Seriously, I don’t know.
This man is a mystery.
Why can’t I let this go?
This man is like a ghost slipping in and out of the periphery of the Lore family story, popping up here and there shouting “Boo” and then running off again, laughing.
HE WILL NOT LET ME REST!!!
Awww, the curse of the obsessed genealogist.
I don’t even know P. L. Lore’s name, and everyone, but everyone in this family had nicknames. I think P. L. is the same man as Lon, who might be the same man as Alonzo, except neither the initials P. nor L. are A. for Alonzo. Not to mention, in one place, the name of Patrick is given. I’m flummoxed.
Why can’t I have a normal family????
How Did This Happen?
Originally, some 15 or 20 years ago, I noticed P. L. Lore’s name in the same general place and time with my Lore family in Warren Co., PA. He’s not the only mystery person there, and I didn’t think too much about it because there WAS at least one other unrelated, as proven by Y DNA, Lore (Loree, Lour) family who lived there at about the same time.
But then, everything changed.
Perusing old newspapers, I found this in Rushville, Indiana, while researching my great-grandfather, Curt Lore:
- October 2, 1903
Curt’s brother was P. L. Lore?
And Curt had a motorcycle?
And he strapped his brother’s bicycle to his motorcycle and rode home 99 miles?
And they lived to tell the tale?
Lord have mercy.
Well, truthfully, a 1903 motorcycle looked an awful lot like a bicycle with a motor, so it’s probably not as dangerous as it sounds. Just no pedaling.
No, just no. 1000 times no.
There’s no room in this story for a mystery brother.
I mean, where was this brother on the census?
Oh, yea, this is my family – the people who had absolutely NO compunction about census accuracy.
Let’s set the stage and see what we can find.
You’re not going to believe this.
Antoine Lore and Rachel Levina Hill
If P. L. Lore was the brother of Curtis Benjamin Lore, known as Curt, then at least one, maybe both, of P. L. Lore’s parents had to be Antoine Lore, also known as Anthony Lore in the US, or Rachel Levina Hill.
If P. L. Lore was only a half-sibling, he would likely have been a brother through Anthony, given the same surname, but that’s not a given either. Anthony died sometime in or after 1862 and if Rachel had another child after Anthony’s death, without remarrying, the child would carry the Lore surname. That’s unlikely for a number of reasons – but then – so is this entire scenario.
The last census where we find the family together is 1860, before Anthony died sometime between 1862 and 1868. Rachel was ill, according to the family oral history, and died not long after along with Curt’s younger sister. The children, with one exception, were cast to the winds after their father’s death, “to raise themselves,” according to Curt. The family was terribly poor, a fact we see reflected in the 1870 census where Rachel is living with another family, with only one of her children, and has not one dime to her name.
I wrote about Curtis Benjamin Lore, here, here, here and here.
Anthony Lore seemed to have actually tried to not leave any records. That could be because he was actually a river pirate, drowning on the Allegheny River – as family lore stated. Or maybe he was just a poor farmer. Poor people left few records.
We do know something about the Lore family, thanks to the two census records which I’ll get to in a minute.
The only tidbit of information we have about the man who just might be P. L. Lore, and the only reason I knew about him at all, was a story told by Eloise, Curt’s youngest daughter who was born in 1903 and lived into her 90s. I knew her but didn’t ask nearly enough questions.
Eloise provided the following information, orally:
Curtis Benjamin Lore was born in 1860 or 1861 in Pennsylvania to Benjamin Lore whose wife’s name might have been Elvira or Elvina. Benjamin was a river pirate who drowned when Curtis was about 10 or 12, so about 1870 to 1872. Curtis also had a younger sister and a brother, “Uncle Lawn.” Curtis had come to Indiana in the 1880s as a well-driller and met Nora Kirsch while drilling for gas wells near Aurora, Indiana.
The spelling of “Lawn” is mine, because that’s exactly what it sounded like when she said it.
Ok, let’s take this apart, item by item.
|Curtis Benjamin Lore was born in 1860 or 1861 in Pennsylvania…||This is the information from his death certificate, but according to the census, he was born in 1856, in Pennsylvania. That move to Indiana took half a decade off his age.|
|…to Benjamin Lore whose wife’s name might have been Elvira or Elvina.||Curt’s father was Antoine in Canada but was Anthony in the US. Curt’s mother was Rachel Levina Hill according to her 1815 birth record in Addison County, Vermont. She married Anthony in 1831 in Starksboro, VT.|
|Benjamin was a river pirate who drowned when Curtis was about 10 or 12, so about 1870 to 1872.||Anthony died sometime after his 1862 application for citizenship and before 1868 when he could have become a citizen. If Curt were 10 or 12 when his father died, that would have been in 1866-1868, which fits Eloise’s story perfectly.|
|Curtis also had a younger sister and a brother, “Uncle Lawn.”||The census confirms the sister.|
|Curtis had come to Indiana in the 1880s as a well-driller and met Nora Kirsch while drilling for gas wells near Aurora, Indiana.||True!|
Let’s Look at the Evidence
“Lawn,” more likely “Lon” as found in later records, if he was older than Curt, would be reflected on the 1860 census with the rest of the family.
I initially expected to find Curt on the 1870 census, but not on the 1860 census, believing Curt was born in 1861. However, finding Curt on the 1860 census is how I discovered his actual birth year. You can’t be in the 1860 census if you aren’t yet born.
