Register Report First Generation



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Family of Nathaniel “Nat” READING (525) & Helen RODGER

818. Nathaniel William READING (Nathaniel “Nat”8, George Washington7, William "Billie"6, Margaret Bell SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Nathaniel William was born on November 3, 1931.
Nathaniel William married Marge DICKMAN.
They had the following children:

i. Ronda Ruth. Ronda Ruth was born in 1951.

1057 ii. Arbie Ann (1933-)

1058 iii. George Rodger (1937-)



Family of William Beaman READING (526) & Marjorie JOHNSON

819. Billy Beaman READING Jr. (William Beaman8, George Washington7, William "Billie"6, Margaret Bell SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Billy Beaman was born on March 5, 1940.
Billy Beaman first married Mary Moss WRIGHT.
In 1969 Billy Beaman second married Mary RODRIGUEZ.
They had one child:

i. Billy Beaman. Billy Beaman was born on December 18, 1971.


820. James “Jim” Harold READING (William Beaman8, George Washington7, William "Billie"6, Margaret Bell SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). James “Jim” Harold was born on April 2, 1946.
On January 29, 1963 James “Jim” Harold married Kay STARK, daughter of Robert STARK & Eva Grace WILSON.
They had the following children:

i. Kay. Kay was born on June 5, 1966.

ii. Timothy James. Timothy James was born in November 1971.
821. Candace Sue READING (William Beaman8, George Washington7, William "Billie"6, Margaret Bell SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Candace Sue was born on September 16, 1948.
Candace Sue married Robert THORNTON, son of Paul THORNTON.
They had one child:

i. Jeffrey Aron.



Family of Victoria Elizabeth READING (527) & Jeff Davis “J. D.” McCUNE

822. Jeff Reading “J. R.” McCUNE (Victoria Elizabeth READING8, George Washington7, William "Billie"6, Margaret Bell SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Jeff Reading “J. R.” was born in Hannibal, Missouri, on April 11, 1937. Jeff Reading “J. R.” died in Curryville, Pike County, Missouri, on January 28, 1998; he was 60. Jeff Reading “J. R.” was buried in Curryville Cemetery, Curryville, Missouri, on January 31, 1998; he was 60.
Funeral services for J., R. McCune, 60, of Frankford were held Jan. 31, 2 P.M. at the Presbyterian Church in Frankford. Rev. R. Wayne Dismuke and Rev. Jim Williams officiated. Burial was in the Curryville Cemetery.
Mr. McCune died at 9:15 p.m. Jan. 28, 1998 at his home.
He was born April 11, 1937 in Hannibal to J. D. and Elizabeth Reading McCune.
He married Mary Gladys Dismuke, Aug. 15, 1964 at the Curryville Baptist Church. She survives.
Other survivors include his parents; three children, Robin McCune of Richmond, Va., Dawne Trokey of Penton and Jeff McCune of St- Louis; a brother, Tapley McCune of Bowling Green and two grandchildren, Tara McCune Parker of Richmond, Virg. and Ethan Trokey of Fenton.
Mr. McCune was committed to his church and family, and became an elder in the Curryville Presbyterian Church in 1957. In 1958 he became a member in the Masonic Order. He was a 1955 graduate of Bowling Green High School.
His interests were agriculture and baseball. He farmed the McCune Valley Farms and served 32 years on the ASCS committee and served on the Board -of Directors at Pike County Mutual Insurance Company.. He also was involved with the Khory League baseball organization for 12 years and remained a St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan.
He served as moderator for the Missouri Union Presbyterian Church in 1982 and represented the Presbytery as Commissioner to the General Assembly Presbyterian Church USA.
Visitation was held from 4-8 p.m.. Jan. 30 at the Frankford Presbyterian Church.
Memorials may be made to the church or the Pike County Hospice.
Mudd-Veach Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.
On August 15, 1964 Jeff Reading “J. R.” married Mary Gladys DISMUKE, in Curryville, Missouri, Baptist Church.
They had the following children:

1059 i. Robin Marie (1966-)

1060 ii. Dawne Michelle (1968-)

iii. Jeff Thomas. Jeff Thomas was born on August 7, 1971.


823. Tapley McCUNE (Victoria Elizabeth READING8, George Washington7, William "Billie"6, Margaret Bell SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Tapley was born on December 7, 1938.
On March 29, 1959 Tapley married Charlene Carter DAVIS.
They had the following children:

i. Margaret Elizabeth. Margaret Elizabeth was born on April 10, 1960.

ii. Nancy Lynn. Nancy Lynn was born on January 1, 1964.

iii. Victoria Carter. Victoria Carter was born on August 24, 1966.



Family of Archie Pearl SMITH (529) & Maude LAIRD

824. Nadene SMITH (Archie Pearl8, John Thomas “Squire”7, John Shawhan6, Nancy SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Nadene was born on June 27, 1905.
Nadene first married John BANCROFT.
They had one child:

i. William Pearl.


Nadene second married Mr. HOWARD.
825. Irene SMITH (Archie Pearl8, John Thomas “Squire”7, John Shawhan6, Nancy SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Irene was born on June 27, 1905.
Irene married Jewel GREGG.
They had one child:

i. Richard P. Smith.



