by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Using Ancestry.com, I often do research on Grain Valley citizens from the late 1860s through the early 1900s. The United States Census from those years can reveal quite a bit of information. It can also leave me very confused.
For some time now, I have been totally confused when I find early families living on Cahill Street. There isn’t, nor has there every been a Cahill Street in Grain Valley. I finally found a resident of Cahill Street that I recognized, a family that lived on Capelle Street.
Unfortunately, Mr. Millard Campbell did the census in 1920 and while his penmanship is generally quite legible, his cursive “p” does look like an “h,” it is difficult to distinguish his “e” from an undotted “i,” and several years of research has taught me that Capelle is often misspelled. Sometimes it has a final “e” and sometimes it doesn’t.
This week I was seeking information on the Charles Warren Harris family who lived in a house on “Cahill” according to the 1920 U. S. Census. By the 1930 census they lived on South Main Street, 2 blocks south of the railroad.
In 1930, Front Street was known as North Main Street and Main Street was Broadway. Are you now totally confused?
Today, South Main Street is Harris Street, presumable named for the Harris Family. North Main is Front Street, Broadway is Main Street, and on farmland just south of Harris Street we find Broadway!
Sometime soon when you are enjoying a Saturday lunch on the patio at Iron Kettle Brewery, drop in next door at the Grain Valley Historical Society and look at our 1924 hand-drawn map of The City of Grain Valley, when Front was N. Main and Harris was S. Main, and…..you get the picture!
Next week, learn more about the Harris family. There is a two-year old I know that is living just south of Grain Valley. Charles Harris was his maternal great, great, great, great, grandfather.