I begin today’s post #1870 with a few historical facts relating to the year 1870:

John D. Rockefeller incorporates the Standard Oil Company. It would eventually become the largest oil company in the world before the U.S. Supreme Court declared it an “unreasonable monopoly” under the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1911.

The National Weather Service issues its first weather forecast on November 1, 1870. The forecast warns of a windy day in Chicago, IL.

February 3, 1870: The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave the right to vote to Black men, became law when the required number of states ratified it.

July 15, 1870: Georgia became the last of the Confederate states to return to the Union. 

Franco-German War, also called Franco-Prussian War, (July 19, 1870–May 10, 1871), war in which a coalition of German states led by Prussia defeated France. The war marked the end of French hegemony in continental Europe and resulted in the creation of a unified Germany.

My Great, Great Grandfather Hiram Perry Hancher, on my adopted mother’s side had just turned 18. As did John Wesley Johnston on my father’s side. 

It makes me wonder what John Wesley Johnston was doing in 1937 at age 85 traveling cross-country to  Oregon? In 1870 he lived in Marshall, Indiana and the year before he died in 1937, his residence is listed as Ithaca, New York – 2,800 miles away from where he was buried. Did he follow the Oregon Trail or more likely the train? His older sister Nancy Elizabeth Johnston died in Seattle in 1934, while her older sister Elinor died in Iowa in 1933. His wife, Eliza Johnston, who passed in 1939 must have stayed behind in Indiana. These are mysteries that I will never uncover, but had I know this fact before today, I should have at least visited his grave while I lived in Oregon.