Monday, May 12, 2014

52 Ancestor's Challenge - Minnie T. Tracy - DeSoto, Missouri - Week 19

Week 19 of the 52 Ancestor's Challenge is on my great grandmother, Minnie T. Tracy.  She was the only great grand parent that was still living by the time I was born.  I remember visiting her once when I was a child.  She was very tiny for an adult, I thought.  Of course, I was about 7 years old at the time.

Minnie was born in August 16, 1899 in DeSoto, Jefferson County, Missouri.  She was the daughter of Harmon Augustus Tracy and Martha Jane Ross.  Her parents were both married multiple times, and between them, they had about 20 children.  So Minnie had about 19 siblings!!  According to family, she always stated she had Indian blood in her.  Haven't found the link on her side of the family yet, but still looking. 

In 1900, the family was living in Valle Township, City of DeSoto, Jefferson County, MO (from 1900 Federal Census, page 11 of 61 found on  The household consisted of her father, Harmon, and mother, Martha, 2 of her half siblings from her father's previous marriage, Olive and Matthew, her full sibling Mark, and her half siblings from her mother's previous marriage, Willie, Ivy, Myrtle, and Lester Hopson.

In 1910, the family is still living in the City of DeSoto, living in District 45.  In the house is Harmon, Martha, Mark, Minnie, and 2 more full siblings of Minnie's, Arbelle, and Grace (from 1910 Federal Census, page 4 of 22 found on  There is a third sibling born in 1906, Byron Earl Tracy, but he isn't shown with the family on this census...not sure why?

Frances, Vicki, and Minnie

November 1, 1916, Minnie married William Frank Gibson in DeSoto.  She was just 17 years old.  The couple went on to have 9 children:
  • Ethel Louise (1917-1993)
  • Kenneth Earl (1919-2007)
  • Dorothy Lucille (1921-2004)
  • William Frank (1922-1990)
  • Frances Wilma (1924-1994)
  • Violet Marcella (Vicki) (1927-2011)
  • Louis Marie (1930-2001)
  • Thelma Mildred (1931-1931)
  • Vivian June (1933-1977)

I can't seem to locate the family in the 1920 Federal Census, the family was known for moving around a lot.  According to my notes, every child was born in a different house.  I do know my grandfather, William Frank Jr. (went by the name Bill), was born in DeSoto.  One note I have in my files says the family moved after my grandfather, Bill, was born.  Either way, by 1930, they were definitely living in St. Louis.  According to the 1930 Federal Census, they were living at 1461 Benton Street, St. Louis, Missouri (1930 Federal Census, page 7 of 21 on  William Sr. worked as a shoe maker in a factory.

Sometime before 1937, William Sr. left the family.  He tried to get a divorce from Minnie, but she refused for 7 years.  In that time he had two more children with another woman named Elnora Spencer.  Their divorce was not completed until 1945.  In the 1940 Federal Census, you can find Minnie living with 6 of her children: Bill, Frances, Vicki, Lois, June, and Dorothy, along with Dorothy's husband Nick Marino (1940 Federal Census, page 20 of 36 on  They were living at 1225 Chambers Street, in St. Louis.  There is a Frank Gibson living at 905 Chambers Street, in St. Louis.  If this was William Sr., then he probably wasn't far.
Great Grandma Minnie with 4 of her children.
Left to right: Dorthy, Lois, Bill, Minnie, and Frances.

Minnie remained in Missouri the rest of her life.  In the early 80's she made a trip out to California, which is where I remember visiting her with a bunch of my cousins.  I thought I had a photo of all of us with her, but can't seem to locate it at this time.

In my records and notes, it says according to her daughter Vicki, Minnie added the T as a middle initial because there was another Minnie Gibson living in DeSoto, and the post office kept getting them mixed up. So she added the T in order to get her mail. I'm guessing the T stood for Tracy, but not certain.

Tennie Belle Holcomb Gibson, Minnie Tracy Gibson, and
William Frank Gibson, Jr.
Photo taken at the home of William and Tennie Belle
in Baldwin Park, CA

Minnie passed away April 17, 1982 at the Normandy South Hospital, in Des Peres, St. Louis County, MO.  She was 82 years old.  I have a copy of her obituary.  The date of the paper is April 19, 1982, but not sure which paper it is from.  It reads:

"Minnie Gibson
The funeral for Minnie Gibson, 82, De Soto, will be at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday) in a chapel of Mahn Funeral Home, De Soto, with the Rev. James Lillie officiating. Burial will be in De Soto City Cemetery.

Mrs. Gibson died at Normandy Osteopathic Hospital South, Des Peres, on Apr. 17, 1982. She was a daughter of the late Harmon and Martha Jane (Ross) Tracy, born Aug. 16, 1899 at De Soto.

Her husband, was the late William Frank Gibson. They were married at De Soto on Nov. 2, 1916.

She was a resident of Jefferson County all of her life and was a housewife.

Survivors include seven children, Kenneth E. Gibson, De Soto, Dorothy Wood, Hillsboro, Ethel Louise Albers, St. Ann, William Gibson, Jr., Baldwin, Calif., Frances Wilma Durham, Jefferson City, Violet Marcella McManness, Cedar Hill, and Lois Marie Grimett, Anaheim, Calif.; sister, Grace Pilger, St. Louis; 29 grandchildren; 49 great-grandchildren"

According to her death certificate, she was living at 602 S. 2nd Street, DeSoto, Jefferson County, MO. 

Minnie Tracy Gibson
Not sure when or where this was taken, but isn't she cute!!

If you have any questions, or concerns, about the information in this post, please leave me a comment. I'd be happy to answer any questions, or share what information I have on the individuals listed above. Thanks for reading!!

1 comment:

  1. Your comment about the family moving a lot is true. My mother, Frances Gibson, told me "I came home from school one day and found the house empty! I sat on the front steps crying until the mailman came by and told he knew where my momma went. He took me a block or so away to the new house. We had a piano that Dad got us somehow, it was during the depression. Us kids moved that dam piano house to house on a wagon"