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Just the Facts on R.E. Buckingham

Here are the facts only as we know them, … as they have been shared or revealed to us. If you remember, I had nothing to draw on, so I had to document, document, document to get this far :)

Robert Edwin Buckingham was born 23 October 1885, to Joseph George Buckingham & Henrietta (Etta) Wood in Nebraska.

On 15 August 1903, “Edwin R. Buckingham”  of Nebraska, living in Riverside, CA, married “Priscilla R. Ogden” of Missouri, of Los Angeles, CA, in Los Angeles County, CA. Witnessed by Joseph G. Buckingham & Charles E. Walker, both of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California.

Their first child was born on 3 March 1904 in Los Angeles, Arthur Ernest Buckingham. (Hmm… so she was pregnant when they got married?) 5 more children followed: Howard Ennis, Maurice Webster, Robert E., Laverne B., &  Chester Ivan Buckingham.

In 1918, on his World War I Draft Registration Card, he claims he was born 23 October 1884 in “Lyncoln, NE, USA,” and that his father’s birthplace was also in “NE, USA,” and he was unemployed while he & his family lived in Rendo, CA.

1920 is the first census we find for Robert Edwin Buckingham. He & his family now live in Gardena, Los Angeles, CA. REB is now working as a “printer at a shop for wages.” Rosa is also working with 5 of six children (all the boys) at home as a “saleslady at grocery store on her own account.” His parents are listed as being born in “USA”.

1924 REB is listed on the Los Angeles County, California Index  Of Registered Voters as a “R” for Republican, a printer, & residing at 4116 West Avenue 41.

He died on 31 July 1926 at the “County Farm Hospital” in the “Psycho Ward” at 8:30 PM from “Tabes Dorsalis (untreated syphilis infection) with Psychosis and contributing Hypostatic Bronchopneumonia the last 3 days.” He had only been in the County Hospital for 1 month & 21 days, having resided in California for 38 years (abt. 1888). This definitely supported the stories we all heard of him dying in the “crazy house.” Parents listed, by wife Rosa P. Buckingham, are Etta Wood & Joseph George Buckingham.

The dilemma we face is why is he never listed on a census prior to 1920? And why is he never listed on a census with his acclaimed parents, Joseph & Etta Buckingham? With the loss of the 1890 Census, he may well be one of the many just lost in the cracks of time…. But the story of him being British still haunts my research since I can’t directly tie him to Joseph George Buckingham & Etta Wood…

52 Weeks Of Personal Genealogy & History – Week #10: Disasters

“Week 10: Disasters. Did you experience any natural disasters in your lifetime? Tell us about them. If not, then discuss these events that happened to parents, grandparents or others in your family.

This challenge runs from Saturday, March 5, 2011 through Friday, March 11, 2011.”


Geez… I can’t say that I have… well unless you count tornadoes, but they are so common place in OK, AR & MO that really… do those count?

As for family, no one had reported much either; no newspaper clippings, or photos. I think we have luckily escaped most disasters, outside of a few Thornton’s in the south during the drought of the 1930’s followed by the The Great Dust Bowl. I haven’t gotten to this topic in my research,…

However, on the other end of this story, as the Great Dust Bowl cleared its way through parts of Arkansas & most of Oklahoma, the terms “Okies” & “Arkies” emerged into common vocabulary across the  United States.

My Grands was born in 1935 in Los Angeles, CA, and as a child she surely adopted the negative attitudes that came with the “Okies & Arkies” as many migrated into  California looking for a better tomorrow.

Though history quickly states that the Dust Bowl only lasted from 1930-1935 (1940’s in some histories), it didn’t end there with the effects it had on the people or the United States. Even the Great Depression was happening simultaneously! Can you imagine living without the ability to grow, wash, water & without food crops or livestock, and no income?! That had to be the lowest place you could get in one’s life, I would imagine.

As another great migration pattern began, my Great Great Grandmother, Rosa Mason, was the house-mother at the Sunshine Mission for Destitute Women & Girls down on today’s “Skid Row” in Los Angeles. My Grands helped out at times at the mission… and this is where it began…

Here my ancestors witnessed a flux in the destitute populations as they emigrated to California. Many women & children that ended up in the Sunshine Mission were from families trying to find a better life out west. My Grands saw first hand the filth, desperation, & hardships that came with these extremely poor families.

Rosa, as reported by many & in clippings, was the most tender-hearted individual you can find. She never hesitated to accept a stranger into the mission, beat up “roughies” to protect another woman in need even in her 50’s & 60’s, and she would even wash your feet if you needed it! She was truly a gift from above.

My Grands on the other hand, grew up in a rather poor situation herself, so her heartstrings didn’t reach out as much. She took on the same attitude as many other native Californians who were also in great need as they watched the Okies & Arkies come in to get handouts where they could not. Though much later in life she developed a much softer place for “Okies & Arkies” as she married a man from Arkansas & later moved there, she never quite gave up that distrust of anyone from these regions.

A natural disaster affects more than just the eminent location or persons involved. It changes the face of time, places, & the people around the event! It also exceeds it’s time in history books as it passes down from generation to generation.

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