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A headstone <ystery by Albert C. Foote

Photo of the  headstone of Albert C. Foote
Several years ago while working at the Angels Camp Museum (east of Stockton, Calif.), I developed a growing interest in a headstone located in the Carriage House.

The headstone apparently was in the evidence room at the Angels Police Dept for a number of years in the 1980s prior to finding a way to the Museum.

The only information on the headstone was Albert C. Foot, born approx 1835 in Michigan and died 28 Mar 1876 in California. He was 41 years old.

My daughter, Melinda Willis Prang, who still works there, and I took pictures of the headstone and I started to check out some web sites on the Internet to learn of any connections to the headstone.

Soon, I began employment at the Calaveras County Library where the Calaveras Genealogical Society has all of their materials and resources housed. I researched records there also.

I went on and entered his name. An A.C. Foot appeared on the 1870 Nevada Co, Ca census index so I ordered the microfilm for that county.

He was listed in Nevada City Twsp., age 35, born Mich. along with his wife, Sarah J. Foot, age 33 born New York and their children Lewis 13 born Mich., Lottie 12 born Iowa, Olive 3 and Minnie 1, both the younger children were born in California.

There were other Foot (also spelled Foote) families in Nevada County during the same time, I searched some of them and although they were probably related to Albert, I came to the conclusion I was on the wrong trail.

Since Albert was born approx. 1835 in Mich. I decided to go to Mich. census records for 1840 and 1850 and see what I could find. In 1840 Flowerfield Twsp, St. Joseph Co, Mich. there was an Aaron H. Foot, born ca 1801 in MA.

He lists one son age 5-10 in his household. In 1845 Michigan had a State census for Flowerfield Twsp and Aaron and his wife show they have added another son and a daughter to their family.

By 1850 they are still in Flowerfield Twsp, MI and now I have Aaron H. Foot age 49, his wife Charlotte age 40 born in New York, "my" Albert C. age 15 and Polly A. age 7, both children born in Mich.

The other son may have married and moved on or died. Now, I felt I had some good leads so I really wanted to find descendants of Albert and learn more about him.

On March 5, 1854, at the school house in Flowerfield, St. Joseph Co, Mich. Albert married Sarah Jane Johnson. Sarah Jane was the daughter of James Johnson and Eliza Sullivan. Albert apparently decided to travel West, not settling anywhere for the taking of the 1860 census.

He must have wanted to go ahead of his family, get settled and then send for his family. His father, Aaron died June 18, 1856 and was buried at the Upper Flatbush Cemetery in Florence Twsp. but I was able to find Albert's mother and his wife and children again in Flowerfield Twsp.

In St. Joseph Co, Mich, on the 1860 census, his mother Charlotte, now age 51 (her last name now Galloway) his sister, Polly Foot, age 17, Sarah Foote 23 (Albert's wife), born NY, his children Lewis age 3 born MI and Charlotte age 1 (named after Albert's mother), called Lottie, born IA.

Since I had already located Albert and his family on the 1870 census in Nevada Co, California I decided to keep going, by now I'm beginning to feel like they are part of my family.
Also in the 1870 census of Three Rivers, St Joseph Co, MI., I found Albert's mother who stayed in MI age 60, with her grandson Fred Breese (Polly's son). Charlotte was the daughter of Ephraim and Polly Wood. Charlotte Wood Foote Galloway died 5 Aug 1878 and is buried next to Albert's father in the Upper Flatbush Cemetery in Florence Twsp.

Between 1870 and Albert's death in 1876, he and Sarah Jane added to their family and lost some. I already knew they had Lewis born ca 1857, Charlotte ca 1859, Olive ca 1868 and Minnie in 1869. Their daughter Minnie died in 1870, not long after the census was taken, in 1871 they had another daughter, Jessie, who they lost to scarlet fever in 1875.(Jessie is listed in the Hughes Mortuary records (pg.80) and is presumed buried in Pine Grove cemetery)

In May of 1873 another daughter, Frankie, was born and in September 1875, a son, Warren L. (aka Jack) is born. I went to the Pine Grove cemetery twice and walked to find any signs of headstones for Minnie and Jessie, none were found. I went to the Nevada Co Recorder's Office and searched through marriage, birth and death records for any information I could find on Albert's family.

