Tag Archives: William Franklin Linton

How Can City Directories Help Genealogy Research?

William Franklin Linton standing in front of his grocery store about 1899.

 

City directories are a marvelous source of genealogy information.  Not only do they list who lives in a particular city, and their residential address, but it lists their place of work and that address as well!  I have used city directories in several instances, not only to prove where people lived, but to prove they weren’t living in a particular city.

The following examples are from Louisville, Kentucky.  This was research complied for my dear friend Richard Linton about ten years ago.

The Linton’s listed below are the grandsons of Moses Linton and Nancy Pead.  Moses was the son of Captain John Linton and Ann Mason, and came to Kentucky a few years before his father made the move from Loudoun County, Virginia, to Washington County, in 1818.  Moses moved to neighboring Nelson County, but later in life moved back to Washington County, although his children remained in Nelson and raised their families.  In the book I’m reading on Frankfort, Kentucky, they spoke about how the Depression of 1893 hit the state hard.  Perhaps these men who had worked as farmers for years, with their fathers, felt a new location and a different job would help them support their families.

The cast of characters:  William Yerby Linton, Moses Fillmore Linton and Benjamin Clark Linton – all sons of Moses Linton and Nancy Pead.  Those who moved to Louisville, Kentucky:

  • James Monreo Linton – son of William Yerby Linton
  • William Franklin Linton, John Kennedy Linton, Joseph F. Linton – sons of Moses Fillmore Linton.
  • James Fenton Linton – son of Benjamin Clark Linton

Now let’s see how jobs and home addresses change throughout this six year period.

1894 City Directory – Louisville, Kentucky

  • Linton Brothers (William F. and James Fenton Linton), grocers, 2401 Slevin
  • James Fenton Linton (Linton Brothers) residence 226 7th
  • James Kennedy Linton, packer Louisville Tin and Stove Company, residence 511 22nd
  • James Monroe Linton, engineer Louisville Tin and Stove Company, residence 226 7th
  • William F. Linton (Linton Brothers) residence 2401 Slevin

1895 City Directory – Louisville, Kentucky

  • Linton Brothers (William F. Linton) grocers, 1324 W. Broadway
  • John Kennedy Linton, packer Louisville Tin and Stove Company, residence 2401 Slevin
  • Joseph Fenton Linton (J. F. and J. M. Linton), grocers, 2401 Slevin
  • Joseph Fenton and James Monroe Linton (J.F. & J. M. Linton) grocers, 2401 Slevin
  • James Monroe Linton (J. F. and J. M. Linton) business 2401 Slevin
  • William F. Linton (Linton Brothers) residence 1324 W. Broadway

1898 City Directory – Louisville, Kentucky

  • Linton Brothers (William F. Linton) grocers, 1324 W. Broadway
  • James Monroe Linton, packer, Louisville Tin and Stove, residence 1816 Todd
  • John Kennedy Linton, porter, Robinson-Pettet Company, residence 511 22nd
  • Joseph Fenton Linton, driver, Bridge-McDowell Company, residence 2828 Cleveland Avenue
  • William F. Linton (Linton Brothers) residence 1324 W. Broadway

1899 City Directory – Louisville, Kentucky

  • James M. Linton, packer, Louisville Tin and Stove Company, residence 2136 Duncan
  • John Kennedy Linton, porter, Robinson-Pettet Company, residence 511 22nd
  • Joseph Fenton Linton, grocer, 1628 W. Madison
  • William F. Linton, grocer, 1324 W. Broadway

1900 City Directory – Louisville, Kentucky

  • James M. Linton, packer, Louisville Tin and Stove Company, residence 2136 Duncan
  • John Kennedy Linton, packer, Carter Dry Goods Company, residence 511 22nd
  • Joseph Fenton Linton, clerk, W. F. Linton, residence 1851 Lytle
  • William F. Linton, grocer, residence 1322 W. Broadway

From Gethsemani Abbey to the Big City of Louisville

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About twelve years ago I researched the family of Richard Linton.  We spent three or four years unraveling his Linton-Welsh family.  Since my own research took his Linton’s back to Captain John Hancock Linton, most of my time was concentrated on the descendants of the captain’s grandson, Moses Filmore Linton, and the Welsh line.  Cousin Dick and I both worked on the final report for his family – I giving the facts and dates and other information, and he giving the personal touch with family stories and photos.

