Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Lewis Family in Slidell, Louisiana

As posted previously, the children of Richard and Sarah (Betts) Lewis, Jess, Bert and Bessie, were all born in Pardoe, Pennsylvania. At the time, Richard worked for the Shenango and Allgheny Railroad and the affiliated Mercer Mining and Manufacturing Company. The Shenango and Allegheny ran into financial difficulties and was eventually taken over by the Pittsburgh, Shenango, and Lake Erie Railroad Company in 1888. At about that time, the Lewis family moved south from Pennsylvania to Slidell, Louisiana.

The reason for the Lewis family move is unknown; possibly Richard lost his job with the mine and railroad, or he could have lost an investment in the county. Perhaps better oppertunities were available in the South. It is worth noting that both of Richard’s parents, David and Hannah (Jenkins) Lewis, died in the spring of 1888 in Trevorton, perhaps freeing Richard to move away from Pennsylvania. Richard’s cousin Susanna, with her husband John Jones and family, moved from Pennsylvania to McComb City, Mississippi at about this time.

Slidell was founded in 1882, when the railroad established a building camp on the first high ground north of New Orleans along Lake Pontchartrain*. The town grew rapidly after the completion of the New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad in 1883, and the Slidell was officially incorporated in 1888.

In Slidell, the Lewis family lived on a ranch. It is not clear if Richard took up farming or cattle raising, or simply lived there while working as an engineer. (According to Richard’s alumni directory, at one time he held the position as principle Assistant of the Mexican Pacific Railroad. It is unclear if this was before or after the move to Slidell.)

After about three years in Slidell, in 1891, the Lewis family abruptly pulled up roots again and moved to Carbonado, in the mountains near Tacoma, Washington.

Louisiana in 1896
Google Map

Links: Slidell History
City of Slidell
Slidell Chamber of Commerce
St. Tammany Parish
Slidell Magazine

Links: Louisiana Railroad History
Crescent City Choo Choo: history of railroads in New Orleans
• The old railroad is now the Tammany Trace trail.

* The Slidell are was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
High resolution post-Katrian aerial views

Labels: ,

Read the rest of this post.

Friday, November 11, 2005

World War I Draft Registration

In 1917 and 1918, all males born between 1872 and 1900 were required to register for the draft. The draft registration cards are a great source of genealogical information, with registrant's home address, occupation and physical description.

Kay's father, Jess Lewis, and her uncle, Bert Lewis, both had to register:

Name: Justin Betts Lewis
Address: 2923 No 30 Tacoma, Pierce, Wa.
Birth: June 20, 1883 (age 35), native born
Occupation: Plumber foreman; Construction Co., Camp Lewis, Pierce, Wa
Nearest relative: Anna Lewis of 2923 No 30 Tacoma, Pierce, Wa (wife)
Description: Tall, medium build, blue eyes, ,brown hair

Name: Ethelbert Jenkins Lewis
Address: 621 So. 19 Tacoma, Pierce, Wash.
Birth: August 10, 1884 (age 34), native born
Occupation: Machinist, employed by John McRay, 23 and dock, Tacoma, Pierce, Wa
Nearest Relative: Mrs. Sarah Lewis 621 So. 19 Tacoma (mother)
Description: medium hight, medium build, blue eyes, dark hair

Neither Jess nor Bert were drafted into the miltary during the war.

Labels: , , ,

Read the rest of this post.