The memory book of Alice Ewing Surpless

Upper Sandusky, Ohio; Cleveland, Tennessee; and Armour South Dakota

by Dwight Newton. Lexington, Kentucky, August 2006.

Alice Ewing (1850-1914) was my great grandmother on my mother's side. She was raised in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, in the home of her father, Samuel Ewing, a successful farmer and businessman, on a property not far from town. In 1968, Alice married Moses Henderson Surpless (I believe he went by "Henderson" rather than Moses) in 1872.

At left: A tintype of Henderson Surpless and Alice Ewing Surpless with son Samuel. I have a great many photographs of Henderson (who always stands out because of his long beard), but for some reason this is apparently my only unequivocal image of Alice. The tintype was damaged in a flood around 1980.

Henderson Surpless was a Civil War veteran of the 9th Ohio Cavalry. He saw action in Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and elsewhere. Many soldiers in his unit were lost from disease and hardship, but few were actually lost in battle.

Alice and Henderson experienced an extreme hardship at some point relating to their business. The timeline is not clear (I'm sure I'll be able to organize this better), but I recall a drought or some other disaster which caused them to move for a time (perhaps a year or two) to Cleveland, Tennessee, where, I believe, a brother of Alice had a farm. I am fairly certain this was after they moved to South Dakota, but it may have been while they were still in Ohio.

As a veteran, Henderson was given a parcel of land to homestead in South Dakota. After marrying Alice in Upper Sandusky, they moved to a farm outside the town of Armour (named for the meat packer) in the southeast corner of the state. It was here that they raised their family. My grandmother, Hattie Maye Surpless Hendricks, was born on the farm in Armour (1891), as was my mother (1912).

Among the photos, documents and paraphernalia in the family archives is a charming little book of autographs collected by Alice. The pages here are presented in the order they appear in the book. The writing appears not to be in chronological order. Apparently the writer would just open the book to any blank page.

The cover is a lovely red silk velvet with the decoration embossed.

Blank pages have not been copied. Click for larger.

Matilda Bel(humens?).Vermillion, SD, 1892.

Frank Bel(humens?). Grand View, SD, 1891.

(Stinred?) Bel(humens?).Vermillion, SD, 1891. (The whole family has awful handwriting.)

Jim(?) Gould. There are several references to Michigan Avenue, which is a road to the northeast of Cleveland, TN. It was probably a rural road in 1898.

From "Son Samuel," apparently during his military service. 1898.

Winnie Gould. Michigan Ave. 1895.

"Your niece Emma Ewing." Poplar Springs, TN. 1895.

Riley Maxwell. Vermillion, SD. 1896.

Frank Meade. 1896.

James A. M. Pirkle(?). Cleveland, TN. 1895.

Ed. Newill(?). Armour, SD. 1896

Mrs. J. M. Ewing. Cleveland, TN. 1895.

Mrs Mary Shook. 1899.

Warren Crisman or Lyons, NE. Armour, SD. 1898.

Mrs. Mary Garwood (cousin). Ada, OH. 1899.

Mrs. A.H. Caylor (sister). Upper Sandusky, OH. 1899.

Ralph Ewing (nephew). Cleveland, TN. 1895.

Claude A. Gould. Michigan Avenue. 1895.

Nina Newill. Armour, SD. 1896.

Edith Ewing (niece). 1895

Everett A. Maxwell. Vermillion, SD. 1896.

Royd Caylor (nephew). Upper Sandusky, OH. 1899.

D.E. Whittermore. Armour, SD. 1896.

Mollie Ewing (cousin).

Mrs. A.J. Gould. Cleveland, TN. 1895.

Sara Z. Moore. 1895.

A.H. Caylor. Upper Sandusky, OH. 1899.

J.M. Ewing. Cleveland, TN. 1895.

S.W. Ewing. Upper Sandusky, OH. 1899.

Miss Zilpah May Smith. Upper Sandusky, OH. 1899(?).

Laura L. Kimball. Hill Side, SD. 1894.

Mary Mabel Bel(humens?). Vermillion, SD. 1896.

Gertrude Caylor (niece). Upper Sandusky, OH. 1899.

Martin Ewing (brother). Armour, SD. 1898.

Pearl Thomas (friend). Armour, SD. 1902.

Mary Ewing (niece). Cleveland, TN. 1895.

E.J. Lester. 1895.

A. G. LaPlain(?). Armour, SD. 1896.

Mrs. E. Newill. Armour, SD.

Belle Dearr. Hillside, SD. 1891.

Elmer Melser.

Hattie McIntire. Harrison, SD.