Captain John’s son Moses came to Kentucky several years earlier than his father and settled in Nelson County, then moving to Washington County when his father arrived in the state.  His son Moses Filmore Linton, born in 1819, married Margaret Willett Kennedy, a widow, September 2, 1850, in Nelson County.  Moses and Margaret’s first child, William Franklin Linton, is the grandfather of Richard Linton.  Moses Filmore Linton died April 4, 1876, leaving William Franklin to help his mother with the farm and family.

William F. Linton married Catherine Welsh January 27, 1879, in Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, Kentucky. Catherine was the daughter of John Welsh and Sarah Hollern, both immigrants from Galway County, Ireland.  The couple came back to the Nelson County farm (about 70 miles on a straight line, west-northwest, from Mt. Vernon) near Gethsemani Abbey and lived for a few years. Kate Linton is listed in the 1880 census living in the household with her mother-in-law, Margaret Linton. That is, William F. and Catherine began their marriage living at the family farm with William F.’s widowed mother, Margaret, and six of William’s siblings still at home, while William F. worked the farm. (Daughter Louisa had married by this time and daughter Regina had died.)

The 1890 census was lost in a fire in Washington, D.C. What valuable information up in cinders! The next available census records, 1900, show William F., wife Catherine and seven children living in Jefferson County at 1322 W. Broadway in Louisville. William is listed as a grocer. Catherine is shown being the mother of eight children, seven of which are living. It is impossible to tell when this child would have been born and died. Since no mention of this child has been handed down through the family it probably died shortly after birth.

How and when did the family make such a move from the farm to the city? We turn to the Louisville City Directories for some clues. In 1883 a Wm. F. Linton is listed as a brakeman for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. No residence is given. It is possible William F. (b: 1851) first moved to Louisville on his own – perhaps to find employment and housing for his family. Either the family farm was not producing enough to support all the children of Moses and Margaret Linton, or William F., and later a few of his brothers thought they could receive a better economic return for their labor in the city, or they simply desired to engage in some work other than farming. In the 1885 directory William F. Linton is listed as a driver for Brinkley and Adams, and gives his residence as 1524 Lytle. Catherine and the children must have made the move to Louisville by this time.

By 1888 two brothers (John K. Linton, b: 1858; Joseph Charles Fenton Linton, b: 1859) and a cousin (James Monroe Linton, b: 1857) have joined William in Louisville. The list from the directory is as follows: William F. Linton, packer Brinkley & Grubbs, res. 1818 Lytle; Fenton Linton, driver C.P.R.R. Co., res. 1726 W. Walnut; James M. Linton, driver, res. 2417 W. Broadway; John Linton, driver Brinkley & Grubbs, res. 1818 Lytle. James Monroe Linton is the son (7th and last child) of William Yerby Linton (b: 1818), brother to Moses F. Linton (b: 1819) and William Yerby’s first wife, Mary M. Polly Hagan.

Over the next 6 years, the four changed employers a time or two. Then, in 1894, a significant development — the first mention of the Linton Brothers Grocery. The listing is as follows in the 1894 Carson’s City Directory for Louisville: Linton Bros. (W.F. & J.F. Linton) grocers, 2401 Slevin; James F. (Linton Bros.) res. 226 7th; John, packer Lou. Tin & Stove Co., res. 511 22nd; Monroe, engineer Lou. Tin & Stove Co., res. 226 7th; Wm. F. (Linton Bros.) res. 2401 Slevin. Here again, the James F. should be Joseph F. in reference to (Joseph Charles) Fenton Linton (b: 1859).

For whatever reason, by 1895 the partnership (even if it was just an informal one) had been dissolved. Joseph Fenton Linton found a new partner at the Slevin address and William moved his business to another address. The 1895 directory is as follows: Linton Bros. (W. F. Linton) grocer, 1324 W. Broadway; John, packer, Lou. Tin & Stove Co., res. 2401 Slevin; Joseph F. (J.F. & J.M. Linton), bus. 2401 Slevin; J.F. & J.M. (Joseph F. & J. Monroe Linton) grocers, 2401 Slevin; J. Monroe (J.F. & J.M. Linton) res. 2401 Slevin; Wm. F. (Linton Bros.) res. 1324 W. Broadway. During the next several years, the city directory records some additional job changes by some of the group. During these next years, the city directory continues to show William F. as operating a grocery at 1324 W. Broadway. The latter also seems to have been the residence address for William F.’s family until 1900 when the residence is shown as 1322 W. Broadway where, according to the census for that year, they rented.

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Catherine Welsh Linton holding her youngest of 8 children (7 of whom survived) — son George William Linton. As Uncle George, born July 11, 1899, appears to be about 2 months old here, that would date the picture to September 1899, making Grandmother Catherine, born 7-13-1861, a young and very attractive woman of 38 years. After eight children, her beauty is all the more amazing. (Indeed, I think my male cousins would join me in saying that at 38, Grandmother Catherine was still quite a chick.)

