Puzzle of the two Marion Huffords born in Illinois

There were two Marion HUFFORDs, both born in Illinois, one in 1858 and one in about 1870.

FIRST, there was Marion F. Hufford born March 6, 1858, in Fulton Co., Illinois. He became a lawyer. He was born to Francis M. Hufford (b. abt 1833 in Kentucky) and his wife Hannah BULL (born about 1833 in Illinois). Marion's ancestral line from him to Christian b. 1716 in Schwaigern, Germany:

Marion > Francis > George > John > Christian b. 1716 in Schwaigern.

Marion's mother died before June 29, 1860, when the U.S. census was taken in Buckheart Township, Fulton County, Illinois (in the area of the Canton post office). Marion appears on the 1860 census as a two-year-old, living with his father, Francis (age 26, b. IL). They are living in the home of his father's older sister, Eliza (age 45, b. IN), and her husband, Andrew FOUTS (age 53, b. IN). Also in the home are children of Andrew and Eliza: Martin (age 5, b. IL) and Sarah (age 15, b. IL).

Listed next to them or near them on the census were the families of his father's brother Levi (age 28, b. IN) and his father's sister Mary (Mrs. Absolom FORD, age 38, b. IN).

Marion's exact date of birth is from a "mug book" biography that was in a book published in 1890: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Fulton County (Illinois)," at pages 334 and 335. According to that bio, Marion's father enlisted in Company A, Fifty-fifth Illinois Infantry and served with the regiment at Shiloh where he was captured, and he died in a hospital in Memphis, TN, on November, 19, 1863. Military records show that Francis M. Hufford was a private with the 55th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, in Company A. The battle of Shiloh was in April 1862.

The mug-book bio is online at fulton.ilgenweb.net.

The death of Marion's father in 1863 left Marion an orphan, at the age of five. He continued living with his Aunt Eliza, the older sister of his father.

In June 1870, when he was 12 years old, he was living with his Aunt Eliza in Buckheart Township, Fulton County, Illinois, in the area of Canton post office.

In June 1880, when he was 22 years old, he was living with his Aunt Eliza in Buckheart Township, Fulton County, Illinois. He was working as a farm laborer. Also in the household were his sister Margery (23) and his aunt's husband, Andrew FOUTS.

According to his mug-book bio, Marion studied at Normal Schools in Bushnell and in Dixon (cities in Illinois), read law with an attorney (Mr. Daniel Abbott) in Canton, Illinois, and then went to law school at a law school in Bloomington, Illinois. According to the mug-book bio, Marion graduated from law school in June 1887. He would have been about 29 years old.

News items from newspapers in Quincy (Adams County), Illinois, of that time show that Marion was a practicing attorney. Population of Quincy in 1890 was 31,500:

August 1887: Marion was in Quincy, Illinois, practicing law.

February 29, 1888: Marion was in law practice with Col. Moses Milton Bane. Their office was on Fifth Street in Quincy, Illinois. An agent from an insurance company came to town and began using office space with the two lawyers. The insurance company was Farmer's and Mechanics' Mutual Aid Association, of St. Louis, MO. (Quincy Daily Herald; February 29, 1888; page 4.)

Nota bene: To understand the world that Marion Hufford lived in, it is worth noting who Moses Bane was: He was both a physician and an attorney, prominent in Adams County, Illinois. Born in 1825 in Ohio, Bane was a school teacher before he became a physician in 1848. He practiced medicine in Payson, Illinois (Adams Co), for ten years. In August 1861, Bane and others organized the 50th Regiment of Illinois Infantry. He served at Donelson and Shiloh in 1862. He lost his right arm at Shiloh. Before resigning his commission because of the loss of his arm, he was at one point an Acting Brigadier General. He studied at Harvard Law School after the war and returned to Adams Co., Illinois. He was appointed Collector of Internal Revenue at Quincy (Adams Co.) in 1866. He began a law practice in Quincy with Captain Thomas Westfall. He served as commissioner of the lands in Utah.

And Marion Hufford was in partnership with him in a law practice:

January 1889: Marion was at the Police Court, defending a lady who was charged with being an "inmate" of "a disorderly house." He got his client off "for lack of proof that [she] had been guilty of immoral conduct." (Quincy Daily Herald; January 29, 1889; page 4.)

May 1889: He was in Probate Court representing a man who was suing his wife for divorce on the grounds of adultery. (Quincy Daily Herald, May 9, 1889; page 4.)

June 1889: He was one of the lawyers playing in baseball game that pitted the local lawyers against the local doctors. The newspaper headline was "Pills Defeat Bills." (Quincy Daily Whig, June 14, 1889.)

July 1889: He spent a week with friends and relatives "at his old home in Canton, Ill." (Quincy Daily Whig, July 20, 1889.)

July 1889: An advertisement in "The Quincy Daily Whig": TO THE PUBLIC. M. F. Hufford, attorney at law, 208 North Fifth Street, will given careful attention to all business entrusted to him. He practices in any and all of the courts; makes a specialty of collections, making prompt returns; will draw up wills, deeds, etc. Call and see him from anything in his profession. (Quincy Daily Whig, July 21, 1889; page 8.)

The July 1889 advertisement indicates that Marion no longer was in partnership with Moses Bane. In fact, at about this time, Bane was appointed Commissioner of Utah, and that appointment likely ended the partnership.

August 1889: Marion left Quincy (Adams County) and moved to Peoria (Peoria County). Marion formed a law partnership with an attorney in Peoria. Peoria's population in 1890 was 41,000. (Quincy Daily Whig, August 9, 1889; page 8.)

January 1890: Marion moved back to Quincy, and he was engaged to be married: "Mr. Marion F. Hufford, formerly a prominent attorney in this city until about five months ago, when he was induced to give up his practice here and open an office in Peoria, has been in the city for several days with a view of relocating in Quincy. Mr. Hufford left his morning … for Peoria, where he will close his law business. Mr. Hufford is a first-class lawyer and a good citizen and the young lady to whom he is to be wedded in the near future is one of the shining lights of the city." (Quincy Daily Herald, January 4, 1890; page 5.)

1890: Sometime during 1890, he formed a law partnership with R. J. MILLARD in Canton [Fulton Co.], Illinois. Name of firm was "Hufford & Millard." In Marion's mug-shot bio (surely written by him), the law firm was described thusly: "They do a general law business, and are besides agents for several good Fire Insurance Companies."

May 1892: Marion was 34 years old and had been an attorney for five years. He had just been elected Police Magistrate in Canton, the largest city in Fulton County. A police magistrate would be a low-level judge, a judge in the Police Court. (Quincy Daily Journal, May 11, 1892; page 5.)

There was a photograph taken in 1892 of Marion and a group of police officers. The photo was found at www.cantonillinois.org. Marion in on the far right in the photo:

January 1893: "Police Magistrate Marion Hufford will sue the Canton Register for slander -- $5,000." (Quincy Daily Journal, January 26, 1893; page 6.)

October 1894: Marion was involved as an attorney in a land transaction that ultimately was the basis for the court case Trapp v. Off, 194 Ill. 287 (1901).

The 1890 bio also described Marion as being "a member of Morning Star Lodge No. 116 A.F. A.M." and "Gem City Lodge No. 375 at Quincy." Those are Masonic lodges. In other words, Marion was a Mason.

That was the first Marion Hufford.

With the records at hand, this researcher is unable to track the first Marion Hufford after October 1894. There is one hint beyond this date, but it is not a clear match, and there's no reason to add information that may or not be of the first Marion Hufford.

What is clear and reasonable to deduce is that a man who was in law practice with the likes of Moses Bane by the time he was 30 did not show up in 1920 - when he was 62 years old - as a man operating a street car and pretending to be 50 years old.

There was a second Marion Hufford, and his information is below.

SECOND, there was Marion E. Hufford born in about 1870 in Illinois. He became a streetcar operator. He was in Los Angeles, California, for the 1920 census. That Marion's earliest "easy appearance" is on the 1895 Iowa state census:

1895: This 2nd Marion was in Victoria, Cass County, Iowa, for the 1895 Iowa State Census. He reported himself as 25 and born in Illinois; thus, born about 1870. Also in Victoria, Cass County, Iowa, and almost certainly in the household with him were his wife and son: Minnie Hufford, age 23, born in Kansas; and Edwin Hufford, age 1, born in Cass County, Iowa.

