Sunday, September 24, 2017

Report of Materials at the Watts House and the Public Library in Scappoose, Oregon September 2017

After a year of sorting, organizing, reading, typing, putting into notebooks, making lists and taking lots of notes I am drawing to a close on the Watts House Collections Inventory for the Scappoose Historical Society. There are still a few odds and ends to finish now that the overall project is completed. There are several posts on my blog if you are interested in seeing what we found. Today I created two notebooks, one for the overall board information and the other for all of the collections. That is how I preserve the memories and compilations in a format that documents the many hours spent on this project. My thanks to Tricia Oberndorf, Karen Holmberg, Dorothy Gallagle, our board member Mardi's daughter, Mardi's high school students and anyone else I may have overlooked. It has been a great learning adventure which has enhanced my working skills immensely!

September 2016 to September 2017 Report of Organization and Inventory of Materials at the
Watts House and the Scappoose Public Library for the Scappoose Historical Society

Overview of Work Completed

Reports Included

Watts House Collections - 
                Scappoose Historical Society Board Materials - 3 notebooks and filing cabinet
                Books Originally at Watts House - 203 books
                Books with Signatures at Watts House - to be compiled
                Books from Scappoose Public Library - 236 books
                Books at Scappoose Public Library - 198 books
                Books with Signatures at Scappoose Public Library - 20 books
Old Ledger Books Downstairs at Watts House - 6 books, 2 scanned
Old Books behind Counter at Watts House - 12 books
Newspapers in Six Totes at Watts House - 311 papers with various content
Scrapbook Collection at Watts House - 30 books
Scappoose Congregational Church Books and Materials at Watts House - 60 books and 2
Notebooks Created at Watts House - 8 notebooks plus
Pictures Sorted in Totes at Watts House - 5 totes

There are about 637 Watts Books and 108 books in the other collections not including notebooks, newspapers and items in totes to finish sorting including pictures. We have scanned two books and a few of the older newspapers. Copies were made of the pages in books that have signatures and these are found in a notebook. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Watts House Collections - Compiled Family Histories

These family histories were written by family members and others who wanted to preserve the stories of the Watts family. Three of them were written in 1976 as part of the Bi-Centennial Celebration of the United States. Van Watts, while not a descendant, contributed greatly to the story and promoted the family during this time period.

The Watts Family in Oregon, 1852-1934 by James Grant Watts (1940)

History of Scappoose by James Loring Watts, son of James Grant Watts, (1976)

Genealogy of the Covered Wagon Wattses by Maude Watts Collier, half-sister of James Grant Watts

"Covered Wagon Watts" by Alice Mary Watts, cousin of James Grant Watts

My Columbia County Relatives by Ida Strong Seggel, aunt of James Grant Watts (1976)

"Foghorn" Diary by Dr. John William Watts, uncle of James Grant Watts

Ben Watts Trail Log by Benjamin Marion Watts, uncle of James Grant Watts

Watts Family Encyclopedia by Van Watts (1976)

The Watts House Collections - Old Ledger Books Downstairs

This was the first set of ledger books. A transcription was made of the first book due to the fragile nature of the book. It is done as close as possible to the original, but many pages are very hard to read. With the digitized copy and more time to verify some of the text a more complete and accurate transcription may be made. The second book for the Watts/Price store is easier to read and so only a list of names included was created.  The pages of the book are for various families who had accounts with the store, with extensive lists of the items being purchased. The last four books were used to create lists of people who lived in the area and paid water payments and other types of transactions with the city of Scappoose. 

1. Scappoose, Oregon Historical Sketches, Good History, 25 names: Book No 1, Pioneers, 
1824 – 1850; J. G. Watts, 1940; Lists of Names for 1830, 1840, 1850; Earliest Settlers 1845; Scappoose Sunday School - Ralph Watts Supt. 83 years old; J. G. Watts - City of Scappoose, 1852. Scanned by Columbia County Historical Museum 2017.

2. Watts/Price Store 1889/1890, Singed ledger book, lists of sales to Individuals. Scanned by Columbia County Historical Museum 2017.

3. Cash Book, Ledger of Water Payments and other City of Scappoose Financial Records,
January 1, 1941 to June 30, 1942, 131 pages.

4. Journal, Ledger of Water Payments and other City of Scappoose Financial Records July 1942 to June 1944, 201 pages. Expenses on Library 2nd Quarter 1944 Library $15.00.

