Monday, August 15, 2016

Matrilineal Monday ... Armentia Belle (Wiseman) Dillman





Armentia Belle (Wiseman) Dillman

My paternal great grandmother. She is one of the reasons I became fascinated with family history in the first place. Her life story seemed so tragic. Wife, mother of five children (one who became my grandfather); she died at the young age of 33. For reasons I've not entirely discovered her children for the most part were left to be raised by others. 


She died over forty years before I was born; yet her life story had a huge impact on me. She was one of the first ancestors I decided to research when I started this genealogy journey so many years ago. 


Although I still have 'blanks' in her life story, I have been able to find tidbits of information over the years to help fill in her story...


Armentia - Belle - as she was known, was born on April 9, 1886 in Leavenworth, Crawford County, Indiana. She was the fourth of six children born to Abraham Wiseman and his second wife Mary Olive Gleason.

The 1900 Federal Census for Ohio Township, Crawford County, Indiana shows Belle - age 14 - living in a household with her parents, Abe and Mary, along with 5 siblings. She had been in school for 6 months during the previous school year; she could both read and write.





Family history says that in August of 1904, at the age of 18 Belle married Clyde Taylor Dillman in Crawford County, Indiana. 

On March 27th of 1906 Belle gave birth to their first child, Orville Wayne Dillman.


Then on December 21st of 1908 their second child, another son, Estel Elmer was born. Estel's birth certificate states he was born in Leavenworth, Crawford County, Indiana.


In The English News, one of the local newspapers for English, Indiana (about 15 miles from Leavenworth) dated April 23, 1909 I found this:



"Clyde Dillman and family left first of the week for Rockport to reside."

So it appears that in April of 1909 Clyde, Belle and their 2 children left Leavenworth and moved to Rockport, Indiana. Rockport is located along the Ohio River about 60 miles southwest of Leavenworth. Records show that they didn't live there very long; probably less than a year.

By the time of the 1910 Federal Census dated April 15, Clyde, Belle and the 2 boys were living in South Ellensburg, Kittitas County, Washington; a long distance from southern Indiana. Although I'm not entirely sure, I suspect they made the move for a job opportunity for Clyde.



My Grandfather Clyde Landiss Dillman always said he was born in Washington State. He celebrated his birthday as October 26, 1910. I've not been able to locate his birth certificate either in Indiana or Washington. 

Again, they didn't live there long. By January 1913 the family had moved back to Crawford County, Indiana and Clyde was employed at the Leavenworth Button Mill. In December of that year another son, Howard, was born. (His birth certificate lists him as the 5th child born, with 4 living. So sometime between 1908 when Estel was born and 1913 when Howard was born, Belle must have give birth twice. Once, my grandfather, once an unknown child that must have died.)


Then in September of 1916, Belle gave birth to a girl, Reva Belle. So the family of Clyde and Belle now consists of 4 sons and 1 daughter.


The year was 1920. Belle and family were now living in Jeffersonville, 
Clark County, Indiana. She was now a busy mom with five children, ages 13, 11, 9, 6 and 3 living at home; four of those children in school.

By 1920 the influenza epidemic had been striking across the United States for over two years. Unfortunately, the family of Clyde and Belle weren't left untouched. Belle contracted the disease on January 29th which quickly turned to pneumonia. She died on Tuesday, February 3rd; she was 33 years old. She was buried on February 4th in Walnut Ridge Cemetery in Jeffersonville. 


I found this article mentioning her death in the Clark County Republican, published in Jeffersonville, dated Thursday, February 5, 1920:





A few years ago I was able to visit the Walnut Ridge Cemetery located in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Belle's grave marker is located in the 'old singles section'; not in a family plot.


Armentia Dillman Grave Marker in Walnut Ridge Cemetery
It is a small stone; not in very good shape. It's rather hard to read due to the lichen growing on the stone.


Armentia Belle Dillman Grave Marker

It reads - Armintie B Dillman 1886-1920. 

Belle Wiseman Dillman lived her short life as a daughter, a wife, a mother. My great grandmother; without her story I wouldn't have mine.



This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2016 by Lisa Dillman Wright.




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