Saturday, January 19, 2013

James William Hoover - Climbing the branches of the family tree

My grandfather, Jim Hoover, was born in Richmond, Indiana to Lulu Pickett and Frank Hoover August 7, 1893. He was their second child. Jim had an older sister Luella and a younger sister, Martha. Jim was 2 years old when his father died. A little over a year later his mother remarried. His mother married Arthur Chant. Arthur helped her raise her children and was the grandfather to Lulu's grandchildren. When Jim was 5 his mother and Arthur had a son, Franklin Chant.

I am not sure how Jim met his future wife, Ethel Manis. I did notice that in the 1910 U.S.Census Jim hoover's sister Luella is living next door to Ethel Manis's family? It took some searching to find this because both families surnames are not correct. Kortright is spelled Cartwright, and the Manis family is listed as the Parker family. Ethel's father was Lester Parker Manis.

Jim and Ethel were married in Wabash, Indiana on February 12, 1912. My cousin, Linda has a paper that has a description on their wedding written out. It is on a an old sheet of paper and is detailed. I haven't been able to get a copy of it but she read it to me. I hope to get a copy in the future to add here. After the marriage they moved to Richmond since most of their children were born in Richmond. Over the years they moved several times but other than a short time in Connersville, they seemed to live around the Richmond area.

Jim and Ethel had six children, Robert James Hoover, Ruth May Hoover, Pauline Hoover, Shirley Hoover, Betty Jane Hoover, and Milly Lou Hoover.  Around 1928 Jim was the pastor of the Pilgrim Holiness Church at 1609 Columbia Avenue in Connersville, Indiana.  He was only there a few years.  The Hoovers moved back to Richmond and Jim went to work as a machinist at National Tool (NATCO).  He continued to work there until he retired several years later. The Hoovers were living in Spring Grove which is a rural area of Richmond, Indiana when Ethel died.  She died on September 3, 1935, leaving Jim with four daughters still at home.  His stepfather and mother died at around the same time.  The deaths all occurred within a three week time frame.  Jim and his family lived in the same home with his parents, I am not sure if it had separate apartments or how it was set up.  I do know at one time that he was paying rent to his stepfather.  He paid $15.00 per month in rent. The home had housed most of the Hoover-Chant family at different times.  I know his sister Luella and her family also lived in the house at times.  
The Spring Grove Home
The Spring Grove Home Today

A few years after Ethel died Jim married Mabel Wise Shiverdecker.  I know they were married by 1939 but I have not been able to locate a copy of their marriage certificate yet.  Mabel had a young son, Joseph Shiverdecker, who came to live with the Hoover family. 

Jim and Mabel lived a few places in Richmond.  They lived at 3711 National Road East for several years.  I believe it was a trailer park and that is where he lived up until the time he died.  Jim died on March 14, 1967.  

Jim's great-nephew told me a few stories about some things he remembered.  

When President Roosevelt was running against Wilkie, Jim went to his sister's house at 527 North West L Street in Richmond.  He and his brother-in-law were celebrating the fact that Roosevelt had won the election.  Jim had been drinking a little.  My cousin remembers that Jim told William Solomon " Bill when the Republicans were in office my shoe soles were so thin, when I walked on chewing gum I could tell the flavor of it."  My cousin was around 12 at the time and he always thought that was so funny. 

He remembers that after he was adult and married he went to visit Jim and he knew Jim had been away from the church for several years at this point.  He knew that Jim was no onger a Christian and that his sisters had been praying for him for a long time.  Jim's sister, Martha, had died by this time.  My cousin stopped by to see Jim at his mobile home and prayed with him.      He told Jim that he & his wife would pick Jim and Mable up and take them to the Cherry Grove Camp Meeting that evening.  When they returned to pick Jim up he said Jim was very happy and told him that after he left that day he got on his knees and prayed and recommitted his life to God.  That evening at the camp meeting Jim got to his feet to give his testimony.  He told them that he had gotten saved again and would be living his life for God and he told them his name.  Two men in the front row stood up and asked him if he was the Jimmy Hoover that had pastored the Pilgrim Holiness Church in Connersville.  He answered that he was.  The men said that they had been saved under his ministry and had become members of the church.  Jim praised God and rejoiced.

I didn't get to spend much time with my grandfather and didn't get to know him very well, but it is great to hear stories and know that the people who knew him really loved him.

I have found out that Joe Shiverdecker's daughter has my grandfather's Bible that he used over the years and that he made notes in it for his sermons.  I hope to someday get to see the Bible.

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