MARY ALICE DELONG – GRANDMA

My paternal Grandma, Mary Alice Delong was the fifth child born to James Thomas Delong and Martha Alice Duddleson. She entered this world on November 17, 1898. Since she was several years younger and the only girl in the family, I would assume she was a bit spoiled. The family had another girl who died just a few months before Mary was born. Mary was not a tall woman. She had lots of black, curly hair. In the 1900 census, Mary was 2 years old with her family in Bloom Township, Fairfield County Ohio. Her father was a farmer and owned his land. I don’t believe these were rich people, but they appeared to be living a comfortable life and had everything they needed. I have located a newspaper account of a paternity suit filed by Mary when she was eighteen years old. The defendant was William Aumock, Jr. He was only sixteen years old at the time. I have yet to see any further stories or documents on this subject. Nor have I found a marriage between Mary and William. I do know that the child was named Lawrence Aumock. This child was my Dad’s half-brother. When Mary and Lawrence joined the Alfred Gatwood family; Grandpa had a twelve-year old son, Tarlton. Together they soon had another boy, my Dad, James Alfred Gatwood. There were two girls born as well; Martha Belle and Alice Marie. Martha Belle died before she was two years old. Mary took her son Lawrence and her daughter Alice with her when she left her husband, son and stepson. They were divorced before the 1930 census. In that census Mary is living in Columbus, Ohio. I don’t think she ever lived on a farm again. Maybe she did not like that life. It was very hard. Even in modern times you have to work seven days a week and vacations are almost nonexistent. Mary was married for a second time to Harry Knighton. I am told that his nickname was Boots. Working on this part of my family, I found his tombstone and there it was; “Boots” at the top of the stone. At the time of her mother’s death in 1937, her name was still Knighton. I found the newspaper obituary for Martha Duddleson (Mary’s mother) that is how I knew she was still a Knighton at that time. I know the marriage ended in divorce, just not the exact date. Her third marriage was to someone with the last name Moody. I don’t remember a Grandpa with that name, but I remember this was her name until her fourth marriage to Howard Smith. She was still married to Mr. Smith at the time of her death. Unfortunately, I only have the marriage record to Alfred Gatwood and Harry Knighton as well as a few pictures. Genealogy is always a work in progress. You just keep digging to add bits of information to your work. It was not often, but I always loved to go to Grandma’s house. I got to take bubble baths and she had fancy stuff and pretty bottles of perfume. She gave us melba toast to eat with coffee that had lots of sugar and milk in it. She was a special Grandmother and the only “City Grandma” I had. She was always dressed nicely. She was active in Machinist Union District 52 AFL, past Finder Lodge 1651, retiree club of District 52, Women’s Auxiliary of Machinist 361 and a member of the board of YMCA. She was well known as a Union advocate. She had several strokes until the final one that took her life. She died on April 21, 1971 in Columbus Ohio and was buried in Green lawn cemetery.

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