Sunday, May 25, 2014

+William Sherman Edingburg

Uncle Will as I called him was quite the character, he was known for being a bit eccentric but everyone loved him including me.  He lived on the property that his father owned all his life except for his short stint in the  military.
He had his own little cottage in back of the main house.

William Sherman Edingburg was born June 28, 1889 in Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee and died Jan 14, 1959 Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee.

Before 1908 a lot of the cities or towns didn't record birth or deaths, but Chattanooga did record births from 1879 and deaths from 1872. As of yet I haven't found Williams record of birth but I continue to look.

So the first time I find William is in the census of 1900:
He's 10 years old living with his parents Daniel and Minnie, and siblings in Chattanooga, TN.  
Next census is 1910, William is 22 years old living at home.

1918 he signs up for the draft at age 27, and his entrainment date June 1, 1918 to Fort Wayne, Michigan Aviation Mobilization Camp.

 Uncle Will was a carpenter by trade and a very good one at that.  He worked with his father Daniel, and also did carpenter work on his own, and did some engraving and sculptures for tombstones for different companies.
Uncle Will loved children and since I was the only child around he took me under his wing and showed me all of what he did in a day.  We would feed the ducks, work in the garden and orchard, I was only 3 and 4 years old when all this took place but I remember him well.  Plus as I wrote in another post he got himself in trouble a lot with my mom for letting me eat so many grapes, and also for me getting muddy all the time.  It couldn't be helped, he loved to play with me, so all the mess just went with having fun.  

The 1920 census he's still a single person at age 30 living at the cottage at his parents home with some siblings still living at home and a new daughter in-law and nephew as well.

My mom would always get after him anyway but it did no good as the next day we were back out side getting into trouble all over again.  My mom just loved Uncle Will, she always had fond memories of him and always said he was such a nice man and just loved children.  Unfortunately no one has a photo of him, I have no idea why there isn't one since my mother took a million pictures of me you would have thought she would have taken a picture of him or that someone in the family would have had a photo of him.  There is a photo of a man that I have that looks like he could be related to that side of the family but with no name on it it's impossible as of yet to know who he really is, and even though I played with Uncle Will I don't remember what he looked like any more.

What I do remember is he was tall and thin and lots of fun.
In the 1930 census he's married to Lillie Hill and living on the property in the cottage.  It's ironic that we have a photo of his wife Lillie shown below but not one of him.

I haven't found out so far what her uniform is related to if anything at all. 

Uncle Will married Lillie Hill on May 25, 1922.  We don't know much about Lillie, they got a divorce but I haven't found out when. I know when I was born and living on the old home place Lillie wasn't there and he had a girlfriend then. 

Uncle Will also was one of the 12 founding members of the Highlands Cemetery in Chattanooga, he was on the board and remained with the company until his death. his portion of the company still remains in the family.

After we moved away from Chattanooga, I continued to visit Chattanooga during summer vacation for two weeks. I got to see all my great aunts and uncles. I stayed with Aunt Blanche who was Uncle Will's younger sister.
Uncle Will had this thing for stashing his money in the walls, in the floor boards, under the house, pretty much all over, he had jars buried in the house with coins, he didn't trust banks so this was his way of hiding the money, except everyone knew about it. One of his x girlfriends tried one time to steal the money, I heard that she only started seeing him so she could get her hands on the money but the family escorted her off the property and she never came back.  Mom said he was a very handsome man, all the woman were always after him.

I found two city directories with Uncle Will listed along with other family  members still living in the house.

Above is an order form for some work Uncle Will was going to make dated in the 1920's. he did sculpture and engraving also.  I don't know what it was for but could have been for cemetery headstones.  I know he did a lot of work like that for the company he was part owner with the Highland Cemetery.  This order has some interesting items that the company wants.

On January 14, 1959, Uncle Will passed away. Here is his Obituary:

Also I found this which Aunt Blanche handled. He apparently wasn't in the military but a few months but no reason why he left so soon has been found yet.

I found out recently that he had a daughter with the woman named Alberta Middlebrook and they named her Violet Ruth, I haven't been able to find the daughter, she was born very late in his life apparently, probably after we left Chattanooga, since we didn't hear about it or I didn't hear about it after we moved away. I don't know if my parents knew and just didn't say since they weren't married that was such a horrible thing to happen back in those days.  But from what I understand Uncle Will was really happy to have a daughter even though he didn't get to know her very long.

Some things I'd love to find out about Uncle Will:

1- Why he left the military so fast, only being there a few months. I've looked on      Fold3 but they have nothing listed on him, probably because he wasn't there long enough       
2- Where is he daughter and what happened to her. she could still be alive.
3- When did he and Lillie divorce?

4_ Is there a photo floating around in someone's  home with Uncle Will in it, I'd love for it to be shared with me.


1990 United States Federal Census,
1910 United States Federal Census,
1920 United States Federal Census,
1930 United States Federal Census,
1940 United States Federal Census,
U. S City Directories Chattanooga,
U.S Head Stone Applications for Military Veterans 1925-1963,
U. S. World War 1 Draft Registration Cards 1917-1918,
Marriage License,
U.S Lists of Men Ordered to Report to Local Board fo Military Duty 1917-1918,