Ott and Albins Family

John G. Ott

A biography of John G. Ott that appeared in History of Crawford County and Ohio, edited by William Henry Perrin, J.H. Battle, and Weston Arthur Goodspeed, published in 1881, contains the following:

“JOHN G. OTT, dealer in stoves and tinware, Bucyrus; is the son of John G. and Mary (Aclin) Ott, and was born Nov. 27, 1810, in Baden, Germany.  He went to school from his sixth to his 14th year, and then learned the trades of mill-wright and carpenter.  At the age of 20 he entered the regular army, and served three years.  In the fall of 1834, he came to America, making the voyage in twenty-eight days.  He came by canal and steamboat, from New York to Sandusky City, and by team to Crawford County, with a family named Schlater, who settled in Chatfield Township.  He assisted them to build a cabin, and remained during the winter.  In May [1835] he went to Lower Sandusky, now Fremont, where he was employed at cabinet-making.  He then went to Ft. Wayne and commenced work as a carpenter, returning, however, the same year to Fremont.  In the spring of 1836, he went to Springfield, Ohio, where he remained until 1841.  In 1842, he removed to Kenton, Ohio, where he put up a steam saw-mill, and did a large business, remaining until 1852 [a special census of industry in 1850 lists the business as sawing 2500 logs with a workforce of five men]; in the meantime erecting three saw-mills in the county.  He removed to North Washington in that year, and remained there until 1867, in which year he removed to Bucyrus, and ran the steam pump for the Pittsburg, Ft. Wayne & Chicago Railroad, filling the position for five years.  [For a map of the railroad, click here.]  In 1872, he bought a stock of stoves and tinware, and opened a store on Sandusky avenue, north of public square, with his two sons, George and August, as partners.  They have a large, complete and attractive stock of stoves, tinware and house-furnishing goods, and do all kinds of roofing, spouting and job work.  Mr. Ott commenced without capital, and is now one of the substantial business men of the town.  He is a member of Crawford Lodge, No. 139, A., F. & A.M.; Ivanhoe Chapter R.A.M. [Royal Arch Masons?]; also of the Royal Arcanum.  He is a Democrat in politics.  He was married, Jan. 8, 1838, to Miss Eva Heisel, of Springfield, Ohio.  Of this marriage, there are five children–George, Mary, August, Caroline and Louisa.  His first wife died in 1854, and he afterward married Miss Elizabeth Orth, of Hardin Co., Ohio.  Of this marriage there are two children living–Hamilton and Edward.  George M. was born April 8, 1844, in Kenton, Ohio, and received a common-school education.  He learned the tinner’s trade, and since 1872, has been engaged with his father in the business.  August was born June 3, 1847, and has been a member of the firm since 1872.  He was married to Miss Elizabeth Shealy, of Chatfield Township.  Hamilton Ott is a graduate of the Bucyrus High School, and is now attending Wittenberg College.  J.G. Ott & Sons are among the leading business firms of the city, and have an enviable reputation for doing good work, and giving general satisfaction.”

J.G. Ott & Sons Stoves and Tinware. Employees of J.G. Ott & Sons Stoves and Tinware gathered on the sidewalk in front of the store with samples of their wares, Bucyrus, Ohio. Two figures are visible in the second-floor windows. Photo from the John Hopley Family Collection on Ohiopix.org.

Marriage records in Hardin County, Ohio show the marriage of John G. Ott and Elisabeth Orth on May 7, 1854.  The following census records provide us a snapshot in time of the family.

From the 1860 Census for we find the family listed in Dunkirk, Washington Township, Hardin County, Ohio.

  • Jno. C. (sic) Ott, age 49, male, no occupation listed, value of real estate $4000, value of personal estate $4000, born in Baden.
  • Elizabeth, age 27, female, no occupation listed, born in Pennsylvania.
  • Jno, age 21, male, machinist, born in Ohio.
  • Geo., 15, male, born in Ohio, attended school within the year.
  • Caroline, 14, female, born in Ohio, attended school within the year.
  • Augustus, age 13, male, born in Ohio, attended school within the year.
  • Louisa, age 9, female, born in Ohio, attended school within the year.
  • Hamilton, age 5, male, born in Ohio, attended school within the year.
  • Henry, age 22, male, day laborer, born in Ohio.
  • Charley, age 21, male, day laborer, born in Ohio.
  • Nicholas, age 21, male, day laborer, born in Ohio.
  • Also living at the same address was a Harmon (?) Tassing, carpenter, and his family of wife and two children.  Also note that the listing for Louisa in the 1870 Census has the entry for her of “idiot”.

