Troy's Genealogue

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New Journal

Family Histories:

CONVERSE Family History, Part IV

December 2012
Susan (POOLE) CONVERSE and Grandchildren Lyman C. CONVERSE Lloyd A. GOSS Lyle D. CONVERSE Lyla Mae (CONVERSE) BUCKLEY Susan M. (POOLE) CONVERSE Alda I. CONVERSE

Back row:
Lyman C.Converse, Lloyd A. Goss, Lyle D. Converse

Front row:
Lyla Mae (Converse) Buckley, Susan M. (Poole) Converse, Alda I. Converse

 

 

 

 

 

George Leonard CONVERSE (Jr.) (1894-1936)Blue Star

121C1. George Leonard Converse (Jr.) was born on December 5, 1894, in Groveland, Tuolumne County, California. He married his second cousin, Florence "Flossie" May Converse, around 1919 and had one daughter:

121C11. Ardith E. Converse 22 May 1922 9 Feb 1977 (54)
Converse Cousin Connection
George's uncle Charles married Flossie's eldest sister Mabel around 1904.

By the 1920 census, the Converse family was living 115 Semple Street in Modesto, Stanislaus County, California, along with Flossie's widowed mother, Belle, and next door to Flossie's brother John H. Converse at 113 Semple Street. George worked for an oil company.[Cen 1920, Vote 1920]

William Converse
Recently learned family tradition holds that George and Flossie may have had a son William who was born in 1919. In attempting to corroborate this a hypothesis emerges that this recollection may refer to Flossie's nephew William (122151) who lost his mother when he was young.

By 1930 they moved out from the center of town to Dry Creek Road, where they resided next door to George's parents. George Jr. worked as a foreman at a chemical plant and George Sr. as a laborer there.[Cen 1930]

George Leonard Converse, Jr. died on Wednesday, May 20, 1936, in Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, California, just two days before his daughter's 14th birthday. George was 41 years old. He was interred Saturday, May 23, at the Citizens Cemetery (now known as the Modesto Cemetery Association) in Modesto.

Modesto Bee, 24 May 1936
"Funeral Is Held For George L. Converse"

"Last rites for George L. Converse, 42, who died in a Palo Alto hospital Wednesday, were held in the Shannon Funeral Chapel Saturday with Rev. Donald G. Weston officiating. Interment was in the Citizens Cemetery."

"Converse, a resident of Modesto for fifteen years, was a veteran of the World War and was a native of California. He leaves his widow Mrs. Flossie M. Converse; a daughter, Ardith Converse of Modesto; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George L. Converse of Modesto, and a sister, Mrs. Charles Hart of Atwater."

Sources
  • Cen 1900: 1900 Census, Coulterville, Mariposa County, California
  • Cen 1910: 10 May 1910 Census, Stanislaus Forest Reserve (Township 2), Mariposa County, California
  • Cen 1920: 22 Jan 1920 Census, 115 Semple Street, Modesto, Stanislaus County, California
  • Vote 1920: 2 Nov 1920 Register, Precinct 4, Modesto, Stanislaus County, California
  • Cen 1930: 18 Apr 1930 Census, Modesto, Stanislaus County, California

Ethel Mae (CONVERSE) HART (1897-1987)

121C2. Ethel Mae Converse was born on May 21, 1897, in California. She married Charles Eugene Hart, a native of Stafford County, Kansas, about 1916 and had three children:

121C21. Ella Mae Hart 29 Aug 1917 15 Jun 1988 (70)
121C22. Charles Lyman Hart 19 Jul 1921 3 Jun 1945 (23)
121C23. Norman Leonard Hart 5 Apr 1926 20 Apr 2008 (82)

Charles moved from Stafford County, Kansas, to California with his family when he was a toddler in the early 1890s. His family settled on the outskirts of Modesto, Stanislaus County, by 1910. Ethel and her parents moved down from Mariposa County[Cen 1910] to the Modesto area in the years that followed. Ethel and Charles wed around 1916 and lived next door to Charles' parents, Frank and Emogene (Woolsey) Hart, and his younger siblings in Claus Precinct, Waterford Township. Ethel's parents lived only a few households away. Charles worked as a farmer.[Cen 1920]

At the outbreak of World War II, Charles registered for the draft in Colusa, Colusa County, California, where he lived with his sister Margaret (Hart) Willms at 611 7th Street. At the time Charles was described as 5' 7½" tall, 165 pounds, with gray eyes, brown hair, and a light brown complexion.[Draft 1942]

Son Charles served in the Merchant Marines during the war and died on June 3, 1945, in Merced County, while on home leave in Modesto. Charles Lyman Hart was buried on June 5 at Pioneer Cemetery in Modesto. He was only 23 years old.

Son Norman also served in the U.S. Navy and after 20 years of service went on to serve 13 years in the Merchant Marines.

