14. Audubon Spenser ALVIS was born on 3 Jul 1855 in Iowa.

Audubon Spenser AlvisNamed for the famous naturalist/artist. Marriage date may be 1879.

     His elder brothers went to the southwest, hunted at Kaibab Forest (Grand Canyon), and took him along to do the cooking. (Since he had only one sister, Audubon helped his mother in the house after she married.) He was too young to hunt. According to the Ft. Leavenworth Museum, there was a 1,000% profit on trading with the Indians, especially taking horses to the southwest and maybe bringing back mules. The so-called Missouri mules were actually Spanish mules from the southwest, brought back by traders. His account book was donated to the museum in Clinton, Iowa by Mary Curran Razor.

    (The beginning of Audubon's family odyssey is found below in Mary Curran's comments about Laura.)

     "In 1940, Aunt Abbie Becker came to Iowa from California for a visit. Abbie, Minnie, Bessie and Lillie and I all went to the Ozarks together. I didn't go all the places with the grownups, as I was more interested in horseback riding with some kids I met...but I remember they told about the old 8 room house their father had built had burned...the landmark tree was gone, etc etc." (Mary Curran


    The property is listed as 160 acres located in the NE quarter of section 12, township 22, Stone County, according to the Federal Land Patent Record recorded 23 Oct 1895.

    The exact location of the Ozark land has been pin-pointed using new web based research tools.  Good news - About 125 acres of the property remain above the surface of Table Rock Lake, which was formed when the government dammed the rivers.

    They did not stay long in southern Missouri. We find the entire family, (Audubon {Head of household}, Laura {Wife}, and the eight surviving children) listed on the census in Pettis Township, (Kirksville), Adair County, Missouri, enumerated on June 2, 1900.

    Audubon, Lily, Bessie, and George are listed in the 22 April, 1910 census as living on Bates Street in La Plata, MO. He is listed as widowed, owning his home, while his occupation is listed as laborer at farming.

Photo of Month November 03 


     He spent his final days back at Ambrosia Lane.  His grand-daughter Dorris visited him there many times in her childhood.




     A daughter, (Lillie?) talked with Audubon as he lay on his death bed and asked if he wanted to receive last rites from the Catholic Priest.  He must have said yes, as he is buried in the Catholic Section of Oakland Cemetery in Keokuk.  The cemetery listing located at the Keokuk Public Library shows the site as 'Ma row 1.  This was either in error or has been interpreted incorrectly.

Eureka! I have found him.     Actual location of Audubon's stone was in the Mid Catholic Section. Park your car on the first curve at the large 'RIX' stone monument.  Walk forward to the walnut tree.  Look in the shade of the tree. The inscription: Audubon S. Alvis, Jan. 3, 1855 - Feb 18, 1920.  Oddly, the stone next to Audubon is the same cut except the Cross engraving was tilted the other way.  That stone read, Richard Talty, March 1, 1850 - May 19, 1917.  That name is not connected to the known family.





     Audubon was married to Laura Ellen GOOD about 1876 in Keokuk, Lee, Iowa, and later divorced.

15. Laura Ellen GOOD was born on 6 Dec 1858 in Ohio.

Laura Ellen Good  Nickname "Ellie" or "Daisy".

     "Laura Ellen Good couldn't get along with her male in-laws. She was very fond of Electa Daniels Alvis. Laura Ellen insisted that Audubon move. He took his share from the family farms in Iowa and bought land in the Ozarks, which was like trading in a diamond for a rhinestone. After Ollie's death, she couldn't stand the Ozarks...because the floods and the mountains prevented a doctor from coming when Ollie went into she insisted on leaving there also, after George was born {7-24-1898}. After Ollie's death {1898}, Laura Ellen took Lillie and went to her mother (name unknown {Elizabeth}...but her last married name was Wright) in Kirksville, Missouri. Lillie could remember Laura Ellen telling Audubon that she didn't want custody of the children. She took Lillie along because he wasn't going to subsidize her departure if she had no child to care for, accompanying her." (Mary Curran Razor)

     {Not sure where this fits in} "The railroad was due to go thru the next year, but Laura Ellen insisted on leaving Missouri. She made the canvas cover for their covered wagon. Sidney drove the livestock. Lillie sat next to Audubon on the wagon...and she'd cry until the next stop where she could wash her hands from the sticky sugar candy they let her eat. What a journey!" (Mary Curran Razor)

    (The rest of Audubon's family odyssey is found above.)

