Researching the Baxter Sisters, Ancestors #12 / 52

Here is the main post for the Baxter Sisters, Daisy, Minnie, and Leona, Ancestors #12/52


The Baxter Sisters: (standing, left to right) Minnie, Olive, Emma. Seated in front–Daisy, Leona. The year is about 1926.

The Baxter Sisters in the Records

I notice that Amy Johnson Crow, the originator of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge, is going to be speaking in April at the Ohio Genealogical Society conference. One of her topics is “Timelines: The Swiss Army Knife of Genealogical Research.” I hugely wish I could be there to hear her talk. I’m a great believer in the efficacy of using timelines in genealogy research. I started using them after participating in a Webinar put on by the Illinois State Genealogy Society (ISGS), presented by Laura G. Prescott. [The ISGS puts on free Webinars on the first Tuesday of every month. You don’t have to be a member. All you do is sign up at their website:  ISGS Webinars.] One of the main benefits I’ve found from creating timelines is that when you conflate an ancestor’s timeline with those of people in the family or others in the community, what often happens is that you end up “creating” new information. Connections pop out at you that hadn’t been visible before. I love timelines, and I only wish I’d started using them 20 years ago.

So here’s the conflated timeline I’m working on for the three Baxter sisters, Daisy, Minnie, and Leona. These things are always a work in progress, which is one of the aspects of timelines I really like–they can so easily be added to.

1876 | 28 Jun. Born, Daisy Jessie Baxter. Fourth child of Alonzo and Elizabeth Baxter.

1878 | 12 Oct. Born, Minnie May Baxter. Fifth child of Alonzo and Elizabeth Baxter.

1880 | Federal Census. The family was residing in what was then Bent County, Colorado (later Prowers County). Alonzo, their father, is a farmer. There are four children: Emma, age 10, George, age 8, Olive, age 5, Daisy, age 3, and Minnie, age 1.


1883 | Sep. Born, Leona L. Baxter. Seventh child of Alonzo and Elizabeth Baxter. Leona was born in Coolidge, Hamilton County, Kansas, the only child of Alonzo and Elizabeth, besides their two oldest, not to be born in Colorado. The family lived in Coolidge for a short time around the time of Leona’s birth. It took me a long time to figure out why Leona’s place of birth in all the census records was always “Kansas.” I can’t believe I don’t have an exact DOB for Leona. I need to order her death certificate.

1890 | Family portrait. I don’t know where the family was living in 1890, but I think they might have moved to Trinidad, Colorado and that’s where this family portrait was taken. Photo from the papers of George Baxter.


Alonzo H. H. Baxter family, c.1890. The youngest girl standing at her father’s knee is Leona. The teenage girl standing in the back between her older siblings is Minnie–if the 1890 date is correct.

1892 | Below is a photo of the Trinidad newspaper staff.


1894 | 20 Dec. Married, the Baxter sisters’ brother, George Baxter, to Etta Pearl Hodge. Etta says in a 1941 letter (an angry letter she wrote to Olive Baxter Fertig): “I kept Edd the first six years we were married but of course you folks have all forgot all I ever did for you.” So that means from 1894 to 1900 Edward (Eddie or Edd) lived with George and Etta from the time he was 6 to when he turned 12. Why? By 1900, Alonzo and Elizabeth were living in Trinidad with their two youngest children, Leona and Eddie.

1895 | This next photo is a cabinet card from Miller Studios, Trinidad, Colorado. It could be dated anywhere from 1894-1897; however, I think the 1895 date is correct because of her huge sleeves, fringe bangs, and the little “feature” sticking up at the top of her head. If this is 1895, then it might be Minnie’s graduation photo. Minnie would have been 17 years old in 1895. That looks right. The way she’s dressed encourages the viewer to think “older,” but I think her face still has a young, almost “baby fat face” look to it. From the papers of George Baxter. I need to track down this photo with the genealogy society in Trinidad. I would imagine they have others from the same time at Miller Studios. Or {{heavens!}} were they all destroyed in the 1904 flood?


c.1895 – Probably Minnie Baxter. High school graduation?

Minnie, if this is Minnie, is wearing her hair in what was called the “psyche-knot.” The little embellishment sticking up at the top is a Spanish comb, very popular at the time evidently, since I’ve seen it in many photos. This is a formal portrait, (I hope) taken in the winter, judging from her dress, and probably commemorating a life event. Because of her age (17), I’m guessing a high school graduation photo. But that’s just a guess.

The following photos come from the Willa Cather Archive website. They are all from 1895.


