Thomas Newton Todd left his wife and children during the winter, perhaps in 1898. They were living in Kansas and during February 1899 Newt and Lena Todd nee Garst’s divorce became official. On July 29 of that same year, Newt, who was 34, married 17-year-old Violet Keithley in Lamar, Missouri. By 1900, they were living in Carterville, Missouri just next door to Violet’s father and their first child was born in September.
Newt was a jeweler who made a comfortable wage but his occupation required him to move often. Researcher and Newt’s descendant, Pat Francis, said of her uncles and father “I think the two older boys lived with their dad and Violet longer than my Dad did. He stayed with his Mother until she became ill and died (ca 1906). He may have lived some with his Dad and Violet while his Mom was ill but he was raised by his maternal grandparents.” Among one of Pat’s cousins photos was this old snapshot that shows a fairly young Violet with her children and her stepsons.
In 1917 Newt died of natural causes in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Violet and her daughter Lillian moved to Reseda, California about 1939. Violet remained in California and died in Los Angeles in 1953.
If you are researching Newt Todd descendants from his first wife, Lena, researcher Pat Francis has traced them back to early Tennessee. I’ll be glad to help you get in contact with her.
Photos of Joseph Keithley and his children: Violet, Eva, Leo, Mabel
Violet’s mother died when she was about 8. The family has very little information about their mother. Just this week I learned her mother’s maiden name.
Bill Smith said:
Good story. Thanks for sharing.
Keep these ancestor stories coming!
Author of “13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories”
James C. Gordon said:
You wouldn’t know me, but I am very distantly related to Newt Todd through his paternal grandmother, Margaret McPherson Todd of Scott Co., IL. I was raised there actually, and Margaret was a younger sister to one of my maternal great-great-great-grandfathers from that area, William McPherson. I try as a hobby to track as many of my various family relatives as I’m able to locate and am tracking Margaret’s descendants at the moment. I realize you’d not be related to Newt, but I do have a few things on his siblings, his ancestry and even some scant details on his children by his first wife. Maybe you’d like to communicate about them. I’ve enjoyed your website and have taken as much as I can from it as it pertains to Newt’s second family. Thank you!