The first census where we find Anthony Lore is 1850. He and Rachel had been married for 19 years by this time, and based on the ages and places of birth of their children, had only recently moved from New York to Warren County, PA. We don’t know where they lived in New York, although the descendants of their son Francis say he was born in Chautauqua County, near either Chautauqua or Jamestown, NY.
That’s only about 30-35 miles from where they settled in Warren County, so that would make sense.
This is so frustrating though. How can someone just disappear for almost 20 years? Anthony managed to avoid the 1840 census taker. They lived in a very remote, rugged region of Warren County, and his son, Francis, was literally the first white settler in Iron River, Wisconsin – so I’d presume wherever Anthony was living in 1840 was in essence “off the grid.” Not to mention, if he really was a river pirate, he probably didn’t want to attract attention.
The family is still in Warren County in 1860.
There’s Curtis on the census in 1860, bigger than life, age 4. You’ll notice there is no P. L. Lore or P. anything. Neither is there an L name. However, there is a Tunis which is likely short for something, probably Antoine. Tunis is never found again and likely died.
We know that Anthony is alive in 1862 when he applied for citizenship, but never returns in 1868 when he would be eligible. Apparently, Anthony died between 1862 and 1868. Obviously, before the 1870 census.
The Civil War happened in the middle of the 1860s, of course. Some of the Lore boys would have been old enough to serve and at least two, Franklin, and Francis did. That war was a great disruptor. It’s possible that Anthony’s death was related to the war.
In 1870, Curtis Lore, age 14, is living with the Morrison family – confirming his birth year of 1856. According to what Curt told his daughters, he “hired out” and supported himself from the age of 10 or 12, which would suggest this father died about 1866-1868. In1870, Curt was working as a farmhand.
We find Rachel and the youngest daughter, age 1 in 1860, living with the Farnham family in 1870.
Where are the other children?
- William Henry would have been 31, so certainly married by this time, or on his own. I don’t find him on the census, but I found his wife and children living with her parents.
- One Franklin Lore is found, age 27, in Forest County, PA.
- I can’t find Francis, who was sometimes known as Frank, but he was living as we find him later. Why the devil did Anthony and Rachel name two sons Francis and Franklin? Seriously? Were these boys twins?
- Nathaniel had died before 1860.
- Mariah was married to Stephan Farnham, the son of the family Rachel was living with.
- Tunis is not found in 1870 or after.
- Mary and Minerva have two separate line entries of the same age in 1850 but neither one is entered in 1860. I don’t know where they are. I do know that Minerva did marry Harry Ward. Is it possible that they were twins and Mary died?
I created a table to track the various family members. Note that there is room for at least 6 children who likely perished before the census could record their existence.
|1850 Census||1860 Census||1870 Census||1880 Census||Comment|
|Anthony Lore b 1805||40 laborer b Canada||45 farmer b Canada||–||–||D 1862-1868|
|Rachel b 1815 married 1831||39 b VT||45 b VT||R.L. 54 b VT living with Elisha Farnham age 50||–||D 1870-1880|
|Missing 3 children||gap||–||–||–||–|
|William (Henry) b May 3, 1838/9||12 b NY||21 b NY||Not found but wife and children living with her parents||D 1914, m first wife Eliza Davis abt 1865|
|Franklin b||–||17 b NY, 1862 Civil War Erie Co||27 b NY, Forest Co., PA||May be a sheriff in 1896||D 1936 buried in Petrolia (Civil War vet card)|
|Francis J. b Dec. 5 1843/4||(f) 5 b NY||(m) 15 b NY 1862 Civil War Erie Co||–||In Butler Co., PA in 1881, Wisc before 1883||D 1913 Bayfield, Wisc m 1879 Coundersport, PA to Loretta Hannah Butler|
|Nathaniel||5 b NY||–||–||–||–|
|Mariah b June 27, 1846||4 b NY||14 b NY||Age 24, married to Stephen, child age 3||–||M in 1862 Elisha Stephen Farnham, D 1892|
|Tunis (m)||–||10? b PA||Not found||Not found||Not found|
|Mary||2 b NY||Not found||Not Found||Not Found||Is this the same person below or did she die?|
|Minerva b July 22, 1848||2 b NY||Not found||Not found||31, married to Harry, child age 10 born in MI||M Henry Ward bef 1870 D 1921|
|Francis Brewer||60 b France||–||–||–||No known relationship|
|Adin (A. D.) b Oct. 20, 1852||–||8 b PA||missing||28, married with 2 year old||M Sophia Morley D 1913 Erie Co.|
|Simon (Solomon) b May 4, 1854||–||6 b PA||Not found||Not found||M Candace Cummings abt 1882 D 1914 Erie Co.|
|Curtis b April 17, 1856||–||4 b PA||Age 14, with Morrison family||Married with children||Married 1876 to Mary Bills|
|Marilla||–||1 b PA||Margt 12 b PA||Not found||She was reported to have died|
|P. L. Lore||–||–||Not found||–||–|
|Alonzo Lore b 1861||–||–||Not found||19, Crawford Co., laborer with Wells family, parents born Canada||–|
If there was a P. L. Lore, or an Alonzo Lore that were brothers to Curt lore, they would have either been one of the missing children, likely between Curt and Marilla, or born after the 1860 census. Rachel would have been 45 in 1860, so it’s possible that she had another child, or even two.
If so, where were they in 1870 and why were they not with Rachel. They would have been age 10 or under.