Charles Eugene Hart died on November 7, 1966, in Butte County, California. He was 74 years old and is buried along side son Charles in Pioneer Cemetery.

Ethel Mae (Converse) Hart died on March 27, 1987, in Modesto, Stanislaus County, California. She was 89 years old and is buried next to her son Charles in Pioneer Cemetery.

Sources
  • Cen 1910: 10 May 1910 Census, Stanislaus Forest Reserve (Township 2), Mariposa County, California
  • Draft 1917: 5 Jun 1917, World War I Draft Registration, Sylvan Precinct, Modesto, Stanislaus County, California
  • Cen 1920: 10 Feb 1920 Census, Claus Precinct, Waterford Township, Stanislaus County, California
  • Cen 1930: 16 Apr 1930 Census, Waterford Township, Stanislaus County, California
  • Draft 1942: 27 Apr 1942, World War II Draft Registration, Colusa, Colusa County, California

Grace Irene (CONVERSE) VARAIN (~1900-)

121D2. Grace Irene Converse was born about 1899 or 1900 in California. She married Julian Walter Varain (Sr.) on November 11, 1915, in Merced, Merced County, California. They had one son but after two and a half years of alleged drunken abuse, Gracie shot and killed Julian on July 18, 1918, at their home near Virginia Mine in Mariposa County.

121D21. Julian Walter Varain (Jr.) 5 Sep 1916 6 Oct 1938 (22)
Mariposa Gazette, November 20, 1915
Miss Grace Converse, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Converse of Corner district, and John W. Varain (sic) were quietly married by Justice of the Peace Frank H. Farrar in Merced, Friday, Nov. 12th. Both are well known and popular young people of Coulterville and many friends wish them happiness.
Mariposa Gazette, November 20, 1915
Thursday, November eleventh, at 2 p.m., J. W. Varain and Miss Gracie Converse were united in marriage. The ceremony took place in Merced, the young couple making the trip and return by auto. They were accompanied by the bride's mother, whose consent was a necessary preliminary as the bride is but "sweet sixteen." Both young people are well known and their many friends unite in wishing them all possible happiness in their life together. A number of friends with suggestive bundles and parcels gathered at the bride's home in the Corner district to welcome the couple on their return. The evening was spent in dancing and games. At a late hour refreshments were served and the guests departed wishing the bride and groom much future happiness. Friday morning Mr. and Mrs. Varain left for Coulterville where they will reside for a time at least.
Mariposa Gazette, July 20, 1918
Young Woman Kills Brutal Husband

Mrs. Grace Irene Varain, after an unhappy married life of almost three years, during which time she suffered many beatings at the hands of her drunken and brutal husband, Julian W. Varain, shot and killed him Thursday morning at their home near the Virginia mine, at about 9 o'clock.

The shooting followed one of many quarrels between the couple which began almost from the date of the marriage continuing up to his death. On the morning of the shooting Varain returned home in a drunken condition and administered a severe beating to his young wife, striking her in such a manner as to badly cut her tongue besides suffering other bruises. Varain was a powerful young man and about 25 years of age. Mrs. Varain is a daughter of Frank Converse and but 19 years of age. The couple were married in Merced in November, 1915, but have made their home near Coulterville. One child resulted from this union.

The sympathy of the entire community, even the members of his immediate family, is with Mrs. Varain, all of whom well know the inhuman treatment she has received.

Mrs. Varain was brought to Mariposa yesterday where she will remain until her preliminary examination, which will be held next Wednesday at Coulterville.

The funeral of Varain will be held at Granite Springs to-day.

Julian Walter Varain is buried at Granite Springs Cemetery in Granite Springs. He was 24 years old.

After the tragedy, Grace and her son moved in with her parents and younger siblings on Railroad Avenue (likely North Yosemite Avenue (Highway 120) or North Sierra Avenue) and C Street in Oakdale, Stanislaus County, California, where she is enumerated in the 1920 census.[Cen 1920]

Sources
  • Cen 1920: 3 Jan 1920 Census, Railroad Avenue, Oakdale, Stanislaus County, California

Lawrence C. GREELEY (1904-1982)

121I1. Lawrence C. Greeley was born on March 1, 1904, in California, likely at the family ranch on Greeley Hill in Mariposa County, California. He married Jessie (Fine Johnson?) in the summer of 1933. She died suddenly the following year on February 10, 1934. Later Lawrence remarried to Doris Eulavelle Williams.

Mariposa Gazette, 15 February 1934

Mrs. Lawrence Greeley, Young Mariposa Lady Dies Very Suddenly

The citizens of Mariposa were greatly shocked to learn of the death of Mrs. Jessie Greeley young wife of Lawrence Greeley of Coulterville.

