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NancyC
Medium member

Norway
177 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  12:29:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks so much for all of this information!

Jan Peter Wiborg mentioned a letter that Homer sent to his brother in Michigan, where he mentions his wife's death. Could you please share with us where you found that information, and whether it is possible to get a copy of the letter?

After discussing again with my husband, we see that we had found and perused many of these sources before, but there are so many myths in this story, and we could not confirm information in the sources without more information. The key to solving the mystery is the information on Haavar from his arrival in New York in 1905. We never found this, so that left so many searches in limbo.

Homer and Bertha must be in the 1910 census for LA. We will try again.

Thanks again!
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jwiborg
Norway Heritage Veteran

Norway
4788 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  12:39:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What could this be about?
Homer tried to change Bertha's will after her death, but received only $5...


The News Scimitar, January 30, 1920 (Memphis, Tenn.)

Edited by - jwiborg on 30/08/2020 12:50:30
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jwiborg
Norway Heritage Veteran

Norway
4788 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  13:01:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by NancyC

Thanks so much for all of this information!

... a letter that Homer sent to his brother in Michigan, where he mentions his wife's death. Could you please share with us where you found that information, and whether it is possible to get a copy of the letter?
The source was an article in The Lake County times, July 18, 1919 (Hammond, Ind.):


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NancyC
Medium member

Norway
177 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  13:50:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the information!

I also found the intriguing notice about Bertha's will. Does anyone know how to get probate documents in California? It would be interesting to see her will! I have been poking around for these resources, but I have not found anything for San Bernadino County or Los Angeles County.
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jwiborg
Norway Heritage Veteran

Norway
4788 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  14:50:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Bertha G. Tillotson
Source: "De som dro ut" by Alfred Hauge & Lars Chr Sande. (1975)

Edited by - jwiborg on 30/08/2020 15:33:07
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jwiborg
Norway Heritage Veteran

Norway
4788 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  16:08:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Homer's brother in Michigan city was named Alvin Green Tillotson. His parents were James Tillotson and Melissa Tillotson (born Hall).
James born on March 7 1817, in Pittsford, Monroe, New York. Melissa born on January 8 1816, in Buffalo, Erie, New York.
One daughter: Florence Blinks (born Tillotson), married to Edward G. Blinks.

OCR from Hammond Times, Hammond, Ind., April 30, 1937:
TILLOTSON OLDEST DOCTOR IN STATE, DEAD
Physician was born near C. Point and Practiced At Tolleston MICHIGAN CITY, Ind.,
Alvin G. Tillotson, 90, beloved to be the oldest practitioner In Indiana, died at yesterday afternoon in the Clinic hospital. Death was attributed to pneumonia, complicated by a recent fall in which the aged physician fractured his hip. Dr. Tillotson was born April 15, 1847 on a farm near Crown Point. He spent the early years of his life on the farm as a boy and taught in the country school 1 I Graduate of Loyola
He graduated in the school of medicine from what is now known as Loyola, in the class of 1869, at the age of 22, a very young man to be a graduate of medicine, This year would have marked the 68th anniversary of his practice, but for his retirement several years ago. He practiced in Tolleston, now Gary, for a few years before moving to Michigan City, where he first started in the only office building in what is now the Chamber of Commerce at Michigan and Franklin. Establishes Hospital
In later years he moved to the corner of Fourth and Pine where he was joined in his practice by Dr. E. G. Blinks, his son-in-law. Together they established Michigan City's first hospital, a 12-bed private hospital at 117 E. Sixth. Tbe hospital continued until the present St Anthony hospital was erected, when both doctors joined the St Anthony staff. Dr. Tillotson was also prominent In Indiana Masonic circles holding the, office of Grand High Priest of Indiana for several years. Only last fall he attended the Mason convention In St. Louis.

Edited by - jwiborg on 30/08/2020 18:28:13
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NancyC
Medium member

Norway
177 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  16:41:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the latest info! Where did you find the photo of Bertha?
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jwiborg
Norway Heritage Veteran

Norway
4788 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  17:16:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by NancyC

Thanks for the latest info! Where did you find the photo of Bertha?