Curt’s obit in 1909 isn’t much help. It says 4 living brothers and one sister. I can confirm 5 living brothers, plus P. L. or Lon or whatever his name is, if he was still living. None of Curt’s siblings had traditional obituaries that provided names of relatives.
For some time, I thought that perhaps A. D. Lore, or Adin, was Alonzo or Lon by another name. However, A. D. is accounted for in 1900, living with his wife and two children, plus an adopted child in Crawford County, NY where he lived until his death in 1914. So he’s not a candidate.
Let’s Check DNA
The first thing I tried to do was take a shortcut.
I’ve added both P. L. Lore and Alonzo Lore as children of Anthony Lore and Rachel Levina Hill in my Ancestry Tree, hoping to form a Thruline with someone.
However, I do have 27 matches with descendants of Solomon, Adin (A. D.), Mary Minerva who married Henry Ward, Maria who married Stephen Farnham, Francis Lore who moved to Wisconsin and William Henry Lore who had 4 families.
But no matches with anyone who descends from P. L., Lon or Alonzo☹
I need to introduce you to one more person.
Who is Mary Frost?
I was hoping against hope that one of Mary Frost’s children would turn up on my ThruLines.
Mary Frost married a Lore man.
The Warren Mail newspaper on Sept. 16, 1884 shows:
In Glade, September 6, 1884, at the residence of the bride’s parents, by Rev. Samuel Rowland, Mr. L. L. Lore to Miss Mary V. Frost.
Is this actually P. L. Lore? Typos are easy and P and L are close on the keyboard.
Let’s fast forward to 1909 and I’ll show you why I think this is P. L. Lore.
Mary Clark died in 1909 and had a will dated in 1904. She had 2 children, one of which was a Henry Lore, the other was a daughter, Pearl Lore Haser. Mary’s probate is as follows in Warren Co.:
June 26, 1909, in the estate of Mary L. Clark, deceased, on the petition of Fred Clark of Warren Co., Warren Boro, that she died on May 8, 1909, at 10:25 AM testate, that at the time of her death she was a resident of Warren Co. and that her last will bears the date January 30, 1904, and by which deceased nominated and appointed the petitioner executor thereof, that she left her surviving a husband, the said petitioner and children as follows:
Pearl Lore Haser, wife of Harry Haser of Warren Co., Pa.
Harry Lore aged 15 years of Warren Co. (so born 1894)
the only heirs of said decedent and petitioner asks to have the said will probated.
- Pay just debts and funeral expenses
- Give to husband…all my estate, real, personal and mixed of whatsoever nature and wheresoever situate.
- Husband Fred Clark executor.
Signed in front of Mrs. Flora Davis and R.C. Davis
In 1912 we find the following in the orphan court records:
Estate of Mary L. Clark decd – June 24, 1912 at orphans court petition of R. H. Winger, guardian of Harry R. Lore, a minor child of Mary L. Clark, setting forth:
- That on June 7, 1909 your petitioner was appointed guardian of said minor
- That your petitioner has in his hands funds of said Minor to the amount $220.21 and that the said minor has no other property of any kind. That since the appointment of your petitioner as guardian as aforesaid the minor has lived with his Aunt Mrs. Ella House in the Borough of Warren and has been employed by the Hamond Iron Company and has supported himself.
- That during the last winter the said minor was sick for some time and unable to work, that after he recovered and commenced work again, on January 24, 1912 while sliding down hill, he met with an accident in which one of his legs was broken; that he was at once taken to the Warren Emergency Hospital where he remained until April 11, 1912.
- That while he was sick during the last winter and since he came from the Hospital on April 11, 1912, he boarded with his aunt the said Ella House for a period in all of fifteen weeks and that the said minor has not funds with which to pay for said board except said funds in the hand of the said guardian and that Ella House charges $4 per week for said board.
- Your petitioner therefore prays that this court authorize and direct him to pay to the said Mrs. Ella House from said funds the sum of $60 for said board.
June 12, 1912, court so ordered.
The 1910 census shows Ella M. House born in 1873. We initially find Ella in the 1880 census with her parents and her sister, Mary L. Frost in Warren Co. as well.
- James L. Frost, 32, a laborer born NY
- Margaret 25 born Pa, father Pa, Mother NJ
- Mary L 9 born Pa, father NY and mother PA (born 1871)
- Ella M. 6 (born 1874) born PA, father NY and mother PA. (matches up with 1920)
- Cora 4
- Flora 2
Mary Frost married L. L. Lore – so now we’ve come full circle.
And, P. L. Lore has something to do with Fred Clark.
P. L. Lore and Alonzo Lore Timeline
I’m resorting to my tried and true timeline method to see if I can sort through the P. L. Lore mystery, or at least organize the evidence. I’m adding Alonzo to the timeline as well.
- 1880 – Alonzo Lore in the Crawford County census, age 19, so born in 1861. The only other Alonzo Lore I can find is in the NJ Lore family. He’s not the right age and otherwise accounted for.
- 1884 – Warren Mail newspaper on Sept. 16, 1884 – In Glade, Sept 6, 1884, at the residence of the bride’s parents, by Rev. Samuel Rowland, Mr. L. L. Lore to Miss Mary V. Frost.
- February 1886 – Pearl born to Mary Frost and her Lore husband.
- 1887 – Mary Lore is sued by C. Lauffensberger
- April 4, 1887 – A dead baby was found in the river by fishermen. L. Lore speared “something” which turned out to be the body of the child that was about 6 months old. He brought it to the surface and testified in court about what occurred.
Is this actually P. L. Lore? If not, who is L. Lore?
