Friday, April 27, 2012

Jesse and Hettie

Jesse Booker Rusmisel and Hettie Elizabeth Jordan were married in Staunton, Augusta, VA 27 Aug 1902:

Marriage License of Jessie B. Rusmisel and Hettie E. Jordan
Date of Marriage: August 27, 1902 Place of Marriage: Staunton, Virginia
Husband Wife
Name: Jesse B. Rusmisel Hettie E. Jordan
Race: White White
Age: 24 26
Single, widowed, or divorced: Single Single
Birthplace: Highland County, Virginia Bath County, Virginia
Parents: Jno. H. and Eliz Rusmisel Jno. H. and Maggie Jordan
Occupation: Farmer
Ceremony performed by Wm. M. Scott
Reported by: not listed
Clerk of Circuit Court, Bath Co. Virginia, Line 26

According to his daughter Letha, Jesse had stayed at home to look after his parents. Hettie was a "nurse."  Letha (Rusmisel) McVeigh said that when he and Hettie were married he was a caretaker at a hunting club named the Pimrod Inn [sic--should be Nimrod Hall] on the Cow Pasture River and she was a nurse at a hospital in Staunton. A Rusmisel Cousin, Rick Armstrong, who has done a lot of research, found a reference to him being there in Sep 1905.  [Rick says, "The place is Nimrod Hall. In the early part of the 1900's the place was a hotel and later a summer camp for children. The old buildings are still there and seem to be in fairly good repair."- Dec. 3, 2002]

They moved to Clifton Forge around that time since Chertsey was supposedly born there 12 April 1905.  After the death of her husband, Jesse's mother Elizabeth E. Rusmisel remained on the farm. At some point, she deeded her property to her son, J. B. Rusmisel, with the understanding that he would pay her burial expenses and other debts. She later became dissatisfied, and asked for the property to be returned. J. B. Rusmisel had not recorded the deed and complied with her wish. He stated in September 1905 that his brother Harrison Rusmisel had gotten her dissatisfied and convinced her to give the property to his wife, Mary C. Rusmisel. Maybe his mother didn't like him marrying Hettie.
According to daughter Letha, between 1903 and 1905 they moved to Clifton Forge. Jesse was working as a railroad mechanic in shop repairs. Chertsey Brooks Rusmisel was born Apr 12, 1905 when they were living on Church Street and was named after a nurse who worked with Hettie. About 1907 John Rusmisel was born, but he only lived a few hours. On Feb 19, 1909 Maude Moore Rusmisel was born on Hospital Hill and was named by Hettie's father John Jordan. All of the children were baptized in the Presbyterian Church in Clifton Forge. Jesse was Lutheran until his marriage, but Hettie was Presbyterian, so they went to the Presbyterian Church. Hettie became ill with "TB or Black Lung." The children stayed a while in Millboro with their grandparents Jordan for a while, then later Hettie put them in the Presbyterian Orphanage in Lynchburg. Hettie died in Clifton Forge and was buried in Staunton.

In Clifton Forge, Jesse may have worked in the coal mines according to Letha. He was also a mechanic in shop repairs and "car repair" on the railroad (1910 Census). Hettie's death certificate (1913) says he was a "House mftr, contractor and carpenter." Hettie's death certificate says she died of tuberculosis.

Certificate of Death, Hettie Rusmiselle
Place of Death: Alleghany Co., State of Virginia
Bureau of vital Statistics file No. 27956
City of Clifton Forge
Full name: Hettie Rusmiselle
Sex: Female, Race: white, Married
Date of Birth: 1865, Age: 38
Occupation: House Mfr
Birthplace: VA
Name of Father: John H. Jordan
Birthplace of Father: VA
Name of Mother: Margrette Brooks
Birthplace of Mother: VA
The above is true to the best of my Knowledge: J Rusmiselle
Address: Clifton Forge, VA
Medical Certificate of Death:
Date of Death: Nov. 23, 1913
I hereby Certify, that I attended the deceased from Nov. [20?], 1913 to Nov. 23, 1913, that I last saw her alive on Nov. 23, 1913, and that death occurred , on the date stated above, at 12-5 am, cause of death was as follows: Tuberculosis (Pulmonary). Signed: B.B. McCutcheon, MD Nov. 23, 1913, Address: Clifton Forge, VA
Place of Burial or Removal: Millboro, VA
Date of Burial: Nov. 24, 1913
Undertaker: [illegible] address: Clifton Forge, VA
Filed: Dec. Rept. Local Registrar: W. M. Revercomb?

After Hettie's death the girls were in the Orphanage in Lynchburg, VA and Jesse went to Charleston to work in the shipyards. Letha said it was cold and awful like in the book Jane Eyre [but other sources say it is actually quite nice--it is still there]. She said they had single beds but would sleep together to keep warm. They were there for about 6 years, when Letha was about 11 to 16.

Letha left the orphanage first about 1919 and went to Charleston. There she worked as a messenger and then as a file clerk. Maude and Chertsey went to Ohio to stay with Hettie's sister Carrie Jordan, who had married Joe Pearce. Chertsey met Floyd Carswell  and they were married. Maude came to Charleston.

Letha said that during World War I the spelling of the name was changed to make it less German sounding--from Rusmisel to Rusmiselle. They told people it was a French name.
Letha met Norman McVeigh in Charleston, SC, when he was stationed there during World War I. They met while dancing. He had been dating Chertsey and Letha was dating a doctor. Chertsey had a temper and the doctor was too jealous. Letha was working at the Ferscott Store, a ready-to-wear. John, Henry, and Norman McVeigh were all in the Navy together. Their sister Ora had come to Charleston to visit so Letha had also met her. Letha and Norman went for a vacation to Waynesville, GA to meet the rest of the McVeighs. Letha was 18. They were married at First Methodist Church in Brunswick, July 23, 1921.

