Hunting the Kittelle Line – An Update – Part 2

This post continues with the new information on the Kittelle line.

The Kittell family was not finished dealing with miscreant behavior. John Wesley Kittell married for the first time to Sarah E. Bennett, daughter of William Bennett and M. J. Ferguson Bennett in Davenport, Scott, Iowa on Wednesday, 28 July 188616, just thirteen days after his father’s death.

Fortunately John Kittell did not live to see how his son behaved and considering the times, he had been shamed enough with Anna Lodisca’s unwed pregnancy. Sarah Catherine would see the results of her son’s criminal acts which must have caused her great anguish.

These are transcriptions of articles from The daily Argus/Rock Island Argus.

Police Points17

     Martin Renfro and Geo. Hillerm were

each fined $2 and costs Saturday evening,

by Magistrate Bennett for intoxication.

     Claus Ehmke, having furnished the

$200 bonds to keep the peace, was re-

leased by Justice Haws Saturday.

     Henry Hoffman was fined $5 and costs

by Magistrate Bennett for intoxication,

this morning.

     John Westly Kittell was before Justice

Hawes this morning charged with three

offenses, embezzling 500 bushels of

coal from J. B. Ellis, September 1, last,

forging a receipt purporting to have been

made by the Davenport Pottery com-

pany, for fifty-five bushels of coal, on

July 31 last, and forging a receipt, pur-

porting to have been made by William

Boldt, for fifty-two bushels of coal July

10, last. Kittell has been delivering coal

for Mr. Ellis for some time and has been

taking out coal for certain parties and

selling it in Davenport, bringing back a

forged receipt from the party to whom the

coal was ordered delivered. He confessed,

and plead guilty to all the charges. The

amount of his embezzlement is from $75

to $100. Justice Hawes held him in

bond- of $700, and he went to jail.

Other Court Doings18

     The grand jury met this afternoon pur-

suant to the call from Judge Glenn. It

is understood the cases of Kittelle and

Browning, held for forgery, are to receive


Court Callings19

     The grand jury returned into court this

morning with the following indictments

and were finally discharged by Judge


     Charles A. Browning, forgery.

     John Westley Kittell, embezzlement

one indictment, forgery two indict


     Jas. Allen and Robert Lee, robbery.

    The prisoners were brought into court,

and pleas of guilty entered in all cases,

except, at to Lee, who plead not guilty.

The court appointed Col. Curtis to de-

fend Brown, and Mr. Kenworthy to

defend Kittell and Allen. The prisoners

insisted upon their pleas, and Judge

Glenn sentenced Browning to eighteen

months in the penitentiary, Kittell to

three years and Allen to ten years.

     Browning is the man who attempted

to pass a forged order on the Golden

Eagle clothing house. Kittell is the man

who committed embezzlement and for-

gery on J. B. Ellis, and Allen the man,

who with Lee and others, held up farmer

Twelftree near the C., B. & Q. yards

the other day.

     It was shown that Allen and Lee after

robbing their victim and beat him until

he was unconscious, laid him across the

track so that a train being switched down

before he recovered consciousness would

have caused him a frightful death. These

important facts were not covered in the

indictment, however.

     Lee is about as tough looking custo-

mer as one generally meets.

There is no record I have found to date that confirms the prison sentence was served. It is likely he did serve at least part of the sentence. It is certain that his wife of four months was in a sorry position. The next record I found was the record of the birth of a child so John Wesley was around in January and February of 1887.

Iowa, County Births, 1880-193520

Name: Kittell
Event Type: Birth
Event Date: 06 Nov 1887
Event Place: Rutland township, , Iowa, United States
Gender: Female
Father’s Name: J W Kittell
Mother’s Name: Sarah E Bennett Kittell
GS Film Number 1401934
Digital Folder Number 004707885
Image Number 00356

 Considering the place of birth, it is likely Sarah E. was staying with family which would indicate that John Wesley was probably in custody or serving his sentence and not providing any income. A hardship Sarah E. was sure to find very difficult.

For this marriage I have found no evidence of divorce or death of Sarah E. Bennett Kittelle. There may be another child born to John Wesley and Sarah E. Bennett Kittelle, a daughter, Irene, possibly born about 1889 or the above may be her birth record, I have not found anything with a name of this child nor have I found a death record.

