Some Light on the Mystery

Today I found an on-line source for the 1910 census for Keokuk county Iowa.

Decided I’d try and find out what happened to the Showman’s who disappeared between 1887 and 1930.

Spent hours scanning the census records for Washington township without finding anyone of interest other than my uncle Fred Ewing (he married mom’s sister Mildred).

Then I did a similar search of Benton township and had two hits.  The first shows William Showman and his wife and they are listed as farmers – truck gardening.  This is one of grandpa Sam Showman’s brothers.

The second hint was for Sina Showman, Sam’s youngest sister.  At this time she was 34 years old and working as a domestic for a young couple named Liessley(?).I then searched the adjoining township (Steady Run) where Sam’s mother (Sarah Martin) was born.  No luck.

Since I had found no relatives in Washington township I decided to look in Warren township which is where my grandmother (Fern) was born.  He father had passed in 1908, but I did find her mother (Bell) listed along with 3 daughters, Fern, Bernice and Ruth.I’m reasonably certain that Sam Deweese met Fern when he was employed by Bell but in 1910 the farm hand shown is not him.

I did check to see if the 1910 census might be available for Mahaska county (where Sam Deweese was born) but that data is not available on-line.

I had to stop for now having shed some light on the mystery, but the whereabouts of Sam Showman between 1887 and 1930 is still a mystery.

I may try scanning other townships in Keokuk county.  Mom’s birth was recorded as being in What Cheer in 1913 so they should be found in that neighborhood!

Didn’t even know there was a census in 1885!  But there was and here the entry I found:This clearly shows the S. D. Showman (my grandfather) was at home with his family in 1885.  It doesn’t show where they are other than Benton Township in Keokuk county, Iowa.

As noted William passed away in 1896.  I did find an entry for Sarah Shoman in 1900 that indicates she was living in Hedrick, Iowa with two children (Gilbert and Sina).

I searched to find S. D. Showman in 1900 or 1910, but failed to find anything, so the mystery remains.  Where did Sam go between 1885 and 1930?

Added 2/21/2012

Had some luck this morning!

Found this 1900 census entry for Benton Township, Keokuk County, Iowa.  It clearly shows that Sam and Eva (Evelyn Fuller) are married, no children.  His occupation is listed as farmer and Evelyn’s birthplace is noted as Illinois.  This is midway between the 1887 and 1912 plat maps I have and there is no property listed for Sam on these maps.

The 1910 census for Warren Township (around Delta), Keokuk County, Iowa shows Sam and Eva (Evelyn) plus 4 children.  This shows Robert and Fred reversed (at least according to mom’s records .. which I trust).  I did look at the 1912 plat book of Warren Township and could not find property with the Showman name.  Two possibilities:  1 they were living in town, or two they were renting land for farming.  (Can’t view the actual census document which might give some hint.  It’s only available for a fee and I’m holding off on that.)

The 1920 census, doesn’t show the township, in Keokuk County, Iowa shows Sam and Eva (Evelyn) and all 6 children.  Still shows Robert as being 6 years older than Robert.  (Now I wonder if Mom’s recollection is correct .. but she always insisted that Fred (Fredrick) was the bearer of gifts and if he was only 4 years older than mom I doubt that she would be receiving gifts from him.)

The 1930 census shows Fred Showman (living with 2 other young men) in Washington, D.C.  It also lists his birth in 1910, consistent with the other census entries and at odds with mother’s memory (at least as I understood her).  His being in Washington D.C. is consistent with mom’s stories.  I guess the photos must be labelled incorrectly for Robert and Fred!

This 1880 census entry is the only thing I could find that might be a link to Grandma Evelyn.  There is no proof that this might actually be Grandma, but it is in Iowa, Allens Grove Township in Scott County (Davenport), Iowa.  I suppose it is possible that Sam and this Evelyn met and married, but the likelihood seems remote.

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7 Comments on “Some Light on the Mystery

  1. For every find you uncover there will be a lot of miscues. don’t give up. I have found that when you least expect to find something a new lead shows up. I work with ancestry .com and Family tree Maker. It seems like they are always adding hints to what you already know.

  2. Good ton be in touch. Thanks.
    Did I lose some? Patti will vw here on March 10 and she has been doing some research. I’ll remind her to bring some things along. More later. Mary

  3. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- says:

    I was also confused with this Evelyn Fuller. After doing more investigating I found that our Vinney Evelyn Fuller Showman’s father was Isaac Fuller and her mother Alvina Shryock Fuller. They were from Timber Township in Peoria, Illinois. They moved to Keokuk county Iowa in 1889, then in 1900 they moved to Fremont. I have the original obituary that gives this information. I will be happy to send you a copy.

  4. Patti (Welch) Young-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- says:

    Sorry, I don’t know what happened to the name on my first comment.

  5. No wonder I’ve had such a hard time! Grandma apparently used whatever name pleased her, i.e. Evelyne, Eva, Vinney. Based on your obituary I found her listed (by her father or mother) in the 1880 census as Eveline Fuller! Here is the entry for Timber, Peoria, Illinois as found on FamilySearch:
    Household Gender Age
    Isaac Fuller M 26
    Alzina Fuller F 28 (Alvina? wonder which is a misspelling?)
    Bessie Fuller F 5
    Eveline Fuller F 2 (Certainly the right time frame b.1878 or 1877)
    Also found an entry that may be Alzina’s family in 1870 census:
    Household Gender Age
    Wetger Shywek M 45y
    Eliza Shywek F 44y
    Alonzo Shywek M 20y
    Willis Shywek M 16y
    Alzina Shywek F 18y
    Louis Shywek M 9y
    Ella Shywek F 7y
    Osen Shywek M 4y
    Minnie Shyrock F 6m
    Note how spelling is different on last name. I’ve been indexing for FamilySearch and it is very easy to transpose letters. The correct spelling may be Shywek, Shyrock, or Shryock depending on who committed the error.

    I looked at the original document (as shown on the web) and would have spelled it SHYSVEK. The SHY is very clear. The EK at the end is clear to me. Comparing the writing to other entries I’m convinced the fourth letter is an s and if it is an s the fifth must be a v or u. So the alternative spellings are Shysvek or Shysuek and the first seems more likely.

  6. Aunt Alice gave a bunch of stuff to Mom and she told her to do with it whatever she wanted to. Mom knew that I have been working on family history so she asked me if I wanted it. The obituary happened to be in the box. I went through the records again when Mom said that you might be interested in some of it, that is when I found it again. I’m glad that I was able to help.

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