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Susan V. (Martin) Sisler


Susan and Harrison Sisler
Courtesy Cheri Denise Blaylock-Lovell
Susan V. (Martin) Sisler
was born in 1860 in Preston County, WV, the daughter of James K. and Margaret (Minerd) Martin.

On Jan. 28, 1881, the 20-year-old Susan was united in holy matrimony with 40-year-old widower Harrison L. "Harry" Sisler (Dec. 19, 1840-1906). The ceremony was performed by S.A. Sisler, apparently a relative of the groom. Their marriage license is still on file at the Preston County Courthouse in Kingwood, WV. 

Harrison and his late first wife, Mary Jane Deberry (1842-1878), had borne a large family of children -- Ida Sisler, Walter Howard Sisler, Warren Lee Sisler, Olive Travor Shonsey, Edward A. Sisler, Samuel J. Sisler and Eugene Sisler, all born in Preston County. At the age of 26, he had registered for the military draft during the Civil War, but there is no evidence to suggest that he ever joined the Army.

Sadly, daughter Ida died at the age of 4 in the Portland District of Preston County on May 25, 1870. 

Harrison and his first family migrated in about 1876 to Minnesota, first establishing their home in Le Sueur County. Within a short time they moved to Kelso, Sibley County, MN.

Harrison and his 1st wife Mary Jane 
Courtesy Cheri Denise Blaylock-Lovell
The family was plunged into mourning when first wife Mary Jane died in Sibley County at the age of 35 on Feb. 18, 1878. Her remains are believed to have been laid to rest in Traver Cemetery, Rush River, MN.

The widowed Harrison was a farmer as shown in the 1880 federal census enumeration, with his 33-year-old sister Mary Hayze living with the family as a house keeper. It's surmised that he returned to West Virginia in 1881 to marry our Susan, and then brought her back to Minnesota to help raise his boys.

Susan and Harrison went on to produce three known sons of their own -- Harvey Sisler, Fred Sisler and William Harold Sisler.

Harrison is known on Nov. 10, 1882 to have patented a 40-acre homestead tract in a transaction with the U.S. General Land Office, Red Wing Land District, at Redwood Falls. The legal description of the acreage was 1 NESE 5th Principal Meridian No 112, N 27, W 26. 

Back in Preston County, in 1881-1882, Harrison in absentia was one of several men named in a lawsuit dispute over a fraudulent real estate deed brought by the executor of Israel Baldwin. As of 1881, reported the West Virginia Argus, "the defendants ... are not residents of this State" and were requested to appear in court to defend their interests. The county court ruled in 1883 that the acreage in question be sold to settle the matter. 

When a special census was taken of Minnesota in 1885, 44-year-old Harrison was enumerated with Susan, written as "S.B. Sisler," age 24. In their household in Alfsborg, Sibley County were stepsons Walter (age 21), Edward (age 14), Samuel (age 11?), all born in Virginia, and Eugene (age 8, born in Minnesota). As well, the couple's two-year-old son Harvey, born in Minnesota, was in the residence.

After son Fred was born in September 1885, in Minnesota, the family moved to Beemer, Cuming County, NE. Their son William was born there in August 1888. 

The family did not remain for long in Nebraska, and within a few years moved back to Minnesota. 

Grief descended on the family when Susan died in about 1899, rendering Harrison a widower for the second time. The details of her demise are not yet known. Nor is the location of her burial.

Susan, Harrison and stepson Warren (standing with horse)
Courtesy Cheri Denise Blaylock-Lovell

The federal census of 1900 shows a portion of the family making its home in Redwood County, MN -- 59-year old "Harry" as head of the household, marked as married, and working as a teamster at "odd jobs." Sons Fred (age 14) and Willie (11) also were in the residence. 

Harrison made his way to Seattle. In his final years he endured heart disease. 

On Christmas Eve 1906, at the age of 66, he passed into the arms of the angel of death. Burial is said to be in Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park in Seattle, although the grave does not appear to be marked.

~ Son Harvey Sisler ~

Son Harvey Sisler (1883- ? ) was born in 1883 in Minnesota. 

At the age of two years, 11 months, in 1885, he was counted in a Minnesota Census of Sibley County.

Harvey has not been located in the 1900 federal census enumeration and may have been deceased.

~ Son Fred Sisler ~

Son Fred Sisler (1885-1926) was born in September 1885 in Minnesota.

The 1910 federal census of Seattle, King County, WA shows Fred and his brother William boarding in the household of Anne Neorenta. The residence was located on Second Avenue Northeast. Both men were employed that year as wagon drivers for a feed and fuel company, a business possibly owned by their older half brother Warren.

On Sept. 15, 1921, Fred at the age of 36 was joined in wedlock with 41-year-old Elizabeth "Libbie" (Richmond) Hurd (1880-1947), the daughter of Lewis B. and Sarah (Palmer) Richmond. Superior Court Judge Brinker officiated at the King County Courthouse.

The Seattle Star once said that she had come to Seattle in 1917. Libbie had been married before and brought three stepchildren into the union -- Henry Hurd, Mervyn Hurd and Masie Lundquist.

The Sislers made their home in Seattle. Libble belonged to the Daughters of American Veterans, the Pocahontas organization and the Ladies Relief Corps of the Grand Army of the Republic. Circa 1926, Fred earned a living as a truck driver.

On the fateful day of Oct. 7, 1926, Fred at the age of 41 was killed in an automobile accident in Seattle. News of the tragedy was published in the Vashon Island (WA) News-Record.

Libbie outlived her husband by more than two decades. Her final address was 7444 Fourth Avene Northeast. She surrendered to death in Seattle at the age of 67 on July 13, 1947. Her obituary appeared in the Star. Burial of the remains was in Washelli Cemetery.

Stepson Henry Hurd lived in Seattle in 1947.

Stepson Mervyn Hurd made his residence in Seattle.

Stepdaughter Masie Hurd wed (?) Lundquist. Circa 1947, she dwelled in Tacoma, WA. 

~ Son William Harold Sisler ~

Son William Harold Sisler (1888-1958) was born on Aug. 16, 1888 in Beemer, NE.

The 1910 federal census of Seattle, King County, WA shows the bachelor William and his brother Fred boarding in the household of Anne Neorenta. The residence was located on Second Avenue Northeast. Both men were employed that year as wagon drivers for a feed and fuel company, a business possibly owned by their older half brother Warren.

William was joined in wedlock with Daisy Boyce (1886-1972), a native of Illinois and the daughter of Charles Boyce. 

One stepson of this family was Melvin Sisler.

Seattle skyline with the eternal presence of Mount Rainier seen some 50 miles away, but appearing to be much closer

The Seattle City Directory of 1918 gives the family address as 529 Ravenna and William's work as teamster. 

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1920, the Sislers and Daisy's parents shared a home in San Antonio, Los Angeles County, CA. William's occupation at that time was as an automobile mechanic in a garage.

The couple lived in Grafton, Yolo County, CA in the 1930 to 1940 timeframe. William earned a living in 1930 as a tractor man at a farm, and in 1940 as a truck driver, hauling wood, and Daisy as a seamstress and laundress operating out of their home. Daisy's father shared their home in 1930-1940.

The Sislers eventually made their way to Sacramento, CA. In October 1943, reported the Sacramento Bee, he "pleaded guilty to theft of government property at the Sacramento Air Depot" and received a probation sentence of a year's duration.  

Neither William or Daisy had an occupation as indicated in the 1950 United States Census. Their final home together was with their son at 3119 North Fair Oaks Boulevard in Carmichael, CA.

William at the age of 69 made the fateful decision to end his own life. On April 22, 1958, Daisy found him dead in bed "when she went to wake him to take him to a doctor's appointment," reported the Sacramento Bee. "She said he had been ill for some time. Deputies said he shot himself in the upper abdomen with a .22 caliber rifle."  The news story referred to William as a "retired railroad worker."

Daisy outlived her spouse by a baker's dozen years and wed again to (?) Regan ( ? - ? ). She remained in Carmichael to the end. Death claimed her life on Jan. 26, 1972. An obituary in the Bee said that graveside services would be held at Mary's Cemetery, Yolo, and that the headcount of her survivors was two grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. 

Stepson Melvin E. Sisler (1907-1995) was born in about 1907 in Washington State. At the age of 21, circa 1928, he married 17-year-old Pauline Z. McNeill (1911- ? ), a native of Kentucky and the daughter of James McNeill. Together they bore two offspring -- Melvin H. Sisler and Marlene Anita Houghton Foster. Census records for 1930 place the family in Silveyville, Solano County, CA. There, Melvin earned a living as a farm laborer. Circa 1935, the Sislers lived in Yolo County, CA and in 1940 were in Cacheville, Yolo County, with Melvin working as an automotive mechanic in his own shop, and Pauline as a cook in a restaurant. Melvin's home in 1952-1958 was in Carmichael, CA at the address of 3117 Fair Oaks Boulevard. In October 1960, in Sacramento, Pauline sued for divorce, citing cruelty. At some point he became an ordained minister and an honorary deputy sheriff for Sacramento County. Melvin married a second time to Rosemond ( ? - ? ). Their final years were spent in Folsom, CA. He held memberships in the Audobon Society and American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) as well as the California Sheriff Association. Sadly, Melvin died at the age of 88 on April 19, 1995. His obituary appeared in the Sacramento Bee. The remains were lowered into the sleep of ages in Mary's Cemetery District in Yolo County. 

  • Granddaughter Marlene Anita Sisler was a graduate of El Camino High School and belonged to the Camellia Assembly of the Order of Rainbow for Girls. She made her residence in 1958 in Carmichael, CA. That year, she was among 13 local girls competing for the Miss Carmichael beauty crown sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce, and was pictured in a related story in the Sacramento Bee. On Nov. 8, 1958, she was joined in wedlock with Frank C. Houghton Jr. ( ? - ? ). The ceremony was conducted in the Carmichael Community Church, by the hand of Rev. James C. Smith. In announcing the marriage, the Bee said she had selected to wear "a chapel length gown of silk taffeta and French chantilly lace. The bodice is fashioned with a Sabrina neckline and long sleeves, and an Empire waistline. The skirt is bell shaped in front." Frank also was an El Camino alumnus and attended American River Junior College. By 1995, Marlene had wed again to (?) Foster ( ? - ? ). She dwelled at that time in El Dorado Hills, CA.
  • Grandson Melvin Harold Sisler (1929- ? ) was born on April 6, 1929 in San Francisco County, CA. He was an alumnus of Grant Union High School and studied at Sacramento College. He was involved in a tragic automobile crash in 1946 which claimed the life of motorcyclist Edwin Maurice Hill, and in 1947 a Superior Court jury awarded $20,000 in damages to the victim's family. Melvin was wed multiple times. His first spouse, whom he married on Jan. 16, 1947 in Nevada, was Mary Beth Donald ( ? - ? ), daughter of A.D. Donald of Carmichael, CA. On Aug. 23, 1952, he entered into marriage with Shirley McCracken ( ? - ? ), daughter of George McCracken of Citrus Heights, CA. Their nuptials were announced in the Roseville (CA) Press-Tribune, which said that Shirley had attended Roseville Joint Union High School. Then in 1954, as a soldier with the U.S. Army, he trained at Fort Ord, CA. He then was united in matrimony with Terry G. Milbourne ( ? - ? ), daughter of John P. Milbourne of North Highlands, CA. They dwelled in El Paso, TX in 1954 at the address of 921 North Oregon Street. By 1958, they had relocated to Oakland, CA. One known son of the union was Patrick Michael Sisler. Melvin and Terry divorced in September 1971 in Santa Clara County, CA. He appears to have tied the knot with June E. Clatt ( ? - ? ), with the pair divorcing in Sacramento in November 1974. Melvin's residence in 1995 was in Millbrae, CA.

    Great-grandson Michael Patrick Sisler (1954- ? ) was born in 1954 in Providence Memorial Hospital in El Paso, TX. News of his birth was announced in the El Paso Times. As a boy he moved with his parents to Oakland, CA.


~ Stepson Walter Howard Sisler ~

Walter and Leanna (Roesch) Sisler  
Courtesy Cheri Denise Blaylock-Lovell
Stepson Walter Howard Sisler (1864-1937) was born on March 12, 1864 near Terra Alta, Preston County, WV. 

He was 12 years of age in 1876 when he moved with his parents to Le Sueur County, MN.

Circa 1886, at the age of about 22, Walter wed Leanna "Annie" Roesch (Dec. 5, 1864-1939), a native of Minnesota and the daughter of Gottlieb and Susanna (Bowman) Roesch, the father an immigrant from Germany

They together produced a brood of seven children, of whom six are known -- Mary Susanna Sisler, Alta Ermina Howard, Martha Rachel Walters, John Howard Sisler, Ronald Eugene Sisler and Warren L.B. Sisler. Two of the offspring died as babies -- Mary in Red Willow County, NE on Jan. 29, 1889 and Ronald in Redwood County, MN on Sept. 15, 1901. Inscribed on Ronald's grave marker in the Redwood Falls Cemetery is this epitaph "It was an angel that visited the green earth and took a flower away."

The Sislers lived in Beemer, NE in 1896. From there they moved to Minnesota. The 1900 census shows the family living as farmers in Sheridan, Redwood County, MN, with 21-year-old cousin Sadie C. Sisler and 22-year-old Glen Rowley boarding in their home. 

In the decade of the 1900s, they were on the move again, to Kansas in 1903 and to New Plymouth, ID in 1905, where he was a farmer and employed by the Farmers Co-operative Canal Company. The family migrated to Seattle in 1907 and to New Plymouth, ID in 1908 where he was named superintendent of an irrigation canal operated by the Farmer's Co-op.

