Rebecca Caldwell Foutz | 1847-1915
This Foutz Genealogy Newsletter series explores the parents and siblings of my great-grandfather, Vance Charles Foutz. As detailed in the intro to the first post, about great-great grandpa Jonathan Foutz, by “tracing forward” the families and descendants of my ancestors’ siblings, we hopefully make connections that can yield photographs, records and other family heirlooms we would not have access to otherwise.
The last post left off with the surprising move between 1880 and 1900 of Jonathan and Rebecca from Harrison County, Ohio, an area their respective families had settled and farmed for nearly a century, and where several relatives still remained (and distant relations live to this day).
The 1900 census records Jonathan, Rebecca and their youngest sons Charles and Vance in the Washington D.C. household of their eldest, Sherman Foutz, a prominent insurance salesman and appointee to the U.S. Treasury Department.
The loss, through fire, of much of the 1890 census leaves a hole in our understanding of when Jonathan and Rebecca moved to D.C. And Jonathan’s death, at a young 55, in September 1900 (according to a profile of Sherman 10 years later) begs the question: did they move there because he was ill and needed Sherman’s support? Did a tragic accident or illness befall him as a result of that journey to D.C.? In any case, I’ve been unable to locate newspaper or death records that shed further light on Jonathan’s death.
The next time Rebecca pops up, it is in the 1910 federal census, in the Dover home of her youngest son, Vance. We’ll rejoin her there.
A Young Life in Sherrodsville; Ties to Bowerston
The 1910 Berks County, Pa. history that profiles Sherman Foutz and records the death of his father also details his parents’ births. According to the bio sketch, Jonathan and Rebecca were both born on the old Foutz homestead in Harrison County within a couple years of each other.
A blog post this summer introduced Rebecca’s parents, Robert and Rachel (Cramblett) Caldwell. At least two generations of Caldwells called Virginia home, which is where Robert was born in April 1822 before the family moved to Ohio. Two prior generations of Crambletts called Harrison County home before Rachel was born to John and Margaret (Gladwell) Cramblett in February 1827. The elder John Cramblett, born about 1775 in Maryland, platted the land on which Deersville, Ohio is situated in November 1815. John Cramblett would die in that village some 30 years later.
Whether or not Rebecca’s birth on the same acreage as her husband is merely a family legend, her parents settled soon after in Sherrodsville, about 7 miles to the northwest, in Carroll County. They raised a tremendously large family, even by rural 19th century standards — probably a dozen children were born to Robert and Rachel between 1846 and 1870. Rebecca was second, born July 13, 1847.
Robert and Rachel would reside in Sherrodsville the rest of their lives. An undated portrait card stamped Sherrodsville Art Galley shows the elderly couple, and Rachel pops up in several family photographs throughout the early 1900’s. Robert either died in 1890 or 1900, by which time they’d been married 45 or 55 years, respectively — and Rachel would come to outlive her second daughter.
Foutz Deaths – a Tragic Spring 1915
Many censuses throughout the 1800’s and 1900’s display a recurring pattern of Foutz hospitality — distant relatives are often shown living with Gideon, Jonathan, Vance, sometimes for decades at a time, working the farm, or otherwise helping each other make ends meet.
In 1910, no fewer than 5 relatives of Vance call 113 W. Second St. in Dover home. The house seems to belong to my great-grandparents, principally. Vance Cleveland Foutz is recorded as head, and the members of his young immediate family are listed first: wife (of not yet three years) Laura, and infant son Roy, born 1908.
Next up is mother Rebecca, now 63 and widowed, with 5 of her 7 grown children recorded as still living. (Son John Cephas Foutz died in 1899. See below for daughter Rachel.)
A boarder in the house is Rebecca’s daughter Ida’s oldest son, Lloyd Moreland. The 18-year-old has caught on as a laborer for the same company as his uncle Vance. It could be a steel mill in Dover, but the writing is illegible.
Also in the house, and reported as widowed, is Rebecca’s daughter Rachel’s husband, William Coleman. His occupation is stationary engineer, and he is caring for at least two of his children, sons Karl, 16, and Frank, 10. (We’ll get to the mystery of what became of Rachel in a future post.)
Five years later, Vance and Laura are living at 415 E. Fifth St. in Dover. Their family now includes sons Roy, 7, Carl, 4 and my grandpa Don, 1. Rebecca has been a fixture of the household for at least five years, probably longer. One imagines her getting the chance to rock each of her new grandsons as infants, as well as enjoy visits from her other grandchildren by way of Sherman, Lila, Ida, Rachel and Charles, who makes his home in New Philadelphia, the next town over.
It is on just such a visit that William and Rachel (Foutz) Coleman’s oldest son, Karl, becomes gravely ill. Later censuses show members of that family living in Canton, and he is perhaps overnighting in his uncle’s home from there when he falls ill with tuberculosis and dies March 23, 1915. He is just 21.
By then, Uncle Sherman Foutz has already been a resident of Wheatbridge Sanitarium in Denver about two months. He, too, had contracted tuberculosis and had traveled to Colorado from his home in Harrisburg, Pa. in January, hoping for a cure. But he succumbs to the disease April 5, 1915. He is 47.
Both Sherman and his nephew Karl were buried in Longview Cemetery, Bowerston, barely two weeks apart. It is unknown the effect these dual tragedies may have had on Rebecca. But she suffers a stroke that May, which leaves her paralyzed, and dies a week later, May 25, 1915. Her obituary reports four survivors: sons Charles and Vance, daughters Lila and Ida. Her husband, the article notes, died 15 years prior.
Rebecca was 67 at the time of her death. I assume she is buried in Conotton Cemetery with her husband, Jonathan, but their markers are destroyed or defaced. Her mother, Rachel Caldwell, lives another 3 years before succumbing to pneumonia at age 91.
The next installment of this newsletter series will recap the successful, but abbreviated, life of Sherman Foutz, as detailed in earlier posts, and detail new information about the lives of his wife, children and foster daughter, and possible descendants, after his early death.