Friday, January 8, 2010

The Isaacs Family of Scranton kansas

I had been looking for a subject to write about on Kansas, when I received a letter from a lady from England by the name of Joanne Tudor, and she states;

Hello Dennis
I have read your research concerning the history of Scranton, Kansas with much interest. I must congratulate you, it is all fascinating! I recently discovered that an ancestor of mine, Henry Isaacs, emigrated to Scranton, Kansas around 1870. Most of his brothers and sisters followed him. Henry was the brother of my Great Grandmother, Sarah Ann Isaacs, who remained in the UK.

It seems he had quite an impact on the town in the early years, opening a grocery store and a coal mine etc. I would be fascinated to find out more about the Isaacs in Scranton and note that you say you have further information on them. It would be wonderful if you could share this with me....
I look forward to hearing from you.”
All the best for now
Joanne Tudor.

Well I found there was a lot of Isaacs family stories about Scranton and their family life there. I found it very interesting so I decided to make up this page so other Isaac ancestor can enjoy the stories as well.

HENRY ISAACS, dealer in groceries, also owns and operates three coal shafts; located at Carbondale in 1871; remained four years and moved to Scranton; opened his store November 1, 1882, and carries a stock of about $2,000. Was born in Leicester County, England, April 2, 1847. When six years old moved to York County and learned the wagon-makers' trade; came to America in 1871; was married in England in 1868 to Miss Elizabeth Peel, and has six children - Jessie, Tillie, Ella, George, Rosie and Samuel. Is Treasurer of School District, No. 75, and Justice of the Peace.

The following come from Scranton Centennial booklet 1872-1972.

Agnes T. Isaacs.

I have been requested to write a few lines about our town, Scranton of the years long gone by, I was brought to Kansas at the age of 11 months. I have seen many changes in the old town since I have grown up. Bill my husband, and I were married December 22nd., 74 years ago. We were married by the Rev. George Wilson, the minister of the Methodist Church. He left Scranton but was called to Scranton for a funeral of John Martindale. Bill, my husband asked him to stay over a few days as we were going to be married. He stayed and married us. He was a good minister and was liked by every one.

Well. I better get on the sports of Scranton, it happens to be baseball. Bill was the umpire of the games and he really liked the job. He thought a lot of his baseball boys. One day the Scranton boys were going to Overbrook to play a game and he asked me to go along, which I did. In those days we had to hitch up the old horse and go in the buggy.

I believe it was the hottest day of the summer. We had to sir on the wooden benches and nothing to our backs. We sat in the sun and I felt like I was cooked. It was the first and last game I ever went to. The boys got a lot of fun from the game but I told Bill I didn’t see where the fun was. Us mothers and our children had to eat our supper alone as we never knew when the game would be over. Our ball boys have most all passed away.

Well, I have been in Scranton a long time but it is still home to me and I have lived in my home over 60years. When we first came here to live it was called Bluetown. I lived down this way before I was married and we walked to the Scranton school. When I was in grade school, at that time the railroad crossed what is now our Highway. About every morning we would have to stand and wait for the fright train to move on.

In years gone by Scranton was a booming town and we had our own band. The bandstand was on the main street in front of the building North of the post office. The band boys looked nice in their band suits. My uncle and aunt Mr. And Mrs. James Clark lived across from the lumber yard. We often sat on the front porch and listened to the band practice. It was good music and they sure knew how to play.

My two uncles, Sam and George Turvey, were running the butcher shop on the West side of Main Street. They did all their own butchering down in the timber, across from which is now the John Stephen’s home. We had the fourth of July picnics in the old timber and had to hurry and get the grounds ready for the picnic. We all had something new to wear, the cloth we bought for dresses was called line lawn. It cost five cents per yard. We trimmed it with narrow ribbons which cost more than the dress goods.

Scranton at one time had hotels, boarding houses, dry good stores and all. We also had some runaway horses. We also had two livery barns. My oldest brother Thomas, and Edward Hulsopple was in the livery barn business. The barn was on the West side of Main Street, near the St. Louis Store. The boys were burned out and lost everything the had. The boy had to cut the horses loose and run them out of the burning barn. There were horses running around town, didn’t know where to go. The boys later took the other barn which was where the Hartwick home now is.