Walter's occupation in 1910 was "ditch rider." Then in 1911, he was tapped to be superintendent of the Canyon Canal, serving for a term of five years and overseeing the facility's enlargement and reinforcement. Then circa 1912, they moved to the Emmett Bench near Emmett, Gem County, ID, where they stayed put and remained for the next 34 years.

Strawberry field in Emmett, ID, watered by irrigation canals of the type Walter Sisler helped to construct.

Circa 1920, the Sislers lived in Emmett, Gem County, ID, at which time Howard made his living as a fruit farmer, with son Warren working on the farm. They also provided housing for four male boarders at that time. He served on the Emmett Irrigation District board of directors from 1922 to 1928.

On June 21, 1937, Walter died in his sleep at the age of 73. Burial was in Emmett Cemetery. An obituary said he was survived by 18 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Leanna survived as a widow for two more years. She suffered toward the end with chronic heart disease and enlargement of the heart. After contracting pneumonia, death swept her away on June 22, 1939.

Daughter Alta Ermina Sisler (1890-1982) was born on March 22, 1890 in Cherry County, NE. She is known in 1905, at the age of about 15, to have assisted in the delivery of her baby brother Warren. On Christmas Day 1908, when she was 18 years of age, she entered into the rite of marriage with 25-year-old rancher Robert John Howard Sr. (April 2, 1882-1974), the son of Ida M. Howard and originally from Mankato, MN. Their wedding was held in New Plymouth, Payette County, ID. Seven known children were born into this union, all sons but the eldest --- Frances Leanna Horn, Walter Allen Howard, Robert J. Howard Jr., Harry E. Howard, Emory M. Howard, Quentin E. Howard and Glenn D. Howard. Robert in his early years resided at Jamestown, ND and Butte, MT, migrating to Idaho in 1896 at the age of 14. Alta and Robert centered their lives on farming. When the federal census enumerations were made in 1920, 1930 and 1940, the family resided on a farm in the Hanna Precinct near Emmett, Gem County, ID. In 1920, Robert's widowed mother and single sister Mollie lived under their roof. The mother resided elsewhere in 1930 but by 1940 and into 1950 was back in their household. They appear to have stayed in Emmett for the duration. The family held a membership in the Church of the Nazarene. Sadly, Robert died on April 28, 1974, at the age of 92, in a hospital in Emmett. His funeral service was performed by the hand of Rev. William Moore of the family church. An obituary said he was survived by 18 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. Alta outlived him by almost a decade. She passed away on Oct. 11, 1982. Her remains were lowered into eternal sleep in Emmett Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Frances Leanna Howard (1910- ? ) was born in about 1910. On Nov. 21, 1928, when she was 18 years of age, Frances was united in wedlock with Lloyd Lawrence Horn ( ? - ? ). The marriage ceremony took place in Emmett, Gem County. The Horns made a home in Boise in 1974.
  • Grandson Walter Allen Howard (1911-2008) was born on Sept. 8, 1911 in New Plymouth, Payette County, ID. He was an alumnus of Emmett High School and went on to study at Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, ID. On Nov. 15, 1932, he married fellow Northwest Nazarene student Iva Helen Ax (1910-1985). They spent their married lives in Emmett. Together, they produced a trio of children -- Helen Roy, Walter Allen Howard Jr. and Ed Howard. Said the Idaho Statesman, Walter "began his farming career on the Emmett Bench, starting from a modest beginning, originally renting ground to farm, and then later purchasing his own farm on which he and Iva built their home... The list of his accomplishments in innovative and productive irrigation and farming practices is testimony that the award was well deserved. Not only was Walter a successful businessman but he was willing to share his leadership ability as evidenced by his board membership over the years for several organizations, not the least of which was Northwest Nazarene College where he served on the Board of Regents for many years..., the Church of the Nazarene District Advisory Board, his local Emmett Nazarene Church Board, the Emmett Irrigation Board, Federal Land Bank Board, Walter Knox Memorial Hospital Board, and numerous others." In recognition, he was named "Farmer of the Year" in 1998. Iva was spirited away by the angel of death on Sept. 19, 1985. Burial was in Emmett Cemetery. Walter lived on as a widower for another 23 years. He surrendered to death in Emmett on April 19, 2008, at the age of 96, from the effects of heart failure. Funeral services took place in the Church of the Nazarene. An obituary in the Statesman said he was survived by eight grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

    Great-granddaughter Helen Howard wed Steven Roy.

    Great-grandson Walter Allen Howard Jr. married Elaine.

    Great-grandson Ed Howard ( ? - ? )

  • Grandson Robert John Howard Jr. (1914- ? ) was born in about 1914. Circa 1974, he was in Emmett.
  • Grandson Harry E. Howard (1915- ? ) was born in about 1915. Single at the age of 25, in 1940, he labored at a local sawmill Hanna, Gem County, ID. In 1950, still under his parents' roof, he worked for "Boise Peyette."
  • Grandson Emory Muzzy Howard (1917-2013) was born on April 2, 1917. His boyhood years were spent on the family farm near Emmett, always doing chores before school, with involvement playing sports, riding horses and 4-H. He belonged to the Future Farmers of America and in 1934, at the age of 17, captured the State Ton Litter contest, a competition based on the weight of his pigs. That same year, he was one of three judges at the Kansas City Livestock Show representing the state of Idaho. In his teen years he also experimented with the feed mixture for his stock, including at times sleeping with the pigs so he would not miss a feeding time. When his parents bought a new farm on the Emmett Bench, at an elevation of 2,418 feet, northwest of Emmett, he stayed out of high school for a year to help work the new property. He returned to Emmett High School and was a member of the 1936 graduating class. Using a combination of proceeds fromt he sale of his pigs and athletic scholarships to finance his undergraduate education at the University of Idaho, where he took part in track and field and played football for three years under the tutelage of head coach Ted Bank. During the homecoming game of 1937 against the Oregon State Beavers, at which the new Neale Stadium was dedicated, Emory caught a touchdown pass with seconds left to tie the score and set the stage for the winning extra point. He received his bachelor of science in agricultural education and extension and then began a teaching career. His first assignment was as a vo-ag educator in Idaho Falls followed by positions in Nampa and Weiser.

    On June 1, 1941, at the age of 24, he wed Margaret E. Idenberry (1917-2012). The couple's union endured for an extraordinary 70 years until cleaved apart by death. They went on to bear two daughters, Janet Isaacson and Jenell McGee. After the outbreak of World War II, Emory joined the U.S. Army Air Corps for a two-year term of service. Then on his return home he taught at Weiser High School, earning additional income managing the 15-acre grounds, farm and cannery of the Intermountain Institute. Emory took a leave of absence from teaching in 1954 to obtain a master's degree in agricultural science from his alma mater, followed by a teaching job at Moscow High School. Later in the 1950s, he was tapped to be state supervisor of vo-ag education, with the family relocating to Boise. He also served as Idaho state advisor for FFA, with a year's term on the national board, and helped edit a book of the Idaho FFA's history from 1918 to 1956. An opportunity arose in 1958 to join the Near East Foundation of New York City which a move to Accra, Ghana. There, he led a team of six engineers in community building for the nation which had become independent from Great Britain. Their projects included schools, bridges, roads, health clinics and sanitation facilities. Two-and-a-half years later, in September 1960, the Howards returned to the United States, only to realize they missed the fascination of a foreign livestyle. Thus in 1961 they took on a new NEF project in Amman, Jordan, with this type of work continuing for 19 years including a new position with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Said the Idaho Statesman, his career focus at this point "involved all major aspects of agricultural modernization in developing countries, from irrigation development, food production, research and extension programs, to improving strains of farm related animals."

    Margaret was an enthusiastic partner in this lifestyle and often prepared meals and attended functions in service of the mission. They embraced each host country's people, customs and culture, especially when they could explore biblical and archaeological sites. Christmas Eve of 1963 included a visit to Bethlehem. Over time, Emory took transfers to Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan, Saigon, Vietnam (circa 1974) and Dacca, Bangladesh. Emory retired in 1979, with the family relocating to Boise. There, they gardened, traveled widely, fished, hunted and collected rocks. These years also included several European tours, a round-the-world holiday when Emory was age 74, and an East Africa safari. Margaret at age 95 passed away on St. Patrick's Day, 2012. Emory outlived her by 17 months. The angel of death carried him away at age 96, in Nampa, on Aug. 31, 2013. In an obituary, the Statesman said that the pair "always made life long friends in the communities where they lived, and thrived on visiting and corresponding with these friends throughout their retirement. Following Dad's motto to work hard, and play hard, his was a life well lived." Their remains are in eternal repose in Coverdale Memorial Park in Boise.

    Great-granddaughter Janet Howard married (?) Isaacson. Her home in 2013 was in Nampa, ID.

    Great-granddaughter Jenell Howard wed (?) McGee. Their two children are Melia Goodwin and Sean McGee. Jenell relocated by 2013 to Bogalusa, LA.

  • Grandson Dr. Quentin Eugene Howard Sr. (1919-2014 ? ) -- sometimes misspelled as "Clinton" -- was born in 1919 near Emmett, ID. He was an alumnus of Emmett High School and then went on to attend Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa and Pasadena (CA) City College. In 1943, he received his undergraduate pre-medical degree from the University of Southern California and interned in Cleveland. Quentin entered into marriage in 1943 with Margie Nell Willingham (1923-2010), a native of Benton, AR, and the daughter of Robert and Belva (Buck) Willingham. The two had met in church in Emmett in their youth. Margie also was an Emmett graduate. The foursome of children born into their family were Quentin Eugene Howard Jr., Marita Douglas, Joanne York and Ronald Howard. The newlyweds set up their home in Emmett with Quentin opening a private medical practice. But World War II intervened, and Quentin joined the U.S. Army Air Force in September 1943. While posted to the District of Columbia, he earned his medical degree from George Washington University, with his tuition paid for by the military. Some of his drills in the army years were marches and parades on the White House lawn. During his time away, she received her nursing degree in 1944 at Northwest Nazarene and Samaritan Hospital. Quentin was promoted to captain, serving in Guam and Texas, and with one role as on-board flight surgeon during a flight around the globe. He also toured some of the bloodiest battle areas on the islands of Guam and Iwo Jima. The family lived in Arlington, VA in 1947 at the birth of their son but by 1949 were back in Idaho. The United States Census of 1950 lists the Howards in Hanna, Gem County, dwelling with Quentin's parents. Said the Idaho Statesman, "Margie was known for her quiet strength, wisdom and insight. She was a gracious hostess and entertained often. She was also known for her dry sense of humor ... and her willingness to be part of a prank [and] could play the violin and the piano and enjoyed singing. She was a Godly Woman who loved her Lord and was a faithful member of the Nazarene church where she served in many capacities including choir member, Sunday School teacher, and missionary society member." 

    At some point they devoted two years to medical missionary service in Belize (the former British Honduras), and another term to Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) in South Africa, on behalf of the Nazarene Church. From there they came back to Cleveland for training and then established a surgical practice in Boise in 1959 in partnership with Dr. Raymond White. This included general surgery at St. Luke's and St. Alphonsus Hospitals for decades, and a role as medical chief of staff at St. Luke's, until retirement in 1986. In the community and profession, he was involved with the American Cancer Society and Mountain States Tumor Institute and as a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons. The retirement years were spent enjoying travel to the deserts of Arizona and California, rock-collecting and polishing, and service to the Nazarene church through missionary work and volunteer roles. Said the Idaho Statesman, "He made many beautiful belt buckles and other jewelry items from the rocks he collected. He also became very adept at creating wooden sculptures of birds and other animals. His steady hands and surgeon's eye for detail were a great talent that he was able to use in other hobbies, including assembling and finishing grandfather clocks. Quentin also loved roses and spent many hours in his rose garden, pruning and tending to the roses that produced many beautiful bouquets on their table." In her own right, Margie liked to work in her garden and on crafts and relaxing in their cabin getaways in Cascade and McCall. Travel adventures included vacations to Alaska, Australia, Israel and New Zealand as well as through the Panama Canal. With Quentin burdened with Parkinson's Disease and Margie with Alzheimer's, they moved from Boise Bench into an assisted living facility in Meridian, ID. The family was plunged into mourning when Margie passed away in St. Luke's Hospital on Valentine's Day, 2010. Quentin wed his second bride, Phyllis (Hartley) Perkins in 2011 and they had three-and-a-half years together. Quentin's final dwelling-place was Meadowlake Assisted Living and the Memory Care Unit. He passed away at the age of 95, on Aug. 11, 2014, in Meridian. A memorial service was conducted at the Valley Shepherd Church of the Nazarene in Meridian. The headcount of his survivors included nine grandchildren and a dozen great-grandchildren. Interment of the remains was in Emmett Cemetery.

    Great-grandson Quentin Eugene Howard Jr. (1947- ? ) was born in about 1947 in Arlington, VA. He dwelled in Boise, Ada County, ID in young manhood. When he was 19 years of age, on Nov. 22, 1966, he tied the marital knot with 20-year-old Shirley Kay Peck (1946- ? ), also of Boise. Rev. Grady W. Cantrell officiated the ceremony, held in Boise. The pair resided in Meridian, ID in 2014.

    Great-granddaughter Marita Howard (1949- ? ) was born in Sept. 1949 in Idaho. She entered into marriage with Dwight Douglas and has lived in Olathe, KS.

    Great-granddaughter Joanne Howard ( ? - ? ) wed David York. They put down roots in Boise, ID.

    Great-grandson Ronald Howard ( ? - ? ) married Sharon. Their home in 2014 was in Overland Park, KS.

  • Grandson Glenn D. Howard (1922- ? ) was born in about 1922 in or near Emmett, Gem County, ID. At age 18, on July 5, 1939, he was joined in matrimony with 17-year-old LaVon Heap (1922- ? ), a native of Caldwell, ID. Their nuptials were conducted in Weiser, ID. Two known daughters were Carol Ann Howard and Jean M. Howard. The federal census of 1950 shows the family in Hanna Precinct near Emmett, with Glenn earning a living as a self-employed plumber. Their dwelling in the mid-1970s was in Livingston, MT.