About 1920 (after the Census on Jan. 22) Jesse married a widow, Jeanne Drucilla "Jennie"  (Oxner) Harmon, who had a child named Mary Ellaphine Harmon. 
After the war Jesse went to live in Ohio near his daughter Chertsey where he worked as a contractor and a carpenter. He also worked as a contractor in SC and GA. He came to stay with Norman and Letha McVeigh in Waynesville because he couldn't get work. Jennie and Elophine came, too. They also stayed in Charleston and Lexington, SC, where Ginnie's folks lived. Jesse and Norman McVeigh built the first McVeigh store in Waynesville.

Jesse died 30 Jan. 1942 in Waynesville in an accident with a gun.  He is buried at Highsmith Cemetery in Waynesville. Jeanne Oxner Rusmisel  died 8 Jan. 1985 in a Claxton, GA nursing home. She is buried in St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery in Lexington, SC. 

The Reported Difficulty at Kingstree (SC, 1866)

Newspaper article from The Anderson Intelligencer, Feb. 1, 1866, from the Library of Congress website :
Transcribed by Teresa McVeigh 26 April 2012:

The Reported Difficulty at Kingstree
From the Charleston Courier

Messrs. Editors: In your issue yesterday you made a brief editorial reference to an alleged difficulty with a freedman at Kingstree, S.C., and say that you received your information from an exchange. That exchange has received erroneous information, and he has therefore deceived you and your readers. As the report in the present shape is calculated to do injustice to the citizens of Kingstree, and to the gentlemen who were connected with the affair which I have no doubt gave origin the report in its present shape, as a citizen of Kingstree, and as one intimately acquainted with the facts of the case, I propose to give you a succinct and truthful account of the difficulty, that justice may be done all concerned.

On the evening of 21st November last [1865]. Mrs. Sarah Hanna, a widow lady and residing about fifteen miles northeast from Kingstree, intending on spending the night with her mother, also a widow and a few miles distant, left her keys and the entire charge of her plantation in the hands of Dick Singletary and Levenia Hanna, both freed laborers residing on the place. In the course of the night, the two negroes, combining and confederating with many others, both of this plantation and others adjacent, entered Mrs. Hanna's dwelling and proceeded to have a regular frolic. A large supper was furnished out of Mrs. Hanna's provisions, and one or two hogs killed for the purpose. Whiskey was also sent after to Graham's Cross Roads, a distance of some six miles, two or three times during the night, and Dick Singletary was the party sent, riding the mule, the property of Mrs. Hanna. After being fully glutted on the good things of Mrs. H's storehouse, and after imbibing to their hearts' content of the Whiskey obtained, they next proceeded to divide out amongst themselves every article of furniture, crockery, &c., in the house, except one bed and a few old chairs. In this bed several took lodging for the remainder of the night. Attending the frolic, there were also two or more white men.

Mrs. Hanna returned the next morning, and found her house in the condition of a hog pen--dirt and filth of almost every kind over the floor, and upon the clothing of the remaining bed. Riot, pillage, and plunder seemed to have reigned supreme, and the house was gutted of its contents. Mrs. Hanna now sent for her brother, Mr. Trisvan Eaddy, and other neighbors, who arrived in the course of the day. Search was made at once amongst the negro quarters, and most of the missing articles found in their possession, but in such damaged condition as to be almost worthless. Search was continued at the neighboring plantations till the evening of the 24th, when, despairing of finding the articles still missing, Dick Singletary, Lavinia Hanna, and Norris Gaskins (also a freedman,) were arrested and taken to the plantation of Mrs. Eaddy (Mrs. H's mother,) and kept under guard until the next morning. Two white men were arrested as implicated, and were similarly guarded. Some eighteen or twenty gentlemen were present, comprising some of the most intelligent and respectable people of the neighborhood, and they now took counsel together as to how to dispose of their prisoners. It was unanimously agreed that the white men should be taken to Kingstree jail, and that the negroes should be mercifully punished at once. Accordingly they were lightly punished with a stirrup leather strap, but no gagging was inflicted, nor was any blood drawn or any skin broken. Not long afterwards some or all of these freedmen reported the matter to some of the military authorities in Charleston, when orders were sent to the commanding officer of the post here to have the parties implicated arrested preparatory to a trial.

They were accordingly arrested about the last of December or first of the present month, but no court being ready for their trial, they were allowed by the gentlemanly commanding officer of the post to return to their homes on parole, to appear at such time as they might be notified of the organization of a Military Commission. The Commission was convened on the 8th instance, and every man summoned to attend promptly appeared. The trial now commenced, of such only as actually participated in the infliction of the punishment, each being represented by counsel and tried separately. As each case was disposed of, the defendant was sent for safe keeping to the headquarters at Darlington. The trial was concluded on the 11th instant. Various exceptions were taken by counsel as to the mode of conducting the trial pursued by the court. Also as to the exclusion of proper testimony, and had been laid before the proper reviewing authority, and suffice it to say that the action of the Court of the court in the matters disposed of has been disapproved, and a new trial allowed.

This is a brief but full account of the reported difficulty at Kingstree.

The exchange from which you made your extract will please copy.


Kingstree, S.C., January 18, 1866

Note: Concerns Trisvan Eaddy, his sister Sarah (Eaddy) Hanna (widow of John Hanna, who later married William Henry Singletary), and their mother Elizabeth Singletary Eaddy (wife of John D Eaddy).