Tuesday, May 19, 2009


There was supposed to be a trial in Edwardsville, Illinois this week, so I went there. I drove to Newburgh, NY, took a plane to Philly, another plane to St Louis, and a rental car to Edwardsville. Then I found out the trial had been continued because the plaintiff had had the nerve to die over the weekend without consulting me or considering my convenience and travel plans. So I spent the night in Edwardsville and changed my flight, which for reasons unfathomable became twice as costly. Is US Airways trying to alienate my client, a huge conglomerate that could buy and sell it a hundred times over?

Anyway, I made it home alive, although I had the misfortune on both return legs to have seat mates even fatter than me. I thought we should raise the armrest between us and let our folds of fat interlock, but each considered the armrest indispensable.

I had been keen to go to Edwardsville for this trial because I thought it would give me a chance to look for the grave of my great great great great great grandmother who moved to the vicinity with her two older sons back in the 1830s. Her youngest son, my ancestor, had died young, and his children were being raised by their maternal uncle Samuel Morrow in Knoxville, Tennessee. My branch of the family stayed in Tennessee for a while longer, although my ancestor's daughter, Ann Eliza Warnack Connick, spent some time with her uncle Isaac E. Warnack in Madison County, Illinois.

Isaac E. and Henry D. and their progeny, my ancestor's brothers, used their patrimony from Frederick Christian Warnack II's, their father's, paper company, Eagle Paper, to buy thousands of acres in Illinois and to establish themselves in the stoneware business. My ancestor was apprenticed out to a tailor, an occupation which he took up at the age of 19 in Marysville, Blount County, Tennessee. What became of his patrimony we will never know, but the Morrows were a prosperous lot. Just saying.

Frederick II had been born in Prussia about 1770. His wife, Elisabeth, was born in Pennsylvania of German parents around 1773, and she moved with her sons to Madison County in the late 1830s. Her husband had died in 1821. The paper company was sold after Frederick's death. Family legend has it that Eagle Paper supplied newsprint for the Cherokee Phoenix, the newspaper published in the Cherokee phonetic alphabet. Of course, family legend says a lot of things that can't be verified.

Elisabeth Warnack was still alive in 1860, but I found her not in the 1870 census. Presumably, she died between 1860 and 1870, and I expect she was buried in Upper Alton, Illinois. Alas, I had no opportunity to troll around in old boneyards in Upper Alton on my client's dime.

This abortive trip was not a complete waste, however. I did learn that my progarm of avoiding the gym and overeating had not helped with my hunkification project and that I had to buy new, larger clothes for the trip. Will this be the wake up call that inspires me to lose weight and get in shape? The odds are not good.


Michael Menke said...

I'd love to make contact and discuss Warnack ancestors. I agree with most of your assertions, but you have some unique information. Please contact me at mmenke41@gmail.com. Thanks.

Michael Menke

Anonymous said...

I own a good sized portion of the old Warnack Pottery site. If you would like to email me , dwblt@sbcglobal.net. Would be happy to share some photos of the findings of Digs on the site.