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John Bethel Claybourn
Fifth Child of William Divine Claybourn
25 December 1846 - 19 March 1937
|John Bethel's Family. Standing (left to right): John Geronald, Mort, Minnie, Walter Wayne, and Harry. Sitting (left to right): Leslie, Ellen, John Bethel, and Carrie.|
John Bethel Claybourn was born 24 December 1846 at Texico, Jefferson County, Illinois. In the Civil War he served the last six months with the 136th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.
On 4 July 1866, he married Mary Ellen Clink ("Ellen"), born 6 September 1848, in Van Wert County, Ohio. They celebrated the day by listening to addresses delivered by Generals Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman at the Independence Day Celebration in Salem, Illinois.
They lived for twelve years at Rome (Dix), Illinois where "Uncle John" was employed as a wagon maker. In July of 1878 he made a covered wagon, bought a span of mules and drove to Glenville, Minnesota, with his wife and four children where they located on a farm. The trip took them twenty-five days.
Roughly four years later, in 1882, they moved to a farm north of Albert Lea which is now the site of the Albert Lea Golf and Country Club. They lived there two years and then moved into town (Albert Lea) where "Uncle John," a carpenter and wheelright by trade, secured employment in the local wagon factory. WIth the exception of one year, the family lived at 204 South Pearl Street from 1885 on through John's death.
On 4 July 1936, John and Ellen celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. The Albert Lea newspaper published their pictures, the above information about them, and stated that they were believed to be the oldest married couple in Minnesota.
"Mr. Claybourn will observe his 90th birthday next December 24th. He is in remarkably good health, has never used tobacco, coffee, tea or any intoxicating liquor, but drinks milk three times a day. He maintains a keen interest in modern affairs and is especially interested in political events. Recently, however, he's been busy supervising the shingling of the house he owns next door, climbing ladders and laying shingles.
He died eight months after this celebration on 19 March 1937. "Aunt Ellen" died roughly three years later on 2 April 1940. Both are buried in Albert Lea, Minnesota.
"Mrs. Claybourn will be 88 years of age next September 6th. She, too, is enjoying good health and is of the opinion that life today is much better than it was when she was young. Both Mr. and Mrs. Claybourn claim that a successful marriage such as theirs has been is largely a matter of sacrifice and cooperation, and both declare that they believe no other couple that have been married half as long have had so few differences."
- Carrie Mae Claybourn: Carrie was born on 24 May 1867, in Rome (Dix), Illinois, and died on 3 August 1940, in Crosby, Minnesota, where she is buried.
Carrie married (1st) Jess Marlett on March 1886 (3 August 1861 - July [?]). They had four children:
- Charles Herbert Marlett was born on 17 July 1887, in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Charles married Carrie Evva Larson (born 31 July 1885) on 17 November 1909. They had one child:
- Herbert Dwight Marlett. Born 1 November 1910 in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Herbert married Dolores Exelby (born 15 September 1916) on 15 August 1936.
- Arthur Ray Marlett was born on 26 April 1889 in Albert Lea, Minnesota, and died in 1921. Arthur was married about 1914 to Flossie Steen. Flossie was born in 1889 in Forest City, Iowa and died in November of 1940. The couple had three children:
- Baby died in infancy
- Carrol (a boy) born in 1918. He married Bernice Ortonville, and they had at least one child.
- Donald, born in 1921.
- Minnie Grace Marlett was born 3 September 1891, in Albert Lea, Minnesota, and married George Ryan. The two lived in Texas and had no children.
- John Earl Marlett was born 19 November 1893 in Albert Lea, Minnesota. He married Irene (last name unknown) in 1920 and they had no children.
Carrie married (2nd) in 1911 or 1912 to Harry Wenhomer in Burlington, Iowa.
- Child died in infancy
- Walter Earl Wenhomer was born in Burlington, Iowa, but went by the name of W.D. Thomas. He married and lived in Dallas, Texas, and had two children. He had died by 1957.
- George Wenhomer was twin; the other baby had died in infancy. He was born in Burlington, Iowa, and went by the name of G.L. Thomas. He married and lived in Dallas at 1334 Hudspeth St. (Note: A George Little Thomas, 4033 Buena Vista, was listed in the Dallas Directory in 1958.)
Carrie Mae married (3rd) Gus Higgenbotham who changed his name to Gus Thomas of Crosby, Minnesota.
- Henry Arthur Claybourn was born 3 June 1867 in Rome (Dix), Illinois and died in October of 1877.