    Great-granddaughter Carol Ann Howard (1941- ? ) was born in about 1941 in Idaho.

    Great-granddaughter Jean M. Howard (1944- ? ) was born in about 1944 in Idaho.

Daughter Martha Rachel Sisler (1892-1994) was born in 1892 in Beemer, Cuming County, NE. On Dec. 14, 1913, she tied the marital knot with Arkansas native Ellis Connor Walters (Feb. 10, 1885-1981). The happy event was held in New Plymouth, Payette County, ID, and their union endured the ups and downs of an extraordinary 67 years. Four children in this family were Lola Ermal Dale Fesler, Haven Bennett Walters, Amy Faye Nolls and Richard Walters. The federal census enumeration of 1920 places the family in North Emmett, Gem County, ID, with Ellis earning a living as a house carpenter. Then during the decade of the 1920s, the family pulled up stakes and relocated to Seattle. There, Ellis worked as a self-employed house-building contractor in the 1930-1950 timeframe. The 1930 United States Census shows the Walterses in Seattle, with all three children and two native Chinese lodgers in the household. They remained in Seattle as of 1965. Ellis passed away on June 3, 1981. Martha lived on as a widow for another baker's dozen years. She died at the age of 101, in Grant County, on March 26, 1994. Burial was in Pioneer Memorial Gardens at Moses Lake, WA.

  • Granddaughter Lola Ermal Walters (1915-1999) was born on Oct. 12, 1915 in Idaho. She grew up in North Emmett, ID. Lola was twice-wed. Her first spouse was Robert C. Dale ( ? - ? ). The pair tied the marital knot three days after Christmas 1935, in a ceremony at Lola's residence and led by Congregational Church pastor Rev. Samuel R. Mahler. Lola's grandparents Walter and Leanna Sisler served as the official witnesses. Robert was employed in 1940 as a bookkeeper for a finance company. Then on Dec. 17, 1949, she married again to Charles R. Fesler ( ? - ? ). Rev. Bernard Suttle of the Church of the Brethren presided at the ceremony, held in the home of Lola's brother Haven. Charles brought two stepsons into the union with Lola -- Robert Fesler and William H. Fesler. The 1950 census of the United States lists the family as residing in Seattle, with Charles working as a service man in a garage, and Lola as a cashier and wrapper in a retail store. Death swept her away on Feb. 13, 1999.

    Step-great-grandson Robert Fesler (1941- ? ) was born in about 1941 in Washington. 

    Step-grandson William H. Fesler (1943- ? ) was born in about 1943 in Washington. 

  • Grandson Haven Bennett Walters (1917-1998) was born on Oct. 17, 1917 in Idaho. When he was 22 years of age, on Leap Day 1940, but recorded as March 1, he was joined in the bonds of wedlock with 22-year-old Olga Bjorkeseth ( ? - ? ), also shortened as "Berkseth," and a North Dakota native News of their marriage license was printed in the Seattle Star. The couple's nuptials were conducted in the Church of the Brethren in Seattle, officiated by Rev. Bernard Suttle. Circa 1950, the federal census enumeration shows the childless couple in Seattle, with Haven making a living as a building construction contractor. He surrendered to the angel of death on Oct. 30, 1998.
  • Granddaughter Amy "Faye" Walters (1920-1999) was born on Feb. 21, 1920 in Idaho. In 1940, when she was 20 years of age, she resided with her parents in Seattle and earned income as a practical nurse. At the age of 24, on Nov. 30, 1944, she wed Joseph Blanton Nolls (1925-1991). Their wedding was held in Anchorage, AK. They became the parents of one known son, Michael Nolls. In 1950, when the United States Census was made, the family resided in Mason City, Okanogan County, WA, with Joseph employed as supervisor of the time office for the Bureau of Reclamation. The spirit of death carried her away in Ephrata, Grant County, WA at the age of 79 on March 7, 1999. The remains sleep for all time in Ephrata Cemetery.

    Great-grandson Michael Nolls (1947- ? ) was born in about 1947 in Washington State. 

  • Grandson Richard Walters (1935- ? ) was born in about 1935 in Seattle. He earned income as a teenager by delivering newspapers.
Parade on Main Street in Emmett, Idaho 

Son John Howard Sisler (1896-1965) was born on June 15, 1896 in Beemer, Cuming County, NE. In childhood, he relocated with his parents and family to Minnesota, thence to Kansas in 1903 and to Seattle in 1907. From there they migrated again to New Plymouth, ID in 1908 and to Emmett, ID in 1912. On July 14, 1917, in nuptials held at Boise, ID, he wed Margaret Ann "Maggie" Russell (April 12, 1898-1962), a native of Eager, AZ but at the time of marriage a resident of Emmett, Gem County, ID. She was the daughter of Lewis R. and Elizabeth C. (DeWitt) Russell. The family put down roots in Emmett, and remained for good. The known offspring of this union were Marjorie Louise Downing, Walter Eugene "Gene" Sisler, Katherine "June" Johnson, Jay Howard Sisler, Mary Lucile Burlile, Florence Walker, Helen Irene Sisler, Larry Randolph Sisler and Elizabeth "Ann" Moyer. The family grieved when daughter Helen died at age one month, 20 days, on April 14 or 16, 1931, of whooping cough. Burial was in Emmett. The Sislers were longtime farmers as shown in the federal census counts of 1930 and 1940. Circa 1940, Margaret's 30-year-old bachelor brother Randolph lived under their roof. Margaret was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and John belonged to the Church of the Brethren. He also held memberships in the Lawrence Dresser Post of the American Legion and Cherry Valley Barracks of the Veterans of World War I. Sadly, the 64-year-old Margaret passed away in an Emmett hospital on July 7, 1962. She was survived by 16 grandchildren. Funeral services were led by Bishop Max Dustin. John's final home was in Emmett. With his health in decline, from pulmonary emphysema and bronchial pneumonia, he was admitted to the Veterans Administration Center in Boise, and died three days later on Feb. 25, 1965, at the age of 68. The remains were interred in Emmett, with Rev. Rex Lawson, of the Christian Church, officiating. The Idaho Statesman printed an obituary. Margaret's family is spelled out in the 1957 genealogical typescript report "Hobson: Descendants of George and Elizabeth Hobson, Va., N.C., Ohio, Ind.," authored by Earl H. Davis of Long Beach, CA.

  • Granddaughter Marjorie Louise Sisler (1919-2013) was born on Feb. 3, 1919 in Emmett. She was a 1939 graduate of Lewiston Normal School. Circa 1940, single at the age of 21, she worked as a local school teacher in Emmett. Later that year, on May 25, 1940, Marjorie wed Henry "Warren" Downing (June 17, 1912-2001), a native of Salmon, Lemhi County, ID, and the son of Henry W. and Venus (Burk) Downing. The wedding took place in Grangeville, ID. The couple relocated to the Pacific Northwest, and during the World War II years, both worked in shipbuilding, with Marjorie earning a living as a welder and fitter. They went on to produce two sons -- Darrell Lee Downing and David Douglas Downing. After the boys began grade school, she earned a bachelor's degree from Eastern Washington State College so that she could return to the field of education. Over the years, she taught at schools at Burbank, Lind and Richland, WA, the longest of which was a fourth-grade assignment at Marcus Whitman Elementary School. Circa 1962, they dwelled in Lind, WA and then from 1962 to 2001 resided in Richland, Benton County, WA. Marjorie retired in 1974. Her community and professional involvements included the Richland Education Association, Washington Education Association, Delta Kappa Gamma honor society and a three-year term on the Teacher Education and Professional Standards Commission starting in 1966. She was appointed in 1967 to the State Board for Revision of Certification Standards and in 1969 was named to the board of trustees for the Teachers Retirement System of Washington. She was elected vice president of the Washington State Teachers Retirement System board of directors in 1978 and the following year elevated to chairman.

    In his own right, Warren after the war obtained a bachelor of science in education in 1947 from the University of Idaho. Within two years, he was employed as superintendent of the Genesee School in Moscow, ID. Then in 1952 he was tapped as superintendent of the Harrington (WA) Schools, and over the years was active in civil defense in Harrison, named to the role by Mayor F.J. Rieth. By 1957, he had been named principal of Burbank's Columbia School near Pasco, WA, and in 1960 served as principal of schools in Lind, WA. Circa 1963, he was assistant principal at Columbia High School and in 1966 held the post of president of the Richland Education Association. Then in 1970, he was director of adult education for Columbia Basin College's Richland facility. Warren in 1981 was appointed by Rep. Sid Morrison (R-Wash) to provide representation to senior citizens at a national White House Conference on Aging held in Washington, DC. Said an obituary, Marjorie "was a great cook and made superb fried chicken. She really enjoyed knitting and handwork projects, making many gifts for her grandchildren over the years. She liked the great outdoors and traveling with Warren on hunting and fishing trips [and on] their travels she enjoyed collecting interesting rocks. They traveled to Hawaii and Alaska, and cruised the Panama Canal." Sadly, Warren died in Kennewick, WA on Aug. 24, 2001. Marjorie lived on for another dozen years. She passed away at the age of 94, in Richland Life Care Center, on July 1, 2013. The headcount of her survivors included eight grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. They sleep for the ages in Sunset Memorial Gardens in Richland.

    Great-grandson Darrell Lee Downing (1947- ? ) was born in 1947 in Moscow, ID. He was a Boy Scout who in 1963 earned his Eagle Scout award and was pictured in the Tri-City Herald. He was an alumnus of Columbia High School. He married Joyce. 

    Great-grandson David Douglas Downing (1950- ? ) was born in 1950 in Moscow, ID. He wed Susan. 

  • Grandson Walter Eugene "Gene" Sisler (1921-1995) was born on April 14, 1921 near Emmett, Gem County, ID. He grew up in Gem County, where he "received his schooling and lived most of his life as a rancher and working cowboy," said the Boise Idaho Statesman. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army and held the rank of sergeant. He was deployed to Italy, where he served with the 10th Mountain Division in the Po Valley and Appenine Mountains. He was awarded a citation for leadership and courage. Afterward, he put down roots in Emmett. Said the Statesman, he "loved the mountains, working for the U.S. Forest Service for a year on Moorehead lookout, hunting, trapping, and fishing. From 1952 to 1963, he performed with trained dogs as a specialty act at rodeos across the United States as well as in the Dominican Republic and in Cuba at the time of revolution between dictators... He worked for the Little Cattle Co. for many years, and enjoyed the life of cowboy and amateur veterinarian." His memberships included the Idaho Trappers Association, Gem County Quarterhorse Association, Payette River Cattlemen's Association and Rodeo Cowboys Association. In 1973, at the age of about 52, he wed Jennie Read ( ? - ? ). The pair did not reproduce and in time divorced. His final place of residence was in Sweet, ID. Death swept him away on Jan. 5, 1995, at the age of 73. Funeral services were conducted by Pastor Gary Anderson of the First Christian Church of Emmett. Interment of the remains was in Emmett Cemetery, next to his brother Jay. An obituary was printed in the Statesman, in which the family requested that any memorial donations be made to the Mountain States Tumor Institute. 
  • Granddaughter Katherine "June" Sisler (1923-2022) was born on Oct. 3, 1923 near Emmett, Gem County. She was an alumna of Emmett High School. During two of the World War II years, she moved to Vancouver, WA, where she and her sister Marjorie were employed as welders in the shipyards. She then returned to Idaho and enrolled for a year in the College of Idaho, and from there was dispatched to Deadwood Mine, ID where she taught in a one-room schoolhouse. In Deadwood Mine, she met her future husband. On Nov. 5, 1945, June entered into marriage with Swedish immigrant Carl Hilding Johnson (Dec. 4, 1907-1996) A native of Källsjö, Halland County, Sweden, and the son of Johan Aron and Hilda Theresia (Anderson) Johannsen. Carl came to the United States in 1926 and from 1929 to 1945 dwelled in Deadwood. A year after the wedding, they put down roots in Emmett where they remained during their married lives. The four children they bore together were Carl Andrew "Andy" Johnson, Howard Clay "Alan" Johnson, Marilyn June Maybon and Roger "Dale" Johnson. Carl earned a living over the years through his work with the Bureau of Reclamation. The family attended the local First Christian Church. Said an obituary, "June taught Sunday School, was an active 4-H leader, and ready to help in the PTA. She was a number one homemaker and always served up good food and happy times. She often said she was so blessed meeting Carl and she held her relationship with God at the center of her life." The family was plunged into grief in February 1968 when their son Andy died in a parachuting accident. Carl passed away in 1996, bringing to a close their union of more than 50 years. His obituary appeared in the Boise Idaho Statesman. June lived for another 26 years. June was swept away by the angel of death in Parma Living Center in Parma, Canyon County, ID at the age of 98 on June 12, 2022. They remains lie in eternal repose in Emmett Cemetery. 

    Great-grandson Carl Andrew "Andy" Johnson (1946-1968) was born on Nov. 30, 1946 in Emmett. He was a 1965 graduate of Emmett High School, an educational experience which included studies in 1964 at the American Legion Gem Boys' State. He then enrolled in the University of Idaho as an engineering student, was a member of the Honor Guard of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) and the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity. He also took part as a smoke jumper parachutist in fighting forest fires. On the tragic day of Feb. 23, 1968, the 21-year-old Andy was killed in a freak accident near Neale Stadium on the university campus. Reported the Idaho Statesman, "Johnson and two other youths had been using a parachute as a kite. The parachute was tied to a tree with a rope" which the three men were holding. "They were lifted high into the air as 30 mile an hour wind billowed the parachute. When Johnson was about 50 feet in the air... their rope broke, Johnson died instantly of a broken neck." Funeral services were led by Rev. Joseph Conklin of the family church. His remains were lowered into the sacred soil of Emmett Cemetery.