John Wesley Kittelle was not born in , , Illinois, he was born in Indiana, probably in Swan or Orange Township, Noble, Indiana since his parents were living in the area during the period before and after his birth (see Part 1 – 1860 and 1870 U. S. Censuses1, 2).

The marriage of John Wesley Kittelle and Mary Elizabeth Murphy was likely late in 1893 or early in 1894 as there is the record of a stillborn daughter on Wednesday, 12 Sep 1894 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois with only the last name of the father, which may or may not be this couple.

On Monday, 01 November 1897 at her home Sarah Catherine Corbin Kittelle died at 70 years of age.


    Mrs. Sarah Katharine Kittelle,

aged 70 years, died at her home,  328

Sixth avenue, yesterday afternoon of

infirmities. The deceased had been

a resident of Rock Island for 22 years

being the wiso [wife] of the late John

Kittelle. Two children survive,

Mrs. W. R. Williams, of St. Paul,

and John W. Kittelle of Chicago.

Funeral services will be held at the

residence at 2 p. m. tomorrow.

There is a newspaper article on Thursday, 03 November 1904 in the Inter Ocean22 about a major disruption in the Kittelle household. This is an OCR transcript (with my corrections in brackets).

DESOLATION HOME CAUSED BYSMALLPOX Mrs. William Kittelle Watches at B-side of Two of Her Pest Stricken Children in Isolation . Hospital. . FAMILY UNDER QUARANTINE; DAUGHTERS KEEP HOUSE Youngest Girl Wants to Join Mother Three New Cases of Disease Reported to City Health pepart-ment [department] Officials Yesterday. Mn. [Mrs.] J. W. Kittelle, the heroic mother who, rather than be separated from her two children, sufferers from smallpox, left her home at 364 Hamilton avenue, to brave the dangers of the Isolation hospital and watch at the bedside of her little ones, called up her husband by telephone yesterday and informed him that everything was going well and that the children were not suffering seriously from their malady. She expressed the confidence that the [they] would not be attacked by the disease, but added: “I’d be willing to suffer from it if I knew the children would come through safely.” Children Keep Hon [Home ]for Katlie [Kittelle?] Today the Kittelle home is dreary and deserted, save for the presence of two older children, Irene, aged 15, and Katberlne [Katherine]. aged 9 years. The elder child is’ mistress of the home and Is trying to make things comfortable for the father. The little girl, Evelyn, is a cripple. 9 years of age, and has been at the hospital, for several weeks. When a baby she was frightened ty [by] a runaway horse and sustained a nervous shock, which resulted in partial paralysis. The boy. Willie [William] Killwinning Kit-teile [Kittelle]. was taken to the hospital Tuesday by his mother. He is suffering from a mild form of the -disease which, however, requires that he be segregated from all persons likely to take the contagion. Tha  [The] if ittoiia [Kittelle] hnmo [home] h [is] hon [now] under Quaran tine [Quarantine] for some time, and the. children are not now permitted to attend school or leave the house. The father, however, is immune from the contagion and attenda [attends] to his work regularly. Cilrl [Girl] Anxious to Go to Hol(l [Hospital]. “I want to see my mamma,” said little Katherine yesterday. “I want to go to the isolation hospital right away and see her. I don’t see why they wont let me go.” “It’s pretty hard,” said the lonely father yesterday. “I never missed my wife and children as I do now. Home doesn’t seem like home any more.” Three new smallpox cases were reported to the” health department yesterday, and the patients were removed to the isolation hospital. They are: Fred Simons, 23 years old, 253 Thirty-Fifth street. Lizzie Baer, 58 years old, 253 Thirty-Fifth street. – George Mulligan. 25 years old. One Hundred and Fourth street and the Illinois Central railway right of way. Xone [None] of these patients had been vaccinated. hope1oE [?]

[Copy of partial page 5 via OCR recording information about John Wesley Kittelle, Mary Elizabeth Murphy Kittelle, Irene Kittelle, Katherine S. Kittelle, Evelyn Jane Kittelle and William Kilwinning Kittelle and the family dealing with smallpox  Subscription required for more at (digital copy available for a fee/subscription)]21

Evelyne Jane Kittelle, already a delicate child, evidently weakened by the effort to fight off smallpox and who had already been in the hospital for several weeks, died 02 January 1905 at home at 3654 Hamilton Avenue, Chicago, Cook, Illinois at 8 years and 4 or 5 months of age she was buried in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery, Chicago, Cook, Illinois according to the death record (Find A Grave Memorial # 191076150).

Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-199423

Name Evelyne Jane Kittelle
Event Type Death
Event Date 02 Jan 1905
Event Place , Cook, Illinois, United States
Address 3654 Hamilton Ave
Gender Female
Age 9
Marital Status Single
Race White
Birth Year (Estimated) 1896
Birthplace Chicago, , Illinois
Burial Date 05 Jan 1905
Cemetery Mt Olivet
Source Reference 6757
GS Film Number 001239716
Digital Folder Number 004004520
Image Number 01230

John Wesley Kittelle married for the third time after his divorce from Mary Elizabeth Murphy Kittelle which occurred between 1905 and 1908. Between 1908 and 1910 he married Theresa G. Reif, who was born 13 March 1891 in , , Illinois and died in 1983 probably in , , New York. They appear on the 1920 U. S. Census24. John Wesley and Theresa G. were the parents of Dorothy Viola Kittelle who was born 23 November 1910 in , , New York and died 11 July 1997 in , , New York. Dorothy Viola married Louis Thomas Evers, who was born 07 January 1916 and died 08 October 2008 in Mount Kisco, Westchester, New York. There was issue of this marriage living with issue living.

It is now more unlikely that there is any connection to the family lines of Sumner Eli Wetmore Kittelle, although not impossible.

And, just because I made reference to not being able to find a marriage record for Anna Lodisca Kittelle, one turned up. Anna Lodisca is named Lucille A. Kittelle and W. R. Williams is named  Roland W. Williams, son of J. Jay Williams and Mary E. Sharpstein. They married in Prescott, Pierce, Wisconsin on Saturday, 19 May 1888. There is probably more to find on this family.

Wisconsin Marriages, 1836-193025

Name                                      Roland W. Williams

Birthplace                               Jackson, Mich.

Spouse’s Name                    Lucille A. Kittelle

Spouse’s Birthplace             Meadville

Event Date                             19 May 1888

Event Place                           Prescott, Pierce, Wisconsin

Father’s Name                       J. Jay Williams

Mother’s Name                      Mary E. Sharpstein

Spouse’s Father’s Name     John Kittelle

Spouse’s Mother’s Name     Sarah C. Corbin

Race                                       White

Spouse’s Race                      White

It is true, there is no end to the researching in genealogy and as more records become available on-line, it will make going over old ground worth the trouble as the record above shows, I was only doing a quick check search on John Kittell when it turned up.

If anyone has further information please feel free to contact me.


  1. “Iowa, County Births, 1880-1935,” database, FamilySearch ( : 4 November 2017), Sarah E Bennett Kittell in entry for Kittell, 06 Nov 1887; citing Rutland township, , Iowa, United States; county district courts, Iowa; FHL microfilm 1,401,934.
  1. Rock Island daily Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 15 Nov. 1886. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <>
  1. Rock Island daily Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 19 Nov. 1886. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <>
  1. Rock Island daily Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 20 Nov. 1886. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.<>
  1. “Iowa, County Births, 1880-1935,” database, FamilySearch ( : 4 November 2017), Sarah E Bennett Kittell in entry for Kittell, 06 Nov 1887; citing Rutland township, , Iowa, United States; county district courts, Iowa; FHL microfilm 1,401,934.
  1. Rock Island Argus. (Rock Island, Ill.), 02 Nov. 1897. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <>
  1. Publication: The Inter Ocean Location: Chicago, Illinois . Issue Date: Thursday, November 3, 1904. Page: Page 5. Published: 1872–1914.“Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 May 2016), Evelyne Jane Kittelle, 02 Jan 1905; citing , Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference 6757, record number , Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,239,716.
  1. “Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994,” database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 May 2016), Evelyne Jane Kittelle, 02 Jan 1905; citing , Cook, Illinois, United States, source reference 6757, record number , Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,239,716.
  1. “United States Census, 1920,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : John W Kittelle, 1920.
  1. “Wisconsin Marriages, 1836-1930,” database, FamilySearch (, John Kittelle in entry for Roland W. Williams and Lucille A. Kittelle, 19 May 1888; citing reference Vol 2 P 40 N 70; FHL microfilm 1,275,492.

