Notes from the past…


Mr Stanley Goes To Washington!

Well, not the flesh and blood Mr Stanley, but the testimony of my second great-grandfather Miles Francis Stanley did make it all the way to the United States Supreme Court!

As long as I have been doing genealogy, I still get so tickled when I make a new discovery! Such a rush!

I have begun to review my 2GGF Stanley’s file. As I always do when I research a person, I plug that name into Google to see what’s out there. You never know. So this afternoon, I did just that, but didn’t find anything new.

Then I went to Google Books, to see what I could find. My 2GGF was a County Commissioner in Hill County, Texas in the late 1890′s, so as a public person, perhaps I might find mention of him or his political activities in some old book.

Well, guess what I found: Miles F Stanley testified on behalf of a women whose husband, a local physician, was killed in a gunfight in 1905 Texas, for Heaven’s sake!

From Cases and points of the Supreme Court of the United States, printed in 1908:

The good doctor had a $20,000 life insurance policy, which the insurance company refused to honor upon due notification of his death. Apparently this case went all the way from the local Hill County jurisdiction to the Dallas, Texas District Appeals Court and then onto the United States Supreme Court!

Wow, this is great! (Sorry, you gotta hear how my daughter pronounces “great”. More like “gg-rr-aa-tt-e”, spoken in a low, flat, sarcastic voice.)

This article came from the 27 Jun 1905 edition of the Dallas Morning News (via GenealogyBank). I’m trying to read through all of the legalese of the court case, but apparently Dr F B Maner and E E Griffin got into an extended argument, possibly over Dr Maner’s alleged abuse of a woman. The argument escalated to violence and a shoot-out ensued, with Dr Maner being killed by E E Griffin. This occurred in downtown Itasca, Texas in front of numerous witnesses!

Dr Maner 27 Jun 1905

The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company of Philadelphia refused to pay the $20,000, since the death was the result of Dr Maner’s participation in a criminal act (the gunfight).

Dr Maner 27 Jun 1905b

Mrs. Maner then took Penn Mutual to court and lost the initial court decisions, as the case was appealed and eventually reached the Supreme Court:

Dr Maner 27 Jun 1905d

My 2GGF Stanley testified as to a conversation that he had with Dr Maner over the original incident with the woman in question, apparently as a witness to the doctor’s good character. (Click on each page to read his testimony)

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So, what happened with the trial of E E Griffin, accused of murder in the gunfighting death of Dr F B Maner?

The 13 August 2005 edition of the Dallas Morning News:

Dr Maner 27 Jun 1905x

And the law suit? The Supreme Court ruled that the insurance company must pay $5000 plus attorney fees:


From the 7 May 1908 edition of the Dallas Morning News.


85th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: Orphans and Orphans

The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is: “Orphans and Orphans”

The first type of orphan refers to those ancestors or relatives who lost their parents when they were young.

The second type of orphan would be those siblings or cousins of our ancestors whom we think of as “reverse orphans.” They are the relatives who, for whatever reason – death at a young age, never having married or had children, or having children who did not survive to provide descendants. They have no direct descendants of their own, so it falls to us,
their collateral relatives, to learn and write their story.

I can’t imagine losing both of my parents and having to grow up without them. How difficult that would be! Who would take their places and teach me how to ride a bike or drive a car, or how to make that perfect Pineapple Upside Down Cake or how to deal with the death of a beloved pet. How could I grow into a loving, responsible adult without my parents to guide me?

Two members of my family tree especially stand out for their transition from orphaned child to trustworthy, mature and loving adult.

Joh,HenThomas2Susan Pix (12) Susan Pix (92) JohTStanleysJohTStanley2

My great-grandfather John Thomas Stanley entered my family as an abandoned 2-year-old, grew up in a loving adoptive home, created his own happy home consisting of a wife and 4 children, and became a respected member of the early 20th-century Fort Worth banking community.

Susan Pix (55) Susan Pix (13)

Susan Pix (56) Susan Pix (59) Susan Pix (94) Susan Pix (57)

My great-grandmother Mary Tennessee Turner Rogers lost first her father when she was only 9 years old and then her mother when she was 18. Mary entered her adult years without her parents to guide her. But due to the love and security provided by her older brother John Joseph Turner, who became head of the family and father to not only his own children, but to their younger brother James Bowie Turner and orphaned nieces Mattie and Lizzie Turner, Mary also grew up to be a warm, caring and much-beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

And what of the “reverse orphan”? What would the future have brought? What might have been?

Susan Pix (34) MilFStanley3aSusan Pix (35)

Susan Pix (31) Susan Pix (29) MilFStanley3d

As the only son born to my grandparents, my uncle Miles Francis “Mike” Stanley III should have carried on the Stanley name. But it was not to be. Mike was killed in a tragic gun accident at age 14. By all reports, Mike was a bright and inquisitive boy, active in the Boy Scouts and interested in his community. When he died only 3 days before Christmas, he had been planning to join his father in delivering Goodfellow bundles to area children whose families were suffering financial difficulties at Christmas time. My branch of the Stanley surname died along with him. My 93-year-old grandmother is the last surviving Stanley.

What might Mike have become? Would he follow his grandfather into the banking industry or perhaps become a draftsman and engineer like his dad? Or travel a different path, that of a physician maybe, like his second great-grandfather Dr Nathan Blunt Kennedy?

“If you save one life, it is as if you saved the world!”

What might have been?


Awards Time: The Kreative Blogger Award!


Tonia from Tonia’s Roots has chosen me and Bluebonnet County Genealogy for the prestigious Kreative Blogger Award! Thank you so very much, Tonia! It’s nice to be recognized by your peers.

Tonia’s blog is new to me, so I decided to drop by and say Hi!

Very impressive site! Tonia uses WordPress for her blog and has embedded The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding for her database. Very nice! The seamless transition from blog to database is quite nice and makes for a well-organized site. Tonia has also set up several pages for such topics as Fun Facts, Family Stories and Most Wanted. This is really a great site and “where have you been all my life?” :)

Ok, the rules for the Kreative Blogger Award are that I gotta tell you 7 things about myself, then pass the award on to 7 more blogs.

Let’s see, about me:

  1. I was born in Colorado, but got to Texas as fast as I could!
  2. I am hopelessly addicted to Dr Pepper
  3. While genealogy is my main obsession, I also love to do website design
  4. I have a huge collection of Garfield the Cat paraphernalia
  5. My elderly neighbor and I created a beautiful Flower Garden quilt as I was awaiting the birth of my second daughter, and thanks to that wonderful lady, the quilt was completed only days before my daughter arrived
  6. I am an avid softball player
  7. I am the oldest granddaughter in my family and my 93-year-old grandmother has nicknamed me RootyToot.

Ok, I guess that wasn’t too bad…

Now for 7 blogs to pass this on to. Some of these blogs may have already received this award, but they are my favorites:

  1. Destination: Austin Family
  2. Elyse’s Genealogy
  3. Family Matters
  4. The Genealogue
  5. GenealogyBank Blog
  6. Genealogy Blog Finder
  7. Virtual Dime Museum