From the book "De som dro ut" (1975), available at nb.no. The story was written by Jon Moe

The photo is likely from 1903.
Mrs H J Tillotson is registered as arrived in Liverpool, England in April 1903, coming from New York on the Campania, Her long time friend and housekeeper Helga should be on the same manifest...
The story from the book is that the photo was taken during her first norwegian visit. Her second and last visit to Norway was in 1908.

Edited by - jwiborg on 30/08/2020 18:58:40
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NancyC
Medium member

Norway
177 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  17:42:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks! This article is mostly the same as the one in the various newspapers, even though it lists Jon Moe as the author. But the picture is certainly new!
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jwiborg
Norway Heritage Veteran

Norway
4788 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  18:36:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tried to give her some color...


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jkmarler
Norway Heritage Veteran

USA
6832 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  18:57:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I suppose you've seen this Bertha Gardner in Chicago in 1900:
Name: Bertha Gardner
Age: 26
Birth Date: Jan 1874
Birthplace: Norway
Home in 1900: Chicago Ward 11, Cook, Illinois
Ward of City: 11th
Street: Ashland Boul
House Number: 166
Sheet Number: 7
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation: 61
Family Number: 94
Race: White
Gender: Female
Immigration Year: 1892
Relation to Head of House: Boarder
Marital status: Single
Father's Birthplace: Norway
Mother's Birthplace: Norway
Years in US: 8
Can Read: Yes
Can Write: Yes
Can Speak English: Yes
Neighbors:
Household Members:
Name Age
Geo Bent 59
J T Bent 55
M Bent 29
J Bent 22
Bertha Gardner 26
James R Lane 40
Magnus Alexander 38


Of course you have!
Here is the link to her in Familysearch:
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MS3Z-8TD

Homer John Tillotson in Deceased Doctor's file:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89QP-V4Z8?i=2562&cc=2061540&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3ACGXV-WWT2

Homer John Tillotson death certificate, wife named Edith B:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-89SJ-YRF4?i=1556&cc=2001287&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AQLB2-GHHD

Edited by - jkmarler on 30/08/2020 22:28:47
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jkmarler
Norway Heritage Veteran

USA
6832 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  19:58:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here is an OCR read of an article published in the Los Angeles Times on 9 Jan 1920 about the dismissal of her husband's suit:
Dismissing the contest against the will of the late Mrs. Bertha G. Tillotson. Judge Rives admitted tho document to probate today, thus cutting off H. .1. Tillotson, the surviving husband, with a bequest of $5. Mrs. Tillotson, whose estate, consisting of stock In a Chicago liotel company, was v.alued in excess of $lO,OOO, died May 16, 1919, at her home, 630 West Twenty-third street. Her will named Attorney I. R. Rubin to act as executor .and bequeathed $5 to her husband and the rem.ainder to her son, James Tillotson. The husband filed objections to the probate of the will on the ground Mrs. Tillotson was incompetent to make a will by reason of illness. Mrs. Tillotson came to Los Angeles from her former home in Chicago about 10 years ago. .She and her husband had lived apart for some time before her death, it was said.

James Alvin Tillotson info from WWII draft reg card:
Name: James Alvin Tillotson
Gender: Male
Race: White
Age: 29
Relationship to Draftee: Self (Head)
Birth Date: 24 Sep 1911
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA
Residence Place: Monterey, Monterey, California, USA
Registration Date: 16 Oct 1940
Registration Place: Monterey, Monterey, California, USA
Employer: War Dept
Weight: 185
Complexion: Ruddy
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Black
Height: 6 4
Next of Kin: Edith B Tillotson (listed as step mother)
Household Members:
Name Relationship
James Alvin Tillotson Self (Head)

Another OCR read of an article published in the Calexico Chronicle 4 Feb 1935:

Drunkenness Cited As Divorce Cause

Roselle G. Tillotson, wife of a prominent rancher in the Callpatria district, has filed suit for divorce from her husband, James A. Tillotson, charging habitual intemperance in the use of intoxicants during the past two years. Their only child, Janet, a baby about two years old, was drowned in an irrigation canal in November. 1934. The complaint relates that Tillotson appeared at the child’s funeral “in a drunken condition.” Division of community property, alimony, restoration of maiden name are requested.