- September 1893 – Henry R. Lore born to Mary Frost and her Lore husband according to the 1900 census and Mary’s 1909 will and later probate where his age is given.
- Warren County, Newspaper – Dec. 26, 1894 – P. O. Lore of Erie spent Christmas in Warren, the guest of J. L. Frost, East Warren
That O. looks like a typo. J. L. Frost is Mary’s father.
- 1894 – The Erie City Directory shows P. L. Lore as a carpenter.
- January 7, 1895 – Maria Schatzle leased land to R. P. Dodsworth and P. L. Lore for oil drilling.
- March 1896 – P. L. Lore is sued by Maria Schatzle to force him to perform on a lease contract for oil/gas drilling.
- May 1896 – Maria Schatzle files a lawsuit against R. P. Dodsworth and P. L. Lore.
- November 4, 1896 – P. L. Lore and wife, Mary, sell 1/10th interest to H. J. Muse
- November 26, 1896 – P. L. Lore sells half of his share to Mary Lore
- 1896 – Mrs. P. L. Lore whose name is Mary is sued by W. J. Muse for debt.
- 1897 – P. L. Lore is sued twice for debt by Fred Clark, whose wife in 1909 is Mary Frost who has two Lore children, Harry and Pearl.
Yes, I know you’re scratching your head. So was I. Just hang on.
P. L. Lore Oil Drilling Lawsuit
- January 1895 – Maria Schatzle leased land to R. P. Dodsworth and P. L. Lore. She is noted as “of Warren Co.” and both of the leasees were “of Erie Co.” The verbiage is shown below in Maria’s lawsuit.
In May 1896, Maria Schatzle files a lawsuit in Warren Co. against R. P. Dodsworth and P. L. Lore saying:
- That upon Jan. 7 1895 your orator entered into a contract with the defendants in writing, a copy attached hereto annexing and marked Exhibit A wherein she leased to them certain lands for oil mining purposes and wherein she became a partner with them in said mining operations; that she has performed her part of the contract but that they have altogether neglected to carry on the operations as intended, to her great damage, and are playing “Dogs in the manger.” (Dogs in the manger means a person who has no need of or ability to use a possession that would be of use or value to others, but who prevents others from having or using it.)
- Your orator is informed and believes that the defendants started to drill a 3.5 inch hole, inadequate in size for the development of oil, upon the property described in Exhibit A. The usual depth of oil wells in the vicinity being 1433 feet. After one year and about 3 months they have only drilled to the depth of 4 to 6 hundred feet, though often requested to complete the same.
- Defendants by color of that lease, Exhibit A, are holding the plaintiff’s land in restraint of business and to her great injury.
- Your orator duly notified defendants to surrender the land referred to in exhibit A and they have refused and neglected to do so. See Exhibit B served on date it bears and upon both defendants.
Your orator prays:
- For an injunction to compel defendants to proceed forthwith to perform the duties on their part to be kept and performed or to surrender claim to the property and for cancellation of leave Exhibit A.
- That a decree for an account be made between the parties.
- For an injunction to discover whether or not any such conspiracy as described in section 5 exists or existed and if so the name of the party or parties thereto.
- Further relief.
Sworn March 25th, 1896
This agreement made the 7th day of January 1895 between Maria Schatzle of Glade Township, Warren Co. PA, and P. L. Lore and R. P. Dodsworth, both of Erie, PA of the second part.
Witnesseth that the said party of the first part in consideration of the sum of $1 (one dollar) paid by said second parties the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged as well as the stipulations, and agreements hereinafter contained, does hereby grant bargain demise and lease unto the said party of the second part their heirs, assigns and for the purpose of operating for and obtaining there from oil, gas and other minerals and of saving and transporting the same, the following described piece of land, situate in the township of Glad, County of Warren, State of Pa, bounded as follows to wit:
On the North by lands of Henry Conam, east by lands of Mr. Frost, south by lands of Levett W. Clark and on the west by lands of Dr. R.B. Steward containing 20 acres.
Said second party, their heirs and assigns, shall have full free and exclusive possession of said premises for all the purposes of this lease including the erection of all necessary or convenient buildings and structures, with the exclusive right to lay pipes for the transportation of oil and gas and to erect and keep tanks for the storage thereof, together with the rights of way and of water courses and the right to lay, use and maintain water pipes and to utilize the water on said premises and adjoining lands of the first party for operations under this lease. Second party to have the right to subdivide and sublease the premises or any part thereof.
Second party shall not unnecessarily interfere with the use of the said premises for agricultural purposes by first party and at the expiration or surrender of this lease shall have the right to remove all structures and property by second party placed hereon.
This lease is for the term of 20 years with the right of renewal and if at the end of that time oil or gas is still produced from said premises in paying quantities. Second party is to render to first party one-eighth of all the oil produced from said premises and one-eighth of the net proceeds of all gas obtained and sold therefrom.
The said parties of the second part shall have the right at any time, at their option, to surrender this lease to said first party and upon such surrender shall be released from any obligations thereunder.
It is hereby mutually understood and agreed by and between the parties to this agreement that the said Maria Schatzle of the first part shall be entitled to an undivided one fourth of the working interest in the first well drilled on the premises herein before leased. In consideration of which interest the said party of the first part agrees to pay to the said parties of the second part the sum of $100 when the first well shall be cased and a further sum of $100 when the first well shall be completed.