5. S. E. Ledger, Water Payments and other City of Scappoose Financial Records
January 1945 to February 1946, 138 pages

6. Journal, Records for 1948-1949, Scappoose City Taxes for Commercial Accounts, 142 pages.

The Watts House Collections - Old Ledger Books Behind Counter

Watts House Collections - Old Books Behind Counter
May 25, 2017

This week we worked on cleaning out the counter in the store and found some great treasures. Dorothy and Karen assisted in this task. The books include:

1. Abstract of Warrants 1 – Town of Scappoose, Oregon, large ledger book, 1920- , expense accounting

2. Claim Register 1 – Town of Scappoose, Oregon, large ledger book, July 22, 1920 to April 4, 1921, 1923, Council Meeting, Claim Collections

3. Treasurer’s Cash Book 1 – Town of Scappoose, Oregon, large ledger book, 1921-1945, some water accounts, extra sheets July 1945- June 1947

4. Scappoose Garden Club 1928 Incorporation, Rose E. Watts note 3 Apr 1952
Pres. Asa Holaday
Vice Pres. Mrs. J. G. Watts
Sec/Trea. Mrs. George Frakes
Directors C. H. Keyes and Chas. Gerlach

5. Scappoose Garden Club 22 Apr. 1938-1942, Rose Watts Vice Pres., Library Rose Watts, Legislature Pearl Becker

6. Garden Club Small Ledger Book from 1956 to 1972, 144 pages, 17 pages of notes, lots of lists of names

7. Grange Organization meeting Jan. 18, 1936, mentions other local granges, Pearl Becker – 1941

8. City Ledger Book, General Accounts 1943-1944: General, Water, Road, State Tax Street Fund,
1946 Water Payments
Licenses, Fines, Taxes, Liquors, State Tax Street Fund, Misc.
Library Expenses, Auditing, Real Estate, Care of Prisoners, Salaries, Fire, Tree, S.I.A. Commissioner, Recorder – Salary/Supplies, Attorney Salary, Treasurer Salary, Rent, Library, Emergency, Bone Premiums, Lease, Telephone, Total Budget, Total Spent, Balance

9. City of Scappoose tall ledger book, 1942-1943, Water Collection 1939 – 1941, City of Scappoose
C. M. Dorris
Mary Ewing
Mrs. Daisy Hazen
J. G. Watts
James L. Watts

10. Small Ledger Book, probably of J. G. Watts, Level Book 3, Cash Book

11. Scappoose Cook Book, 1909, The Oregon Mist, St. Helens, 60 pages. A Book of Recipes by Columbia County Ladies

12. Scappoose Cook Book 1924, 95 pages.  A Book of Tested Recipes Collected by The Ladies’ Aid of Scappoose, Oregon

The Watts House Collections - Scrapbooks

There were thirty scrapbooks found at the Watts house. They cover a wide range of topics. Eight of them are articles written by the Roving Reporter with Social Notes published in the Columbia Herald from 1961 to 1980. Another is newspaper articles written by Karl Klooster, but there are no dates on the articles. I won’t go into detail on the other twenty-eight as they are explained some in the attached list. My favorite scrapbooks are numbers 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7. These will be further reviewed as time allows. So glad that we could get that finished.