Family of Sallie Jackson SMITH (530) & Mason BRANSTETTER

826. Eunice BRANSTETTER (Sallie Jackson SMITH8, John Thomas “Squire”7, John Shawhan6, Nancy SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Eunice was born on April 3, 1900.
On November 23, 1916 Eunice married Edward MEDARIS.
They had the following children:

i. Mason.

Mason first married . They were divorced.

On April 17, 1945 Mason second married Mary PECOLA.

1061 ii. Vivian (1919-)

1062 iii. Dymple (1922-)


827. Floyd Mason BRANSTETTER (Sallie Jackson SMITH8, John Thomas “Squire”7, John Shawhan6, Nancy SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Floyd Mason was born on July 23, 1902.
On April 6, 1923 Floyd Mason married Emma DORSTEN.
They had the following children:

i. Floyd. Floyd was born on March 7, 1925. Floyd died on July 13, 1927; he was 2.

ii. Fred B. Fred B. was born on September 15, 1928.

Research: The Son of Lloyd (9) Branstetter, named Fred (10) Branstetter, was drafted into the Army in 1950. and in the winter of 1951 was stationed at Camp Chaffee Arkansas. One of his bunkmates was another Missouri boy, the son of Leslie and Eunice Chandler, Paul Chandler. These two boys had never met and had never even heard of each other. It seems that Fred mentioned the fact that his dad had cousin who was a General, and Paul mentioned that HIS father had a cousin who was a General. Imagine their surprise when they discovered that they were each one equally related to the same General, who is Brigadier General Rex Chandler (9).

These two draftees become buddies and chummed around together until Fred received a medical discharge for having a bad kidney which was removed at the Veteran's Hospital in St. Louis in April, 1951. Fred graduated in June 1950 from Washington University In St. Louis, a major in chemical engineering, and Paul was a student at Missouri University when he was drafted, where he commuted between his father's home In Middletown, Mo., to Columbia, Mo., in his own plane whenever he felt he could spare the time. Fred's first job after graduation was with a chemical dye company in Buffalo, N. Y., at the east end of Lake Erie, and his grandfather Drosten had given him a car for a graduation present. Fred arrived at our house in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio, driving his first car, on his way to take over his first job, very happy and proud. He stayed a couple of days, and then during the summer drove down from Buffalo over week ends, because Fred became interested In Carl G. "Duff" (10) Madsen, Jr., who had just graduated in pre-med from Princeton University and was preparing to enter Ohio State Medical College for the next four years. Fred also became intrigued with the beach along Lake erie, and all the people on summer vacation from all over the country, and in watching Mayor carl G. Madsen, Sr., hold court at the Town Hall, known as the Gripe Center. It was all new to him, and Fred liked everybody he met and was well liked in return.”185
iii. Shirley. Shirley was born on September 28, 1932.

iv. Sally. Sally was born on March 9, 1934.


828. Mancell Pearl BRANSTETTER (Sallie Jackson SMITH8, John Thomas “Squire”7, John Shawhan6, Nancy SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Mancell Pearl was born on September 12, 1908.
On July 17, 1938 Mancell Pearl married Zela BRADER.
They had one child:

i. Zoe Ann. Zoe Ann was born on September 27, 1942.



Family of Margaret Melvina SMITH (531) & Oscar William CHANDLER

829. Rex Eugene CHANDLER (Margaret Melvina SMITH8, John Thomas “Squire”7, John Shawhan6, Nancy SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Rex Eugene was born in Pike County, Missouri, on June 24, 1901. Rex Eugene died in Ft. Sam Houston, Texas, on September 6, 1964; he was 63. Rex Eugene was buried in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, Ft. Sam Houston, Texas.
On June 10, 1925 Rex Eugene married Ann PAGE, in San Antonio, Texas.
They had the following children:

i. Rex E. Rex E. was born in West Point, New York, in May 1926. Rex E. died in February 1929; he was 2. Rex E. was buried in West Point, New York.

1063 ii. Robert Page (1929-)

1064 iii. Ann Page (1931-)


830. Isobel Frances CHANDLER (Margaret Melvina SMITH8, John Thomas “Squire”7, John Shawhan6, Nancy SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Isobel Frances was born in Frankford, Pike County, Missouri, on December 2, 1903. Isobel Frances died in Geneva, Ohio, in September 1971; she was 67.
Training Record:

Grade School: Slater, Mo. and Bowling Green, Mo.

High School: Niles, Ohio

College: Kent State University, Ohio, art major

State Life Certificate, Ohio, Mo.

University of California, Los Angeles, 1942, Government, Economics

University of Florida, St. Petersburg High School Building, 1943, Engineering and Blueprint tracing (War course).
Teaching record:

1923-1928: Wood St. School, Youngstown, Ohio, Arts and Crafts, Americanization classes and fifth grade subjects.


