Edward Sylvanus Wright 1901 – 1937

Edward Wright was born 27 April 1901, in Dickey County, North Dakota.  His parents were Alexander Robinson Wright, from Ireland, and Lillian Hodges, of Massachusetts.  Alex’s and Lillian’s parents were homesteaders in the Ellendale and Oakes area.  Alex was a printer, and publisher of the local newspaper, the Oakes Times. 

In 1910, the Wright family lived in Oakes, in Dickey county.  Edward’s father’s occupation was newspaper editor, and “job office emp” – I’m not sure what that meant, unless it refers to printing jobs.  The household included Joseph Martin, Lillian’s grandfather – she had been raised by her grandparents after her mother died.  The household also included a servant.  The 1915 state census included the same family members, but did not list occupations. 

Edward graduated from Oakes High School in 1919.  The 1920 census lists Edward living at home at with his parents in Oakes.  His father’s occupation was newspaper publisher.  Edward was a college student.  The college in Ellendale was a teacher’s school.  The household included Edward’s little sister Ruth, who had been born in 1913.  His great grandfather, Joseph, died earlier that year, before the census was taken.

Edward was counted in the 1925 state census with his parents and sister, but no occupations were listed in the census. 

Edward moved to Dallas, Texas, and in 1930 was living in a rooming house, and teaching in the public school. 

On 17 May 1930, Edward married Rubye Irene Williams.  They had two children while living in Texas.  In 1937, Edward moved his family to Moorhead, Minnesota.  He ran a print shop, and also taught printing at the high school.  Edward died  5 November, 1937 at the Fargo hospital, after a short illness.  He was buried at Ellendale in the Hodges/Wright family plot. 

Edward’s obituary was published in the Moorhead Daily News:  E WRIGHT, PRINT SHOP OWNER, DIES  Former Texas Man was Teacher at Moorhead H.S. This Year

Edward S Wright, 36, 114 First street north, died at 7:30 a.m., today in a Fargo hospital where he entered last night.  He had been seriously ill since Monday. A resident of Moorhead since July 5, 1937, Wright came here from Texas where he had taught printing in the Dallas Technical high school for eight years.  He had been teaching a class of printing in Moorhead high school since school opened in September, and was proprietor of Service Printers in Moorhead. Wright was born in Ellendale, N. D. April 27, 1901.  He attended Oakes high school, Jamestown college, and the University of Wisconsin.  He was a member of the Masonic lodge in Oakes, was active in scout work in Oakes and in Dallas where he was field commissioner, and was a member of the Presbyterian church of Fargo. Surviving are his wife, Rubye I Williams, whom he married at Little Rock, Ark., May 17, 1930; two children, a son, Robert Earl, 6, and a daughter Gail Isabelle, 4; a sister, Ruth E Wright, Milwaukee, and his parents, Mrs. and Mrs. Alexander R Wright, Oakes, N. D. Funeral services have not been arranged but will be held in Oakes, N. D.  The body is at the Wright funeral home. 

Rubye continued to operate the print shop for some years.  She died in 1984. 




Orvis Alexander Banks born 1896

Orvis Banks was born 15 March, 1896, in Holden, Massachusetts, the second child of Burpee Banks and Hattie Lightizer, who were both from Nova Scotia.  Orvis had an older sister, Minnie, who died at age 1 of convulsions, before he was born.   Orvis’ father was a farmer. 

In 1900, the Banks family lived in Worcester, MA, and Burpee was a farmer.  This census confirmed that Hattie had given birth to two children, but only one (Orvis) was still living. 

Like many Nova Scotians who moved to Massachusetts, this family seems to have maintained family connections back home.  Orvis was listed on at least two ships passenger lists, traveling with his mother back to Boston from Yarmouth, NS, in 1898 and 1903.  

In 1910, the Banks family was living in Oakham, MA.  The quality of this census image is very poor – Burpee Banks was indexed as Buckie Barnham – and I could not read the occupations.    