    Great-grandson Howard Clay "Alan" Johnson (1948- ? ) was born in 1948. He attended the University of Idaho in 1968. He wed Marilyn. Two children in this family were Shara Johnson and Andy Johnson. Their home in 1996 was in Renton, WA.

    Great-granddaughter Marilyn June Johnson (1950- ? ) was born in 1950. She married Larry Maybon ( ? - ? ). They dwelled in in Homedale, ID in the mid-1990s.

    Great-grandson Roger "Dale" Johnson (1953- ? ) was born in 1953. He entered into wedlock with Karen ( ? - ? ). They together produced a family of four -- Megan Johnson, Katie Johnson, Hayley Johnson and Emma Johnson. As of 1996, the family dwelled in Jordan Valley, OR.

  • Grandson Jay Howard Sisler (1926-1995) was born on Feb. 20, 1926 near Emmett in Gem County, where he grew to manhood. As with his elder brother Gene, he spent his life as a rancher. When he was 52 years of age, on July 28, 1978, Jay was united in matrimony with Joy Vail Sandum ( ? - ? ). Their only child was Maggie Jean Sisler. They planted themselves in Emmett. Said the Boise Idaho Statesman, Jay "was a dog trainer. His work with dogs took him to 47 states and to other countries with a rodeo specialty act. He also trained dogs for Disney movies and worked with greats such as Roy Rogers and Ed Sullivan. The dog act survived 22 years and 17 dogs." His early specialty was in training Australian Shepherds. He served a term as president of the Payette River Cattlemen's Association and the Emmett Historical Society and was a life member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Tragically, after an accident at the home ranch, he succumbed to his injuries on July 8, 1995, at the age of 69. Rev. James F. Moore, of the local Presbyterian Church, presided at the funeral, and an obituary was published in the Statesman. Inscribed on his grave marker in Emmett Cemetery are the words "Forever in our hearts."

    Great-granddaughter Maggie Jean Sisler (1979- ? ) was born in 1979. 

  • Bird's-eye view of irrigated farms in Emmett, ID

  • Granddaughter Mary Lucile Sisler (1928-2017) was born on July 9, 1928 near Emmett, Gem County, ID. She had a lifelong dream of becoming a nurse and began while in high school, working at Mary Secor Hospital, helping to care for newborns. On June 29, 1946, she was joined in wedlock with World War II veteran Robert Leroy Burlile (Sept. 1, 2922-2005), son of James "Wilson" and Grace Victoria (Foster) Burlile. A bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presided at the happy event, held in Elko, NV. Their union endured for a remarkable 59 years. During the war, Robert had served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army. Five offspring born into this family were Robert Leslie "Les" Burlile, Kenneth "De" Burlile, John Wilson "Jack" Burlile, Vicki Ilene Burlile and Ronald Burlile. They made their longtime residence in Emmett and belonged to the Christian Church, where she volunteered her time as a teacher and deaconess. After her children grew, she became employed as a ward clerk in the Walter Know Memorial Hospital. She continued this service until retirement. Said an obituary, "Mary loved her pets; she was known to many at ''the Pomeranian Lady" and raised many Pomeranian puppies. She also loved raising birds and had many singing canaries, parakeets, and cockatiels. Mary always raised a great garden of vegetables and flowers to share with family and friends." The angel of death cleaved away Robert on July 12, 2005. Mary Lucile died in Emmett at the age of 89 just two days before Christmas 2017. 

    Great-grandson Robert Leslie "Les" Burlile (1947- ? ) was born in 1947. He married Connie ( ? - ? )and has resided in Emmett.

    Great-grandson Kenneth "De" Burlile (1950- ? ) was born in 1950. He has made a home in Payette, ID.

    Great-grandson John Wilson "Jack" Burlile (1952- ? ) was born in 1952. He wed Linda ( ? - ? ). In 2017, they lived in Payette, ID.

    Great-granddaughter Vicki Ilene Burlile (1953- ? ) was born in 1953. She relocated to Tallahassee, FL.

    Great-grandson Ron Burlile moved to Star, ID.

  • Granddaughter Florence Evelyn Sisler (1933- ? ) was born on March 11, 1933 in Emmett. At the age of 17, on New Year's Eve 1950, she wed 27-year-old divorcee Ira Leroy Walker (Nov. 15, 1923- ? ), a native of Big Bend, OR and the son of David Elmer and Frieda (Leitritz) Walker. Ira was a resident of Emmett at the time. Their wedding was conducted by Rev. James Havens, of the Baptist Church, held in Emmett. Ira brought a stepson into the second marriage, Johnny Leroy Walker. Together, Florence and Ira bore two more children of their own, Lyle David Walker and Sarah Ann Osborn. Their home in 1952 was in or near Lewiston, ID, in 1962 at Bonners Ferry, ID and in the 1960s-1995 in Dillon, MT. The couple were deceased by 2022.

    Step-great-grandson Johnny Leroy Walker (1940- ? ) was born on Sept. 9, 1940. 

    Great-grandson Lyle David Walker (1952-2022) was born on May 13, 1952 in Lewiston, ID. When in the sixth grade year, he moved with his parents and family to Dillon, MT. He was a 1970 graduate of Beaverhead County High School, followed by higher education at Billings (MT) Automotive Training Center. He then moved to West Yellowstone, where he found work as a mechanic and tow truck driver at Yellowstone National Park service stations. While there, he met his future wife who was employed at the Hamilton General Store. On Nov. 3, 1973, he was united in the bonds of marriage with Joyce Swan ( ? - ? ) of New Sharon, IA and the daughter of Hugh and Betty Swan. Their trio of offspring were Andrea Walker, Clint Walker and Ashley Orth. The family dwelled in Dillon for two years and then migrated to Iowa, where he joined the workforce of Donaldson Muffler Company. After four years in Iowa, the Walkers made a move back to Dillon. Lyle was employed for five years by Stoltz Land and Lumber and then launched his own business in the logging industry, which he ran for five years. Said an obituary, Lyle "enjoyed falling trees, operating the logging equipment and hauling them to the sawmills." He then was hired to transport large equipment and performed that work for the next eight years. But self-employment beckoned, and he then turned to hauling crushed cars, hay and supplies for 17 years. Then he acquired a "belly dump" -- bottom dump trailer features a gate used for hauling rock, sand and aggregate products, often for larger construction and paving projects -- and used that to earn a living for four years in the oil fields. His final work was driving semi trailer trucks nearer to home. When time allowed, said the obituary, he enjoyed "camping, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, 4-wheeling, dirt biking, taking his boat out or getting firewood [as well as] playing cards, games and reading. Lyle loved going to the mountains to build the family cabin along with his family and making memories with every adventure...  From retrieving an elk, filling a freezer with meat, filling a woodshed, pulling in broken down vehicles and snowmobiles to fixing them to run like new.... he cared about helping people and doing the right thing." The family was plunged into mourning when he died of a heart attack at age 69 on Jan. 4, 2022. The remains were lowered under the sod of Mountain View Cemetery.

    Great-granddaughter Sarah Ann Walker (1954- ? ) was born in 1954. She tied the marital knot with Hank Osborn ( ? - ? ).

  • Grandson Larry Randolph Sisler (1938-1970) was born on Feb. 9, 1938 in Emmett. In 1954, he moved to Harrington, WA where his married sister Marjorie Downing was living, and entered high school at the sophomore level. Larry joined the U.S. Army during the early years of the Vietnam War, serving from 1960 to 1963, and trained in chemical warfare. On Aug. 24, 1962, he was joined in matrimony with Kathryn Wehmeyer ( ? - ? ), with the ceremony held in Stockdale, TX. The couple's two daughters were Reta Jane Sisler and Karen Diane Sisler. After the conclusion of his military service, they moved to Caldwell, and Larry became a professional rodeo roping contestant. Circa 1970, their residence was in Carson City, NV. On the tragic day of Sept. 12, 1970, the 32-year-old Larry was killed in an airplane accident near Virginia City, NV. The remains were returned to Emmett for funeral services led by Rev. Samuel Meskey of the New Plymouth Lutheran Church. An obituary was published in the Idaho Statesman.

    Great-granddaughter Reta Jane Sisler ( ? - ? )

    Great-granddaughter Karen Diane Sisler ( ? - ? )

  • Granddaughter Elizabeth "Ann" Sisler (1940-2018) was born on Sept. 9, 1940 in Emmett, Gem County, ID. She grew up riding horses and helping him on the family ranch during the summertime. Ann attended Emmett High School and as a teen was employed at Bob's Cafe. On April 19, 1957, in nuptials held at the First Christian Church of Emmett, she married Paul Dean Moyer ( ? - ? ). The wedding was held the same day as the birthday of Ann's mother, with Rev. Donald L. Hoffman officiating. In announcing the marriage, the Boise Idaho Statesman said that Ann "wore a navy blue rayon suit, white flowered Juliet hat, white accessories and a corsage of pink baby roses." At the time of marriage, Paul worked for Boise Payette Lumber Company. Their union endured the ups and downs of an extraordinary 61 years. The Moyers' dwelling-place for decades was on a small farm in Emmett. There, the pair raised a family of four -- Paula Ann Fischer, Bradley Paul Moyer, Debra Sue "Debbie" Blume and Brian Eugene Moyer. Said an obituary in the Emmett Messenger, "They built many cherished and lasting family memories -- camping, fishing, hunting, spending time at their cabin in Donnelly, arts & crafts, gardening and the ever so rambunctious holiday celebrations... She served as a 4-H leader for several years and taught her children (and their friends) how to cook, sew, care for a variety of farm animals and more. She had a multifaceted career -- most noteworthy was her many years of service to the senior citizens in the community -- first, in transportation & meals on-wheels delivery, later as a senior citizen center coordinator and finally as the area director for the elderly opportunity agency." Ann passed away in Emmett at the age of 77 on Sept. 5, 2018. A graveside service was held at the Emmett Cemetery.

    Great-granddaughter Paula Ann Moyer was joined in wedlock with William Fischer. 

    Great-grandson Bradley Paul Moyer was united in matrimony with Brenda.

    Great-granddaughter Debra Sue "Debbie" Moyer entered int marriage with Curt Blume.

    Great-grandson Brian Eugene Moyer wed Maria.

Son Warren Lester Buford Sisler (1905-1990) was born on Dec. 17, 1905 in New Plymouth, Canyon County, ID. His teenage sister Alta assisted in the birth. On Aug. 15, 1930, he entered into marriage with Lila May Eberly (1908-1996) of Octavia, NE. News of their marriage license was printed in the Butler County (NE) Press. The only known child of this couple was Laurel "David" Sisler. In the early years, they dwelled in Holmesville, NE and later their home for many years was in Octavia, NE (1937) and Lincoln, NE, at the address of 2754 California Court. They enjoyed attending the Church of the Brethren family camp in the 1930s and '40s. Lila is known to have served as president of Church Women United in Lincoln. Later, they relocated to California, settling in Cloverdale. The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1980, and again their 60th wedding anniversary in 1990, with an open house and reception held in the Antelope Park Church of the Brethren. For the 1990 happy event, they were pictured in the Lincoln Star, with the party hosted by Dale and Leanne (Royer) Pianalto, Phyllis Royer, Dalene (Royer) Moore, Cindy Royer and Denise Royer. Warren died in Sonoma, CA on Sept. 27, 1990. The Cloverdale Reveille published his obituary, and his memorial service was held at the United Church of Cloverdale. Lila outlived her spouse by six years. She passed in 1996. The couple sleeps for the ages in Edholm Valley Cemetery in Nebraska.

  • Grandson Laurel "David" Sisler (1932-2005) was born on Aug. 20, 1931 or 1932 in Nebraska. He was married. Said the Ukiah (CA) Daily Journal, "He was a restauranteur and a great chef." In his early career he owned a cafe in San Francisco. In 1967, he and partner Arthur C. Reeb left the"Grubstake I," a 12-stool burger eatery on Mason Street, to form "Grubstake II" at 1525 Pine Street. Circa 1969-1974, David and Reeb were partners in a business in Albion, CA known as Windjammer Cafe/Cove, providing short-order meals of sandwiches and breakfast along Highway 1. They appear to have continued operating Grubstake II until selling it circa 1989. Evidence exists to suggest that David cohabitated with Reeb and was estranged from his parents. Their final home was in Hopland, Mendocino County, CA. David and Reeb jointly pursued a rezoning of a property across from Citrus Fair Drive in Cloverdale as recently as 2004. Sadly, at the age of 74, David died in Ukiah on Sept. 18, 2005. The remains were cremated, and his obituary appeared on the pages of the Daily Journal.

~ Stepdaughter Olive (Sisler) Traver Shonsey ~

Mike Shonsey
Nebraska State Historical Society Photograph Collections
Stepdaughter Olive Belle Sisler (1866-1905) was born on Jan. 22, 1866 in Preston County, WV. 

She accompanied her parents on a move to Minnesota in childhood. She was about age 11 when she lost her mother to an untimely death, and 14 years of age when Susan Martin became her stepmother. 

Olive was married twice.

As a 14-year-old, on Feb. 24, 1880, she was joined in wedlock with her first spouse, 28-year-old Christopher "Christ" Traver (1851- ? ). The groom was twice the age of the bride. They took their vows in Sibley County, MN. That year, the newlyweds made a home in Sibley on a farm owned by Amsel and Christena Matwig.

The couple's only offspring was Anna S. Traver. After the first marriage ended, for reasons not yet known, Olive and her young daughter dwelled in O'Neill, Holt County, NE.

On Jan. 14, 1891, at the Potter House in O'Neill, she wed a second time to 26-year-old Michael "Mike" Shonsey (Sept. 6, 1866-1954), son of Irish immigrants Thomas and Margaret (McCarthy) Shonsey who had settled in Canada. On their marriage license, she listed her parents as "H.L. Sisler" and "M.J. DeBerry." 