Mrs. Greeley died at an Oakland hospital on Saturday of last week. She was employed in the C. W. A. office at Mariposa under D. C. Kidder when she became suddenly ill and was rushed to Oakland upon advice from Dr. J. C. Webster.

It is reported that death was due to the paralysis brought about by high blood pressure.

The young lady was married to Lawrence Greeley last summer and they had been making their home here for several months while Mr. Greeley was employed at the C. C. C. camp. Surviving relatives are her father and small daughter in addition to her husband.

Funeral services were held in Oakland on Tuesday.

Lawrence C. Greeley died on October 29, 1982, in Merced, Merced County, California. He was 78 years old.

Lawrence's widow, Doris Eulavelle (Williams) Greeley died 13 years later on April 14, 1996, in Alameda County, California.

Gladys Sarah (GREELEY) GARDNER (1906-1980)

121I2. Gladys Sarah Greeley was born on April 17, 1906, in California, likely at the family ranch on Greeley Hill in Mariposa County. She married Floyd John Gardner and had one son:

121I21. Robert Bruce Gardner --  --  -- 

Floyd served as a private in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War I.

Floyd died on March 23, 1980, in Escalon, San Joaquin County, California. Gladys died there three months later on July 3, 1980. He was 81 years old and she was 74. Both are buried at the Coulterville Cemetery in Mariposa County.

Laverne "Der" Everett GREELEY (1917-2006)

121I3. Laverne "Der" Everett Greeley was born May 18, 1917, at the family ranch house in Greeley Hill, Mariposa County, California. He married Lavona J. Bradbury, originally from Alabama by way of Oakland, Alameda County, California. They had three children:

121I31. Wayne Greeley 20 Jan 1939 Bef. 2006 -- 
121I32. Rodney Greeley 24 Oct 1943 12 Nov 1984 (41)
121I33. Janet Greeley --  --  -- 

Der, and his cousin Lyle Converse , owned ranches in Greeley Hill near their fathers' ranches and lived the cowboy life. Der was average height and stocky with curly snow white hair. He and Lyle won first place in the Mariposa County Fair's cattle penning competition in 1982 with a time of 45.9 seconds. They were 67 and 65 years old at the time!

Lavona J. (Bradbury) Converse died on December 23, 2004, presumably in Mariposa County, California. She was 90 years old.

Der died a year and a half later on September 1, 2006. He had battled diabetes.

Sonora Union Democrat, September 6, 2006
Laverne Everett "Der" Greeley, May 18, 1917 - Sept. 1, 2006

Laverne Everett "Der" Greeley, 89, died at a Sonora care home Friday. He was a lifelong resident of Greeley Hill and was born in the original family ranch house that still stands today.

Mr. Greeley was an active member of the Greeley Hill community. He was one of many residents who built the Greeley Hill Community Center in the 1930s. He served on the Mariposa County Fair Board between 1965 and 1978 and was an arena director.

After his father died, he and his brother, Lawrence Greeley, took care of their mother and maintained the family ranch.

Mr. Greeley is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Janet Greeley Peterson and Eric Peterson, of Marietta, Ga.; grandchildren, Christy and Don Charvo, of Sacramento, Mark Greeley, of Bakersfield, Cole and Erika Peterson, of Charlotte, N.C., Tracy and Tony Conte, of Modesto, and Greg and Nanci Granis, of Escalon; great-grandchildren, Vance and Austin Charvo, of Sacramento, Allen Greeley, of Bakersfield, Morgan, Annelise and Jack Conte, of Modesto, and Chase and Calie Granis, of Escalon; daughter-in-law, Linn Greeley, of Modesto; sisters-in-law, Ruby and her husband Babe Bucci, of Sonora, Christine Cavalari, of Sonora, and Louise Deffenbaugh, of Oakdale; nephew, Bob and his wife Dorothy Gardner, of Greeley Hill, and Sissy and her husband Bob Thurston, of Sonora, and numerous nieces and nephews and extended family.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Lavona Bradberry Greeley, and sons, Wayne and Rodney Greeley.

Visitation will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. tomorrow at Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home. A chapel service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Terzich and Wilson. Burial will follow at Coulterville Cemetery.

Remembrances can be made to American Diabetes Association...; or Visiting Nurses Association....

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Lyman Covell CONVERSE (1914-1986)

Lyman CONVERSE 121M2. Lyman Covell Converse was born May 12, 1914, in Jamestown, Tuolumne County, California. He married Merodine Hill, a native of Fortuna, Humboldt County, California, on April 5, 1941, and had three children:

121M21. Carol J. Converse --  --  -- 
121M22. Dean A. Converse --  --  -- 
121M23. Diane K. Converse --  --  -- 
The Modesto Bee, 28 Mar 1941
"Merodine Hill and Lyman Converse drove to Sonora Saturday."

Lyman Covell Converse died on December 13, 1986, in Merced at the age of 72.