From the 1870 Census, we find the family listed in the Town of Bucyrus, Bucyrus Township, Crawford County, Ohio, about 43 miles from Dunkirk, Ohio.

  • John G. Ott, male, age 60, white, occupation “Engineer in Naterhouse”, born in Baden.  Both his parents were foreign born.
  • Elizabeth, age 38, white, occupation “keeping house”, born in Pennsylvania.
  • George, age 26, male, white, born in Ohio.
  • Augustus, age 22, male, white, occupation “tinner”, born in Ohio.
  • Louise, age 19, female, white, born in Ohio, described as “idiot”.
  • Hamilton, age 15, male, white, born in Ohio, attended school in the last year.
  • Edmund, age 6, male, white, born in Ohio.  (Note that what appears to be the same person is listed as Edward in the 1880 Census.)

The 1870 census lists the value of John’s real estate at $9500, which would be about $172,295 in 2018 dollars.  His personal estate was listed at $200, or about $3627 in 2018.

From the June 1880 Census, we find the family still listed in the Town of Bucyrus, Bucyrus Township, Crawford County, Ohio, with the following members of the Ott household:

  • John G. Ott, male, age 69, occupation “hardware and stoves,” born in Baden, Germany where his parents also were born.
  • Elizabeth Orth, female, age 48, wife, occupation “keeping home,” born in Pennsylvania of parents from Hesse Cassle (see also Hesse-Kassel).
  • George Ott, male, age 26, son, occupation “tinner,” born in Ohio.
  • Hamilton Ott, male, age 25, no relationship listed, “attending school”, born in Ohio.
  • Lucy (see Louisa in 1860 and Louise in 1870), female, age 30, daughter, no occupation listed, born in Ohio.
  • Edward Ott, age 16, son, occupation “works in cigar factory”, born in Ohio.  (Note that what appears to be the same person is listed as Edmund in the 1870 Census.)

The occupation of “tinner” of the older son, George, suggests that he may have been working in some capacity with his father in the latter’s occupation of “hardware and stoves”.

According to Find-A-Grave, John G. Ott died on Dec. 25, 1891 and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Bucyrus, Crawford County, Ohio.  His grave marker appears below.

Cemetery marker for John G. Ott, Bucyrus, Ohio cemetery. Photo thanks to Find A Grave.

Also thanks to Find A Grave, we have a photo for one of his sons, Augustus Adolphus Ott:

Augustus Adolphus Ott. Photo courtesy of Find A Grave.

Rev. Hamilton A. Ott

Rev. Hamilton A. Ott, the father of Nellie Gertrude Ott and grandfather of Dwight Bolinger, was born 11 Feb. 1855 and died 28 March 1923.  His father was John G. Ott and his mother Elizabeth Orth.  It is interesting that Hamilton, the fourth of five sons (see above census repors), evidently without any other family member in the church, was the one to go to Wittenberg and become a Lutheran pastor.  Three photos of Ott follow:

H.A. Ott from the Holton, Kansas Recorder Tribune of July 16, 1903.

From the book, Who’s Who in Topeka, published in 1905 by Howard D. Berrett, we have a summary of Ott’s career up to the date of publication.

Wittenberg College, now Wittenberg University, was established in Springfield, Ohio in 1845 by a group of ministers in the English Evangelical Synod of Ohio.  According to a Wikipedia article, one of its “main missions was to ‘Americanize’ Lutherans by teaching courses in the English language instead of German.”  The school was named after Wittenberg University in Wittenberg, Germany, where Martin Luther posted his “95 Theses.”  Below is Myers Hall, Wittenberg College.  According to family researcher and cousin, Fannie Folger Grant, at first it was Wittenberg’s only building and probably where Hamilton both studied and lived.

