Tuesday, August 19, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #33 How Wid Maddix Got His Name

The story of how Wid Maddix got his name begins two generations before William Aaron Maddix. We'll start with his grandparents.

Aaron Lake of Meredosia, Illinois, married Sarah Elizabeth Bosseck in Cass County in 1857. Sarah and Aaron raised a family full of girls, with only one son. We're interested in the two oldest: Jeannette Gabrielle "Nellie" Lake and Elizabeth Estella "Lizzie" Lake, born in 1859 and 1861, respectively.

Just a few miles south, east of Exeter, lived the family of William Maddox and Nancy Jane Webb. The Maddox family was all boys. We're interested in the two youngest: George Maddox and Joseph Allen "Al" Maddox, born in 1852 and 1857, respectively.

Nellie Lake and George Maddox were married in 1875. Lizzie Lake and Al Maddox copied their older siblings and married in 1876. The young couples were very close, often sharing a home. While the men were busy farming and mining, Nellie and Lizzie were squabbling over the proper spelling of the Maddox name. Nellie believed it should be Maddux and Lizzie believed it should be Maddox.

Their first children were born within a month of each other. Nellie and George had a son, born on January 15, 1878. He was named William Aaron Maddux, after his two grandfathers, His birth year is listed as 1877 on many records, but the birth was officially recorded as 1878 in Morgan County, Illinois. The 1880 census of Wilson County, Kansas, stated that he was two years old.

Lizzie and Al had a daughter, my great-grandmother, Daisy Myrtle Maddox, born February 16, 1878. Little Daisy and William grew up together, more like siblings than cousins. As a young child, Daisy could not say Will. She called her cousin "Wid" and the name stuck.

The children were asked to weigh in on the ongoing argument over the spelling of the name. Wid eventually announced that he would not take sides. He also did not like being called "mad ox" or "mad ducks" by schoolyard bullies. He took the spelling Maddix and his younger brothers followed suit. Ironically, the Maddux spelling started and ended with Nellie.

Wid enlisted in the Navy for the Spanish-American war. The 1900 census finds him serving as a Seaman on the U.S.S. Culgoa in the Philippines. At the end of his tour of duty, he returned to his parents' home in Kingman County, Kansas. He followed in his father's footsteps, becoming a painter and wallpaper hanger.

Quick drop page from Legacy of Love by Kristin Cronin-Barrow for Digital Scrapper

William Aaron Maddix married (Mrs.) Mable Anna Hill Simon on June 03, 1903, in Wichita, Kansas. They had four children: Edna Lucile in 1905, Harold Ellis in 1907, Ralph Thomas in 1908 and Grace Evelyn in 1911.

The Great Depression was not kind to Wid. In the 1930 census he was working as a farmer in Barber County. By 1940 he was living in Wichita with no occupation. He died in Wichita on August 12, 1949, after a very long illness and hospitalization.

Wid was buried in a family plot in Old Mission Cemetery in Wichita. His wife and three children are buried beside him. Only Ralph is missing, buried in the Riverside National Cemetery.

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