July 9, 1927, married Carl G. Madesn of Litchfield, Minnesota, in the Episcopal Church, Revenna, Ohio, while attending summer school at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. Resigned from teaching March, 1928, because married women were not allowed to teach at that time.
December 9, 1928, first son, Carl G. Madsen II, was born in the City Hospital, Warren, Ohio.
From 1928 on, taught as a substitute teacher…Warren Ohio City Schools at irregular intervals, in grade and Junior High.
During war years (World War II) taught art as a special subject in the Sunshine School, Pass-a-Grille, Florida. This school was directly across from Isobel's house on 24th street.
April 6, 1945, second son born, Neale (Kris) Christian, St. Anthony's Hospital, St. Petersburg, Florida.
Fall term, Lake Eirie College, Painesville, Ohio, Child Psychology, Genetics, 1949.
Norton School of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, (Palm Beach Art Institute) studied under the following teachers (1954-1959): William Thon, Dong Kingman, Edgar Whitney, Frank Reilly, Bruce Mitchell, David Frendenthal.
Ashtabula Fine Arts Center, Ashtabula, Ohio (1957-1962), studied sculptoring and ceramics under Thano Johnson, Walter Sinz, Roger Mack (Cleveland School of Art, director Toshiko Takaozu), Tony Carao, Joanne Kodonno.
Member as of 1962, Ashtabula County Historical Society; Palm Beach Art Institute (past member of Bo?a ?aten Art Club, Youngstown Art Alliance, Mahoning Valley Society of Painters; First Presbyterian Church, Warren, Ohio), Butler Art Museum Exhibitors, Palm Beach Art Exhibitors; St. Petersburg, exhibited art, and was director of Finance of the St. Petersburg Art Museum for one term; Santa Monica Art Club, 1941-42. Geneva, Ohio, PTA; Riviera Beach, Florida, PTA.
Worked summers in husband's donut shop in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio, 1938-1945, 1948-1962, etc., as one-half manager, social security rating. Worked two winters in St. Petersburg, Florida, donut shop owned jointly by Carl Madsen and Charles Baum, 1942-1944, closed because of rationing. (Isobel Chandler Madsen, "SHAWHAN/SMITH/CHANDLER/MADSEN Genealogy" [1962 update], pp. 52-53).

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It was reading Isobel Chandler Madsen's chronicle of the Shawhan and Smith families that peaked my interest in taking up the task of bringing the family history up to date for my generation. Her genealogical monograph "SHAWHAN, SMITH, CHANDLER, MADSEN" (1699-1951) has been an invaluable resource in compiling this version of the SHAWHAN/SMITH family history. {REF}
I am not sure whether the Isobel Chandler listed in the Social Security Death Records list is the same as our Isobel. However, the information fits her very well. The information is as follows: b. 02 Dec 1903, d. Sep. 1971, Ohio, Zip Code 44041, SSN 279-16-0551. {REF}
On July 9, 1927 Isobel Frances married Carl G. MADSEN, son of Soren MADSEN & Sophia Ann, in Ravenna, Ohio. Carl G. was born in Litchfield, Minnesota, on August 1, 1907.
Carl George Madsen was born August 1, 1907, Litchfield, Minnesota, youngestof three sons of Soren and Sophia Ann Madsen, who came to live in Litchfield, bring with them two older sons, Clav and Aage Madsen, born to them in Kalenborg, Denmark. Carl attended grade school in Litchfield, Minn., and in Aslov, Minn., where he lived with an aunt and uncle (William from Denmark) Madsen, after his mother died. His father was a contractor and builder, and cabinet-maker by trade. He built schools and churches in and around Litchfield and Chicago. Carl attended High School in Litchfield, Minn. After graduation he went to live near his father in Chicago. Clav Madsen attended the University of illinois, and was a graduate architect. Aage attended the University of Minnesota and graduated as an agriculture major. Carl worked for Pillsbury Flour Mills, Kresge Co., Densens Milk Co., and Madsen Donut Shop. He was elected Mayor of the village of Geneva-on-the-Lake and served two terms, not choosing to run for a third. He owned and operated a commercial fishing boat that he owned in Base-a-Grille, Florida, in the wintertime while operating the donut shop in the summer. He was Captain of dea-sea charter boat “Okeh” owned by Capt. Frank Sauer, Rivera Beach, Florida, for three winters. Hobbies are Hydrology, Meterology, Securities market, antique furniture refinishing. His character is one of tolerance and cheerfulness and gregariousness, combined with complete integrity and attention to details. Self-educated after high school, proving that experience is the best teacher.186
They had the following children:

1065 i. Carl G. (1928-)

ii. Neal Christian. Neal Christian was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, on April 6, 1945.
831. Oscar William CHANDLER (Margaret Melvina SMITH8, John Thomas “Squire”7, John Shawhan6, Nancy SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Oscar William was born in Slater, Saline County, Missouri, on February 20, 1913. Oscar William died in Kailua,, Hawaii, on February 8, 1998; he was 84.
"Husky" graduated from the University of Oklahoma and while there was a noted champion diver on their swim team. He later was in the Army and trained in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. He was an officer in the Ski unit and fought in WWII in the Italian Alps. He was an architect and home builder and later worked as an appraiser for (FHA?) in Tulsa, Oklahoma and then in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Oscar William "Husky" Chandler, Jr. and Alpha Dolly "Doll" Morris are both buried at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

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From William T. Chandler letter (dated July 4, 2000):

“My grandfather Oscar William Chandler, Jr. died in February of 1999 from complications from prostate cancer. I was one of the pall bearers.He was a First Lieutenant in the US Army during WWII with the 10th Mountain Division. He even received the silver star for one incident where he captured a German squad who had his unit under fire. You may already have that information.”


