Thursday, April 10, 2008

Emma Alice (LYTON) CHAPLIN and Great-grandchildren

Source: Chaplin, Emma Alice Lyton with great-grandchildren. Photograph. C. late 1957 - early 1958. Original photograph in the possession of Alice Chaplin Midkiff. Vancouver, Washington. 2008.

This is one of only two photographs that I know about of Emma Alice (LYTON) CHAPLIN, my children's paternal grandmother's paternal grandmother. In this photograph, she is holding three of four great-grandchildren that were born to my mother-in-law and her two siblings in the spring of 1957. The three great-grandchildren are my children's father, and his twin girl cousins [names withheld for privacy] born to his maternal aunt and her husband. His maternal uncle and his wife also had a son born that same year, but they lived in California and were not able to attend this visit. At the same time, a four-generation photo was taken:

Source: Four-generations of the Lyton-Chaplin Family. Photograph. C. late 1957 - early 1958. Original photograph in the possession of Alice Chaplin Midkiff. Vancouver, Washington. 2008.

In the front row, left to right are my children's father's maternal grandfather, Forrest L. "Frank" CHAPLIN and his mother, Emma. I believe my children's father is sitting in his grandfather's lap. In the back row are my children's paternal grandmother and her sister.

Emma Alice LYTON was born 31 March 1874 in Thurmon, Fremont Co., Iowa to Mariah Emily (DAILEY) LYTON. Her father, Henry LYTON, had died the month previously. Henry was actually George TURK, born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, who had come to the United States and joined the Union Army, changing his name along the way for some reason (a not-so-unusual occurrence among Civil War soldiers, I've discovered). He and Mariah had three children: Charles Sanford (1870 - 1871), Agnes (1872 - 1898), and Emma Alice LYTON.

When Emma was an infant, her mother married a German immigrant, John Christopher KLINDER. They had six more children: "Nancy" Florence (1876 - 1935), Laura Luella (1879 - 1962), Clara Amy (1881 - 1970), Ada (1884 - 1917), Samuel Ivory Lewis (1886 - 1970), and Susie KLINDER (1889 - 1977).

Around 1891, Emma married Albert Francis CHAPLIN (1868 - 1946), probably in Iowa. Together they had six children, nearly every child being born in a different community:
  • *John William "Bill" (1892 - 1970), Surprise, Butler Co., Nebraska
  • *Charles Cornelius (1893 - 1973), Percival, Fremont Co., Iowa
  • *Nellie Susan (1895 - 1969), McPaul, Fremont Co., Iowa
  • *Glen Albert (1898 - 1966), Vermillion, Clay Co., South Dakota
  • *Forrest L. "Frank" (1901 - 1977), Yankton, Yankton Co., South Dakota
  • *Velma Fern CHAPLIN (1903 - 1997), Yankton, Yankton Co., South Dakota
Additionally, the family were found in Lamar, Prowers Co., Colorado when the 1910 U.S. Federal Census was taken and enumerated in Jaqua Twp., Cheyenne Co., Kansas in 1920. It's likely they were in Kansas so that Albert could care for his widowed mother and four older single brothers, all of whom died of strokes within the next decade. The family also lived for a time in Oklahoma, probably in Hydro, Caddo County, where Emma's mother, step-father, and half-siblings had moved in 1886.

Emma and Albert's youngest child, Velma, wrote "A History of the Chaplin Family," and she recounts that the family made all their moves by covered wagon, even into the twentieth century. She wrote that these moves were great adventures for the children, but it must have been difficult for Emma to be raising a family and continuously following her husband back and forth across the Rockies and Great Plains. In 1930, with the children all grown, the couple was living in South Fruitland, Payette Co., Idaho, and five years later in the community of Payette, same county. By 1946, they had settled in the Yakima Valley of Washington State, and there Albert died in the City of Yakima. Emma moved to Portland, Multnomah Co., Oregan, probably to be near her daughter Nellie and son-in-law, George RICE. The above photographs were likely taken at her home at 6224 Southeast 111th Avenue in Portland. She passed away in that city nearly two years later on 22 Jul 1959 and was buried next to her husband at Terrace Heights Memorial Park, Yakima, Yakima Co., Washington.

From her birth to a Civil War veteran, to traveling the West by covered wagon, to the advent of the space age, her life spanned a time of great change in America.

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