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Candace Frances Frost Claybourn
The Eleventh Child of William Divine Claybourn
29 August 1856 - 1948
Note: Autobiographical sketch written by Candace in 1936.
"I was born August 29th, 1856, in Jefferson County, Illinois, near Mt. Vernon on a stock and grain farm. I was the eleventh of fourteen children and lived there on the farm until I was twelve years old, my mother having died a few years before and my father having remarried. I attended the little country school where I received all my education. After leaving the farm, I lived with my brothers and sisters until I was married on July 4th, 1882.
"I was married in a rather interesting fashion. My husband (Arthur Oscar Botts) obtained the marriage license in Jefferson County, and my sister Sally, where I was then staying, lived in Marion County on the highway that divided the two counties. When we realized her house stood across the highway from the county in which the license was obtained, we all left her house and walked across the road into Jefferson County where we stood and were married. We then drove in a big double carriage up to Woodlawn where my brother (James) lived and visited them a few minutes; then drove on to my husband's home in Centralia.
"Because of the severity of the winters, my husband's parents had decided to move to Florida, and on July 13th of that same year (1882) we started our journey south in a big covered wagon with a span of large percheron horses. We were equipped with rubber blankets, bedding, cooking utensils, etc., and camped out each night, usually near a farm house in order to have water available. I remember too we carried a tiny portable organ as my husband's family of six were all musical, but down in Kentucky it became too burdensome and consumed too much room so we disposed of it. Each Sunday en route we rested, and once each week we stopped at a farm house to do our accumulated washing. Most of the roads were graded but very few were improved, and after we reached the southern sand country we all had to walk because the horses were becoming worn and the load was heavy and the sand deep.
|DeLand School House|
"We reached our destination, a tiny boat on the St. Johns River called Volusia, thirteen weeks later and rested there a few weeks before deciding where to buy property and permanently locate. (The house they rented cost $3 a month when they first arrived.)
"There were no railroads at the time, and we settled six miles from the river in a small house near the acreage of wild land we bought, eventually buying the tract with house in addition to the first acreage. The attempt at farming and raising oranges and strawberries was not successful, and my husband began teaching in the county schools within a year or two. After the freeze of 1895 killed the grove we had started, we abandoned the place entirely, moving in 1898 to DeLand for the school advantages. There our children were educated in the public high schools and in Stetson University which was and is still located there. My husband taught school continuously for eighteen years, becoming then county superintendent for a number of years, when he reitred and bought a tract of land on the St. Johns River near DeLand on which he started the fern business which he still runs."
The above sketch and several letters from "Aunt Candace" were once in Harriette Threlkeld's possession, but its whereabouts are currently unknown. Candace's husband, Arthur Oscar Botts, is the son of William Edward Botts and Laura Ann Holland . All of Candace Frances Frost Claybourn's descendants are part of the old Virginia Botts and Pendleton, Gaines and Taylor families (through Lucy Gaines) and kin to Presidents Madison and Taylor .
In one letter Candace wrote to her niece Norah, she said, "Snow's Mill was four miles west of Rome [or Dix], and I was at your father's house [James Harrison] a great deal in those days. Your mama had a sister Frances who lived with them, and she and I were rather chummy, but she lived only a few years, three at most (this was after James and Harriett's marriage; she died at 16). After that I stayed with your mama often to help her with her work and children, or at least I was supposed to help, and I hope I did help some, at least."
In another letter she told Norah she had expected Florida to be the "land of the flowers" and was disappointed in its wild and unimproved state in 1882. Her brother James spent part of two winters with her the latter part of his life, and Norah visited at their home in the 1920's and urged them to make a trip to see some of their scattered Claybourn relatives. About 1928 they bought a new car and with their daughter Stella made the trip. They visited some of James Claybourn's children in Evansville, Indiana, and at Harriette Threlkeld's home and with other relatives in Southern Illinois, visited her brother John's family in Albert Lea, Minn., some of Sally's children in Kansas, Norah in Oklahoma, and her brother Cashus and half sister Belle in Texas. They were afterwards very happy that they made the trip. Her husband Arthur bought her a pearl necklace for her birthday while they were on the trip, and when she opened it, she exclaimed, "Oh, you sweet old papa!" and that became a family saying.
