Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Local History

Our topic for 11-1 is local history. This is a wonderful topic for us in Milledgeville, as we have a rich history here. Milledgeville is the former capitol of Georgia and there are living reminders here of Sherman's March to the Sea. You will be amazed what you will learn in your projects for this unit. We are fortunate to have Dr. Bob Wilson with us for a guest lecture. We'll be providing you with assignments to be completed for the following week. You will complete a pod cast on your assignment, explaining what you learned, providing insight into the history of Milledgeville, and also explaining your research methods and materials. These are due BEFORE the next class session (not weeks after!). Also, several students have not posted to the blog in weeks. You are required to do a weekly posting so let's get these done. The genealogy pod casts should be available to you by 11-1 on the genealogy channel. Download those and listen to them, as we'll discuss them the week of 11-8.


At 2:42 PM, Blogger donna said...

Dear Colleagues,

I won't be with you next week when you discuss the Humber-White House local history work. I am sorry to miss that because I know it will be great fun and you will have wonderful stories to tell about the adventures while finding out about the House.

As you are aware from the assignments, Brannen and I are partnered for Joseph Hill White. I sent the podcast to Dr. Vess and am hoping that Brannen will agree to cover both of our parts on the topic in class next Tuesday. Thanks, Brannen.

See you all soon!

At 11:02 PM, Blogger Dr. Deborah Vess said...

Donna has uploaded her pod cast already, and it is very interesting. Be sure to download it. I want to remind the others to send in theirs as well before the next class period.

At 7:48 PM, Blogger Kathleen said...

Ansley, Joey, Colin and I reconstructed the sequence of ownership of the Lindrum-Humber-White house. Joey went to the tax accessor's office and asked them for the most current deed to the house. We all meet up at the court house and began searching at the office of the Clerk of Superior Court. Joey was instrumental in our completing this assignment! He instructed us in how to follow the chain of ownership by locating the next book and page number. Ansley, Colin and I followed Joey's lead and this is what we found:
Barbra Lindrum bequeathed the house to Robert C. Humber in 1890.
Humber gave it to Emily White and Mary Humber (year?) they willed the property to Mary & Joseph White
The White's sold it to Gussie Harrison in 1965.
In 1972, Edith Hoblin and Joseph White sold it to Paul Lehon who sold it to Roy Russell in 1973.
In 1977, Russell bequeathed it to his wife Mary Russell.
In 1980, she sold it to R. H. de Jarnette, Jr.
Also in 1980, de Jarnette sold it to Melanie De Armas who sold it in 1990 to Georgia College. We enjoyed the research although we did hit some dead ends. As Colin pointed out it was fun to be able to touch "real history."

At 9:26 PM, Blogger Ansley said...

Kathleen, Joey, Colin, and I sought to find out the sequence of ownership with regard to the Humber-White House--where the history department now is housed. First of all, we asked the tax assessor abut the most current deed book regarding the address of the property owner. We researched the deed books going backward if you will. We started with a more recent date and aimed to find information on the Humber-White House during the 1870s-1890s time period. This we died in the Clerk of Superior Court's office--located on the 2nd floor of the local courthouse. We traced the property deed by deed and used large red books that were organized by a number located on their binding. Each deed book we opened referenced another deed book with an earlier date--providing the number found on the binder as well as the page # we would need in that particular book. The method of research was extremely organized and easily-accessible because we didn't have to rummage through papers like I had envisioned before working on this project. Instead, someone has gone to much travail to provide such sufficient records. To elaborate more on our findings: In the 1870s, Mrs. P.A. Lindrum bought the "Lindrum-Humber-White House" and gave it to what is thought to be her sister-in-law Barbara Lindrum--from New York. They ran it as a dress shop. The proof of this is found in the Special Collections here in the library. In 1890 Barbara Lindrum bequeathed the house to Robert C. Humber, who died and gave it to Emily White and Mary Humber. In 1943 Emily White and Mary Humber willed the property to Mary White and Josephine White; these girls never married and townsfolk called the house the "white sisters house" in the 1940s. Mary and Josephine owned it until 1965 when they sold it to Gussie Harrison. In 1972 Edith Hoblin and Joseph White sold the property to Paul Lehon. Joseph White was from Milledgeville and was a doctor who worked with the famous Dr. Walter Reed--the man that cured "yellow fever." Joseph Hill White and his family used it as a summer house. In 1973 Paul Lehon sold it to Roy Russell. In 1977 Roy Russell bequeathed the property to his wife Mary Virginia Russell. In April of 1980 Mary Russell bequeathed the property to R.H. de Jarnette, Jr. In September 1980, de Jarnette sold it for $58000 to Melanie Youmans Haddad de Armas, who willed it to the GA College Foundation 11 November 1990.

