19 December 2008

The Problem With Pauline - Part 8

Sorry to have kept you waiting. You were waiting for more of "The Problem With Pauline" weren't you? Could it be that you have not heard of Pauline?


Well for those who haven't or those needing to catch up you can do it here:
"The Problem With Pauline" :
Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6 , Part 7

I still have not made the trip to Boise, Ada County, Idaho or to Kansas City, Missouri to conduct the onsite research I need, however I have made progress. I have managed to add more pieces to this puzzle which in turn has doubled my list of items to find in the courthouses of both cities (no surprise here).

A quick review - Pauline Sheern/Sharon is an ancestor of mine. Her father and my 3rd great grandfather are brothers.

I am going to present the problem a little differently than before. I did indeed find Pauline in Boise, Idaho using the name of Mrs. Helen Hunt (widow of Geo. B.), but the earliest year I can place Pauline/Helen in Boise is 1905.

Oh where, oh where is my Pauline hiding for almost 30 years? (1875-1905)

Let's forget about her for the moment and concentrate on her parents (John Philip Sheern/Sharon and Mary Brice), siblings (Eugene, John J., Joseph Francis, Ada Kathryn and Winnifred "Minnie") and husband Dr. George B. Sanford.

Below, is a timeline of sorts. I have listed all my information and clues found to date on the above people. The names are presented exactly as found in the source.

Let's start with Dr. George B. Sanford:

1875 - Oct. 7 - Pauline marries George B. Sanford (a dentist) in Neosho County, Kansas. I located both of them in the 1875 Kansas State Census in Neosho County.
1875 to 1879 - George B. Sanford moves from Neosho County, Kansas to Kansas City, Missouri.
1879 to 1882 - K.C. city directory lists Dr. Geo. B. Sanford, dentist, res. - 1121 Pacific and his dental office 620 Main, over the post office in rooms 1 & 2
1880 - June 11- The census enumerator found Dr. Geo. B. Sanford living in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri. His address is 620 Main Street, age 40, born in New York, married, dentist. No Pauline nor any wife is enumerated with George.
Pauline's parents, an older brother, 2 younger brothers and 2 younger sisters are still living in the same place in Neosho County, Kansas when the census comes knocking on their door. No Pauline there either.
1880 - Sept. 29 - Dr. Geo. B. Sanford, the dentist, is arrested for "obstreperous conduct". (OK , I had to look this one up. It means: marked by unruly or aggressive noisiness; stubbornly resistant to control.) It seems he took his little dog into the Art Exhibition Hall at the annual Kansas City Fair. When asked to remove said dog, he refused. At the insistence of the manager, Sanford is arrested but released as soon as they arrive at the police station. Unable to leave well enough alone, Sanford demands the officers badge number and "made some emphatic gestures" causing the officer to re-arrest him. Dr. Sanford was released the next day.
1882 - K.C. city directory - dental offices and res. Located 910 Baltimore Avenue, south of 9th. A bonus - also says he is a graduate of Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery.
1882 - August 17 - newspaper reports "Sanford Divorce Case Takes a Queer Turn". In the middle of a divorce, Mrs. Sanford brings a suit against her husband for $120 that is in an account at The Bank of Commerce. Mr. Sanford withdrew the money and gave it to her. They become reconciled and were going to skip out leaving their attorneys in the lurch. Attorneys caught wind of their actions and "attached them".
1883 - K.C. city directory Sanford's dental office now at 708 Main. Also Pauline's parents, 1 younger brother and 2 younger sisters move to Kansas City.
1885 to 1887 - K. C. city directory Sanford's dental office now at 1023 east side of Main between 10th and 11th (new no. 1017)
1885 - July 22 - George B. Sanford is issued a permit to build a $250 barn on Laurel Avenue.

1889 to 1891 - K.C. city directories reveal some interesting roommate combinations. During the years 1889-1891 the following people lived at

514 Oak - Minnie Shearn (Pauline's sister), John P. Shearn (Pauline's father), Rudolph Markgraf (Pauline's brother-in-law), Arthur Raffington & J. H. McNeil

1422 East 5th - George B. Sanford, Arthur D. Raffington, Christopher Null - All 3 are dentists, sharing the same office space

