Nackey Jane Stewart was the daughter of Leslie Comb Stewart and Sarah Jane Barr. She was born in Edgar, Illinois. Leslie and Sarah Stewart had three children; Elizabeth(1880), George (1883), Nackey Jane (1885).
Leslie C Stewart died in 1895. In the 1900 Federal Census, Sarah Jane Stewart and her family were living in Philo, Illinois. In 1905, Sarah Jane married John B Stewart, Leslie’s brother.
Nackey Jane and Robert McLaughlin married in 1905 in Illinois also. In the 1910 Federal Census, Nackey and her two-year-old son, Roy are in Thermopolis, Wyoming living with her Mother and Stepfather, John Stewart while Robert remained in Illinois working as a hired hand for Fred and Sarah Wileman. (I briefly looked to see if the Wileman’s were somehow a family connection but none was found.)
Thermopolis was first known for it’s Hot Springs. In 1897, Hot Springs State Park was established after 100 square miles of land was purchased by the government from the Shashone Indian Tribe. In 1910 and 1911, the completion of two rail lines, first the Northern Burlington line and second the southern Wind River Canyon line, allowed better access to this remote mountainous area of Wyoming. When the railways were completed, the coal mining and oil industries began in the area. I had hope that I would be able to determine how and why Nackey’s mother and her husband and eventually Nackey herself ending up in this remote part of Wyoming but I did not.
In Robert’s 1918 draft record for World War I, he states that he and his wife, Nackey live in Thermopolis, Wyoming. He is employed by Aldridge and Buchanan. In 1920 Census, Robert and Nackey McLaughlin are listed in Thermopolis and they now have three children; Roy(1908), Marie(1911), Nettie(1915). Robert’s occupation is listed as Teamster and Nackey is working as a launderer.
By the 1930 Federal Census, Robert and his family have returned to Illinois. They are living in Champaign, Illinois on North Fifth Street. Robert lists his occupation as a laborer who does odd jobs and Nackey lists hers as a servant. I find Robert and Nackey in two area directories for Champaign, Illinois for the years 1931 and 1935. I did not find the Robert McLaughlin family in the 1940 Census. The next reference that I find for the family is in Robert’s World War II draft record from 1942 and they are living in Champaign, Illinois.
Nackey died on November 7, 1972, and is buried in Locust Grove Cemetery next to her husband who she outlived by 26 years. Rest in Peace.
PS. I think that the name “Nackey” is an unusual one. I can’t help but wonder what brought her parents to name her that. I was hoping that I would find a photo of her. I am sure that there is a story here! I normally look at all the available records for a person and write my Tombstone Tuesday blogs like an Obituary but something today made me look more closely at why this family picked this remote Wyoming area to settle in before going back to Illinois. Was it the Hot Springs? Was it available land? Was it available employment? I did not find the answer but I believe that there is a story here too. I will continue to investigate. My Great Uncle, Wallace Losee married Nettie McLaughlin, daughter of Nackey and Robert,