Sources
  • Cen 1930: 12 Apr 1930 Census, Stanislaus National Forest Township 2 (Greeley Hill), Mariposa County, California

Lyle Delmore CONVERSE (1915-2003)

Lyle CONVERSE 121M3. Lyle Delmore Converse was born in Greeley Hill, Mariposa County, on July 4, 1915, the year of the World Fair in San Francisco, which his parents attended soon after he was born. Lyle was a tall and lanky cowboy who had a ranch in Greeley Hill near his father's.

Lyle married Dorothy L. Johnson in October 1940.

Johnson-Greeley Connection
Hazel (Malugani) Goss recalls that Dorothy's mother had been married to Lyle's elder cousin, Lawrence Greeley and died suddenly, after which Dorothy was raised by her grandparents. An obituary shows that Lawrence's bride of about six months, Jessie, died suddenly. Dorothy and Lyle met through Lawrence, whom Lyle worked with. Chasing down this lead and Dorothy's birth date, it appears that Dorothy's parents may be Irving Harold Johnson (1894-1982) and Jessie Fine (Johnson Greeley) (~1900-1934).
Modesto Bee, 18 Oct 1940
"A reception was held last Friday evening in the J. L. Converse home for Lyle Converse and his bride. She is the former Dorothy Johnson of Oakland."

Lyle and his cousin, Laverne "Der" Greeley won first place in the Mariposa County Fair's cattle penning competition in 1982 with a time of 45.9 seconds. They were 65 and 67 years old at the time!

Lyle Delmore Converse died on May 2, 2003, in Mariposa County. He was 87 years old.

Dorothy L. (Johnson) Converse died on February 7, 2008, in Quincy, Plumas County, California, further north up the Sierra Mountains. She was 86 years old.

Dorothy left the family ranch to the grandson of Lyle's cousin George Leonard Converse (Jr.).

Sources
  • Cen 1930: 12 Apr 1930 Census, Stanislaus National Forest Township 2 (Greeley Hill), Mariposa County, California

Alda Ione (CONVERSE) BONHAM (1920-2001)

Alda (CONVERSE) BONHAM 121M5. Alda Ione Converse was born August 21, 1920, in Groveland, Tuolumne County, California. She married a Bonham and lived in Stockton, San Joaquin County, California. They had no children.

Alda Ione (Converse) Bonham died at the age of 80 on March 15, 2001, in San Joaquin County.

Sources
  • Cen 1930: 12 Apr 1930 Census, Stanislaus National Forest Township 2 (Greeley Hill), Mariposa County, California

Lila Mae (CONVERSE) BUCKLEY (1925-2004)

Lila Mae (CONVERSE) BUCKLEY 121M6. Lila Mae Converse was born December 3, 1925. She married William W. Buckley, a native of Alameda County, California, and lived in Bonanza, Klamath County, Oregon. They had no children.

William Buckley died on June 22, 2001, in Klamath County, Oregon. He was 76 years old.

Lila Mae (Converse) Buckley died three years later at the age of 78 on September 6, 2004, in Bonanza, Klamath County, Oregon. She was buried the following Saturday, September 11, at the Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens in Klamath Falls.

Herald and News, Klamath Falls, Oregon, September 12, 2004
Lila Mae Buckley

Lila Mae Buckley, 78, died at her residence in Bonanza on Sept. 6, 2004, of natural causes.

She was buried Saturday at Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens.

Mrs. Buckley was born in Groveland, Calif., on Dec. 3, 1925, to John Converse and Grace (Covell) Converse.

She worked for Cutters Pharmaceuticals for two years working on a Polio vaccine. She then began ranching full time with her husband, William.

Mrs. Buckley was a farmer and rancher who loved all aspects of her life, including the farm work. She loved spending time with her family and her neighbors, and loved her animals. She enjoyed sports, especially football and the Oregon State Beavers. She also liked to play card games such as Pitch, Pedro, Pinochle and Cribbage.

She is survived by sisters-in-law Maradine Converse of Merced, Calif., and Dorothy Converse of Colterville, Calif., nephews Bruce Buckley of Fallbrook, Calif.; Steve and wife Dee Dee Buckley of Paso Robles, Calif., Jay Dunbar of Halsey, Neb., and Troy Touchstone of Martinez, Calif, Nieces and their spouses Susie and Craig Canfield of Moorpark, Calif., Tami and Michael Lucey of Bend, Sarah Manning of Bonanza, Barb Iremonger of Bonanza, Erin Canfield of Moorpark, Calif., Aidan Lucey of Bend and numerous other friends and family members.

She was preceded in death by her mother and father, two brothers, Lyman and Lyle, sister Alda, nieces Barbara and Patricia and her husband.