Orvis moved out west, and according to the 1915 state was living with Boardman and Abbie Hodges in Ellendale, Dickey County, North Dakota.   Abbie was Burpee’s sister, Orvis’ aunt.  Boardman was known for inviting relatives to come stay with him, to help give them new starts in the west. 

Orvis registered for the draft for the World War in 1917.  He was unmarried, and described as 5’10”, slender build, brown eyes, and black hair.  Besides registering, Orvis actually enlisted, along with many other men from Dickey County.  I’m not sure if he served or went overseas.  When he registered, Orvis was an apprentice in the printing office of the Oakes Times.  Boardman’s son-in-law, Alex Wright, was the publisher of the Times.  

In 1920, Orvis was still living with Boardman and Abbie in Ellendale.  He was a teacher at the state school.  This school had been created, at least on paper, in 1889, and was called the State Manual Training School.  That name was changed to State Normal and Industrial School.  The first three graduates, all women, received their teaching certificates in 1901. 

Orvis married Alice Wilhelminia Peterson, who was born in 1883 in Minnesota.  They were counted in the 1925 state census in Ellendale.  Occupations were not listed.  In 1930, they were living in a boarding house with Hubert and Lulu Peck on Fourth Street in Ellendale.  He was a teacher at the government Normal School.

The 1940 census lists Orvis and Alice still boarding in the household of Herbert Peck in Ellendale.  The record indicates that they lived in the same house in 1935.  Orvis was listed as a teacher at the state teacher’s college.  Alice was a secretary in the school’s office.  Orvis and Alice had no children. 

Orvis died 6 October 1969 in Aberdeen, South Dakota.  His obituary was published in the Fergus Falls (Minnesota) Daily Journal, 8 Oct 1969 p 3   O. A. Banks Funeral at Parkers Friday  PARKERS PRAIRIE – Services for Orvis A. Banks, 73, who was married to the former Alice W. Peterson of this village, will be Friday at 2 p.m., from the LaMere chapel with the Rev. Maynard 0. Hanson officiating. Burial will be in Swedish Cemetery. Mr. Banks died Monday at St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen, S.D. He had lived 50 years at Ellendale, N.D., where he was a college professor and in business administration at the University of North Dakota branch. Services will be held in Ellendale Thursday. He leaves his wife.

Alice died 18 November 1971, and both were buried at Swedish Cemetery, at Parker’s Prairie, Otter Tail County, Minnesota. 

The state school in Ellendale suffered a fire and closed in 1971.  The property was sold to Trinity Bible College, which still operates on that property.

Luvia Ann Labor

Luvia Ann Labor was born 27 November 1870 possibly in Barton, Vermont, but probably in Sherbrooke, Quebec.  Her parents were Joseph Labor and his second wife, Lydia Ann Degoosh.  Joseph and Lydia were married 4 August 1870 at the Congregational Church in Sherbrooke, Quebec.  Luvia’s name has also been interpreted or indexed as Loula, Lura, Lurica, Lubia, etc. Her name appears to be spelled Louveraine in the 1871 census, where she was listed with her parents, in the Sherbrooke area of Quebec, not far from her Degoosh grandparents.

Luvia’s parents were apparently not together many years.  By 1880, Lydia was living in Barton with her parents, three older brothers, and Luvia, age 10, Nancy age 9, Mary age 6, Joseph age 4, and Gerry or Garey, 7 months. (This last sibling may be William Labor or William Garey.)  I have not been able to locate Luvia’s father in the 1880 census.  Luvia eventually had four younger step-siblings – Aaron Garey, and Ethel, Samuel, and Myrtle Paul.

