Log in

No account? Create an account
29 January 2007 @ 08:23 pm
The plot thickens--two brothers found dead in the night?  
So I was convinced that it was a family cover up, so typical of our family, and I called my Aunt Pauline expecting to break the news to her that we'd all been fed a pack of lies. Little did I know the story was about to take a strange turn. I wrote this email reply to my informant:

I called my Aunt Pauline for more information. She says that I am mistaken, that George Frank Paris was probably the uncle of her husband, that when she married my cousin George in 1945 his father was long since dead, that he was killed when my cousin was very young, probably less than 2 or 3 years old. She elaborated on the story (and you'll see how I confused the two): he was a night watchman at a box factory by the river in Keokuk (my birth city) Iowa, the men gambled on the night shift out of boredom. He was found shot to death by the morning shift. She gives his name as Earl and says he was my great grandma's twin brother. I do know that her family was large, she had at least 5 or 6 siblings. My great grandma's name was Pearl or Nona Pearl so Earl could be either his first or middle name to match the pattern if they were twins. I just figured that my cousin ("Uncle") George was named after his father, and I had no idea that both brothers died in the night and were found by other people, so it was easy to think that the George who was found dead at a service station was the father who was murdered in the night.

She said all she learned about this she heard from other people because her husband grew up believing that Lee and Pearl (Paris) Elschlager were his birth parents. She says it wasn't until he went in the army and had to get his birth certificate and couldn't find one under Elschlager that he discovered the truth. She says he didn't really want to hear about his birth parents and she only met his birth mother (Rosetta) a couple of times. (The mother's name lends credence to the idea that we are talking about a different brother of my great grandma's, since the obit for George Frank Paris mentions an Elsa and also neglects to mention any surviving children.)

Aunt Pauline claims that there were theories about the killer but nothing was ever proven. It sounded like the implication was that gambling was involved. She says that whenever the elder family members were talking about it they'd all hush up if one of the younger generation came into the room, so she never did learn very much about his parents.

[I was about to send this email, then I had a burst of inspiration...looked something up, and added: ]

I went and found my pictures of the family head stones from the Camp Ground cemetery (finding it when we were back in 2004 was an adventure in and of itself--the road wasn't marked off the main highway and we had to ask around town). There is the head stone for George Frank Paris and Elsie--she lived until 1992. Then there is a stone for a Cecil Earl Paris (1896, same as my great grandma, to 1928, the time my Aunt Pauline indicated) and Rosetta (1895-1971). This fits in with what my Aunt is telling me. So I am really looking for a Cecil Earl Paris who died in Keokuk in 1928.

So, the plot thickens...gambling at night in a box factory. Murdered over debts? Cheating? We'll see. Tomorrow I'll see what records the police have.
axolotl9axolotl9 on January 30th, 2007 05:20 am (UTC)
but from the genealogy website i found
(i'm always looking at family tree stuff, it's fun) Cecil Earl Paris had two sisters, Bertha and Amanda, neither of whom was a twin (Bertha born 1891, Amanda in 1899). Now assuming your cousin George is the one born in 1926, he had a brother named Cecil who was born in 1918 and died in 1989 in Texas.

Unless... Cecil Earl Paris was a child of his father (George Washington Parris - apparently they lost the second R somewhere) and his second wife. Wife #1's kids apparently don't figure into this one family tree I found, assuming there were any.) Looking around further I found an obituary for his sister Bertha (and you don't even *want* to know how she died) which mentioned 5 living sisters, all of whome were referenced by their husbands' names, one of whom was "Mrs. Lee Elschlager" who I'm guessing was your great-grandmother, and 4 surviving brothers, one of whom is Frank Paris of Richland, Iowa. Maybe that's George Frank Paris? (Cecil Earl Paris died in 1928 and so went unmentioned in the obituary).

And what happened to Cousin George's other siblings? (Jake, Oscar, Vally and Jaunita, counting the ones who were alive when Cecil Earl died.)

now you've got me curious...
Tapatitapati on January 30th, 2007 05:29 pm (UTC)
Re: but from the genealogy website i found
I found a listing last night that shows all of the children of the second wife (Laura McDaniel)and it shows Cecil Earl and my Great-grandma born on the same day, yes she is Lee Elschlager's wife, all my obits only show the husband's name--maddening! Her name was Nona Pearl although she went by Pearl. I wonder if Cecil often went by Earl? I always heard that twins and triplets ran in the family.

I heard all of George's siblings were placed with relatives, and there were lots to place them with. I hope ultimately for this to end up in the area papers and encourage everyone to reconnect somehow. I'd like to hear their stories.

One of my obits is for Rosetta's brother who married Amanda ("Mandie")and does mention her, so yes I guess these folks all got to know each other and siblings married each other. Not so odd--I once dated a sibling of my half brother's wife.
axolotl9: snowaxolotl9 on January 30th, 2007 05:25 am (UTC)
oh, and
Amanda Paris, Cecil Earl's sister, married the brother of Cecil Earl's wife Rosetta. Interesting, no?
Tapatitapati on January 30th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC)
Re: oh, and
Here's a photo of Amanda and Oscar (yep, that's my Aunt Mandy!)

axolotl9: confusedaxolotl9 on January 30th, 2007 05:30 am (UTC)
one more thing
there's a photo of Rosie McKinney with an unidentified baby in her arms here. Now, I do know enough about cars to identify that as a Dodge sedan from the mid-1920s. So I'm wondering if that baby is George Paris...
Tapatitapati on January 30th, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC)
Re: one more thing
I believe I've seen that photo before, in my grandmother's collection, but I didn't inherit her stuff. In fact, her sister's family did and they sold our children's rocker that she was storing for when my daughter had children. They just sold it off at an estate sale, even though we had sent them money to ship it. Nice folks.
osthein on January 30th, 2007 01:15 pm (UTC)
Found this tree and thought it might be of interest
Tapatitapati on January 30th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)
Great, piecing that info together with ancestry.com's info really helps!

Unfortunately, no one seems to have information on Laura McDaniel's parents. I wonder if any of the other family knows their names. I should publish back home and ask if anyone has followed her line back. I know there are genealogy boards there.

Tapatitapati on January 30th, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
axolotl9: 1994axolotl9 on January 30th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
too many Laura McDaniel's
Laura appears to be a "family name" for the McDaniel family - there is at least one Laura in every McDaniel family tree I've found online, none of whom are the right one, darn it! Heck, there are at least four Laura McDaniels with websites that I've looked over. Very popular name.
Tapatitapati on January 30th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC)
Re: too many Laura McDaniel's
I did get a bunch of McDaniel head stone photos from the same cemetery so I think I may be able to trace some of them to her from another direction, I want to try other area cemeteries when we go back this summer.

I probably should post on one of the Scotland county boards.