When I learned to sew, the dressmaker shop was a small building on the same ground down by the alley. The lady who taught us to sew was Nary Stiers, who was staying with her aunt and uncle, Mr. And Mrs. Goodman. The old house still stands. It is across on the West side of the road from the old Ryan home. Emma Ryan who is now Mrs. Abrims of California was my sewing chum. We had to do the job right or rip it out. We went to Sunday school in the old School house and also in the parent’s homes, where sometimes we didn’t have enough chairs. We lost our church by fire. We had a jail bur it was not used very much. In those days we had lots of tramps, but we never turned a hungry person from our doors. Also we had gypsies come to see us quite often and they really scared us but never harmed us.

When I was in grade school of Scranton, one of my teachers was Miss Mamie Supple, who rode a horse to school, across the field a there were no fences or gates to open. It was the former Tobe Coffman pasture. I also went to the Supple School and the boys filled the wood box to keep us warm. The girls helped with the sweeping. The winters were cold and some nights we would get caught in a blizzard and the teacher said we might have to stay all night in the school room. She was kind to us kids and we thought a lot of her. Wishing all success.

Agnes Turvey Isaacs.
Scranton, Kansas.
January 28, 1972.
94 years of age.

The Isaacs's.

In 1875, Henry Isaacs, father of William Isaacs, opened a grocery store and a coal mine. Later he sank a second shaft both being along the southern line of the town.

Kansas Census, Scranton Kansas, 1895.

Henry Isaacs.
Born: England, About 1849, age 46.
Wife: Elizabeth ( Peel ) Isaacs, age 44.
1. Emma, age 18.
2. George, age 15.
3. Rose, age 14.
4. Samuel, age 12.
5. Willie, age 11.
6. Clyde, age 8.
7. Neta, age 6.
8. Leo Gregory Isaacs, age 4.

United States Federal Census, 1900, Scranton Kansas.

Henry Isaacs.
Born: England.
Age: 51.
Immigration year: 1873.
Married: 1870.
Married tears 30.
Wife: Elizabeth ( Peel ) Isaacs, age 49.
1. George W., age 21.
2. William I., age 15.
3. Clyde H., age 13.
4. Juantta, age 11.
Leo G., age 9.

Kansas State Census, 1905, Scranton Kansas.

Henry Isaacs.
Born: England.
Age: 58.
Immigration year: 1873.
Married: 1870.
Married tears 35.
Wife: Elizabeth ( Peel ) Isaacs, age 56.
1. Emma, age 26.
2. Samuel, age 22.
3. Clyde, age 18.
4. Nitta, age 6.
5. Leo, age 14.
6. William, age 20.
7. Jennie, age 18.

United States Federal Census, 1910, Scranton Kansas.

Henry Isaacs.
Born: England.
Age: 61.
Immigration year: 1873.
Married: 1870.
Married tears 40.
Wife: Elizabeth ( Peel ) Isaacs, age 59.
1. Clyde, age 22.
2. Leo G., age 18.

Note. Depending on how the name sounded to the one taken the census’s some names are spelled different and there seem to be a difference in the ages. So please do your research before stating this census information as fact.

William H. Isaacs was born in Carbondale Kansas, in 1874, and moved to Scranton when a small child. His father, Thomas Isaacs, like most men in those days, was a coal miner. When William was seven years old, his father passed away during the Typhoid Fever epidemic, leaving his mother, himself, and a younger sister, Isabelle, (who later became Mrs. Edward Hulsopple) of this city. At the age of nine years he went to work in the coal mine to help support his mother and sister, and went to night school three nights a week.

Agnes Turvey was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1877, and came to Scranton when she was eleven months old. Her father, Thomas Turvey, was a mechanic in the coal mines. When a child she went with her family to visit relatives who had staked a claim near what is now Dodge City Kansas. They traveled in a covered wagon and got into quick-sand at one point on their roure. Her relatives were living in a dugout as were most of the homesteaders. Agnes recalls one night the women and children stayed in the dugout as they were told the Indians were coming. The men remained outside with guns all night but no Indians came.

