Albert Austin Felton born 29 December 1875

Albert Austin Felton was born 29 December 1875, in Ipswich, MA.  He was the third son of Andrew P Felton and Lucy Sarah Rutherford.  Two previous sons, an unnamed baby, and John, both died as newborns.  I first found Albert’s birth in an index of Ipswich vital records.  It listed Lucy as having been born in Sidney, Nova Scotia.  I knew that information was not correct.  With access to the actual Ipswich birth record image at FamilySearch.org, I saw that the mother entered in the line above Albert’s entry was from Sidney. Lucy was born in Ipswich.  An error had been made when making the index.  I truly appreciate the work done by the indexers, but this is an example of why I always want to find the original record, and not someone’s interpretation of the record.  At the time Albert was born, his father was a laborer, but the record did not specify what kind of work Andrew did. 

The 1880 census shows Albert with his parents, living on Washington Street in Ipswich (no house number recorded.)  His father was a laborer, and his mother was listed as “keeps house.”  In 1888, the Ipswich directory lists Andrew as a pensioner (Civil War veteran) on 17 Pleasant Street.  The 1890 directory lists Albert A as living in Ipswich, no address given. 

Andrew’s father was a Civil War veteran with an invalid’s pension, with significant medical problems relating to injuries he received in battle, and from a wagon accident  while in the Army.  He died in 1891.  The city directory that year listed Albert and Lucy at 17 Pleasant.  The 1896 directory lists Lucy as widow of Andrew, and Albert, living on Pleasant. 

The 1900 census lists Albert living with his mother on Dewey Street, no house number given.  Albert was listed as a farm laborer. 

The 1907-8 Pepperell MA city directory lists Albert A Felton, shoemaker, resident of Oak Hill.  I don’t know if this is the same person.  Albert’s father did work as a shoemaker in earlier years, so Albert might have taken that job, perhaps inheriting Andrew’s tools, if any.  The directory also listed Nellie L Estabrook as residing with Albert A Felton.  She was a school teacher and not related to Albert. I could not find Albert in the 1910 or 1915 Pepperell directory.  He was not with his mother in 1910 and I have not yet located him in that census. 

Albert moved west.  When he registered for the WW1 draft, he was living at 82 ½ 3rd Street North, in Portland OR.  Albert had no relatives listed.  His closest living relative would probably have been his niece Josie Newell Smith Hodges, daughter of Andrew’s daughter Josephine Felton Smith, by Andrew’s first wife Lydia Lord.  Because of the gap of years between Andrew’s first child, and his children with his second wife, Albert was only two when his niece was born.  Josie was adopted young by her Smith uncle, after Josephine died, and grew up in Lynn.  It is possible that Albert didn’t know about Josie, and vice versa.  The registration shows Albert was a laborer at the Union Meat Company of Portland.  This company was formed by independent butchers, and included stock yards, meat packing, and livestock exchange.  The company employed more than 1500 workers by the time Albert worked there, and was the largest beef butchering facility in the Northwest.  The neighborhood was called Kenton, and had a streetcar line to carry workers to and from the meat packing plant.  Stock came by train and in cattle drives.  This area is now the Portland Expo Center.  The WW1 registration card described Albert as medium height and build, with blue eyes and dark hair.    He probably looked like his father.  Andrew’s description from his Civil War records list him as 5’6”, light complexion, with blue eyes and dark brown hair. 

The 1920 census lists Albert A Felton living in Hood River City, Oregon.  The household included a large number of men, all laborers.  Rather than a street address, the census taker recorded “Road Camp”.  The Columbia River Highway was under construction between 1913 and 1922, between Troutdale and The Dalles, on the south side of the Columbia River.  Hood River was about half way between those towns, so it is likely that Albert and the other men were working on this road.  It was the first modern highway constructed in the Pacific Northwest and the first scenic highway in the United States. The road became a trunk route from Portland’s large commercial center to eastern Oregon and points beyond.  The road became Highway 30, and later Interstate 84 followed the route. 

In 1930, Albert A Felton was counted in the census living at 380 ½ East Washington Street in Portland.  He was a laborer, doing odd jobs. 

In 1935, the final entry in Albert’s father’s Civil War pension file was an attempt from Allan Chaimas, attorney from New York City, to get names and addresses of the relatives of Lucy, in connection with a distribution of property.  The pension office said the only person named in the file was Albert Austin Felton, but the address for him was not in the file.  Information in the pension application file indicates that Andrew and Lucy probably did not have much property to distribute. 

The 1939-40 Portland OR city directory lists Albert Felton living at 6416 NE 35th Ave, no occupation listed.  He also had no spouse listed for him although other entries had spouses.

Albert died 3 June 1941, in Multnomah County (Portland’s county.)  The Oregon death index listed a spouse, Sadie.  This is the only source for Albert’s wife.  I don’t have a last name or marriage date for them.

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