On April 17, 1937 Oscar William married Alpha Dolly MORRIS, daughter of Robert Walter MORRIS (January 7, 1885-March 7, 1965) & Delia MOORE (February 21, 1895-October 15, 1986), in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Alpha Dolly was born in Oklahoma on January 5, 1914. Alpha Dolly died in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on March 4, 1987; she was 73.
From William T. Chandler letter (dated July 4, 2000):

“My grandmother is Alpha Dolly Morris. She retired from the IRS due to emphysema. She died back in the early 80's due to complications from her emphysema. They lived in Tulsa and Oklahoma City most of their married life.”


They had the following children:

1066 i. Robert Grant (1938-)

1067 ii. Larry Dale (1941-)

1068 iii. William Morris (1947-)



Family of Edith Mae SMITH (532) & General F. HAMLETT

832. Wayne HAMLETT (Edith Mae SMITH8, John Thomas “Squire”7, John Shawhan6, Nancy SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Wayne was born on January 30, 1912. Wayne died in Glen Lake, Minnesota, in 1961; he was 48.
Wayne married Laverne McIVOR. Laverne was born on August 7, 1911. Laverne died on November 23, 1981; she was 70.
They had one child:

1069 i. Dayle (1934-)


833. John Phillip HAMLETT (Edith Mae SMITH8, John Thomas “Squire”7, John Shawhan6, Nancy SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). John Phillip was born on October 4, 1913. John Phillip died on September 8, 1982; he was 68.
Married and had four girls and two boys.
John Phillip married Virgie.
They had the following children:

i. Phyllis.

ii. Joann.

iii. Suzette.

iv. LaRea.

v. John Phillip.


834. Jefferson Edward HAMLETT (Edith Mae SMITH8, John Thomas “Squire”7, John Shawhan6, Nancy SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Jefferson Edward was born on June 24, 1916. Jefferson Edward died on March 5, 1975; he was 58.
Lived in Los Angeles, California. Married and had four boys and one girl.
Jefferson Edward married Roberta Lorraine SMITH. Roberta Lorraine was born in 1914. Roberta Lorraine died in 1977; she was 63.
They had the following children:

1070 i. Dennis Edward (1943-)

ii. Michael Leroy. Michael Leroy was born on January 15, 1946.

iii. Patrick William. Patrick William was born on January 15, 1946.

1071 iv. Kathleen Ann (1940-)

v. Timothy Paul. Timothy Paul was born on July 11, 1947.


835. Paul Richard HAMLETT (Edith Mae SMITH8, John Thomas “Squire”7, John Shawhan6, Nancy SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Paul Richard was born on August 17, 1922. Paul Richard died in Hennepin, Minnesota, on October 7, 1999; he was 77.
Paul Richard married Dorothy GORSKI. Dorothy was born on December 20, 1922. Dorothy died in Hennepin, Minnesota, on September 4, 1999; she was 76.
They had one child:

1072 i. Cheryle


836. Betty HAMLETT (Edith Mae SMITH8, John Thomas “Squire”7, John Shawhan6, Nancy SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Betty was born on September 24, 1926.
On March 2, 1946 Betty first married Holmes TYRRELL. Holmes was born on October 28, 1921. Holmes died in Columbia, Missouri, on July 7, 1990; he was 68.
They had the following children:

1073 i. Patie Edith (1948-)

ii. Holmes A. Holmes A. was born in Missouri on January 2, 1952. Resided in Bridgeton, Missouri.

1074 iii. Bettye Alice (1953-)


On June 24, 1973 Betty second married Salvatore “Sam” LAROCCA. Salvatore “Sam” was born in Sicily on August 25, 1912.

Family of John Francis SMITH (533) & Ina Mae McDONALD

837. John Francis SMITH Jr. (John Francis8, John Thomas “Squire”7, John Shawhan6, Nancy SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). John Francis was born in East St. Louis, Illinois, on September 30, 1913. John Francis died in Zavalla, Angelina, Texas, in November 1986; he was 73.
John Francis married Edna Earl GREEN, daughter of William Butler GREEN & Obie Jeanette FRANCE. Edna Earl was born in Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky, on November 16, 1920. Edna Earl died in Zavalla, Angelina, Texas, in June 1994; she was 73.
They had the following children:

i. John William. John William was born in 1940.

