06 October 2011

Edson Henry Hill (1891-1969)

My paternal grandfather, Edson Henry Hill was born on 1 July 1891.  According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Edson was living with his parents and siblings Minnie, Maudie, Nellie and Lewis in Unity Township, Columbiana County, Ohio.  This Census lists Edson's place of birth as Pennsylvania. 

By the 1910 Cenus, at the age of 18 Edson was living with his sister Nellie and her husband Arthur Wood on Kinsman Road in Cleveland, Ohio.  His place of birth is listed as Ohio. 

At this point, I lose Edson - I can't find any record of him between 1911 until 1923. 

Edson gets back on the radar in 1923 when he marries my grandmother, Mildred Schierbaum, at the Old Stone Church in Cleveland, Ohio.  Even his marriage presents a problem for me.  I have four different copies of marriage records and two different dates!  The Cuyahoga County Probate Court lists 24 May 1923 as the wedding date before Rev. A.B. Meldrum.  The church records list 25 May 1923 as the wedding date before Rev. A.B. Meldrum.  The only match between the probate records and the church records is the Reverend that married my grandparents. 

The good bit of news that I found in the probate records is confirmation that Edward was married once before.  It even gives me that date of divorce as "Feb. 1920 C.P.Ct."  (Time for the "happy dance").  The record also gives me addresses for Edson and Mildred (both in Cleveland) and lists Edson's occupation as a machinist.

In April 1930 (U.S. Federal Census), Edson and Mildred have two children and are renting a home in Parma Township and Edson is working as a sheet metal worker in the building trade.  A couple of years later, they had their third and final child (my dad).  According to my dad, around this time, Edson was being treated for turberculosis (TB) and in 1937 Edson had a rib and lung removed due to the TB.

In 1938 Edson applied for a Social Security Number.  At this time he is living at Randall Road in Cleveland, Ohio.  By 1942, Edson is working for Warner Sheet Metal on Holmden Road and West 25th Street in Cleveland, Ohio.

My dad has a very long picture of the street/scene after the 1944 East Ohio Gas Company explosion.  He told me that Edson was to supposed to work that day near the Gas Company, but his boss had him stay in the shop that day.  Which was good news because as the story goes, the only thing left from the car that went out there that day was the license plate.

After Edson broke his wrist and couldn't make a fist, he left Warner Sheet Metal and started working at Gundling Service Station near Fulton and West 41st Street in Cleveland.

In June of 1946, Edson and Mildred bought their first house in Cleveland for $2,300.  (I have the bank book to prove it!)  In either 1956 or 1957, Edson was working on the house, when the ladder slipped on rocks and he fell off and cut his ear with a putty knife.  

Edson died on 26 December 1969 at the age of 78 from myocardial infarction (heart), uremia (kidneys), and turberculosis.  I was four years old.  I don't remember my grandfather, but I do remember the toys he made that we all played with when we visited Grandma.

Of course, this is only part of Edson's story.  I will add to this story as I make new discoveries.

Thanks for reading.