By 1907, with the grocery still at 1324 W. Broadway, the residence has changed to 1320 W. Broadway, with that address also listed as his residence. In 1910, their residence changed to 1224 W. Broadway, and the census for that year states that they owned their home. Catherine worked as a saleslady, Margaret as bookkeeper and Walter, and Annie as clerks at the grocery store that William owned. Sallie had already married.

The 1911 directory reveals another significant development: William F. is listed as operating a saloon at 1332 W. Broadway and a grocery at 1100 S. 9th. Son Walter is listed as a bartender for his father. Son James Willett is listed as a clerk for S. Shapinsky & Co. In 1912 William F. is listed as operating only the saloon.

In 1918 William F. is still operating the saloon at 1332 W. Broadway with son Jas. W. as bartender. Son Walter is now a travel agent; son J. Richard (Richard J.) a clerk for P. Lorillard Co.; and son W. Geo. (George W.) a clerk for Stewart Dry Goods Co.

In the frames below, Richard Linton has provided the pictures (the full and then the cropped ones) of Linton’s Grocery, with William F. Linton standing at the front door. Although the photo shows that the business was selling liquor (the emblem on the right of the door), and apparently beer (sign on the left), presumably that could have been done from a grocery store without converting the store into a saloon. Moreover, William F.’s apron has more the appearance of a butcher’s apron than any appearance it likely would have had (even if he wore an apron) when he was operating a saloon from 1911 to 1920 — the decade of World War I.

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The photo also is consistent with an 1899 time frame based on the fact that the upstairs appears to be a residence. Recall that during the last 5 years of the 19th Century, the family’s residence was the same 1324 W. Broadway address as their grocery business. As the two youngest sons (Richard and George) progressed into their grade school years, they delivered groceries in the store’s goat cart, as described later. That would have been done from the 1324 W. Broadway location during perhaps the 3 or 4 years before the store moved in 1910, and possibly for the next 2 years at the new location of 1100 S. 9th before it appears that William F. discontinued his grocery store in favor of operating his saloon business.

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This close up view (as cropped from the original photo) of granddad Linton shows him to have been husky, with rather muscular arms. He appears to have been perhaps 5’11” or so in height, and, as of this photo, weighing roughly 235 pounds.  His formidable appearance no doubt served him well when he later, during the 1910s, operated a saloon a few doors away at 1332 W. Broadway. On his birthday of July 4 that 1899, Granddad would have turned 48 years of age.

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Richard J. “Dick” Linton, Sr., in Go-Cart with Billy Goat.  Brother George standing by.  The boys delivered groceries in Go-Cart for their Daddy.  Linton’s Grocery, Louisville, Kentucky – from  a handwritten note.

Following the close of World War I, a great social, legal, and economic change occurred in the United States — on January 16, 1920, Prohibition became part of the “law of the land” by virtue of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution (and by the Volstead Act that implemented the Amendment). Prohibition would remain the law until it essentially was repealed, by the 21st Amendment, effective December 5, 1933. (The repeal was not total, for it permitted the states to enact their own prohibition laws. Few did. Today, only some counties or communities remain “dry.”)

Under Prohibition, all importing, exporting, transporting, selling and manufacturing of intoxicant liquor was put to an end. And thus ended the saloon days for William F. In the 1920 Louisville Directory he was listed as selling soft drinks at the former address of the saloon. Sons George, James Willett and Richard were clerks, but Walter had become department manager of Embry-Weir Motors. For the next two years William F. was listed as a grocer once again.

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On March 24, 1922, William F. Linton passed away. He and Catherine had spent 43 years together. Catherine lived on at the West Broadway address until 1926 when she moved to 1860 Yale Drive. The rest of her days were spent there. On September 27, 1931, Catherine died. She and William are buried in Calvary Cemetery in Louisville.

 

Margaret Willett and Moses F. Linton

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Margaret Willett, wife of Moses Linton, March 5, 1830 – March 10, 1908  Gethsemani Abbey Cemetery, Nelson County, Kentucky

Today is the 163rd anniversary of the marriage of Margaret Willett, daughter of George W. S. Willett and Nancy Hancock, and Moses F. Linton, son of Moses Linton and Ann Nancy Pead.

