As my uncle was going through things at the house yesterday, he came across a ledger belonging to Mildred Springer. It mostly contains dates and amounts received. I’m not sure what they are exactly, but I think they could be child support payments from her father, Frank Springer.
Frank left his home in Paoli, Indiana in 1893 for the World’s Fair in Chicago and I have lost track of him from then until 1920 when he appears in Paoli again. On one page of this ledger, Mildred wrote about her father’s land holdings.
In 1910, Mildred writes that Frank has a lot in Oklahoma and two lots in French Lick. A newspaper article regarding land in Oklahoma was tucked between this page and the next.
On the ledger page from the previous image, Mildred also writes that by 1912, Frank had sold his lot out west and purchased a third lot in French Lick. There is also one page of the ledger that lists two payments coming from Madison, Illinois in 1913.
My theory is that he left Chicago after the World’s Fair and travelled West. He settled in Oklahoma circa 1904 for a time, but was on the move again before the 1910 Census. I’ve searched for Frank Springer in the 1900 and 1910 Census for Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas with no luck. With some fairly strong evidence to suggest he was in at least two of those states, a transient lifestyle seems a logical explanation as to why I can’t find him.
Here’s my theory with a visual…
1. Living in Paoli, Indiana (1892).
2. Goes to World’s Fair, Chicago, Illinois (1893).
3. Possible trip to Iowa. (Part of family legend is that he spent some time in Iowa).
4. Back to Paoli to check in with family.
5. Purchases land in French Lick, Indiana (circa 1900).
6. Claims land near Woodward, Oklahoma (1904).
7. Possible trip to California. (Part of family legend is that he spent some time in California).
8. Sells land in Oklahoma (circa 1912).
9. Buys another lot in French Lick (circa 1912).
10. Goes to Madison, Illinois (1913).
11. It is possible that the California trip fit in here instead of after Oklahoma.
12. Back in Paoli (1920).
This is the guide I’ll be working with to try to locate Deed and City Directory records for Frank. It’s confusing, and kind of a long shot, but it’s definitely more than what I had to go on before. As my co-worker said just a few days ago, most genealogists don’t do it because it’s easy, they do it for the thrill of following the clues and solving the mystery.