Agnes finished grade school in Scranton and at the age of sixteen became an expert seamstress under the training of Mary Stiers who was the local dressmaker at that time.

When Agnes was twenty and William twenty-three they were married in Scranton, The Reverend George Wilson officiating, the year 1897. During the early days of their marriage William went to work at four o’clock in the morning and many times worked until after dark in the evening. It was said the children used to ask who that man was who came to their house on Sunday, as they were in bed when their father went to work and in bed when he returned. That was a joke among the families of the miners.

Mr. and Mrs. Isaacs lived in Scranton until 1913 when Mr. Isaacs was elected Sheriff of Osage County, at which time they moved to Lyndon. The family returned to Scranton in 1917. Shortly after returning to Scranton Mr. Isaacs became a rural mail carrier, a position he held for twenty years.

Several years after retiring from the mail route, Mr. Isaacs and three other members of his family became employed at the Douglas Aircraft Company in Tulsa. Oklahoma where they resided for three years. At the close of World War Two they returned to Scranton. Mr. and Mrs. Isaacs were the parents of six children. Mr. Isaacs, a son and two daughters are deceased. Mrs. Isaacs, now ninety-four years of age, and three children reside in Scranton.

The Carbondale Record
Osage County
April 28, 1932

William Isaacs, Jr.

Mr. William Henry Isaacs, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Isaacs, was bron Novmber 9, 1900 and departed this life April 17, 1932, at Grace Hospital, Detroit, Michigan at the age of 31 years, 5 months and 8 days. He had been in ill health for some time, and when his mother visited him at Detroit last fall, she persuaded him to come home. He did so, and spent four months here. He began to look better and improved within a week after returning home, and gained steadily during his stay with home folks. He decided to return to Detroit the latter part of March. He seemed to feel so better when he left, that he made the remark, "I feel like a million dollars."

He had just been back one month when his father was called to Detroit where he spent the day Sunday and the last few hours at his bed side, but in spite of the kind loving care which was given him he passed away at 10:20 o'clock Sunday night. He attended the public schools at Scranton, and at the age of 11 he moved to Lyndon with his parents, where he attended high school.

Four years later he returned to Scranton with his parents, where he worked in and around Scranton and sections of western Kansas, and he also spent some time in Wyoming.
He, with his cousin, Alvin HULSOPPLE, spent several years in Schuyler, Nebraska, where they had employment, after which they left for Detroit where he spent the last 8 years and 11 months. He was employed by the Ford Motor Company where he made good, later was promoted to Inspector of the Crank Shaft Department, until a few months before he came home when many men were layed off in every department. He has made several trips homes during the 81/2 years there. During those years he won a wide circle of friends. The last visit at home will always be a cherished memory of his dear sweet face, his loving words, and his noble deeds will go with us until eternity.

He was a great home boy during his visits here, very kind and thoughtful to his parents, his brother and sisters. He had a fine dispostion, always thinking of others before himself. he was always cheerful even to the end. It was a terrible shock to everyone, which will linger in their hearts for many a long year to come.

Funeral services were held at the Suttons and Son parlors, Detorit, in which several hundred friends attended to pay their last respect to a real and noble friend.
He was brought to Scranton with his father and Alvin Hulsopple and he lay in estate in his home until 2:30 Thursday afternoon, after which funeral services were held at the Methodist church, conducted by Rev. H.P. BASQUIN. He was laid to rest in the Scranton cemetery.

He leaves to mourn his loss, his broken-hearted mother and father, one brother, Ralph, four sisters, Mrs. Ruth JOHNSON, Mrs. Esther HUTCHISON, Eva and Alta Isaacs, besides a host of other relatives and friends both in Scranton and Detroit who will greatly miss his smiling face.

Card of Thanks.
We desire to thank our many friends and neighbors for the kindess and sympathy shown us during the death of our dear son and brother also for the beautiful floral offerings. We also wish to thank his many friends in Detorit who sent the beautiful flowers and words of sympathy.
Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Isaacs
Ralph, Eva and Alta Isaacs
Mrs. Esther Johnson
Mrs. Ruth Johnson.