1900: The photo below is from a great-granddaughter of this Marion. She reported that the photo was taken in 1900. It shows Marion with his wife, Minnie, and four of their children:

1920: This couple was in California, Los Angeles County, San Antonio Township, in the city of Watts. Date of census was January 3 & 5, 1920. ED 565; sheet 4-A; line 37. Street address: 856 North Compton.

HUFFORD, Marion E; age 50; married; b. Illinois; both parents b. Illinois; motorman on an electric railroad. Owned house free and without mortgage.
WIFE: Minnie; age 47; b. Kansas; both parents b. Missouri; no job outside home.
SON: Ernest; age 22; b. Iowa; working as a vulcanizer in a shop (i.e., operated a vulcanizer machine).
DAU: Ruth; age 14; b. Oklahoma; no occupation.
SON: Ralph; age 12; b. Oklahoma; no occupation.

The 1895 Iowa State census and the 1920 U. S census of California match for the ages of Marion and Minnie, and for their places of birth.

California death records for Minnie, Edwin, Earnest, Ruth, and Ralph:

(Minnie died under the surname LOVELACE. According to her great-granddaughter, Minnie and Marion divorced, and Minnie married secondly to a Mr. Lovelace.)

Additionally in the California Death Index, there are two other Huffords who appears to match to the family because of the state of birth and the mother's surname. They are Leonard Benedict and Thomas Vern:

Checking for Leonard's WW I Draft Registration Card, yields a match: Leonard B. Hufford in Van Nuys, California: b. June 5, 1895, in Massena, Iowa. Massena is in Cass County, which is where this 2nd Marion and his wife Minnie were in 1895 for the Iowa state census.

Piecing together a family group, we have this:

FATHER: Marion E. HUFFORD, b. abt 1870, Illinois
MOTHER: Minnie L. JOHNSON, b. 9 Sep 1872, Kansas; d. 6 Jun 1953, Los Angeles, CA.
(1) Edwin William, b. Aug 15, 1893, Iowa; d. Mar. 8, 1952, Los Angeles, CA:
(2) Leonard Benedict, b. June 5, 1895, Cass Co., Iowa; d. Nov. 18, 1982, Los Angeles, CA:
(3) Ernest Carl, b. Feb 16, 1897, Iowa; d. July 24, 1987, Los Angeles, CA
(4) Thomas Vern, b. Sep 27, 1898, in OK; d. Oct. 1, 1989, Los Angeles, CA:
(5) Ruth Alice, b. Sep 13, 1905, OK; d. Jan. 15, 1983, Los Angeles, CA; m. ROUNDY
(6) Ralph L., b. July 10, 1907, OK; d. April 24, 1975, San Diego, CA

Next, a check for other HUFFORDs in Cass County, Iowa, in 1895 finds the following on the Iowa state census of 1895:

  • Martha J. Hufford: age 46 (b. 1849); white; b. Illinois; residence Edna, Cass Co.
  • William Hufford: age 22 (b. 1873); white; b. Kansas; residence Edna, Cass Co.
  • Maud Hufford: age 15 (b. 1880); white; b. Cass Co., Iowa; residence Edna, Cass Co.
  • Nara Hufford: age 13 (b. 1882); white; b. Cass Co., Iowa; residence Edna, Cass Co.

The populaton of Cass County, Iowa, in 1900 was 21,000. Edna is a township, with population in 2000 of only 140 people. Victoria also is a township; it is immediately east of Edna Township; population of Victoria Twp. in 2000 was 173 people. And Massena is both a city and a township. Massena Twp. is immediately north of Victoria Twp. All of the townships in that county are squares of equal size; thus, the southwest corner of Massena Twp. touches the northeast corner of Edna Twp. Population of Victoria Twp. in 2000 was 607 people. The town of Massena is within Massena Township; population in 2000 was 414. (Obviously, those 414 are part of the total of 607 in the entire of Massena Township.)

The point of the above paragraph is that those three townships had few people living in them back in 1895 when Marion, Minnie, and Edwin were there, and when Leonard was born there. Consequently, there is an especially strong likelihood that Marion Hufford was connected to the other four HUFFORDs in Cass County in 1895.

