Descendants of Mary Emily Howsmon (1849-1931) and Oliver Perry Hay (1846-1930)


4 children; 5 grandchildren (one adopted); 8 great-grandchildren (one by adopted grandchild)

1. William Perry Hay (12/8/1871 IL-1/26/1947 FL) and (1) Annie Aletha McKnew (6/27/1869 DC-3/23/1938 FL) and (2) Mary E. Bayley (1873-1954 FL) on 7/12/1938 (census: 1940)(WPH page)
-----1a. John "Jack" Oliver Hay (2/25/1906 DC-3/23/1991 OH) and (1) Willa "Billie" Mae Bowers (8/11/1902 GA-4/5/1967 OH) and (2) Kaye Unknown (-1/5/1974 SC)-- 1 child (census: 1940)
----------1b. (Shirley) Jean Hay (3/14/1932 MD-12/7/2000 OH) and Len Bills (12/13/1922 MN-3/14/1994 OH)
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---------------1c. James "Jamie" L. Bills (11/11/1965-7/10/2010 OH)
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-----1a. Constance "Connie" Hay (5/29/1908 DC-4/20/1973 France) married John Lewis "Lou" Atkins (6/21/1906 WV-10/23/1987) -- no children (census: 1940)

2. Mary "Mamie" Hay (8/28/1873 IL-3/13/1955 NY) and John Minnick (11/26/1868 IN-2/15/1957 DC) in 6/1900 -- 1 child (census: 1930, 1940)(WPH page)
-----2a. (adopted) Mary Frances Minnick (1/19/1921 NY-11/7/1949 TX) married Julien E. Benjamin Jr* (2/4/1919 OH-10/28/1998 OH) in 1943 (divorced 1949 in FL?) -- one child
----------2b. Patricia Benjamin (8/3/1943-3/31/2013 Metamora,IN) married (1) Melvin Posey (divorced 1964) and (2) unknown Adams -- one child
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3. Frances Steele Hay (1/21/1876 IA-5/21/1962 DC) -- never married (census: 1930, 1940)(WPH page)

4. Robert Howsmon Hay (11/16/1882 IN-5/9/1952 DC) maried Alma Elizabeth Bischoff (3/23/1886 DC-5/6/1956 DC) in 1909 -- 2 children (census: 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940)(WPH page)
-----4a. Donald Albert Hay (1912 DC-1978 DC) and Eleanor Dankenbring (1913 IA-1974 MD) -- 4 children (census: 1940)
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--------------------4d. Alexander -- died as infant
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-----4a. Perry Irving Hay (1915-1976) and (1) Jane Ballard (?-?) and (2) Kathryn "Kitty" Pultz (12/17/1914 VA-12/20/1996 FL) -- 2 children
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----------4b. (stepson) Living Thompson
----------4b. (stepson) Living Thompson
----------4b. Christine "Christy" Hay (2/5/1954 MD-11/1999 GA)
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Circa 1923 picture
Standing: Jack, Alma, John Minnick, Fannie, Robert, Connie, Annie.
Seated: Mamie Minnick, Oliver, Mary Frances Minnick, Mary Emily, William.
Front: Perry, Don.
William Perry Hay (12/8/1871 IL-1/26/1947 FL) above was the genealogist who compiled books of all the Hay and Howsmon information he had collected over the years. He wrote to as many relatives as he could find, walked countless graveyards looking for tombstones, visited countless courthouses to find records. I am truly indebted to his perseverance over so many years.

Surprisingly, genealogist William Perry Hay wrote nothing about his niece Mary Frances Minnick's adoption, marriage in 1943 or Mary Frances' daughter born in 1943. Likewise, Mamie's and William's sister Fran only briefly mentioned Mary Frances' 1943 marriage (no mention of her husband), and never mentioned her again -- not the birth of her daughter or her 1949 death.