Buckley

A Graveside Service of Tribute and Love will be held for Lila Mae Buckley at Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens on Sat., 11, 2004 at 11:00 with Rev. Dave McCarley officiating. She is survived by her two sisters-in-law: Maradine Converse of Merced, CA and Dorothy Converse of Colterville, CA. Nephews: Bruce Buckley of Fallbrook, CA, Steve and Dee Dee Buckley of Paso Robles, CA, Troy Touchstone of Martinez, CA, and Jay Dunbar of Halsey, NB. Nieces: Susie and Craig Canfield of Moorepark, CA, Tammy and Michael Lucey of Bend, OR, Sarah Manning of Bonanza, OR, Barb Iremonger of Bonanza, OR, Erin Canfield of Moorepark, CA, and Aidan Lucey of Bend, OR. Numerous other friends and family members. Eternal Hills Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Sources
  • Cen 1930: 12 Apr 1930 Census, Stanislaus National Forest Township 2 (Greeley Hill), Mariposa County, California

Mabel CONVERSE (1882-)

12211. Mabel Converse was born in February 1882 in Iowa. She worked as a school teacher in Valley Township, Pottawattamie County before she married her father's cousin, Charles Albert Converse, about 1904. They moved to Coulterville, Mariposa County, California by the 1880 census where Charles' family lived.

Converse Cousin Connections
Mabel's youngest sister, Flossie married Charles' nephew, George Leonard Converse (Jr.) before 1920. Flossie and George were second cousins.

By the 1910 census the Converse family moved back to Hancock in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, and lived with Mabel's mother for a while before returning to California and bringing Mabel's mother out to Modesto, in Stanislaus County.

Charles Albert Converse died on July 4, 1925, when he jack-knifed his Model-T truck near Greeley Hill and broke his neck. He was 51 years old.


Sources
  • Cen 1900: 2 Jun 1900 Census, Valley Township, Pottawattamie County, Iowa
  • Cen 1910: 16 Apr 1910 Census, Hancock, Pottawattamie County, Iowa

Florence "Flossie" May CONVERSE (1892-1985)

12214. Florence "Flossie" May Converse was born Christmas Day, December 25, 1892 or 1893, in California. She married her second cousin, George Leonard Converse (Jr.), around 1919 and had one daughter:

121C11. Ardith E. Converse 22 May 1922 9 Feb 1977 (54)
Converse Cousin Connections
Flossie's eldest sister Mabel married George's uncle Charles around 1904.

George Leonard Converse, Jr. died on May 20, 1936, in Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, California, at the age of 41. He was interred on May 23 at the Citizens Cemetery (now known as the Modesto Cemetery Association) in Modesto.

William Converse
Recently learned family tradition holds that George and Flossie may have had a son William who was born in 1919. In attempting to corroborate this a hypothesis emerges that this recollection may refer to Flossie's nephew William (122151) who lost his mother when he was young.

After George's death, Flossie lived for a time with her brother Jack in Modesto.[Vote 1936]

Flossie lived at least through 1944 in the outskirts of Modesto, not far from George's parents.[Vote 1944]

Florence "Flossie" May Converse died on January 30, 1985, 48 years after George's death, in Tracy, San Joaquin County, California. She was 91 or 92 years old.

Sources
  • Cen 1895: 1895 Census, Oklahoma, Pottawattamie County, Iowa
  • Cen 1900: 2 Jun 1900 Census, Valley Township, Pottawattamie County, Iowa
  • Cen 1905: 1905 Census, Hancock, Pottawattamie County, Iowa
  • Cen 1910: 16 Apr 1910 Census, Hancock, Pottawattamie County, Iowa
  • Cen 1920: 22 Jan 1920 Census, 115 Semple Street, Modesto, Stanislaus County, California
  • Vote 1920: 2 Nov 1920 Register, Precinct 4, Modesto, Stanislaus County, California
  • Cen 1930: 18 Apr 1930 Census, 2-330 Dry Creek Road, Modesto, Stanislaus County, California
  • Vote 1936: 3 Nov 1936 Register, Route 2, Box 330, Modesto, Stanislaus Precinct, Stanislaus County, California
  • Vote 1944: 7 Nov 1944 Register, Route 5, Box 1611, Modesto, Stanislaus Precinct, Stanislaus County, California

John "Jack" H. CONVERSE (1896-1958)

12215. John "Jack" H. Converse was born on December 21, 1896, in Iowa. He married Ruth G. (Bowersch), a native of Kansas, and moved with his mother, Belle E., to California where his son was born and lived at 113 Semple Street, Modesto, Stanislaus County by 1920. They lived next door to Jack's sister, Flossie May, and their mother.[Cen 1920, Vote 1920] Jack and Ruth had at least one son:

122151. William V. ConverseGold Star 28 Apr 1919 19 May 1943 (24)

Jack worked as a railroad office ticket salesman in Modesto for Southern Pacific Railroad.[Cen 1920, Vote 1920, News 1927]

