Monday, October 24, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: Everett Van Every - April 2, 1924

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

I began this project back in February of 2009, and since then, many others have joined in on the meme.  Why do we transcribe? I provide my three reasons in the linked post. You may find others. If you participate, feel free to leave a link to your post in the comments.
This week, I transcribe an article for the April 2nd, 1924 edition of the San Antonio Express.  The article is very brief, but confirms what I have learned from other sources regarding the death of my maternal grandmother's nephew, Everett Van Every.

San Antonio Express - April 2, 1924
The Express Austin Bureau

AUSTIN, Tex., April 1. – Everett Van Every, 17, member of … school senior class picnic … drowned in Barton Creek … Tuesday afternoon while swimming.


1) Everett's death certificate indicates most of the pertinent facts in this news article.  A first cousin of Everett's indicated in 2009 that she recalled he drowned in Deep Eddy Pool at a High School graduation party.  I was somewhat doubtful about a graduation party in April, though the newspaper article indicates the picnic was school-related.  Deep Eddy Pool is near Barton Creek. In the image below you can see Deep Eddy Pool in the middle of Deep Eddy Park, and in the lower right you can see where Barton Creek merges with Lady Bird Lake.  It's easy to see the two may have been confused in the mind of an aging cousin.

2) The headline of the news article does suggest this may not have been an unusual occurrence. Instead of "A Swimming Tragedy in Austin" it's "Austin's First Swimming Tragedy of 1924." There seems to be an expectation of more to come.

3) I have little information since 2009 on the identity of Everett's father. Back then I had the dueling testimony of two first cousins.  A deceased first-cousin had recorded Everett as a son of Samuel Van Every and Esther Dahlin in a genealogy. A living first cousin of Everett's on the Dahlin side thought the father was actually a "Van Landingham."

However, a second cousin to Everett recalls being introduced to Everett's mother in the 1930s, which means the Van Every family remained close to her for over a decade after Everett's death.  It's clear to me everyone on the Van Every side believed Everett was Samuel's son, and considered Esther as a part of the family, even though her relationship with Samuel was brief.

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