Thursday, July 16, 2015

Holbrook line: Happy dance for another find!

You never know what you don't know, until you find out you don't know it...That's one of the joys of studying family history.  I love to get pieces of information that I didn't even know I was missing.  Yesterday I found the following article on, from the Chicago Heights Star of July 13, 1951, on page 105.  (This was a commemorative, anniversary issue of the newspaper.) 

"Holbrook Grew From Purchase of 1,000 Acres.

"One of the most progressive small communities in the South Cook area is the subdivision known as Holbrook, lying north of 195th street between Morgan and Halsted streets.

"The property comprising the unincorporated community originally was owned by Joseph Rockwood Holbrook, who purchased 1,000 acres of land from the government at $1.25 an acre in 1841, only a few years after the first settlers moved into this area.

"Subdivision came at a much later date, in 1907, when Fremont Holbrook, a son of the pioneer farmer, divided up 40 acres of the tract into lots. 

"The elder Holbrook's original home was a sod house located on the road now known as 193rd street just east of Halstead.  This early structure was replaced by a log cabin and still later by a frame farm home which became the "old homestead."

"Razed by Fire.

"The frame building, located at the corner of Holbrook road and Halsted street, was destroyed by fire approximately ten years ago.

"A frame house on Holbrook road built by Fremont Holbrook now is occupied by the Lester Brown family and a second brick residence built by the same member of the Holbrook family aat 193rd place and Peoria street houses Mrs. T.R. McElwee and her son..."

This greatly expands my understanding of the Holbrook family in southern Cook county, Illinois.  I had some of the land warrants for Joseph but I can see I need to go back and find more.  I knew he had built a log cabin where Fremont was born, but I didn't know that a sod house had come first.  I didn't know what kind of home they moved to when the family left the log cabin, either.  Now that I know the building was standing until 1941, I wonder if there might be pictures somewhere.

I knew Fremont was a real estate developer, but I didn't know exactly what he had "developed".  Now I can go to Google Earth and see what the land and buildings look like now, and perhaps even see one of the other buildings mentioned in the article, if they are still standing.

And most of all, I can do a happy dance, because of this new-to-me information about my great great grandfather and his son, my great grandfather.

Hint:  I had checked before for these men, and had made some memorable finds.  I didn't locate this article earlier because my time span was too short.  This information was in an issue 25 years after the death of my great grandfather!  Moral:  Always check more than once, and always check later than you expect to find something.

The line of descent is:

Joseph Rockwood Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents