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27 March 2007


Addaline "Addie" T. Curtis    

Researcher: Thomas F. Hahn swiftwater@lenapedelawarehistory.net

Addaline Curtis's Signature in 1929 at Age 78

Addaline "Addie" T. Curtis was born on 22 April 1851 at Cannonsville, Delaware County, New York. (The birth date is from her "Declaration for Remarried Widow's Pension on 25 January 1929. She also said in that document that she was born in Deposit, but she may have said that as it being the nearest larger town.) Cannonsville is now under a lake as part of a large reservoir. Her name is also in the records as Adeline, Adelaide, Addeline. Her nickname was "Addie." It is not known what "T." stands for. The only other recent person in her family with a name beginning with T was her sister, Theresa Curtis. A photograph of Addie as a young woman shows her to be an attractive, dark-haired person.

Adeline T. Curtis as a Young Woman about Age Fifteen or Sixteen. This may have been taken at her marriage to Orson Owen in New York when she was 15. The image we were using was replaced was revised on 25 March 2005 on receipt of a better copy from Floyd Dewitt dewitts@midtel.net . The back of that image on the reverse says, "N. A. Beers, Photographers, Franklin, New York" Franklin is in Delaware County, South West of Oneonta, going towards Walton. The earlier original image is in the Hahn Collection, but the image from Floyd Dewitt is in better condition.)

We know nothing of Clarinda's childhood in New York except for the basic data on her parents, Nathan Curtis, Jr., and her, mother, Clarinda Hood, and her siblings, who were:

1. Caroline "Carrie" Curtis was born on 18 November 1848 in Delaware County, New York. She died on 7 April 1915 in Sanford, Broome County, New York, and was buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery. [Her obituary in the 15 April edition of an unknown news paper said, "The funeral was held at her daughter's home in Sanford Sunday. Burial in Pine Grove Cemetery" It is not clear whether the cemetery was at Sanford or the Pine Grove Cemetery at Deposit. They may be one and the same.  A daughter mentioned was Mrs. J. A. Gregory of Sanford.] Carrie married Sherman Watrous.

2. Dwight (Dewit) M. Royal Curtis was born about 1850 at Tompkins, Delaware County, New York and was buried in the Walton Town Cemetery. Dwight married Zeliatte (Zeliatte) Houck (Hawk) on 30 September 1874 at Hancock, Delaware County, New York.

3. Munroe "Munzo" Curtis was born in 1853 in Delaware County, New York and was christened on 16 March 1856 at the Baptist Church at Deposit, Delaware County, New York.

4. Sarah Curtis was born 1854/1855.

5. Theresa Curtis

On 26 February 1867, at Deposit, Broome County, New York, Addaline Curtis married Orson Anderson Owen (whom see in the Owen Family History).  Orson was born on 1 September 1842 in Chardon, Geauga County, Ohio. He was a Civil War Veteran. Orson (of Gulf Summit) and Addie were married at the Sherwood House in Deposit, Broome County, New York according to an item in a Deposit newspaper. About 1868, Addie and Orson moved to Washington Township, Bremer County, Iowa. Their daughter, Elizabeth, was born in Michigan about 1868; it appears that she was born during their move to Iowa. Little is known of their life in Bremer County. In the 1880 census there, Orson was a laborer and Addie was "keeping house.

Addaline "Addie" Curtis. The date and place where the photographs were taken is not known. Guessing at Addie's  age, The child in the photograph on the right may be Addie's first daughter, Elizabeth, who was born about 1868 in Michigan (Census 1870, Waverly, Washington Township, Bremer County, Iowa) or her second daughter, Margaret, who was born at Waverly in 1872. ) We do not know where or when this photograph was taken. (Provided by Winnifred and Floyd de Witt).
About 1871, Orson and Addie and their daughter Margaret and perhaps their daughter Elizabeth moved to the Solomon River Valley in Dickinson County, Kansas. [Elizabeth may have died before the enumeration of the 1875 census; if so we don't know when.] It is not known why they went there; Orson did not receive Bounty Land as a result of his Civil War enlistment. It may have been his intent to homestead there, but so far, no record of his "homesteading" or of having or farming land in the Solomon River Valley has been found. In 1939, his daughter, Maggie Owen, had this to say of her early life.

