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.
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?
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.