With women having been admitted to Wittenberg College in 1874 and African-Americans in 1875, Ott would have experienced a diverse student body in the years he was studying for his A.B. (1879) and his A.M. (1881).

Hamilton Ott married Lydia A. Rowe, born April 27, 1859 in Gallipolis, Ohio and later of Springfield, Ohio, daughter of Rev. John Rowe and Lydia Augusta Greene, in 1881.  She appears below in a drawing done in 1909.  They had two daughters, Nellie Gertrude, born Aug. 16, 1883, and Grace, born April 30, 1890.

Lydia A. Rowe, Salina Evening Journal (Salina, KA), Sep. 10, 1909.

According to the Hanna Divinity School Alumni Record for Ott, in addition to his A.B. degree in 1879 and his A.M. in 1883, with graduation from Wittenberg Seminary in 1881, he received his D.D. (Doctor of Divinity) in 1905.  He was licensed by the Wittenberg Synod in 1880 and ordained by the Miami Synod in 1883.

The Hanna Divinity School record lists his positions as follows:

  • Xenia, Ohio, 1881-1884
  • Brookville, Ohio, 1884-1888
  • Freeport, Ill., 1888-1896

(In the book, In the Foot-Prints of the Pioneers of Stephenson County Illinois, Rev. H.A. Ott is described as taking over the pastorate in Nov. 1, 1888 after two preceding “dark and discouraging years”.  “Under Rev. Ott’s leadership no church in the synod increased more rapidly in membership, raised more money on its debt, or was more loyal to the benevolent demands of the synod than the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Freeport.”)

  • Quincy, Ill., 1896-1900
  • Topeka, KS, 1900-1907
  • Salina, KS, 1907-1911
  • Dover, Ohio, 1911-1914
  • Columbia City, Ind., 1914-1916

(It appears the above list is not exhaustive.  A news report in the June 21, 1894 issue of the Sterling (Ill.) Standard, pg. 10, described him as follows: “Rev. H.A. Ott, pastor of the Lutheran church, is a bundle of energy.  Five years ago, coming from Xenia, he found a congregation, feeble, discouraged, and heavily in debt, and now through his tireless management and devotion, it is not only self-supporting, but contributing to the charities of the general church.  Like Grant, Chase, Sherman, Hayes, Garfield and other brainy men, he was born and bred in Ohio.”)

An Internet search produced a post card from H.A. Ott written in 1912, apparently on the occasion of his visiting Freeport where he had served from 1888-1896.

 

In addition, he held the following offices:

  • Sec., Miami Synod, 1884, 1886
  • Sec., North Ill. Synod
  • Pres., Central Ill. Synod
  • Pres., Kansas Synod
  • Missionary Supt., Kansas Synod, 1916-?

In 1907 he authored the book A History of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Kansas, published by the Authority of the Kansas Synod.  Fortunately, reprints of it are available on abebooks.com and a scan of the book is available on the Internet thanks to Google.  The following is the table of contents:

Google has provided links from each item in the table of contents to the corresponding page in the text.

Thanks to a letter dated Feb. 28, 1964 from A.B.J. Lentz, Pastor of the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church of Louisville, Nebraska, we have Hamilton Ott’s obituary, published in the Kansas Synod Minutes 1923:

“Rev. Hamilton A. Ott, D.D. died at his home in Topeka, Kansas, March 28, 1923, aged 68 years, 1 month, and seven days.  He was born in Dola, Ohio, February 11, 1855.  He passed through the public schools in Bucyrus, Ohio, Wittenberg College and Seminary, at Springfield, Ohio; graduating from the Seminary in 1881.  He was ordained by the Miami Synod the same year.  He served pastorates in Xenia and Brookville, Ohio; Freeport and Quincy, Illinois; Topeka and Salina, Kansas; Dover, Ohio and Columbia City, Indiana.  During the last seven years of his life he was Missionary Superintendent of the Kansas Synod–also Historian of the Synod.  He was given the degree of Doctor of Divinity by his alma mater in 1905.