When I was 1 year old [about 1871] my parents moved to Kansas from Iowa where I was born. My father hired a man to bring us as they were moving out here. There were five families in all moving at that time in moving wagons drawn by oxen. It took six weeks to make the trip. We landed in the Solomon [River] Valley and lived for a time in a sod house with [a] ground [dirt] floor and when it rained the only dry place was under the table. Our table was home made and our chairs were nail kegs and boxes. It was hard living for a time. Finally my father got a job on the [railway] section. As time wore on he was made section foreman, and that was his work for a good many years. Then he moved to Solomon City, still held his job.

Adaline T. Curtis as a Mature Woman in Parkerville, Kansas (Thomas Hahn Collection)

It is not known when Addie and Orson moved to Parkerville, Parker Township, Morris County, Kansas. They are there in the 1880 census with their children Maggie, Mary, and Jackson. Their daughter Margaret "Maggie" said that it was about 1878-1880. 

When I was between 8 & 9 we were moved to Parkerville [Morris County], Kansas. For 4 years he [Orson Owen] was a section foreman, then he took over a job as a grain buyer for a man by the name of Joe Drake. When I was 13 years old my father bought a farm 3 1/2 miles from Parkerville. There was a large family of us, twelve in all. Never was there more than 4 at a time as sickness and death took from our loved ones. I had 5 brothers and 7 sisters. I never had a brother live to be 5 years old. (Reminiscence of Margaret "Maggie Owen in 1939)

The farm mentioned by Maggie was on an 80-acre farm. They also had a 40-acre tract nearby. Having the 1885 census would be helpful here to fill in this portion of Addie's life, especially since the 1890 census is not available. [I am working on researching the Morris County newspapers and hope to fill in some of this gap one of these days. Editor]  In the 1895 census for Parker Township, Maggie and Mary are living with their parents. Jackson having died earlier. In the 1900 census, Clara and Martha are living with Orson and Addie, Maggie and Mary having married in the interim.

From the 1900 and 1905 census, it is difficult to ascertain whether Addie and Orson were still living on their farm in Parker Township or whether they will living in town Parkerville. I will re-examine those census and the deed research that has been done to see if I can reconstruct where they were living in that period. Being not later than 1898, Orson was in poor health according to his correspondence to and from the Pension Office in Washington until his death on 26 April 1908. Accordingly, he would have found it difficult to do the work that is required on a farm. In the 1910 Census Addie was living in Parkerville with their daughter, Martha Owen. On 13 February 1913, Addie sent a change of address, signing her name as Addaline O.[wen] Varner, from 118 South Mission Street in Council Grove to 612 West Hockaday Street in Council Grove. Why she was there and whether she lived in her own place or nor, is not known. These may be the addresses of sisters of other relatives with whom she lived. As noted, it is odd that the name was Varner when she didn't married Richard Varner until 1916.

Addie Owen 52, of Parkerville, Morris County, Kansas, married second, Richard E. Varner 55, of Parkerville, on 9 August 1916 at Emporia, Lyon County, Kansas, Certificate No. 67316 recorded p. 351 of Marriage Record E of Lyon County. [Their names were given as Addie Owen and R. E. Varner on the certificate.] This in spite of a letter on 13 February 1913 where her name was given as she signed her name as Addaline O. Varner. Richard Varner's previous wife was Abigail Dye. Richard Varner is in the 1900 census for Parker Township, Parkerville, with his own home free of mortgage, was born in Ohio, his father born in Pennsylvania, and his mother born in Ohio. Richard Varner was a cabinet make who owned his own shop in Parkersville. He died in 1929. Addie probably inherited his house and property. In a document No.1247 dated 14 January 1929, B-411 -- probably having to do with her Civil War Widow's Pension Claim -- , it says, "Owned lots 1, 2, 3, 13, 14 Parkersville, 1 Jersey cow, 32 chickens, and 3 boxes of bees. Son: Joseph [Varner's son]. Addie may have Addie and Richard Varner lived in this house. So far, I have not researched the sale of Addie's real estate.

I am trying to reconstruct where Addie lived after the death of Richard Varner. She is still in Parkerville in the 1930 Census, but that census is the last one that we can search. In 1930, Adie would have been about 67 years old. If her health was good at that time, she might have lived there several more years. We know that she had sold her house by at least 1940, because on 3 May 194, she wrote in a letter to the Pension Office that she had moved from 417 South Market at Emporia, Kansas, where she was living with with her sister, Mrs. Mary Akey, to Dwight, Kansas, where she was probably staying with her sdaughter, Martha Brown.


Addie (Curtis) (Owen) Varner and  Richard Varner Home at Parkerville, Morris County, Kansas. This was probably the home that  Richard Varner owned before their marriage in 1916. (Provided by Descendant, Darrel Haley)


Adaline Curtis in Her Early Nineties (Thomas Hahn Collection)

Adaline T. Curtis in Her Early Nineties in Probably Council Grove, Kansas (Thomas Hahn Collection)

Adaline T. Curtis Hahn Collection

Adaline T. Curtis in her early nineties, in probably Council Grove, Kansas (Provided by Darrel Halley)Hahn Collection)

Addeline (Curtis) (Owen) Varner about 1939 (Provided by Darrel Haley)

Addeline (Curtis) (Owen) Varner, her Daughter Sarah Clara (Owen) (Baker) Reed, her Daughter Bernice Baker Haner. and her Daughter, Pat (Haner) Pingrey about 1939 in Kansas )Provided by Darrel Haley)

According to her grand-daughter, Helen Torgeson in a letter of 1979, Addie was probably buried at Parkerville, but Thomas and Chris Hahn found no grave marker at the Parkerville Cemetery. In Volume II of the Parkerville Cemetery,  Adeline is listed under the Varner name as Adeline Varner 3/3/44, 92 yr."

Obituary of Addaline (Curtis) (Owen) Varner


Addaline Curtis was born April 22, 1851, in New York State. She was married to Orson A. Owen Feb. 26, 1867; to this union were born 12 children. 5 of whom preceded her in death. He four surviving daughters are Mrs. Margaret Torgeson, Topeka; Mrs. Mary Acker;, Emporia; Mrs. Clara Reed, Junction City, and Mrs. Martha Brown, Dwight. She departed this life March 3, 1944, at the age of 92 years. 11 months, and 3 days at the home of Mrs. Nels Brooks in Council Grove, who had cared for her several months.


To her great grandson, Thomas Hahn, she appeared to be a gentle, kind person. She lived most of her adult life at Parkerville, Morris County, Kansas. Her great-grandson Lawrence Brown (deceased) said, "I knew my grandmother Adeline in 30's and early 40's when she was retired and living in Council Grove, Kansas. I remember her as being a very serene and lovely person and she treated me wonderfully. We were very good friends."


Memories of Addaline (Curtis) Owen Varner (Florence Torgeson Letter to Nat Hahn July, perhaps 1978)

     I dont know whether you will get much information from Martha as I wrote two years ago when you were making out some papers and asked about her sisters age or something and she said she didnt know. And you asked about my grandmother Owens, about anything I could tell you and cant think of anything. While she lived to be an old lady, she never told us stories of her life and I cant remember my mother telling anything. When I was young and visited them had a good time. Martha Florence's mother's sister] and I are the same age. She let us do most anything in way of play. They lived 6 miles from us and I would go down to visit them on the train. We girls would play AUTHORS in the evening and we would fix up all kinds of concoctions and put in little patty pans and put in oven or on top of the stove and play house that way. Gladys told me last night that she remembered the day Grandpa [Owen] died, he was found in the barn dead. He had diabetes but I dont remember that, or that he had been sick. Grandma and Martha used to come see us on the train. I think that grandpa worked on the [railway] section. After Grandma became a widow one or two summers I went down to a carnival and we fell for a fellow that took up tickets. He didnt know it but we went home and talked about him. I was probably 13 years old but I do remember their yard there were glorious morning glories growing around the well, and apple trees,, one in particular that had such good eating apples they were called sweet apples and were just that and the inside was so white, they were called pound sweets as they were very large. [An Internet search brings up the statement, "Pound Sweet apple is an old variety that has been a favorite for years. Fruits are large, delightfully sweet. Amber to golden yellow when fully ripe and russeted. Very best baked or canned. Also know as Pumpkin Sweet it originated in 1800's in the apple orchards of S. Lyman of Manchester, Connecticut."]
The house was small, and two rooms upstairs which was steep, but dont remember the furniture or anything about the house but them kitchen, had a cook stove and table, etc. Mother told me that a few days after grandma was married her mother came to see her and grandma was cutting out baby clothes from her wedding dress and her mother said, "Addie are you in the Family Way" and he reply was "Isnt every one after they get married" but Grandma wasnt so soon, as she didnt have a baby for a year or more.
     Mae was the one that loved her grandma. She was 10 yrs older than I so could appreciate her and she used to talk about her a lot but cant remember what. I never hear Martha mention her uncles or aunts, they no doubt lived back east and in those days traveling was nil almost.

