known if the family actually lived in Indiana when my grandmother was born or if they were just visiting, although that doesn't seem likely.  However, there were brothers of Frank who, at that time, lived in Indiana.  

Sometime between 1920 and 1930, the family moved a distance of, according to Google Maps, 3.3 miles from Dayton to Covington, Kentucky.  They were renting a house for $40.00 a month at 108 West 4th Street, and they owned a radio.  Another daughter, Irma E, had joined the family and was nine years old.  She, Evelyn, and Francis attended school.  At seventeen, Ernest did not have an occupation recorded, but did not attend school either.  Juanita was nineteen and out of school by this census date.  Richard is not listed with the family and would have been old enough to be on his own at about twenty-one years old.  In the column for Occupation, the word NONE is written for Frank.  Apparently, there was a listing for those who were unemployed at the beginning of the Depression, although I have no knowledge of what it might contain, but it is noted on the census that Frank is on Line Number 11 for the unemployed.  I will have to look into this listing to see what information is on it.  It is in the 1930 census that the question was asked whether a person was a veteran.  Frank is recorded as being a veteran of the Spanish War.  It is very possible that he was receiving a large enough pension from that war which allowed him to support the family during his unemployment.  In 1920, he did apply for such a pension, but I have not obtained those papers as of yet.

Even though there was no census taken in 1935, it is possible to determine where the Clark family lived during at least part of that year.  A question on the 1940 census asks where each person was living on April 1, 1935.  A unique feature of this particular census is that it also indicates the person who gave the information to the enumerator and in this case, it was Myrtle.  Myrtle reported that on April 1, 1935, she and Frank lived in Dover, Kentucky.  I know that the family was in Dover by 1932 as that was the year my grandmother, Juanita, married my grandfather, William Wayson and, according to their marriage record, both of them resided in Dover, however, I do not know how many years Frank, Myrtle, and the  younger children stayed there.

Five years later, in 1940, Frank and Myrtle are empty nesters. They are living by themselves back in Dayton, Kentucky at 816 Second Street.  They are still renters and they paid their landlord $19.00 a month  to live in the house.  Frank was sixty-four and Myrtle was fifty-five.  She told the enumerator that she had completed three years of high school, but she must not have known the highest grade completed for Frank as the space allocated for him is blank.  He was a painter once again and owned his own business.  In 1939, he worked a total of twenty weeks and earned $240.  It is noted that he also had additional income other than a salary which I assume is a military pension, but that has not been proven yet.

The 1940 census is the latest census that has been made public so my census research for Frank and Myrtle ends there, but I know that Dayton, Kentucky was not their last residence.  In 1957, the year of my birth, they lived in the small town of Ripley, Ohio.  Frank was in his early eighties and Myrtle was about seventy-two.  This would be the last place they would reside together.  In 1960, Frank died and the next year, Ella Myrtle made her final move to the Grant Rest Home in Georgetown, Ohio where, in December 1962, she followed Frank in death. 


Census Links and Citations (actual Images for 1910 - 1930 require an subscription)

1910 United States Federal Census  - "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 July 2015), Frank B Clark, Kansas City Ward 8, Jackson, Missouri, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 93, sheet 5A, family 144, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,374,799.

1920 United States Federal Census - "United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 July 2015), Frank B Clark, Dayton Ward 1, Campbell, Kentucky, United States; citing sheet 12B, family 265, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,820,564.

1930 United States Federal Census - "United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 July 2015), Frank B Clark, Covington, Kenton, Kentucky, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 0006, sheet 7B, family 146, line 65, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 761; FHL microfilm 2,340,496.

1940 United States Federal Census - "United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 July 2015), F B Clark, Ward 2, Dayton, Magisterial District 3, Campbell, Kentucky, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 19-49, sheet 5B, family 90, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 1290.

© 2015, copyright Lynn Ann Wayson Koehler. All rights reserved 

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