1. Charles Edward Strong: Born 3 July 1998, Chicago, Cook, IL and Victoria Elizabeth Strong: Born 24 June 2003, Barrington, Lake, IL.
2. Dr. Douglas Ward Strong: Born 4 September 1964, Joliet, Will, Illinois; Married 17 December 1988, First Presbyterian Church, Arlington Heights, Cook, Illinois; Amy Sue Perkins: Born 29 November 1963, Chicago, Cook, Illinois. (See Perkins)They live in Northlake, Illinois. Doug was granted a BA in 1987 From Cornell College, in Mt. Vernon, Iowa and an MS in 1988 from Southern Illinois University. He majored in Theater, Speech and Medieval and Renaissance Studies. He was a college Speech Communications teacher and a medieval craftsman before switching over to Special Education teaching. In January 1995 he enrolled in National-Louis University, (the National College of Education) and majored in special education. He graduated in June of 1996 with a Masters of Arts in Teaching (Special Education--Learning Disabilities and Behavior Disorders.) Doug earned his third Masters degree in School Administration in April of 2000 from Northeastern Illinois University. Following that Doug earned a doctorate in Educational Leadership form National-Louis University. Doug and Amy were married by Dr. Harry Thompson (Doug's minister from the Presbyterian church) and Reverend Fred Berchtold (Amy's minister from the Methodist church.) Sources: Personal knowledge and papers.
3. Dr. Donald "Smithson" Valdemar Strong: Born 8 May 1928, Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Married 15 July 1950, University Christian Church, Normal, Illinois; Phyllis Jeane Williams: Born 14 January 1929, Assumption, Christian, Illinois; Died 6 September 1976, Arlington Heights, Cook, Illinois; Buried Chapel Hill Gardens, Oakbrook Terrace, Du Page, Illinois. (See Williams) They had one son, Douglas Ward Strong, who married 17 December 1988, First Presbyterian Church, Arlington Heights, Cook, IL; Amy Sue Perkins. Donald married Shirley Breier (formerly Holmes) on 29 June 1980, First Presbyterian Church, Arlington Heights, Cook, IL. He gained five stepchildren by this marriage: Robin Holmes; Leslie Holmes who married Mike Whitehouse and had Emily and Jeffery; Tracy Holmes who married Bob Grimm and had Christopher John; Loren Holmes who married Bob Rhind; and Robert Holmes.
Donald grew up believing that his middle name was "Smithson" after his mother's maiden name. However while in the enlistment process for the Marine Corps, Donald discovered that in fact he had been given the middle name "Valdemar." Apparently, in a fit of "proud fatherhood" George had named him after his own sister Nell's husband, Valdemar Paulson. Valdemar was the one who had driven Emily to the hospital. Donald's delivery was extremely easy and Emily had no pain. The water broke at 5:00 A.M. and they went to the hospital. Donald was born about 9:00 A.M.. He weighed 8 3/4 pounds when he was born.
Donald belonged to the drama club at York High School in Elmhurst. He played the trombone in the York High School Band. In high school he dated a girl named Carol Berry whose father was a teacher at York High School. Donald also belonged to the Bible Church in Elmhurst. He was granted a BS in Education in 1950 from Illinois State University. Donald was a Captain in the Marine Corps. (Marine Air Base Squadron. -Marine Air Group-14, 2nd Marine Air Wing. He was an adjutant.) He graduated from Officer's Training School at Paris Island, North Carolina, in 1951. He received a MS in 1957 from Illinois State University. He then was granted a PhD 1963 at Southern Illinois University. Donald is a retired school superintendent from Arlington Heights, IL. He is a golf fanatic, and got a hole-in-one on 31 July 1990, at Pauma Valley Country Club, in California, where he now lives (he has had as least one more since).
A transcription of a tape sent from Donald Strong to Douglas Strong, Christmas 1993, describing their lives and the life of Phyllis Williams Strong.
This is your dad. Amy sent me a beautiful letter suggesting that perhaps you'd like a little history, some things that would bring back some warm memories for you and for me too. I'll try to do what she suggested. I hope it helps.
What do I remember about Doug? I remember the night we found that you were on the way. You were a wanted child. There was no accident involved. We were ready. We loved it. We wanted to have you and we were excited. Your mom had a really tough time during the pregnancy. She was down for long periods of time, with the placenta attachment being marginal and so forth, but she stuck through it and did all the right things. It was well worth it. I remember the night we went to the hospital to have you born. I was rushing around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get her to the hospital. I ran down to the garage-- I almost left without her. (I did finally remember to take her along. It seemed only fair to have her there when you were born.) We got over to the hospital and were greeted by Nick Primiano who was our OB/Gynecologist (Head of OB), and a good friend. I had just played golf with Nick a few days before. He was excited for us and was ready to go. He tried to induce labor because you were well past term, and it didn't go too well and Nick finally said "Well it's going to have to be a Caesarian section." He finally kicked me out of the room since I had stayed there while he tried everything else. (I think he and I sometimes talked about a little golf and your mom thought we were a little loony, though she got in on the conversation too.) Anyhow I was out of the room and later I talked to the nurses. They said that Nick, who, though he was usually a delightful guy, tended to be something of a "martinet" in the operating room. Instead, he made the final cut and took baby Doug out of the womb and started singing the funny song "Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda, Here we are at Camp Granada" They couldn't believe it,but they all laughed, and out you came. I first took one look at you and they said "How's he look?" Well I checked fingers, toes; everything looked fine. I said "He looks great except he looks like Andy Gump. He's got those big cheeks, so fat and healthy hanging over; I can hardly see his chin." (Andy Gump was an old cartoon character --We'll check that out with you some day.) At any rate you were cute and fun. We got your mom home. We couldn't, at that time, do breast feeding for you so you wound up on the bottle. You had a lot of trouble holding regular formula down so we had to put you on Soy Milk (Simulac) because you used to" projectile vomit". [Hence my nickname "Brack" -ed.] You used to get us all the time. It got so I was giving you most of the bottles because your mom was recovering and I was doing most of the diapering whenever I had the time. We had your Grandma Em there a lot of the time and everybody was hovering around. Finally, one day, we saw your Mom was really feeling better. I had been giving you the bottles. I'd get up for your night feeding and whatever else you needed. We always laughed that with me doing so much at first, when you actually started to talk and needed something you'd say Dad instead of Mom, but that worked out OK since she picked you up for long hugs every chance she got. After about a month, or perhaps it was about three weeks, we both broke up laughing when I told her "Come on now I want to show you how to diaper this kid". We stared to roar, because me showing anybody anything about raising a child was in itself a joke! But we worked our way through it and we had fun.
What kind of baby was Doug? I remember about you a kind of radiance. You were the cutest darned kid. You had this little fuzzy reddish hair that got redder and redder as it went along fitting right in with your mother's red hair. I know it has changed now, but believe me it was that way then. We used to walk into the room and say "Hi!" and your little face would light up. You had a smile that would light up a room. We couldn't believe it. In fact your first word, at a very, very young age, we walked in one day and said "Hi!" and you looked back and said "Hi!" Well you didn`t quit talking after that and neither did we. We were just delighted. You were actually terribly precocious in terms of talking early and pretty much else. You have a book, I think, that your mom gave you, or you should have, somewhere; if you don't we will have to track it down, talking about the words you first used. You were talking in phrases and sentences way earlier than anybody else. You were crawling at about four and a half months as I remember. You were standing very early. It was, I really don't remember, we have it all somewhere, like seven or eight months you were starting to wobble on those steps and well into the eight, nine month period you were starting to really move around. We have some very early pictures of you somewhere, under a year old, pulling a pull toy. The only problem was you walked much before you were ready and you didn't have an ounce of sense. You would walk into walls, doors, almost anything you can imagine, so you were kind of an "accident waiting to happen", but we had fun. We had you in your little scooter seat and that seemed to help. It had bumpers around it and that kind of protected you. Anyhow, we had a wonderful time!
You did what every child should do. I do remember that we had a group of people in for a big dinner, a very nice dinner party, at the club one night, involving a lot of Board members and important community people. I went in there to change you. Your mom came in too, and just before Mel and Willa Schroder ( Board President) came to pick us up, we went to change you so of course we removed the diaper and you immediately, being uncovered, shot this wonderful geyser of urine into the air spraying both of us totally. We had to rush in and change our clothes but we made it to the party. We said "Thank you, Doug!" You got us to change and shower again. But you got us nicely! Anyhow, I remember all sorts of things. I remember we used to go to the club (Joliet CC) when you were quite young and you loved ice cream from an early age. We had a pastry chef there at the club who used to make special things, but for you she loved to make a great big dish of ice cream with a butterscotch and chocolate topping that she would freeze and your little eyes would light up and you'd go to it. [This is one of my earliest memories though I always associate it with Turnberry Country Club rather than Joliet Country Club. -ed.] I know you know the stories about your Mom and her taking you to the doctor That was my favorite chuckle You were very verbal. You must have been about three. She took you to the dermatologist's office, and sitting around the large room, with everybody reading and trying not to pay attention to one another. You spied two nuns across the room. Apparently you hadn't seen nuns in the old, formal, black habits before , and they looked kind of unusual to you, so in a very loud kid voice you said "Momma, Momma what are those?" and Phyl said "Well Doug, those are nuns".