School teachers' salaries always being what they have been, Arthur told some relative that he made more money catching alligators in the summertime than he did teaching school in the winter. They also rented apartments to winter visitors in Florida. All of their children and grandchildren except one granddaughter (Margaret Etta) who lived in New York City attended their Golden Wedding celebration in 1932. Harriette Threlkeld writes, "Uncle Arthur was a handsome man and Aunt Candace a dear, sweet little lady."
Candace Fances Frost Claybourn was born 29 August 1856 in Texico, Illinois. She died in 1948 at the age of 92. She married 4 July 1882, to Arthur Oscar Botts (28 September 1860 - 1946). The latter part of his life he operated the St. John's River Ferneries with his son Laurance and perhaps Clifford too. They lived in DeLand, Florida
All of Candice's children except Eulla were born in Emporia, Florida.
- Harry Arthur Botts was born 29 April 1883. He lived in Fort Myers, Florida, and then later in Pensacola, Florida. Harry was supposed to have been a crack shot with a
rifle at age 8, and would row at that age many miles to meet his father who had been alligator hunting up river. On 16 June 1906, he married Eulla Aurilia King. The two of them had five children:
- Eulla Mildred Botts was born on 13 March 1907 and married John Paul Bracewell (John died in Jan. of 1945). They had two children:
- Paula Francene Bracewell, born 4 September 1941
- Byron Arthur Bracewell, born 19 July 1943
- Frances Aurilia Botts was born on 31 October 1908. She lived in Pensacola, Fla. and was a tax assessor of Escambia County until January of 1958. She then worked as a real estate broker, specializing in appraisals.
- Dorothy Irene Botts ("Irene") was born on 7 November 1910, and married Albert Laney in about 1940. Albert was a well known sports writer from New York City who also wrote for the Paris Herald Tribune, covering mostly tennis and golf, but also some baseball. He wrote a book called "Covering the Court" about his years reporting on tennis. Irene was a professional pianist and taught at the Spring Valley Waldorf school in New York State. Both Irene and Albert have passed way, possibly in the early 1970's. They had one child, Michael Laney, born 20 September 1950.
- Harry Arthur Botts, Jr. was born on 18 January 1913. He served in World War II in the army in Alaska and the Aleutians, and later as a Lt. Col. in the Florida National Guard. He married Helen Barry (from Lebanon, Tennessee) on 9 April 1938, and they lived in Pensacola, Fla. They had two children:
- Stephen Claibourn Botts, born 7 May 1941
- Judith Lynne Botts, born 20 May 1954
- Margaret Etta Botts was born 23 November 1918. She married William Edward Balmer ("Ed") of Whitinsville, Massachusetts on 28 June 1941 under a rose trellis in Ed's family's back yard. They first met a few years earlier on a blind date in Hoboken at the "The Blue Flame!" (the date had been arranged by Margaret's sister Irene). Ed was a student at Stevens Tech in Hoboken at the time and later worked as a custom wooden station wagon body builder, then a swimming pool builder; he always dreamed of building a carousel. Margaret had a beautiful alto voice and sung in a madrigal group, along with raising her five kids. The couple lived in Shady, New York, which is part of Woodstock, near Kingston, New York. They were famous for the cider pressing parties they held each fall in their back yard in Shady. Margaret died at home on 20 March 1994 surrounded by her family. Her husband Ed died just over four years later on 19 October 1998. Together they had five children:
- William Edward Balmer ("Bill") was born 7 August 1945 and died 28 November 1995. Bill's widow, Linda Seaman Balmer, lives with their daughter Kelly in South Carolina.
- Bart Balmer was born 27 May 1947 and lives in Woodstock, N.Y.
- Bruce Balmer was born 7 November 1950 and currently lives in Dallas. He married (1st) to Susan Ann Moseman and they had two children:
Bruce married (2nd) to a Kathleen. He married (3rd) in May of 2008 in Kerrville, Texas, to Lisa Markley. Both Bruce and Lisa are musicians and their website can be found here.
