Monday, October 29, 2012

An Oreo for George

George Albert Wood died at the somewhat young age of fifty-four in the same area where he grew up.  Doing no further research on him, it would be easy to assume he never left that area.

In fact, with the exception of a few year's in his wife's native Cleveland, he had spent forty-five or so years of his life in the same area of Jackson County, Missouri.  With a common name like George Wood though, he had been difficult to find in Missouri in the 1940 US Census.  I decided to examine his death certificate from 1945 for clues as to where he was in 1940.  Two things immediately jumped out:

1) George had only been in the location of his death for about two months and 2) his occupation is given as the manager of the "National Bis. Co. Texas."  Also listed is Amarillo for his usual residence.  Interestingly, in the 1930 US Census George was still in his hometown and gives his occupation as a salesman for "National Biscuit."  Clearly he hadn't changed employers between 1930 and his death in 1945.

From there I decided to look for George in Texas at the time of the "old man's draft" in 1942:

He is still in Amarillo and still working for the National Biscuit Co.  All this means he was likely in Amarillo for the 1940 US Census - and sure enough he was.  At the same address, his occupation is given as manager of "Biscuit Company."

Because of where George died I had thought that finding a death notice for him would be difficult.  But, because of the years he worked in Amarillo, I struck pay dirt (twice actually).  It just goes to show that where a person died isn't necessarily the only place that would carry a death notice for them.

The Amarillo Globe (Amarillo, TX), 5 Nov 1945, page 2
So, what does all this have to do with Oreos?  Well, National Biscuit Company is still around... better known as Nabisco and Oreos are one of their flagship products... and also Oreos are one of my very favorite sweet treats (double stuff of course, with milk).  In fact, I think I'll have one in George's honor tonight!

(For anyone wondering what my connection is: George's uncle, Charles, was my 3rd great-grandfather)

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