Signed and witnessed January 8, 1895
On November 4, 1896, P. L. Lore and wife, Mary, sell 1/10th interest to H. J. Muse as follows:
Whereas P. L. Lore by an instrument in writing under his hand and seal bearing date the 4th day of November 1896 and duly acknowledged by him before Samuel G. Allen, notary public, granted and assigned for a valuable consideration to him paid unto William Erhard, Fred Clark and George Erhard an undivided 1/10th of a certain leasehold estate situate in Glade Township Warren Co, PA of land owned by Maria Schatsle or Maria Schatzle bounded north by land of Henry Cobham, east by land of Lavett W. Clark, south by land of Levett W. Clark and west by land of the late R.B. Stewart, containing 20 acres more or less and the same leasehold which said Maria Schatzle or Schatsle granted unto R. P. Dodsworth and P. L. Lore by an instrument in writing dated January 7, 1895 duly recorded in the office for recording of deeds in Warren Co, PA in deed book 76 page 540 and 541 in which instrument the said lands are inaccurately bounded on the east by land of Mr. Frost and whereas said interests of William Erhard and George Erhard have become vested in H. J. Muse by purchase and a sale upon writs of execution upon judgment against them. And whereas the interest of Fred Clark has become vested in said H. J. Muse by purchase and assignment in writing and whereas P. L. Lore by an instrument in writing dates November 26, 1896 recorded in the aforesaid office in deed book __ vol __ page ___ granted his share unto Mary Lore said interest at the date thereof being known and understood by said grantee to be the undivided one half of said leasehold less the 1/10th of said leasehold which had theretofore been conveyed by said P.L. Lore to William Erhard, George Erhard and Fred Clark subject to the interest of the grantor of such leasehold in the working interest in the first well to be drilled upon said premises as specified in said original grant, now, therefore we the said P. L. Lore and Mary Lore, his wife, do grant and confirm unto said H. J. Muse, his heirs and assigns the undivided 1/10th of said leasehold subject to the interest of Maria Schatsle in the working interest in the first well to be drilled and completed upon said premises being the 1/4 thereof and in all benefits of the said base creating it. Recorded August 28, 1897.
Then we find the deed where P. L. Lore sells his share to his wife, Mary, as follows:
Know all men by these presents that a P. L. Lore of Warren, Warren Co, PA for valuable consideration to me in hand paid by Mary Lore at and before the unsealing and delivery hereof the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged and have granted bargained, sold, transferred, assigned and set over unto the said Mary Lore all my right title and interest in and to all that indenture of lease from Maria Schatsle to myself and R. P. Dodsworth bearing date of January 7, 1895 which lease I am now operating and together with my right and title in and to all the personal property located thereon thereto attached or in anywise appertaining…to have and to hold the said interests unto the said Mary Lore and unto her heirs and assigns forever. Signed Nov 26, 1896, and recorded May 7, 1897.
However, that last deed says Mary Lore, but NEVER says she is his wife. Clearly, based on the preceding deed, Mary Lore is P. L. Lore’s wife. It’s still a very odd combination of deeds.
Ok, I think that the link with the Frost land, the Clark land, and Fred Clark pretty well cinches that P. L. Lore’s wife is Mary Frost who eventually marries Fred Clark.
I suspected that Mary was P. L. Lore’s widow, but there’s a twist, of course…
We find a Mary Lore divorcing Alonzo Lore in Warren Co. in the following court record:
- February 3, 1898, Book 59-49 Mary Lore libellant vs Alonzo Lore respondent. Subpoena files and returned unable to find respondent.
- February 8, 1898 – Alonzo lore is served in Warren Borough.
- April 9, 1898 – Libellant bill of particulars filed. Mary Lore vs Alonzo Lore (I hunted for this in the courthouse in Warren County which they could not find due to remodeling. They were to mail when remodel was done, but they didn’t.)
- April 11, 1898 – Mary Lore vs Alonzo Lore – Case heard and respondent not appearing.
- April 12, 1898 – Mary Lore vs Alonzo Lore – Respondent files answer.
- April 13, 1898 – Mary Lore vs Alonzo Lore – Divorce granted.
- 1901 and 1903 – Mary Lore vs Alonzo Lore fees finally paid.
Who the heck is Alonzo Lore?
P. L. Lore Gets in Trouble
As fate would have it, P. L. Lore is in court on EXACTLY the same day, in the same courthouse as Alonzo Lore when Alonzo was being served with divorce papers. What are the chances? Are P. L. Lore and Alonzo Lore the same man?
Alonzo’s wife, Mary, filed for divorce in February 1898, filed a bill of particulars on April 9th and the divorce was final four days later. That’s the fastest divorce I’ve ever heard of.
- April 9, 1898 – P. L. Lore was arrested April 8th, charged with larceny and brought before Squire Meacham. He gave bail in the sum of $50 for his appearance at the June term of court.
- June 9, 1898 – P. A. Lore is on trial for larceny as we go to press this (Thursday) morning.
- June 16, 1898 – In the larceny case of Patrick Lore finished Thursday, defendant was found not guilty and the prosecutor ordered to pay the costs.
Wow, that must have been some trial. It took a week.
Patrick Lore. We have a name, except there is no other Patrick Lore in the county, ever. Is this the right name?
This is getting even more confusing.
What else can we discover about Mary Frost? Maybe there’s something there.
Mary Frost Lore Clark
Mary Frost Lore Clark is buried in Oakland Cemetery in an unmarked grave.