You looked at them very seriously and in an equally loud voice you said "Mamma, do nuns have penises or do they urinate out of their bottom like you do?" The room of course was hushed and then everybody broke up. The nuns fortunately were apparently teaching nuns and they invited you over, and you chatted with them and you seemed very happy, you made good friends with them, and you had a great time. Your reputation was well established at the dermatologist's office, (when you weren't at the allergist's office where you went for shots.)
In any event, another story that I remember is that we were just about to move. I had just taken the job as Supt. in Arlington Heights, so we were leaving Joliet. Your mom had you downtown Joliet, and there were a couple of old guys, I don't know who they were, Probably simply old people who liked to sit around the courthouse square. They were sitting , and you were walking by, and of course you were the friendliest kid--you knew everybody, you loved everybody. Everybody you talked to talked back You had some wonderful conversations. You walked up to them, somehow got away from your Mom and said "Hi! We're moving to Arlington Heights. Would you like to come with us?" Fortunately your mother got you away before they accepted because we might have had a kind of crowded household.
In any event we moved to Arlington in 1968. You know the town well. I remember the time we moved into the house and we first set your little room in motion, and had the excitement of getting your bunk beds and all your furniture, all of which you know and have seen and still have pieces around I guess. [Our current bedroom set, minus the bunk beds -ed.] The rituals of bed were always fun, especially when you were a little guy. I remember, every night, you had to say goodnight to the little stuffed animals that we had collected for you from all over the place [these are in a box in my attic -ed.] Cows and horses and pigs and dinosaurs every tiny little thing, and each night as you went to bed, usually me, but one of us, your mom or me would pick you up and take you in. They were on top of the chest of drawers and we would hold you up and you would go through your little nightly ritual. "Good night cow" and you'd give the cow a kiss. "Good night horse" and you'd give the horse a kiss. "Good night pig" and you'd give the pig a kiss. "Good night Mr. Bear" and you'd give the bear a kiss. You went through the whole collection. Finally everything was finished, then off to bed. Boom-- you'd sleep away almost instantly, Boom.all loved the pattern. Those are beautiful times and I remember them well.
I don't think you could imagine what a happy, happy kid you were. Everybody that knew you said the same thing I said earlier, you lit up rooms. You were warm and happy and outgoing. You loved everybody, you talked to everybody, you were a beautiful kid and you made our life very, very happy.
I remember so many things that are hard to think back on, I think about your mom and I know Amy said maybe you wanted a little history of your mom and me. I can do some of that if it will help. I first met your mom in school, 1947. I had been at college, at Illinois State and she came down a year later. Like Amy she was a bright, bright person, Valedictorian of her class. [like Amy -ed.] Brightest person I've know in all my life,
Wonderful mind. I met her because I sometimes went to the Christian Church where I knew a gal, Amy Nafsiger, whose dad was the minister, and they used to have a welcoming party for all the incoming students. It was kind of their way of introducing them. Apparently that seemed to your Mom like a church she might be interested in. So I went over there and I was kind of scouting the" new crop", and I saw this red headed gal and something about her was kind of magic and was attractive. We got to talking and I asked her out afterward and took her for our first date to dinner. I think we went out at least once or twice before I realized her last name was Williams not Wilson. I'm sure she finally corrected me when she decided, luckily for me, that I might actually, potentially, be a "keeper". We simply became a team very quickly. We were engaged not too long after. I can't remember exactly when Doug, it's a shame to say. I think very close to that following Christmas it was getting very serious and certainly shortly into the next year or so we wound up engaged and were engaged for the rest of our time in college. Her roommate, Barbara Brusso, and the guy she was going to marry, Jack Brusso, (I can't remember Barb's maiden name Isn't that terrible.) At any rate, Barb was Phyl's roommate, and they were fun"characters". Jack was a contractor from Chilecothe, IL and in the back of his car he had a little wine cooler. The Korean war had just broken out in 1950. Your mom had gone through college by going straight through in three years. We used to stay down summers. So she finished her degree in three years and she was done in August. I finished my degree in June and she was finishing hers in August as I began Graduate School for my Masters. In July we were sitting in the back of Jack's car having a drink of wine [those were the days when you could fit four people in the back seat of a car -ed.] just chatting. The Korean war had broken out, and we said "You know, we have all been planning a big wedding. We've all been engaged so long, why don't we just get married and get this over with? We're going to be drafted or something,, and we're going to have to go or we're going to have to volunteer. We don't really know what we're going to do." We put the wedding together in no time flat. The following Saturday, at the Christian Church, Nafsiger was the minister, we were married. We had a double wedding with Jack and Barb. Quite a crowd of just friends spontaneously. We were married first, they were our best man and maid of honor. Right after we turned around and stepped back and we were their best man and maid of honor. We just did kind of a switch. We went on a honeymoon of all places to Springfield, IL. A lot of symbolism there because we wound up there some years later as you know. Not very long later. It was a beautiful time. We were very happy.
I finally got my first teaching job in Springfield, that summer, and we went on to live in Springfield and we found a little tiny apartment. It seems to me that it was 208 west Pine St. It was an upstairs back apartment which you reached through a stairwell. A living room, kitchen and dining room and the bath was right next door. It was ours privately, but you had to step through a door to get to it into a hall. We thought it was a palace. It was the most perfectl thing we had ever seen. It was ours! We were there until the following summer when I went into the military. In the meantime, I taught in Springfield that one year and then the Korean war was really going full steam A friend of mine had looked into an Officer Candidate program for the USMC. We'd known him in college. His wife and your mom had been roommates in college. He said "Let`s do it. This is quite a deal. We`ll go in and take on this OC program We can volunteer and go..
It`ll be tough, but after we're through we'll get a commission and go to special training programs and after that who knows." The Marine Corps seemed exciting and full of potential action, so we did it. I volunteered, went down to Parris Island, went through those ugly times in the swamps and heat of Parris Island, and successfully finished the tough program. Your mom came down and joined me and we went to Quantico, Virginia for Basic School where we were taught the real meaning and duties of being an Officer in the United States Marine Corps. I went to the Officer Candidate program in June. I finished up in September. We were at Quantico from September to February and then it was off to Cherry Point, North Carolina, (and while there, down into Puerto Rico for a bit for a bit of field experience. I was presumably pulled off the list for possible Korea type orders at times because I guess someone decided they needed me doing what I was doing. I was an Adjutant, doing kind of a management/administrative job for the air group down there. I really didn't know anything about that kind of thing when I went there. I was mostly a "ground pounder". That's all I had been trained as, for rifle and other line officer roles, but they decided that's what they wanted me to do and of course you follow orders. So I stayed the course. I even stayed on in the Corps a little extra time at the end before release. Spent some years in Active Reserve units later. I was released in 1953 (discharged `59. We went home to Springfield, Illinois and I went back into teaching and finished up my Masters. I got a Principalship at Cottage Hill School in Springfield in 1957, and did that until 1960. Finally I went on and took time a leave and went back to University studies I had my PhD almost done, (everything except the dissertation), went back to Springfield, and took a job as Principal in another one of the schools (Butler) for one year. The next year I became an Assistant Superintendent,. I did that for one more year. I'd been away at the University for over a year and a half. I'd had everything for the PhD done by then. I finished all my language prelims and wrote my dissertation. I finished my Orals. About the time I was finishing, to my pleasant surprise, (I was really very young for that level,) Joliet offered me the Superintendency in 1963 after some memorable and fun interviews. We moved to Joliet and I became Superintendent of Schools. It was a big and challenging step, but I loved it. We were of course without children at that time. It was not long that when after we had made the big decision to finally have a child. After many, many years of marriage, we concluded that, while we'd had a wonderful time together alone, we felt that one gap existed. That gap was you. We made that decision very much around the time that the Kennedy assassination was occurring. And judging from the fact that you were a little more than nine months to term, probably nine, nine and a half, you probably started on your way to life somewhere around that Christmas, right after the assassination of President John Kennedy. It was clearly our best decision! As I always say, you filled our lives. You made our family complete.
I can't tell you how much else there was. I remember special times. I remember seeing you grow in Joliet and in Arlington Heights. I remember your first day in school. I remember all the fun and joy you brought us. I remember the beauty of the closeness to your mother. She thought the sun rose and set with you. She'd sit and just hold you and you'd beam and she'd beam. At that time your hair and hers were both still on the red side and you both "matched" perfectly. They were wonderful years! Eventually, though, you and I had to go through that horrible loss. You handled it as bravely as anyone so young could. We shared a deep pain together, and, as you can tell, I can still feel that trauma, as I know you do as well. Be sure, though, there was never a doubt that you were deeply loved by a beautiful, wonderful woman. I always said that the wrong spouse died. She was very special Doug. She was bright, warm, and loving The sweetest, brightest, most perfect, funny lady I have ever known. You had a great start with her, son.
Someday maybe I can add to this. Maybe I can recall a bit more than you find in this all too rambling reminiscence. Whatever, never doubt that you had two parents who really loved you!
Merry Christmas Doug.
I love you!
--Edited by Don Strong, 2013
Sources: personal knowledge and papers; Audio Cassette from Donald Strong.
