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Old 02-18-2009, 11:03 PM
Location: Cottonwood CA
342 posts, read 985,527 times
Reputation: 311


I'm curious to seek out lost relatives in the Russell and Chariton area of south central Iowa. Specifically looking for those with names of Brewer or Johnston that might have remained there when my grandfather moved his children, including my father out of state, eventually relocating to Northern California in the mid or late 1930's-under extremely unpleasant conditions.

Turns out my grandfather (Claude R. Brewer) fell ill in the winter of 1929 and killed my grandmother (Nora Johnston Brewer) with a shotgun blast, then attempted suicide, but managed only to injure and disfigure himself. His eldest son (my uncle-aged 14 at that time) took the weapon from his father and called for the sheriff. I've read that much in the newspaper account and grandmother's obituary.

My father was the youngest, only 4 at the time and never learned the true cause of his mother's death. I did find record of three of the kids living with a family named Rishdee (sp?) in the vicinity at the time of the 1930 census.

Anyway, in addition to seeing if any relatives remain, I'd be interested to find out what became of my grandfather during the "missing" years when the kids were sent off to relatives in Nebraska and/or Colorado. Did he go to prison, a mental institution or what? Its pretty clear that after his release from whatever, my grandfather was no longer welcome in Iowa and moved them all west.

My grandfather died in 1959 when I was 2-so I don't remember him at all. I'm told he had a horrible scar on the side of his head that most attributed to a "brain tumor". None of the kids affected (my father, 2 uncles and an aunt) are alive any longer. As you might imagine, the matter was quite scandalous and never spoken of among our family.

I know this is a long shot, but any info would be appreciated. Thought I'd try this forum first, then if its unfruitfull, I'll post on the People Search forum. My cousin and I are seriously considering visiting the area to see what we can find out about our family's tragic past. But before we make the trip, I'd like to see if relatives remain there and/or what additional records of the events might be available.
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