- Lillie Myrtle Claybourn was born on 7 October 1871 in Rome (Dix), Illinois and died July 1872.
- Walter Wayne Claybourn ("Wayne") was born on 9 May 1873, in Salem, Illinois. Walter lived in Albert Lea, Minnesota and married on 28 February 1900, to Myrtle Dowd (born 17 September 1879 in Geneva, Minnesota). He died on 3 March 1964. Walter and Myrtle had four children:
Wilfred Wayne Elliott Claybourn was born on 29 April 1906 in Albert Lea, Minnesota, and died in 1961. He married Myrle June Stearnes (born 6 April 1910, in Waseca, Minnesota) on 2 October 1930. Myrle's parents were Floyd Stearns and Grace Fairly Stearns. Myrle graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1926. After her graduation in 1929 from Winona State Teacherís College, she taught school in rural Freeborn County and in the Freeborn schools. She was an employee of the Albert Lea Tribune newspaper for 25 years.
Roughly seven years after her husband Wilfred's death in 1961, Myrle re-married to Lester Johnson of Freeborn, Minnesota, in 1968. Lester would pass away in 1997. Myrle was a member of the United Methodist Church of Albert Lea, where she was baptized and married. She is a past member of the Business and Professional Women's Association and was active as a Cub Scout den mother. Her hobbies were reading, crocheting, knitting and embroidery. Myrle passed away peacefully on 25 November 2007, at the age of 97. She is buried at Graceland Cemetery in Albert Lea.
Wilfred and Myrle had three children:
- Joanne Claybourn Crouch of Rancho Mirage, California
- Stephen ("Steve") Claybourn of Randleman, North Carolina
- Florence Merideth Claybourn was born on 27 December 1908, in Albert Lea, Minnesota. She married Gilmore Johnson and they had one child:
- Karen, born 4 March 1948
- Gertrude Avis Claybourn was born 1 November 1910, in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Gertrude married James E. Hill and the two lived in Arlington, Virginia. She died of a stroke in England in 1982. She had at least two children:
- Judith Hill, born 14 December 1939, in Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Jim Bob Hill
- Helen Louisa Claybourn was born 6 March 1915, in Albert Lea, Minnesota. She lived in Austin, Minnesota for much of her life. She married (1st) on 28 February 1940, to Willard Munson (born 10 February 1910 in Iowa). They had one child:
Helen married (2nd) Orrie White.
- Charles Munson
- Harry Durward Claybourn was born on 21 March 1875, in Rome (Dix), Illinois and died in October of 1951. He married (1st) on 26 June 1895, to Trena Johnson (23 January 1872 - 12 October 1934). They had one child, Iona, listed below. Harry married (2nd) on 25 December 1935, to Catherine June Jensen (born 27 June 1891 in Albert Lea, Minnesota). Harry's child by his first wife, Trena, is below:
- Iona Claybourn was born 3 August 1897 in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Iona married on 22 December 1917, to Albert Ranstad (25 August 1891 in Rutland, North Dakota). They had no children and Iona died on 24 March 1970.
- Minnie Claybourn was born on 1 November 1877, in Rome (Dix), Illinois. She died in March of 1943 and never married.
- Mourten Franklin Claybourne (click name for separate biographical sketch)
- Leslie William Claybourn was born on 13 June 1883, in Albert Lea, Minnesota. He was Vice President of Kenosha (Wisc.) Printing & Carton Co. (1918) and later established Claybourn Process Corp. in Milwaukee, Wis. (1921). Shortly after, he designed the Claybourn multicolor press which printed from curved precision electrotype plates. The C.B. Cottrell & Sons Co. took over Claybourn's firm in 1937. Thereafter he was associated with several other printing firms. Over the years he patented over 200 printing processes. Leslie was a 32nd Degree Mason; member of the Laipoli Shrine; life member of International Pressman's and Assistant's Union; the Printing House Craftsmen's Club in Milwaukee and several other cities; member of the Milwaukee Athletic Club, the Illinois Athletic Club and the Lakeside Club - both of Chicago - and the Advertising Club of New York City. Throughout his life Leslie was considered a printing process pioneer. He died on 10 December 1956, at the age of 73 years and is buried at Wisconsin's Memorial Park. Leslie married (1st) Mae Hawthorne. He then married (2nd) Elsie Gray, and they had five children:
- Leslie - died in infancy
- Two twins died in infancy
- Bona Claybourn was born about 1909 in Winona, Minnesota. She first married a Mr. Henderson, and then married an R.H. Bronson. Bona died on 5 November 1980 and is buried in Milwaukee.