“Dr. Ott was a very active and useful servant of the church.  Possessed of a keen business sense and of exceptional organizing ability, he held his talent always ready to respond to the call of his church.  As a pastor he edited a parish paper in several charges, “Memorial Chimes”, recognized as a model in its class.  For the Kansas Synod he edited the Kansas Synod Lutheran, and prepared and published a history of the Synod and other Lutheran activities in the state.  He made important contributions to the systematizing of the finances of the Synod, especially in the line of Benevolence, and gave valuable service in advancing the interest of the Rock River Assembly at Dixon, Ill.  He also furnished the blackboard designs for the ‘Augsburg Teacher’ for many years.  He leaves to mourn his departure his wife: Lydia Rowe Ott and a daughter Mrs. Grace Ott Albino.

“Dr. Ott was a most useful servant of his Master and his influence for good will long be felt in every church he served.  He was deeply spiritual, a man of intense convictions.  He was truly [sic, true?] to his church and to the Word of God.”

Hamilton Ott’s grandson, Dwight Bolinger, remembered listening to Ott when he occupied the pulpit in Boulder, Colorado.  It was probably 1921.  The church was a little old frame building located on Broadway about four or five blocks north of Pearl St.  Dwight and the Otts lived there for a few weeks that summer.

The Otts made two trips overseas, the first in 1909 when they took their younger daughter, Grace, on a tour of Europe.  The second was in 1913 to the Holy Land.

Hamilton Ott with either Lydia or Grace. SS Cleveland, Aug. 27, 1909.

Gertrude and Grace, the children of Hamilton and Lydia

Grace and Gertrude, the two daughters of Hamilton and Lydia. Herlocker photo studio, Freeport, Ill.

Gertrude Ott

Hamilton and Lydia’s oldest daughter was Nellie Gertrude Ott, known as Gertrude, shown below in an undated photo.

Gertrude Ott’s graduation photo from Washburn College, Topeka, Kansas appears below:

Gertrude met Arthur Joel Bolinger at Washburn College.  Following graduation, they married on June 9, 1906, with the Reverend Ott officiating. They had one son, Dwight, shown below.

Gertrude was an accomplished pianist and organist, playing the organ at the Christian Science Church in Topeka and probably also in her father’s Lutheran Church.  Dwight could remember, at ages three, four, or five, while perched in his high chair, listening to her play piano exercises.  He attributed his fascination with music, and his desire to become a composer, to that period.  Gertrude died on Nov. 1, 1915 when he was eight years old.  For more on Dwight, see his website at http://www.dwightbolinger.net/.

Grace Ott

Grace was born on April 30, 1890 in Freeport, Illinois.  Her father, Hamilton, Ott, was the Lutheran pastor in Freeport from 1888 to 1896.  If Grace was, say, five years old when the following photo was taken, it probably dates to around 1895.

Grace, undated photo (1895?). Herlocker photographic studio, Freeport, Ill.

A damaged photo of Grace with her older sister Gertrude when they were children:

Undated photo of Grace as a young girl with bow in her hair.  Colville photography, Topeka, Kansas.

According to a questionnaire completed by Grace for the “Wittenberg Who’s Who” in 1920, her education included Topeka High School and Salina High School.  From 1908 to 1910 she attended Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina.  That fell within the time her father, Hamilton, was the pastor in Salina (1907-1911), so she may have lived at home.

Lydia, Hamilton, and Grace in front of their house. The sign reads “Lutheran Parsonage”.

Grace accompanied her parents on a trip to Europe.  Below she is shown on board the “SS Cleveland” on Aug. 27, 1909.

Two of Grace’s letters home, one from Rome, the other from Florence, both written to her friend Neva in Salina, Kansas, were transcribed by Grace’s nephew, Dwight Bolinger, in 1978, and appear below as pdf files.

Letter from Grace Ott, Rome, June 26, 1909: Letter from Grace in Rome

Letter from Grace in Florence, July 4, 1909: Letter from Grace in Florence

Scheidegg Glacier, Switzerland, July 19, 1909.  Note Lydia with umbrella and Hamilton peering up at the glacier.  Photo probably taken by Grace Ott.
Venice, July 10, 1909.
Grace on Arched Bridge, St. Angelo Square, Venice.
Campo Sant’Angelo, Venice. Modern photo.
Hamilton and Lydia at the Luther Monument, Worms, Germany.
Modern photo of the Luther Monument, Worms, Germany.