If you love old photos the way I do, then I hugely recommend Maureen A. Taylor and her photodetective blog. Here is Maureen’s discussion of the 1890s sleeve. Maureen also has a website: Maureen Taylor The Photo Detective. Find her books at the website. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day–I really need to spend about 3 months or so with her books and my photo collection. I just grabbed her Family Photo Detective: Learn How to Find Genealogy Clues in Old Photos and Solve Family Photo Mysteries at Amazon for free as part of their kindleunlimited program.

I just found a collection of photographs taken in Trinidad, Colo. that have been archived at History Colorado: Aultman Studio, opened in Trinidad in 1890. Oliver E. Aultman made studio portraits of thousands of southern Colorado residents. The collection includes approximately 50,000 negatives, as well as studio registers, which provide a record of individuals and families who sat for and purchased Aultman photographs. Whoo-hoo! Searching through the index, it looks as though some of my Baxters were photographed by Aultman.

I found a portrait from the Aultman Studio in George Baxter’s papers–a photo of George. He seems to be wearing the same tie (tied the same way) as the family portrait I’ve dated as 1890. I need to look at these photos more closely, because I think this photo might be later. Are the Aultman photos found at History Colorado in Denver dated? I’m going to have to check that out on my next research trip to Denver.


Well! Look at that! On the verso of the Aultman photo is a date, written in pencil: 1890. That makes me wonder if the Alonzo Baxter family portrait that I dated as 1890 was also taken at the Aultman Studio. Logic says that it was. What a miracle it would be to find the negative of that photo!

1898 | 3 Apr. Married, Daisy Baxter to A.B. (Alexis Burton) Jordan. The 1930 census confirms that Daisy’s age at her first marriage was 21. That was my first clue that her marriage to Tom Jefferson wasn’t her only marriage. Daisy and Alexis married in Colfax County, New Mexico which is right across the county line from Trinidad, Huerfano County, Colorado. Why they married in New Mexico is unknown.

1899 | From the Pueblo city directory: Alexis B. Jordan living at 317 So. Main, working as a telegraph operator. Daisy isn’t listed in the city directory with Alexis, so she evidently wasn’t working.

1900 | 8 Jun. U.S. census for Pueblo, Colo. Thomas Sanborn, age 18, single, living at the home of his parents at 313 So. Main. He was a hostler at a livery stable.

1900 | I can’t find Minnie Baxter in the 1900 census. She was still single. She would have been 22 years old. She was probably living and working as a “single girl” in Pueblo, but so far I haven’t found her.

1900 | 8 Jun. U.S. census for Pueblo, Colo. Alexis B. Jordan [looks like “Jodan”], age 23, b. Kentucky, telegraph operator; his wife, Daisy M. [where does the M come from?], age 23, b. Colorado, no occupation listed. They’ve been married for 2 years. They live at 225 Victoria Ave. which seems to be a multi-family building (three married couples living at that address).

1900 | 8 Jun. U.S. census for Trinidad, Colo. Alonzo Baxter, wife Elizabeth, Leona age 16, and Eddie age 12. They live on Baca St. (629?).

c.1901 | Pueblo, Colo. A formal family portrait of Alonzo Baxter, his wife Elizabeth, and their two youngest children, Leona and Edward. If they were living in Trinidad, why was the portrait taken by a photography firm in Pueblo?


The Alonzo Baxter family, c. 1901. Leona and Edd are standing. I’ve dated the photo based on internal evidence. From George Baxter’s papers.

1902 | Trinidad City Directory. Alonzo H. H. Baxter, mason, 629 Baca.

1902 | 3 Sep. Married. Minnie Baxter‘s divorce decree from Thomas G. Sanborn indicates that they were married on 3 Sep 1902 at Raton, Colfax County, New Mexico. The date might be right, depending on when the 1903 City Directory was published. Why didn’t any of these sisters get married at their home in Colorado? Their marriage record doesn’t show up at FamilySearch.

1903 | City Directory, Pueblo. Minnie Baxter, ironer, boarding at 217 So. Main. Mrs. Elizabeth O. Baxter, seamstress, Crews-Beggs Dry Goods Co., rooms 217 So. Main. So Minnie and her mother were rooming together in Pueblo. No mention of Alonzo Baxter. Minnie was living a block away from where Daisy and Alexis lived in 1899. It was also a block away from Tom Sanborn, whom Minnie would soon marry.

1903 | City directory, Pueblo. Leona Baxter, student, Central High School, boarding at 1604 Claremont av. Leona would have been 20 years old in 1903. I don’t understand why Leona would have been a high school student when she was 20 years old.

1904 | 30 Sep. The Trinidad flood. Did Alonzo Baxter still have a residence in Trinidad in 1904? A “terrific flood” struck the city of Trinidad and the whole valley along the Las Animas River, devastating a wide section. Every bridge in the city was out; the Santa Fe train station was demolished–carried away in the flood; the telephone and telegraph service suspended. More than 80 city blocks were under two to four feet of water. The flood was caused by heavy rains, and the river went over its bank at 2 a.m. Since the electric light and gas plants were flooded, the city was in complete darkness. The new Baca Hotel was destroyed. If Alonzo and family were still living in Trinidad, they were almost certainly affected by this flood.

