Trinket Box or Treasure Box? Part 2

In our last blog, we were introduced to a trinket box. Within this box, there were several documents and artifacts. From first appearance, the items within the box did not appear to have much family value. There was one photograph, showing two ladies and a gentleman. The photograph was not labeled. Upon further research, there is a good possibility that the two ladies are Nellie Alice Scott and her older sister, Mary Olive Scott. It has not been determined who the gentleman might have been.

Nellie Alice Scott was the youngest of six children born to Wesley Monroe Scott and Jeanette Laura (Brewer) Scott. She was born on August 4, 1889 in Vinton County, Ohio. Her older sister, Mary Olive Scott, was born January 24, 1877 in Zaleski, Vinton County, Ohio. Following the birth of Nellie, the family relocated from Madison, Vinton County, Ohio to Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. Sometime between 1900 and 1905, their parents divorced. In the 1910 US Census, Jeanette Scott and her 5 surviving adult children were listed as living at 1276 Hunter Street in Columbus, Ward 18 in Franklin County, Ohio.

From the little black day book found within the trinket box, we know that Mary O. Scott relocated to Morgantown, West Virginia in 1909. She left Columbus at noon on December 31 and arrived at Fairmont, WV at 12 a.m. on January 1, 1909. On Saturday, January 2, she takes the 9 o’clock train for Morgantown. On Monday, January 4, her entry states “Back to school.” Mary was a teacher by occupation. It is uncertain whether she is teaching classes in Morgantown, WV or attending a school to continue her education. The following Sunday, she goes to the M P Church. I am not sure if this is short for Morgantown Presbyterian Church. Further research is needed.

On June 19, 1917, Mary O. Scott marries Claude D. Groves in Greenup, Greenup County, Kentucky. Her marriage record gives her age as 40 and single. Her husband, Claud D. Groves, is 38 and single. Claude Dwight Groves dies in 1947 in Licking County, Ohio. Mary Olive (Scott) Groves dies May 3, 1967 in Athens, Ohio. She was a resident of Meigs County, Ohio at the time of her departure.

Nellie Alice Scott never graduated from high school. The highest education she obtained was the third year of high school. In both the 1910 and 1920 US Census, she is listed as a stenographer. By 1930, she has changed her occupation and is listed as a department manager of a company (illegible in census). In the heading, it shows she is residing at an institution known as “Library-Court 1-32”. In the 1940 US Census, she is listed as a clerk at a manufacturing plant (illegible in census). Further research is needed to know what type of institution this may be. Sometime between 1942 and 1950, she marries Novalis Ernest Herzer. Novalis passes away in 1954. Nellie dies September 11, 1960 in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio.

Let’s return to the trinket box discussed in Part 1: Trinket Box or Treasure Box?. In the brown spiral notebook, there is a death date given of September 11, 1960. The first page of the notebook gives Nell’s Social Security number and when it was established. Based on this information alone, it appears that Mary O. (Scott) Groves may be directly involved in settling the estate of her sister, Nellie Alice Scott.

About half way through the notebook, there is a series of hand-written notes. We find out that Nellie Alice (Scott) Herzer has two step-daughters. Their names are Polly and Harriet. “They – Polly & Harriet now demand a court settlement on her father’s savings which he had in the Federal Building & Loan. Also, all moneys were invested in the property.” Mary continues to state, “Signed my share of Home on Hunter Av. to Nell in 1917.” I am assuming that “her father’s savings” may be in reference to the father of Mary and Nellie and not the biological father of Polly and Harriet.

On the next page, it gives the address of 2182 Springmont Av. Under the address, Mary continues to explain what is going on. “House appraised at $9000 – (by court appraisers)…A step child allowed 1/8 of selling price so P. & H. would collect 2/8 of price received for property…according to Administrator & Atty…” Mary contacted her own lawyers for “advice for concerning legal problems”. The lawyer did confirm that 1/8 of selling price of real estate must be given to the step child. On November 2, 1861, the asking price of the house was $8,000. She offered to pay each stepdaughter $1,000 each for their share of the property. The stepdaughters did not accept the offer. Mary counter-offered to sell them the property for $6,000 cash. This would have been Mary’s 3/4 share of the property. The stepdaughters rejected the offer once again. On the next page, Mary quotes: “Every Cloud has a silver lining.” Beneath the quote, there is a note that the property had to be transferred to Mary after Nell’s death. On February 22, 1962, Mary gave Polly & Harriet each $1125 in payment for their share of the property.

Was Novalis Ernest Herzer, husband of Nellie Scott, previously married? Did Nellie indeed have two stepdaughters? Yes and yes. Novelis married Anna Dora Matilda Ketter on May 23, 1906 in Washington County, Ohio. To this union three children were born: Harriet Matilda Herzer, born about 1910 in Ohio; Margaret E. Herzer (b. 1911-d. 1913); and Pauline Herzer, born about 1912, in Ohio. Anna passed away on July 2, 1929 in Franklin County, Ohio.

Let’s return once again to the items in the box. On the first page of the “Blue Book of Telephone Numbers”, the first 3 numbers are for the police, Polly, and Harriet – Polly (aka Pauline) and Harriet being the stepdaughters of Nellie Alice (Scott) Herzer. The monogram embosser has the letters N-A-S, Nellie Alice Scott. The brown spiral notebook includes notes written by Mary O. (Scott) Groves about the settlement of the estate of Nell Herzer, including a narrative about two stepdaughters who were after their share of the property. The brown notebook also provides additional information on Nelli and has a blank check for Mrs. Mary Groves of Carpenter, Ohio. Carpenter is a town in Meigs County, Ohio. The photograph shows two ladies who look like siblings. One of the two siblings may have ordered her clothing from Lane Bryant. The badge that includes a photo of First Avenue School is a historical building still standing in Columbus, Ohio. Its address is 929 Harrison Ave, Columbus. This could have been the school the girls attended since it was built in 1874. The image of the building found on Wikipedia matches the image of the school on the badge. The little black book belonged to Mary O. Scott, sister of Nellie Alice Scott.

I once again return to the question: Is this a trinket box with stuff that has no family value, or is it a treasure box with some golden nuggets? The case has been made. You decide the verdict. Should most of the items in the box be discarded, or should they be retained for future researchers?

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