Mike had been born on Montreal and at age five had moved with his parents to Caledonia, OH. Then at age 12, after his father had been killed in a lumber camp accident, he and his mentor Thomas Benton Hord relocated to Wyoming. There, Mike was residing at the time of marriage. Said the Clarks News, "Mike as he was called by all who knew him came to Clarks in 1884 with the first trainload of cattle ever shipped here for the Guthrie and Oscamp Cattle Company and wintered them on the Lumadue ranch north of Clarks." 

In the next few years he earned a living with his friend Hord followed by work for the Lance Creek Cattle Company near Lusk, WY and then in 1891 the Western Union Beef Company. One of his employers was Wyoming Territory Gov. George W. Baxter. At one point, he discovered that cattle rustler Dudley "Dud" Champion was driving away his calves and tried to put it to a stop. Said the Salt Lake Tribune, "It resulted in a personal encounter, when Champion lifted Shonsey from the ground and attempted to throw him into a campfire." The feud did not end there, and resulted in tragic consequences. 

Mike Shonsey among the Johnson County War cattlemen of 1892
Courtesy Wikipedia/Wyoming State Library

In April 1892, Mike took part in an escalated conflict between cattlemen and cattle ranchers and rustlers ("nesters") popularly known as the "Johnson County War" in Wyoming. As a member of the "Regulators" or "Invaders" as the vigilante cattlemen were called, Mike was one of about 50 seeking to protect their interests, including 25 hired Texas gunmen. Formally they went by the name "Wyoming Stock Growers Association." The New York Times said that "In the 'war', Wyoming cattlemen raised an army to invade Johnson County and wipe out the nesters. They were repulsed, cornered, then saved from annihilation by the arrival of United States Army troops. Shonsey had broken through the nesters' lines and carried the message that brought the troops." Two of the rustlers were killed in the action, including Dud Champion's brother. 

Friend Thomas Hord
Nebraska State Historical Society Photograph Collections
Mike and his colleagues were arrested and held in a bowling alley building at Fort Russell, guarded by the 17th U.S. Infantry. Gov. Amos W. Barber of Wyoming, sympathetic to the cattlemen, had to make a decision about what legal action to take. In the end the case went to trial, with the Regulators represented by former Wyoming Supreme Court Judge Willis Van Devanter and W.R. Stoll. A report in Wikipedia says that Van Devanter's strategy was to "strain the local courts' (and county's) budget and delay trials while his clients and their allies worked to make key witnesses and the gunman unavailable, as well as securing favorable press coverage from the state's most influential papers while threatening to sue the Johnson County paper for slander."

At trial, the Regulators were found "not guilty." Then in May 1893, as foreman of Hord's 77 Ranch, Mike faced another showdown with his nemesis Dud Champion. Reported the Davenport (IA) Morning Democrat, "Monday night Shonsey sat on his horse when Champion rode up and stopped to within 10 feet of him, with his gun in his right hand. After a few words he made a movement as though to shoot, but was not quick enough, as Shonsey sent a ball through his body. While Champion lay on the ground, holding his revolver in both hands, straining every nerve to get in position to shoot, Shonsey fired again, killing his man." Mike turned himself in for the murder and was jailed, and after a coroner's jury ruled the act had been in self-defense, was released.

The first year of their marriage was exceedingly difficult, but their union held fast, and Olive and Mike began planning their next steps. They soonafter relocated to Central City in June 1893 and planted themselves at the home ranch of the Hords. Later in March 1898 they migrated to the ranch of Wells & Hord Cattle Company, at Clarks, Merrick County, where Mike was employed as manager. This ranch became one of the larger ones in the country, producing up to 20,000 head of cattle in a single year. Most of the cattle were sold at the Chicago stockyards but in 1892 an estimated six shiploads were dispatched to London.

Above: Mike with his gun and cartridge belt. Below: his rifle. Nebraska State Historical Society Photograph Collections

The Shonseys eventually acquired the Howard Crill ranch and remained for the rest of their life, raising grain and feeding thousands of head of cattle in a good year. In addition to Chicago, Mike sold his stock at the Omaha stockyards.

Together, the couple bore four children -- John Harold Shonsey, Michael Gerald Shonsey, Thomas Benton Shonsey and Margaret Masters.

Mike made news in May 1899 when he sued Clemons Oskamp, of Guthrie & Oskamp Cattle Company, in the District Court of Merrick County. The matter involved a dispute over payment on a certificate of stock the company had issued, and was reported in the Clarks Enterprise.

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, Mike's occupation was as a stock feeder. They had four boarders in the household at that time. Over the years, Mike had many dealings with Charles C. Carson, son of the famous Indian scout Kit Carson, who also was in the cattle and ranching business as well as in traveling circuses. News reports for 1902 show that the pair had returned to his old home in Caledonia, OH for a visit with kinfolk.

Sadly, suffering from kidney disease at the age of 39, Olive entered Omaha's St. Joseph's Hospital for treatment. She stayed for nine weeks but there was no cure, and she died on Nov. 11, 1905. The Central City (NE) Record reported that "For days past her condition has awakened alternate hopes and fears, as she rallied or became worse. At one time her health improved so that it was thougth she would soon recover, but it was not to be..." A notice of her death was printed in the Omaha World-Herald. Another obituary, in a Nance County newspaper, said "Mrs. Shonsey was said to have been one of the most charitable women in the state, and had fed and clothed hundreds of poor children." The Clarks Enterprise said she had been "Large hearted, generous, hospitable, unconventional [who] counted her friends by the score... Called from life when it seemed that she was most needed, her demise is exceedingly sad."

Funeral services were conducted in the home of T.B. Hord, and Rev. C.F. Chapman traveled from North Platte to preside. Remarked the Record, "The floral offerings were many and were much remarked upon for their unusual beauty. Mrs. Shonsey's relatives all live at a long distance, and were unable to be present, but Mr. and Mrs. Cozzens, Edward Mahoney and J.G. Lowe, all of Omaha, railroad men and friends of Mr. Shonsey's, attended... Many friends in and around Central City will join with those of Clarks and vicinity in their expressions of sincere sympathy to the bereaved husband and motherless children." As the Shonseys were dues-paying members of Council No. 531 of the Knights and Ladies of Security, a type of insurance organization, a $3,000 payout to the family was approved.

Clarks, NE, home of the Shonseys 

Mike outlived his bride by almost half-a-century. After a grieving period of about a year, he entered into marriage with Hannah Lillian Harris (1867- ? ) of Columbus, NE. The wedding was held in the St. Bonaventura Catholic Church of Columbus, by the hand of Rev. Fr. Delfosse of Central City, with only relatives and immediate friends in attendance. Hannah wore a gown of white crepe dechine over taffeta and a large white plumed hat. A wedding breakfast was held at the home of the bride's sister, Mrs. J.B. Gietzen. In reporting on the happy event, the Columbus Telegram said that "Mr. Shonsey is an extensive ranch owner in Merrick county, and is manager of the T.B. Hord ranch. Miss Harris was formerly from Merrick county, but several months has resided in this city. The out-of-town guests at the wedding were Mr. Cousin, Mr. and Mrs. R.E. Barge and Mr. and Mrs. J.T. Harris, of Central City.

Mike again made news in September 1907 for his roping prowess at the first annual Merrick County Agricultural and Fair Association. Clucked the Central City Record, "The steer-roping by Michael Shonsey on Friday attracted about everybody on the grounds. The steer was roped and thrown in one minute and twenty-three seconds, which is twenty-three minutes and one second quicker than the Record editor would have engaged to get the rope around the steer's horns." In August 1908, Mike and Hannah are known to have attended the Cheyenne Frontier Celebration. They held a membership in the St. Peter's Catholic Church of Clarks.

Demonstrating his final skill, Mike was elected a director of the First National Bank of Clarks in November 1914. In December 1915, he was named as a board director of the State Bank of Clarks. Reported the Clarks News:

It was under his supervision while associated with Guthrie and Oscamp and Wells and Hord that Clarks developed into one of the largest cattle feeding and grain buying stations in the state at one time and he has been interested in livestock ever since. He was also active in all civic affairs, both in this community and county and was one of the first to help organize the Mid-State Irrigation District. He was also president of the Lincoln Highway Association (now Highway 30) for Nebraska, and as a young cowhand won the championship three years.

A parent's worst nightmare came to pass during World War I. Their son Thomas joined the U.S. Army and was deployed to Europe. On July 21, 1918, the son went missing in battle at Belleau Wood in France. His fate was not known for months. In desperation, the father wrote to an old friend, Wyoming Sen. John B. Kendricks, "with whom he had ridden the ranges many years ago," said the Clarks Enterprise. The senator was unable to provide much information of use. Opined the Enterprise, "It is hoped that the young man is merely a prisoner in Germany and that within a few weeks or months a message to this effect may be forthcoming. Apparently his mishap occured while the Germans were retreating, and if this is the case his disappearance would tend to provide that it was as a prisoner. If he had been killed it is likely that his body would have been discovered by the advancing Americans." The army in April 1919 finally declared Thomas dead, sending a terse message to the family. Mike then sought additional details through a foreign correspondent of the Hanover National Bank. The body was laid to rest in Franch soil, in what today is the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery. The American Red Cross sent a photograph of the grave marker the Shonseys. The family eventually erected a marker in Central City Cemetery with Thomas' name and inscription reading "Killed in action." 

Death enveloped Mike on Aug. 5, 1954. Rev. Fr. Kannaby presided at the requiem mass, assisted by Rev. Fr. John Kunkle. An obituary in the News said he was survived by six grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren "and a host of friends."

Burt Reynolds and Luke Perry in The Johnson County WarCourtesy Hallmark Channel/Chris Large

Banned book about the
Johnson County War 
The bloody Johnson County War has entered into American popular culture. Among the examples is the 1965 novel Riders of Judgment by Frederick Manfred and the 2002 made-for-television Hallmark Channel film The Johnson County War, starring Burt Reynolds, Luke Perry and Tom Berenger. In the 1968 book True Grit by Charles Portis, later made into a hit film starring John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn, the protagonist was said to have taken part in the war. Michael Cimono's 1981 film Heaven's Gate is said to have adapted some of the story in the plot. Some historians paint the Champion brothers as the heroes of the story, with one Wild West Magazine article author writing that "Small-time rancher Nate Champion showed big-time courage in 1892 as he battled the Wyoming cattle barons' hired guns from Texas."

Asa S. Mercer's 1894 book The Banditti of the Plains, in which Mike's name is misspelled as "Shonsy," is considered by expert bookmen as "one of the rarities of western Americana." Once it was published, the cattlemen sued for libel, offended at how they had been portrayed. Wrote Ramon Adams in his bibliography Six-Guns and Saddle Leather, entry 1478, "The court ordered it destroyed. While the books were in the court's custody, a number were stolen and smuggled to Denver and later bound. For many years, the Wyoming Stockgrowers' Association, their sympathizers, and their descendants destroyed every copy they came across." Today a 1935 reprint edition of The Banditti is preserved in the Minerd.com Archives. Many years later, great-grandson Michael Shonsey donated his ancestor's historic rifle to the Nebraska History Museum.

Daughter Anna S. Traver (1890- ? ) was born in March 1890 in Illinois. She appears to have taken on the "Shonsey" maiden name after her mother's remarriage. At the age of about 14, she became seriously ill, and Dr. Benton came from his home in Central City to provide treatment. She recovered and is known to have played girls basketball for the Clarks High School team in 1907. That year, she was named in a story in the Omaha World-Herald about a lopsided 23-5 loss to the Columbus team.

Son John "Harold" Shonsey (1894-1918) was born on June 9, 1894 at Clarks, NE. On Sept. 19, 1914, he married Ethel Grimes ( ? - ? ), daughter of A.L. Grimes. They became the parents of two sons, John M. "Jack" Shonsey and Thomas H. Shonsey. Tragedy turned the family's world upside down when Harold contracted pneumonia and died at Clarks at the age of 24 on Oct. 22, 1918. In an obituary, the Central City Nonpareil said "It was with great sorrow that the news was received in this city... Unlmited sorrow has visited the family in the past year..." The widowed Ethel became employed in 1920 by the Clarks School Board. Then in September 1921, she pulled up stakes and moved to Utah to be closer to her parents in Ogden, UT. Their address in 1922 was 2942 Grant Avenue. In time she married (?) Shaffer and by 1941 moved to Fort Morgan, CO. The Shaffers were the parents of a son, Ray Shaffer. 

John M. Shonsey's workplace, Holly Sugar Co. factory, Hardin, MT 
  • Grandson John M. "Jack" Shonsey (1916-1991) was born in about 1916 in Clarks, Merrick County, NE. After his father's untimely death, John grew up in Ogden, UT, and in 1935 was in Fort Collins, CO. He received his bachelor's degree in animal husbandry from Colorado A&M University. He was wed to Harriett (1918- ? ). Together, they produced two known children, Mary Margaret Shonsey and Michael John Shonsey. In 1940-1941, they made their dwelling in Hardin, Big Horn County, MT, with Jack employed as foreman of a sugar beet factory. He joined the U.S. Army during World War II and held the rank of captain. When he was 33 years of age, in 1949, he was named to the livestock department of Live Stock National Bank of Omaha. In this position, reported the Omaha Evening World, he "will assist in servicing livestock loans, and will give advice to the bank's correspondent banks and customers on livestock production... Since 1938 he has supervised buying, feeding and selling of lambs and cattle for the Holly Sugar Corporation." He quickly rose in stature at the bank and by September of that same year was elected as a vice president. By 1958 he was vice president with Omaha National Bank and its agriculture committee and joined the advisory board of St. Catherine Hospital in Omaha. He went on to election as executive vice president with Omaha National. In January 1968, at a large cattle feeders conference, he spoke on the important of smaller banks having a "balance relationship" with his bank as an important factor in in securing a loan.