Research: Known as "Billie."
ii. Bobbie. Bobbie was born on June 26, 1943.
838. Archie Pearl SMITH (John Francis8, John Thomas “Squire”7, John Shawhan6, Nancy SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Archie Pearl was born in East St. Louis, Illinois, on September 13, 1921. Archie Pearl died in Cahokia, Illinois, on October 13, 1968; he was 47. Archie Pearl was buried in Valhalla Burial Park, St. Clair County, Belleville, Illinois.
Archie Pearl married Vivian DAVIS. Vivian was born on May 16, 1928. Vivian died on January 14, 1973; she was 44. Vivian was buried in Valhalla Burial Park, St. Clair County, Belleville, Illinois.
They had the following children:

i. Dennis. Dennis was born on March 17, 1945. Dennis died in California on March 9, 1969; he was 23. Dennis was buried in Valhalla Burial Park, St. Clair County, Belleville, Illinois.



ii. Diane.
839. Margaret Louisa SMITH (John Francis8, John Thomas “Squire”7, John Shawhan6, Nancy SHAWHAN5, John4, Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1). Margaret Louisa was born in East St. Louis, Illinois, on August 30, 1924. Occupation: Housewife. Education: High School.
On September 5, 1942 Margaret Louisa first married John Virgil FRANCIS, son of German Jewish WWI Pilot & Deva Jerene BROADBENT (August 24, 1892-November 20, 1989), in St. Charles, Missouri. John Virgil was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 1, 1915. Occupation: Retired. Education: High School. Religion: Evangelical Christian. They were divorced in 1952.
Stories by John Francis:
March 7-10, 1999: Dad tells many stories about his childhood and adulthood that are impossible to verify but, nevertheless, he insists upon as being true. I will attempt to write these as he tells them without critical analysis.
His Father as a German Jewish Prisoner of War: The story goes as follows: Though adopted in 1915 and raised by the Francis family of Frederickstown, Missouri, he was actually born James Robert Broadbent III, the son of a German Jewish World War I pilot and a young woman named “Jerene” or Irene Broadbent. Jerene is listed on the Bethesda Home for Foundlings (I have a copy of the document), St. Louis, Missouri. The document lists Jerene Broadbent as his birth-mother and her location as North Dakota. She was of Lutheran faith.
The story is told that Jerene and the soldier met while on a ship from (port ) to the United States. They had a romantic interlude and she became pregnant. She was supposed to be of English heritage and from a wealthy family.
The soldier was taken to Bellville, Illinois, and was interred in a top secret Jewish Concentration Camp. The reason for the top secret nature of this camp was that such camps were not supposed to exist in World War I. According to the story, there were five camps of this type in the United States. When asked how he came by such information, Dad told of a “lawyer” who acquired the information while researching into his family origins.
While in the Home for Foundlings, (then) James Broadbent had a deformity, perhaps a club foot. The Home routinely killed babies who were infirmed by giving them the “black bottle.” The Black Bottle was in actuality a poison concoction. Dad was within three days of being given the “Black Bottle” when he was adopted by the Francis family.
Dad’s reason for claiming that his father was a World War I pilot stems from a recollection that he had at about the age of 4 or 5. He said that a man landed a bi-plane in his mother’s farm field one day. The man was dressed in the World War I pilot’s dress, with a scarf and helmet. He picked dad up and treated him as if he knew him. The man left some articles of clothing with Mrs. Francis with the instructions to give these to the child. Dad says that he kept these momentos for many years and was convinced that the man was, in fact, his father. The momentos were lost when Dad lived in St. Louis, Missouri, and someone broke into the his apartment and stole the trunk where they were stored.
When Dad was 5 or 6 years old, his foster-father killed himself with stricnine (spelling?). The old man had received an injury when younger and had had a metal plate inplanted in his skull. One hot day he was outside working in the garden and “went crazy” from the heat of the metal plate upon his skull. He went inside the house and got some poison and took it. He gave Dad a last kiss and went out to the barn to milk the cow. In his crazed condition, the old man tried taking the cow out into the yard and milk it, but the cow would not cooperate. The poison had had worked its way into him and he was almost gone. He walked to the porch of the house and collapsed. About that time a doctor was passing the farm in his buggy. The doctor got out and ran to the porch. He checked Mr. Francis and pronounced him dead. A small amaount of the poison was on dad’s lip--enough that would have killed him had he licked his lips--but the doctor caught it in time and wiped it off.

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Dad’s Family.

My Dad, John Virgil Francis, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, July 1, 1915. Born James Broadbent, he was an orphan left at the Bethesda Home for Foundlings, St. Louis, Missouri, by his mother Jerene Broadbent. Jerene was a young woman of 22 when she gave her baby up for adoption. For many years, very little was known about her other than she was born in North Dakota and was a Lutheran by religion. In 2000, I found out more about her. I discovered a “Jerene Broadbent” on the Social Security Death Index and requested her original Social Security application from the Social Security Administration. I found that she was born in Deva Jerene Broadbent in Dickenson, North Dakota, August 24, 1892 [this perfectly matched the age and place on the Bethesda paperwork!], and died in Tucson, Arizona, November 20, 1989. Her parents were Jeremiah Broadbent (1856-) and Lula Ann Clark. Searching further, I found a link between Jeremiah Broadbent and William Broadbent* (about 1794-March 13, 1892) and Hannah. William’s father was Benjamin Broadbent (1765-March 27, 1855) and Sarah Hilton (1770-after 1841). The Broadbents hailed from England, arriving in the American Colonies in the early 1800’s. The family emigrated to Wisconsin, Iowa, and finally to North Dakota.