4. George Washington Strong Jr.: Born 13 June 1897, Girard, Crawford, KS; Died 25 December 1983, Elmhurst, DuPage, IL; Married 20 August 1927, St. Bartholemew's Episcopal Church, Chicago, Cook, IL; Emily "Victoria" Smithson: Born 30 November 1898, Rothwell, Yorkshire, England; Baptized in the Holy Trinity Church, Rothwell, Yorkshire, England; Died 6 September 1990, Escondido, San Diego, CA. (See Smithson & Jagger) They are both buried at Chapel Hill Gardens, Oakbrook Terrace, IL. George and Emily lived most of their married life in Chicago and later moved to the home that George built in Elmhurst, IL. As a young man growing up in Girard Kansas, the town his grandfather had founded, George spent a lot of his time riding and hunting. He was apparently quite good at both. He had one particular horse that he loved. He "roached" his horse to give the mane a bristly cut so it would look fancy. George hated farm work so he left Girard whenever he had a problem with his father, with whom he didn't get along too well. While he was in Girard, George spent lots of time with his grandfather, Dr. Charles H. Strong who was responsible for forming the true nature of George's character. Dr. Strong loved to tell stories about his life to young George and he was apparently quite a captivating story teller. Similarly George grew to love storytelling, jokes and poetry. He memorized lots of these during the course of his life, and he lived for the opportunity to let one fly out at any receptive audience. As his relationship with his father was not the best, he kept coming and going from the family farm. He claimed to have left home for the first time when he was very young, about the age of eleven and went to Minneapolis. There he got a job stringing violins. Obviously life was hard for an eleven year old who made his living by stringing violins. The pay must have been very poor and the working conditions could not have been all that great. He eventually gave up on this "career" and returned home. His father wanted him to work on the farm but he truly hated this kind of work.
When he was about 17 he went into the Army of the United States. He served in the Army during World War One. It appears that he never made it over to Europe. When I was quite young I asked him to tell me about the war. He told me that he never was able to go to war because his entire unit was struck by a virulent case of influenza. The influenza epidemic of 1918 ravaged his fellow soldiers. George seems to have caught the flu but he recovered from it. The casualties from this bout of flu were astronomical and the unit was so depleted that they had to reform it. By the time the unit had been reformed the Treaty of Versailles had been signed; World War One was over.
When he got out of the service he saw an ad in the newspaper that said Standard Oil Company was looking for executives. What this meant was that if you were accepted you would be given a floundering gas station and you had to try and make a success out of it. George was given a station on the south side of Chicago. The station was in real trouble. After a while George noticed that there were a large number of trucks constantly coming and going to a warehouse across the street from his service station. He realized that if he could get all the business from these trucks he would be able to make his service station successful. One day he went over to the warehouse and knocked on the door. A large, thug of a man came out and told him to go away. George obliged him. The next day he returned and asked to see the boss. Again he was told to leave. Day in and day out he repeated the trip to the warehouse. Finally the boss became curious and decided to let him in because he "liked the kid's spirit." When George got inside he knew for certain what sort of business the warehouse owners were engaged in. The warehouse was filled from floor to ceiling with booze. Prohibition was in full swing and he realized that he was about to do business with gangsters. George was taken to see the boss whom he described as a "Big Louie" type. George asked him to send all his trucks to George's service station across the street. He promised them the best service around and great prices. The boss, who was suitably impressed with George, ordered all his drivers to give "the kid" all of their business. And as a result George was able to make his station a success.
After working at Standard Oil he left the company and went into sales. George and a friend had started a rust remover business. They had their offices in the basement of a real estate office. In addition to being their offices the owners of the business illegally stored wine kegs there to avoid arrest for Prohibition violations. He and his friend frequently used to open these kegs and steal a little nip from them while doing their paperwork. Now, George had always believed that he was a natural salesman, and he was quite good at it. One day he learned that his friend was a better salesman than he when he went on a sales call with his partner. The client was taken with the effectiveness of the rust remover but asked whether it was safe or not. His friend, without missing a beat, uncorked the bottle and drank the rust remover. Needless to say they made the sale. When they left the offices George said to his partner, "I didn't know you could drink that!" His partner replied "I don't know if you can. If I die I guess we'll know that it is poisonous." His partner never died of it so I guess it must have been OK. At the age of 24, after selling rust remover for quite a while, George went to the Challenge Company in Batavia. The Challenge company made water tanks, and George was a salesman. He was very successful at being a salesman for this company. George received a salary of fifty dollars a week. While here he learned all about how these tanks were built and he opened his own business, called the Waveland Company. They also built water tanks and were interested in breaking into the budding radio tower business. He chose the name "Waveland" because it sounded like a "radio word" and that was the kind of business that he wanted. He was sure he could make his own living and be successful at it. Part of the motivation for striking out on his own may have been his hearing. He had a hearing problem and he liked the idea of not having to listen to others. He was very self conscious about it. He firmly believed that his hearing loss was a result of firing so many guns as a child and a young man. While running the Waveland Company he developed a process for repairing wooden tanks that no one else had. These tanks were common for the sprinkler systems on the buildings in Chicago. Since they were wood and filled with water, they needed lots of repair. They were built like large barrels and he discovered that he could drive wedges into the seams to that they would fit together better. His process involved locating the weak spot, drilling a hole and screwing in a grease fitting from the front end of a car. Then he would take a hand pressure grease gun and pump roofing cement into the joint. By understanding the hydraulic pressures that were acting on the tanks he would be able to make this repair in just the right spot. Then he would take out the grease fitting and pound in a wooden plug. He would cover this plug with a layer of roofing cement. Then he would cover it with cloth so no one would see the type of repair that he had made. George was able to guarantee the repair for years. While he was there he would have his crew do lots of extra repairs free of charge so it looked like the repair took longer. The owners of these tanks were grateful for all the work and the high quality of the repair. Thus when they were eventually in the market for new tanks, they usually purchased their new tanks from the people who had given them such good service. George's goal was always to sell a new tank but since this was the time of the depression the repairs that he did were vital to the success and the strong reputation of the Waveland Company. Later they were able to break into the radio tower business. The Waveland Company did repair, construction and removal of radio towers. They even built the WGN radio tower that is still standing and visible from Route 53/290 in Elk Grove Village IL. The Waveland Company had their offices in the Merchandise Mart. Later George decided that the traffic was too bad to commute all the way downtown from Elmhurst so while still young, in 1952 he went into semi-retirement, and moved the offices out to the Pioneer Bank building at 4000 W. North Avenue, between Crawford and Pulaski. George was a workaholic. His life was wrapped up in making his company a success. When he was home he loved to nap, take vitamins, make things and try to figure out how to avoid probate. He could draw pencil portraits that were nearly photographic in quality.
In 1931 the family moved to Elmhurst and resided at 375 Mitchell. In 1940 George was barely earning more than Emily had made before they were married. While Donald was growing up all the responsibilities of discipline were left to Emily. She handled this by talking things out rather than by punishing him. The only major source of disagreement in George and Emily's life was the handling of money. Emily was more inclined to spend the money or donate the money to churches and charities. George on the other hand, wanted to invest the money. George always prevailed in this. Emily attended church every Sunday, though George seldom joined her. Most holidays were spent in large family gatherings. Since they both had many brothers and sisters family was very important to them. They would often attend family reunions at important anniversaries. Interestingly George and Emily were twenty-fourth cousins, seven generations removed, sharing the common ancestor of King William the Conqueror. Several of the George's letters and stories survive. These give insight in to his character and sense of humor:
May 5, 1967
Something happened today that I thought you would like to know about. I met Poodle Pierre out taking his morning walk. I said, "Good morning, Pierre. You look much better than when I last saw you during the winter. Are things going your way these days?" Pierre replied, "Well yes. I'm feeling pretty good now, but I'll be a lot happier when the weather gets warmer. I like lots of heat." Pierre said the winter was awful. He said he tried everything: two overcoats, a cap with flaps pulled down over his ears, nose muff, snow boots; just about everything he could think of, but even so, he said, he was always cold. At night he got along alright because he slept right on the radiator. Old Pierre said he heard during the winter that if you would get yourself real cold inside you would feel warm Pierre out taking his morning walk. I said, "Good morning, Pierre. You look much better than when I last saw you during the winter. Are things going your way these days?" Pierre replied, "Well yes. I'm feeling pretty good now, but I'll be a lot happier when the weather gets warmer. I like lots of heat." Pierre said the winter was awful. He said he tried everything: two overcoats, a cap with flaps pulled down over his ears, nose muff, snow boots; just about everything he could think of, but even so, he said, he was always cold. At night he got along alright because he slept right on the radiator. Old Pierre said he heard during the winter that if you would get yourself real cold inside you would feel warm outside so, he said, he tried for a while eating a bowl of snow balls for breakfast with two glasses of ice water. But he said things didn't work out right. Said he shivered so bad he shook off all his suspender buttons. I think Pierre will move to Florida next winter. He just doesn't like cold weather. I have my fingers crossed, but I do at least "hope" that you are being a good boy these days, keeping quiet and out of trouble. Confidentially, I don't think your poor old Mom can stand much more of your high jinks without cracking up. She was almost a basket case the last time I saw her. Said you had been bugging her just too much. Her nerves were so frayed it was pitiful. She said that if things got any worse that she was planning on going downstairs some day and jumping out one of the windows. Plato has written, "Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable."