     After her divorce from Audubon, Laura married three more times. She was married to Herman Helms on Nov 11,1911 by a Justice of the Peace, in Tacoma, Washington.Daddy Straw and Laura In 1915 she married Alonso (Daddy) Straw.  After he died, her final marriage, about 1930, was to a Frank Jewett.  She met a violent death in San Diego. Complete report found in San Diego Union newspaper account. ... She died about 13 Oct 1933 in San Diego, San Diego, California. Certificate of Death #33-056143 gives date. Cause, homicide, hemorrage from amputation of lower extremities and concussion of brain. Body found 10/15/33. Lived in San Diego for 22 years. Address 1204 18th St, San Diego. She was buried on 20 Oct 1933 in San Diego, California, Mount Hope Cemetery. Ms Straw is buried in Lot 262, Section G.A.R, Blk 4. Death certificate lists burial 11/21/33. Her murderer was caught, tried, and subsequently hung in Folsom Prison.

One of a kind.      This Black hills gold pin was created from a ring belonging to Laura when she was married to Daddy Straw, which was passed down to Dorris Wells and became her favorite.

Children were:

child i. Laura Ellen ALVIS was born on 6 Aug 1877.

     In the History of Stone County Volume II it mentions that "Henry Nathan Taylor, b. 14 Sept 1872, Married to Ella Allen Alvis, 1 Aug 1897 in Stone County Missouri by Rev. James C. Owens, Min. Church of God. "It took four days for our grandparents to go to town from their farm in the Ozarks--the mountain across from "Old Baldy" that Harold Bell Wright wrote about in SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS; it's at the fork of the James and White Rivers in Stone County, Missouri. That area has been inundated somewhat by the dams there, I believe. At age 18 her parents did not want her to marry...but while they were away, she and Henry got the preacher and were married at home with all her younger brothers and sisters as witnesses. They even had time for a short honeymoon before the parents returned from town! As she was legally of age, her parents were presented with an accomplished fact." Date of marriage originally transcribed by Mrs. Mildred F. Roden from records located at the Stone County Courthouse.

     "Ella died in child birth of their first child (Durabell) in 1898. It was flood time (spring) in the Ozarks. Sidney couldn't get across the river (either James or White river) for the doctor. Her mother tried to help her, but was already expecting herself with the last born, George. Audubon and Sidney made the coffin on their own farm, as they still couldn't get out to bury her. She was buried with a blue ribbon in her hair. Buried on their own land." --  Note:  It is possible and quite likely that Ella was moved to the Philibert Cemetery.  Before Table Rock Lake was formed in the 1950's twenty area cemeteries had to be relocated. These twenty including the old Philibert Cemetery were combined into the Joseph Philibert Cemetery (Located near Kimberling City, Missouri) .  An Ella Taylor is listed in that cemetery. 

     Nickname "Ollie"

child ii. Sidney Audubon ALVIS was born on 2 Sep 1879.