    John in the early 1970s was active with the Republican political party in Nebraska. Serving as state treasurer, he was seated on stage in the Pershing Auditorium with Vice President Spiro T. Agnew at a Feb. 9, 1970 fundraising dinner. That very evening, his son Michael led a student protest outside the building in opposition to the Vietnam War. Reported the Lincoln Journal Star, "Unlike many families torn apart by their views on the war, the Shonseys were able to sit down at the dinner table together -- they agreed to disagree, more or less." Then in 1971, John was president of the Republican Founder Day in Omaha and in 1973 Omaha chairman of the Republican Roundup Dinner, at which Republican National Committee Chairman George Bush was the featured speaker. By 1974, he had been elevated to chairman of the board of West Omaha National Bank and also served as president of the Oakland (IA) Feeding Corporation. During a depression in prices for feeder cattle in 1974, he was quoted in news stories urging cattlemen to stick to raising calves and cows, not sell the stock at depressed prices and not to switch to crops. In time he became board chair of American National Bank which in 1980 reorganized into American National Corporation. Then in 1982, he was named emeritus national trustee for life of the National Jewish Hospital/National Asthma Center of Denver. John is widely credited as "a founding member of the Omaha Boys' Club," said the Omaha World-Herald. He also held board seats and committees of the Boy Scouts, Boys Town, Childrens Memorial Hospital, Duchesne College, College of St. Mary and Creighton University.

    Harriett was active on the boards of directors of the Christ Child Society, Girls Town Guild and Women's Council of the College of St. Mary, and the couple founded the Jack and Harriett Shonsey Scholarship Fund at the College of St. Mary. In recognition for his decades of accomplishment, John received the Gerald T. Gergan Award of Mercy in May 1985, bestowed by the Friends of Bergan Mercy Hospital. Sadly, the pair died less than a year apart. Harriett passed away at the age of 73, in Methodist Hospital, on Sept. 19, 1990. John suffered from heart problems at the end. He died at the age of 75 in Aug. 1991. An obituary appeared in the World-Herald. His funeral mass was held in the Westside Chapel of St. Margaret Mary Church, with interment following in Calvary Cemetery.

    Great-granddaughter Mary Margaret Shonsey (1938- ? ) was born in about 1938 in Colorado. On May 14, 1960, in a wedding held at St. Margaret Mary's Catholic Church, she married James William Focht ( ? -1989), son of Dallas Jordan Focht. Officiating the nuptial mass was Rev. J. Donald Bartek, and the Benson (NE) Sun carried a related story. The Fochts planted themselves in Omaha. Their four offspring were Anna Shonsey Brown, Mary Catherine Loughran, Scott Michael Focht and Matthew James Focht. Sadly, at the age of 52, James died in Sept. 1989. A death notice was printed in the Omaha World-Herald. Funeral services were held in the Westside Chapel of the St. Roberts Catholic Church, and the remains were lowered into eternal repose in Calvary Cemetery. As a widow, Mary made her home in Long Pine/Omaha in 1991-1995.

    Great-grandson Michael John Shonsey ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). He studied sociology at the University of Nebraska. During the Vietnam War, in 1969, he "was architect of Lincoln's biggest anti-war march," reported the Lincoln (NE) Journal-Star. "They were 5,000 strong -- mostly university students, a smattering of clergy, conscientious objectors, Vietnam veterans and academics on the walk through a cold, steel rain from City Campus to the state Capitol. They marched, read the names of Nebraska's war dead from the steps of the Capitol and dispersed." Four months later, on Feb. 9, 1970, he led a protest of students at Pershing Auditorium at the same time his father was inside, seated with Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, in his role as treasurer of the state Republican party. At an undergraduate, he also helped to coordinate the Vietnam Moratorium Committee. He wed fellow civil rights activist and peace movement volunteer Dorothy "Dew" ( ? - ? ). Together they bore two daughters. The family's residence in 1991 was in Long Pine, NE. and by 2000 they had settled in Cheyenne, WY. Thirty years after the protest, in 2000, at age 52, he was profiled in the Star Journal with a look at the contributions the protesters had made. At that time, he was managing his father's cattle-feeding business and banking interests. Michael and Dew were named in the acknowledgements of Jan Harold Brunvand's 1981 book The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends and Their Meanings

  • Grandson Thomas H. Shonsey (1918-1995) was born on Aug. 22, 1918 in Clarks, Merrick County, NE. He grew up in his grandparents' residence in Ogden, UT and later relocated to Fort Morgan, CO. Thomas was a graduate of Fort Morgan High School and for a year studied at Colorado State College. He then enrolled in the Colorado State College of Education. Circa 1941, he dwelled in Greeley, CO where he taught sixth grade and was playground supervisor in the Platteville Schools. On June 14, 1941, he entered into marriage with Virginia Elizabeth Vollmar (April 8, 1915-1981), daughter of Charles Louis and Anna B. Vollmar of Platteville, CO. The wedding was conducted in the St. Nicholas Catholic Church, by the hand of Rev. J.J. Shea. Reported the Greeley Daily Tribune, "The bride wore a lovely gown of white marquisette. Her fingertip length veil was caught at the crown with dainty net flowers. She carried a white prayer book, with a marker of orange blossoms." Virginia was an alumna of Platteville High School and in 1937 obtained her bachelor of arts degree from Loretto Heights College in Denver. For two years prior to marriage, she had taught fourth grade in the Platteville system. Three known offspring of the couple were Kathleen M. Shonsey, Edward T. Shonsey and John C. Shonsey. Thomas went on to a long career as an educator in the Denver elementary schools. Circa 1950, Virginia supplemented their income by delivering newspapers. Sadly, Virginia passed away in Denver at the age of 66 in July 1981. Burial was in Mizpah Cemetery in Platteville. Thomas married again in 1982 to Eulalee M. (Archer) Derks (Aug. 18, 1935-2004), widow of Joseph Cletus Derks. After 13 years of marriage, Thomas died in Denver at the age of 76 on May 12, 1995. Eula Lee lived on for another nine years. Death spirited her away on Nov. 3, 2004 in Denver.

    Great-granddaughter Kathleen M. Shonsey (1943- ? ) was born in about 1943 in Colorado.

    Great-grandson Edward T. Shonsey (1946- ? ) was born in about 1946 in Colorado.

    Great-grandson John C. Shonsey (1947- ? ) was born in about 1947 in Colorado.

Son Michael Gerald Shonsey (1897- ? ) was born on Oct. 17, 1897 in Nebraska. He grew up learning the skills of a ranch manager.  On Nov. 17, 1915, in a wedding held at St. Michael's Catholic Church, Michael tied the marital knot with Hazel Mae Campbell (Dec. 31, 1896-1986), daughter of Clarks merchant George Campbell of Campbell Bros. Rev. Fr. O'Connor officiated, with the news announced in the Central City Nonpareil. Omaha's Catholic newspaper,  Our Sunday Visitor, observed that Michael "is a young man who is remarkable alike for his staying and sterling qualities as well as his efficiency in the work of the ranch business in which he takes a prominent part with his father." The Visitor also remarked that Hazel "is a convert, having until recently taken a prominent part in the choir of the Methodist church at that place. We have seen but few who entered into the study of the Christian doctrine with so much sincerity and acquired such a thorough knowledge of it. All who were present in the church at the marriage were very highly impressed by the grace and decorum with which the youthful couple went through the ceremony." The children born to this union included Martha Geraldine "Jere" Fowler and Michael Shonsey. At the outbreak of World War I, Michael joined the U.S. Army. Back home in Clarks by 1920, Michael was listed as a farmer when the family was counted in the United States Census. They continued to farm in Clarks through the 1920s and 1930s. Circa 1935, they were in Douglas, Converse County, WY but by 1940 back in Clarks. Sadness cascaded over the family when the 76-year-old Michael passed away in August 1974. Hazel outlived her spouse by a dozen years. She was spirited away by the angel of death at age 89, in Central City, on April 3, 1986. Burial was in Central City Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Martha Geraldine "Jere" Shonsey (1917-1993) was born in 1917 in Nebraska. In 1939, she was joined in matrimony with Rex Daniel Fowler (1914-2001), a native of Alma, NE. There were three known children of of the couple -- Rita Marie Wheeler, Michael R. Fowler and Mary Frank. Rex stood 6 feet tall and weighed 150 lbs. The family dwelled in Omaha in 1939 at 523 North 40th Street, with Rex working for Northern Natural Gas Company. They endured the untimely death of their married daughter Rita from cancer in 1983. Geraldine died at the age of 75 on Feb. 26, 1993. Rex survived for another seven years. He passed away in Colorado Springs on March 30, 2001. They sleep for all time in the mausoleum of the Shrine of Remembrance in Colorado Springs. 

    Great-granddaughter Rita Marie Fowler (1942-1983) was born on Feb. 19, 1942 in Omaha. She was an alumna of Holy Name High School, where she was active as a cheerleader. She then received a bachelor's degree in teaching in 1964 from Creighton University. For a semester, she taught German at Marian Catholic High School in Omaha. She then entered into marriage with Gene Wheeler ( ? - ? ), who was serving in the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, OK. The newlyweds established a home in Lawton, OK. Two offspring born into this family were Joanne Wheeler and Eric Wheeler. Over the years, Gene's military career took the family to a host of places, ranging from Chicago, The Hague in Holland and London, England to Southern California and Decatur, IL. As time allowed, Rita liked to play bridge, ping-pong and tennis. After enduring incurable cancer, Rita died at the age of 41 on May 31, 1983. Burial was in Clarendon Hills Cemetery in Darien, IL. 

    Purple Heart medal    
    Great-grandson Michael R. Fowler (1944-2011) was born in 1944. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He was wounded and received the Purple Heart medal as well as other commendations. Michael was united in wedlock with Colleen ( ? - ? ). Their two children were Amanda Fowler and Sean Fowler. The family relocated to Las Vegas circa 1985 and remained for 26 years until the separation of death. There, Michael earned a living with Award Realty as a real estate agent. Michael died at Nathan Adelson Hospice at the age of 67 on Jan. 31, 2011. His remains were donated for research purposes to the Merin Society. An obituary appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. At the end, his longtime friend Ed Spence of Omaha remarked to the grieving family that "Mike was the real deal."

    Great-granddaughter Mary Fowler ( ? - ? ) married (?) Frank ( ? - ? ). 

  • Grandson Michael Harold Shonsey (1924-1995) was born on Aug. 18, 1924 at Grand Island, NE. He dwelled in Clarks in young manhood and stood 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 158 lbs. The day after Christmas 1945, the 21-year-old Michael married 25-year-old Margaret Rasmussen (Sept. 2, 1920-2018), daughter of Art and Ruth (McDermott) Rasmussen. They spent their lives on a farm near Clarks and became the parents of five -- Michael J. "Mick" Shonsey, Matthew Shonsey, Mary Douglas, Dr. Denise Bogard and Anne Bailey. Margaret was a 1937 graduate of Wahoo Public School, and went on to attend Luther College and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She taught at a country school as well as at Valley, Wymore and Clarks. Later she worked as a substitute teacher. In her free time, she liked to cook, read, raise her garden and play cards. Michael died in Clarks on May 22, 1995. His funeral mass was jointly led by Rev. Theodore L. Richling and Rev. James Bartek at St. Peter's Catholic Church. Interment of the remains was in Clarks Cemetery, with an obituary appearing in the Omaha World-Herald. Margaret outlived her spouse by 23 years. At the end, she lived at the Cottonwood Estate in Central City, NE. She passed away there at the age of 98 on Dec. 8, 2018. Her funeral mass, led by Rev. Fr. David Fulton, was held at St. Peter's Church. 

    Great-grandson Michael J. "Mick" Shonsey entered into marriage with Barb. They lived in Omaha in 1995-2018.

    Great-grandson Matthew E. Shonsey wed Kathy. The pair settled in Grand Island, NE by 1995.

    Great-granddaughter Mary E. Shonsey married Greg Douglas. They dwelled in Clarks in 1995-2018.

    Great-granddaughter Dr. Denise R. Shonsey ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). On Oct. 2, 1982, she was united in matrimony with 32-year-old Gerald T. Bogard ( ? - ? ) of Springfield, NE, the son of Arthur Gobard of Port Townsend, WA. They dwelled in Clarks. Denise has spent her professional career in the medical field, starting as a registered nurse and progressing to be a nurse anesthetist. In 1989, she received a doctorate of medicine degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She went on to hold an internal medicine internship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and then a residency in anesthesiology at the University of California at Irvine. She moved to Redding, CA as of 1995 and later put down roots in Roseville, CA. Today she owns and operates Well Aging Med, where she treats patients in wellness and aging issues. This has included age management medicine, anti-aging and regenerative medicine through the American Academy of Anti-Aging and certification as a biofeedback specialist.

    Great-granddaughter Anne T. Shonsey ( ? - ? ) was joined in wedlock with Walter Bailey. In 1995-2018, they made their home in Omaha. 

Above: Belleau Wood battlefield, where Thomas Benton Shonsey was killed. Below: French citizens pay tribute at the graves of the fallen at Belleau Wood. Courtesy Library of Congress

Son Thomas Benton Shonsey (1899-1918) was born on Feb. 3, 1899 in Nebraska. He was a graduate of the Clarks Schools. During World War I, Thomas joined the U.S. Army in California and trained at Camp Lewis. Over the winter of 1918, he was assigned to the Sunset Division and deployed to France. He is known to have been wounded with poison gas in May 1918 and spent several weeks recuparating in a hospital. He then was transferred to Company M of the 165th Infantry, 26th Regularly Army, holding the role of machine gunner. He is known to have taken part in action along the right of Belleau Wood at Chateau-Thierry, France, during a German spring offensive near the Marne River. On July 21, 1918, in battle, Thomas went missing. His fate was not known for months. In desperation, Thomas' father wrote to an old friend, Wyoming Sen. John B. Kendricks, "with whom he had ridden the ranges many years ago," said the Clarks Enterprise. The senator was unable to provide much information of use. Opined the Enterprise, "It is hoped that the young man is merely a prisoner in Germany and that within a few weeks or months a message to this effect may be forthcoming. Apparently his mishap occured while the Germans were retreating, and if this is the case his disappearance would tend to provide that it was as a prisoner. If he had been killed it is likely that his body would have been discovered by the advancing Americans." The army in April 1919 finally declared Thomas dead, sending a terse message to the soldier's father. The grieving father then sought additional details through a foreign correspondent of the Hanover National Bank. The body was laid to rest in Franch soil, 70 miles east of Paris in Cemetery 593, Grave 171, today considered the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, Plot D, Row 4, Grave 10. The American Red Cross photographed the grave marker inscription and sent it to the Shonseys. The family eventually erected a marker in Central City Cemetery with Thomas' name and inscription reading "Killed in action." At Memorial Day 1919, the Enterprise reported remarks by the local Methodist pastor, saying that Thomas and fellow resident Theodore Graves "were killed in action in France, thus giving their lives in the interest of humanity and democracy. All honor to them for they made the supreme sacrifice. May the remembrance of our heroes be ever precious to us." 

Daughter Margaret Shonsey (1901-1985) was born on June 11, 1901. In childhood she is known to have spent visits in the home of her relatives Fred Roberts and J.B. Gietzen. After high school, for two years she attended the St. Mary's in the Wood School, a musical seminary in Indiana, circa 1918-1919. On Jan. 17, 1921, she was united in matrimony with William "Schuyler" Masters ( ? -1987) -- nicknamed "Sky" -- the son of Albert Masters, also a resident of Clarks. The nuptials were led by Rev. Fr. William O'Conner at St. Michael's Church. In announcing the marriage, the Central City Republican-Nonpareil said Margaret was "well known in Central City where she has been a frequent visitor with friends and relatives. She is a bright and charming young lady, and is justly popular in Clarks where the greater portion of her life has been spent." Of the groom, the Republican-Nonpareil said he was "well known to many in Central City. He was reared in Clarks, and is looked upon as one of the promising young men of that place. For some time past he has been assisting his father at the Hord & Shonsey elevator." Two sons born to this couple were Thomas Masters and Robert Shonsey Masters. When her brother Gerald moved to their father's ranch in September 1921, Margaret and Schuyler took occupancy of Gerald's former ranch. By 1926, they dwelled in Omaha, where Schuyler had begun selling homes. One known son of the couple was Thomas Masters. They were active with the St. Peter's Catholic Church. In 1948, Margaret and her stepmother donated $380 to purchase 14 stations of the cross for the congregation. In time Schuyler joined the Omaha Board of Realtors and in 1953 founded his own real estate firm, Masters Real Estate Inc., where he was president and chairman of the board Their last residence was in an apartment at 450 South 78th Street in Omaha. At the age of 84, Margaret passed away in Omaha on June 30, 1985. Her obituary was carried in the Omaha World-Herald. Her funeral mass was held in the chapel of Christ the King Church, with interment following in Calvary Cemetery. Schuyler survived his wife by two years. Death carried him away in Methodist Hospital at the age of 86 on July 29, 1987.  

  • Calvary Cemetery. Courtesy SRGF, Find-a-Grave 
    Grandson Thomas Schuyler Masters Sr. (1924-1972) was born on March 9, 1924. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Circa 1951, he entered into marriage with Marjorie Ann Dwyer (April 3, 1921-1990). Their family of six children included John Dwyer Masters, Thomas Schuyler Masters Jr., Philip Joseph Masters, Dr. Steven Masters, William "Bill" Masters and Mary Margaret Wendel. The Masters family made its home in Memphis, TN, where Thomas earned a living with Ford Motor Company. He was employed as director of Ford's marketing institute in Detroit and then in 1966 tapped to be assistant manager of the carmaker's Lincoln-Mercury district sales office in Memphis. Their residence was located at 2277 Massey Road. Marjorie is known to have been a member of the Church of the Holy Spirit. Sadly, Thomas died at the age of 48 on Dec. 17, 1972 as a patient in Baptist Hospital. The body was transported back to Omaha, where his funeral mass was held in the Westside Chapel of St. Pius X Catholic Church, with burial in Calvary Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Marjorie endured for another nearly 18 years as a widow, remaining in their Massey Road home. She was employed by Cleo Wrap, a Memphis manufacturer of gift wrapping paper. Following a lengthy illness, believed to have been cancer, death spirited her away in St. Francis Hospital on July 10, 1990. Her funeral mass was held in the family church, and an obituary appeared in the Commercial Appeal.

    Great-grandson John Dwyer Masters ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). In young manhood he was employed in the commercial finance division of First National Bank in Memphis. On July 25, 1975, at the age of 22, he was joined in wedlock with 21-year-old Deborah Ann Young ( ? - ? ), daughter of Charles William Young of 1755 Forrest in Memphis. The ceremony was conducted by Rev. Lee Hendon in the Lindenwood Christian Church. In reporting on the happy event, the Memphis Press-Scimitar said the bride wore "a gown of candlelight chiffon fashioned with an Empire bodice of peau d'ange lace and a skirt gathered at the sides and across the back to extend into a wide chapel train." Her veil cascaded from a lace headpiece and her bouquet held white roses, ivy and baby's breath. John moved to Rowland, NC, where in 1982 he was an accountant with Rhea & Ivy. In August 1982, he married a second time to Dr. Mary Ann Moore, an optometrist and the daughter of Lewis Dixon Moore of Rowland. Rev. Amos Stone presided. Said the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the "bride wore her maternal grandmother's college graduation dress." The newlyweds established their home in Memphis.

    Great-grandson Thomas Schuyler Masters Jr. lived in 1982-1985 in Atlanta and in 1990 in Macon, GA.

    Great-grandson Philip Joseph Masters ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). He was an alumnus of Christian Brothers High School. Circa 1973, he attended the Merchant Marine Academy. Philip relocated to Dallas, TX, dwelling there in 1985-1990. On Nov. 2, 1985, he tied the marital knot with Kay Ellen Fisher ( ? - ? ), daughter of Ralph G. Fisher of Rocky Mount, VA. The wedding ceremony was held in Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas and announced in the Memphis Commercial Appeal

    Great-grandson Dr. Steven Masters made his home in 1985-1990 in Knoxville, TN.

    Great-grandson William "Bill" Masters has dwelled in Memphis followed by Orlando, FL in 1990.

    Great-granddaughter Mary Margaret Masters grew up in Memphis. She received her bachelor's degree from Rhodes College and a master's degree from Memphis State University. She has been married twice. She first was joined in wedlock with (?) Wendel. As of 1990, she lived in Memphis, where she was vice president and general manager of the advertising agency Archer/Malmo Direct. Then on June 5, 1993, she was united in matrimonial bonds with David Earl Caywood Jr. ( ? - ? ), son of David E. and Edith (Burch) Caywood Sr.. The ceremony was held in the residence of the groom's grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Lucius E. Burch Jr. in Collierville, TN. David was an alumnus of Transylvania University of Lexington, KY and employed at the time of marriage as chief corporate pilot for Southern Systems Inc., a firm which manufactured materials handling systems.    

  • Grandson Robert Shonsey Masters (1929-2009) was born on Feb. 13, 1929. On Oct. 2, 1954, he married Helen Ann Tonder (June 27, 1927-1992), daughter of Axel S. Tonder. The wedding was held at St. Margaret Mary's Catholic Church. In announcing the marriage, the Omaha World-Herald said the bride wore "imported Chantilly lace and nylon tulle over satin [and] featured sequin trim on the bodice and mandarin collar. The bride's fintertip veil of french illusion was held by a flat lace hat edged with a tulle ruffle and trimmed with seed pearls. Her bouquet was of white roses." Their union endured for 38 years until cleaved apart by death. Their brood of offspring included William Schuyler Masters II, Mary Margaret Masters, Susan Geralyn Masters, Robert Shonsey Masters Jr. and Dr. Julie Lynne Masters. Robert followed his father's occupation as a real estate agent. The Masters family resided in Omaha in 1985 where they owned and operated Masters Real Estate. The family was plunged into mourning at the infant deaths of daughter Mary Margaret on Sept. 29, 1955 and Susan Geralyn on Oct. 17, 1956. Sadly, Helen surrendered to the angel of death at age 64 on May 2, 1992. An obituary in the Omaha World-Herald asked that any memorial contributions be made to the Columban Fathers of Bellevue, NE or the Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn, IA. As well, a music scholarship was established in her name with the University of Nebraska at Omaha Alumni Association. Robert lived for another 17 years and wed again to Mary Jane ( ? - ? ). The second marriage lasted 15 years until another separation of death. the twice-widowed Robert passed away on June 21, 2009. Burial was in Omaha's Calvary Cemetery following funeral rits at the chapel of St. Robert Ballarmine Church.

    Great-grandson William "Schuyler" "Sky" Masters II ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). In about 1987, at the age of 29, he wed 25-year-old Terri Stilen ( ? - ? ), daughter of Harold R. and Betty J. Stilen of Omaha. They lived in Omaha in 1987-2012 and are the parents of Alex Masters.

    Great-grandson Robert Shonsey Masters Jr. (1959-2012) was born on Oct. 31, 1959 in Omaha. He was a 1978 graduate of Roncalli High School. For 25 years, he was employed as a United Parcel Service delivery driver, and retired in 2007. He then obtained a master's degree in business in 2007 from Southern University. He liked to write music and was a supporter of the National Rifle Association. On Oct. 31, 2009, he entered into marriage with Michelle Olberding ( ? - ? ) in nuptials held in Washington, IA. They relocated two years later to Oskaloosa, IA. Sadly, Robert died at the age of 52 on Oct. 3, 2012. A memorial service was conducted by Rev. Jean Wollenberg, with the remains cremated. In an obituary, the family asked that any memorial contributions be made to the American Cancer Society.

    Great-granddaughter Dr. Julie Lynne Masters dwelled in Omaha in 1985 and in Papillion, NE in 2012.

~ Stepson Warren Lee Sisler ~

Stepson Warren Lee Sisler (1867-1935) was born on Aug. 9, 1867 in Preston County, WV.

He was a boy of about age 10 when he and his parents migrated in 1876 to Minnesota.

In about September 1888, when he was age 21 and she 18, Warren married Carrie R. Evenson (1870-1957), the daughter of Chris and Mary (Hansen) Evenson. Carrie was an immigrant from Norway, having arrived in the United States in 1881, and at the time of marriage was dwelling in Cody, NE. The wedding ceremony was held in Cherry County, NE.

They together produced a brood of eight children -- DeForest Sisler, Mary Gertrude Sisler, Blanche Irene Seagran, John J. Sisler, Anna Mae Wolfe, Henry Maxwell Sisler, Laura Umatilla Sisler and Grace Ladora Sisler. All three sons died young -- DeForest at about age two in 1891, John also at about age two in 1898 and Henry in infancy in 1902.

Redwood River and bridge, Redwood Falls, MN 

When the 1900 census was enumerated, the family lived in Redwood Falls, Redwood County, MN, and Warren was a farmer. Boarding in their home that year was 16-year-old Ernest Stebbins. They lived on the old W.W. Hunt farm in Section 32, Redwood Falls Township, eight miles from both Wabasso and Redwood Falls. He made news in September 1899 when at work southwest of Redwood Falls. His new J.I. Case threshing machine disintegrated, blowing a crown plate held by 36 bolts "clear out of the machine," reported the Redwood Gazette. "No one was hurt. Mr. Sisler will be obliged to shut down for the several days, and spent over $200 in repairing the damage."

Two years later, in September 1901, he was at work on the farm of Carl Raddatz of New Avon Township when sparks from his threshing machine ignited and burned five stacks of wheat. Said the Gazette, "Mr. Sisler at once made up for the loss, after an estimate had been made, by paying to Mr. Raddatz $180."

Warren was a member of the Whittler School board, serving as treasurer in 1903. Working with clerk Clark Miller and director C.H. Winn, the trio generated praise for their efforts to make sure the "school grounds are well kept, the building is well painted, has a system of heating and ventilation, has a good library, the inside of the building is ceiled with sheet metal in a beautiful design; the building has a telephone, slate blackboards in a sufficient quantity, and last, but the most important of all, an excellent instructor for the children," said the Gazette.

Public market in Seattle   

Circa 1904, the Sislers made the decision to pull up stakes and relocate to the Pacific Northwest. Warren made plans to sell his farm goods in what the Gazette called "probably the greatest auction sale ever held in Redwood county." Among the items placed into bidding were two complete threshing outfits, one a 25-horsepower engine and separator with cook shanty, and the other an 18-horsepower Nichols & Shepard engine, J.I. Case separator. Other equipment included six gang, sulky and walking plows, potato plow, cultivators, corn planters, mowers, weeders, hay rakes, harrows, fanning mills, corn and small grain binders, corn husker and shredder, hay stacker, buggies, seven wide and narrow tire wagons, hay racks, corn shellers, bob sleds, gasoline engine, cream separator, 500 lbs. of barbed wire, 150 cedar posts, 11 sets of harness, 220 chickens and turkeys, pigs, horses, ponies, colts, cows and mixed stock. The Gazette said that Warren "is determined that everything shall be sold at this place, no matter the price offered under the hammer of the auctioneer, and there is probably not a farmer or other resident of Redwood county who will not be interested in some article on the premises."

The Sislers made their migration in March 1905 to Washington State. Together, they took an evening train over the Northwestern lines from Redwood Falls, intending to meet friend Tyson at Pasco. By 1910, they put down roots in Seattle, where Warren became proprietor of a grain company, with daughter Blanche employed by the company as a bookkeeper.

