Earl George (1) Woodhurst

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Brief biography

Earl George (1) Woodhurst was born at Faversham in 1861 [Birth Index: Faversham 2a 581, 1861 (Dec)] to parents Daniel Woodhurst and Priscilla Hales. The GRO index spells (or misspells) his first name as "Erle". Descendants cite his birthdate as October 4th 1861.

The 1871 Census finds him at age "9" with his parents living at 20, Springfield Road in Tunbridge, Kent. The schedule spells his first name as "Earle".

The 1881 Census finds him at age "19" living with his parents at 210, Shortlands Road, South Side in Sittingbourne, occupied as a general labourer. His name is again spelled as "Earle".

In 1883 he emigrated with his brother Albert Henry (1) to America, travelling first to Amsterdam and then sailing from there on the steamship SS Zaandam, arriving at New York on December 7th 1883. The ship's manifest names him as "Earle", aged "22" with no cited occupation and having one bag with him. It wrongly gives his sex as female.

He married Nellie Belle (nee) Morse in Jackson, Jackson Co. in Michigan on February 1st 1886 [IGI: Batch M018620]. The register of Michigan Marriage Returns describes Earl as aged "24", born in England and residing in Sandstone, and describes Nellie as aged "16", born in Sandstone and residing in Parma. His occupation is given as farmer.

Nellie was born in Michigan in about 1870 to parents Jedediah and Martha (nee Williams). The US 1880 Census finds her at age "9" and attending school in Sandstone, Jackson Co. with just her parents, the family surname misrendered as "Moss". Jedediah, aged "31", was occupied as a farmer; Martha's age is given as "26".

The US 1900 Census finds him at age "38" living with Nellie and three children in Pennfield township, Calhoun Co. in Michigan occupied as a farm labourer. It describes him as born in England in October 1861 and she as born in Michigan in November 1870. They had been married for 15 years. His immigration date is given incorrectly as 1881. He had filed his first papers for naturalization.

He died on March 11th 1901. His death certificate describes him as a farmer born on October 4th 1861 and married for 24 years with three children. His parents are correctly named. The cause of death was ulceration of the sigmoid flexure (i.e. of the bowel) and exhaustion. The informant was Nellie, residing at Battle Creek in Calhoun Co.

On December 2nd 1901 Nellie remarried (as "Nellie Belle Woodhurst") to a divorced farmer Charles Ballard. On July 25th 1902 she filed for divorce from him on the grounds of his "extreme cruelty and non-support"; the divorce was granted and made absolute on January 29th 1903.

On September 13th 1903 Nellie remarried (again as "Nellie Belle Woodhurst") in Midland, Midland Co. to a carpenter Henry Frank Stevens who already had at least two children by a previous marriage. The register of Marriage Returns incorrectly states that she had been married once before, not twice.

The US 1910 Census finds Nellie and Frank living in North Granger Street, Saginaw City with children from their previous marriages; he was now occupied as a contractor and builder.

Nellie and Frank subsequently moved to Moscow City in Latah Co., Idaho. One of their family gatherings was reported in an issue of The Idaho Post published on May 30th 1919 as follows:

Mrs. Frank Stevens gave a birthday dinner, Friday, May 23, in honor of her mother, Mrs. Ben Hadsell, and her grand daughter, Nellie Halverson, 13 guests being present. The out-of-town guests were Mr. and Mrs. Ira Woodhurst of Pullman and Mrs. Ara Woodhurst and son, Ara Junior, of Plaza, Wash. The guests of honor received many pretty gifts, one being a beautiful bouquet of wild flowers form Harrison, Idaho, sent to Mrs. Hadsell by her niece, Mrs. Claude Burton.

The US 1920 Census finds Nellie and Frank living in Adams Street, Moscow City next door to a household headed by a married Norwegian Hans L. Halverson; later, Hans would remarry to Nellie's divorced daughter Jessie E.

Nellie remained in Moscow City until her death on January 1st 1931. She was buried in the Moscow Cemetery.

His children by Nellie Belle Morse

  1. Ara H. (1) Woodhurst
  2. Jessie E. Woodhurst
  3. Ira Earl Woodhurst

Henry Frank Stevens' children by his first marriage

  1. Daniel B. Stevens - born in Washington State in 1896
  2. Neeta M. Stevens - born in Idaho in 1898
  3. and a daughter with name unknown - born in Washington State in 1900