Scranton City Cemetery, Osage County, Kansas.

Isaacs, Abraham, b. 1856, d. 1920
Isaacs, Agnes T, b. 1877, d. 1976
Isaacs, Dorothy M, b. 1916, d. no date, m. Mar 25, 1941 to Ralph E
Isaacs, Elizabeth, b. 1849, d. 1945 (1943)
Isaacs, Hayden E, b. 1910, d. 1985
Isaacs, Hazel Isaac Long, b. Nov 27, 1892, d. Aug 26, 1984
Isaacs, Hazel M, b. 1914, d. no date, m. Apr 1, 1932 to Leal A
Isaacs, Henry, b. 1847, d. 1918
Isaacs, Hollis H, b. 1908, d. 1923
Isaacs, Jennie, b. 1890, d. 1958
Isaacs, Kenneth D, b. 1916, d. 1918
Isaacs, Leal A, b. 1910, d. 1983
Isaacs, Leo Gregory, b. Feb 22, 1891, d. Jun 18, 1968
Isaacs, Leo Lisle, b. May 1, 1914, d. Feb 3, 1982
Isaacs, Margaret N, b. Jan 22, 1926, d. no date, m. Sep 11, 1971 to Leo Lisle
Isaacs, Matilda, b. Apr 8, 1884, d. Jun 13, 1978, m. Sep 1905 to Samuel T
Isaacs, Ralph E, b. Apr 11, 1910, d. Feb 26, 1990, Cpl US Army WWII
Isaacs, Rosa, b. 1881, d. 1898
Isaacs, Sam, b. 1861, d. 1882
Isaacs, Samuel T, b. 1882, d. 1962
Isaacs, Thomas, d. Nov 19, 1881, aged 37yrs 9mo 1day
Isaacs, William H Jr, b. 1900, d. 1932
Isaacs, William H, b. 1874, d. 1951

Updated January 15, 2010.

As I stated at the beginning of this page I got interested in the Isaacs name because of a letter from Joanne Tudor, of England, and after it was done and she saw it, she sent me a nice letter. This letter is places here as there is some information in it that may be of help to other Isaacs families looking in to their ancestors.

Hi Dennis I cannot thank you enough for all the work you have put into helping me with my research into the Isaacs in Scranton. The page makes for interesting reading - it really brings the people, and the times, to life!

Agnes's writing was very touching - working it out, she was the wife of the son of Henry's brother, Thomas, who was the first to make the move to Kansas. Also the memories about the death of their son, William Henry Junior. The census and cemetary lists are so useful. I managed to place at least two thirds of the names in the family tree I have already.

I googled Scranton and to my delight came across a photo of Henry, his wife Elizabeth and their son Leo at the Cozy Theater (which they owned), plus one of the family home, and one or two others in the Isaacs clan including William Henry as Osage County Sheriff, all at

I cannot believe my luck - 3 weeks ago I knew nothing and now I know more about the Isaacs than I could ever have imagined.

It's left me wanting to find out about Henry's other brothers and sisters. I will upgrade my membership to include the US records at Who knows where it could end...maybe a visit one day!

PS I've placed all the info that I found on the Isaacs in the UK, including Henry's father and grandfather, marriages before moving to the US etc. onto my family tree at guess there's a few more details I need to add now!!

Best wishes to you.
Joanne Tudor


Anonymous said...

Wow! Just came across this site - so loaded with information about the Isaacs branch of my family (I knew little about them until now!)

Henry Isaacs was my great grandfather and his daughter, Emma (married to Charles Bolton) was my grandmother.

I'm just bowled over by all this information - thank you many times over!!!
Caroline Sue Bolton Evans

Dennis Segelquist said...

I'm glad you found it helpful.

Christian Isaacs said...

I had read over this years ago and it took me awhile to feel comfortable responding. I am not sure if this will reach you Mrs. Tudor but I would love to compare notes with you on the Isaacs family history. It would be great to know more relatives on my father's side of the family. I hope to hear back from you soon.
C. Isaacs