The 1920 census of the county shows Warren, Carrie and their three youngest daughters living under the same roof on Ravenna Boulevard. That year, in 1920, Warren was employed as manager of Spokane Grain Company, and daughter Anna as a stenographer for a dock company.

By 1930, Warren was working as a building contractor, and 26-year-old daughter Laura as a bookkeeper for a transfer company.

Their final residence together was along Route 11 near Seattle, with Warren employed in a service station. Suffering from chronic heart disease and an enlarged heart, Warren died in Seattle at the age of 68 on Dec. 15, 1935.

Carrie is believed to have lived another 22 years as a widow. In 1940, she lived under the roof of her married daughter Anna Mae Wolfe in Seattle. Then in 1950, she resided by herself. She died at the age of 87, in Seattle, on Oct. 31, 1957. Her remains lie in the sleep of the ages in Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park.

Daughter Mary Gertrude Sisler (1891-1909) was born in 1891. As a young woman, she relocated from Redwood Falls to Seattle with her parents. Over the summer of 1909, they received a visit from Mr. and Mrs. David Sisler, "and at that time Miss Sisler was a bright, strong young woman of about nineteen years of age, with no sign of her coming fate," said the  Redwood Gazette. But later that year, in November, she contracted typhoid fever followed by pneumonia and died.

Daughter Blanche Irene Sisler (1893-1984) was born on Aug. 21, 1893 or Aug. 28, 1894 in Beemer, Cuming County, NE. When she was age 16, in 1910, she lived with her parents in Seattle and worked as a bookkeeper for her father's grain company. On June 10, 1917, in the Swedish Lutheran Bethany Church near Seattle, she was joined in wedlock with immigrant Carl A. Seagran (Nov. 19, 1882-1956), a native of Aneby, Sweden. The nuptials were performed by Rev. O.R. Karlstrom. Two known children of the pair were Carolee May Seagran and Harry Seagran. Carl was a graduate of Augustana Business College of Rock Island, IL. In 1920, the Seagrans lived at 7318 44th Street, Southwest. Their son was born in California in about 1925 but by 1930 they were back in Seattle. Carl was employed in 1930 as a cabinet maker in a shop. Then in 1933 they came to Olympia, WA. Blanche earned income for the family over the years as a secretary. In 1940-1956, their address was 1328 East Legion Way in Olympia, WA. Carl succumbed to the spectre of death at the age of 73, on Sept. 18, 1956, in Western State Hospital. The remains were cremated following a funeral service conducted in the Bethany Greenlake Lutheran Church, Seattle. As a widow, Blanche lived in an apartment at 8500 Linden Avenue North in Seattle. At the age of 90, having endured hypertension, she was felled by a heart attack and passed away on Valentine's Day 1984. Her remains were cremated. Laura Mackie, with whom Blanche shared a home, was the informant for the Washington certificate of death. 

  • Granddaughter Carolee May Seagran (1920-1990) was born on Aug. 30, 1920. Dr. A.L. Howe assisted in the birth. She was a 1938 graduate of Olympia High School and received honors as outstanding student. Then in 1942, she received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington  On May 8, 1945, in King County, WA, she entered into marriage with Charles Phillips Purdy Jr. ( ? -1997). Rev. Frederick A. Schilling, of the Episcopal Church of Olympia, presided. The Purdys did not reproduce and made their residence in Olympia. Charles was a mining geologist who from 1942 to 1945 had been employed as as associate mining engineer in Spokane by the Department of the Interior. He also worked at one time at Olympia for the State of Washington Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology. His assignments took him throughout the western United States and to Central America, Canada and Greenland. They eventually divorced, and he married a second time to Eunice Campbell. Carolee earned a living with the music department of her alma mater, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s with the Thurston County Prosecutor's Office. She had a deep love for animals and once was given an award as an outstanding humanitarian by the City of Denver and Denver Humane Society. Carolee spent her final years in Denver. There, at the age of 69, she died on July 1, 1990 in the mile high city's Porter Hospital. An obituary was printed in the Olympia Olympian. Ex-husband Charles died at the age of 81 on Feb. 24, 1997.

  • Grandson Harry Lee Seagran (1924-2017) was born on June 28, 1924 in Long Beach, CA. When he was 18 years of age, he dwelled in his parents' home in Olympia, Thurston County, WA and worked for Hyak Lumber Company. In February 1943, Harry enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II. After the war's end, he returned to Olympia, where on March 23, 1948 he tied the marital knot with Roberta Jean Giles (Dec. 23, 1925-2016), a native of St. Louis, MN. Rev. Gordon E. Jackson officiated. The Seagrans made their residence in Ketchikan, AK in 1956 and in Seattle in the 1995-2002 timeframe. Sadly, Roberta passed away in Lake Forest, WA on May 2, 2016. The angel of death spirited him away on New Year's Day 2017 in Monroe, Snohomish County, WA.

Daughter Anna Mae Sisler (1899-1944) was born on March 24, 1899 in Redwood Falls, MN. Circa 1920, Anna Mae was employed as a stenographer for the East Waterway Dock & Warehouse Company in Seattle. Her home in 1922 was in Union Gap, WA. On Oct. 3, 1922, at age 23, she wed 25-year-old truck driver Orvis V. Wolfe (1897-1984), a native of Nebraska and the son of Levi and Lottie (Finch) Wolfe. Their marriage ceremony was held in Yakima, WA, by the hand of Rev. Edward Campbell. They made a home in Seattle and produced one daughter, Marilyn Wolfe. Federal census enumeration records for 1940 show the family together, with Anna Mae's widowed mother in the household. At that time, Orvis earned a living as a warehouse man at a public warehouse. The Wolfes' address in the 1930s and 1940s was 710 East 69th Street. Anna Mae was diagnosed with cancer of the breast and respiratory system. At the age of 45, she died in Seattle on June 24, 1944. The remains were laid to rest in Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park. The widowed Orvis wed a second time in 1948 to Jessie Armetta Campbell (1905-1992).  He died in Seattle at the age of 87 on March 28, 1984. His remains sleep for all time in Evergreen-Washelli.

  • Granddaughter Marilyn Wolfe (1927- ? ) was born in about 1927 in Seattle.

Daughter Laura Sisler (1904- ? ) was born in about 1904 in Minnesota. In 1930, at 26-years of age, Laura earned a living in Seattle as a bookkeeper for a transfer company. Evidence hints that she may have married (?) Mackie and was in Seattle in 1990.

Daughter Grace L. Sisler (1907-1969) was born in about 1907 in Washington State. On Aug. 6, 1927, in the parsonage of the Lutheran Church, she entered into marriage with Victor E. Valentine (1905- ? ). Rev. O.B. Hanson officiated. The three known sons of this union were Warren V. Valentine, Jack E. Valentine. In 1930, the United States Census shows the Valentines in Maple Leaf, King County, WA, with Victor working as a foreman in bridge construction. They moved by 1935 to Cedar River, King County, and in 1940 Victor earned a living as an inspector in a foundry. The Sislers pulled up stakes again during the 1940s and relocated into the city of Seattle. As of 1950, Victor was employed as a construction superintendent with a bridge-building firm. Death swept Grace away in Seattle on Oct. 22, 1969.

  • Grandson Warren V. Valentine (1929-1998) was born in about 1929.
  • Grandson Jack E. Valentine (1941-1996) was born in about 1941.

~ Stepson Samuel Jacob Sisler ~

Stepson Samuel Jacob Sisler (1872-1927) was born on Sept. 16, 1872 in Preston County, WV.

He learned the trade of carpentry. He boarded with the family of August and Emma Boltz in Vail, Redwood County, MN in 1900.

In 1900, or on Oct. 26, 1904, he entered into marriage with Salvina E. Erickson (1880- ? ), a native Minnesotan whose parents were immigrants from Sweden. Her name also has been spelled "Falvena" and "Seine." The nuptials were conducted in Redwood County.

They apparently did not reproduce.

Sometime in the 1900s, they and his parents moved to Idaho, making their home in New Plymouth, Canyon County, ID. 

Hay harvesting in Yakima, home to the Sislers in 1917-1920

The census of 1910 shows him working in New Plymouth as a farm laborer. By 1917, when he was required to register for the military draft during World War I, the Sislers had relocated again, to a farm at Union Gap, a few miles south of Yakima, Yakima County, WA. 

The 1920 census shows Samuel's occupation as "farmer." He also earned a living as a carpenter.

At the age of 55, suffering from hardening of the arteries and arthritis, Samuel appears to have returned to Idaho from Portland, OR. He died in Emmett, ID the day after Christmas 1927. His remains sleep for the ages in Emmett Cemetery. The Idaho death certificate lists his wife as "Salomia Sisler."


~ Stepson Edward A. Sisler ~

Stepson Edward A. Sisler (1873-1910) was born in 1873.

He earned a living as a laborer in a Minnesota gold mill.

For a cause not yet known, he was admitted to the State Hospital for the Insane in St. Peter, Nicollet County, MN. He was a resident there in 1900 at the time of the U.S. census, and was marked as unmarried. He remained in the hospital for at least a decade, as shown in the 1910 census. 


Sadly, Edward died at the hospital at the age of 37 on Aug. 10, 1910.

State Hospital for the Insane in St. Peter, Minnesota, where Edward Sisler lived for at least a decade, and died in 1910


~ Stepson Eugene Sisler ~

Stepson Eugene Sisler (1877-1929) was born in 1877.

On Oct. 3, 1901, Eugene married Eda J. Olett (1874-1964), a Minnesota native. The wedding was held in Redwood, MN.

They bore at least one daughter, Bernice M. Sisler. 

As with his brother Warren, Eugene and Ida migrated to Washington State, settling in Seattle, King County, sometime before 1908. The federal census of 1910 shows the family living on East 56th Street, with Eugene employed as a city detective. Eugene continued his work as a police officer for the City of Seattle during the 1910s. He also was a member of the Masons.

When the 1920 census was taken, Eugene, Ida and Bernice made their home together, along with Ida's unmarried sisters Ava and Myrtle. The couple made news in August 1926 when injured in an automobile accident on the Everett Highway along Silver Lake. A report in the Seattle Union Record referred to Ida as the "wife of Police Sergeant Eugene Sisler" who had sustained "serious internal injuries" and was being treated in the Virginia Mason Hospital.

Eugene died in Seattle at the age of 52 on April 29, 1929. Interment was in Acacia Memorial Park near Seattle.

Ida survived for another 35 years as a widow. She appears as a 55-year-old on the 1930 census of Seattle, with 22-year-old daughter Bernice in the home, located on 34th Avenue Northeast. Neither of them was employed in 1930. At the age of about 90, Ida died in 1964.

Daughter Bernice Myrtle Sisler (1908-1974) was born on Feb. 11, 1908 in Seattle. At the age of 22, in 1930, she dwelled with her widowed mother on 34th Avenue Northeast in Seattle. On Nov. 25, 1932, she entered into the bonds of marriage with Dr. John Ainsworth Dyke (Feb. 12, 1912-1999), originaly from Sunnyside, WA. The wedding was conducted by Rev. Dr. Samuel J. Chaney in the parsonage of the First Methodist Episcopal Church and announced on the pages of the Olympia (WA) Olympian . The pair's only known daughter was Betty-Jean Meyer. John went on to earn a degree in pharmacy in 1935 from the University of Washington. They resided in Portland, OR, with him employed as a pharmacist in Grand Coulee. Then during World War II, John served in the U.S. Army Air Forces, bearing the rank of captain. His role was as a photograph intelligence officer with deployments to the China-Burma-India Theatre, and he earned a Bronze Star for heroic achievement or meritorious service. After the war's end, in 1949, John received his doctor of dentistry degree from the Oregon School of Dentistry and the family relocated to Salem, OR. There, he practiced in children's dentistry for 28 years, retiring in 1977. Bernice held a membership in the Delta Zeta sorority, while John belonged to the Masons and Scottish Rite bodies and supported the Shriners Childrens Hospital of Spokane. Said the Salem Statesman Journal, "He campaigned to have Salem's water fluoridated and volunteered each month to provide free dental care for indigent children." The couple's final residence together was at 356 Hulsey Avenue South in Salem. Sadly, at the age of 66, Bernice passed away in a local hospital on Aug. 13, 1974. An obituary appeared in the Statesman Journal. Following funeral services jointly conducted by Rev. Kent Haley and Rev. George Swift, at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, burial was in Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. John survived his bride by nearly a quarter of a century and married again to Eleanor Thurston ( ? - ? ), remaining in Salem. Death swept him away on Feb. 9, 1999. John was pictured in his obituary in the Statesman Journal.   

  • Granddaughter Betty-Jean Dyke ( ? - ? ) was born on (?). On June 25, 1961, she tied the marital knot with Frederick Bingham Meyer ( ? - ? ), son of Roland Meyer of Atherton, CA. Their nuptials were held in the Wetmore Lodge chapel on the campus of Mills College in Oakland, presided by Rev. Dr. George Percival Hedley. The bride was pictured in a wedding announcement in the Salem Statesman Journal, which reported that her dress "was made with a full ballering skirt, long sleeves and a V neckline. Her fingertip veil of illusion was caught to a small crown with lacy flowers. She carried a white prayer book marked with a white orchid and a cascade of lily-of-the-valley."  The newlyweds' first home was in San Francisco. Together, they produced two daughters -- Robyn Meyer and Annemarie Meyer-Cox. The couple's residence in 1974 was in Weaverville, CA and in 1999 in Redding, CA.

    Great-granddaughter Robyn Meyer made her residence in Sacramento in 1999.

    Great-granddaughter Annemarie Meyer wed (?) Cox. Her home in 1999 was in Sacramento.


 Copyright © 2006, 2008, 2023 Mark A. Miner
Cheri Denise Blaylock-Lovell graciously has contributed content for this biography.