On 8 Aug 1888 in Newport VT, Luvia married William Martin.  He was born about 1867 in London, the son of F John Martin and Elizabeth Keable.  He was a coachman.  Their first child was Herbert F, born about September 1889.  He died on 9 August 1890 in Rockingham VT, of cholera infantum.  The second child was Lillian M Martin born 31 December 1890 in Rockingham.  She died 17 April 1892 in Rockingham of inflammation of the brain.  The third child, Everett William Martin, was born 5 Dec 1892 in Rockingham. 

Luvia’s family moved to Providence, RI and was counted in the census there, living on Smith Street.  William’s birth date was recorded as December 1870, Luvia as November 1871, and Everett as December 1892.  They had been married 12 years, and Luvia had given birth to three children, but only Everett was still living.  Luvia listed 1888 as the year she came to the US, and William listed 1884.  William was a cook, and Everett attended school.  Luvia’s first marriage ended, but I am not sure if by divorce or by death of William.  She was listed in the 1905 Providence directory as Mrs. Luvia Martin, 46 Stewart street.  However, I believe that the information was not updated by the time that she remarried.

On 5 September 1904, Luvia A Martin married William Leggat in Providence.  Luvia’s marriage record (index) lists her parents as Edward and Lydia Fuller, and at first I didn’t believe this was the correct person.  The 1905 Rhode Island state census lists her DOB as 27 November 1870, with her father’s birthplace as Canada French, and her mother’s birthplace as Canada – English (indexed as Connecticut – good reminder to check the next image to see if there is a page 2 for the record, and look at the real image, not just the index.)  The record also repeats the “3 children born, 1 still living” information that matches the 1900 census.  Luvia’s address is 46 Stewart, which matches the city directory entry for Luvia Martin.  Her son, Everett Martin is listed at the same address, with the correct DOB, so in spite of the questionable information in the marriage index, I am confident that this is the right person.  (And later, in 1914 when Luvia’s mother died, Mrs. William Leggett was listed as one of the family members thanking friends and neighbors for their support.)  The 1905 census says that there are four people in the household, but each person is on a separate card, so I do not know who the fourth person is – I did not find another Leggat at the same address.  The 1907 city directory lists them at 46 Stewart.  This might be a boarding house, as the same address lists four other women (although Luvia and Everett are not named.  The directory says William is at “B&S”, probably Brown and Sharpe Manufacturing. 

Luvia is listed in the 1910 census in Providence, with husband William Leggat and son Everett Martin.  They lived at 46 Stewart, had been married 5 years, this being William’s first marriage.  He was born in Scotland, and was a shop machinist.  The census taker recorded that both William and Luvia arrived in the US in 1892.  Everett was an apprentice machinist.  In 1914, 1915 and 1916, the city directory lists William as a machinist living at 47 Haskins.  Spouses were not listed, but Everett Martin was listed as a salesman.

The 1915 RI state census lists Luvia’s family at 47 Haskins.  William was a tool maker in a shop.  Luvia’s occupation was listed as demonstrator, travelling.  Everett was recently married to Henrietta Gebhart, and they lived with Luvia and William.  Henrietta had had two daughters, but both died as infants.  Luvia’s granddaughter Loretta was buried at the State Farm Cemetery in Cranston.  According to Find-A-Grave, this cemetery was in use from 1875 to 1933, but was later inadvertently covered by the roadbed of Route 37.  No stones or markers existed, and remains were not removed when the road was built.  However, in 2008 after rains washed away the embankment and exposed the remains, they were identified if possible, and reinterred elsewhere.  Online information about this cemetery indicates that those interred were individuals who had lived in the state institutions, so perhaps Loretta was born with severe disabilities. 

In 1918, William registered for the WW1 draft.  At the time, William was living in Ionia, Michigan, and working as a foreman tool maker for Grand Rapids __?_ Company in Ionia.  William’s contact person was Mrs. John Leggat who lived in Pawtucket, RI.  Her relationship is not listed – perhaps she is his mother, but obviously not his wife.  Meanwhile, the Providence city directory for 1918 lists Mrs. Luvia Leggat at 47 Haskins. 