At 11:13 PM, Blogger Joey said...

I won't steal Ansley and Kathleen's thundering by adding to the specifics of the lineage of the ownership of the Humber-White House. Rather, I would just like to share some of my experiences while conducting the research at the Baldwin County Courthouse. First, courthouses are treasure chests for local historians. All official documents relating to the history of a town or county are usually archived at the courthouse. In our case, the deed records in the superior court's office are invaluable to a researcher because they tell a story of being, assigning context to the physical fabric of the past. By incorporating elements of the deed records, owners for example, researchers are able to piece togethe families as well as communities. I remember during this research feeling two different emotions (I am too amazed that I could become so emotional in doing a research project). First, I had gone to the tax assessors office with all the bravado of a seasoned researcher. In the deed records, I swiftly gathered information from 1990 to the 1890s. But I was missing 40 years of information! I knew the property hadn't been owned by one person in that 40 years because the names on the deeds were different from the beginning and ending period. I became extremely frustrated in not being able to solve this problem. Slowly I went back to the beginning and sketched out the history, once more pouring over every deed books (all together there were about 10). I had an eureka! moment when I realized that I had skipped over a reference to a deed book that I had not looked at. It turns out that the records for the house have two different paths, one through wills (which show through the executor deeds) and transfers (shown through regular deeds). By looking at the will deeds, I was unable to continue researching deed records. By carefully examining the records a second time, I found what I needed. In closing, while this project was suppose to help me understand local history methodology, it also taught me how to be careful in researching such records so that you do not hit a dead end that is not truly the end of the road.

At 11:18 PM, Blogger Dr. Deborah Vess said...

Sounds like these projects are going well. A couple of pod casts are uploaded, so download them before class. Joey, thanks for your reflections on methodology.

At 11:25 PM, Blogger Dr. Deborah Vess said...

Make sure to listen to Donna's pod cast; she has interesting biographical information on one of the people mentioned in connection with the Humber-White house. A question I would like everyone to consider is this: when a local historian uncovers information such as the materials you have found, what are the various things the historian might do with this information? What might motivate us to do research like this? What might we learn about historical issues beyond a simple transfer of ownership by looking at data like this?

At 11:28 AM, Blogger Donnie said...

The Lindrum Day Book dates from May 10, 1875 to February 10, 1877. Unfortunately, the back half of the book is missing. The book was made by David Felt & Co. out of New York. P.A. Lindrum kept a daily log of transactions between her seamstress business and customers. Items ranged any where from .25 cents to upwards of 10.00 dollars. Their primary customers were female, however some male customers bought items as well. Men tended to purchase hats, umbrellas, shoe, etc. Women purchased hats, ribbons, corsets, calico, slippers, bracelets, towels, parasoles, veils, curtain lace, dresses, and raw materials to make the above items themselves. Dress materials sold at around 7.00 dollars per 10 yards. Calico dresses sold for about 2.00 dollars. Hats purchased by men cost around $4.50, including one bought by a Mr. Isaac Peeler. Womens' hats were more expensive, ranging from $5.00 to $7.50. Items which cost less than $1.00 included satchel, bracelet, ribbons, buckles, and others. Items under $4.00 included slippers, corsets, parasoles, veils, calico dresses,curtain lace, shoes, towels, sashes, umbrellas,and variations of dress materials per yard. The most expensive single item was a white dress which cost $10.00. The Lindrum Day Book is a great tool for determining the socioeconomic level of the customer base as well as the income of the store owners.

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Donnie said...

Lindrum Day Book project completed by Donnie Clanton and Lindsay Sumner.

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Joey said...

From my research, deed records can act as spring boards to further inquiry. For example, we uncovered that Lindrum gave the house to Col. Robert Humber. Various questions arise: where did he serve? was he active duty or reserve, retired confederate? Many times, the property includes diagrams that can give you clues into the neighboring property as well. We know who the Joseph White's neighbors were and eventually we could have a history of a little community within the city.

At 11:48 PM, Blogger Dr. Deborah Vess said...

Joey, this is an interesting comment. I think our projects turned out nicely. I hope you all got a chance to listen to everyone's pod cast, especially to Donna's, as she had a very interesting biographical account. Also, the story of the shop operated in the house is interesting -- I believe Lindsay talked about that in her pod cast. Isn't it intriguing to know the history behind our department's building?


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