Fred Clark is buried in the same cemetery, having died in 1941, but he has a stone. His only child is noted as one daughter named Mary born September 23, 1897 and died on September 23, 1898. If this is his child, then either he was married before Mary Frost (Lore) or this was their first and only child and was born before she divorced P. L. Lore.
Note that P. L. Lore signed over half of his rights to that mining contract to Mary on Nov 26, 1896, and it was recorded May 7, 1897. If this is the same Mary, she would have been five months pregnant with Fred Clark’s child when that deed was signed.
The 1900 census shows Mary and Fred Clark in Brokenstraw, Warren Co., PA. She was born August 1871, is age 28 and has been married for 2 years which suggests before April 1898, which is the exact month Mary Lore divorced Alonzo Lore and P. L. Lore was prosecuted for larceny, but acquitted.
According to the census, Mary Frost Lore Clark had given birth to 5 children, with only 2 living. One death was probably Mary Clark in 1898, and the other two babies would have been born to Mary and P. L. Lore between Pearl and Harry.
Daughter Pearl born in February of 1886 is living with them as is Harry, born in Sept of 1893.
I’m guessing there was a LOT, and I mean a LOT of drama surrounding the Clark/Frost/Lore families in Warren County between 1895 and 1898. It’s amazing nobody shot someone else.
A records search of all Lore names that begin with P gives us 4 males with P names, Philip, Peter, Paul, and then one with Payne as a middle name.
The closest and only P. L. match is Phineas L. Lore. This Phineas was born in 1872, which is too late. Phineas is well documented in the NJ group. Clearly, P. L. Lore is not Phineas, so that door is closed.
I have not found any P. Lore in the 1880 – 1910 census in Warren or Erie Co., PA, or anyplace close. Maybe there are additional records in Erie Co. where it was stated that P. L. Lore lived.
For the past two decades, I figured P. L. Lore wasn’t our line – but I couldn’t forget about him entirely. Between no P. L. or Alonzo Lore in the 1860 census as a child of Anthony and Rachel, along with Rachel being age 45 in 1860 – P. L. simply didn’t seem to fit. Nor was there a P. L. Lore in the records of “Uncle Stanley” who lived locally in Warren County in the early 1900s, a grandson of Solomon, and recorded a great deal of family history that would not have otherwise been available. He correctly documented Curt Lore’s two marriages, long before we, in Indiana, descended from the second marriage, knew anything about the first one.
But then, those pesky newspaper articles referring to Lon and then P. L. Lore as Curt Lore’s brother surfaced, along with Eloise’s stories of Uncle Lon who she thought was named Alonzo.
They can’t all be true.
Did P. L. Lore become Lon Lore in Indiana?
One way or another, it looks like P. L. Lore’s wife, Mary Frost, had enough of him. He signed half of his share of that oil and gas well over to her. They sold one-tenth of their interest to Mr. Muse who sold it to Fred Clark. She married Fred Clark in what appears to be short order after Mary divorced Alonzo Lore. Mary Lore appears to have had a child with Fred Clark the year before she officially divorced P. L. Lore – if indeed P. L. is the same person as Alonzo and Mary is one and the same.
Otherwise, if P. L. and Alonzo aren’t the same man, we know that Mary Lore DID divorce P. L. Lore, but we don’t know when. They were living in Warren County at that time so that’s where they would have divorced. Mary is married to P. L. Lore in November 1896 when they sign a deed together and he signs property over to her, and Mary had been married to Fred Clark for two years by the 1900 census taken in April of that year. That pushes their marriage to April of 1898, which is when Mary Lore divorced Alonzo. That’s after the baby, Mary Clark, was born, but before she died.
Did P. L. Lore leave and head for Indiana to join his brother’s well drilling operation where no one knew about his somewhat checkered past? Curt Lore had a past himself. He left one wife and family and married a second wife before divorcing the first.
Those Lore boys were pretty wild. Their eldest brother, William Henry Lore had four families, and it’s unclear whether or not they all knew about each other. Or, put another way, his descendants were certainly surprised to make that discovery. We still don’t know what happened to one wife who disappeared, and there are questions about two of his daughters who may have been institutionalized…but I digress.
Did P. L., Patrick or Alonzo Lore simply leave and become “Lon?”
- Rushville Newspaper – September 8, 1903 – list of unclaimed letters in the post office includes P. L. Lore.
- Greensburg Standard newspaper – October 2, 1903
- Rushville – August 22, 1905 – Lon Lore left today on a business trip to Cincinnati.
- Rushville – November 8, 1905 – P. L. Lore of Cincinnati among those who came home to vote.
Apparently, P. L. Lore had moved to Cincinnati. Perhaps he is looking after business interests for his brother.
- November 6, 1906 – Curt and Lon Lore who have been working on the Indianapolis and Louisville traction line, near Scottsburg, returned home to vote today.
Curt and Lon must have returned to Scottsburg and were probably living there, at least temporarily. On January 7, 1907, the newspaper reported that Curt Lore “who has been employed with the…interurban line at Scottsburg has returned to this city.” No mention of Lon, and Curt was ill with both Typhoid and TB, although the newspaper doesn’t mention that until January 22nd.
Connect the Dots
- I think we’ve connected the dots and it’s safe to say that P. L. Lore in Rushville, Indiana, with Curt Lore, identified as his brother in the Greensburg newspaper is indeed Lon Lore.
- It would be an incredible coincidence if the L. L. Lore (probably a typo) who married Mary Frost in 1884, and the P. L. Lore who came home from Erie to visit Mary’s father at Christmas in 1894 wasn’t the same man.