Ruth G. (Bowersch) Converse died in the 1920s, in her late 20s or earlier 30s.[Cen 1930]

In late 1922, perhaps after Ruth's death, Jack was noted living at 228 Melrose Avenue, six blocks northeast of Semple Street.[Vote 1922, 1924]

Jack appears to have remarried by 1927 to Yola Landers, who had two young sons from a previous marriage: William and Albert Landers. A newpaper article states that they were living in San Francisco in 1927 and that Yola was formerly of Modesto. Her son William, age 7, was living in Long Beach and son Albert, age 6, was living with relatives on Scenic Drive near Modesto.[New 1927]

Yola may have died or separated before 1930 as Jack, his son William, widowed mother, and a widowed aunt moved to Oakland, Alameda County, where they lived on 2309 Fourteeth Avenue. There Jack continued to work for the railroad.[Cen 1930, Vote 1930]

A year or two later, Jack and his mother moved about nine blocks west to 342 East 15th Street by 1932.[Vote 1932]

Capt. William Converse (1919-1943) Gold Star

Jack's son William graduated from Modesto Junior College (1939), attended Chapman College (now Chapman University) in Orange County, California, and went on to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet in 1941 at Stockton Field. He then went on to Minter Field in Bakersfield for basic flight school, followed by advanced air school at Williams Field, Arizona (1942). He then went to Mississippi and on to MacDill Field, a B-17 heavy bomber training base in Tampa, Florida, where he married Wilda Pearl Putnam, a Modestan, on July 7, 1942. The following January William was promoted to captain and then deployed as a combat pilot to the European Theater where he was killed in action over Holland on May 18, 1943. After William's death, his widow, a school teacher in Modesto, went on to join the Red Cross.[The Modesto Bee 1939-1945]

Jack's mother likely died in the 1930s. He later moved back into the Sacramento Valley and settled for a time in Oakdale, Stanislaus County, by 1934[Vote 1932], and again back to Modesto by 1936, where he again lived with his sister Flossie following the death of her husband earlier that year.[Vote 1936]

Come 1938 and through 1940, Jack is found at the Fairmont Hospital in San Leandro, Alameda County, however, he is list as a ticket agent rather than an inmate or patient.[Vote 1938,1940] He returned to Modesto by 1944.[Vote 1944]

John "Jack" H. Converse died on October 16, 1958, in Tuolumne County, California. He was 61 years old.

Sources
  • Cen 1900: 2 Jun 1900 Census, Valley Township, Pottawattamie County, Iowa
  • Cen 1905: 1905 Census, Hancock, Pottawattamie County, Iowa
  • Cen 1910: 16 Apr 1910 Census, Hancock, Pottawattamie County, Iowa
  • Cen 1920: 22 Jan 1920 Census, 113 Semple Street, Modesto, Stanislaus County, California
  • Vote 1920: 2 Nov 1920 Register, 115 Semple Street, Precinct 4, Modesto, Stanislaus County, California
  • Vote 1922: 7 Nov 1920 Register, 228 Melrose Avenue, Precinct 5, Modesto, Stanislaus County, California
  • Vote 1924: 4 Nov 1924 Register, 228 Melrose Avenue, Precinct 7, Modesto, Stanislaus County, California
  • News 1927: Modesto Bee, 26 May 1927
  • Cen 1930: Apr 1930 Census, 2309 Fourteenth Avenue, Oakland, Alameda County, California
  • Vote 1930: 1930 Register, 2309 Fourteenth Avenue, Oakland, Alameda County, California
  • Vote 1932: 1932 Register, 342 East Fifteen Street, Oakland, Alameda County, California
  • Vote 1934: 6 Nov 1934 Register, Route 1, Box 48, Oakdale, Leitch Precinct, Stanislaus County, California
  • Vote 1936: 3 Nov 1936 Register, Route 2, Box 330, Modesto, Stanislaus Precinct, Stanislaus County, California
  • Vote 1938: 8 Nov 1938 Register, Fairmont Hospital, San Lorenzo Precinct, San Leandro County, California
  • Vote 1940: 5 Nov 1940 Register, Fairmont Hospital, San Lorenzo Precinct, San Leandro County, California
  • Vote 1944: 7 Nov 1944 Register, Route 2, Box 262, Modesto, Stanislaus Precinct, Stanislaus County, California

Edith A. (MCKRAY) COE (1880-1965)

12221. Edith A. McKray was born in April 1880, probably in Pottawattamie County, Iowa. She married Robert Guy Coe and had one daughter:

122211. Vera Coe 1903 1987 (84)

COE Plot, Oak Hill Cemetery Robert Guy Coe died in 1962 at about the age of 85. He is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery near the Converse family farm east of Hancock, Pottawattamie County, Iowa.

