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. 

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