*Mary Frances was adopted 1921-1923 when Mamie and John were in their late 40s/early 50s and married over 21 years. I (DLH) recollect vaguely from stories told to me in the 1960s that Mary Frances was a child of acquaintences of Mamie and John, but I remember no other details about the adoption circumstances. Mary Frances is included in the Hay Family photo (at right) circa 1923, sitting on her grandmother's lap, the 1925 NY state census, and the 1930 federal census. She is also found on a 1932 passenger list, returning with her parents from England, which lists her birthdate as Jan 19, 1921 in NYC.
On the 1940 census Mary Frances is living with her parents in Los Angeles, the family having recently moved there from NYC, perhaps upon John's retirement, and perhaps for Mary Frances' school (she is listed at age 19 as having completed a year of college).
Frances Steele Hay's diary succinctly states "Mary Frances married 1943" with no details on when, where or who. Fran had just taken up her diary again in May, 1944, after a four and a half year absence. The next statement mentions that John and Mamie arrived from Florida in May 1944. Despite the fact that Aunt Fran visited her sister Mamie in Florida for a month in 1946, and that John came to live with her after Mamie's death in 1955, there is no further mention of Mary Frances in Aunt Fran's diary in 1944-1957 (not even in regard to the funeral arrangements for her parents in 1955 and 1957) and no mention whatsoever of any children for Mary Frances.
Her 1949 death certificate specifies she was born Jan 16 1921 in NYC, is divorced from her husband, living in Beaumont, Texas, and died on November 7, 1949 at age 28 of diabetes, having been in the Palms Nursing Home for three weeks. She had had diabetes for six years, which would have meant from the time of the birth of her daughter. The informant was Julien Benjamin, her ex-husband; her father is listed as John D. Minnick; her mother is listed as unknown -- the omission of even her mother's first name is startling. Julien Emil Benjamin married Sylvia Lemonek on 6/30/1953 in Cincinnati; he died 10/28/1998 and is buried at the Walnut Hills United Jewish Cemetery in Cincinnati.

BY JOE WESSELS The Cincinnati Enquirer -- Actor Julien E. Benjamin Jr. had "the theater as his bible," Sylvia Benjamin said about her husband. The Cincinnati native and resident of Walnut Hills died Wednesday of cancer. He was 79. As a young man, Mr. Benjamin had an affinity for acting, according to his wife, an actress. After graduating from the now-closed University School, he took his ambition to New York City, where he graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Mr. Benjamin also had earned a degree in dramatic arts and completed courses toward a master's degree at the University of Iowa. Mr. Benjamin, a World War II veteran, moved back to Cincinnati in 1949, working as a social worker, probation officer, and salesman and in public relations. The jobs were a way to supplement his true love acting and being on stage. According to his wife, Mr. Benjamin had often said his love for acting was infectious. "He used to say, 'Once it's in your blood, it's like malaria. It may go into remission, but the infection always remains,' " she said. Mr. Benjamin had been in numerous plays, commercials and other feature? on a local and national level anything from an allergy medication commercial to corporate training videos. He worked with Rod Serling on the television series The Storm. Mr. Benjamin also found his way into movies. In 1988, he acted with Cheryl Ladd and Mickey Rooney in the CBS miniseries Blue-grass. In an 1988 article in The Cincinnati Enquirer, Mr. Benjamin joked about having to hold Ms. Ladd's hand for three hours as part of a scene. "It was nasty work but somebody had to do it," Mr. Benjamin said. In 1980 Mr. Benjamin won a local Emmy for his role as the "Phantom Diner" on WKRC-TV's PM Magazine. More recently, Mr. Benjamin had been cast in the movie The Crossing Fields. The movie premiered at the Esquire Theatre in March. "He loved to act," said arts patron Patricia Corbett, a close friend. "He showed his talent through the roles he played. He saw everything as a play." Mrs. Corbett had met Mr. Benjamin through his involvement in fine arts. Mrs. Benjamin said she and her husband rarely missed a performance in the local fine arts scene. Also surviving are two daughters, Patricia Adams of Metamora, Ind., and Terri Hecht of Boulder, Colo. Private services will be held Sunday at the convenience of the family. Memorials can be made to the Cincinnati Opera or Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, 1241 Elm St., Cincinnati 45210, or the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, 1406 Elm St., Cincinnati 45210. D

