This is a picture
of my husband's Great-Great Grandaunt Myrtle M. Reeder (the photograph was provide
by a Great Grandnephew Gail Whitworth). She was born 16 Jan 1887 in Rooks County,
Kansas, to Sherman D. Reeder and Lula Paine Hall. She attended school and resided
in Rooks County until a short time before the 1920 census, when she moved to Los
Angeles, California. She is working in a law office as a stenographer. By now, most women would have been married with children, but she was a woman ahead of her time.
She was on her own, far away from home, and supporting herself with a "man's
job." Most women of this time took in washing and ironing for the rich
in their own homes to help support their families. Rarely did a woman work outside
the home except as paid help in a richer families home or in sweat shops. Myrtle
continued to work for the law office and retired from there. When one of the
principals of the firm died he stipulated in his will that if Myrtle moved in
and took care of his wife for the remainder of her life that she would inherit
from him. In 1930, Myrtle is living with Nettie Birchaler who's home is worth
$30,000 and a servant Anna Goldcup. Myrtle is now 42 years old and a secretary
in the law office and still single. Her Great Grandnephew Kenneth D. Reeder
said he can remember receiving birthday and Christmas presents from her all of
his young life. In a letter dated May 16, 1928, written by Lula Hall Reeder
Vanhorn to Ray Reeder, her son, she stated that Everett & Vivian Vanhorn
are working at the Fairbank Pickford Studio in California. Everett and Myrtle
were half-brother and half-sister and I wonder just how much contact they had.
For her to be sending presents to Great Grandnephews she must have reached out
to all of her extended family and I'm suspecting Myrtle and Everett spent a lot of time together.
It must have been a great relief to her to have family close by. Mary Hall
(granddaughter to Charlie & Ida Hall, a brother to Lula Hall Reeder Vanhorn)
stated in an email that her parents went to Los Angeles a couple of times to visit Myrtle.
Myrtle died 28 Feb 1968 in Los Angeles. She left a will and her only living
sibling was Ralph Leo Reeder to whom she left 1/5 of her estate. The remainder
of her estate was distributed "to share and share alike" between all
her nieces and nephews. In her will Myrtle stated all her nieces and nephews names and their city and state of residence. How many of us can do that today? She was an absolutely gorgeous woman with a heart
In my own family, a great uncle, brother to my grandmother Russie Lillian Turner Nall, donate me his DNA for the Family Tree DNA Project. We have had a 36/37 allele match to a "McKinlay." My grandmother Russie's grandmother Nancy Ann Turner did not marry until after her two sons were born. On the 1880 Webster County, Kentucky census, Nancy Ann Turner is still living at home, age 22 and single. On Feb. 9, 1881, my great grandfather Wilborn Thomas Turner is born and in Nov. 1886 his brother/half-brother, Josiah "Joe" is born. 28 Jan. 1888, Nancy Ann Turner married Epprenoditus. P. Stone. In the 30 Jun 1895 census of Webster County, Kentucky Schools she is listed as Nancy Stone parent of Wilbur Stone and Joe Stone. Both of the boys used her maiden name of Turner to marry. I was hoping to solve a family mystery by having my great uncle donate his DNA for the test, but all I did was create an even bigger mystery. The "McKinlay" family DNA match can trace his family back to Scotland, the ancestor being born there in Dec. 1850, married in Nov. 1873, and immigrated to Cook County, Illinois after June 1882 and before May 1885. The funny thing about this DNA match is that my great uncle's mother-in-law is a "McKinley." We do not know if the "McKinlay" and "McKinley" families are related but both were in Illinois. I can trace the "McKinley" family back to John Raymond McKinley born Sept. 1830 in Illinois as the son of Alexander McKinley and Unita Aaron married 20 Jun 1826 in White County, Illinois. By the 1850 census taken 20 Aug. in Crittenden County, Kentucky where Unity McKenly is listed without her husband Alexander as age 42 born TN with her two sons John age 19 born Illinois, Jacob age 16 born Illinois, and Susan Pool age 80 born SC. There is a Susan Pool on the 1840 Swingslow, Livingston County, Kentucky census with 3 males 5-10 years old, 1 female under 5 years old, 2 females 20-30 years old and 1 female 60-70 years old. There is also a Susan Poole enumerated on the 1830 White County, Illinois census with 1 male 30-40, 1 female under 5, 1 female 20-30, and 1 female 60-70, could this be Alexander and Unity Aaron McKinley's family enumerated with Susan because I cannot find Alexander and Unity anywhere else. I don't know how this Susan Pool is connect to the "McKinley" family. If anyone can help in shedding any light on this family mystery please contact me.