There was the following family on 1880 Census: Iowa, Cass Co., Edna Twp. (June 1880):

  • I. W. Hufford (male): 34 (b. abt 1846); farmer; b. IL; father b. IN; mother b. IN
  • M. J. Hufford (female): 31 (b. abt 1849); wife; b. IL; father b. IN; mother b. KY
  • M. E. Hufford (son): 10 (b. 1870); b. IL
  • W. J. Hufford (son): 8 (b. 1872); b. Kansas
  • G. Hufford (son): 6 (b. 1874); b. IL
  • S. L. Hufford (dau.): 3 (b. 1877); b. Iowa
  • M. Hufford (dau.): 11 months, b. in July (b. July 1879); b. Iowa

Those were the only Huffords in Cass County. Please take special note of the M.E. Hufford, a male born about 1870 in Illinois. My conclusion is that he is the same as the Marion E. Hufford who is on the 1920 census in Los Angeles.

Next, there are Iowa burial records found at this site: iowawpagraves.org. It is a compilation of records assembled during a Work Projects Administration (WPA) project called the "Graves Registration Survey."

A check of burial records in Cass County, Iowa, finds this:

  • I.W. Hufford, d. 26-Jul-1881; bur. Reno M.E., in Edna Twp.; aged 36 (in other words, born about 1845).
  • Martha Jane Hufford, d. 21-May-1939; bur Reno M.E., in Edna Twp.; aged 88 (in other words, born about 1851.

There are only two cemeteries in Edna Township, Cass County: Reno Cemetery and St. Timothy Cemetery. Reno Cemetery is sometimes seen as "Reno Methodist Episcopal."

Here are photos of the grave stones of I.W. and Martha Hufford, and of their son William J. (b. 1872). The photos were taken February 18, 2009, by Cindy Baldogo who granted permision for their use:

The stone for Martha is easily readable:
1848 -- 1936

It's more likely that some transcriber along the way made a mistake in the information that remains from the WPA "Graves Registration Survey" project than that a stone cutter made a mistake. In other words, Martha's likely date of death was d. 21-May-1936. If she was 88 in 1936, she was born in about 1848. That is a match to the 1880 census and the 1895 Iowa state census.

Here is a photo of the entrance to Reno Cemetery:


At this point, it is evident that the Marion E. Hufford born about 1870 who was in Los Angeles was not the same person as the Marion F. Hufford born in about 1858 who was the attorney in Fulton County, Adams County, and Peoria County, Illinois in the 1880s and 1890s.

For a final proof, look at the side by side photos of the two men:

Marion F., b. 1858
(photo 1892)

Marion E., b. 1870
(photo 1900)

Photo on the left is the man who was a lawyer. Photo on the right is the man who operated a street car. Photo on the left is from 1892; photo on the right (reportedly) is from 1900. The man on the left has a square jaw and deep set eyes. The man on the right does not have a square jaw, and his eyes are not deep set. The man on the left looks older in 1892 than the man on the right looks eight years later, in 1900.

There does, however, appear to be a resemblance. And that leads to the surprise ending for this puzzle:


It's likely that the two Marions were first cousins once-removed.

There is a likely match for I.W. Hufford and his wife Martha J.:

Isaac Hufford b. abt 1845,
who was the son of James Hufford b. abt 1822,
who was the son of George b. abt 1795,
who was the son of John b. abt 1758,
who was the son of Christian b. 1716 in Schwaigern, Germany.

IF that match is correct, the two Marions were first cousins once-removed. (Marion-the lawyer's father being the brother of Marion-the-streetcar-operator's grandfather.)

Isaac who was the son of James was born in about 1845 in Indiana. On December 22, 1868, in Fulton County, Illinois, Isaac married Martha J. FOUTS.

Like Marion-the-lawyer's father Francis, Isaac's father James served in the 55th Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry; he served for four years. He enlisted as a Private on Oct. 31, 1861, in Company D, Illinois 55th Infantry Regiment. He mustered out at Little Rock, Arkansas, on Aug. 14, 1865.

The most likely way to prove this connection would be to obtain the death certificate for Martha Jane Hufford who died May 21, 1936, and was buried in Reno Cemetery in Cass County, Iowa. It is likely (but not certain) that she died in Iowa, and that would be the first place to check for her death record. Another source for needed verification information would be the birth records for Edwin Williams Hufford, Leonard Benedict Hufford, and Ernest Carl Hufford, all born in Cass County, Iowa, in the 1890.

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