- It would be remarkable if this P. L. and Mary Lore who were involved in the land transactions and lawsuits involving both the Frost and Clark boundary lines, and Fred Clark isn’t the same P. L. Lore who after being sued signed half the rights to the oil and gas well to his wife Mary a two years later.
- It would be even more remarkable if this wasn’t the same couple who sole one-tenth of their interest in the oil well to Muse who sold it to Fred Clark.
- It would be pretty unbelievable if that Mary Lore isn’t the Mary Lore who married Fred Clark about 1898 and had two Lore children living with them in the 1900 census.
- The biggest hurdle to overcome is the name P. L. Lore in every other Warren County record (excluding typos) and Alonzo Lore in the 1898 divorce proceedings. However, L might stand for something that sounded like Alonzo. These records may have been reindexed or recopied, too. Alonzo’s wife, Mary, was finally able to serve him with divorce papers on the exact same day in the same courthouse as P. L. Lore, whose wife’s name was Mary, was tried for larceny. That would be some coincidence, but those two men might not be the same.
- And for P. L. Lore’s former wife to just happen to marry Fred Clark after signing property rights to him – that’s no coincidence.
So yes, if I was P. L. Lore aka Alonzo Lore, striking out for the oilfields in Indiana where my brother owned a drilling company might just sound like a wonderful idea.
I do wonder what happened to Lon, by whatever name, and his two children. I found absolutely nothing about his children.
Oil drilling was a dangerous occupation, and I suspect those roughnecks were pretty lax about safety measures, at least by today’s standards.
The last we hear about Lon was in 1906 when he was apparently living in Rushville and working with Curt in Scottsburg on the train line between Indianapolis and Louisville. That’s about the time that Curt Lore got sick, very sick, with both Typhoid and Tuberculosis.
According to Eloise, Lon stormed out after he sat on a pin that her sisters, Edith and Curtis, “always devils,” put in the horsehair sofa especially for him and “he never came back.” Perhaps the girls didn’t like him.
It’s truly sad that Lon left when he did, because just a couple months later, Curt and his family desperately needed help. Not only then, but for the next three years as Curt slowly became weaker and died.
Maybe his departure when Curt got sick wasn’t a coincidence either.
I wonder if Lon knew how sick his brother became, or that Curt died. Did he leave because he knew Curt had TB? Maybe because Curt couldn’t manage the drilling and construction projects anymore? It seems that Lon could have helped him a great deal.
I’d hate to think that Lon actually left because Curt wasn’t useful to him anymore. He worked for and with Curt for at least three years. Staying to help wouldn’t have hurt him – unless, of course, maybe he became ill too. After all, those two men had been living together.
Maybe Lon died before Curt. According to Eloise, Uncle Lon simply disappeared and they never heard from him again.
Finding P. L. Lore?
I was bemoaning P. L. Lore to my friend, Maree, who often sends me tips and hints.
Sometimes she wades through the weeds I’ve already waded through, sometimes different weeds, and occasionally, she hits the jackpot – or at least a hint that leads to a pot of gold. She’s more patient and thorough than I am and I’m ever so grateful.
In this case, Maree turned up something VERY interesting!
She may, in fact, have found our P. L. Lore.
Maree found a death certificate for a man named P. L. Lore in Florida in 1917, a decade after he disappeared from Indiana.
Florida doesn’t seem very likely, but then again, we really have NO idea where Lon went. I wasn’t very hopeful because I’ve been on so many wild goose chases with this family.
One thing is for sure, I should have learned long ago to expect the unexpected.
At first glance, when I looked at this record, I focused on the cause of death, the date, his age which is kind of close, and pertinent information like his parents.
When finding all of his vital information entirely missing, I thought “how odd,” and looked further.
His death occurred at the Florida Hospital for the Insane and he was buried in the hospital cemetery. He’s listed as married, but no wife’s name is given.
Fifty is a round number for an age, and I’d wager that it was someone’s best guess.
He died of chronic kidney disease, interstitial nephritis, but had never been seen by the doctor until the day he died. That’s very strange.
Interstitial nephritis can be associated with tuberculosis or syphilis – and can also cause mental changes, psychosis, confusion, or in the terms of 1917 – insanity.
P. L. was married, but his wife or family did not come to retrieve his body. Perhaps they simply couldn’t, or perhaps there was more to that story.
Is this him?
I was desperate to find out more.
Believe it or not, Patrick, Patrick L., and P. L. Lore aren’t actually common names, so I started digging again.
In the 1913 and 1914 City Directory for Jacksonville, Florida, I found an entry for Patrick L. Lore, a well driller.
A well driller. What are the chances of another Patrick L. Lore being a well-driller, given that this is such an unusual name?
There’s the name Patrick again too, just like that newspaper article from Pennsylvania all those years before.
In 1915, 1916 and 1917, he’s listed at 19 Lackawanna Av, wife’s name Ella.
In 1918, Ella is listed as the widow of Patrick L. Lore, so we’ve probably found the correct person that died in 1917.
One fly in the ointment might be that Jacksonville is some 200 miles away from Chattahoochee, but the only insane asylum in Florida at that time was in Chattahoochee.
These puzzle pieces seem to make sense. Beyond this reconstruction, I don’t know that we can ever connect the rest of the dots. I can’t even find all the dots.
However, I did find one more.
After compiling this information, I went back once again and searched the Warren County, PA, census for 1870. P. L. or Lon would have been about 9 years old at that time, if my theory is correct.