- Freyja Balmer was born on 3 October 1973. She married John Terrence Gallagher (born 17 February 1971) on 30 September 2007. Together they had a son, Arran Hathaway Gallagher, who was born on 6 August 2008. The family lives in Brooklyn, NY.
- Noah Otis Balmer was born on 21 October 1976.
- Brian Craig MacGillivray Balmer ("Craig") was born 22 July 1955 and lives in Woodstock, N.Y.
- Candace Balmer was born 27 November 1958. Candace is a water quality expert; she works with a rural assistance program for small communities to find water system upgrade funding (RCAP). She's a lover of bonfires, music, cats and her garden, and also lives in Woodstock.
- Frederick William Botts was born 20 December 1884. He was a lawyer and lived at 3912 Segovia, Miami, Florida. On 22 April 1915, he married Edwinna Walker Rowe. Frederick was a contributor in "The Rhodes Family in America" book in the 1950s that is the largest published Botts family compendium . Frederick died in March of 1972. The couple had two children:
- Frederick William Botts, Jr. was born 20 June 1922. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1945. Around the time of his graduation, on 27 July 1945, he married Miriam Croley (born 18 July 1926), daughter of Edythe and Lantham Croley. She attended the University of Texas and was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Miriam was active in the Junior League, Junior Mentor Club, worked with Camp Fire Girls, Junior Marianne Scruggs Garden Club, and served in the P.T.A. Frederick had achieved the rank of Lt. Commander when he resigned in 1956. Following his service in the military he worked for Chance Vought Aircraft in Dallas from 1956-59, and then Washington, D.C. in the spring of 1959. Frederick and Miriam had two children:
- Kimberly Ann Botts, born 18 May 1952 in Pensacola, Florida
- Frederick William Botts III, born 28 January 1953 in Dallas, Texas.
- Logan Botts, born 12 August 1926
- Laurance Hooten Botts was born 24 January 1887 and died on 14 February 1946. He and lived in Deland, Florida, and married Dorothy Randolph Bracey on 22 November 1924. Together they had three children:
- Laurance Bracey Botts was born on 30 April 1928 and served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. He marrid (1st) Nita McCarthy on 24 December 1949. They later divorced, but did have three children:
Laurence married (2nd) Billia Evelina Raper on 26 November 1961.
- Nancy Marie Botts, born 10 December 1950
- Pamala Faye Botta, born 29 December 1951
- Michael Laurance Botts, born 18 November 1955
- Nita Candace Botts was born 27 February 1931 and married Raymon Charles Pitts on 1 March 1952. They lived in Jacksonville, Florida and had two children:
- Raymond Charles Pitts, Jr., born 10 July 1957
- B. Randel Drew Pitts, born 24 July 1959
- Dorothy Jane Botts was born April 22, 1934 and married Mackey L. Jones on 2 May 1954. They lived in Daytona Beach, Florida and had three children:
- Kelley Drew Jones (a girl), born 19 November 1957
- Kirk Bryan Jones, born 1 December 1960
- Todd Alan Jones, born 3 November 1961
- Clifford Isadore Botts was born 4 October 1888 and lived in Deland, Florida. He had two children:
- Truman Arthur Botts was born 26 November 1917. He received a Ph.D. degree from the University of Virginia on 1 June 1942 and worked as a Professor of Methematics at the University of Virginia, Charlotesville. He served in World War II from 1942-1946 and later as a Commander in the Naval Rserve. Truman married Barbara Jeanne Bishop on 26 October 1944, and they later divorced.
- Dorothy Jean Botts was born 13 November 1920. She served in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) from 1943-1947 and received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1950. She would later marry Dr. Manuel F. Morales on 19 June 1958 and the two of them lived in San Francisco, California.
- Morton Edward Botts was born 4 January 1891 and died nearly a year later on 8 January 1892.
- Stella May Botts was born 21 September 1893 and lived in Jacksonville, Florida, near Deland. She married Chesley A. Guess on 25 September 1918. The two separated and then divorced in 1936. They had no children.
- Eulla Grace Botts was born 25 January 1895 in Osteen, Florida. She married George Wilson Coleman on 2 April 1919, and lived in West Palm Beach, Florida. George worked as a lawyer in the firm of Coleman and Cook. They had no children.
References and Notes