From Europe to Mid-America

Joseph ("Joe") A. Elson, Jr.

Joseph ("Joe") A. Elson, Jr.

Male 1858 - 1936  (77 years)

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Joseph ("Joe") A. Elson  [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Suffix Jr. 
    Nickname Joe 
    Born 2 Nov 1858  Cedar Rapids, Linn Cnty, IA Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8
    Gender Male 
    Occupation Agriculture - Farmer 
    Died 23 Apr 1936  Riverside, Berrien Cnty, MI Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8
    Buried 25 Apr 1936  Fennville Cem, Fennville, Allegan Cnty, MI Find all individuals with events at this location  [7, 8
    Person ID I491  SnoufferCampbell
    Last Modified 6 Mar 2018 

    Father Joseph Elson,   b. 12 Jul 1822, Warwick, Warwickshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown, Chicago, Cook Cnty, IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Elizabeth Lusk,   b. 27 Jul 1826, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Feb 1904, Chicago, Cook Cnty, IL Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Married Y  [3
    Family ID F3143  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Augusta C. Aussieker,   b. Oct 1864, Iowa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1946  (Age ~ 81 years) 
    Married 1 Jan 1883  Cedar Rapids, Linn Cnty, IA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 6, 9
    Children 
     1. Bessie A. Elson,   b. 25 Oct 1883, Illinois Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Nov 1972, Grand Rapids, Kent Cnty, MI Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years)
    +2. James Charles Elson,   b. 6 Aug 1886, Illinois Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    +3. Mate C. Elson,   b. 27 Mar 1888, Chicago, Cook Cnty, IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Jan 1976, Hastings, Barry Cnty, MI Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years)
     4. Rose Elson,   b. 23 Apr 1890, Illinois Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Sep 1929, Benton Twsp, Berrien Cnty, MI Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 39 years)
     5. Unknown Elson,   d. Bef 1900
    Last Modified 29 Jan 2013 
    Family ID F165  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • In 1860 the census recorded his father Joseph's family as follows: Joseph, 38, a "fruit dealer," born in England; his wife Elizabeth, 32, born in New York, and 4 children: Sylvester, 12, b. New York; James, 10, b. Wisconsin; Lester, 6, b. Illinois; and Joe, 2, b. Iowa. 1860 U.S. Census, Cedar Rapids, Linn Cnty, IA (M 653, Roll 332, stamped p. 454).

      The 1870 census lists his father Joseph Elson, 46 [birth year abt 1824], a "Plasterer" born in England, living with his mother Elizabeth, 43 [1827], born in New York, and 6 siblings (some of whose birth places differ from the 1860 census): Sylvester, 23 [1847], b. New York, also a plasterer; James A, 21 [1849], a [house?] painter, also b. New York [sic]; Lester C, 14 [1856], b. Iowa [sic]; and Iowa-born Joseph, 12 [1858]; "Wm," 10 [1860]; and "Chas," 6 [1864]. 1870 U.S. Census, Cedar Rapids, Linn Cnty, IA (M 593, Roll 405, stamped p. 82B).

      By 1880 his parents' family group had diminished and relocated to Chicago. While Joe remained behind in Iowa, 4 family members moved to Chicago: his parents, and brothers Lester and "Willie." 1880 U.S. Census, Chicago, Cook Cnty, IL (T 9, Roll 186, stamped p. 59). The 1880 census lists "Jo Elson," 21, working as a "Farm Laborer" for the family of Phillip and Catherine Pitt. 1880 U.S. Census, Clinton Twsp, Linn Cnty, IA (T 9, Roll 351, stamped p. 159).

      Joe married Augusta Aussieker in 1883, and they had 5 children by the time of the 1900 census. That census records the entire family: Joseph, 39, born Nov 1860 in Iowa; Augusta, 35, born Oct 1864 in Iowa; and their Illinois-born children: Bessie, 16, b. Oct 1883; James, 13, b. Aug 1886; "Matie," 12, b. Mar 1888; and Rose, 10, b. Apr 1890. According to the census, the Elsons had been married 18 years, and Augusta had given birth to 5 children, only 4 of whom were then living. The handwriting regarding Joseph's occupation is hard to decipher, but it appears that he may have been a "Decorator." 1900 U.S. Census, Ward 31, Chicago, Cook Cnty, IL (T 623, Roll 284, stamped p. 308B).

      The 1910 census lists Joseph, 50, a retail grocer, living with his wife "Augusta C," 45, and 2 Illinois-born daughters: "Mate C," 21; and "Rose N," 19. Both daughters worked as telephone operators. Also in the home was Joseph's brother, Charles A, 45, who appears to have been a grocery store owner. 1910 U.S. Census, La Grange Twsp, Cass Cnty, MI (T 624, Roll 640, stamped p. 105B).

      In the 1920 census, Joseph, 60, is shown living with his wife "Augusta C," 55, and his brother Charles A, 55. Joseph worked as a "Farmer" of his own "Fruit Farm." His brother was a "Proprietor" of a "General Store." 1920 U.S. Census, Hagar Twsp, Berrien Cnty, MI (T 625, Roll 757, stamped p. 17).