In 1920, William was living in Detroit, Michigan, listed as divorced.  My best guess for Luvia in the 1920 census is a woman living at 47 Summer.  She is recorded as Sarah Leggett, born in Connecticut, parents born in Massachusetts, employed as a saleslady in a department store.  However, the 1919 and 1920 city directories lists Mrs. Luvia Leggat at 47 Summer, so I suspect the census information is incorrect. 

Luvia married John J Collins between 1920 and 1925.  In the 1921 city directory, the resident at 47 Summer is still Mrs. Luvia Leggat, according to the city directory.  However, in the 1922 directory, she is listed at 47 Summer as Mrs. Luvia A Collins, manager Pacific Coast Borax Co.  This record implies that the business address is the same.    John is not listed. Spouses were not recorded for other entries on this page, so perhaps Luvia was considered the head of the household.  The 1924 directory list John J Collins as a driver at 307 Broad, with another entry as salesman at 307 Broad – both entries say home is 47 Summer.  Luvia and spouses for other entries were not recorded.

The 1925 RI state census lists them at 47 Summer Street.  John was born about 1884 in Rhode Island.  Luvia lists Canada as her place of birth, and she lists herself as an alien resident. 

John died 18 Aug 1929 in Bristol, RI.  John J Collins served in the 74 Co US Coast Artillery band, and seems to have had a pension of some kind dating from 1908 (or possibly 1928). It appears that Luvia A Collins, his widow, applied for the pension on 18 September 1929.  Records show that John had enlisted on 31 Aug 1901 from Providence, his home town.  He was in the Coast Artillery, discharged Aug 30, 1904, at Fort Williams, ME, by expiration of service – as a private – with remarks “very good”.     There are a couple different men named John J Collins who registered for the WW1 draft – unknown which if any is this person.  His memorial in Find-a-Grave indicates that his service was in the Spanish-American War.  However, that war was over by the end of 1898.  Although John had been a resident of Providence, his death record indicates that he died at Bristol, RI.  The Rhode Island state veteran’s home is at Bristol.

In the 1930 census, Luvia was living at 15 Elma.  She was employed as a demonstrator of home products and also took in boarders.  She reported her birthplace as Canada, and her year of arrival in the US as 1872.  The Providence city directories recorded her in 1930 as living at 15 Elm, widow of John.  In 1934 – 1940 she lived at 176 Gallup.  

The 1935 RI state census lists Luvia at 176 Gallup.  This census lists her place of birth as Canada, and says she is a naturalized citizen.  She was not employed, nor seeking employment.

The 1940 census lists Luvia Collins at 26 (unable to read street name, but not Gallup.)  She did not have an occupation listed, but did have two couples boarding with her.  She owned her own house, and it was valued at $5000. 

Luvia died 17 February 1947, in Cranston, RI.  Her birthplace was listed as Sherbrooke, Quebec, widow of John J Collins, father’s name James Fuller, mother Lydia Degoosh, both born in Canada.  It is interesting that Luvia’s father’s name was again recorded as Fuller (as it was when she married William Leggat.)  When Luvia’s first marriage was recorded in 1888, her father was correctly recorded as Joseph Labor.  Unfortunately, her death record on FamilySearch.org is only an index, not an image of the original.  I have not located a burial place for her. 

Luvia’s son Everett had two more children, who both lived to be adults.  I found one possible match for Luvia’s first husband, William Martin, in the 1905 RI census, although without a familiar street address, or a definite DOB to match, and could not confirm that it was him. In Rhode Island death records I did find a William F Martin who was born in 1868 (location not given) son of John and Elizabeth, which matches – who died 29 Apr 1910, but again, cannot be sure this is her first husband.  However, this man’s entry on Find-A-Grave lists his birth place as England, so it is likely to be the correct person.  William Leggat eventually returned to Providence, and was still living there in 1942.