Grace spent her junior and senior years (1910-1912) attending Wittenberg College, in Springfield, Ohio, graduating with an A.B. degree.  While at Wittenberg, she was a member of the Alpha Xi Delta, women’s fraternity, the YWCA, and was honored as class poet.  Following Wittenberg she attended summer school at the University of Chicago.

Undated photo of Grace in a Dutch or German costume.
Undated photo of Grace.

Grace began her teaching career in 1913, teaching high school at Canal Dover, Ohio from 1913-1914; Gary, Indiana, from 1914-1918 (see the Emerson School below); and serving as principal at the Silver Lake, Kansas, High School from 1919-1920, located a little to the west of Topeka.

At some point Grace met D.J. Albino (later Albins), who came to be known by the name John Albins.  She would marry him in 1917 when she was 27.  One family story is that it took him ten years to to persuade her to accept his hand in marriage.  If so, he would have met her when she was 17.  Another family anecdote is that he was the paymaster for the Erie Canal.  With Canal Dover (see above), on the Erie Canal having been Grace’s first teaching job, it seems that there is a good chance that he had met her there at least by 1913.

While she was still teaching in Gary, Indiana, she married Albins of that city on November 29, 1917.  According to the the Topeka State Journal (Nov. 30, 1917), her father, Hamilton Ott, solemnized the wedding.  He was described at superintendent of the Lutheran Church and former pastor of the First English Lutheran Church in Topeka.  According to the article, “The bride has been a teacher of ancient languages in the Emerson School of Gary for the past four years.  Mr. Albino is president of the Slavonic Colonization Company of North America, with headquarters in Gary.  Mr. and Mrs. Albino will make their home in Gary.”  According to his application for a passport in 1912, he was born in Bunic, Austro-Hungary on Nov. 8, 1887, emigrated to the U.S. from Bremen, Germany on May 10, 1904, living in Minneapolis up to the time of his application, working as an employment agent.  Census records list his native language as Slavonic, which is the language of Croatia where Bunic is located.

Grace Ott, Emerson H.S. Yearbook, 1917.

From 1914 to 1918, Grace taught Latin at the Emerson School in Gary, Indiana.  The Emerson School Yearbook for 1917 had the following quote:

Emerson School in 1913

The school opened in 1909 and, according to a Wikipedia article, it included an auditorium, gymnasium, pool, and even a zoo.  There were over seven laboratories, separate band and orchestra rooms, art studios, and rooms for industrial and household arts.  Quite unusual for its time, the athletic facilities included an indoor swimming pool and an upstairs running track.

A photo of the Latin Club at Emerson School in 1918 shows Grace in the black dress at the far left.

During a visit to Topeka, Kansas this picture was taken of her with her children, Vlado and Philip.  On the reverse she has written “Member this day in Topeka?”

Philip and Feodor.

Probably in 1926, Grace’s mother, Lydia A. Rowe Ott, came to visit the family.  Below is a photo of her with Philip and Vlado.

Lydia A. Ott (Lydia A. Rowe), mother of Grace and Gertrude, with Philip and Vlado, probably in 1926.

An undated photo from the time Grace and her husband lived in Colorado appears below.  Written on the back by her is “Come on in the water’s cold.  That’s about the only thing to say against Colo.”  Note her reflection in the water.

Grace seems to have had a fondness for horses.  Two family photos show her astride them.

Grace and “Brown Jug”

Grace and John lived in Colorado for several years.  Grace’s nephew, Dwight Bolinger, remembered visiting them there.  (More details to be filled in here.)  Later they moved to Garfield, New Mexico, a little north of Las Cruces.  And in 1928 they moved to Phoenix, Arizona.  For five years Grace taught school at Bumble Bee, now a ghost town, and in Black Canyon City, both in Yavapai County.  She and her family helped to establish the townsite of Black Canyon, 45 miles north of Phoenix.

John, Feodor, Grace, and Vladimir Albins, Cañon, AZ July, 1933.

