08 August 2008

The Problem With Pauline - Part 2

Just as I started to write this post, I received this comment on part 1 of the Problem with Pauline:

I'm wondering if there is any mention of Pauline in the obits of her parents or siblings.That her husband remained in the area with her family and witnessed her sibs marriages is significant IMO.Is it possible she was in an asylum in the state or nearby state?I'm not that familiar with the records available for the location.Thanks for sharing your "brick wall" -- hope a break-through happens soon!

Thanks for the suggestions and wishes of a breakthrough, Deborah. As I continue with this series, you will see that I am going to need all the help I can get.

Just a quick note: The surname Sheern has been mangled and spelled so many different ways. In the records I have for my 3rd great grandfather, James Sheern, the name is pretty consistently spelled "Sheern". However for James' brother, John Philip Sheern, his name morphed into "Sharon" and has stuck.

Pauline's father, John Philip Sheern, died 28 June 1906 in St. Paul, Neosho County, Kansas. John was a resident of Kansas City, Missouri but was in St. Paul tending to business and the farm that he still owned in Neosho County. John also owned land in Kay County, Oklahoma. I had requested probate files from all 3 places: Jackson County, Missouri, Neosho County, Kansas and Kay County, Oklahoma for John Philip Sharon. I have only received probate files from 2 places: Kay County, Oklahoma and Neosho County, Kansas.

In both of these files guess who is named as an heir? Why it's Pauline Sanford, daughter of John Philip Sharon. And do you want to guess where I can find her in 1906? Boise, Ada County, Idaho is her place of residence as 2 notary public attested to in the court papers.

OK so it's back to the census to try and find Pauline for the missing years. I have to tell you here and now that I have poured over census records for the years 1880 to 1930 and still cannot locate Pauline Sanford anywhere.

At least now, thanks to the probate files, I can at least place Pauline Sanford in Boise, Ada County, Idaho in the year 1906.

A couple of months later, I came across a book written by William Whites Graves. W. W. Graves was the editor of the "St. Paul Journal" (formerly called "The Osage Mission Journal") and he took items about people that had been printed previously in the Journal, and issued in book form. In his book entitled "Annals of St. Paul", I came across several entries for the last name of "Sharon".

1. "J.P. Sharon is building a little steam boat 42 feet long and 8 feet wide, 30 tons capacity."

2. "Steamboat excursions in Capt. Sharon's new boat are numerous and popular."

3. "First public commencement exercises of St. Frances Institute. On the roll of honor were the following Osage Mission students...Eugene Sharon..." (This is Pauline's brother)

4. "J.P. Sharon has located in Kansas City."

5. "John Philip Sharon died 24 June , aged 77 years. He came to Osage Mission in 1870. In 1882 he built a small steamboat on the Neosho river near here and used it for excursions until the spring of 1883 when he took it down river to Ft. Smith and sold it."

6. "Mrs. Mary Sharon, widow of J.P. Sharon, died in Kansas City Tuesday and was buried in St. Frances cemetery here. She came to Osage Mission in 1870 and lived there much of her life thereafter. Age 83 years."

7. "Mrs. Pauline Sharon Sanford was burned to death in Boise, Idaho, September 13, 1917. She was a daughter of J.P. Sharon."

What a horrific death. Horrific enough to have made the newspapers in Boise, Idaho do you think? Well I immediately found the newspaper "The Idaho Daily Statesman" for 14 September 1917 and on the front page was an article about a woman who burned to death in her home BUT the name of the woman was Helen Hunt.

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