OCR read of the child's demise article in Calexico Chronical 27 Nov 1934:
Two-Year-Oid Girl Drowned in Ditch

Baby Janet Tillotson, two-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Tillotson, Calipatria residents, walked from the ranch house this morning while her parents were alseep to the brink of an irrigation ditch near the home, toppled into the murky water and drowned. She was the only child of the couple. A frantic search conducted by the parents, neighbors and police summoned from Calipatria resulted in the finding of the child’s body eight hours later at eleven o'clock this morning. The infant was discovered by Joe Barber and Chief of Police Wm. White. The child’s footsteps leading from the door of the house to the bank of the irrigation ditch were followed by the searching party. Tillotson is widely known in the valley and operates a citrus ranch.

OCR read of a short death announcement of Dr. Homer John Tillotson pub in the Los Angeles Times Wed. 5 Sept 1934 page 24:

TILLOTSON. Dr. Homer John Tillotson, late of 5817 Carlton Way. Hollywood, beloved husband of Edith B. Tillotson; father of Mrs. Lola Barker of San Diego; James Tillotson of Calipatria, Cal. . - . . Services Thursday at 11 a.m. .from the chapel of Ruppe Funeral Directors, 1239 South Hope street.

Edited by - jkmarler on 30/08/2020 21:39:17
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jwiborg
Norway Heritage Veteran

Norway
4788 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  20:18:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jkmarler

James Alvin Tillotson info from WWII draft reg card:
Name: James Alvin Tillotson
Gender: Male
Race: White
Age: 29
Relationship to Draftee: Self (Head)
Birth Date: 24 Sep 1911
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA
Residence Place: Monterey, Monterey, California, USA
Registration Date: 16 Oct 1940
Registration Place: Monterey, Monterey, California, USA
Employer: War Dept
Weight: 185
Complexion: Ruddy
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Black
Height: 6 4
Next of Kin: Edith B Tillotson (listed as step mother)
Household Members:
Name Relationship
James Alvin Tillotson Self (Head)

Strange.. birth record says the sons name was Alvin George Tillotson, born 21 Sep 1911. But must be same guy...


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jkmarler
Norway Heritage Veteran

USA
6832 Posts

Posted - 30/08/2020 :  20:30:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jwiborg

quote:
Originally posted by jkmarler

James Alvin Tillotson info from WWII draft reg card:
Name: James Alvin Tillotson
Gender: Male
Race: White
Age: 29
Relationship to Draftee: Self (Head)
Birth Date: 24 Sep 1911
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA
Residence Place: Monterey, Monterey, California, USA
Registration Date: 16 Oct 1940
Registration Place: Monterey, Monterey, California, USA
Employer: War Dept
Weight: 185
Complexion: Ruddy
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Black
Height: 6 4
Next of Kin: Edith B Tillotson (listed as step mother)
Household Members:
Name Relationship
James Alvin Tillotson Self (Head)

Strange.. birth record says the sons name was Alvin George Tillotson, born 21 Sep 1911. But must be same guy...






Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction....

From BIRLS file slightly different birth date:
Name: James Tillotson
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 21 Sep 1911
Death Date: 25 Jul 1975
SSN: 566166010
Enlistment Date 1: 20 May 1942
Release Date 1: 24 Jan 1946

Edited by - jkmarler on 30/08/2020 20:45:10
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NancyC
Medium member

Norway
177 Posts

Posted - 31/08/2020 :  00:08:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This story gets more intriguing all the time! The plot thickens. It looks like we eventually will have the basis for a spicey and rather tittilating article...

I wrote to the Chicago Genealogical Society, and the contact person responded immediately - on a Sunday afternoon! Unfortunately, their facilities are closed due to Covid-19. But he found that Homer and first wife Halina Kenney had divorced. They had two children, Leora b. 1878 and Charles b. 1880. I have found links on Ancestry and can provide them if there is interest. Halina was living with son Charles in Chicago in 1900. Halina Kenney was from New York. She remarried 17 March 1910 to Ira E. Lacy, and they moved back to New York. But she died 22 July 1910 https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/53343326/halina-louisa-lacy
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