Thursday, July 23, 2015

Chapter 15: Cyrus Desires to Meet Lady or Widow of Good Character

The two deaf brothers, Cyrus and Fred, went separate ways after 1900.  Fred had gone east, before returning to Illinois to marry Daisy Trigg.  Cyrus remained in Duluth, where he married Anna C. Johnson 5 December 1900. Not a lot is known yet about Anna, but she likely was the 9-year-old deaf child, Anna C. Johnson from Duluth, admitted to the Minnesota Institution for Defectives in 1890. She was enumerated at the institution in Faribault in June 1900, suggesting she met Cyrus in Duluth soon after graduation. Likely, she was the daughter of Swedish immigrants Martin and Lena Johnson enumerated in Duluth in the 1885 Minnesota census.

In 1910, the young couple lived at 111 E. Eighth Street with a 4-year-old son, William. Cyrus was still engaged as a barber.  The tragic story of his nephew's asphyxiation death (see Chapter 14) documents that Cyrus had moved to Minneapolis by 1913. Cyrus was still barbering in 1920 and was living at 3328 19th Ave. S. Cyrus and Anna had a added a daughter, Pearl, three years-old in 1920. Inexplicably, the census enumerator recorded that Cyrus' father and mother were both born in England; they were born in Kentucky and Missouri.

No doubt, the death of young Fred Watson in their home touched Cyrus and Anna deeply. Their children are deceased, so no first-hand insight to the family situation survives. However, a rather comic, but embarrassing episode might -- or might not -- hint at domestic malaise.  "C. G. Fawkner" placed an ad in the 7 August 1921 edition of the Denver Post.

REFINED business man, 45, 120 lbs. 5 ft. 4 in., dark brown, gray hair, gray eyes, light complexion fair looking, home-loving, no bad habits, new 6-r home in 5 months: desires to correspond and meet refined, intelligent, educated lady or widow of good character, about Xmas; give description, picture; matrimony. Address C. G. Fawkner, 28 N. Fifth st., Minneapolis, Minn.

Could this handsome home-loving man with no bad habits be Cyrus?  Yes, Davidson's 1921 Minneapolis Directory listed Cyrus G. Fawkner, a barber at 28 N. 5th. His residence was 3328 19th Av S. Had Cyrus and Anna separated? Possibly, but the 1930 census found Cyrus "Faulkner," with a wife "c. g," and daughter Pearl at 3630 Bloomington Ave. -- not far from the 1920 Fawkner residence.  "c.g." were, of course, Cyrus' initials. Was this a enumerator's simple error (a simple error, not a simple enumerator!)?  Probably, because he recorded that Cyrus' wife was 48 and born in Sweden -- a good match for Anna, who was 38 in 1920. Cyrus and Anna were still living together in 1940.

So, what does the Denver ad say about Cyrus? It is hard to know. It would seem he thought well of his appearance and character -- or maybe he was exaggerating. It is not known if he made the trip to Denver, let alone whether he met a refined, intelligent, educated lady. There simply is no  evidence on way or the other. In any event, Cyrus and Anna were still husband and wife when Cyrus died 23 September 1943.

Cyrus' brothers James Henry and Robert Grant also passed through Duluth. We will pick up their stories next.

LESSON: Does there always need to be a lesson?  I guess not, but if there is one in this chapter, it might be to do cross-over research. It took both census and city directory records to verify that the Denver ad was from our Cyrus.

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