- Carlton Clayton was born 12 January 1914, in Norwood, Ohio. He lived in Northbrook, Illinois and married Ruth Norma Stroede. Ruth was born on 26 December 1913 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and died on 10 February 2008. They had two children:
- Charlotte Carrol Claybourn was born on 6 August 1941 in Buffalo, New York. She married Jack C. Stemper on 3 March 1962 in Great Lakes, Illinois. They had three children:
- Carrie Lynn Stemper married Thomas Medina on 17 September 1983 in Fresno, California. They had at least one child, Clayton Anthony Medina, born 17 November 1984.
- Julie Lynn Stemper was born 5 December 1963 in Great Lakes, Illinois. She married Vincent Spagnuolo on 23 April 1983.
- Trudy Lynn Stemper was born 22 September 1969.
- John Leslie Claybourn was born on 17 July 1945 in Evanston, Illinois. He married Anna Marie Franchi on 15 July 1967. Together they had two children:
- Matthew John Claybourn was born on 15 May 1974 in Highland Park, Illinois. He married Gina Nishimura Speer on 19 June 2003 and they have one daughter, Cera Colleen (born on 29 Jan. 2008). Matthew and Gina own Profound Affects Screen Printing, which Matthew started in 1996. Their work in the printing business continues a long-standing tradition of Claybourns in this branch who worked in that field.
- Luke Clayton Claybourn was born on 27 February 1977 and married Melissa Sphar on 23 August 2003. They had 2 daughters, Sophia Rose (born on 5 Nov. 2003) and Ashley Anne (born on 4 May 2006).
Leslie William Claybourn married (3rd) Emily Herkenroeder; they had no children.
- John Geronald Claybourn was born on 23 May 1886, in Albert Lea, Minnesota. He graduated from high school in Albert Le and then attended the College of Engineering at the University of Minnesota for three years. He first married Regina Flores (born in Columbia, South America). His second marriage was to Elsie Kathryn Grieser (born in New Jersey) of Whitestone, New York, on 1 September 1928. John served as rodman, levelman and transitman of the Isthmian Canal Commission (1910-1914), and with the dredging division of the Panama Canal beginning in 1914. He was then promoted to Junior Engineer (1917-1918), assistant engineer (1919-1920), and finally superintendent of the division (1921-1948). He also studied and laid out docks and warehouses for the Free Port of Colon (1948). Later he served as consultant engineer on marine development, navigable rivers, harbors and canals in Columbia and Venezuala (1948). John died on 26 June 1967. "Who's Who in America 1958-59" provides the following additional information:
Member of staff of Governor of Canal Zone. Construction Engineer Dique Canal, Columbia, 1917; harbor development at Puntarenas, Costa Rica, 1925; at Aquadulce, Panama, 1926; Trans-Florida Ship Canal 1933.
Collaborated on design of diesel electric and turbo-driven suction dredges, diesel electric tugs, floating electric compressor, grader, relay booster plant; original design and layout of new dredging division headquarters and town site of Gamboa, C.Z., 1924-36; cons. engineer Panama Harbor, 1940-44, 1946-48; reconnaisance covering Inland waterway for Guatemala for I.B.E.C. Technical Service Corp., New York City, 1949; cons. for Inland Water Transport, Government of Union of Burma, 1951-53; member of Governor's staff 1924-48; salary board 1926-48; member commission for revision of Columbian code covering vessel construction and navigation, 1955-56; decorated Commendador, 1945, Grand Official, 1946, La Orden Vasco Nunea de Balboa, Panama. Member American Society Civil Engineers; Society Aerican ilitary Engineers.
President Gamboa Civic Council, 1937-48; Pres. Gen. Com. Canal Zone Civic Councils, 1939-41; Pres. the P.C. Emp. Mutual Benefit Assn., 1943-49; Minnesota Club of Canal Zone, 1942-47.
Republican. Baptist. Mason (Knight Templars and Shriners)
Clubs: Union, Panama City; Panama Golf; Gamboa Golf and Country Club, Pres., 1937
"Dredging on the Panama Canal" - 1931
"The Dredging Division of the Panama Canal. Its Function, Organization and Equipment" - 1937
"Evolution of the Panama Canal" - 1944
"Streamlining the Panama Canal for Maximum Safety and Unlimited Capacity" - 1946
"Suggested Methods and Equipment, Dredging and Mining for Converting the Present Lock Type Canal to Sea Level" - 1947
Contributor to Military Engineer; The Dock and Harbor Authority, London.
Address: 912 Robin Road, Ann Arbur, Michigan