Friday, December 11, 2009
John Almeron CHAMPLIN's monument inscription simply gives the year of his birth and death. [1895-1966] so all we really know is that he was 70 years old at the time of his death.
Fortunately, his WWI and WWII draft cards give the full date of his birth and the location.
He was born in the Olneyville section of Providence on the 12th of August 1895. The 1900 census, taken when he was 4 years old lists his parents as Peleg G. CHAMPLIN and Hannah and in 1910 this is confirmed as he is 14 and with the same parents. Turning to the River Bend Cemetery records we find that the Champlin monument there gives us more about these parents.
The WWI draft card tells us he is living in Richmond, a small town in southern RI, where there were a lot of textile mills and he lists as his occupation as textile worker and he works for the Carolina Company. He is married, is age 21, and living in Alton, RI.
The draft card is not dated but it is in the range of 1917-1918 which sets his date of marriage within those years. His daughter, Hannah was born 3 July 1917. In the 1920 census, he and his wife and daughter are living with his wife's widowed mother and her daughter from her second marriage. They live on River Road in Alton, RI so I am assuming that the house must have belonged to his wife's family or been a "mill house" and belonged to the company. John is a "finisher" at the Richmond Lace Works and his mother-in-law is a "presser" at the Richmond Lace Works.
This location of work and home is significant to the story since my uncle's obituary lists his former employer as the Richmond Lace Works. Uncle Bill and Aunt Hannah lived in this house when I was a child and I remember it well. I think they met by working together.
In 1930, the mother-in-law is not living with them but her daughter is still living there. John and his wife have another daughter, Alberta. She must be named for her grandfather on her mother's side since his name was Albertie Boss! Alberta was born in 1928.
John's WWII draft card confirms the previous information and that he is still working at the lace factory. He has two tattoos; one on each arm. He is 5 foot seven inches, has brown eyes, grey hair and has a ruddy complexion. He is 47 years old and the year is 1942.
The SSDI lists him as dying on 10 Jan 1966 in Alton, RI. This means that it is possible that I have actually met him as he probably spent his last years living with his daughter!
John is buried in Pine Grove Cemetery in Hopkinton, Washington, RI