Visitors And Queries by Karen Hansen



Those few visitors who have braved the cold weather have been the following:

Sara Christensen Smith of Barrington, Illinois was seeking the burial site and an obituary for Christian Christensen, the father of Otto. Christian had lived in Shelby County. Gayle Stuart was able to find that he is buried in Jacksonville and also found an obituary for him.

Martha Jones from Malvern, Iowa was looking for Rieck family obituaries.

The queries of William Rasmussen of Los Angeles, CA and of Wayne Sankey of Janesville, WI continue to keep me busy with searching. William sent photos of his family, the Wilbert Rasmussen family; many were taken outside their homes in Walnut. We have finally identified all five places where the Rasmussen family lived in Walnut and have sent photos. We need to get some better copies of photos of the Juergen Thiessen family and of his business in Walnut. I sent the pages of the Walnut Cemetery index that contained information on the graves of his family. Two sentences about William’s birth were found in the Walnut Bureau.

Winfield Scott (W. S. or Scott) Sankey came to Walnut from Blairstown, Iowa, with his parents, the family consisting of seven children, in November, 1873. For more than forty years Col. Sankey followed the line of an auctioneer, being known all over southern Iowa as one of the best auctioneers that ever cried a sale.

Scott’s father, Joseph Sankey, purchased a farm of 200 acres, north of Walnut, where he farmed for several years. His father also owned and conducted the old Central House, just north of the Exchange State Bank building. His brother, John Sankey, was proprietor of the livery barn located east of the hotel and across the alley.

We found many articles about the Sankey businesses and about Bert W. Sankey’s promotions with the Rock Island Railroad. The article about Vera Sankey winning a state declamatory contest and 2 articles about her marriage to Harry Taggart were sent. Cemetery index pages were sent along with many obituaries of the Sankey family. Wayne would like to have photos of the graves and also of the family businesses. I also need to look for the probates of Winfield Scott and of Frank Sankey.