721 Main - Christopher Null and George B. Sanford - both dentists, sharing the same office

1890 - April 5 - Pauline's sister Ada Kathryn Sheern/Sharon marries Rudolph Markgraf (a well known architect in Kansas City). The witnesses who swear to Ada's age are George B. Sanford, brother-in-law and Mr. Arthur Raffington.
1892 - April 23 - George B. Sanford announces in newspaper that he is removed to 87 Main.
1894 - June 15 - Dr. George B. Sanford, the dentist, is arrested on charges of Embezzlement after a man who was employed as an office boy by Dr. Sanford pressed charges. Frank Waitt came to Kansas City looking for work. He went to an employment agency who sent him to Dr. Sanford. Dr. Sanford proposed that for a sum of $200 (to insure the boy's honesty) he would hire Waitt as an office boy and pay him $10 per week. The money would be returned if at least a 10 day notice was given should Waitt decide to leave Dr. Sanford's employ. The boy only had $70 which he handed over to Dr. Sanford. He would be paid no wages until the balance of the $200 was paid. The next day someone convinced Waitt that he would never see his money again. The boy became suspicious of the dentist and gave his 10 day notice. At the end of the 10 days he asked for his $70 to be returned and Dr. Sanford refused. A warrant was swore out and Dr. Sanford was arrested. Justice Shannon will hear the case next week. The newspaper gives dental office address as 18 1/2 West 12th Street.
1894 - Nov. 11 - K.C. city directory - dental office - 1032 Main, over Goodyear Rubber Co.
1895 - Dec. 6 - Arthur Simmons, a dental student, is charged by Lillie Marks with having laid violent hands on her and attempted to restrain her from leaving the dental offices of Dr. George B. Sanford, 1032 Main Street, until she paid a fee of $1 which she claims never to have contracted. She asserts that she went to the office to consult Dr. Sanford, who was absent, and that after waiting for some hours she became tired and started out when Simmons is alleged to have ill treated her.

1898 - Sept 16 - Pauline's sister Minnie marries Frances Vestal. Witnesses swearing to her identity is Geo. B. Sanford, brother-in-law, and J. H. McNeil.
1905 - April 2 - George B. Sanford sues his neighbor for piling refuse by the front door of his home. Sanford claims the stench is so bad that he and his wife have to move. He loses the case.
1907 - Sept. 9 - newspaper article about Dr. George B. Sanford who is the secretary of the Kansas City Post Graduate Dental College at 14th and Grand Avenue. Dr. Sanford discusses the need for a dental clinic for school age children. The clinic would provide free exams and services for the children. Dr. Sanford had started such a clinic in Milton, Pennsylvania and says it would certainly work in Kansas City.
1910 - April 19 - Census - Kansas City, 420 Laurel Avenue -George B. Sanford, age 70, divorced, born New York, dentist, owns home free of mortgage.
1920 - August 20 - Kathryn Markgraf, daughter of Ada and Rudolph dies at the age of twelve. Dr. Geo. B. Sanford is listed as one of the mourners who attended the services.
1928 - December 30 - George B. Sanford dies at the age of 86 in the Kansas City General Hospital of epidemic meningitis. He died all alone. The record clerk at the hospital was the informant on his death certificate - almost every line on the form is completed with the response "Don't Know". George was living at a charity ward called Helping Hands before he died. Carroll & Mast were the undertakers. He was buried in Leeds Cemetery, Jackson County, Missouri.
The Leeds site was home to a municipal jail and a tuberculosis hospital in the early 1900s. Prisoners, the poor and victims of an influenza epidemic that hit Kansas City in 1918 were buried here, in what was then known as the municipal cemetery. In this open field, the graves are unmarked. Not a single sign indicates that thousands are buried just a few feet below the surface. It is now a Kansas City Police Department shooting range.

George had obviously considered himself a member of the family. Referring to himself as the brother-in-law of her sisters, attended family functions such as weddings and funerals. Even the other dentists he shared an office with at one time or another were mixed up with the Sheern/Sharon family.

Poor old George sure had his share of trouble with the law and maybe a problem with the bottle. But about 1907, it seems like he was on his way to becoming a changed man. He is on the Board for the Kansas City Post Graduate Dental College. He becomes a champion for school age children regarding dental health. He owns his home free of a mortgage.

But something happened to poor old George after he reached his acme. How awful to die penniless, childless, and all alone. Then the final indignity of an unmarked, pauper's grave.


Photos from the Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri.


  1. I want to know where she is too! Love this series!

  2. I am enjoying the saga of Pauline. I will bookmark your site so I can follow along.

  3. I live in Kansas city and I am researching leeds, The reason Im writing is to let you know there is 2 parts of the potters field. George would have been burried is #1 and unmarked and no one seems to have the exact area. The state is now doing radar to loacate and make amends but they have started with #2. I will try to take pictures of the area this weekend.

  4. Thank you Anonymous. Please keep us posted!