VISITORS AND QUERIES
BY KAREN HANSEN
In our last newsletter, I mentioned that Shirley Plumb from Davenport, Iowa called the library and our house. She couldn’t get us, so she emailed WGS. She was looking for info on the ORCUTT family for a friend, Kendra Schmidt, from Alexandria, Virginia. We found Anjoline Orcutt lived in Walnut with her daughter Jennie and her husband August B. SLATER and their children when the 1880 Census was taken. We found the house in our property records at 600 Antique City Drive. A. B. Slater operated a mill here and owned a small building downtown, which is the south 20 feet of the building now at 226 Antique City Dr.
Mary Orcutt had a millinery store in Walnut. She had written to her brother-in-law A. B. Slater asking what her prospects might be. Her husband, Henry, was out west “prospecting” for land. Letters from 1878 and 1879 were found in the walls of the house when Dewey Larsen installed a new window in his house in 1953. I checked with Robert Larsen and found out that the letters no longer exist as the ink faded when they were exposed to the light.
Shirley Plumb’s husband’s grandmother’s sister Ameila Gertrude Andrews married William BOECK, who died in Shelby County on May 11, 1937. She may ask us to do searching on his family.
Orris Drake’s great niece would like to have the DRAKE family history. We found some Z. D. Drake family trees on ancestry.
Jim and Kyle Tierney from Grandview, Missouri visited. They are interested in IVERS, JACOBS, and NAMANNY families and found obituaries and graves. Janice Brandt from Coon Rapids, Iowa spent time here looking for the LANIGAN family. Lotus Paulsen from Avoca, Iowa came over and we found maps of where her Jacob SIECK family lived northeast of Walnut.
Dave Peterson from Fort Wayne, Indiana had called the library and talked to Jim Hansen about Henry THOMSEN, wondering if Peter from Layton Township and Hans from Minden were brothers to Henry. Jim found in Peter’s obit that he was born in Ostenfeld, Germany, so Dave said he would check the German records. Not long after that, Dave called Trinity Lutheran Church in Avoca asking about the THOMSEN and KARSTENS records. Since I was a Karstens from Avoca and from Trinity, I was given the query. As it turns out, my great-grandfather Thede Karstens was a brother to Hans Karstens, who married Anna Thomsen, who was a sister to Dave Peterson’s great-grandfather Henry M. Thomsen. I have been able to share photos, census records, obituaries and Karstens history from the Avoca history book. It was also discovered that, although Peter Thomsen was not a brother to Henry, he was a brother to Margaretha, who married Paul Karstens of Walnut. Paul was a brother to Hans and Thede.
On April 10, Dave and Julia Peterson spent the day with us, doing more research, especially on the family of Asmus Thomsen of Walnut, who was a brother of Dave’s great-grandfather Henry Thomsen.