George Washington Raymond Kinsey – Private First Class, United States Army

Port Royal, South Carolina:

Anna Agnes Damm Kinsey, 104, widow of Raymond George Kinsey, died Tuesday, January 22, 2002 at River Oaks.

Services will be at Arlington National Cemetery.

Mrs. Kinsey was born September 16, 1897 in Twelve Mile, Indiana, a daughter of John Martin Damm and Nancy Viola Ludders Damm. She was a homemaker and a former member of South Side Christian Church in Hammond, New Jersey.

Survivors include her son, Paul Kinsey of Spring Island; two daughters, Jane A. Bruhn of Bluffton, Mary L. Stimson of McMurray, Pennsylvania; 13 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.

George Washington Raymond Kinsey
Birth: 22 February 1898 in Logansport, Cass County, Indiana
Death: 3 July 1996 in Beaufort, Beaufort County, South Carolina
Father:Alva Demoine Kinsey
Mother: Ida Mae Hann

Also Known As: Raymond Kinsey
28 Jul 1997 Ashes Inurned At Arlington National Cemetery

Son of Alva Kinsey and Ida Mae Hann.

 Named for George Washington, changed to Raymond (not legally). During the 1913 flood in  Logansport (Indiana) the records in City Hall were all ruined. Ray and Ann's birth certificates were destroyed and in order to get new ones they went down to the courthouse with Bertha  and each said they knew each other and got new birth certificates. George Raymond Kinsey is the name on the new certificate, dated 29 June 1939.

Born: February 22, 1898 Place of Birth: Logansport, Indiana at home 2010 Smead Street. Statistics: Hair color: brown; Color eyes: gray blue;  Height: 5'8″;  Blood type:???  Started wearing glasses: Sometime after Service;  Politics: Democrat;
Mother: Ida Mae Hann Born: June 10, 1872  Place: Onward, Indiana  Died: September 23, 1930 Cause: Hypertension, dropped dead in garden. Buried: Logansport, Indiana. Father: Alva DeMoine Kinsey Born: September 30, 1862 Place: Onward, Indiana. Died: December 27, 1922; Cause: Uremic Poisoning, died at home. Buried: Logansport, Indiana.

Father: When Alva's mother Sarah died, Alva (11 yrs. old) and his brother, Marshall, (8 yrs. old) went to live with the Hanns' (not sure about Marshall). Eventually he married their Daughter, Ida Mae.

Before he was married, Alva and his brother went to Missouri to build railroad tracks. Told of having to go through the cane breaks (bamboo) which were a problem.

Ray called him ” Dad”

Alva worked in railroad car repair shop as a member of the “Rip Team” fixing defective railroad cars. Road a bike to work except in bad weather when he walked. He worked 6 days a week, 12 hours a day. Made $40 a month, $20 went toward house payments, $20 to feed and cloth 6.

Alva had bladder problems and went to Evanston,IL to a specialist. Needed $1200 cash before the operation. The grocer in Logansport, Mr. Meste of Meste's meat market loaned the money. The surgeon ruptured his urethra and had to wear a bladder bag the rest of his life. Alva was remembered as a real nice man. He was small about 5'6″ and thin. Never swore but did say Oh Shit.

Mother: Was called “Mom”. Was short and plump. Always wore an apron, which was the usual in those days. She belonged to the Larken Club. Met once a month to buy spices. They gave prizes- got a rocker and mirror. Somewhat like Stanley & Tupperware parties today. The meat wagon would come around. Later walked to butcher shop and grocery store. Had no refrigeration or icebox. Milkman came by horse drawn wagon, milk was in a big can from which he filled the small cans at the door.

Homes: Ray was born at 2010 Smead St. Logansport, Indiana. Five bedrooms -one on the first floor and 4 on the second floor. Bertha and Merle had their own bedrooms; Raymond and Claude shared a bedroom. Had a barn, chicken coop and outhouse. Had small dirt floored basement- used as a fruit cellar, apples, potatoes, and cabbages. Dug larger years later to hold furnace. Had a Jersey cow until 1904 when Raymond was 6 years old. Had attic where furniture was stored. Sisters dressed up with clothes in attic. Lived on Smead St. until joining the Army.

Lived with Hurts in Gary, Indiana after service. George Gangoff also lived with the Hurts. Then lived with Joe Evans in Indiana Harbor, Indiana After marriage lived on Yale Ave. Chicago. Illinois; Then on Vernon street Chicago, Illinois; 71st and Lawrence, Indiana, 1926 went to 6931 Van Buren Avenue, Hammond,Indiana; 1963, 64, 65, after retirement, rented a modular home in Royal Gardens Bradenton, Florida;. 1966 Rented in TriPar trailer park in Bradenton, Florida; 1969 Rented in Bradenton, Florida; 1970 bought a modular home in Heather Hills Estates – Bradenton, Florida; 1996 went to live in an assisted care facility in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Schools: grade: 16th Street school- brick building-walked 1 mile.  2nd-7th grades Daniel Webster- 3 floors-brick. Universal Church Logansport High School – 3 floors-brick-walked 1 1/4 miles, always ate lunch at home. Photographer at school took pictures for 5 cents. Has one with snowflakes on it, taken outside. Arithmetic was favorite subject. Played football, had shoulder pads, helmet, rubber nose guard worn by a few. Weighted 140; broke right arm. Was on the school track team.