With kind wishes,
(Christmas, 1969) Dear Cecilia:
Now again Christmas and another year is drawing to a close. Time rolls on. Although this isn't a New Year message, let us review some of the events of the year. Well, one thing comes to mind at once: Johnson is getting our of the white house - and that's good! Any change at all is better than Johnson. We voted for Nixon, but not because we think he is some kind of a political god, at least that's my feeling. My preference is to wait and see how he performs, not expecting too much so as not to be disappointed if he falls on his face. Babe (Juanita) and her husband came to a tragic end this year. That was very sad. Two nice people, happy and prosperous and with everything to live for and then one day suddenly, very suddenly their lives were snuffed out. Car accident. Head-on collision. This sort of thing happens every day, but this time it happened in our family. I just cannot adjust to the loss of Babe. It is so difficult to realize that she is gone. Her loss is a great sorrow to me. And this year they established a memorial statue of a deer with inscription in the south-west corner of the court house yard at Girard to commemorate to founding of Girard, Kansas in honor of grandfather Strong. Terrific blowout. There were a great many there including myself. My participation included telling an audience a few things about father Strong (we always called him father, not grandfather) so, among other things, I told the gathering about the time when father was captured by the Indians, how he escaped, and how years later five members of the band of Indians who captured him came through Girard with some horse traders and recognized father. Through an interpreter they told father who they were. Well, to make a long story short, father got hold of a photographer and with difficulty persuaded the five to pose for a picture. They thought they were going to be shot - they didn't know what a camera was. Well, anyway, Nell gave me the one remaining, faded, blurred copy of the photograph and I have an artist now at work on It to redo and enlarge the image. Of course, as you will surmise, this Indian affair happened before I was born. But it did happen and if my artist can dig out enough detail I should end up with a picture of the five with buckskin trousers, blankets, bows and arrows posed around a round table. And there is much, much more but I must now go on and on or else you will not have time to read our Christmas card.
My kind wishes to you and your family,
THE BULL SHOOTER
By George W. Strong
It is sometimes very interesting to recall certain past events in our life and at this time I am going to write about one of the rather out of the ordinary experiences in my own which occurred when I was growing up in Kansas. I did a great deal of small-game hunting at the time and out of fairness to the game I refused to use anything but a rifle. Also as my marksmanship became more and more perfect I would shoot generally from the hip in the interest of sportsmanship, to give the animal at least some chance to escape. Any sighted aim I would make with my with my skill became almost certain death for any animal or bird I drew a bead on whether it ran or was flying. I remember a time when we had a great many cattle. One day a huge bull we owned at the time had gone mad for some rare cause and came charging out of a herd near our main barn and. my father called to me to come and take look. I was cleaning my rifle at the time he called. I quickly went out to see what was happening and there was this frenzied, huge bull milling around, frothing at the mouth, wild-eyed, attacking anything and everything, dangerous beyond description. My father turned to me and said, "Bull, (that was my nickname) take your rifle and go out and dispatch that animal. Take care because that killer is bad medicine. Worst thing I've ever seen" I assured my father that all would be taken care of just as he wished.
By the time I had loaded and set out on my mission the bull had run around the barn on one side and for some reason I could not understand he seemed to stay there. I made my way around the building cautiously on the opposite side and when I furtively glanced around the corner I saw that the bull had evidently charged a closed heavy wooden gate on his side and In the process had jammed his head between two large timbers and was held fast, unable to escape. I reasoned that if I stepped out into sight for an attempted shot the animal might free himself with intensified effort and continue his dangerous assaults until I could get a shot at some vital part of his body that would be vulnerable to my small caliber bullet. And also there were many other things to consider. The bull was a full-grown, mature animal with what I well knew was a skull bone of such thickness as to very probably stop my bullet. Therefore, I reasoned, to be successful my bullet, a 22 caliber long, would have to enter the skull through an eye socket, one eye fortunately being in exactly the right position, the way the bull's head was held. This indeed would have to be a live bull's eye shot. No other way could succeed. But, I thought, how can I shoot the animal and remain out of sight? About midway between where I stood and the bull, out some little distance from the barn there stood, bottom side up, the hemispherical shell of a huge cast iron kettle with its four cast-on legs, a fifty gallon container used for heating water outdoors with open fire when necessary. Sizing up the situation. I decided to try a very difficult shot, one which called for my ultra-best ability. I reasoned that if I aimed at exactly the right point on the curved kettle surface my bullet would ricochet and strike the bull's eye as desired. Such a shot would, of course, have to be accurate to the nth degree - no room for even the slightest error. There was a stiff wind blowing at the time and I had also to weigh its influence on my missile. After I had considered all factors carefully, I took aim at a point on the pot I had decided upon and fired. My calculations turned out perfect In every way and the bull's life was snuffed out with an exact strike directly In the center of the exposed eye. The animal was out of his misery promptly and my mission was accomplished. later my father came out to see what happened. I told him, as related above, just how I carried my plan. However. I doubt that my father believed a word of what I told him. Oh, of course, I must admit that I am given to adding imaginary details for color often when I relate events, but my father did praise me highly. "Yes son" he said, "and from what you have just now told me you did, I here and now personally proclaim you to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest bull shooter in the state of Kansas.
Sources: personal knowledge and papers.
5. George Washington Strong Sr.: Born 21 April 1863, Loami, Sangamon, IL; Died 26 December 1941, Girard, Crawford, KS; Married 28 November 1886, Loami, Sangamon, IL or Girard, Crawford, KS; Anna Victoria Kelly: Born 20 November 1865/6, Clinton, Dewitt, IL; Died 30 June 1940, Girard, Crawford, KS. (See Kelly)
I received a letter from Ira Lee Nelson Jr. (called Bill) that contained one of the only anecdotes I have of the life of George W. Strong Sr. The letter said:
"When my Grandfather Mr. Geo W. Strong-- was milking his cows he put the milk inside metal milk cans and they were heavy. [Then follows a sketch of a milk can and the tag on it. He sent to me one of the tags from these milk cans bearing the inscription "Geo. W. Strong Girard, Kans. Frisco."]
'Frisco Railroad' picked up all these & from other farmers. After filling other cans he would put them in his farm wagon and take them to town. One time, after we were ready to go back to the farm, he stopped at a little house. He said, "Bill you stay here on the wagon." It seemed like a long time, so I walked to the door of a small barn, and looked inside, to see him taking a drink of whiskey. When he came back he drove down-town. He went inside a grocery store and came back with a small sack of candy, and gave it to me. He told me. "Don't say anything about me taking a drink."
Ira never told his grandmother about George taking a drink. If he had she would have scolded her husband severely. George loved to swear but his wife, Anna, did not approve. So he confined most of his four letter vocabulary to times when she was not around.
November 28, 1936
Strongs Celebrate Golden Wedding
Eleven Children Here from Five States. His Father was Founder of Girard Early last week, from north, south, east, and west, came rolling into Girard the grandchildren of George W. and Anna Strong to join in celebrating the golden wedding anniversary. One son-in-law came by airplaine from Los Angeles, another son-in-law came by train from Chicago. Other members of the family group who live at a distance arrived by automobile. Five states were represented in this remarkable reunion on the Strong farm two and a half miles west of Girard on the eastern slope of Lightning Creek where live Mr. and Mrs. Strong, threir son Gardner (Bob), and their daughters Anna, Valorie and Rosalie. In Fort Scott lives their oldest child, Millie, with her husband I. L. Nelson, and their two children. California is the home of Juanita, her husband, Harry Ferguson, her daughter and a stepdaughter. Hansen Idaho, is the home of Faye, her late husband, Everett Bailey [sic], and five children. Chicago is the home of Nell and her husband, Valdemar Paulson. George W. Strong Jr., his wife Emily and their son reside in Elmhurst, Ill. (near Chicago). Fannie, her three children by a former marriage and her fiancee, Mr. Griswold reside ar Decatur, Ill. Tulsa is the home of Venus (Mrs. Chester Truelove) and her two children. Some of the children had not seen one another for 23 years, while others had been seperated for varying periods. Of the eleve sons and daughters who carry on the traditions of the Strong clan, all are in vigorous, healthy life. The married daughters have won husbands who are successful in half a dozen lines of useful activity. George, the eldest son is the Chicago manager of an important manufacturing company. Bob, the younger son helps his father run the farm near Girard. Two of the unmarried daughters assist in the household tasks at the Lightning Creek farm place, while Anna is employed at the Girard creamery. The records of their children may well bring deep and quiet joy to the sturdy, mellow, later years of Mr. and Mrs. Strong. For almost a week there was feasting, jollity, and reminiscence--not to speak of plans and pledges for the future--at the Strong farm home. Uncles and aunts were present too--and for Thanksgiving dinner 43 persons were entertained by a bevy of beautiful busy housewives whose labors seemed indeed communal in scope. The period of celebration reached its climax on Saturday, November 28, the 50th anniversary of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Strong. As the long-wedded couple descended the stairs to their golden dinner, one of their grandsons sang "I Love You Truly" and all the children and grandchildren joined in the chorus. The table was set in a color scheme of gold, the center piece being a epergne of old English amber hobnail filled with golden blossoms. Mrs. Strong wore golden flowers in her hair and Mr. Strong wore a golden flower in his coat lapel. After dinner, George W. Strong Jr. gave the following toast:
Here's to mother, Here's to dad--
The best two parents I've ever had.
Daughters nine, superb, sublime,
Two grown sons of the Kansas kind.
Fifty years of wedded bliss
And the net result is all of this.
So I offer this toast to those two old dears
Who have weathered the storms for these fifty years
In the late afternoon three carloads of the reunited Strong family drove to Girard where at the Boys Studio they had seven groups of photographs made to commemorate the event-an event of a kind which can have no prototype and which can never be repeated.