[*Please note that the connection between Jeremiah and William Broadbent is, at best, tenuous. No proof exists except the following notation found in the Latter Day Saints’ International Genealogy Index: Jeremiah Broadbent born in 1856 in Sylvester, Green Co., Wisconsin. Father was William, Mother Hannah LDS Source 446092 page 0028 (this is a proxy baptism and has little info of use). There is no certainty that this Jeremiah Broadbent is the father of Jerene. The earlier generations, that of William Broadbent and his father, Benjamin, were sent to me by a fellow SHAWHAN family researcher, Ron Shawhan, from a Borderbund CD, which contains “The Descendants of Benjamin Broadbent.”]
I find it very interesting that all of the Broadbent men plus Dad’s mother (except Jeremiah, for which I do not have death data) lived to a ripe old age: Benjamin, age 90; William, age 98; Jerene, age 97. As of this writing, my father is 85 years old. If the averages work out, Dad should live another 10 years.
A letter acquired by Dad in November 1941 provides the basic data from which the Broadbent research was made possible. The letter reads as follows:
Bethesda General Hospital

St. Louis, Mo.

Nov. 7th, 1941.
To Whom It May Concern
THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT the records of the Bethesda Maternity Home, a Division of the Bethesda General Hospital, at 3651 Vista Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri, show the following information:
Jerene Broadbent age 22 years, of Lutheran faith, from North Dakota, gave birth to a baby on July 1st, 1915 at Bethesda Maternity Home.
The child was called James Broadbent.
On July 2nd, 1915, Jerene Broadbent signed a paper relinquishing all claims to her son James Broadbent.
On December 25th., 1915 this child was taken out for adoption by Mr. & Mrs. John Frances (sic) of Frederickstown, Missouri.
Signed Mabel Norman
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 7th day of November 1941
J. Elise Schroeder

Notary Public in and for the city of St. Louis

State of Missouri
My Commission as Notary Public expires the 17th day of December 1943
Dad was adopted by John A. and Josephine Francis on April 15, 1916. His Deed of Adoption reads as follows:
This deed made and entered into this 15th day of April, 1916, by and between John A. Francis and Josephine Francis, his wife, of the City of Fredericktown, County of Madison and State of Missouri, parties of the first part, and John Virgil Francis, a minor, of said city, of the other part.
WITNESSETH: That the parties of the first part, in consideration of One ($1.00) Dollar, to them in hand paid, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, and of the love and affection they bear unto the said John Virgil Francis and for diverse other considerations them thereunto moving, have adopted and hereby do adopted the said John Virgil Francis as and for their child, heir and devisee, under and by virtue of and as is provided by the laws of the State of Missouri relating to the adoption of children.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF we have hereunto set our hands and seals the day and year first above written
(signed) John A. Francis

(signed) Josephine Francis


STATE OF MISSOURI

COUNTY OF MADISON


On this 15th day of April, 1916, before me personally appeared John A. Francis and Josephine Francis, to me personally known to be the persons described in and who executed the foregoing instrument, and acknowledged that they executed the same as their free act and deed.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and notorial seal, the day and year first above written.
My term expires November 18th, 1916
(Signed) Robert H. Davis

Notary Public

Stories by John Francis:

In a series of interviews with Dad over a period of several years, I have gleaned some interesting information from him. He tells many stories about his childhood and adulthood that are impossible to verify but, nevertheless, he insists upon as being true. I will attempt to write these as he tells them without critical analysis.


His Father as a German Jewish Prisoner of War: The story goes as follows: Though adopted in 1915 and raised by the Francis family of Frederickstown, Missouri, he was actually born James Robert Broadbent III, the son of a German Jewish World War I pilot and a young woman named “Jerene” or Irene Broadbent. Jerene is listed on the Bethesda Home for Foundlings (I have a copy of the document), St. Louis, Missouri. The document lists Jerene Broadbent as his birth-mother and her location as North Dakota. She was of Lutheran faith.
The story is told that Jerene and the soldier (maybe pilot) met while on a ship from (port ) to the United States. They had a romantic interlude and she became pregnant. She was supposed to be of English heritage and from a wealthy family.
The soldier was taken to Bellville, Illinois, and was interred in a top secret Jewish Concentration Camp. The reason for the top secret nature of this camp was that such camps were not supposed to exist in World War I. According to the story, there were five camps of this type in the United States. When asked how he came by such information, Dad told of a “lawyer” who acquired the information while researching into his family origins.
While in the Home for Foundlings, (then) James Broadbent had a deformity, perhaps a club foot. The Home routinely killed babies who were infirmed by giving them the “black bottle.” The Black Bottle was in actuality a poison concoction. Dad was within three days of being given the “Black Bottle” when he was adopted by the Francis family.
Dad’s reason for claiming that his father was a World War I pilot stems from a recollection that he had at about the age of 4 or 5. He said that a man landed a bi-plane in his mother’s farm field one day. The man was dressed in the World War I pilot’s dress, with a scarf and helmet. He picked Dad up and treated him as if he knew him. The man left some articles of clothing with Mrs. Francis with the instructions to give these to the child. Dad says that he kept these Momentos for many years and was convinced that the man was, in fact, his father. The Momentos were lost when Dad lived in St. Louis, Missouri, and someone broke into the his apartment and stole the trunk where they were stored.
When Dad was 5 or 6 years old, his foster-father killed himself with stricnine (spelling?). The old man had received an injury when younger and had had a metal plate inplanted in his skull. One hot day he was outside working in the garden and “went crazy” from the heat of the metal plate upon his skull. He went inside the house and got some poison and took it. He gave Dad a last kiss and went out to the barn to milk the cow. In his crazed condition, the old man tried taking the cow out into the yard and milk it, but the cow would not cooperate. The poison had had worked its way into him and he was almost gone. He walked to the porch of the house and collapsed. About that time a doctor was passing the farm in his buggy. The doctor got out and ran to the porch. He checked Mr. Francis and pronounced him dead. A small amount of the poison was on Dad’s lip--enough that would have killed him had he licked his lips--but the doctor caught it in time and wiped it off.
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From Journal of Robert E. Francis:

As a young man, Dad worked many jobs in and around St. Louis, Missouri. He worked for a while at Monsanto Chemical plant, East St. Louis, Illinois, as a welder. He welded large chemical containers, or vats, that contained highly toxic materials. This was a very hazardous job in that the chemicals were both lethally toxic and flammable. Any spark lit when fumes were present resulted in major explosions; thus, the welders were under strick guidelines to ensure safety.
On one occasion, he was given orders to climb down into an enclosed vat. However, knowing that vat was unsafe, he refused to go down into it. He warned that it was unsafe, but his words went unheeded. A second man went down and, upon lighting the welder, was killed instantly—or so my father tells the tale.
One of my Dad’s hobbies was motorcycling. His riding buddies included Russell McKeown who eventually married my Mom’s sister, Sally Smith. He tells the story that he worked in the circus for a while as a motorcyclist and would ride inside a rotating “wheel” that gyrated.
It was in this “persona” as a street-wise motorcyclist that attracted my mother to him. He used to stop by her house decked out in his “rebel” outfit—leather jacket, leather pants, long leather boots—and literally swept her off her feet with his style and flash.
My Mom says he loved to dance and was very good at it. They would go to the local bars and night clubs and dance and drink way into the night.
They were married in St. Charles, Missouri, September 5, 1942, in a “motorcycle wedding.” Their marriage certificate reads as follows (all underlined words are handwritten):
“I Albert Ermaling a Justice of the Peace hereby Certify that on the 5th day of September A. D. 1942 Mr. John V. Francis of East St. Louis State of Illinois were by me legally joined in Holy Matrimony in the City of St. Charles State of Missouri according to the laws of said State and under authority of a marriage licanse issued on the 5th day of September 1942 by the Recorder of Deeds of the City of St. Louis, State of Missouri.
Mrs. Jack Smith