In 1986, her nephew, Dwight, described his memories of Black Canyon:

Grace, Vladimir (?), Ted (?), and Dwight, ca. 1935.
Vladimir (?), Dwight, Ralph Hichens (Dwight’s nephew), and Ted?), 1935. Years later Dwight, in a letter to Phil and Jeane, would say that for Ralph, the visit “was the high point of his young life.”

Dwight Bolinger kept up a regular correspondence with Grace and her family.  We have a summary of their letters as follows:

1931: References by Grace to rents due them; court trials over property; that they plan to farm at Cañon, Arizona; her plans to teach school; 120 deg. heat. John is in Mexico but had been in Bumble Bee, AZ in the end of 1931.

1932: John is in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, for his health.  They are involved in property negotiations in Springfield, (Ill. apparently).  Refers to money coming in on the Springfield property.  Reference to selling two tons of tomatoes and cucumbers in Prescott where they spent part of the summer.  John feels better than ever since 1918.  Reference to bronchitis trouble of John.  By August they are living in the open.  Grace has canned 200 qts. of tomatoes.  Vlado is finishing 9th grade.  Feodor starts school in September.  Reference to their having been buying a house in Phoenix but having given it up.

1933: In January John is variously at Obregon, Sonora, Mexico, and Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, while Grace is in Cañon, Ariz.

1934: Vlado is to be in high school in two years.

1935: Grace is teaching night school (total enrollment of 41) including a dramatics class.  They are growing tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus.  Drought problems.  Grace is teaching Vladimir because they couldn’t send him back to Glendale (h.s.) until Jan. 21.  They sold the goats.  Grace sings while she plays the piano and it upsets her cat who thinks she is making distress sounds.

1937: In August Grace mentions teaching in a private school in the fall of 1936 but later becoming a governess to the children in some well-off families.  She writes from Flagstaff, Ariz.  Two of the boys are to go to Phoenix H.S. (except for Feodor who will stay at Cañon). They have three “ranches”.

1938: In March Vladimir writes that he is in his 6th year of high school (having missed two years) and now is at Phoenix H.S.  Glendale H.S. wasn’t good from his point of view.  He is interested in writing.  In July Grace writes.  She cooks for 10-15 men working in their agricultural holdings, evidently.  Vlado spent his summer as chauffeur for a wealthy woman driving her around the country.

Sep. 12, 1939: Grace to DLB: “Buried V(ladimir) today…. V. went to party on Saturday.  Died on Thursday.  So sudden.  Had no chance to fight.  Poor boy.  Hired man ill too; taken to Fort Whipple.  V. had pneumonia but P.M. showed panerealitis (sp?) (hemorrhagic).  In the dark as to cause.”

In October Grace takes up tutoring again in Phoenix; Feodor and Philip go to high school.  John is at the ranch.

1940: Grace still working in Phoenix in October while Phil is an auto mechanic.  He has one year of high school and plans to go on to college or vocational training.  He is looking for a job in a Los Angeles plane factory.  In December Feodor is living in Phoenix near Grace and is taking care of the orange grove.  Phil is to leave for L.A.

1943: In May it is mentioned that Phil is stationed at McClelland Field, Calif., after enlisting; transferred to Camp Merced.  Grace and Feodor are staying on the military reservation to be near him.  In October we learn that Grace is in Sacramento.  John writes an article on the Slavs and sends it to Dwight for criticism.  Phil is stationed at Merced air base as a mechanic.  Feodor is to be 17 on Jan. 3, 1944.  He is 6’2″, 190 lb.  In December Phil signs up for trade school and is sent to Chanute Field, Illinois.

1944: In December John, we learn, is living with Feodor in Phoenix where Feodor is going to his last year of high school.  Philip is sent to New York.  Grace is still at McClellan Field in California, teaching apparently.

1945: In March it is mentioned that Phil is serving in India.  In December he is still there.  John says he hasn’t heard from his mother in Yugoslavia since 1940.  Grace is working for Social Security and Welfare Board.  John lives in Phoenix and has the ranch taken care of.  Feodor is in his 4th year of high school.