A perfect golden wedding celebration in itself, the picturesque assemblage recalled the interesting beginning of the history of Girard. It was indeed unique, romantic, with a flavor of days that are historic--that storied the founding of the city of Girard. In 1868 Dr. Charled H. Strong emigrated from Girard, Pennsylvanea, to the prairie country of southeastern Kansas. Few were the settlers, wide apart the almost primative farms and farmhouses, small and distant from each other the towns and trading posts in those years shortly after the Civil War that really welded these United States into a genuine Union. Northwest of Girard, near the present strong farm, was the little settlement of Crawfordsville. But Dr. Strong had the ambition to found a town himself. One day in 1868, on his birthday, Feb. 28, Dr. Strong shot and dressed a deer at a spot which is now the southwest corner of the courthouse square in Girard. It was all wild prarie then, uncultivated grassland, with a horizon that did not include the roofs and smoke of houses. Here, said Dr. Strong to Himself, he would locate a town. He would call it Girard, remembering his old home in Girard, Pa. He thereupon drove a stake into the ground, inscribing upon it the name "Girard"--and that was the authentic beginning of the town. Dr. Strong soon build a store upon his chosen location, busied himself successfully in obtaining a postoffice (one or two other homes having been erected at his solicitation) and recieved the very first mail that bore the address of Girard, Kansas. There were five Letters and one newspaper--all brought from Fort Scott by the old Pony Express. Spanning this history of more than half a century from the founding of the town by Dr. Strong to the 50th wedding anniversary of his son George, is the constant flourishing of the Strong family itself--they who have grown and thrived as the town grew and thrived, and who have extended their vitality into other states--five states covering almost a continental radius--north, south, east, west. The golden wedding anniversary of George W. and Anna Strong was in very truth a unique anniversary for Girard as well.
Mrs. Anna Strong Dies
Mrs. Anna Strong, 74, died at 11:30 o'clock Sunday morning [June 30th, 1940] at the Girard hospital, following a stroke of paralysis Saturday night. Mrs. Strong was born Nov. 20, 1864, at Clinton, Ill. She had lived in this vicinity 32 years most of that time on a farm two and one-half mile west of Girard. She was a member of the Methodist church. Survivors are her husband, George Strong, two sons, George of Chicago and Gardner of Van Nuys, Calif.; nine daughters, Mrs. Millicent Jane Nelson of Fort Scott; Anna (Tad) Strong of the home; Mrs. Nell Paulson of Chicago; Mrs. Fannie Emery of Decatur, Ill.; Mrs. Venus Truelove of Tulsa; Mrs. Faye Bailey [sic] of Hanson Idaho; Mrs. Juanita Ferguson of Van Nuys Calif; Mrs. Valorie Cukjati of Pittsburgh; and Mrs. Rosalie Ridley of Pueblo Colo.; fourteen grandchildren, four great grandchildren; Three sisters, Mrs. Ida Baxter of Pittsburgh; Mrs. Henry Hetzel of Girard and Mrs. Rose Stafford of Lansing; and one brother, John Kelly of Chicopee. The body is at the Kirkpatrick Funeral Home and will be taken to the home Thursday. Funeral services will be held at 2:30 o'clock Friday afternoon in the Methodist church with Rev. O. W. Zeidler officiating. Interment will be in the Girard cemetery. The body will lie in state at the church from 1 O'clock until time of service Friday. The casket will not be opened after the service. All the children will be here for the funeral services. All were here in November, 1936, for the golden wedding anniversary of he parents.
FAMILY TRIBUTE TO MOTHER ANNA STRONG
Today, the precious memory of our mother haloes with love her kindly face. Her life has seemed the fulfillment of a beautiful prayer. Grateful are we to Almighty God that she was spared distress and pain in her final hours on earth. On the morning of June 29th last, Mother awoke with apparently the same physical well-being that was normal to her of late. In her quiet way, that day she went about her chosen duties of daily routine. That evening in a happy mood she left home for a short visit in Girard, but this departure was destined to be final. The interruption of her health was sudden, and her transition to Heaven followed within a few hours. Her strength of character was reflected in her great love for the Bible, her family, flowers, nature in general, good literature, and a constant desire to be a good friend and neighbor. She lived and taught her religion. It was her statement near the last, that when life seemed darkest, she could always find solace in prayer to God. Her splendid attributes and strong character have enriched our lives and our gratitude for her bountiful personality shall endure forever. We rejoice now in the thought that the reward for her good life has been conferred. She has now joined her Mother and Father and others she loved who have gone before. We know she is serenely happy. We think of her too, as awaiting our arrival, and we are moved to follow her pattern of life that we may deserve the privilege to join her in Heaven. Mother has given life to eleven children, all of whom are alive today. Our Father too, survives her, as God has chosen her to make the first departure from our family. It is His will that she precede us to await our arrival. In this hour of our bereavement, we are sad though not unmindful of the beauty and wisdom of this arrangement. Those who have joined her family share with us our regard for Mother. Her sympathetic understanding and kindness has imbued them with deep and lasting love for her. We know they will cherish all ways the memory of her, as we her family will.
GEORGE W. STRONG SUCCUMBS
Son of Girard's Founder lived in City 75 years
Girard, Dec. 27.--George W. Strong 78, the only son of the late Dr. C. H. Strong, who founded Girard and named that city. died at 4:15 o'clock yesterday afternoon at his farm home, two and one-half miles west of Girard on highway K57. Mr. Strong had lived in the county since he was 3 years old, coming here with his father and his mother from Sangamon County, Illinois. He was born near Loami, Ill., March 21, 1863. His death followed a serious illness of a week, although he had been in ill health the past five years. His wife, Anna, died last June 30, 1940. Mr. Strong had lived on the same farm 34 years. He was a member of the Methodist church. Mr. Strong's father named the city of Girard on the doctors birthday, Feb. 28, 1868, when he shot a deer on the approximate site of the courthouse square. Dr. Strong was said to have set up a stake with "Girard" inscribed on a paper tied to the stake. The city later was founded there. The name was taken from Dr. Strong's home town, Girard, Penn. Mr. Strong is survived by nine daughters, Mrs. I. L. Nelson of Fort Scott, Mrs V. E. Paulson of Chicago, Mrs. Frances Emery of Decatur, Ill., Mrs. Edna Faye Bailey [sic] of Hansen, Ida, Mrs. Venus Truelove of Tulsa, Mrs. Juanita Ferguson of Van Nuys, Calif., Miss Anna Strong of the home, Mrs. Valorie Cukjati of Pittsburg, and Mrs. Rosalie Ridley of Pueblo. Colo.; two sons, George. W. Strong of Chicago and Gardner Strong of the home; fourteen grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Funeral arrangements have not been completed. The body is at the Kirkpatrick chapel in Girard.
George and Anna had eleven children: Millicent Jane Strong born 4 December 1887, Crawford Co., Kansas, who married Ira Lee Nelson Sr. and had Ira Lee Jr. and Betty Jean; Nell Anna Strong born 24 August 1889, who married Valdemar E. Paulson; George Washington Strong Jr. who married Emily Smithson; Gardner Bernard "Bob" Strong born 26 August 1902, Girard, Crawford, Kansas, who married Lillian Olson; Anna Victoria "Tad" Strong born 18 September 1904 who married James Davis; Valorie Temple "Tude" Strong born 13 October 1908, who married Everett Majors, then married Frank J. Cukjati; Rosalie Gwendolyn Strong born 17 July 1910 who married Leo McCallister, then married Glick Smith, then married George Ridley, then married Samuel G. Dodd; Edna Faye Strong born 21 February 1983 Pittsburgh, Crawford, Kansas, who married 25 August 1913, Seattle Washington, Everett Baily and had Charles Levi, Charlene Nadine, Georgeanna Bobby, Lorne Everett, and Truman Arvis; Frances Christina "Fanny" Strong born 16 July 1891, Girard, Crawford, Kansas, who married Jay Emery and had Thomas Daniel, Jay Jr. and Marjorie Maxine; Venus Mae Strong born 27 May 1895 who married Mr. Applegate and had Lyndon, then married Chester Thomas Truelove and had Tommy, then married Clay W. Brion; and Juanita "Babe" Strong born 11 July, 1899, Frontenac, Crawford, Kansas, who married Joe Fately and had Millicent Jane, then married Harry Ferguson, then married Lee Messenger. An interesting fact is that George's Parents, Dr. Charles Strong and Frances Fowler, were twentieth cousins two generations removed sharing the common ancestor of William II De Cantelou.
6. Dr. Charles H. Strong: Born 28 February 1830, near Girard, Erie, PA; Died 3 July 1912, Girard, Crawford, KS; (See Dr. Charles Strong ) Married 30 April 1861 Loami, Sangamon, IL; Frances Fowler: Born 4 December 1836, Sangamon Co., IL; Died 20 July 1916, Girard, Crawford, KS. (See Fowler) They had two children: "Baby" Strong; and George Washington Strong Sr. who married Anna Kelly.
7. Leonard Rufus Strong: Born 15 April 1803, Rutland, Rutland Co., VT; Died 4 August 1867, Conneaut Twp, Erie Co, PA; Married about 1827, Springfield Twp, Erie Co, PA; Jane Silverthorn: Born 15 May 1810, Springfield Twp, Erie Co, PA; Died March 1893, Conneaut Twp, Erie Co, PA; (See Silverthorn) They had eleven children: Josiah Leonard Strong who married Sarah A. (Strong); Charles H. Strong who married Frances Fowler; Huldah J. Strong; Nancy E. Strong; Clarissa A. Strong; Loren B. Strong; Sarah Jeannette Strong; Lydia A. Strong; Mary C. Strong; Washington W. Strong who married Hanna Silverthorn; Harriet Adelle Strong.