      The 1930 census shows Joseph, 70, and his wife Augusta, 65, living together; no other family members were in the home. The census records that when they married, Augusta was 18, and Joe was 23. It also records that both were born in Iowa; that Joe's father was born in England and his mother in Pennsylvania, while Augusta's parents were both born in Germany. 1930 U.S. Census, Hagar Twsp, Berrien Cnty, MI (T 626, Roll 976, stamped p. 105B).
    • Karen Knecht wrote, in 2013 :

      " *** Joe Elson (b 1858)[Joseph A. Elson Jr.; i491] who married Augusta Aussieker [Augusta C. "Gussie" Aussieker; i490] is from an Elson family completely unrelated to my Elston / Elson line [which starts with Jacob D. Elston; i611].

      "However, Joe Elson had a fruit farm not far from my grandparents, Claude & Bessie (Snouffer) Elson, in Michigan [i473 & i16]. Joe's brother, Charles [Charles Andrew Elson; i8805], also lived with them & owned a grocery store (or general store) in the area near Lake Michigan in Hagar Township.

      "My grandmother, Bessie Snouffer, spent the summer(s) around 1914 staying with her aunt & uncle (Joe & Augusta Elson)...... and she worked during this time at the store. According to my Uncle Bob [Robert Snouffer Elson; i476], it was while working at this store that Bessie met her future husband, Claude Elson. I'm sure the coincidence over the Elson surname was quite an "icebreaker". They were married in 1915.

      "I also recall Uncle Bob telling me about a fire which got out of control as Joe Elson was clearing out brush on his farm. As they often did when neighboring farmers had an emergency, Claude Elson & his sons rushed to assist in putting out the fire. Joe died as a result of injuries suffered in this tragic fire.

      "Joe & Elizabeth Elson's daughter, Rose Elson (b 1890) [i494], was a cousin & best buddy of Bessie Snouffer. They were only 1 year apart in age & Bessie had 4 brothers and no sisters…."
    • Obituary, The [St. Joseph, MI] Herald-Press, p. 1 (24 Apr 1936):
      "Farmer Snared By Vine, Dies in Fire ***
      "A wild grape vine, twisted in a complete turn about one leg, above the knee, today told the tragic story of how Joseph Elson, 77 years old and partially-blind, burned to death in a brush fire on his farm near Riverside shortly after 4:30 p.m. Thursday [23 Apr].
      "The farmer, snared by the vine, had apparently been thrown into the blaze. All his clothing was burned off except his shoes and socks. His body was burned almost beyond recognition.
      "The body was found by four boys, picking flowers along the Pere Marquette railroad tracks on their way home from school....
      "Elson resided on the small farm with his wife, Augusta. She said her husband went to the far end of the farm, which runs along the railroad tracks, at about 2:30 p.m. yesterday to burn brush. He is blind in one eye and vision of the other is poor, his wife said. ***
      "Joseph Elson resided at Riverside the last 23 years. He was born Nov. 2, 1858, in Cedar Rapids, Ia. Surviving besides the widow are two daughters, Mrs. Bessie Olson of Fennville and Mrs. Vere Harrington of Hastings; a son, James C. Elson of Chicago, four grandchildren and a great grandson....
      "Funeral services will be conducted Saturday [25 Apr] ... from the town hall in Riverside.... Burial will be in the family lot in Fennville cemetery...."

  • Sources 
    1. [S2] Bertha Newens|, Bertha Ina (Newens) Snouffer, "Newens & Snouffer Family Records", (Bertha Ina (Newens) Snouffer; unpublished charts; created abt 1960; revised abt 1970; original charts possessed by Wm.C.Snouffer).

    2. [S488] IA Census 1860, Cedar Rapids|, Iowa, Linn Cnty, Cedar Rapids, 1860 U.S. Census, (The National Archives, Washington, D.C.), (M653, Roll 332, p. 454).

    3. [S702] IA Census 1870, Linn, Iowa, Linn Cnty, 1870 U.S. Census, (The National Archives, Washington, D.C.), (M593, Roll 405, p. 82B).

    4. [S552] IL Census 1900, Chicago|, Chicago, Cook Cnty, IL, 1900 U.S. Census, (The National Archives, Washington, D.C.), (T623, Roll 284, p. 308B).

    5. [S700] MI Census 1920, Berrien, Michigan, Berrien Cnty, 1920 U.S. Census, (The National Archives, Washington, D.C.), (T625, Roll 757, p. 17).

    6. [S699] MI Census 1930, Berrien, Michigan, Berrien Cnty, 1930 U.S. Census, (The National Archives, Washington, D.C.), (T626, Roll 976, p. 105B).

    7. [S40] Obituary|, Anonymous, "Obituary", (Joseph A Elson; 24 Apr 1936).

    8. [S103] FindaGrave|, FindaGrave.com, (www.FindAGrave.com), 101033379.

    9. [S879] IA Marriages, 1838-1934 |, Iowa County Court Clerks, Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934, (Online database, "Historical Record Collections," Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, UT; https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/list ).