1946:  In January Feodor is referred to as being in the Army also.  Phil is on his way home.  By November it is mentioned that in April Phil returned; married a California girl who is part American Indian from Oklahoma.  Feodor is in Korea.  In November John writes that one of his sister’s children (Mileva) was declared a Heroine of Yugoslavia for killing 13 Germans and that the son of a Canadian cousin of his had achieved recognition: the son’s name is Daug (sp?) Olbina, who at 23 was Tito’s Political Commissar, at 24 was a colonel in Tito’s army, and at 26 was elected mayor of Sarajevo.  John says that yesterday “was 29 years since I married Miss Grace Ott” (making their marriage Nov. 27, 1917).  Grace is still working for the Social Security Administration; Phil is working as a garage mechanic; Feodor is in an Eng. Construction Detachment in Korea.

1947: In January there is a reference to Phil selling insurance.  In December there is a mention of Grace working for the Social Security Administration;  Philip is selling insurance for Farmers Auto Insurance Co.; Feodor is to come back from Korea in June 1948 as a Staff Sergeant.

1948: On April 6, 1948 John refers to himself as 60 years old.  Refers to Phil and Jeane.

1949: On March 30, John refers to a child by the name of Rodney, probably the son of Feodor and born around Sep. 1948.  Grace is still with the Social Security Administration.  On July 29, 1949, Jean’s baby girl, Phyllis, is 8 days old today.  Feodor is operating heavy equipment on highway construction.

1953: On Jan. 28, Dwight Bolinger writes to Ted (Feodor) and congratulates him on his son Gregory John born probably at the end of 1952.

1954: In October Dwight Bolinger speaks of Grace’s work as if it were for the State of Arizona or Maricopa County.  Grace had written to AJ Bolinger, her sister Gertrude’s husband, and spoke of her retirement as set for April 1955 with a pension.  She carried 300-400 cases in her load and found it difficult to manage it all.  Spoke of the ranch as being of 800 acres.  Phil is an auto insurance district manager.  Ted (or was it the reverse) as having his own branch office with the same company.  Four grandchildren.  Grace refers to herself as having worked so hard to keep her mind off the loss of Vladimir.

1960: March.  Dwight Bolinger receives a thank you card for his sympathy on Grace’s passing, from John; Ted, Barbara, and their children; and Phil and Jeane and their children.

1961: December.  John refers to Philip’s children as Philis and David.  Refers to his own birthday (John’s) as November 8 when he will be 74.  Refers to his new flame.  In July he announces his marriage to Bertha Hansen on April 25, 1961.  Plans to visit Yugoslavia after 48 years of absence (i.e., he left there in 1913).

1962: Black Canyon, Arizona is the only return address on Uncle John’s letter.

From Grace’s obituary article we have:

During WWII Grace was an assistant director of the women’s dormitory at McCullen [probably McClellan] AFB, California.  She worked for the Maricopa County Welfare Department from 1945 to 1955, when she retired and moved to Black Canyon.  Grace passed away on February 21, 1960.  She was buried in the family plot in Black Canyon.  She was survived by her husband, John (Demiter), two sons, Philip and Ted (Feodor), a nephew (Dwight Bolinger) and five grandchildren.

Feodore (Ted), Grace, and John (Demiter).  Undated photo from Dwight Bolinger.

John (Demiter) Albins remarried in 1962 to Bertha E. Hansen.  He was 74 and she was 55.  He died in May 1974.

According to a family tree prepared by Dwight Bolinger in 1984 there were the following descendants of the three sons of Grace and John:

  • Vladimir Albins.  Born Nov. 8, 1917, he died Sep. 7, 1939, age 21, from acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis.  No children.
  • Philip and Jean:
    • Phyllis, whose daughter was Jacie René
    • David, whose children were Mark and Karen.
  • Ted (Feodor), born in El Paso, TX, and Katie Marie Weaver (deceased 1984):
    • Rodney Ben Albins (no children known).  Deceased 1972.
    • Gregory John Albins married Carol Albins Mardis.  Their children were Joshua John Albins, born Sep. 9, 1975, and Travis Vaughn Albins, born Jan. 14, 1979.  Joshua John Albins married Annemarie Burg Albins and they have a son, Easton Carl Albins, and a daughter, Tawny Josephine Albins.  Joshua is a police officer in Kemmerer, Wyoming.
    • Alysia Ann Albins Labonte, who married David Labonte, and has a son Ryan and one other child, name unknown.
  • Ted (Feodor) and Barbara
    • Douglas Stuart Albins.  Douglas died in 1984 when he fell asleep at the wheel while coming home from the military.
    • Step-daughter Tammy Johnson Albins
  • Ted and Wanda
    • No known children