In the Nevada City Transcript, dated 30 March 1876, Albert's obituary shows he died in an accident in the Last Chance hydraulic mine at Cement Hill, approximately 3 miles from Nevada City. His obituary further states the mine belonged to him, a Mr. Scott and Mr. Mills. Miners were engaged in blasting pipe clay and boulders in the mine.

Albert Foote was loading the hydraulic nozzle approximately 90 feet away. When the blast was ready to be fired, Albert went a distance of 250 feet where he stood in open ground watching the effects of the explosion. He was seen to fall by others present. A piece of rock had struck him on the forehead near his left temple and fractured his skull and he expired in about 4 minutes.

Mr. Scott had been informed by his wife earlier that morning that she had dreamed he had his head mashed in and feared he was going to be killed at the mine. Mr. Scott had told Albert of the dream and said he was going to get far enough away from the shot so the rock could not hit him and verify his wife's dream.

He went further than Albert and got behind the trunk of an oak tree. Albert was a highly respected, hard working, honest man. He left his wife, 5 children and an aged mother. His funeral took place from the vestry of the Methodist Church. His funeral cost a total of $45.00 and is listed in the Hughes Mortuary Book (pg. 87). he is also presumed to be buried in the old Pine Grove cemetery. After reading about Albert's fatal accident I was determined to go on with my search.

In 1880 Albert's wife, Sarah Jane was still living in Nevada City (on Sacramento St) with her children, in the house of her sister-in-law Polly (she also came west) and her 3rd husband Henry Clayton Mills, along with his son, Frank. By 1900 Henry and Polly Foot/e Mills were still in Nevada City and her son, Fred Breese but Sarah Jane and all of Albert's children were gone.

Still determined, I wondered where Sarah Jane had gone. I thought perhaps she had returned to Flowerfield Twsp, St. Joseph Co, MI and sure enough she was there for the 1900 census, but now with the last name of Conklin. She had remarried to William Conklin on 23 June 1880 in Flowerfield. He died 25 Feb 1889 and is buried at the Upper Flatbush Cemetery in Florence Twsp, MI, near Albert Foot's parents.

Sarah Jane had taken her children Olive and Warren back to Flowerfield as they are found on the census with her. Olive had married Wesley Guthrie and he was included on the census also. Sarah Jane stated she'd had 8 children but by 1900 only 4 were living. Sarah Jane Johnson Foot/e Conklin died 27 Aug 1902 in Flowerfield and is buried in the Howardsville Cemetery, Florence Twsp, MI.

Well, I couldn't leave it alone (typical genealogist), I wanted to find out what happened to Albert and Sarah Jane's surviving children.......The oldest son, Lewis, born ca 1857 MI was not to be found again after 1880 census of Nevada Co, California .

I did find a Lewis Foot who married an Amelia Hoffmaster in Cedar Co, IA (Book E pg 226) but Albert's son only lived in IA for a few years when his sister Charlotte (Lottie) was born in 1859 and I didn't think he would leave his family to go back to IA.

Like a "good genealogist", I needed to eliminate the Lewis Foot who married Amelia Hoffmaster as a possible son of "my" Albert and found they were living in Trego Co, KS for the taking of the 1880 census while the Lewis Foot/e I was looking for was still living at home with his mother, Sarah Jane Foot/e in Nevada Co, California . Since Sarah Jane had stated on the 1900 census that she only had 4 children still living, I realized that Lewis was not one of them.

Charlotte B. Foot (2nd child) born 23 May 1859 in IA, stayed in Nevada City, Nevada Co, California and married Conrad Seaman born OH. I actually found two marriage records for Charlotte to Conrad. The first was found in the San Francisco Call newspaper which said she married in Nevada City on 21 Jan 1881.

They may have divorced as Conrad also married Mollie Cree in 1891 Grass Valley, Nevada Co, California and then I find another marriage record for Conrad and Charlotte Foot in Nevada Co, California dated 2 March 1906. Conrad is listed in the Nevada Co Mining and Business Directory, 1895 as a liquor dealer.

In 1900 neither are found in California and in 1910 Nevada Twsp, Conrad is living as a boarder in a Hotel on Broad Street as a bartender in the saloon and Charolotte is not listed. Conrad died 25 June 1916 and is buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery. Conrad's obituary indicates he was survived by a nephew, Alphonse Seaman of Nevada City and a niece Mrs. A.P. Davenport as well as his loving wife, Lottie.

