My Great Grandmother (my father's grandmother), Grandmother, Grandfather and Father from before 1920

I see that I really know very little, and this is just a beginning, to which I plan to add as I get information. Should by chance someone see this and have knowledge, I would be very happy to learn it. Write me at tom.louton at this address.

My great grandmother, Ida Arabella (Cregar) Achuff was born the 25th of November,1860, she passed away December 2nd, 1931. I have only a few photos of her. She was very kind and my father often spoke of her in glowing terms. See the lettersI have on this

It was always said that Idas husband, whose name I only learned this week, said one day that he was going to get some cigarettes, and vanished. This is evidently not any where near the truth. He, John Roney Achuff, born 12 Nov 1848 in Piqua, Ohio died 29 Apr 1905 in Streator, Illinois.

A few facts:

My Grandfather, Thomas Wilbur Louton (sometimes he used the name Walter too) was born in October 20th, 1887 (I got the former from social security records, in the family we said June 8th, 1886. Clearly I have no idea which is true. He was born in Arkansas. I have heard the name Amity, a town in Clark county. His father John Ananias Louton was born December 3rd, 1867 and he passed away 21 September 1893 and is buried in the Philippi Cemetery, Point Cedar, Hot Spring Co., AR, This was before his youngest son (john A) was born in March, 1894. John had several brothers and sisters, in order John was the oldest, Sara (Henderson), Bleve, Eller (Edon), Buck, Jim, Charlie, Janie and Etta. My grandfathers mothers name was Alice Emory. I think she was born about 1857 (67?) and she died in 1887 (probably of typhoid) - the above is from various web sites, my father wrote that she died about 1890 at the age of 20. The later seems more plausible. John married again in 1890 to Willie Jane Ballard,(Aug. th, 1875 -- April 29th, 1937) and he and his new wife had two children, Henry (October 1891 -- about 1949) and after my greatgrandfather died of typhoid (I guess about 1893), a son John was born (March, 1894 -- 1958). I never met them. My father had met Henry once, and John several times in Arkansas.

My grandfather told me very little of his childhood, but often told me of being a census taker in Arkansas, going to Minnesota to work in the hay fields in the summer to earn money to study at Valparaiso. Now things are clear to me perhaps why grandfather never really talked to me about his childhood. So when he was six, had two half brothers, his Father died, leaving an 18 year old widow! I guess this was too much for the step mother with three children and no husband. He was raised by his grandparents (just almost as my father was raised in part by Ida.) He went to a one room school, if I recall correctly, in Mississippi In any event he often spoke of trudging to school in the winter where he was responsible for heating the building before the others came. He never however mentioned the family where he grew up.

My father, Kenneth Louton was born in Chicago, IL on June 6th 1912. When he very young my grandmother passed away, complications of diabetes I understand. For a period then he was raised by his grandmother, Ida.

From a letter from my Dad to Quentin Achuff, my Dads cousin I know that my great grandmother had six children. Ray (Albert, born 1883, the oldest, lived in California. Dad met him only once or twice. Dad after my grandmother passed away, lived with this grandmother, Ida. For period they were in California, but then returned to Forest Park. I do not know when this was, but must have been between 1917 and 1920. There was a sister, Madge Achuff (1886-1889) who died of measles as a child. Then there was Harry (5 Nov. 1894-Nov. 1970), whom I do not remember well. Bill (William Cregar Achuff 1892-1932, his wife, Burma Strough, also died in 1932), who was Quentins father, lived still with the family when Dad lived with Ida, and Bill was sort of the head of the household. He worked at a place called Oak Leaves, I presume a restaurant. He ran the place later while he was still quite young. Mae (May 6th, 1890 -- may 29th, 1917) was older than Bill, but Dad did not know this, I found it out by accident. Then there was Harry J. (Nov 5th, 1892-Nov 1977). I can recall well Frank (10. March, 1897-1977). He liked to tease once snapped my suspenders and I threatend him with a two by four for that. I do not really know if I remember or recall by tale. The youngest was Louise Lorraine (Oct. 1th, 1900--July 3rd1993). Harry and Louise seemed to be the youngest. Louise was in a lot of ways like a sister to Dad. We always visited here near Christmas time, and sometime in the summer. She always gave me wonderful shirts, which I really loved, for Christmas. I loved visiting there. I can also remember a family picknick in a park on the Des Plaines river, but not in Des Plaines. There were lots of kids, I must have been around ten. Sadly, I have no photos of this. Louise worked for a bank in Chicago and had a very responsible position. I have found no photos of her either. Dad told me that when he started college, she drove him to Champagne and all the fellows in the dorm, wanted a date with her -- she must have been around thirty. Frank had two sons, Kenny and Kieth. I think that what I recall most, is that they were fun loving folks and we always had a good time when we went to Chicago.

My father wrote of Ida Our grandmother had a lifetime of work and managed to enjoy every minute of it. She loved to tease and kid people, and when the tables were turned, she didnt mind. Shades of Frank I guess.

On a recient visit to Fort Wayne I acquired some more photos of Mae.

Here are some of the photos I have.

This is the oldest picture I have of my Grandmother, Mae.

Ida, her daughter Mae, my grandmother, and my father

My Greatgrandmother Ida, most likely in California.

Here is a family occasion. Thanksgiving? I do not know. I just know that my father and his parents attended. Who the other folks are, I simply do not know. My cousin suggests that these folks were friends (business) of my grandfather. Could be, but I will never know I guess.

Here is a photo of my Grandfather and Grandmother, I guess around 1911.

The Achuff house in Forest Park, Ill(part of Chicago) ca 1920.

Here is a portrait of Mae I guess some time before 1915,but I do not know when.

Here a nice protrait of my Grandfather, I assume ca 1920 or there abouts.

This is evidently Mae Achuff, I guess sometime around 1910, but am not sure. The photo itself is charming and I like it very much. It is also extremely well preserved.

My father in 1918.

Here is another photo of my Dad. This is not dated, but it is clear that it was taken the same day as preceding photo, namely August 15th 1918.

Here is a photo of my grandfather, I guess from 1925 to 1935? Not sure.