     Lived in Utah. Doctors said Sidney was aged at least ten years more than his actual age because of the death of his sister, Laura. He also saw his second daughter killed by an auto. He remained his own personality, but his memory seemed to stop at Ollie's death.

child iii. Ethel Electa Abigail ALVIS was born on 5 Sep 1883. Lived in San Diego. Known as Abbie

     "Abbie & Bertha Alvis went west to California by working for Fred Harvey cafes along the railroad as "Harvey Girls." Bertha was dating a young man and Abbie flirted with him, taking him away from Bertha. Bertha didn't object, which rather puzzled Abbie. When finally Bertha asked when Abbie was going to marry him, Abbie told her she never intended to be serious, she just wanted to compete with Bertha. Bertha had really cared for the man...and simply left Abbie and never contacted anyone again! Abbie told me this about 1949. Abbie saw Bertha a couple of times afterward--at a distance, or on the street, etc." (Mary Curran Razor)







Special note:   Perhaps Audubon first moved his family to Kirksville Missouri after leaving Ambrosia Lane.


child iv. Bertha Lucy ALVIS was born on 27 Feb 1885 in Kirksville, Adair, Missouri.

     "When Bertha married she didn't pick up contact with the family again. Abbie referred to him as a Jew (Polish Jew?) and the name was Farrar...or Ferrini...or some such. Possibly she had more than one marriage? Bertha didn't reappear when Grandmother Laura Ellen Good Alvis Straw died." (Mary Curran Razor)




child v. Charles Henry ALVIS was born on 16 Mar 1887 in Salt River Twp., Adair, Missouri. The birth record shows his middle initial as "S".

     Killed in RR accident. Also thought he died of the flu epidemic in WW1.

child vi. Minnie Pearl ALVIS was born on 21 Sep 1889 in , , Missouri.

     "Mother was riding horseback when she was thrown by the horse and had Minnie prematurely. Minnie was about a 6 months baby--small enough to fit in a cigar box. I think the grandparents, Henry and Electa more or less cared for her as an infant because Laura Ellen was in bad shape from the premature birth. . Came to Keokuk as a small child and spent most of her life there." (As told to Mary Curran Razor)

    She was listed as divorced in the 1920 census, renting at 212 N 6th Street, Keokuk. Her sister, Bessie and family also lived in that row-type house Minnie's occupation was reported as a bookkeeper for Keokuk Electric.   

     Minnie died on 3 Aug 1964 in Argyle, Lee, Iowa. She was buried on 4 Aug 1964 in Vincennes, Iowa. Oakland Cemetery, Vincennes, Des Moines Township, Section 19, Lee County, Iowa. South of Argyle on Iowa 394, West on 320th St.



Lillie Alvis 1906child vii. Lillie Anne Maud ALVIS was born on 29 Mar 1895.

     Birthday may also be Mar 29, 1899
     "When her mother left, she was sent to a Catholic finishing school in Saint Louis, Missouri with her sister, Bessie. When their mother came to visit, Mother Constantine was in charge and wouldn't let her see either daughter...because father had legal custody." (Mary Curran)
    Lillian Alvis is listed as single in the 1920 census, renting at 326 S 9th Street in Keokuk.  Her occupation was reported as a stitcher in a shoe factory.
    She lived in Clinton Iowa. Used Lillian A Curran as legal signature.  She was married to Bill Curran.  He was a fireman in Clinton. They had one child - Mary.


Lillie in Clinton with Mary, Esther, Bob, and Pete

Special Note:  If Bertha, Charles and Lillie were born in the Kirksville area and Minnie was left in the care of her grandparents on Ambrosia Lane, this could indicate that Audubon and Laura didn't move to Stone county until the federal land grant was obtained in 1895.


child7 viii. Bessie Mabel Jane ALVIS

Bessie Alvis in foreground, with Minnie and (most likely) George on the porch.  The photo was taken in 1914, (in Kirksville, Missouri), possibly just prior to Bessie's marriage to William H. Willows.






child ix. George Dewey ALVIS was born on 24 Jul 1898.

     Lillie nursed George thru the flu in Keokuk. Audubon couldn't come in because of quarantine, so looked in window.

     Named after Admiral Dewey of Spanish-American War fame.
     Lived on Ambrosia Lane, East of Argyle, Iowa before moving to Redding, California.

     Died before he got back to Redding CA, from a trip to the Midwest in August 1968.