Visitors and Queries




Visitors to the genealogy room have included Dee Zanders from Fairfax, Virginia, who was researching a youth baseball tournament in Walnut, in which he pitched.    Jean Zimmerman from Bakersfield, California was searching for information on William ZIMMERMAN.  Author Janet Kay of Gordon, Wisconsin did research for her fiction book to include Walnut and the area.  Julie Nash from Omaha came in to research Rudolph ALBERS.


On October 14, Jim and I helped Tina Beaird of Oswego, Illinois find information on Riley and Gladys BUCKMASTER.  Their granddaughter Shelly Martin from Omaha visited on December 27, also seeking information about them.  We were able to put them in contact with each other and give Shelly the obits of Earl Raymond (Riley), Gladys and Clarence, Riley’s father.  We found that Riley and Gladys became residents of Walnut on September 5, 1949, when they bought the Walnut Variety Store at 222 Antique City Drive (now Esther’s Antiques) from Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Stanley.  They lived first in an apartment above the Exchange Bank at 201 Antique City Drive and secondly in a house at 314 Walnut Street.  Gladys then moved to an apartment above the current bakery at 230 Antique City Drive.  I also discovered a June 22, 1950 newspaper photo of Riley Buckmaster in their variety store with Jon McAvoy.


Carol and Dan Calabro, who have purchased the former Otto Goettsch home at 601 Antique City Drive, would like all of the stories that they can find about Dr. HANNA, who built the home.  We were able to help them with obituaries, newspaper clippings and census records.  Does anyone remember that they had an adopted daughter and what became of her?


Recently, Cammy and Karen Brandt from Earlham, Iowa stopped in.  They were looking for Bridget LANIGAN.   Edward Lanigan is buried in the Walnut Catholic Cemetery.  The stone is very old and not so easily read, but it looks like the death date was July 6, 1882 at age 70 years.  There is no stone listed for a Bridget Lanigan.  On the 1885 census, she is listed as Pridgen (Bridget) Lanigan and is 64 years old.  With her are Thos, age 27; David, age 24; and Elizabeth, age 20.


Helmut Buettner from Rochester, Minnesota emailed Walnut’s City Clerk seeking info on Art KOCK, who was a mayor here.  We found him in the list of mayors and in The Paasch Family History, found obituaries for Art and Bertha Kock and a long article about Art’s 81st birthday and his history.


Scott McKinstry from Beaverton, Oregon called the library, wanting obituaries for John Samuel MORGAN and his wife, Sarah Jane CLARK.  We gave him contacts for two other Clark researchers and sent obits for John, Sarah and Joe Morgan, and the 1900 Census record, the Morgans in the Layton Township index, photos of the stones and a cemetery map.  I found Henry Charles Morgan and James P. Morgan are buried in the Oakwood Cemetery at Lewis, Iowa, according to


Shirley Plumb from Davenport, Iowa called the library recently, wanting obituaries or death records for Anjoline, George and Louis ORCUTT.  We have just begun research for her.  Anjoline Orcutt was found in the 1880 Census in Walnut with her daughter Jennie Slater and family.  Henry Orcutt was one of the first settlers in Layton Township and a trustee.


Another very recent call came from Dave Peterson of Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  He is descended from Henry THOMSEN, who died in 1906 and is buried at Moline, Illinois.  He found Hans Thomsen in Minden Township and Peter Thomsen in Layton Township in Pottawattamie County in the 1900 Census.  We checked Peter’s obituary and found that he was born in Ostenfeld, Germany.  Dave plans to check there for his family.


Jim Hansen has been doing more research on the Walnut theatres and has found various locations and a photo.  I am looking for Niels NIELSEN of Walnut in 1902, who was the uncle of Fritz COLFACK.  This is a request of Cindy Schlueter.


Jim and I have spent numerous hours in researching the family of John G. HONEYWELL.  WGS originally received a query from Baxter B. Fite III in March, 2011.  He is researching the 992 people who served in the 86th Illinois Infantry in the Civil War.  We found that John Honeywell is buried here in the Layton Township Cemetery, but does not have a tombstone.  We have ordered a stone for him through the Veterans Administration.


Thanks to Shelly Martin for her exceptionally generous donation.  We would like to thank the family of Ruby Andersen for the memorial donations.  Thank you to John Behrens of Port Angeles, Washington for sending his family history of the BEHRENS, KOHLSCHEEN, PAASCH, and KUHR families.  Thanks to Kenner Baxter for giving us a subscription to The Marne Squirrel.