                                                         CENSUS DATA

Census 1855 New York, Delaware County, Tompkins: age 4, born Delaware County and had been there four years.
Census 1855 New York, Delaware County, North Sanford, #724. [Two entries?]

Census 1855 New York, Delaware County, Tompkins: age 4, born Delaware County and had been there four years.
Census 1855 New York, Delaware County, North Sanford, #724. [Two entries?]

Census: 1870 US, Iowa, Bremer County, Washington Township: Austin [Orson] born Ohio, Adaline Owen, age 20 [born about] [1850], Elizabeth Owen, age 2, was born in [1868] MI. [Why were they in Michigan? and what happened to Elizabeth who doesn't appear in the next census or two?]

Census: 1875 Kansas, Morris County, Parkerville, p.16: She is not in LDS Film 0570213, but the words on the film are very faint.

 Census for Parkerville, Parker Township, Morris County, Kansas 1880 US, Kansas, p. 4: Andrew O. 36, RR foreman born Ohio, father/mother born New York; Francis A, wife, age____, born New York, father/mother born New York; Maggie, 10, born Iowa, Mary 4. born Kansas; Jackson A., 9 mos, born Kansas.

Census for 1885 for Kansas. [Need this entry.]

Census for 1895 Township E-V, Morris County, Kansas, Dwelling 82, House, 92 LDS Film 0570334?: Adaline Owen, age 35 with spouse O. A. Owen and daughters Maggie Owen, age 14 and Mary Owen, age 9,and George Glick 2.

Census for 1900 Parker Township, Morris County Kansas, Vol. 35 Sheet 3 E. D. 108 Line 64 LDS Film 1244002: Addeline Owen, age 49, was  born in New York, April 1851 with spouse Orson Owen and daughters Clara Owen, age 3, was born in April 1888 and Martha Owen, age 3, was  born in February 1897 in Kansas. She had nine children, four of whom were living.

Census: 1905 Kansas, Morris County, Parker Township, LDS FHL Film 0570334?, p. 5, line 4, Dwelling 28. Family 29: Adeline Owen, age 44, was born in New York, was from Iowa; Mary Owen, age 8, was born in Kansas, was from Kansas; Clara Owen, age 7, was born in Kansas.          

Census: 1910 US Parkerville City, Parker Township, Morris County, Kansas, LDS Film 1370395; 051 0089 0017/National Archive Microfilm Series 624 Roll 449, Part 2 Ancestry.com Online Images 2 of 19, enumerated on 15 April: Addie Owen, age 58, was  born in New York. Martha Owen, age 1, was  born in Kansas. Addie owned her own home free of a mortgage.

Census: 1915 Parkerville, Parker Township, Morris County, Kansas, p. 4, line 26, Dwelling 33, Family 34, Addie Owen, age  64, was born in New York, was from Iowa, a housekeeper. Line 26 Martha Owen, age 18, was born in Kansas.

Census 1920 Parkerville, Parker Township, Morris County, Kansas, Ancestry.com Online Images 13 of 14, Supervisor's District 64-18, Enumeration District 98, enumerated 5 January 1920:
Line 41. Dwelling 13 Family, 14. Richard E. Varner, age 78, was born in Ohio, father was born In Pennsylvania, mother was born in Ohio, was a cabinet maker in his own shop and paid his own wages. Farm No. 146.
Line 42. Addie Varner, age 68, was born in New York, father was born in New York, mother was born in New York.

Census 1930 Parkerville, Parker Township, Morris County, Kansas, Ancestry.com Online Image 3 of 3, National Archives Microfilm Roll 711, Image 967, Supervisor's District 64-18, Enumeration District 10, p. 250:
Line 5 Dwelling 26 Family 27, Adie Varner, age 78, value of home $40-, did not live on a farm, was born in New York, father was born in Missouri [New York], mother was born in New York, Code 56.

Times New Roman 14 point. Photo check A. Front Page copy 2 August 2005. TH