Part 714p - Smith Groh Genealogy - The Mystery of Brayton C. Placeway - 1893 - There's No Place Like Home

14 June 2012

Good Day,

I suppose I should not be surprised that something new in my genealogy search for the life and times of ggg-grandfather Brayton C. Placeway is always going to show up.

And yes I know that Michigan is not Kansas, but I didn't think I would have to stumble over an article from a newspaper from South Dakota.

From a 13 May 1893 issue of The Daily Huronite I discovered the reporting that a tornado hit in the vicinity of Pinckney in the Putnam Township.


Reading the article I immediately focused on the surname Placeway. It was William Placeway. "The cyclone next struck the premises of William Thompson and William Placeway, half a mile further east, destroying all their farm buildings, orchards, windmills, etc." All-things-being-equal this William Placeway was the father of ggg-grandfather Brayton C.. This could be gggg-grandfather William H. Placeway.


Logically, ggg-grandfather Brayton C. and his twin brother, ggg-granduncle Clayton C., who were born in 1888, would have been about five years old in 1893 at the time of the tornado strike. According to The Daily Huronite Article "All the members of both families (i.e. Thompson and Placeway) were injured, but it is said none seriously."

To further provide additional support that this may have been our Placeway Family, I then read in the article that "A cyclone passed two miles east of this village (i.e., Pinckney) at 2 o'clock a.m... It first struck the barns and buildings of Louis Dryer... The cyclone next struck the premises of William Thompson and William Placeway, half a mile further east..."

I then discovered an 1875 Putnam Township Land Map. This map provided me with the location of the Village of Pinckney and the various locations Placeway (in yellow) and Thompson (in blue) properties. It is almost conceivable to track the actual path of the 1893 tornado.

1875 Putnam Township Land Map U.S.,
Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918,
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

The W. H. Placeway indicated on the 1875 map, all-things-being-equal, has to be gggg-grandfather William Henry Placeway, father of ggg-grandfather Brayton C. But there is a modicum of doubt as the map was drawn in 1875, 13 years before the 1893 tornado.

And then I chanced upon another Land Map; a 1915 Putnam Township map. Property owned in the name of W. H. Placeway are on the map. Some of the W. H. Placeway properties are almost in the same location as indicated in the 1875 map. This information provides further support that the 1893 tornado did destroy Placeway buildings and property, as reported by The Daily Huronite of South Dakota. The only issue now is that gggg-grandfather William Henry had passed away four years earlier in 1911 on a visit trip to Iowa.


1915 Putnam Township Land Map U.S.,
Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918,
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

A point of information regarding the 1915 Putnam Township map is that I have highlighted, in yellow, a property labeled "Roy Placeway". From my research and discovery to date I believe, that this Roy Placeway could be ggg-grandfather Brayton's 1st cousin, older by 12 years.

This Mystery of GGG-Grandfather Brayton C. Placeway Posting has certainly challenged my search and research skills. And all I can say is that "You were there, and you were there... and most definitely he was there."

Enjoy,

Jim

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