Wednesday, May 1, 2013

1880s Autograph Album of Frances Emma Darck, or Durck, of Ada, Ohio


Small autograph album that belonged to Frances Emma Darck, "Frankie", of Ada, Ohio.

Note of May 8, 2014: A reader has forwarded photographs of Frances Emma (Darck/Durck) Westhoven and her mother Emily Jane (Shriner) Darck/Durck.  If you would like to connect with this reader, who is a descendant of Frances' paternal uncle Gideon Durck, please let me know.

Frances Emma (Darck/Durck) Westhoven

Emily Jane (Shriner) Bolton Darck/Durck

The album was presented to Frankie on Christmas Day in 1882 by 
someone whose name I can't quite decipher.  There are three words, possibly Eron or Enon, Church and Braverman.  Two of the words could be Enon Church, as there was an Enon, Ohio, not far from Ada.  The friend's surname might have been Braverman.



The album is approximately 3-3/4" x 2-3/4" and contains the sentiments of about 39 people, including Frankie herself, her husband and son, other relatives and friends.  






An alphabetical list of the signers appears at the end of this post.



From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections and additions welcome!]

Frances Emma Darke was born about 1866 in Ohio, the daughter of Samuel O. Durck/Darke and Emily Jane (Shriner) Bolton Darck, who were born in Pennsylvania and Maryland, respectively.

Frankie had an older sister Almira Darck, born 22 February 1865. Sadly, Almira died 21 September 1882, a few months before Frankie received this album as a Christmas gift.  It must have been a bleak Christmas.

Two signers indicated they were Frankie's sister, and one indicated he was Frankie's brother.  Unfortunately, the two sisters didn't give a surname.  I don't know if these people were full siblings, half siblings, step siblings, siblings-in-law or fraternal or religious associates.

Alice signed a page at Wharton, Ohio, on 6 October 1883 and called herself "Your Sister Alice".



Sallie, who called herself "Sister", decorated her page with a Victorian scrap.



Charles H. Canan signed a page on 24 March 1883 and called himself Frankie's brother.  Interestingly, Charles at some point moved to California where he was a farmer/rancher, according to California Voter Registration records of Madera and Visalia.

According to a query I found online, whose author hasn't yet contacted me, Frankie and her son moved to California in the 1890s because they had relatives there.



On 28 October 1883, Frankie married Alexander Kerr Westhoven, in a service performed by Mr. Alerton.  Alexander signed two pages in Frankie's album.




Frankie and Alexander had a son, Eugene Moss Westhoven, born on 18 November 1889 at Ada, Ohio.  He signed a page in his mother's album in 1897.



At some point, either Alexander died or the couple divorced.   Perhaps it was a divorce, as I found an Alexander K. Westhoven who married Emma Dora Lamphear [or variant spelling] on 17 April 1892 at Ada, Ohio.  He died in 1937.

As mentioned, Frankie and son Eugene moved to California, where they were enumerated at Visalia in the 1900 Census.  Frankie worked as a dressmaker.

Several people with the surname Osborn signed pages in Frankie's album.  They appear to have been siblings, and three of them called Frankie a cousin.  

By researching them, I found that their mother was Susannah (Durck) Osborn, daughter of Samuel and Susannah (Ochs) Durck.  It seems likely that one of Susannah's brothers was Frankie's father.  One of them, Samuel O. Durck, married Emily Jane Schriner Bolton, who may have been Frankie's mother Emma.  In the 1870 census, Emma headed the household with daughters Almira and Frances and some people named Bolton, who may have been her children from a previous marriage.

At some point apparently, at least for one branches of the family, the Durck surname changed to Darck.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or information of any of the signers listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!

Alphabetical list of signers: [Note: given names within a specific surname might not be in alphabetical order.]

