Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mary M. Lorig, born 1859

Mary Lorig, ca 1880s

Mary Magdalene Lorig was the third daughter of Henry and Katie Lorig. She was born 1859 after the family arrived in Iowa but before they were settled in Mt. Pleasant, Henry County.

Mary and Maggie, her younger sister, were the daughters who stayed at home. It appears that Mary never married. Like her sister, Lizzie, she is listed as a dressmaker on the 1880 Federal Census for Iowa. She and Maggie are the ones who kept house for their father until Maggie died and he moved to Chicago. As far as can be determined Mary remained in Mt. Pleasant.

After Katie’s death in 1893 Henry stayed in the old home then about four years later in 1897 he deeded the property over to his daughter Maggie who was married to (Thomas) LeRoy Ford
for $400.00. They had a large family of seven sons. Henry stipulated in the deed transfer that he was to retain the right to continue to live in the house and was to receive any income there from during his lifetime. He later moved sometime shortly after 1900 to Chicago where two of his daughters, Lizzie and Mattie were then living.

After Maggie died in May of 1900 the Lorig family home then was deeded over for $30.00 to her sister, Mary, who kept it until 1918 when it was transferred back to Maggie’s son, Ralph Ford for $800.00 by A.W. Kinkead. For a while I thought that perhaps Mary had wed A. W. Kinkead as his name appears on the transfer of property but it turned out that Mr. Kinkead was a lawyer and that was why his name appeared on the records. It is evident by the disparity in transfer amounts that the Fords could afford to pay close to the actual value of the property but that Mary was more or less given title and made a tidy profit if she was still alive when it went to Ralph. The death record for Mary has yet to be located so it is not possible to tell if this transfer by Mr. Kinkead was made after Mary died or if she moved or perhaps later married and decided to sell it to her nephew.

The property is described as Lot 1, block 12 in the Commissioners First Addition of the city of Mt. Pleasant. The address was listed as Locust Street. There was a kitchen garden in which they grew many of their own vegetables. Oral reports also indicated that they had a cow and probably chickens as well even though the house was in town. Walt Lorig remembered his father, Edd, saying that the house itself was constructed of hardwood (black walnut and oak, Walt thought) and that it was still standing as late as the mid 1950s. It is not, however, still standing today.

Historic Harland Hotel in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa
[postcard courtesy of Jim Ford]

The town of Mt. Pleasant looks very different today than it did when Mary Lorig lived there. One of the remaining historical buildings is the Harland Hotel. Jim Ford, a descendant of Maggie and LeRoy Ford, sent this card several years ago as an example of the local architecture during the 19th century.

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