Thursday, February 9, 2012

Julia Chuch Ehl (1860-1942)

I love researching the women in my family.  They can get lost so easily when a maiden name or a married name is not known.  Now I get to share what I know and what I would like to know about Ard's oldest sister, Julia. 
According to Julia's obituary, she was born on October 31, 1860 in Seneca, Nemaha, Kansas.  The same place where her grandfather, John S. Doyle, built the first house in that county.  By 1865, the family has moved to Atchison county and are living with Mary Ann's parents, John and Sarah Doyle.  Julia's father leaves for the Civil War in November of 1861 and is gone from the family for three years.  It is possible that the family lived with Mary Ann's parents while Elias was away in the War.
In 1870, Julia is actually listed on two different Federal Census forms.  She is ten years old at the time and she is listed with her grandparents as well as her own parents who are both living in Lancaster, Kansas.
Luckily, an 1875 State census was conducted in Kansas and Julia is living with her parents in Lancaster.  She is 14 according to the census. 
Now the 1880 census is the most confusing document of all.   Julia, age 19, is listed with her parents.  In this particular census she is listed as married and as a widow, even though her last name is listed as Church.  In the same family grouping there are two children, a grandson and a granddaughter.  Their names are J Beard, a girl age 2, and John Beard, an 8 month old boy. My assumption of course is that these children are Julia's and her husband died.  The reason I can assume this is because Julia is the oldest girl and her only sister, Ida is not married and only 14 at the time of the census.
Family information tells me that Julia marries a second time to Frank Paul Ehl on 10 June 1882 in Coucil Bluffs, Iowa.  Frank is an immigrant from Germany.  1882 is the same year that the family moves to Dayton, Washington.  The thought has crossed my mind that they may have been en route to Washington when they got married.  In 1883 a state census reveals that John Ehls, age 5, is living with Frank and Julia.  
Julia and Frank have three children, Peter, Adam and Julia Minnie.  Julia lists five out of five children living at the time the 1900 census was taken.  This would be the two children from her first marriage, Jerusha and John, or sometimes known as "Cap," and then the three children with her husband, Frank.  I find it interesting that when Julia's daughter, Jerusha, marries Henry Wilson in 1897, she gives her name as Jerusha Church on the marriage certificate. There is a mystery to solve as to why her last name was not Beard.  Is it possible that Julia never married?  
Jerusha and John are found on censuses with their grandparents quite often.  It is possible that they felt more comfortable there than with a new stepfather.  Maybe they just adopted the Church name to save them from questions about their name being different than their mother's name.  
Here is Julia's obituary reveals:

Mrs. Julia Ehl
Vancouver, Wash., Feb. 13- Funeral services will be held tomorrow at 2 p.m in Knapp's mortuary for Julia Ehl, 81, 3401 N Street, Vancouver, who died Thursday.  Mrs. Ehl was one of the few remainng women to recieve a pension for her husband's services in the Indian wars in 1868.  She had been a resident of Vancouver since 1907.  She is survived by two sons, A. J. (Adam) of route 2, and P. M. (Peter) of Lyle, Wash. and a daughter, Mrs. (Jerusha) Henry Wilson.

Funeral services for Mrs. Julia M. Ehl, 81, of 3401 N St. who died yesterday at a local hospital, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Knapp's chapel with the Rev. Paul Kunzman officiating.  Interment will be in Park Hill Cemetery.
Born in Seneca, Kansas, Mrs. Ehl came to Clark county in 1907 from Dayton, Wash.  She is survived by two sons, P. M. Ehl, Lyle, Wash., and A. J. Ehl, Vancouver; a daughter, Mrs. Henry Wilson, Walla Walla; a sister, Mrs. Ida Cahill, Idaho; three grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Mrs. Julia M. Ehl, 81, 3401 N street, Vancouver, died yesterday.  She is survived by one son, A. J. Ehl of route 2; one sister, Mrs. Ida Cahill, of Vancouver and a granddaughter, Mrs. Florence Tow, with whom Mrs. Ehl had lived for the last 30 years.

It is very endearing to know that Julia lived with her granddaughter, Florence Stafford Tow for the last 30 years!  So the picture at the top of the page shows Julia and Florence together.  Julia died in 1942.  If the statement is true, Julia lived with her granddaughter, Florence, since 1912.  Florence's mother was Julia Minnie and she died in 1918 during the influenza epidemic.  It is good to know that even though Florence could not have her mother during her childhood years, that her grandmother could be there for her.