Remember Our Ancestors: Dallas Christman

Meet our great-grandfather Dallas Christman, technically (James) Dallas, son of William David Christman and father of James (Dallas) Christman.  He was already in a family picture we posted when we introduced his father, the little boy on the right, remember?

Christman family
William D. Christman and his wife Rebecca Christman, nee Longstreth, sitting. Children, left to right: Susannah, Burgess O., William Henry, (possibly) Mary Francis, and Dallas, our great-grandfather.

The featured image shows him as a young man, not sure how old at the time, but he looks to be in his early 20s to me, probably shortly before he married.  But let’s begin at the beginning:

James Dallas Christman, called Dallas, was born on 29 January 1892 in Perry County, Ohio, in coal-miner country, as you might remember, but at that time the Christmans were farmers rather than miners.  Dallas had two older sisters, one older brother, and one younger brother.  He went to school until the 8th grade, and by the age of 18, he was living with his parents in Trimble and already working in the coal mines.

On 16 June 1917, Dallas Christman married Alice Andrews in Athens County, Ohio.  Alice Andrews’ ancestors came early to this country, in fact, her 10th great-grandfather William Andrews was among the founders of Hartford, CT.  He came with Thomas Hooker, who, in 1636, led a group of settlers through the wilderness from Massachusetts to what would later become Hartford.  Here is what she looked like when she was young:

Alice Andrews
Alice Andrews (1896–1991), wife of Dallas Christman

They had seven children together; their first daughter Elizabeth is still alive (she just turned 101!), and their first son was our grandfather James (Dallas) Christman, who died very young at the age of 24.  Interestingly enough, these two siblings married siblings of the Snyder family in turn:  Elizabeth married Harold Snyder, and James married Naomi Snyder.

But back to Dallas and Alice; here is a picture the two of them together:

Grandma and Grandpa Christman
Dallas and Alice Christman

Dallas continued working for a coal mining company, but also worked as a laborer for the steam railroad, and later for the state highway.  The family lived in Athens County, Ohio, and Dallas lived to see the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression as well as two World Wars and a good many of the post WWII changes in society.  Just look at what happened between 1892 and 1945 in terms of inventions in the United States alone, and then between 1945 and 1969, including the Apollo 11 landing on the moon!  During his lifetime, the zipper was invented along with the mousetrap, candy corn, the teddy bear, the air plane, the electric light switch, WD-40, computer games, the nuclear submarine, bubble-wrap and much, much more.

Now, this is a picture of Dallas holding one of his grandsons, Paul Snyder.  Paul died about as young as Dallas’ own son James, and Dallas was there to bury them both, as well as both his sisters and two of his daughters.

Dallas and Paul
Dallas Christman and little Paul Snyder

Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa Christman are remembered very well in the family, and among other stories, it is said that Alice had the cleanest house all around, outhouse included.  If you work in the coal mines, I guess you particularly appreciate a clean house!  And as a last image, a portrait of Dallas and Alice, a photo for the mantelpiece, no doubt:

Grandma and Grandpa Christman1
Alice and Dallas Christman

Eventually, Dallas died on 7 December 1969, this day 49 years ago, in Nelsonville, OH, at the age of 77, leaving his wife to live for another twenty-two years without him.  May he rest in peace.

 

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