Childhood: Had no store bought toys. Had no birthday parties Had no pets Played marbles, tops and dominoes. 11 Years:  Had wanted to run away with Claude, next door neighbor Clo King, and friends but they wouldn't allow it. Old boxcar wood was cut into 16″ lengths and Ray and Claude then split them for the stove. 12 years: Would roller skate at the roller rink downtown Logansport. 13  years: Earned enough money to buy a bicycle when 13 or 14 and then someone stole it. Chicago Tribune Paper route, passed papers from house to house, made 10 cents a month per house. Family got an ice cream maker. Would go swimming, skinny dipping in the ditch. Girls came and wouldn't let them out of the water. Neighbor Sager usually swam in the Wabash River. Caught toads and snakes to tease girls. Never had music lessons. Wanted to be a fireman. 15 Years: Claude was supposed to empty ashes, but didn't and Ray didn't either. Was sent to bed and kicked by father. Father spanked with a razor strap. One time hit father in nose with pin pointed paper dart, also shot through house into a Sears & Roebuck catalog with a .22 caliber rifle.

Family: Family made root beer and dandelion wine. Sister Bertha could outrun father and Ray, and Ray was on the track team.  Had to split wood for wood stove. Washtub- everyone bathed in same water. Mother and Grandma Hann made soap. Had cisterns for collecting water. Raymond and both parents were right handed. Father got train passes, went to Onward and Pittsburgh. Went to Detroit and Niagara Falls in 1915. Alva got his first car, 1922 Buick before he died.

Jobs: At 13 years Ray delivered Chicago Tribune, about 50 papers cost 10 cents per onth per house. At 15 years worked as a janitor for local doctor. Then in brass foundry molding brass bushings, ten cents per hour. The bushings were used on Apperson Jackrabbit Car. At 18 years went into service, airplane mechanic. In 1919 after service worked as a mechanic for cousin, Clair Vance he was an airplane mail carrier. Had a girl friend named Olice Milspool. The same year worked on Uncle Arthur Hann's farm as a farmhand making $1.50-$2.00 a day raising corn, wheat, oats, and hay. In 1919 went to work in Gary in the tin mill of USS. George Gangoff got him to change to Mark Bros. Steel Comp. In Indiana Harbor later became Steel Tube of North America then became another company Dad doesn’t remember the name of, then became Youngstown Sheet and Tube. Worked up to Blooming Mill Roller, retired after 43 1/2 years with Youngstown. Later bought by LTV. Worked shifts the whole time. When first started worked 13 hours nights and 11 hours days. Started 8 hours shifts the day Mary was born. During the depression worked on WPA clearing along the Little Calumet River and shoveled snow off streets. Worked at Youngstown 1 day every 2 weeks.

Cars: 1926-Model T Ford Roadster DeSoto in here somewhere 1936 4 door Ford 1942 4 door Ford one of the last ones made before the war. Had ordered a car and then decided not to take delivery, but then came the directive that no more cars were to be sold to civilians. The dealer said he would backdate the sale if we wanted to get the car, which we did. Spare tires were not to be sold but ours had a spare until Mom had to ask if it “came with a spare” half kidding the dealer. He went over and took it out of the trunk. Thanks Mom. 1947 Overland from Mary and Jim was 1929 Oldsmobile from Washington Island car that Dad used for work. 1950 4 door Ford. Paul bought it from the folks in 1951 and all his kids learned to drive using the “purple bomb”. It pulled the house trailer from MD to ME and pulled many a tree from the lot in Riegelwood. 1952 4 door Ford. 1987 Grand Marquis Mercury- tan

Military: Enlisted in Woeld War I in December 1917. Took Interurban train to Fort Benjamin Harrison near Indianapolis, then train to Camp Taylor in Louisville Kentucky, and then spent 3-4 weeks at Camp Hancock in Augusta, Georgia. Now site of Daniel Field Airport. In Augusta it was warm, then overnight had a 4″ snow, then on to Camp Merrit in Hoboken, New Jersey. Went to Europe on Livathian, the largest ship afloat at the time. Was a German cruise vessel that was in New York when war was declared. It carried 15,000 troops and 2,000 crew. Paid $30 a month, $15 went home to mother and $6.40 went for insurance. Spent some on cigarettes, was a smoker at that time.  In 1918 was an airplane mechanic at Grand Park Aeronautics near Chelone Mautauge France. Had to move to Oua Serseine because of bombings. Planes were made out of linen coated with collodion. Repaired wrecked, shot or old planes.Some were German, Italian, and French. Was in the 17th 2nd regiment from Algiers 900 French & 200 German prisoners French Colony Vietnam- Aminites Came back from Europe on the George Washington, Woodrow Wilson had once gone on the George Washington, was classy. After only 68 miles out to sea, the ship was able to talk to Boston and Washington on short wave radio. The 77th Division was also on the ship. Had broken right wrist cranking a tractor so was brought back to the US as a casualty to be hospitalized in NY. A department store, The Green Hut, was turned into a hospital for the Army wounded. Discharged medical, broken wrist, July 1, 1919.