1904 | Trinidad City Directory. Alonzo H. H. Baxter, “moved to Pueblo, Colo.” However, Alonzo doesn’t appear in the Pueblo city directory for 1904. Did he move before or after the flood?

1904 | Pueblo City directory. Thomas G. and Minnie Sanborn. They were living at 313 So. Main–Tom’s parents’ house.

1905 | Pueblo city directory. Thomas G. and Minnie Sanborn. Minnie is a laundress for Minnequa Hospital; Tom is a clerk for McLeod Bros. They live at 1221 Claremont Ave., a small, single-family home.

1906 | 15 Dec. Married, Leona Baxter and Leo Glatzel; married in Denver County, license #39651. I found this information about Leona and Lee at the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center in Cañon City, Colo. Leona was 23 years old when she married Leo.

1906 | Pueblo city directory. Leona Baxter, clerk, Grand Union Tea Co., rms. 221 1/2 N Main. In 1903 her mother and sister were at 217 S Main. Elizabeth Baxter isn’t found in the 1906 Pueblo directory.

1906 | Pueblo city directory. Thomas G. Sanborn, listed at 1221 Claremont Ave., working as a clerk for Tufts & Little. Minnie Sanborn isn’t listed in the directory.

1907 | Pueblo City Directory. Leo A. Glatzel, clk D&RG RR, res. 28 Block S. Leona isn’t mentioned in the city directory because she doesn’t have a job. So from the beginning, it would seem that Leona didn’t work outside the home. The only one who worked from day one of her marriage was Minnie.

1907 | Pueblo city directory. Thomas G. Sanborn, working as a driver for Wm. Behrens. Rooming at 15 Physicians’ Bldg. No mention of Minnie, probably because she didn’t have a job. So this is three different jobs in three years for Tom Sanborn–not a good pattern for a stable home life.

c.1907 | Summer. The family gathered, probably at George Baxter’s ranch, although I don’t know that for sure. Elizabeth Baxter’s sister and her husband were visiting, which may have been the reason for the get-together and photograph. From the papers of George Baxter. Daisy is not in the group photograph. Minnie and Tom Sanborn are in the group, as are Leona and Leo Glatzel. I have to assume that Daisy wasn’t in Colorado; otherwise she would have been there. She’s the only one of her siblings who is missing.


The Baxter Clan, c.1907. Alonzo and Elizabeth Baxter, Elizabeth’s sister and her husband, Mary Robinson Mowreader and Frank Mowreader, and Alonzo & Elizabeth’s children, children-in-law, and grandchildren

1909 | Pueblo city directory. Mrs. Elizabeth O. Baxter, dressmaker, 221 1/2 N. Main. This was the same address her daughter Leona had in 1906.

1910 | Pueblo city directory. Elizabeth Baxter does not appear in the Pueblo city directory for 1910. Tom & Minnie Sanborn don’t appear in the directory.

1910 | Pueblo city directory. Mrs. Daisy M. Jordan, clk, Williams-Smith D G Co., r 24 Block S. There’s no sign of Alexis Jordan in the 1910 Pueblo directory. Perhaps Daisy and her mother were living together?

1910 | U.S. census. I can’t find Daisy Baxter Jordan or Elizabeth Baxter in the 1910 census. Nor can I find Tom & Minnie Sanborn. I almost think that Tom & Minnie routinely deliberately ducked the census taker, since they aren’t found in the census records more often than they’re found.

1910 | 23 Apr. Federal Census. Alonzo Baxter is listed with the Welby Fertig family in La Junta, Colo. Welby Fertig is the husband of another one of Alonzo’s daughters, Olive Baxter Fertig. Olive lived in La Junta most of her adult life. Alonzo was living with the family, but his wife Elizabeth isn’t listed in this 1910 census. Where is Elizabeth? I’m betting she was living in Pueblo, possibly with Daisy. Alonzo’s youngest son, Edward Baxter (aka Eddie or Edd) was 22 years old and working for the railroad. His obituary says that he “left La Junta in 1914,” implying that he lived in La Junta until 1914. However, since he worked for the railroad, there’s no telling where he might have been living in his early years with the railroad. He might have been living in any of the little small towns in the area that were part of the Santa Fe RR. It would be possible to get his railroad employment records if I can get the equivalent of his social security number. For that, I need his death certificate. He died in Walsenburg, so when I get Leona’s death certificate, I’ll also get his. $$ They’re not cheap.