Patricia Adams, age 69, of Metamora, Indiana died Sunday, March 31, 2013 at the Brookville Healthcare Center in Brookville, Indiana. Born August 3, 1943 in Fort Devens, Massachusetts she was the daughter of the late Julien E. & Mary M. (Minnick) Benjamin. She was a retired shopkeeper in Metamora, Indiana. Survivors include one son, Joel Michael Posey of Cincinnati, Ohio; a half-sister, Terri Benjamin of Boulder, Colorado; as well as three grandchildren, Jordan, Lauren, and Shannon.
-- further research: based on address, her last husband may have been Edward B. Adams who was also listed at her 10214 Yellow Bank Rd, Metamora, IN address.
-- Cincinnati newspaper divorce notice: 12/8/1964 -- A20AA88. Melvin H. Posey vs. Patricia B. Posey. For divorce and custody of child.

My (DLH) recollections of the family stories about Mary Frances are ones told to me by my mother Eleanor: Mary Frances was a diabetic who didn't take her medicine (Aunt Fran's diary does mention in 1938 that "Mary Frances was very ill in the Spring, but pulled through, like Alma" -- she was just 17), and my mom insinuated that improper diabetes care resulted in her death at a young age. My mother also insinuated that she did not get along with her parents, and alluded to the pitfalls of adoption. No marriage or child was mentioned to me in these stories during the 1960s, and apparently not to any of my cousins. In 1985 Mary Frances' first cousin Jack Hay (1906-1991, 15 years her senior), recalled in a letter to me that "They [Mamie and John Minnick] adopted this girl in New York when she was still quite young. After Uncle John retired, John, Mamie and the adopted girl moved to Florida. I don't know much about them except I think they had trouble with the adopted girl. Perhaps it was that she ran away." I (DLH) think Jack might have confused retiring to Florida with the move to Los Angeles; by 1940 Jack was busy with his own young family, far away from both New York and Washington, DC., and may not have been aware of the specific dates and events. Alternatively, the Minnicks might have moved from Los Angeles to Florida in the 1940s.
John Minnick's will written June 12, 1956 mentions granddaughter Patricia Benjamin in Cincinnati, OH, but does not mention either of her parents. And it is a modest bequest to Patricia -- ~8% of his $66,000 estate -- in line with bequests to nieces and nephews -- page and entire will. This direct bequest of ~$5000 is particularly odd as Patricia was a minor at the young age of 13. Since Mary Frances Minnick Benjamin had died in 1949, and the father Julien Benjamin had remarried, it is assumed that John Minnick did not wish to leave the money to her father in trust for her. Perhaps the will was not written with an anticipation of death (although his wife had died and he was 87), so the hope was that when the day came, Patricia would be older and fiscally-responsible. No family stories were handed down about Patricia -- she is not mentioned in her uncle's genealogy notes/books (even though she was 4 when he died in 1947), she is not mentioned in her grandfather's 1957 obituary (and neither is her mother Mary Frances); she is not mentioned in her Aunt Fran's diary -- in fact, the children of her cousins did not know she existed; it was a surprise to find Patricia listed in her grandfather's will. The rift between Mary Frances and her adoptive parents must have been deep indeed.
Cincinnati city directories for 1955 and 1956 show both Julien Benjmin Jr and his father Julien Bengamin living in Cincinnati. A 1943 Cincinnati directory lists Patricia Benjamin, Birth Date: Aug 1943, Address: 3640 Laclede, Cincinnati, Ohio 45205-0601 (1993)

At the time of John Minnick's death in 1957, Jack Hay was living at 10419 Brighton Road, Bratenahl, Cleveland, OH and Constance Atkins was living at Villa Baldi, Eye-Sur-Mer, A.M., France.


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