Marriage: October 28, 1922 married Annie Agnes Damm. Before getting marriage license, he walked around the block. Lived in furnished rooms on Veron St. in Chicago.

Raymond made cigar box radio, listened to KYW Pittsburgh Opera 1 hour a week, also WGN in Chicago. Headphones came apart so two persons could listen at one time.

Children: Jane Ann, April 24, 1925 Englewood Hospital, Chicago, Illinois; Mary Louise, March 8, 1927, Hammond, Indiana; Paul Richard, June 22, 1929, Hammond, Indiana.

Grandfather James Dougherty Hann was in Civil War. Ray's Uncle Harry Wilber Hann was an ornithologist. Would go into the woods, put up birdhouses and band birds. Spent 15 hours a day studying birds. Also studied frogs and minnows. Harry was principal of high school in Iowa. Graduated from Angola University. Was professor at U. of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Wrote several books, worked with Roger Troy Peterson-bird expert and author.

Depression: Would work at steel mill 1 day every two weeks, between times worked with the WPA cleaning along the Little Calumet River. Also shoveled snow off streets. Had to have phone removed at that time.

Memories: 1933 Saw first television at Chicago Worlds Fair. 1950 Purchased first TV. 1919 July 1. Allowed liquor to be sold legally again, prohibition over. Illinois had liquor, Indiana did not. This was the day Ray was discharged from the service. “Speakeasy” was a place where liquor was sold illegally. Gangsters played golf in Calumet City. Al Capone (Scar Face) drove up in Stutz Roaster. Their victims would be killed in Illinois and then dumped in Indiana (out of State jurisdiction). 1930 Gambling and Pool Halls were illegal. Indiana Harbor,Indiana had the ” Big House” had to have a password to get by the door. 1931 Ann went to sanitarium on April 24th with tuberculosis. Mrs. George (neighbor) kept children for 1 month. When school got out, children went to stay at Uncle Fred and Aunt Merle in Detroit, MI for the summer. Aunt Merle taught Mary to eat ice cream. 1941 December 7th We were in China Town in Chicago when war was declared.

Worlds Fairs: Chicago 1933-34, was there the last night when people tore the place apart. Police made them discard their “loot” before leaving the grounds.  Vancouver, Canada. 1947 Nest is empty. Jane got married, Mary got married and Paul went off to Purdue.

Hobbies: Known for lots of things but some were making wahoo boards, collecting banana stickers, stamp and coin collecting, repairing anything. Of course, card playing was almost an addiction. Belonged to a pinochle club–KB's Ann and Raymond Kinsey George and Clara Kuehle Lee and Blanch Branson Ivan and Irselle Brown Photography got first camera; Played golf. Plays Wahoo.

Trips:  1936 Yellowstone National Park, first vacation whole family went. Trip around Lake Michigan, someone picked up rocks to take home for souvenirs, Dad threw them out when he found them. Ate a lot of Dairy Queen milk shakes. 1948 With Blitsch's in Kansas 1950 West, Vancouver, San Francisco, Yellowstone, Salt Lake City, Garden of Gods, Estes, Rocky Mountain National Park; 1954 went to see Janet and Paul in Maryland. Drove through hurricane Hazel, October 15,  in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; couldn't stop and shouldn't have kept going, trees down in road, live electrical wires etc.  1956 Lake Waccamaw, NC to see Janet and Paul 1957 Riegelwood, North Carolina, to Janet and Paul 1961 April went to Bluefield Virginia, Bel-Air, Maryland; 1963 Florida,  rented at Royal Garden Estates; 1968 Hawaii; 1986 Alaska; 1987 Mexico.

Medical:  Ray had a small hole in his right ear that would drain (and smell) for many years. Had operated on by an ear nose and throat Dr. Later found out that one of the Shopes children had the same thing. Broke right wrist playing football in high school, had no insurance Raymond paid for setting the break.

At age 97 still has his own teeth.

Death: July 3, 1996. Fell and broke hip. Was operated on but never left the hospital Beaufort, SC. Death certificate says aspiration pneumonia.

Burial:  Dad’s body was cremated and his ashes were inurned at Arlington National Cemetery July 28, 1997. Section II Stack 13 Niche No. 2. Great place for a wonderful man.

 Written by Raymond’s son Paul Kinsey  Published with permission July 2000

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