Edith A. (McKray) Coe died in 1965 at about the age of 86. She is buried beside Guy at Oak Hill Cemetery and was later joined by their daughter Vera.

James William MCKRAY (1884-1965)

12222. James William McKray was born on November 29, 1884, probably in Pottawattamie County, Iowa. He eloped with Myrtle Bessie Sifford when she was only 16. He had one daughter with her and later married Minnie Bergman:

122221. Geneva Esther McKray 13 Oct 1907 Nov 1985 (78)

James William McKray died in Iowa in August 1965 at the age of 80.

Minnie (Bergman) McKray died 12 years later in December 1977, likely in Hancock, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, where she lived at the time. She was 79 years old.

Melvin Boyd MCKRAY (1895-1981)

12223. Melvin Boyd McKray was born on May 5, 1895, in Hancock, Pottawattamie County, Iowa. He married Esther P. Klopping, also an Iowa native born to German immigrants. They had two daughters:

122231. Constance J. McKray 17 Nov 1919 15 Dec 1998 (79)
122232. Jeanne E. McKray 10 Nov 1921 7 Sep 2003 (81)

Boyd & Esther MCKRAY Esther P. (Klopping) McKray died in 1969 at about the age of 73. She is buried at the Oak Hill Cemetery near the Converse family farm east of Hancock, Pottawattamie County, Iowa.

Melvin Boyd McKray died 12 years later in December 1981 at the age of 86. He is buried beside Esther at Oak Hill Cemetery. They were later joined by their daughters Connie and Jeanne, who are buried nearby.

Earnest Lloyd CONVERSE (1883-1953)

12231. Earnest Lloyd Converse was born on January 11, 1883, in California, perhaps in Mother Lode Country where his mother and father were enumerated in the census three years earlier while living with his father's uncle, John Converse. Earnest was the only son born to Charles Henry Converse and Alice Strong who separated during his early childhood. He returned with his father to Iowa where his father remarried. After the turn of the century his family returned to California and settled in Los Angeles County. Earnest married Maude Hubbard about 1907. They appear to not have had any children.

After their marriage, the Converses lived in Spokane, Spokane County, Washington by 1910[Cen 1910]. By 1920, they returned to Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California where they lived on Sunset Boulevard[Cen 1920] and Willoughby Avenue[Cen 1930] and worked as a motorman on the Pacific Electric Railway.

Earnest Lloyd Converse died on December 20, 1953, in Los Angeles County, California and is buried at the Oakdale Memorial Park in Glendora, Los Angeles County. He was 70 years old.


Sources
  • Cen 1910: 22 Apr 1910 Census, 2328 Sinto Avenue, Spokane, Spokane County, Washington
  • Cen 1920: 15 Jan 1920 Census, 1807C Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California
  • Cen 1930: 7 Apr 1930 Census, 7214 Willoughby Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California

Lawrence Floyd CONVERSE, Sr. (1889-1914)

Lawrence Floyd CONVERSE, Sr. 12232. Lawrence Floyd Converse, Sr. was born in Avoca, Pottawattamie County, Iowa in December 1889. He attended one year at Harvard Military School in Los Angeles, California. He made his way to Texas where he got tangled up in the 1910 Mexican Revolution. It was likely in Texas that Lawrence met and married Amelia Sara Spencer, a native of Utah born to parents from Canada and Poland. They had three children before his tragic death in 1914.

122321. Lawrence Floyd Converse, Jr. 17 Apr 1912 31 Mar 1979 (66)
122322. John Charles Converse 21 Jun 1913 5 May 1973 (59)
122323. Lorraine Converse 1915 --  -- 

Amelia had worked as a stenographer for a hardware store in El Paso, El Paso County, Texas, before she met Lawrence.[Cen 1910]

Lawrence outside Mexican jail, 1911

Mexican Revolution

Across the boarder, Francisco I. Madero established the "Anti-Reelectionistas" and campaigned against President José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori. Madero was jailed, Díaz relected, and upon Madero's release called for the November 20, 1910, uprising that launched the Mexican Revolution.

In early 1911, while still in Los Angeles, Lawrence is believed to have been recruited by Madero's forces and departed for the border town of El Paso, Texas. The first week of February he received a commission as a captain in Madero's army, where he served as a cross-border courier, making three or four runs a week, and wearing his military school uniform.

On February 20, Lawrence and Edward M. Blatt went to the home of Melquisiades Perea, on the Rio Grande, located about five miles south of the Tornillo Station on the Santa Fe, Texas & Southern Railroad. It was there, while they were warming themselves by an outside fire, that Ramon Nunez, Leonardo Jiminez and Diogracio Archuleto captured them and handed them over to soldiers (led by Colonel Cuellar and General Navarro) waiting on the other side of the river. They were told that they had violated neutrality laws (which they undoubtedly had) and that they would be shot in the morning.

