Ruth Black and her sod house

This will be another quick post, just to present another couple of gems I found in my family history archives.

Ruth Jane (Tucker) Black is my step great, great grandmother, the wife of Lewis J. Black, a civil war veteran. She and Lewis were born in Fairfield County, Ohio, and when he returned from the war, they settled there and had their first two children in Bremen, Ohio: Ida May (born November 22, 1865) and Perry Commodore Black (born August 4, 1867). In either late 1867 or early 1868, they started heading west.  On May 23, 1878, their son Frank Walter Black was born in Norwalk, Iowa. By June 1, 1880, they had taken a homestead in Jewell County, Kansas. It was on this homestead that they built their sod house. Continue reading

A Civil War letter to Ruth Tucker, part 1

Ruth Jane Tucker is my step great, great grandmother. She married Lewis J. Black, a civil war veteran, and they had four children, including Frank W. Black. Frank Black was the mature, abstinent, hardworking, soft-spoken blacksmith that my great grandmother Lena Edel married after Ray Shearer left her and her three young children to fend for themselves. While not my biological family, I consider Frank Black and his parents to be just as much as part of my family and heritage as if he were my biological great grandfather.

Five months before she married Lewis Black in February, 1864, Ruth Tucker got a letter from William A. Brown, a friend of hers who was serving in the Union army in the Civil War. This letter was clearly important to her, as she kept it all her life. On her death, it passed to her son Frank Black, and on his death it passed to his widow, Lena Edel. When Lena died in 1978, it passed to my grandfather Vernon Black. On his death, it passed to his widow, Dorothy Black, and on her death it passed to my father. As I’m the family historian, my father did me the favor of not making me wait until his death to take possession of this wonderful letter.

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