  • Luna or Lenna or ? R., signed on 12 November 1885.  "When you get old and cannot see, put on your specks and think of me."
  • Sister Alice, signed at Wharton, Ohio, on 6 October 1883.  Sister or sister-in-law? "If ever a husband you should have and he this book should see, Tell him of our youthful days and kiss him once for me.  When you are idly sitting, your day's work being done, and you have nothing else to do, just think of me for fun."
  • Bertha B., signed 1 January 1891 at Ada, Ohio, "W. U. S.".  Niece of Frances Emma (Darke) Westhoven.  "When you are married, a husband to please, think of me single, living at my ease."
  • Sallie, who called herself Frances Emma Darck's sister, whether a sister or sister-in-law or ? "Frank, always think of me with kindness. Sallie."
  • Frances, signed in 1888.  "On the other side of this leaf is a sacred spot of a dear friend who will never be forgot and oft do I remember the time we had together in winter of 1887.  Frances."  The person who signed the opposite side of this leaf was Minnie Ternbaugh [Turnbaugh] of Forest, Ohio, who signed her page on 19 December 1886.
  • P. Allen or Alles, signed 29 December 1896.  "Friend Frances, When these lines you see, Just think of me.  Your Friend, P. Allen."
  • Catherine Allis.  "Away over in the woods, A great ways off, a woodchuck died, With the hooping [sic] cough."
  • Armina Auspach, signed at Ada, Ohio, on 3 May 1886.  "Friend Frances.  May your lips be bright as the morning light, as lovely as the blooming rose.  In after years when cares increase, May noble thought dispel  your grips. [gripes or grippes?].  Your friend Armina Auspach
  • Braverman, Name pencilled on the presentation page of the album, along with what might be Enon Church
  • Charley H. Canan, signed 24 March 1883 at Ada, Ohio.  Charles H. Canan inscribed this page to "his sister Frankie Darke"
  • Harvey Canan of Eden, Ohio, "compliments to Aunty Franky Emmy Dark, July the 16, 1883" "Through the lonly night may the angels spread their white wings about you watching round your bed.
  • Possibly the surname "Church", a name on the presentation page; could be "Enon Church", at Enon, Ohio
  • J. G. Clark of Marsh Castil, Ohio, signed on 21 May 1883.  I'm probably butchering this: "A Rosy cheek , an ivry arm Shall ne'er my wishes ruin. Give me an animaled form that speaks a mind within."
  • John W. Clark, signed 13 [or 18] May 1886.  "You ask for something original, I scarely know how to begin, For there's nothing original in me, Unless it's original sin.  From a well wisher, John W. Clark."
  • Jana J. Curry, signed at Ada, Ohio, on 12 January 1883.  "I dip my pen into the ink And grasp your album tight.  But for my life I cannot think One single word to write."
  • T. S. Curry, signed on 28 January 1883.  "Time can never efface The memory of Thee."
  • Pearl Curry, signed 29 January 1883.  "Friend Frances, When the shades of life are falling o'er the dark and loney sea, when the whipper will is calling, don't forget to think of me. Pearl Curry, A.U.S."
  • Frances Emma Darck of Ada, Ohio; album owner; she also signed other pages
  • Sidney Eberhart, signed 27 May 188x [the last digit runs into the binding].  "When this you see Remember me when I [? stopped ] in the Reign [sic]
  • J. Elwood, signed in 1883.  Middle initial is possibly N or A or ?.  Message hard to read. May be the same J. Elwood who signed the succeeding page.
  • Eva Frisbie, signed 29 January 1883.  "Friend Francis [sic], May the hinges of our friendship never rust.  Your friend, Eva Frisbie"
  • Nettie Johnson, "When you weave a wreath of friendship, twine therein a bud for me, ever your friend."
  • Alice Klingler, signed on 21 December 1882.  "A verse in your album, A place in your heart; There is a place in heaven Where friends shall not part.  Your friend."
  • Miss Alice E. McClelland of Wharton, Ohio, signed on 16 October 1883
  • "Remember me when this you see, tho many a mile apart", signed C. E. Morrison
  • O. Osborn, of Nevada, Ohio, in Wyandot County, signed on 31 August 1883; cousin of Frances Emma Darke.  "To knit and spin was once a girl's employment but now to dress and have a [?, ball, boy ?] is all the girls' enjoyment
  • Ellie Osborn, signed on 8 September 1883. "Our friends are dear that we have here but better for than gold.  There is one we love who ? ? ? on his Name we call."
  • Ely Osborn, inscribed to "Cousin Frances" on 5 September 1883.  "Strive to keep the golden rule and learn your lessons well at school.  Yours truly, Ely Osborn"
  • Lillie Osborn, cousin of Frances Emma Darck, signed 3 September 1883.  "Some write for pleasure; some write for fame; bur I rite simply to sign my name.  Your cousin Lillie Osborn.  Forget me not.  Forget me never, until the sun is set forever."
  • Lovina Rayl, signed at Ada, Ohio, on 20 December 1882.  "May your life be blest with love, friendship, and happiness, may all your friends prove true and cheer you all your journey through. Your friend Lovina Rayl."
  • Esther Ream, signed on 20 December 1882. "Let not our friendship be Like the rose to sever But like the evergreen May it last forever." "Reunion" "N.W.O.U.S."
  • Leanora Rowley, not sure of either name, signed on 4 December 1885.  "When you are far away and friends are very few, Please think of me and I will you."
  • Odella Russell or Russel, signed 22 December 1882. "Remember me and bear in mind, a constant friend is hard to find and if you find one good and true, Don't change an old one for a new." "N.W.A.U.S." [wonder it she meant N.W.O.U.S., as other signers indicated]
  • Eddie Steichter of Ada, Ohio, signed on 28 January [no year written].  "Tis sweet to court But Oh, how bitter, to court the girl and then not get her.  Yours truly"
  • Della Summers, signed on 17 June 1883.  "Though you are absent from my sight, to think of you gives new delight and oft with joy do I review the happy hours spent with you."
  • Minnie Ternbaugh, signed at Forest, Ohio, on 19 December 1886.  "Dear Fannie: Remember me now, Remember me ever, Remeber the fun we used to have together.  Minnie Ternbaugh."  The opposite leaf has a message from Frances Emma expressing her sentiments for Minnie.
  • E. S. Thomas, signed on 26 December 1882
  • Signed by France Emma Darck's son, Eugene Moss Westhoven, signed 31 December 1897.  "May you ever be happy"
  • A. K. Westhoven, signed on 9 November 1883.  Inscribed his page to "Dear Companion".  Alexander Kerr Westhoven, husband of Frances Emma (Darck) Westhoven. "Remember me and bear in mind that a true friend is hard to find.  Think of me when you are ?, keep for me one little spot, in the [? depths ?] of thine affection; plant a sweet forget-me-not. A. K. Westhoven."  He also signed a page giving their wedding date, 28 October 1883, with the ceremony performed by Mr. Alerton.
Ada, Ohio


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