52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Service

52 Ancestors

I have fallen back into the bad habit of missing some weeks. I had Service all queued up and ready to go on time…then I found out Ancestry had opened up international records for the month of May and just like that, I was distracted (I had a laundry list of foreign records I wanted to review). Now I must play catch-up once again.

I will admit that when I saw the writing prompt for Service, I immediately thought military service and I inwardly groaned. I have already posted numerous articles about ancestors who served in the military. To write more about them would be to repeat their stories. Instead, here is a hyperlink to the series of letters written by my grandfather while he served on the U.S.S. Colorado and U.S.S. Massachusetts before and during World War II. This link will take you a brief summary of ancestors who served during World War I.

As for other kinds of service. It dawns on me that; while we had mostly farmers, whose industry provided service all it’s own, we did occasionally have an ancestor in other industries that provided essential materials to their surrounding communities.

The first one who comes to mind is Emmet Cobe. His wife, Mary, descended from Joseph Stockford, who was in the cattle business along with his sons and probably his parents and grand-parents. I hypothesize that this marital connection is the reason he found himself in the butcher’s trade, working in a service industry that butchered and prepared meat in the towns. After her death, and probably because of her seeming estrangement from the Stockfords, Emmet was convinced by his brother-in-law to move to Michigan and take up the lumber trade. An industry that provided the needed lumber for growing communities through building boats and ships, and raw material for the production of paper and other items.

Wilshire, Ohio meat market, late 19th century? The Cobe’s did not live in Wilshire, but this is an example of a small town meat market in Ohio. The 1900 census did not indicate whether their home was their place of work (they had two lodgers who also worked in the meat industry) or if they plied their trade from a cart/wagon, or went to a store front to work. Accessed from the webpage of Karen Miller Bennet, CG(R)

The next one is Hugh Coomer. As early as 1891, Hugh had opened a local paint store business, one that stayed in the family until the 1980s. Hugh may have been painting before the opening of his storefront. He is known to have worked out of a wagon, painting houses on contract. It wasn’t just Hugh, his brother (Allen) was also a painter and moved his trade to California. Brothers Sam and William were teamsters or Hackman (wagon drivers), and Robert was a carpenter in California.

Advertisement for H. Coomer & Sons, accessed from Newspapers.com, The Advocate-Messenger, 23 July 1963.

Though Ohlrick Kucks was a farmer after arriving in the United States, he spent his later years tending bar at various saloons. My grandmother believes he worked at establishments in towns along the rail lines.

And let’s not forget our ladies. They weren’t just housewives and mothers. Eleanor Cobe went to school to become a teacher. I’m not sure if she ever taught as she met and married Kenneth Sr. around the same time that she would have completed her certification. Grandma tells us that her grandmother, Elizabeth Kucks or Luella DeJean, must have worked as a domestic servant as they had peculiar habits that went above and beyond regular house chores. I must call grandma to confirm as I can’t remember which one or what the practice was that grandma recalled; it was something that indicated formal training in laundry or cooking.

Early 20th century school room, accessed from Simran and Ananyan’s website