Watts House Scrapbook Collection

1.       James Grant Watts scrapbook 1864-1954, empty.
2.       The Watts house, the Children’s museum department of the Scappoose Historical museum, a project submitted 1979-1980, Community Improvement Program, General Foundation of Women’s Clubs, Sears, Roebuck & Co., the Scappoose Women’s Club, Scappoose, Oregon, March 1, 1980, newspaper articles, pictures of basement displays and remodel, Women’s Club 1973-1974, 1978.
3.       Photograph Album of Howard and Francis Hamaker family, pictures not identified.
4.       Picture album, blue, Scappoose homes and Business, good for developing a walking tour.
5.       Rivers Bend Charter Chapter, large book, American Business Women’s Association, pictures with captions, newspaper articles, etc. ¾ pages are empty
6.       Scappoose for Business for Beauty, large book, wood cover, old Scappoose map, pictures with captions, newspaper articles.
7.       Scappoose Native American Mosaic on cover, wood cover, large book, art drawings, paintings, pictures, dance card, Scappoose Land Use Plan Map, Dairy Princess, Band, 3rd Annual Pow Wow 1961.
8.       ABWA Membership Scrapbook 1977-1987.
9.       OFWC Scappoose Jr. Women’s Club, Oregon Federation of Women’s Clubs, Feb. 1, 1966 to Mar. 1, 1967, newspaper articles.
10.   Scappoose Women’s Club 1966-1967, organized Apr. 30, 1959, federated July 1959, incorporated June 1966, newspaper articles.
11.   Scappoose scrapbook, newspaper articles, 1958-1960.
12.   Green scrapbook, Scappoose Unit Home Extension 1957, handouts and newspaper articles.
13.   Boy Scout letters 1999.
14.   Flowered scrapbook, Girl Scout letters 1978, Scappoose Middle School 1980.
15.   Newspaper articles 1978.
16.   Photos maroon scrap book, picture of Watts people at original home identified, picture of Main Street early Scappoose, Christmas tree at the Watts house, Native American picture from OHS, many empty plastic sheets for small pictures, 5 pictures per page.
17.   Black notebook, newspaper articles 1978-1979.
18.   Book I The Bridge Tender (Oregon’s Covered Bridges), pictures and newspaper articles.
19.   Book II The Bridge Tender (Oregon’s Covered Bridges), pictures and newspaper articles.
20.   Sailing boats scrapbook, scenic brochures and pictures of Oregon, plant pictures, post cards including Caples House.
21.   Twelve New Gibson Girls Hitherto Unpublished cover with plant collection, real plants and identification.
22.   Spiral scrapbook, Karl Klooster, news articles, no dates.
23.   Large light brown scrapbook, Social Notes, Roving Reporter, Columbia Herald, 1962-1964.
24.   Large white scrapbook, Social Notes, Roving Reporter, Columbia Herald, 1965-1967.
25.   Large blue scrapbook, Social Notes, Roving Reporter, Columbia Herald, 1967-1969.
26.   Large cream colored scrapbook, Social Notes, Roving Reporter, Columbia Herald, 1970-1971.
27.   Large light brown scrapbook, Social Notes, Roving Reporter, Columbia Herald,  1971-1973.
28.   Large brown embossed scrapbook, Social Notes, Roving Reporter, Columbia Herald, 1973-1975.
29.   Large green scrapbook, Social Notes, Roving Reporter, Columbia Herald, 1976-1977.

30.   Large maroon scrapbook, Social Notes, Roving Reporter, Columbia Herald, 1978-1980.

The Watts House Collections - Newspapers

June 24, 2017

We finally got the newspapers brought upstairs so there was room to sort through them and inventory what we have. It took about fourteen hours of work, but it is done! Once the information is typed up we will share the newspapers in the collection. We did find a 1928 Scappoose Register and two 1931 Scappoose Independent papers. There is one tote of local Columbia County papers, one tote of the Bicentennial papers, three totes of Oregonians and one tote of Oregon Journals. While you can access some of them online the copies are not always easy to read. Most of these papers concern major national and world events. The motivation to finish this dirty and time consuming work are the last two collections to now process. We will be working on the scrap books and church collection in the coming month. Those will contain some of the heart of this community. I hope to close out the processing of the museum collections within the year of my first beginning the work. 

September 17, 2017
Two months later it is time to post this and finish up the inventory record of the Newspaper Collection at the Watts House in Scappoose, Oregon.
Original post July 17, 2017.

Today I finished sorting six totes of newspapers at the Watts house. I will post the lists on my blog in a few days. The Oregonian is mostly in three totes (1943-2009) and the Oregon Journal is in one tote (1923-1982). There is one tote holding mostly Oregon Bicentennial papers (1959-1970) and one tote of local Columbia County papers (1928-1985). It was a dirty, messy job, and now I need to type up the lists. All that is left to sort through are the church records and the scrapbooks. Karen and Dorothy have been very supportive of this work. It is fun to share with each other our findings of each day. We are almost ready to start scanning pictures, articles and other important papers. The notebooks containing our findings are on the shelf and ready for use.

The church books were delivered to me for listing and making brief notes from them. That totally has distracted me for weeks. The typing of lists will wait as I want to return the books as soon as possible.

Its been ten days since I posted on facebook. Just what have I been up to? Three major genealogy projects. The most interesting is reviewing the church books from the Watts house. There are forty books in all shapes and sizes. They begin with the very founding of the church in 1890 and end in 1984. There are baptisms, marriages and even some deaths. Pages and pages of minutes, lists and lists of members of the various groups. Priceless books that have been buried in the basement for decades. I am 3/4 through and the current book for the Ladies Aid society of 1924-1927 is the most interesting. Now back to work!

Serendipity Found in a Newspaper Article

"Well here goes, I must say, you are tenacious, based on your research you will get the info with or without me."
Thank you to a current client for this wonderful compliment. I do push to look in every nook and cranny I can think of when researching a family's history. The person had been most helpful in providing direct personal family information while I worked with the online resources. Her family was one of the last parts of a family and when I looked online I found information about her immediate family including six children. But I needed to connect to her birth family. In looking online at I found an article about her sister's wedding listing all of the family members. I call that a serendipity moment. There were no other articles about the family with a rather uncommon surname that came up!