This time, I searched for any “Patrick” with no surname. I didn’t see anything that looked terribly interesting, but I read every single record anyway. Then I found him.
Maria Lore had married Stephen Farnham. They had a three year old child. Living with them was Pat Lannagan. Pat Lannagan, age 9, so born in 1861?
Census taker: Who’s that, over there?
Maria: Why that’s Pat Lannagan, my little brother. He’s 9.
Census taker: Writes “Pat Lannagan,” says goodday, and moves on to the next house.
Lannagan could actually be Lonnigan. Either way, certainly, “Lon” could be the logical nickname of either. Not to mention, nicknames don’t have to be logical – especially not in my family.
I think we’ve confirmed the identification of and found the final resting place of Curt’s brother, P. L. Lore, by whatever name.
I believe that Patrick, P. L., Patrick L, Pat Lannigan, Alonzo and Lon were one and the same person. I still don’t entirely understand Alonzo, unless Lannigan was actually Alonzo misstated or misspelled, or vice versa.
In the 1870 census, Pat Lannagan was living with Maria, his sister, but we found Alfonzo in the 1880 census working as a laborer. In 1884, L. L. Lore married Mary Frost – and you know the rest of the story. This all adds up, finally.
This adventure was anything but easy.
We’ll likely never discover the rest of P. L. Lore’s story – although you know, given what few pieces we have – it’s bound to be one humdinger. I keep hoping for a DNA match that can perhaps fill in some of those blanks.
I’ve (finally) laid “Uncle Lon” to rest by creating a memorial for him at FindAGrave.
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You have the BEST family stories, Bobbie! Thoroughly enjoy reading them when you post.
Thanks. This one was tough.
Thank you Roberta, I really enjoyed reading this.
A thought re Alonzo — could it be that P.L. was called Lon and from that developed the pet name of Lonzo? Others would hear this as Alonzo. Given his background it maybe that he saw an advantage in having a number of innocently acquired names which would confuse officialdom.
Don’t give up hope of a DNA match — I’ve been blessed by some unexpected but very welcome ones that I didn’t think would ever happen. Every day someone wakes up and decides that they’d like to take a test or will give someone else the gift of one.
What a story! I like how you casually mention William Henry Lore having four families! It just doesn’t stop! By the way, I do not have anything new about Francois LaFaille. I will keep you posted if anything new appears.
Could “Tunis” be “Travis”?
Double-Wow!! I appreciate all the details of your searches, your musings, your working hypotheses, as you worked to put PL Lore to rest. Your process is a lesson in excellent genealogy! Merci!
Please refresh my memory – is this Lore family your connection to Acadia? Acadians were somewhat peripatetic anyway after La Grand Dérangement. Moreover, tracing Canadian immigrants through New York and Wisconsin in the 1800s is rather problematic, given name changes and misspellings by census takers. It’s a wonder you were able to solve this puzzle. Great research, and there’s always more to find.
Yes, the actual surname in Canada is Lord. His family settled near Montreal after spending time someplace in New England. I’m sure French was Anthony’s first language. He left as an adult and went to Vermont.
Kudos to you for following the bread crumbs!
That’s some family Lore! Just had to say it. Thanks for the story, as usual.
You’ve got me laughing out loud!
Great detective work here, especially the find in the 1870 census.
About French Canadian and their many first names, my great-great-grand-father was named Pierre Bellarmin Pouliot. In the censuses, when he was still living with his parents, his name was said to be Pierre Pouliot, later when he lived with his wife and kid, it was Bellarmin Pouliot. I also have somewhere a mother and dauther both named Marie Thérèse, but in the censuses, the mother is Thérèse and the daugther is Marie. Another is named Marie Émérence in Canada, but just Marie when she moved to Michigan with her husband. So Patrick Alonzo Lore could be playing with his first name in the same way to his advantage here.
As for what was is name originally… It could have been Alfonse, with an “A” closer to an “O” which would become inaudible with sloppy pronunciation, it could have turned to a “Lfonse” and latter “Lonse” as the “f” disappear to make it easier to pronounce. Then, when asked for the formal name, the “A” came back to give “Alonse” possibly even the final e sound more like “o” to the American kid who lost his French speaking dad long ago, so Alonso or Alonzo. Or it could be the wife or the officials who turned Alonse into Alonzo.
There are references to a P L Lore of Jacksonville, Florida drilling wells in Georgia:
https://newspaperarchive.com/other-articles-clipping-nov-25-1910-2426760/ & https://newspaperarchive.com/other-articles-clipping-feb-03-1911-2426762/
Thank you. I’ll check those out. Wow!
Did you have Jacksonville directory 1911 – Phillip L. Lore (Ella), h. 446 Magnolia?
I did not. I actually found that later. Maybe I should add Phillip to his names😁
I think Lon Lore appears in the 1910 census on Ancestry indexed as Low Love, living in Eufaula, Alabama. There is a family tree on Ancestry which has him as Lon Love. It shows that his wife remarried after his death.
Thank you. I’ll check that out.
And with children!
Ophs, children were hers from prior marriage.
Yes, that’s him I’m sure. It’s interesting that in the 1910 census, they claim to have been married 12 years, but it was more like 2, and he claimed to have been born in Indiana. She was still married in 1907, so they couldn’t have married before that. I’d bet dollars to donuts that she never knew about his past, other than his brother was in Indiana and they had drilled wells together. That tells us where Lon was in 1908, more or less, and he was in Rushville in November 1906.
Good eye on this!! Thank you.