27 August 2008

The Problem With Pauline - Part 5

When I left off with the last post, we found out that Pauline Sharon Sanford is one and the same person as Mrs. Helen Hunt, widow of George B. I find it very interesting that the name of Pauline Sharon’s husband is George B. Sanford and when Pauline is Helen Hunt she is the widow of George B. , especially since George B. Sanford doesn't die until 1928.

For the moment, let's leave Pauline/Helen in Boise, Idaho. Let's use the "Way Back" machine and look in on Dr. George B. Sanford's life after he married Pauline.

At the beginning, this is what I knew about George Sanford:

1. He was born in New York about 1842
2. He is a dentist
3. He lived in Osage Mission, Neosho County, Kansas in 1875
4. He married Pauline Sheern/Sharon on 7 October 1875 in Osage Mission, Neosho County, Kansas

A search of the 1880 US Census finds Dr. George B. Sanford, a dentist, is a married 40 year old man residing at 620 Main Street, Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri. He lives in what appears to be a boarding house with 5 other men. No Pauline here.

Next to land records, old newspapers are one of my favorite things to use as a source. I just love them. Back in the "Olden Days", it was customary for the local newspaper to report on the public and private lives of the community. Dr. George B. Sanford was no exception. George must have had a successful dentistry practice. In 1886, He took out ads in "The Kansas City Star" giving himself the distinction of being "The Painless Dentist". Over the years he morphs into simply providing dental services without pain.

George evidently does have some free time from his practice. In 1880 George visits the State Fair :

George also has some problems with his employees. For your reading enjoyment from "The Kansas City Star" , 15 June 1894:

I have searched high and low for George B. Sanford in the 1900 US Census. He should be in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri.

1910 US Census enumerates George B. Sanford in Kansas City, Ward 6, p. 297, sheet 6A and in the 1920 US Census in Kansas City, Ward 7, p. 4, sheet 4B.

Although Pauline does not appear to be living with George, he maintains contact with her family who moved to Kansas City around 1883. When Pauline's sister Ada marries to Rudolph Markgraf April 5, 1890 George serves as a witness and identifies himself as Ada's brother-in-law. He does the same for Pauline's other sister Minnie when she weds Frank Vestal September 16, 1898. He continues this relationship with Pauline's family up until at least 1920. Ada and Rudolph Markgraf's daughter, Kathryn died at the age 14 on August 19, 1920. George Sanford is named as one of the many who attended the funeral services.

I finally catch a couple of breaks. I had slowly but surely been going through the 1880 Kansas City census page by page looking for Pauline. I have found one person of interest so far.

1880 US Census, Missouri, Jackson County, Kansas City, p. 5 (penned), p. 39A (stamped), hh #25 -Pauline Ames, age 26 and an actress is living at 423 Walnut Street, just a few blocks from where George Sanford is living. I need to check this Pauline out a little closer.

Then, after hours of looking at roll after roll of microfilm of the Kansas City newspapers I find this little nugget dated 17 August 1882:

I know, I know... It does not identify George or Pauline by first name BUT - after all we have learned about these two individuals, it sure sounds like it could be them. I need to contact the court in Kansas City and find out if a divorce was filed for anyone with the name of Sanford for the years 1880-1885. I sure wish I could go to Kansas City and look for records myself. I just know that the answers I am looking for are there!

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