Alphonse Seaman was born in 1861 IN, died in 1936, and is buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery, the son of William Seaman (Conrad's brother) and Maria Zimmerman. Alphonse was married to Rosario Lawrence, born 1869, died 1937, and is buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery, together they had 2 sons, Irvine born in 1893, died 1953 Sacramento, and Leslie born 1898 and died in 1905. Leslie is buried in the Pine Grove cemetery.

The Mrs. A.P. Davenport surviving niece of Conrad was May Seaman, also the daughter of William Seaman and Maria Zimmerman. May was born in 1864 MO and married Augustus P. Davenport. They were living in Nevada Co, California on the 1900 census and includes their daughter, Fannie Davenport born 1893. William Seaman also had another daughter, Emily who was born 1879 California , died 1972 Orange Co, California , never married and was a school teacher.

Charlotte Foot Seaman was found as a widow in 1920 at 310 Broad Street, Nevada Twsp, Nevada Co, California , age 61, born IA. Charlotte was again found on Broad Street on the 1930 Nevada City census, age 71, widow, indicating she first married at age 21. Charlotte died 15 Nov 1938 in Nevada City in her apartment over the Hogue Development Co., owned by herself and her sister, Frankie Lau and is buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery.

Her obituary indicated she was survived by her sister Frankie Foot/e Lau and her brother Warren L. Foote. I could not find any evidence of any children born to Conrad Seaman and Charlotte Foot.

Albert's 3rd child, Olive F. Foot was his first born in California in June 1868. Olive went to Flowerfield Twsp, St. Joseph Co, MI with her mother, Sarah Jane and brother Warren shortly after the 1880 Nevada Co census. She married Fred Bow/Bou of Howardsville, MI on 10 December 1884. She was 17 yrs of age and her mother Jane Conklin was one of her witnesses. They divorced and she 2nd married Wesley Guthrie on 3 July 1894. They are living with her mother on the 1900 Flowerfield, St Joseph Co, MI census and are also found on the 1907 Atlas, St Joseph Co.

In 1910 she is living with her brother Warren L. Foot in Flowerfield Twsp, indicating she has been married 18 years and has no children. She divorced Wesley Guthrie and from 1920 to 1930 she is still listed on the census records, living with her brother Warren Foot. Olive died in 1931 and is buried at the Howardsville Cemetery in Florence Twsp, St. Joseph Co, MI

Albert and Sarah's daughter's, Minnie (4th child)born 1869 California died 22 Aug 1870 at Scott's Flat, Nevada Co, California and Jessie Foot (5th child), born ca 1871 died 15 Oct 1875 of scarlet fever, both probably buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery in Nevada Co.

Frankie F. Foot (6th child) was born 8 May 1873 in California . According to her obituary she was raised in the eastern United States after her father died in a mining explosion. Apparently she also went to Flowerfied, St Joseph Co, MI shortly after 1880 but returned to CA and married 10 November 1897 in Sacramento, CA to Henry August Frieder Lau who was born 22 Feb 1869 in Hamburg, Germany.

They continued to live in Sacramento and operated the Eagle Coffee Shop at 403 K. St in the early 1900s and also operated a catering service prior to Henry's death on 9 February 1942. They are found on census records from 1900 through 1930.

Frankie died 16 May 1967, age 94 and is buried in the Masonic Lawn Cemetery. The only survivors listed on Frankie's obituary are nieces Delma and Ella Eckmann, (daughters of Julius Eckmann and Caroline Lau) of Sacramento, California , Mildred Kunz, Doris Hedegore, also of Sacramento (daughters of Ludwig Frederick Schwilk and Emma Lau), Katie Wirth (wife of Valentine) of Oregon, nephews; Norman and Fred Schwilk (sons of Ludwig Frederick Schwilk and Emma Lau), and Carl Banner, all of Sacramento. These survivors are descendants of Henry's siblings. I could not find where Henry and Frankie Foot Lau had any children.

Warren Lee Foot (aka Jack) (7th child) was born Sep 1875 in California spent his entire life as a single man. He went to St. Joseph Co, MI with his mother, Sarah Jane and his sisters shorty after 1880. Other than a short time in Marcellus, MI ca 1938, he lived his adult life in Flowerfield Twsp, St. Joseph Co, MI.