8. Rufus Strong: Born 31 August 1773, Southampton, Hampshire, MA; Died after 1850; Living in Fairview, PA in 1850 Census; Married before January 1803, probably in 1802, possibly in Southampton, Hampshire, MA; Elizabeth Barton: Born about 1775. This family appears to have been quite mobile. By 1803 they had moved with Rufus' father to the land granted him in Vermont after the Revolutionary War. They then seem to have moved by about 1840 to Pennsylvania. Thir home was in Fairview, PA. They had ten children: Leonard Rufus Strong who married Jane Silverthorn; Alonzo Strong; Clarissa Strong; Candace Strong; Darius Strong; Elizabeth Strong; Daniel Noble Strong; Mary Mindwell Strong; Ageline Strong; and John Pratt Strong.
9. Solomon Strong: Born 25 December 1746, Southampton Hampshire, MA; Died 21 December 1829, Waltham, VT; Married before 23 May 1772; Mindwell Clapp: Born 10 October 1747; Died 20 January 1824, Waltham, VT (See Clapp) Solomon was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. He was a private in a Massachusetts regiment. He was a farmer at Southampton, Massachusetts. He died from cancer of his face. He was 85 years old. They had nine children: Rufus Strong who married Elizabeth Barton; Solomon Strong; Mindwell Strong Danks; Reverend Ashbel Strong; Candace Strong; Daniel Strong; Mary Strong Churchill; Reverend Noble Davis Strong; and Timothy Clapp Strong
10. Icabod Strong: Born 17 October 1711, Northampton, Hampshire, MA; Died 17 February 1798; Married 28 November 1734, MA; Mary Davis: Born 1713; Died 26 August 1749; (See Davis) Icabod was a farmer at Southampton, Massachusetts and a large land owner. He had a saw-mill and a potash works. He was a man of stirring business qualities of character, and best of all, a remarkably godly man. They had six children: Icabod Strong; Aaron Strong; Solomon Strong; Mary Strong Wright; Solomon Strong II who married Mindwell Clapp; and Job Strong.
11. Jonathan (Jonathon) Strong: Born 1 May 1683, Northampton, Hampshire, MA; Died 9 December 1766, Northampton, Hampshire, MA; Married 21 November 1704; Methitable Stebbins: Born 27 November 1683, Springfield, Hampden., MA; Died 3 March 1761, Northampton, Hampden., MA (See Stebbins) Jonathan was chosen to be a Selectmen several times in 1731, 1733, 1741 and 1746. He was a farmer at Northampton. He gave a large portion of his estate to his children during his lifetime. The story of the romance between Jonathan and Mary Sheldon is recounted later. Through Jonathan and Methitable is descended the line of Governor Caleb Strong of Massachusetts. Jonathan, like his forefathers, was a tanner. While excavating the grounds for a warehouse in the nineteenth century the laborers came upon the remains of the old tanning vats used by Jonathan and his family. Jonathan and Methitable had seventeen children: Methitable Strong Sheldon; Noah Strong; Sergeant Jonathan Strong; Lieutenant Caleb Strong who married Phebe Lyman (Great-Granddaughter of Isaac Sheldon); Icabod Strong who married Mary Davis; Elias Strong; Experience Strong Lewis; Reverend Thomas Strong; Joseph Strong; Lieutenant Elisha Strong; Lois Strong; Lois Strong II; Lucia Strong Parsons; Sarah Strong; Sarah Strong II Wright; Hannah Strong Lyman; and "Baby" Strong.
12. Elder Ebenezer Strong: Born 1643, Dorchester, Suffolk, MA; Died 11 February 1729, MA; Married 14 October 1668, MA; Hannah Clapp: Born 20 September 1646, Dorchester, Suffolk, MA; Died Northampton, MA (See Clapp #2) Ebenezer took the Oath of Allegiance on 8 February 1679, with his father and three brothers. He was made a freeman in 1683. He was an elder of the church and often called a Deacon. They had ten children: Hannah Strong Pomeroy; Ebenezer Strong Jr.; Lieutenant Nathaniel Strong; Sarah Strong; Preserved Strong; Sarah Stebbins; Jonathan Strong who married Methitable Stebbins; Noah Strong; "Baby" (Twin) Strong; and "Baby" (Twin) Strong.
13. Elder John Strong: Born 1605, Chardstock, Somerset, England; Died 14 April 1699; Married December 1630/1633, Dorchester?, MA; Abigail Ford: Born 8 October 1619; Died 6 Jul 1688. John took the Oath of Allegiance on 8 February 1679, with four of his sons and at least one grandson. He had seventeen children: Jonathan Strong Jr.; "Baby" Strong; Thomas Strong who married Rachel Holton; Jedediah Strong; Return Strong; Elder Ebenezer Strong who married Hannah Clapp; Abigail Strong Chauncey; Elizabeth Strong Parsons; Experience Strong Filer; Samuel Strong; Joseph (Twin) Strong; Mary Strong Clark; Sarah Strong Barnard; Hannah Strong Clark; Hester Strong Bissell; and Thankful Strong Baldwin.
The fololwing is everything I could find on Elder John in Dwight's History of the Strong Family, and Strong Men and Women as well as a variety of other sources.
John Strong was born in Taunton, England, in 1605, whence he removed to London and afterwards to Plymouth. Having strong Puritan sympathies he sailed from Plymouth for the new world, March 20,1690, in company with 140 persons, and among them Reverend Messs. John Warham and John Maverick and Messrs. John Mason and Roger Clapp, in the Ship Mary and John (Capt. Squeb) and arrived at Nantasket, Massachusetts (Hull), about twelve miles southeast from Boston, after a passage of more than twenty days in length, on Sunday, May 30, 1630. The original destination of the vessel was the Charles River; but an unfortunate misunderstanding which arose between the captain and the passengers resulted in their being put summarily ashore by him at Nantasket. After searching for a few days, for a good place in which to settle and make homes for themselves, they decided upon the spot, which they called Dorchester, in memory of the endeared home in England which many of them had left, and especially of its revered pastor, Rev. John White, "the great patron of New England emigration," who had especially encouraged them to come hither.
The grandfather of Elder John Strong was, as tradition informs us, a Roman Catholic, and lived to a great age. The Strong family has borne out remarkably, in its earlier generations in this country at any rate, the historical genuineness of its name, in its wide-spread characteristics of physical vigor and longevity, and the large size of very many of its numerous households. There are a few families of Strongs in the land,some half dozen only, so far as the author has been able to find--that are not descended from Elder John Strong.
Eleanor Strong came with her brother John to this country, when he was but twenty-five years of age, and she was probably several years younger, and married Walter Deane, a tanner, of Taunton, Massachusetts previously of Taunton, England, and became the mother of four sons and one daughter. He was born about 1617, and was a prominent man in the affairs of his new home. Her descendants have been numerous and highly respectable.
In 1635, after having assisted in founding and developing the town of Dorchester, John Strong removed to Hingham, Massachusetts, and on March 9, 1636, took the freeman's oath at Boston. His stay at Hingham was short, as on December 4, 1638, he is found to have been an inhabitant and proprietor of Taunton, Massachusetts, and to have been made in that year a freeman of Plymouth Colony. He remained at Taunton, as late at any rate as 1645, as he was a deputy thence to the General court in Plymouth, in 1641, 1643 and, 1644. From Taunton he removed to Windsor, Ct., where he was appointed with four others, Capt. John Mason, Roger Ludlow, Israel Stoughton, and Henry Wolcott, all very leading men in the infant colony, "to superintend and bring forward the settlement of that place,"which had been settled a few years before (1636) by a portion of the same colony that with him had founded Dorchester. Windsor was in fact called at first, and for several years (1636-50), Dorchester.
In 1659 he removed from Windsor to Northampton, Massachusetts, of which he was one of the first and most active founders, as he had been previously of Dorchester, Hingham, Taunton, and Windsor. In Northampton he lived for forty years, and was a leading man in the affairs of the town and of the church. He was a tanner and very prosperous in his business. His tannery was located on what is now the southwest corner of Market and Main streets near the railroad depot. He owned at different times, as appears by records in the county clerk's office, some two hundred acres of land in and around Northampton.
How he obtained his office and title as Elder John Strong will appear by the following quotation from the church records at Northampton: "After solemn and extraordinary seeking to God for his direction and blessing, the church chose John Strong ruling elder, and William Holton, deacon. They were ordained 13: 3 mo: '63" (or, the year beginning then in March, June 13, 1663, old system, or new system June 24, 1663), "the elder by the imposition of the hands of the pastor" (Reverend Eleazar Mather) "and Mr. Russell of Hadley--the deacon, afterwards by the imposition of the hands of the pastor and elder. Mr. Russell, Mr. Goodwin, and brother Goodman were present from Hadley; Deacon Chapin and Mr. Holyoke from Springfield, who gave the right hand of fellowship to those delegates." How near to the minister himself, so greatly revered, the ruling elder stood in the thoughts of our Pilgrim fathers, is manifest from the functions of his office, as described in the following church record under date of September 11, 1672: "Solomon Stoddard was ordained pastor of the church in Northampton by Mr. John Strong, ruling elder, and Mr. John Whiting, pastor of the second church in Hartford."
