Post by Uncle Buddy on Nov 29, 2020 20:17:55 GMT -8
See attached article from 1904 and page from a 1902 Lowell, Massachusetts city directory.
I write bios on old-time inventors and wanna-be inventors who had unusual, exotic, and sometimes unbelievable applications for using compressed air as a medium for solar energy. This one has had me stumped for years. I don't even know the inventor's name but he clearly belongs in the Air Car Hall of Fame, at least for trying.
In 1904 an elderly widow, a former beauty named Cecelia Dale, was found to be living in such utter poverty (or whatever the real reasons were) that the local authorities in Lowell, Massachusetts decided to send her back where she came from. We don't know her maiden name, but her brother was one of my wanna-be inventors, and to find him, I have to learn more about her.
Cecelia and her brother were born with silver spoons in their mouth since their parents had joined the rush to the California gold country around 1849 and did well. The brother lost his share and came back east, working as a machinist, apparently in Lowell. Cecelia later joined him. One or both of them were in and out of poorhouses. We don't know if Lowell is where this family started out before the gold rush, and there's no evidence that it was.
Their home was said to be "Reno, Cal." which is one of those maddening reporter errors that slows us down so much in later searches. I don't think there ever was a Reno, California. The most likely interpretations of "Reno, Cal." would be 1) Reno, Nevada, 2) Nevada County, California which was and still is in the heart of the gold country, or 3) anyplace in California.
The only address we have for Cecelia Dale is 5 Fay's Court in Lowell. A street that apparently no longer exists.
Scott Robertson (Professor U. d'Guru) "If you don't build it, it won't work."
Post by Uncle Buddy on Nov 29, 2020 20:41:58 GMT -8
I have one possible lead for who Cecelia Dale's brother might be. A James Johnson lived at 5 Fay's Court in Lowell, Massachusetts, the same address as was given for Cecelia in 1902. He was employed by the Boott Cotton company. Not only is he obscure and hard to find, but he has a very common name. There are several James Johnsons in Lowell.
Addresses and occupations for the entries which appear to be the same James Johnson... and these could all be the same house but all these street names have disappeared: 1888 rooms 32 First, machinist 1900 house 5 Fay's Ct, laborer 1901 house 5 Fay's Ct, laborer 1904 house 1 Fay's Ct 1904 boards Boott Corp. 1905 house 5 Conlan's Ct, B. C. Co. 1907 house 4 Laughlin's Ct, B. C. Co.
Addresses for a widow named Cecelia Johnson in Lowell: 1878 house 197 Market 1894 house 569 Lawrence
Address for a widow named Cecelia Dale in Lowell: 1902 house 5 Fay's Ct
The courts above no longer exist but there's a 5 Fay Street across the street from St. Patrick's cemetery. I've attached a photo of the old apartment building next door to 5 Fay St. At 5 there is now a modern structure. The two addresses for the widow Cecelia Johnson still exist, about a mile and two miles north of 5 Fay Street.
In St. Patrick's cemetery across the street from 5 Fay Street there's one James Johnson about the right age www.findagrave.com/memorial/185912125/james-johnson and at least 150 other Johnsons which I didn't look at to see if any of them are buried with him.
Post by Uncle Buddy on Nov 29, 2020 21:25:17 GMT -8
The only other lead I have, after years of searching, is a Cecelia A. Dale who is mentioned in the obituary for her "beloved son" Frank Edward Jackson who was a native of San Francisco, California and died there on May 31, 1898 at the age of 48. Someone told me that obituaries in newspapers are not created automatically, someone has to write them and submit them. This sounds like an obituary written by Cecelia A. Dale, who I cannot find anywhere. There is a possibility that the obituary was not written by Frank Edward Jackson's mother, but wouldn't this person likely have listed himself as a survivor?
There is a Mrs. Cecelia A. Dale who died in San Francisco in 1861 at the age of 30.
Mr. Jackson sounds single and appears to be Franklin Edward Jackson, who was in the laundry and laundry supply business in San Francisco. He is hard to find in the census, but appears several times in city directories.
The only possible occurrence of Franklin Edward Jackson I've found in the census is 1880 where an F. E. Jackson, single man, lives at 1122 Mission Street and works in a junk store. He has some French and Chinese boarders who also work in a junk store so he might be the owner of the junk store. He was born in California. His father is English and his mother is from Mass. or Maine(?--hard to read). So this is a promising lead. The next step in this extremely plodding course is to look at all the city directories to see if Franklin Edward Jackson can be found at 1122 Mission Street in San Francisco.
Census for these folks is not forthcoming so far. Regarding the still-mysterious Cecelia A. Dale who was the mother of Franklin Edward Jackson of San Francisco, I believe Frank's father could turn out to be an engineer named Thomas Ward Jackson. They are found living next door or across the street from each other in 1882 and a Thomas W. Jackson died in SF in 1884, after which I no longer find Thomas Ward Jackson in San Francisco records. The engineer Thomas Ward Jackson was from England, as per the father's origin noted in Frank Jackson's 1880 census, which is the only census I've been able to find for this whole family so far. Apparently TW came to San Francisco around 1871 from Sutter Township, Sacramento County, California. A man named Thomas Jackson had a big farm in Sutter Township also.
Interestingly, Sutter Township is named after the same Mr. Sutter for whom Sutter's Mill is named after, and that's where the Gold Rush officially began. The gold country is uphill from Sacramento. I am looking for a gold interest because gold is what brought Cecelia Dale's parents to California from back east somewhere.
T. W. Jackson was naturalized in Hartford, Connecticut in 1865. That puts him back east where he could have met Cecilia or Cecelia A. Dale, if he is in fact the father of Frank E. Jackson. I've been looking hard and haven't found any other hard information about this family.
A Mrs. Cecelia A. Jackson, age 30, died in San Francisco in 1861. I see no reason to think she should be the same person as Cecilia A. Dale, mother of Frank E. Jackson. But it's possible, so I just thought I'd mention it. This young Mrs. Jackson was from Philadelphia.
I've scoured the internet for anyone named Cecelia Dale, and this gold-country-to-San-Francisco connection is so far the only one I've found that's worth pursuing, but I've hit the brick wall again.
A few more possible leads worth mentioning.
A Cecelia and Abraham Dile from New York are found in New Haven, Connecticut in 1850. There's so far no trace of them after that. I got interested in Abraham because an Abraham Creek Dale was a gold miner in Placerville, but this is not the same person as Dile.
A Susan Dale is found living with the family of the judge Isaac N. Senter in Santa Clara County which is very close to San Francisco. This blew me away because I'd already gotten interested in this family the day before, after finding a Frank Jackson the right age living with them in a different census, with a mother named Amanda. But Amanda turned out to be Amanda M. and Frank turned out to be Frank H. So Susan Dale, whoever she is, must be just a coincidence.
I got distracted for a while by a Thomas W. Jackson who was a well-known commission merchant in San Francisco. He lived in Sausalito and his offices were near the engineer Thomas Ward Jackson's office or home, they're both from England and about the same age so I was trying to combine them. Fortunately I found the merchant's will and his middle name was Witter. He was a socialite and a bit restless so I was glad to learn I could stop researching him as there didn't seem to be any end to his antics.