He is found there from 1900 through 1930. Warren died 2 June 1941 and is buried in the Howardsville Cemetery in Florence Twsp, MI. His obituary indicates he was well known as a beekeeper, farmer and banjo player. He was survived by his sister, Frankie Lau of Sacramento, California and numerous cousins.

Sarah Jane had indicated on the 1900 census that she had 4 children still living, she also stated she'd had 8 children in all. I wasn't able to find an 8th child. It is possible the child was her first born who did not live for the taking of the 1860 census in MI or perhaps the child was born after 1860 and died prior to 1870, dying on the way to California. I doubt I will find the answer.

Albert's sister, Polly Ann Foot was born 30 August 1841 in Flowerfield, St. Joseph Co, MI. She first married Edgar D. Breese, son of Richard and Nancy Breese, also from Flowerfield Twsp ca 1862. They had one son Fred Fennimore Breese, born 25 Apr 1864 at Three Rivers, St. Joseph Co, MI. Polly and Edgar Breese divorced and she remarried Milo Wheeler, they are found on the 1870 census living in Muskegon Co, MI, there are many others listed in the household and Milo indicates his occupation is a peddler.

Her son Fred Breese is living with her mother Charlotte Galloway at Three Rivers, St Joseph Co, MI. Milo and Polly divorced and sometime ca 1876, Polly made her way to Nevada Co, California and married a 3rd time to Henry Clayton Mills on 01 January 1878.

Henry was born 21 July 1828 at Portage Co, OH. He was the son of Uriel Mills and Mary Etta Streator. Henry and Polly are found on the 1880 census of Nevada Co, California , Henry was a produce merchant and Polly a dressmaker, also included his son Frank Mills born ca 1860 from a previous marriage and Polly's son, Fred F. Breese, age 16, also included in the household was Albert Foot's wife, Sarah Jane and his children.

By 1900 Nevada City, Nevada Co, California census, Henry C Mills is the proprietor of a feedstore, age 71, Polly is 55, and her son Fred is listed as 38, single, a plumber. Henry C. Mills died 5 January 1906 and is buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery, Nevada City. His obituary includes survivors, Frank Mills (his son) of San Francisco, James Bonney of Nevada City (his grandson) and Fred Breese of San Francisco, his step-son.

The James Bonney referred to in Henry Mill's obituary was born in 1883 and died in 1962 Nevada Co, California and is buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery next to his wife, Edith Henrici Bonney Stolz.

He was the son of James W. Bonney and Eugenia Mills (Henry's daughter) Polly died 30 August 1907 in Nevada City, she was taken to Oakland for cremation. Her obituary states she leaves one son, Fred Breese, two nieces, Mrs. Lottie Seaman of Nevada City and Frankie Lau of Sacramento and a step-son, Frank Mills of San Francisco.

Fred Breese married Mary Frances Rogers and had at least 2 children, Nathelle born ca 1903 and Maxine born ca 1904 in Nevada Co, California . Fred died 14 Nov 1934 in Nevada Co, California and was cremated at the East Lawn Cemetery in Sacramento. Henry's son Frank Mills continued to live in San Francisco until his death in 1911.

I wrote Joan Plunkett who lives in Grass Valley and volunteers at the Historical Library, she was instrumental in my research. I met with her son, Gary Plunkett who happened to work at the Nevada County Cemetery District. He was kind enough to allow me to look through old Hughes mortuary books.

Maria Brower at the Doris Foley Historical Branch Library was also helpful. Without their help and knowledge, I never would have found as much information on this family as I did in Nevada Co, California .

Gloria Tate, Deputy County Clerk of St. Joseph Co, MI did an excellent job of finding records I requested.

Wilma Yoder of the St. Joseph Co Genealogical Society was a major help. Thank you to all of you and anyone else I may have neglected to mention.

My goal during this research was to find descendants of Albert so his headstone could be returned to his final resting place, in Nevada City, Nevada Co, California . Apparently he didn't have any direct line descendants. I was pleased with the information I was able to find and believe the headstone should be returned to Nevada Co, California Cemetery District.

Albert and his sister Polly did have extended family and I hope some of them will see their surnames mentioned here. If anyone wishes to contact me, please do. My e-mail address is Signed Radine Derringer Willis

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