His first wife, whose name and family the author has not been able to ascertain, he married in England. She died on the passage or soon after landing; and in about two months afterwards her infant offspring, a second child, died also. He married in December, 1630, for a second wife, Abigail Ford of Dorchester, Massachusetts, with whom he lived in wedlock for fifty-eight years. She died, the mother of 16 children, July 6, 1688, aged about 80; he died April 14, 1699, aged 91. He had had, up to the time of his decease, 160 descendants, viz: eighteen children, fifteen of whom had families; one hundred and fourteen grandchildren (6, John of Windsor; 16, Thomas of Northampton; 14, Jedediah; 7, Return; 10, Elder Ebenezer; 6, Abigail, Mrs. Chauncey; 12, Mrs. Joseph Parsons; 13, Mrs. Zerubbabel Filer; 8, Samuel; 11, Mary, Mrs. John Clark; 7, Hannah, Mrs. William Clark; 4, Hester, Mrs. Thomas Bissell); and thirty-three great grandchildren, at least.
He made over his lands in his life-time to his children, and took bills of those whom he had helped, beyond their share--as of Ebenezer, for land and rent £71 8s., of Samuel, for the same £49 12s. and of Jerijah, for the same £60. He owed at his death, £81 11s., chiefly to his son Ebenezer--to which add for funeral expenses 40s., probate of will and inventory 7s. 6d., and recording of same, 5s., and He had a free estate of £140. He gave to seven daughters £40 each, with what they had previously received. Abigail had had £38 13s.; Elizabeth, £36 7s.; Sarah, £28 1s.; Hannah, £28 12s.; Hester, £23 5s.; and Thankful £16 7s. He gave to Experience £5 and to Catharine Chauncey (daughter of Abigail) £10 and to Rachel Strong (widow of Thomas) one acre in Northampton long improved by her husband. His sons, Samuel and Jerijah, were the executors of his will.
Although we do not find a marriage record for John Strong to Abigail Ford, they were probably married between May 1635 and 4 February 1640 when both John and Abigail's father, Thomas Ford, appear in the Hingham, Massachusetts records.
The first record we have of John Strong in New England is a land grant dated 18 September 1635 for five acres on North Street near Ship Street in Hingham, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. He was made a freeman on 9 March 1636/37. He moved to Taunton and was made a freeman there. Walter Deane was listed as a landowner in Taunton, and had obviously joined his brother-in-law, John Strong, after arriving from England in 1637.
By 1640, the family had moved on to Windsor, Hartford County, Connecticut. Thomas Ford, John's father-in-law, and John bought a plantation from Thomas Thornton on 4 February 1640. This included a house, out house, yards, orchards and gardens, containing about two acres, more or less, bounded north and west by the land of Walter Fyler, south by the rivulet, on the east by the highways, and, adjoining at the foot of the hill, in the great meadow, one acre and three quarters more or less bounded north by the land of John Mason, and east by the land of William Hill.
From "History of Ancient Windsor, Connecticut", by Henry R. Stiles, we find that the Windsor townspeople built a fortification in 1637 to protect them from surprise attack by Indians. "This consisted of strong high stakes or posts, set close together, and suitably strengthened on the inside, while on the outside a wide ditch was dug, the dirt from which was thrown up against the palisades, and the whole formed a tolerably strong defence against any slender resources which the uncivilized Indian could bring to bear against it." John Strong's plot of land was inside the palisado, and he, like the others, resigned his title for the benefit of the whole community. When peace was restored with the Indians, "divers men left their places in the palisado and returned to their lots for their conveniences.' According to Stiles, John Strong was living in the palisado area in 1654.
The Windsor Register of Deeds, Volume 1, contains records of an exchange by John Strong with Nathaniel Phelps of land beginning by Boggy Marsh and bordering Samuel Phelps' land, dated 23 June 1655. John Strong also exchanged land with Thomas Flood. The records contain other references to Elder John Strong's land transactions in Windsor.
John Strong was made a freeman at a General Court Election in Hartford on 15 May 1651. He was listed among all freeman living in Windsor 13 May 1669 including his son, Return, Thomas Ford and John Rockwell, who may have been the same man that sailed with John from Weymouth, England in 1635.
The Connecticut River was undoubtedly the main transportation route used by John Strong and his family between Windsor and Northampton, Massachusetts. He and his family found hospitable conditions and friends who had aiso settled there. From the Proprietors' Records of the town, we find that on 14 October 1660 John bought from John Webb, a parcel of land lying in the Third Square and bounded by land of Richard Lyman on the north and the highway on the south and on the sides bordering the land of David Wilton and on the east and by Samuel Allyn on the west containing seven and one half acres.
John Strong also bought of John Webb a parcel being a home lot bounded on the highway east and north and the mill trench on the west containing two acres more or less. John gave part of this home lot to his son, Samuel.
He also bought from John Webb another parcel which lies on the south side of Mill River and bounded by the highways east and west, the sides bordering the highway south and Mill River north containing two acres more or less.
On 15 October 1660, the town of Northampton granted to John Strong several parcels of land including a tan yard which was bounded on the east and west by the highway, north by Ralph Hutchinson's land and the common land, and the meeting house hill on the south. He gave this tan yard to his son, Ebenezar, on 15 December 1688.
On the same date, the town granted to John Strong his home lot which was bounded on the highway north and Mill River on the south and bounded on the sides by land of Captain Aaron Cook on the east and Alexander Edwards on the west. John Strong conveyed these parcels to John Webb on 18 October 1660. The town granted another parcel of land in Manham Meadow which butts up on the Great River on the east and Mill River on the west containing 46+ acres. He gave one half of this lot to Ebenezar on 15 December 1688. He gave another parcel he had been granted containing 20 acres to his son, Samuel Strong, on 15 December 1688.
Thomas Ford, John's father-in-law, gave John a parcel of land in Hoggs Bladder, bounded by the Great River east and Mill River on the west and on the sides bordering the land of Thomas Ford south and Alexander Edwards on the north containing 3+ acres. John gave this land to Samuel on 15 December 1688.
On 1 May 1671 John bought from Thomas Ford another parcel of land in Hoggs Bladder containing 9+ acres and he gave this to Samuel on 15 December 1688. John also bought from Thomas Ford land in the Great Rainbow which butted on the Great River east and Little Rainbow Hill west with sides bordering on land of William Hulberd south and Christopher Smith north containing 9+ acres. Another parcel bought from Thomas Ford was land in the Walnut Tree Division bounded on the highways east and west and on the sides by land of William Clark north and William Miller south containing 10+ acres. Yet another parcel he bought from Thomas Ford was land in Vintner's Field bounded on the north, south and west by highways and on the east by land of William Holton, mainly meadow and swamp containing 6+ acres. One half of this land went to Ebenezar on 15 December 1688.
Five other parcels of land were bought by John Strong from his father-in-law, Thomas Ford, including 11 acres in the Second Square, five acres in the First Square, and a home lot bounded on the street north and Mill River south, the sides bordering land of William Holton west and Robert Bartlett east in breadth 15 rods.
From "History of Northampton, Massachusetts From the Settlement in 1654" by James Russell Trumbull, we learn that "the original tan yard of Elder Strong, granted by the town in 1660, contained one quarter of an acre. It was situated on King Street Brook, a little north of the Hampshire Marble Works. The tannery was removed to Pomeroy Brook, after his death, by some of his descendants, who owned the property since known as the Governor Caleb Strong place, extending from Pleasant to Hawley Street. So great was the confidence in his honesty and integrety, that the town by vote directed all hides to be taken to him to be tanned at his own price."
John Strong was much revered in Northampton, having been instrumental in establishing the church on the frontier of undeveloped civilization. His position as ruling Elder was second in importance to the pastor. "Wise and capable, in the maturity of his powers, having assisted in the establishment of four other towns, Elder Strong's advice was sought, and his suggestions heeded, as well in matters relating to the community, as in the more private affairs of his fellow townsmen."
"The home lot granted to him by the town was situated on West Street, nearly opposite the Parsons homestead. He soon sold it to John Webb, and purchased Webb's home lot at the corner of Main and South Streets. This property remained in the Strong family for 103 years."
In the "Historical Catalogue of the Northampton Church, 1661-1891" by Solomon Clark, we find that among the Elders were listed since 18 June 1663: John Strong, ordained in 1663; Preserved Clapp and Ebenezar Strong. Original members included Abigail Strong, John Strong, Mary Strong and Freedom Strong. The first minister was Eleazar Mather from 1658-1669.
During his lifetime Elder John Strong gave by gift many parcels of land to his children. His will was written 14 February 1696 and proved 23 August 1699. Here is a printed copy of the will, a codicil and the inventory:
"In the name of God, Amen. Whereas I, John Strong, living in Northampton
in the county of West Hampshire in the province of the Massachusetts in New
England, am, aged and full of days and being at this time weak in body not
knowing how soon I May go out of this world unto the place appointed for
all living, yet through God's goodness being of sound memory and perfect
understanding I do now make, ordain and constitute this my last will and
testament hereby revoking and making null and void any former will or wills
or any other writing of this kind made by me at any time heretofore.
"And first I commit my soule to God that gave it and my body to a decent buriall at the direction of my executor hereafter mentioned hopeing and believing through the merits of Christ my Deare Redeemer for a happy and blessed Resurection. And as for that portion of worldly goods which the Lord hath blessed me with, all which I have not yet allianated and given away, after my funerall expenses and just debts are paid and fully discharged, I do order and dispose of as followeth.......
"Item - to my seven daughters, Abigail, Elizabeth, Mary, Sarah, Hannah, Esther and Thankfull, my will is that with what they have already received they shall have, each of them, forty pounds, the remainder of which is still behind that they have not received I say to compleate the sum of forty pounds be truly paid to them by my executor as here in after mentioned with in two years after my Decease, and whereas my daughter, Hannah, is already dead my will is that what is behind of her portion be equally divided among her children to be paid to them as they come of age.
"Item - It is my will that all my sons, besides what I have already given them, shall have five shillings apeice more paid them.
"Item - I give to my daughter, Experience Fyler, five pounds.
"Item - to my grandchild, Kathleen Chauncey, I give ten pounds.
"Item - I give to my daughter-in-law, Rachell Strong, one acre of land in the Walnut Tree Division which her husband, Thomas Strong, improved many years but had no deed of same. I give it to her during her life and after her decease to be equally divided among her children of the aforesaid Thomas Strong according to the court's order for the distribution of the rest of the estate.
"And further my will is that in case after funurall expenses, debts and legal fees be all paid and discharged, there should remain fifteene pounds of my estate not disposed of, that then I give five pounds of the same to my daughter, Sarah Barnard.
"And I do hereby appoint my sons Samuel and Jerijah Strong to be my executors of this my last will and testament in confirmation whereof I have here unto set my hand and seale this fourteenth day of February 1696. Signed John Strong, Sen. by his mark J.S."
Signed and sealed in the presence of Medad Pomeroy, Joseph Parsons, Senior and Thomas Lyman.
A year after writing his will, John Strong made a codicil:
"Memorandum of an addition to my will on the other side written whereas it
is said that the legacies which I have given are by my executors to be paid
within two years after my decease, but conditioning that my sons are not
to pay what is due them so soone, therefore my will is that my executors
shall pay what is due to make up my daughters portions forty pounds apeice
in the first place as the money becomes due from my sons. And after that
to pay what other legacies I have given to any other, these to be paid when
the remainder of the money due on the bills do become due.
"And to prevent further trouble I do here declare what I have already given my daughters to round their portions viz. - Abigail, 38 pounds 13 shillings, to, Elizabeth, 36 pounds 7 shillings, to Mary, 36 pounds and 18 shillings, to Sarah, 20 pounds and 12 shillings, to Hannah, 28 pounds and 12 shillings, to Esther, 23 pounds and 15 shillings, to Thankfull, 16 pounds and 17 shillings.
"And for the acre of land given to my daughter-in-law Rachell Strong I now do determine it to be one acre lying between the land of Francis Keet and my son Samuel Strong's land. And I do hereby appoint my son Ebenezar to be executor with his brethern on the other mentioned of this my last will and testament, in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seale this ninth day of February 1697/8. Signed by his mark J.S."
Signed and sealed in the presence of Medad Pomeroy, Joseph Parsons, Senior and Nathaniel Strong.
On 23 August 1699 an inventory was taken of John Strong's estate:
|"Know all men by these presence, that Ebenezar Strong, Samuel Strong and Jerijah Strong executors and administrators for the last will and testament of Elder John Strong of Northampton deceased in the county of Hampshire within his Majesty's province of Massachusetts Bay in New England are holden and stand firmly bound, obliged unto John Pynchon, Esquire, in the full sum of four hundred pounds sterling, current money of New England to be payd unto the said John Pynchon, Esquire or his successors in the Office of Judge of the Probate of wills and granting of administrations or his assigns to the true payment whereof we binde ourselves, our executors or assigns firmly by these presence. Sealed with our seals, dated in Hadley the 23 of August 1699 in the eleventh year of his Majesty's Reigne." The document was signed by Ebenezar, Samuel and Jerijah Strong and witnessed by Medad Pomeroy, Jedediah Strong and Nathaniel Strong.|
The inventory is as follows:
"An inventory of the estate of Elder John Strong who died Aprill 14, 1699
having formerly in his lifetime made over all his lands to his sons and took
bills of them to pay the several sums set down in them. And that he in his
time received bills of his three sons to pay - from Ebenezar Strong 55 pounds
and for four years rent of land 16 pounds 8 shillings. From Samuel Strong
by bill 40 pounds and for rent of land four years 9 pounds 12 shillings.
From Jerijah Strong by bill 50 pounds and for rent on land four years 10
pounds. For his bead and warring apparell 20 pounds. Due from Samuel Strong
in money borrowed 5 shillings. Total 200 pounds and five shillings. Taken
by Medad Pomeroy and John Clark on May 12, 1699.
"Debts due from the estate beside the legacies on the will, there is due as followeth: To Ebenezar Strong 55 pounds, more for clothing for his father 2 pounds six shillings 3 pence. To Jerijah Strong which was paid by him to Israel Rust 14 shillings 9 pence. Funurall expenses 2 pounds. Due Medad Pomeroy 6 shill."
Elder John Strong's original grave is not marked, but in 1929 a memorial was erectcted to his memory and to Abigail, his wife, in the Bridge Street Cemetery in Northampton. John and Abigail had a large family including their son, Jedediah, who lived to a greater age than any of his siblings, ninety-six years.
2. Estate in Elder John Strong's hands...............£ 99 15s. 1d.
3. Capt. Aaron Cook owed him £50.: Zer-
ubbabel Filer owed him £20, and
Jedediah Strong, £4..................................£ 74
£369 12s. 10d."
|Thomas and Elizabeth had four daughters: Joanna Ford who married Captain Roger Clapp, Abigail Ford who married Elder John Strong, Hepzibah Ford who married Richard Lyman, and Miss Ford who married Major Aaron Cook as his second wife.|
14. Richard John Strong: Born 1561/1585, Chardstock, Somerset, England; Died 14 June 1613, Chardstock, Somerset, England; Buried 24 July 1613. Married 1609; Eleanor or Margerie Deane: Born 1586, Chardstock, Somerset, England; Died 1653. While his name appears to have been Richard John he seems to usually have preferred to use his middle name. A modern transcript of "John Stronge's" will is at the Somerset Record office. The original will was destroyed in a German air raid on Exeter in Devonshire, during the air war for Britain in 1942. The value of John Stronge's estate was £63 and 2 shillings. He gave £10 to his son, John, and £10 to the unborn child of his wife, Eleanor. He gave 2 shillings to his niece Thomas Stronge's daughter, his God-daughter. He gave 1 shilling to each of the other living daughters of Thomas, his brother. He made his wife, who is unnamed in the will, sole executor. His overseers were his father, George Stronge, John Bowdrige, Walter Stronge and John Warry. For this service, he gave them each four pence. John and Eleanor seem to have had at least two children: John Strong who married Margerie Deane and then Abigail Ford, and Eleanor Strong who married Walter Deane.
15. George Strong: Born 1556, Chardstock, Somerset, England; Died 16 February 1635/6, Chardstock, Somerset, England. George seems to have had at least four sons: Thomas Strong who married Joan Bagge, Richard John Strong who married Eleanor Deane, William Strong who married Margaret (Strong), and Walter Strong who married Ann Bond. George Strong's house in Chardstock has been discovered. At the time of this writing it is in the process of being restored to its original state. The house, now known as "Strong's Cottage," was built in the late 1500s. The cottage, which has been uninhabited for a number of years, is virtually unique, as apart from some early nineteenth century alterations; (the building of a commerical bakery within the cottage and the creation of a shop front, which in themselves are important features of the evolution of the cottage), it remains substantially unaltered since the day is was built. It is however, in urgent need of restoration (the whole of the roof structure needs re-building and the walls need urgent attention.) When the restoration is finished, the building will house a local history museum. George Strong's Will is at the Public Record Office, Chancery Lane, London. He wrote it on 20 November 1627 and it was proved on 13 February 1635. In his will George Stronge of Chard, tailor, gave to his son, Thomas Stronge, six shillings, eight pence. He gave to John Strong, his grandchild, the same amount. He gave to William Stronge, his grandchild, twenty pounds and various household items. George gave to Marie Stronge, his grandchild, daughter of Walter Stronge, his son, ten pounds and his best brass chest and lesser brass pan. He gave to Elizabeth Strong, daughter of his son Walter, ten pounds. All the rest of his goods and chattells he gave to Walter, his sole executor. The first record of George Strong appears in 1596 in the Manor Court Rolls of Chardstock, Dorset, a parish very near Chard. George Strong appears in the Chard Manor Rolls in 1614 when he was on the manor court jury. He continues to appear at the court held twice a year until 15 October 1618. Thereafter he appeared occasionally. In 1628/9 he is listed in the Somerset Lay Subsidies for Chardland. Some of the entries that concern George include: May 3, 1604--George Stronge was named among the assessors to view the Commons; July 13, 1604--"The water in George Stronge's ditch is not able to pass but doth run out in the way and he must scower the same"; 1629--"We do present George Strong for that he doth sell fuell furses in the Commons and cary them into another parish and burn them contrary to the customs of our manor, therefore, he is fined ten shillings"; "and that George Strong hath pulled downe a barne builded upon posts upon his cottage and carryed the tymber to another manor and hath also rooted up certayne apple trees growing upon his said cottage and carryed the same out of this manor"; at the court in 1631, 1632 and 1633, George Strong was fined for not cleaning his ditch; and in 1636 the roll stated "the George Strong, tenant since the last court to the cottage in Chardstock town doth happen to the lord for a death duty, and that Thomas Strong is the next tenant."
16. John Strang: Born 1515.
17. Roberte Stronge: Born 1490.