Saturday, April 4, 2015

Charles O. Stephens and Ethel O. Casto Stephens

I have seen a lot of posts this week from one of the Facebook groups I follow. It's a group centered around one woman's blog about her Casto relatives called Casto Connections. That got me thinking about my own "Casto connection," my great-great-grandmother, Ethel Ona Casto.

Ethel was the sixth (or seventh) of eight children born to Mason Raspburn and Rachel Francis Ferguson Casto. She was born 31 August 1892 in Benton County, Missouri. (I told you I had a lot of Missouri roots!)

She married Charles Oliver Stephens on 4 January 1920 in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri.
Charles and Ethel's Marriage License
Charles was the son of John Thomas and Maggie Packhurst (or Parkhurst) Stephens. He was born 14 February 1894 (although his death certificate says he was born in November).

Since Ethel is my Casto connection though, I'll mostly focus on her.

The 1900 census is the first time we see Ethel appear. She is surrounded by a bunch of Castos! She's living in Williams, Benton County, Missouri. Her Uncle George Washington Casto is living right next door, and her grandparents, Hiram and Sarah Casto are living next door to them. (Her grandmother Sarah's maiden name was also Casto.)
Clipping from 1900 census
Clipping from 1900 census showing the rest of the kids in Mason's household
In 1910, she's found still living at home with her parents and her sister, Lydia. Her grandparents have also moved into the house with them.
Clipping from 1910 census
*Notice Sally Casto had 12 children! I can't even imagine that!

Charles and Ethel show up together in the 1920 census. They are living in Sedalia, renting a room or apartment from Rosa Hayes. I don't know who this Rosa Hayes is, but one of her sons, Ross is listed as being a "locomotive fireman" and Charles is listed as being a "fireman roundhouse." Then, after their occupations, it says "Katy." I wonder if these two boys worked together on the Katy railroad, which ran from Missouri to Texas.
Clipping from 1920 census showing occupations of people living in Rosa Hayes' house
Rosa Hayes (head), Ross Hayes (son), Lloyd Hayes (son), Ida Shumate (niece), Charley Stevans (head), Ethel Stevans (wife)
As far as I can tell from the census records, Charles never liked to stay in one place. He always rented homes, never buying. He constantly moved to new cities, though he stayed in Missouri most, if not all, of his life. I wonder if Ethel was the one to keep them from leaving the state.

Together, Charles and Ethel had at least four children:
  • Joy Decimund Stephens
  • Marion Oliver Stephens
  • Isabella Rebecca Stephens
  • Robert David Stephens
*I've also seen mention amongst other researchers of a child named Ruth Stephens I don't know when Ruth was born. I can't find her in the household in the census and I haven't found a birth or death record for her yet.
I don't know much about Charles or Ethel's married life or their life past the 1940 census. I know Charles fought in World War I, but that particular War is not (yet) an area of expertise for me. I hope I can find some more stories for this side of the family soon.

Charles died 4 February 1957 at the VA Hospital in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri. His cause of death was recorded as brochopneumonia due to multiple liver abscesses and bacteremia.
Clipping from Charles Stephens' death certificate showing cause of death
Ethel died 6 February 1968 in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri. Cause of death is presently unknown as the death records online only go to 1963.

Charles (and I assume Ethel too) is buried at Union Cemetery in Pettis County, Missouri.

  • 1900 Williams, Benton County, Missouri U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1910 Williams, Benton County, Missouri U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1920 Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1930 Mokane, Callaway County, Missouri U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • 1940 Fulton, Callaway County, Missouri U.S. Federal Census (accessed on Ancestry)
  • Charles O Stephens Death Certificate (accessed on Missouri Digital Heritage)
  • Katy Railroad Historical Society
  • Marriage License, Charles O Stephens and Ethel Casto (accessed on Ancestry)

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