Their capture boiled into an international incident, as Lawrence and Blatt defended their innocence and claimed they were captured on American land. Since testimony from many witnesses at the Perea house, personal items of Converse and Blatt were found in their captors' possession, and evidence of their fire on the Perea property, Díaz was forced to release the prisoners. It also helped that Lawrence's father, Charles Henry Converse, had somehow been acquainted with Díaz himself (through the help of Harrison Gray Otis, of the Los Angeles Times), and was able to expedite his son's release. They walked out of prison on April 22 and were met by an overjoyed Flora Converse, who took the two boys back to America where a festival was held in El Paso in their honor. Blatt was invited to stay for the summer in Glendora with the Converses.

The following year, 1912, Lawrence's first son was born in California and a month later Lawrence's father was tragically killed in a train accident in Glendora.

That September, Lawrence was recalled to El Paso to testify before Senator Michael Hoke Smith, who concurrently was serving as both Senator and Governor of Georgia, in regard to his activities during the Mexican Revolution.

The following year Lawrence and his family left for Cuba where their second son was born in Havana in 1913.

Lawrence's Hollywood Fling and Tragic Death

Barbara LA MARR In the spring of 1914, Lawrence fell in love with the young, intoxicatingly beautiful widow Barbara La Marr, just seven weeks shy of her 18th birthday. Barbara, born Reatha Watson, had changed her name following her earlier arrest for dancing in burlesque while under age -- she had been dancing since as early as the age of 14! They wed on June 2, 1914, and the following morning Lawrence was arrested for bigamy. They had the marriage annulled a few days later.

Just a month after this episode, Lawrence Floyd Converse, Sr. died from a head injury in early July 1914 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California. He was only 24 years old and left a pregnant wife and two toddlers. Lawrence, Sr. is buried at the Oakdale Memorial Park in Glendora, Los Angeles County, California as are his parents.

Barbara La Marr went on to wed three more times and became a screen writer and silent movie star -- billed as "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" -- making 30 films between 1920 and her early death in 1926. She died in Altadena, California at the young age of 29. She is remembered with star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

After Lawrence's Death

Lawrence's widow Amelia moved in with her mother-in-law in Pasadena where she worked as a bookkeeper for a dry goods store.[Cen 1920] and soon thereafter remarried to Ralph C. Payne. The Paynes moved to El Paso by 1930 where Amelia's parents had lived on Campbell Street. Her boys were enumerated twice that year, once with Amelia in El Paso and the other with their grandmother Flora back in Glendora.[Cen 1930] The Paynes had one son:

- Ralph Payne, Jr. --  --  -- 

In May 1924, Amelia filed suit against (the Mexican government) for $25,000 each (roughly equivalent to $250,000 in 2007 dollars) on behalf of both her deceased husband Lawrence and his revolutionary companion Edward M. Blatt for their "false arrest, abduction, wrongful imprisonment, and cruel and inhuman treatment." The claim was disapproved citing that the 1912 US military commission investigation had found their "capture was one of the fates they challenged when they embarked in their Mexican insurgent enterprise."

Amelia (Spencer Converse) Payne died on November 19, 1959, in El Paso, El Paso County, Texas, at the age of 66. She is buried at the Fort Bliss National Cemetery in El Paso.

Sources
  • Cen 1910: 16 Apr 1910 Census, 806 E. [Missouri], El Paso, El Paso County, Texas
  • Cen 1920: 7 Jan 1920 Census, East Orange Grove Avenue, Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California
  • Cen 1930: 15 Apr 1930 Census, 1119 San Marcial St., El Paso, El Paso County, Texas
  • Cen 1930: 22 Apr 1930 Census, East Sierra Madre Ave., Azusa Township, Glendora, Los Angeles County, California

Hazel Augusta CONVERSE (1892-1981)

12233. Hazel Augusta Converse. was born in Iowa, likely in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, on August 13, 1892. She was a lawyer and lived for a time in Arizona but later moved to Arcadia in Los Angeles County, California.

Modesto Bee, 31 Jul 1939
"Hazel and Gertrude Converse and Robert Thomas of Pasadena and Los Angeles visited at the J. L. Converse home Sunday."

Hazel Augusta Converse died on August 10, 1981, in California, just three days shy of her 89th birthday, and was buried at the Oakdale Memorial Park in Glendora, Los Angeles County, California.


Flora "Petie" S. (CONVERSE) HUSSONG (1899-1978)

12235. Flora "Petie" S. Converse was born September 3, 1899, in Iowa, likely in Pottawattamie County, Iowa. She married a Hussong and died in August 1978, her last residence was listed as Sunland, Los Angeles County, California and her last social security benefit was noted as being in Phoenix, Arizona. She is buried at the Oakdale Memorial Park in Glendora, Los Angeles County, California.