Today you remain an enigma to most of your descendants who now number 22. Are you surprised at that number? Not bad for dying at age 27. As far as we know, there is no living person remaining who met you. You are so much a part of our genetic make-up but we really do not know you very well. We always thought your daughter Betty looked like you. Your grandson, Ron Pearce, plays banjo like you did. I'm named for you. Still we would like to know more about you.
|Cecil Oscar Werst|
b. 16 March 1900 Valley Falls, Kansas
d. 24 October 1927 Spokane, Washington
Life changed dramatically for your family with your father's death 23 November 1916. Suddenly, school days were over and you had to support your mother and younger brother Alvin. Your older brothers were either married and supporting their own families or would soon be serving in the Army. I'm sure those were difficult days for you.
Luckily for us, they led to my sister Peg's latest find... an employment application for the Northern Pacific Railway Company in Pasco, Washington. Many thanks to www.ancestry.com for including the U. S., Northern Pacific Railway Company Personnel Files, 1890-1963 records in their online collections. Their shaking leaves pointed the way. We would have never thought to look for you in these records.
You were just 18 when you filled out the application, listing your birthplace as Kansas City, Kansas and back dating your birth to March 1899.The application includes your signature and describes you as being 5' 8" in height, weighing 140 pounds with 'MB' hair presumably medium brown and blue eyes. A comment is written on the margin that you are "under draft age."
|Cecil holding baby daughter Betty circa July 1926|
probably Spokane, Washington
This latest record gives us hope that there will still be other parts of your life revealed to us. Hats off to Peg and www.ancestry.com for this latest find.