1910 | 24 Dec. Daisy Baxter Jorden sent a post card to Mrs. George Baxter from Vancouver, British Columbia. Daisy says she sent their Christmas cards to Emma’s, since she thought they would be going to the wedding. Clearly Daisy is referring to the wedding of Emma Witzke and Frank Beecham in Vineland, Colo. “Why didn’t you go?” asks Daisy. What was Daisy doing in Vancouver? Was she living there or just visiting?

1911 | Pueblo city directory. No Elizabeth Baxter. No Daisy Jordan. There is a Thomas G. Sanborn (he’s the right one), waiter, [another new occupation and employer] boarding 313 S Main. Tom is living at the address with two of his brothers. No mention of Minnie Sanborn. Minnie might living with Tom, although since they later divorced, and Minnie seems almost always to have had a job, I can’t just assume that they were together here–especially since Tom is rooming with his brothers. Maybe they had an on-again, off-again marriage. Minnie was close to her brother Edward Baxter. Where was he in 1910? My notes say I can’t find him in either the 1910 or the 1920 census records. However, in 1918 he shows up in Salt Lake City, Utah in a WWI draft registration card. His obituary says that he left La Junta in 1914.

1911 | According to his obituary, Edward Baxter started working for the Santa Fe RR. and it’s implied that he was living in La Junta, Colo.

1912 | The Aultman Studio Register (Trinidad, Colo.) has this photograph: Elizabeth Baxter, 1912, Negative #21522. Where was Elizabeth in 1912? It’s unlikely that this is my Elizabeth, since the 1910 city directory for Trinidad lists an “Elizabeth Baxter, student High School.” There’s no reason to think that Mrs. Alonzo Baxter would have had her portrait taken in Trinidad in 1912. Damn.

1913 | 20 May. Alexis B. Jordan married Lillian L. Elliott in Marin County, California. When and where did Daisy and Alexis obtain their divorce? If I have the right Lillian, then she was born in March 1890 in Pueblo, Colo. Lillian had been married once before in 1908 at the age of 18. So Alexis and Lillian–both divorced and both from Pueblo–were married in California. Where was Daisy in 1913? It’s possible that Daisy was also in California. I think that’s probably where she met her second husband, Thomas Broome Jefferson. I haven’t found a marriage record for them, but the 1930 census says that Tom’s age at first marriage

1914 | According to his obituary, Edward Baxter left La Junta in 1914 and “railroaded in Utah and Arizona for 25 years.”

1918 | 12 Sep. Edward Baxter, 617 Carson St., Salt Lake, Utah. He was age 34, a locomotive engineer for the Garfield Smelter. He lists Elizabeth Baxter (mother) as his nearest relative, and he lists her address as 617 Carson St., Salt Lake. Clearly, from this record, Elizabeth Baxter was living with her son Edward in Utah.

I’m thinking the next two photos were taken in about 1918. On the left is Ed Baxter, Elizabeth Baxter, and Tom Sanborn. On the right is Ed, Minnie Sanborn, and Elizabeth. There’s another picture of Minnie and Ed taken the same day. Minnie’s hat is full of what look like pecans. That tree behind them in the two photos looks like it could be a pecan tree. Pecans could grown in southeastern Colorado. It’s also possible to grow pecans in Utah. Ed’s short pants and “fancy” dress shoes fit the fashion for men of about 1916-1918. Minnie’s and Elizabeth’s hats fit with about 1918. This can’t be as late as 1920, since Elizabeth was constantly using crutches by then.

1918 is a pretty good approximation for the photo, showing that Minnie and Tom Sanborn were at least in the same place at the same day. I wonder if Minnie had traveled to Utah to take her mother home to La Junta?


1918 | 12 Sep. A third registration was held for the draft for WWI which was for men age 18 through 45. Tom Sanborn would have been 37 years old in 1918. Did he register for the draft? Yes! WWI_draftRegistrationTom and Minnie Sanborn were living in La Junta in 1918 when Tom registered for the draft. I don’t know why I’d never thought to look for his draft registration before. “Tom Galno Sanborn” was working for the Santa Fe railroad. It’s seems strange that they had a post office box instead of a street address. He lists Minnie “V” (probably mistakenly written for “B”) as his nearest relative. Tom seems to have “fudged the numbers” on his date of birth. He wrote 1878 instead of 1881. The earlier date put him in a different category for the draft.

1918 | 12 Sep. Thomas Brome Jefferson was living at 815 38th in Oakland, Alameda, California when he registered for the draft. His nearest relative was Daisy “Margarette” Jefferson. Tom’s occupation is listed as shoe salesman. So clearly Daisy was still in California in 1918.

1918 | 12 Sep. Leona is less of a mystery than her sisters. Leona and Lee Glatzel had recently moved to Cañon City, Colo.


 I may be working on this for weeks. . .

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