Margaret and Moses had both previously been married, their spouses dying at a young age, and leaving no children.  Moses first married Nancy Hagan, a daughter of Edward and Mary Hagan, August 16, 1838.  His brother William Yerby Linton was married to Nancy Hagan’s sister, Mary Hagan.  Margaret Willett first married John L. Kennedy November 9, 1848, in Nelson County.  He died within a year.

Moses and Margaret had 10 children:  William Franklin, Mary Louisa Ann, John Kennedy, Joseph Charles Fenton, Susan Jane, Moses Filmore, Regina, James Curtis, Ruth Ann and Margaret Linton.  The Linton farm was part of the boundary of Gethsemani Abbey.  Many family members are buried there; Nancy’s stone is shown above.  However, Moses Linton’s grave is not to be found.  Perhaps he was buried on the farm.  He died April 4, 1876.

Abbey Map

This is a map of the property of Gethsemani Abbey.  If you look in the upper right-hand corner you will see the name Moses Linton.  His brother owned property in the lower right-hand corner listed as Mr. Linton.

Moses Linton was born in Washington County, Kentucky, his father emigrated from Loudoun County, Virginia, blazing the trail for the rest of the family soon to follow.  Moses F. Linton was the grandson of Captain John Hancock Linton and Ann Nancy Mason.  Margaret lived another 32 years, caring for the children and the grandchildren that were soon to follow.

A list of their children and spouses:

  • William Franklin Linton married Catherine Welsh, January 27, 1879, in Rockcastle County, Kentucky
  • Mary Louisa Ann Linton married George Napoleon Nalley, May 26, 1879.
  • John Kennedy Linton married Jane McCarthy.
  • Joseph Charles Fenton Linton married Annie McCarthy
  • Susan Jane Linton married William Eugene Shircliff, May 2, 1893.
  • Moses Filmore Linton, Jr., married Sarah Ann Vittitow, April 21, 1902.
  • Regina Linton did not marry.
  • James Curtis Linton married Eliza Josephine Linton, March 8, 1871.
  • Ruth Ann Linton married George Albert Burba, November 19, 1901.
  • Margaret Linton married Anthony Burns, January 25, 1909.

William F. Linton and Katie Welsh Marry

Marriage Bond

The Commonwealth of Kentucky

Be it Known.  That we, William F. Linton, as principal, and Francis Vowels, as surety, are jointly and severally bound to the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the sum of one hundred dollars.

The Condition of this Bond is as follows:  That whereas, marriage is intended to be solemnized between the above bound William F. Linton and Katie Welsh.  Now, if there is no lawful cause to obstruct said Marriage, this bond shall be void otherwise, it shall remain in full force and effect.

Dated at Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County, this 28th day of December, 1878.

William F. Linton, Francis Vowels

Attest:  D. M. Williams, Clerk Rockcastle County Court

William Franklin Linton was born July 4, 1851, in Nelson County, Kentucky.  He was the son of Moses Filmore Linton and Margaret Willett.  Catherine “Katie” Welsh was born July 13, 1862, in Tennessee.  She was the daughter of Irish immigrants, John Welsh and Sarah Hollard.

In the 1880 census William and Catherine are living with his mother, Margaret Linton, in Nelson County (his father died in 1876).  Shortly thereafter the couple moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where they made their home for the rest of their lives.  William was a grocer.  They had 7 children:  Sally Regina, Margaret Mary, Walter Michael, Annie Elizabeth, James Willett, Richard J. and William George Linton.

William died March 24, 1922, and Catherine, September 27, 1931.  They are buried in Calvary Cemetery in Louisville.

William F. Linton and Catherine Welsh

William Franklin Linton and Catherine Welsh were married in Rockcastle County, Kentucky, January 27, 1879.

William, the son of Moses Filmore Linton and Margaret Willett, of Nelson County, Kentucky, was born July 5, 1851.   Moses was a farmer, whose land shared a boundary with Gethsemani Abbey.

Catherine, the daughter of John Welsh and Sarah Hollard – both born in Galway, Ireland – was born July 13, 1862, in Tennessee.  By 1870 Catherine’s family was living in Rockcastle County, where her father was a grocer.

William and Catherine raised a family of 7 children:  Sally Regina, Margaret Mary, Walter Michael, Annie Elizabeth, James Willett, Richard J.  and William George Linton.  They lived in Louisville, Kentucky, for the majority of their life together, where William was a grocer.  According to the census record Catherine was a saleslady, working with her husband.

William died March 24, 1922; Catherine, September 27, 1931.  They are buried in Calvary Cemetery in Louisville.  Due to an error by either the funeral home or the engraver, “Catharine” was engraved on the tombstone instead of the “Catherine” that, per family records and census reports, is the correct spelling.