Posts Tagged ‘Wycombe’

Frank Hudson in Lingohocken

January 11, 2011

After reflecting on the matter a little, I recalled that Frank Hudson had lived in Bucks County when the two prior censuses were taken in 1920 and 1910. Perusing those censuses revealed that the Buckingham Township farm on which Frank Hudson lived and worked was owned by Charles (S. or L.) Smith and his wife Ruthanne Rockefeller Smith. Charles was French-speaking due to being born in Alsace-Lorraine. However, the 1910 census listed him as being German. Perhaps his origin was modified after WWI. The elderly Smiths apparently died between 1920 and 1930, probably leaving the farm to one or both of their daughters.

Frank Hudson was classified as Indian in 1910 but, from 1920 on, was listed as being white. It appears that he stayed with the Smiths from the time he left Carlisle. His student file indicates that he started working for a C. Smith in Lingohocken, Bucks County, Pennsylvania in 1894 and following years. His “Report After Leaving Carlisle” listed him as working as a farm hand in Wycombe, Pennsylvania in 1909. (Wycombe and Lingohocken appear to be unincorporated areas near each other.) S. J. Nori reported that, beginning in 1910, he was farming on shares (sharecropping) in Wycombe. Given that the 1910 census placed him on the Charles Smith farm in 1910 and that Smith was already in his mid-70s at that time, it is logical that Frank was farming on shares instead of just working as a hired hand. That he stayed on for at least another decade as indicated by the 1930 census argues for him having more of a stake in the farm than as a hired hand. Whether he ever obtained an ownership position remains to be seen. That will probably require a trip to Doylestown to unravel.

A Little More Info on Frank Hudson

January 6, 2011

The Spruance Library in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, the seat of Bucks County, has a tiny bit of information on Frank Hudson in their files: “Frank Hudson, died Dec. 24, 1950 in Wycombe, PA.; full blooded Pueblo Indian. Leaves no known relatives.” While it’s not a lot of information, it tells us some important things we didn’t know before. We now know the exact date and general location of his death. It supports but does not affirm our belief that he didn’t marry and didn’t have any children. One newspaper article—a couple of sentences at most—used the phrase “on his farm” when announcing his death. For decades after leaving Carlisle, it was reported that he worked on a farm in Bucks County, so his living on a farm at the time of his death wasn’t surprising. Now to research where he was living.

The 1930 census listed Frank Hudson, 50, as living with sisters Clara and Edna Smith, 60 and 45, respectively. These three ages were probably the census taker’s approximations. Clara was listed as a farmer and Frank as a laborer. Edna’s occupation was listed as “none.” Perhaps she was disabled or otherwise unable to work. She may even have functioned as cook and housekeeper because farmer’s wives’ occupations were also categorized as “none” on this page. The operation was listed as “general farm” as were others on the page. The three of them were likely living on a diversified farm, the norm for that day and place. The sisters were probably spinsters as both had marital statuses of S(ingle). Neither was widowed or divorced.

I called the Bucks County Courthouse to determine if they had any other information on Hudson. No will was probated for him after his death. That probably means that he owned no property solely in his name if at all. The Recorder of Deeds Office has a number of properties owned at one time by Frank Hudsons. It will take a trip to Doylestown to see if any of them were our Frank Hudson.

Frank Hudson

January 4, 2011

Yesterday, Frank Hudson’s grand nephew contacted me regarding information concerning the great drop-kicker, particularly the date and place of his death. The latest information I had on Hudson was in the 1930 census that showed his location as being on a farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the place he relocated to when leaving Carlisle. The information trail had run dry there a few years ago when I was actively researching his life. Knowing that some information sources had become available since that time, I decided to see if any of them had any new (to me) information on him.

Knowing that old census data is released every ten years, I checked to see if the 1940 census is now available. It isn’t but is scheduled for release on April 1, 2012. That means that next year I will be able to fill in some holes of missing data on the people I have researched. It also means that I probably won’t know what Frank Hudson’s were in 1940 until then.

I decided to take a shot at searching old newspapers again because additional newspapers are added to every day. My search found two mention of Hudson’s recent demise—one in January 1951, the other in December 1950. The 1951 mention contained very little information, but the 1950 article placed him on a farm near Wycombe, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. That would have made him somewhere between 70 and 75 years old when he died, a ripe old age for a man of his generation.

Now that I know where he was living when he died, I know where to look for more information on his later life. I expect that Bucks County has a very active historical society. Perhaps they will have an obituary for him. Now for the hard part—waiting for their response.