According to an article published Oct. 29, 1979 in the Arizona Republic of Phoenix, Ted Feodor Albins died Oct. 27, 1979 in an automobile accident.  He was general manager of Hurricane Car Washes and a member of the 29th Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He was a Korean War veteran and moved to Arizona in 1929 from his native Texas.

Photos of the family:

Phil (Feodor) Albins. Photo thanks to Linda Crandall and Find A Grave.

Philip died on Oct. 26, 2009.  The newspaper The Daily Courier in an article by Bruce Colbert, published on Nov. 4, 2009, described the memorial and recounted memories of Phil and Jeane, as follows:

“Family and friends gathered Saturday at the Albins Family Memorial Park and Chapel in Black Canyon City to mourn longtime resident and community supporter Phil Albins.

“After slipping into a coma two weeks ago, Albins, 88, of Black Canyon City died quietly on Oct. 26, 2009.  ‘He was comfortable,’ said Jeane, his wife of 63 years. ‘That’s all I asked, that he be kept comfortable at the end.’

“Black Canyon City resident Bob Cothern said the chapel was filled to standing room only for Albins’ memorial. Albins’ son David and retired DPS officer and longtime BCC resident Chuck Torrie, among others, spoke about their memories of Albins.

“After the the service, many friends and family members gathered at the Albins home for a barbecue.

“The Albins are a legendary family in Black Canyon City.  Phil’s father, Dimitri ‘D.J.’ John Albins, settled in the tiny hamlet of Cañon (now called Black Canyon City) in 1929 and started farming. His wife, Grace, and three young sons, Phil, Vladimir and Feodor, first lived in a tent at Bumble Bee.

“Phil met Jeane in 1944 while he was in the Army Air Corps and she worked in a tomato-packing plant in Chowchilla, Calif. They married in 1946 after his discharge from the Army.  ‘We met, and that was that,’ Jeane said. They moved to Phoenix in 1946 and ‘were poor as church mice.’

“Phil applied for a sales job at Farmers Insurance.  ‘He almost didn’t get the job,’ Jeane said. ‘The district agent said Phil didn’t talk enough. You can’t sell insurance if you don’t talk.’  Within a year, Farmers named Phil the top salesman of the year. Eventually, he became a district manager. He sold his district and opened the Phil Albins Insurance Co.

“In 1948, the Albins ventured into the real estate business. They bought and remodeled an old Army barracks in Phoenix.  ‘It was part of a Japanese internment camp during the war,’ Phil said in a 2007 interview. ‘We cut the building in half and built two apartments in one half and a two-bedroom home in the other half.’

“In 1971, Phil and Jeane permanently moved back to Black Canyon City. They bought some land from D.J.’s estate and opened a real estate business, calling it Albins Ranch, although they did not own a ranch.

“In 1966, D.J. became the first Albins philanthropist when he donated two acres of land to build the Albins Civic Center. Phil and Jeane continued his philanthropy habit.  They donated land for the Black Canyon Fire Station; a community library; a VFW Hall; 10 acres for Cañon School; three acres for Grace Lutheran Church; and five acres for a Yavapai County Sheriff’s substation.  In 2007, they donated 27 acres adjacent to their home along the Agua Fria River for a future Black Canyon Heritage Park.

“‘I don’t know where this town would be if it wasn’t for Phil and Jeane donating to so many worthy causes,’ Black Canyon City resident Bob Cothern said.  ‘People think we got our start from D.J., but we didn’t,’ Jeane said in a previous interview. ‘Phil and I have worked for everything that we have ever received.'”

See also the article “Albins Donate 27 Acres for Community Park“.