Find A Grave “Memorial Collectors”

I read this post -“Does this couple in Missouri own your relatives on Find a Grave, too?” – over on Young & Savvy Genealogists.

They had an unpleasant experience with a “Memorial Collector”.

I can sympathize.

Yes, I also have had the “collectors” of Find A Grave snatch my deceased family members away from me and my family. They weren’t those mentioned in Young & Savvy Genealogists’ post however they also had a combative statement in their user profile on Find A Grave. Things like: “I went to the cemetery and took the photographs of the headstones and they’re mine” (So very nice of you to go so very often that a family can’t get there quickly enough to get their own photographs of their family member’s grave stone and then tell us that they belong to you.) and “I do not respond to rude or demanding emails or requests” (Why? I’m sure the families you stole from are not remotely happy about what you’ve done. I certainly wasn’t and after several polite attempts to get the memorial transferred, I decided to just not bother any further. I meant that stole too, as much as if you’d come in the house and stolen a family heirloom.) and other things of a similar nature. I also have a problem with the restriction on “direct” relatives. There are many of us who are the only one in the family doing anything like researching our families, creating/maintaining memorials for family members and I believe that if the person is an aunt/uncle, great-aunt/uncle, great grand-aunt/uncle, etc, cousin, and no other person in the family is objecting, the memorial should be transferred to the person in the family even if not a “direct” relative. I have sent requests to add information to various memorials (properly researched and verified information) or photographs which have only gotten me nasty responses to the effect that they are the one maintaining the memorial and they don’t have to add anything they don’t want (Never mind that the memorial is NOT of someone in their family, the person was in MY family and I wanted the correct information for MY family members to know and be able to access.). It is also supposedly possible to add photographs or other information to existing memorials even if maintained by others, however, it isn’t worth the bother if the memorial is under the “ownership” of a collector, they just delete the information and photos – something which was done to a late spouse’s memorial for no good reason, leaving the family members without that information.

I have decided that I am going to follow the excellent guidelines proposed in the above referenced post. I am also going to post memorials to my family members and any others in the extensive family tree who meet the criteria of the guidelines, with proper information, photographs from other family members or persons who give written permission for the use thereof or a link to the location of any photographs or information.

It would, perhaps, be worth Find A Grave/ taking another look at their policies and practices so that “memorial collectors” who really only want to have large numbers of memorials which mean little to them other than as a “possession” be prohibited from such a practice and that a family member must be immediately transferred a memorial belonging to a family member, direct or not.

One of the first questions that should be required before creating a memorial is the person creating it being a family member, there would obviously be a problem verifying the relationship however the immediate removal of any memorial created by a collector for the sake of increasing their tally should be mandatory. Our beloved dead are not there for anyone to willy-nilly abscond with and tote up a huge total of memorials. Those people were members of someone’s family, and family has first dibs. I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t give a hoot one way or the other if there are memorials of their family members, and those the collectors can have. It simply is wrong that a family can not have the right to maintain memorials to their own.


My Cousin

On a Monday the 17th of September, 1951 my cousin was born. The second in a family that would eventually number seven children. There were the normal things of growing up, school, play, friends, family, eventually college then marriage and children. On an ordinary day, going about the normal things of that day, while driving to work on Friday, 04 October 2013 my cousin’s life came to a sudden violent end due to being hit head-on while driving to work by another driver. My cousin was not even in possession of a cell phone although there was an attempt to blame distracted driving. My cousin was the landing point for another vehicle. They said death was instantaneous, I pray it was. My cousin’s family is still dealing with that wrenching shock, it’ll take more than just a year. Just 62 and a few days, looking forward to retirement, enjoying the grandchildren even more, having time to do more with family and friends all snuffed out. The other driver evidently wasn’t drunk, there was no real information after the initial news report. So on my cousin’s 63rd birthday, I wanted to honor and remember a life, a person who was kind, generous, loving, a good spouse, parent, grandparent, someone with a great sense of humor, a ready smile and a certain grace. Happy Birthday in heaven, cousin. Rest well.