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Anna Purcell

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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
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Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:31 pm    Post subject: Anna Purcell Reply with quote

Some may remember Anna May Purcell, who lived at 512 Gordon St. in Concordia during the 1950s and 60s. At that time she was housekeeper for the Driver brothers, Henry and Alvin. She also had an adopted daughter, Sandra K. (Guyton) Purcell Werths Henke, who was given up for adoption by her birth mother Vera (Heins) Guyton as a two week old infant.

Sandy Henke recalled that Anna’s maiden name was Emerson and came from Indiana. This made it possible to trace the early years of Anna’s life. Much of it can be gleaned from the U.S. Census records.

The first census record in which Anna appears is the 1900 Jackson County, Indiana census. She is listed as being born in Indiana in April 1893 to Charles and Corda [Cordelia] Emerson. Charles was born in Missouri while Cordelia was a native of Indiana. Some time between 1900 and 1910, Charles decided to move his family back to his home state of Missouri. One can find the family living in Vernon County, MO in the 1910 census records. Interestingly, living next door to the Emersons was the Purcell family with son “Willie”.

The 1920 Wyandotte County, Kansas records list William E. and Annie M. Purcell living there with their son William L. William worked as a watchman for the Union Pacific Railroad there. By 1930, the census records show that the Purcell family had moved to Johnson County, MO where William was now farming. Anna's census entry also notes that by 1930 she was married for 17 years, so William and Anna were married about 1913.

The 1940 Lafayette County, MO census records indicate that Anna was living just outside Concordia, working as a housekeeper for Edwin Anderson, who worked for Bell Telephone. Since it notes that Anna had lived in the same house in 1935, one can assume that her husband William had died sometime between 1930 and 1935. Anna also had two young grandchildren living with her, Betty (age 4) and William (age 2). One can understand why the grandchildren were living there by checking the census record for her son William during that same year. He was living in Kansas City with his wife Kathryn and two young step-children who were the same ages as his own children. Apparently, the wife was not up to caring for two more children of those ages.

When Anna moved to Gordon St. in Concordia is not known, but it was sometime before the early 1950s.

There is also a connection between the Drivers, for whom Anna kept house, and George Miller. But that’s a story for another day. You might check the sidewalk in front of 516 Gordon St. in Concordia to see if George’s name is still inscribed on it.
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