Mr. J. F. Smith


This was Dad’s second marriage. He first married a woman by the name of Loretta some years earlier and had three children: Richard, Carolyn and Charles. I am not sure of their ages and will discuss each of them later in this narrative.
When the war broke out in December 1942, Dad and his new family moved shortly thereafter to Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This is as good a time as any to discuss my Dad’s particular “gifts.” He is probably a genius. I say this not to boast but as a simple matter of fact. Though he has never mentioned receiving an IQ test, there is no question in my mind that his IQ is above 150; more likely, 165 and above. It was this native intelligence that elevated him beyond his natural circumstances in life. Evidently, the military caught wind of his intelligence, because he was chosen to work on the top secret project later known as “The Manhattan Project;” that is, the making of the Atomic Bomb.
Dad has told numerous stories of his experiences in developing the Atomic Bomb. I am not certain how much of what he says is accurate (he is prone to exaggeration); however, if even half of what he says is true, the “Manhattan Project” was a lethal business.
He says that when the young men and women were chosen to work on the project, no one was told of the actual purpose of the Manhattan Project. Instead, they were given jobs of assembling and handling materials which were potentially deadly. Since no one really understood the lethal nature of radioactive isatopes, these young people were exposed to doses of radiation which undoubtedly caused many of them to suffer cancerous conditions in later life. Dad quickly recognized the dangerous environment and researched (as best he could) the potential hazards of radiation on the human body. When he presented his findings to his superiors, he said that they immediately promoted him “to shut him up,” he claimed.
One of Dad’s favorite stories during the War Years (World War II and the Korean War) was his trip to Washington, D. C., and New York City, in 1948. While in New York, he received a high dosage of radiation; so much so, he claims that, when he walked into a photo shop, he exposed all of the film! The doctors told him that he would never again have to worry about having children, since the radiation had rendered him sterile. Then, out of the blue, I was born on March 15, 1949. I was fondly called his “radiation baby.”
Dad claims to have been the first to invent the geiger counter, the device used to detect radiation in the atmosphere. He claims that, since he worked for the government, he was not given credit for his invention. While this is a huge claim, I don’t doubt that he had a major role in its creation; for now I come to Dad’s greatest gift: inventiveness. In Myers-Briggs parlance, he is an INTP, Introverted Intuitive Thinker Perceiver [I will not go into an in-depth discussion of Personality Type in this narrative. I refer the reader to TypeTalk by Otto Kroeger and Janet Thuesen (New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1988) and Please Understand Me II by David Kearsey (Del Mar, California: Prometheus Nemesis Book Company, 1998)]. INTP’s are the intellectuals of the world, the stereo-typical absent-minded professors who can’t remember to come in out of the rain because they are chasing some brilliant idea. The Absent-Minded Professor and The Nutty Professor are two comedic examples of this. Albert Einstein is perhaps the greatest example of this type.
Dad personifies this type of person. His brilliance is at times dazzling; and, in his prime, I have no doubt that he was an intellectual force to be reckoned with. I remember as a child in the mid-to-late 1950’s wondering through his workshop. Scattered here and there were marvelous inventions. One that blew me away was a motorized skateboard replete with a hand-held fuel injection throttle that actually worked! Dad “road-tested” the device by taking it out to a deserted strip and putting it through its paces. My brother Tom was the test pilot and he tells of the skateboard going over thirty-five miles an hour.
Another of Dad’s inventions was his “Acousta-Lamp.” He actually patented this product which was a sound system (then) far ahead of its time. It was a tall cylindrical device, standing about five or six foot high and about twelve inches in diameter. The woofer and tweeter were located on the bottom and top respectively and the cylinder was made of either clear or opaque plastic. What made the sound system unique was its secondary feature, that of being a lighting system. Two circular flourescent lamps were fitted on both ends of the lamp and discretely hidden to soften the light. The plastic cylinder was then decorated with beautiful patterns of various styles and shapes. I remember one that had a design of vines seemingly growing up on the inside of the tube. It was a simple yet eloquent design and the sound it produced was very mellow. Whenever the base sounds were produced, the Acousta Lamp would literally pulse with the music, making for an interesting asthetic affect. Sadly (in keeping with his type), Dad was not a businessman. I learned much later that his partner—along with his second wife, Hemma—stole his business away from him; all quite legal and proper, of course.
One of the “down-sides” of this personality type is the INTP’s natural arrogance. It is an arrogance born out of this type’s need for intellectual competency. INTPs have been called the “architects of ideas,” and they are truly demanding of themselves and others in the realm of ideas. Consequently, they do not “suffer fools” well; especially those whose ineptitude is hidden behind positions of authority. INTP’s can hardly resist letting such fools know--either through spoken or unspoken language—that they are just that, fools. On such occasions, the INTP’s brilliance can, in fact, work against them. It takes a very strong INTP to hide his/her disdain for such people.
I suspect my Dad could not resist such temptations. Though lacking in the necessary educational degrees to compete in the field of Nuclear Research, Dad undoubtedly knew more about his field than most of his peers. It is interesting to speculate how far he might have risen in the ranks had he been given a classical education. Unfortunately, by the 1950’s young college graduates were edging out the older uneducated pioneers in the field. Given Dad’s personality, it must have been a bitter pill to swallow that his experience and genius was not being fully recognized and that his colleagues and he were being replaced by these young upstarts.
The beginning of the end of his time at Oak Ridge, as Dad tells it, came about because of a project given to him by his superiors. He was put in charge of setting up and monitoring radiation detection devices throughout the Oak Ridge area. He was to measure and report levels of radiation in the atmosphere and, if the levels exceeded the standards set by the Atomic Energy Commission, he was to make this known to the authorities in order to ensure proper safety levels. Dad says that he actually invented the devices himself, set them up, and established the monitoring system. Over a period of time, he discovered unsafe levels of radiation and reported this to his superiors who, in turn, whitewashed the whole affair. Shortly afterward he was relieved of his job. (An interesting side note to this story is that, as recently as 1998, an exposé appeared in a major newspaper proving that radiation experiments were intentionally conducted on the population at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to determine what effect long-term high levels of radiation had on a community—Dad was right!)
On the domestic front, Dad and Mom had their first child, John Virgil “Skip” Francis, Jr., on July 8, 1943. Their second child, Thomas Russell Francis, was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, 1945. Eleven months later my mom gave birth to her third son, James Edward Francis, June 16, 1946, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. As mentioned above, I was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, March 15, 1949. I will write at length about my brothers later in this narrative.
By 1951, my parent’s marriage was on the rocks. Both were responsible for the break-up but, I suspect, Dad must bear much of the responsibility. Though he maintains to this day that my Mom was the guilty party, Dad’s track record as a faithful husband was, at best, poor. From all I can gather on this sensitive subject, both were drinking and partying heavily. Owing to the fact that both parents are still living, I cannot at this juncture tell the complete and unadulterated story of their relationship--some day this will be told; for now, it must simply be said that both undermined the relationship and proved untrustworthy and they payed the ultimate price for their infidelities. I will discuss their relationship further when I present my mom’s family history.
Dad continued to work in Oak Ridge, Tennessee through the 1950’s. I am not sure what his relationship to the Nuclear Plant was, but I do remember him working at something called “X-10” during the late 50’s. By the early 1960’s, Dad had opened a small business on the outskirts of Oak Ridge. I can’t remember the name of the business but I remember hanging out there for hours on end during my summer visits.
In the summer of 1962, things changed dramatically for the worse for Dad and his family. I remember that summer well because it was the year my brother and I left our mom and step-dad to live with Dad (I will discuss this at length below). By this time, Dad and Hemma had broken up and he began a relationship with his young secretary, Wilma. Wilma had three daughters, Janet, Leigh Ann and Jody.
They had the following children:

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