Thursday, July 30, 2015

Goldroad Connections

July 30, 2015
   When I was a kid we used to go out to Goldroad, a ghost town not far from Oatman. I never could find a connection to anyone famous that worked or lived there, until last week when I found out John Flood's lifelong partner, Edgar Beaver, worked in a mine there. Three degrees of Wyatt Earp! 

 Daily Whip Out: "Goldroad Prospector."

Mary Doria Russell has a new book out called "Epitaph" and in it she tells the story of Wyatt Earp, the gunfight in Tombstone and Sadie Earp's attempt to get his story told by utilizing a mining engineer named John Flood. In the book, which is a novel, John Flood has a partner named Edgar Beaver, which I found to be just a tad too precious and awful close to Eager Beaver, so I asked her about the character and got this response:


You haven't heard of Edgar Beaver because I believe Epitaph breaks new ground on this subject. 

The Edgar Beaver data was unearthed by Deirdre Robinson, one of my Genealogy Genies -- a group of readers who volunteered to do some research on several of the characters in Epitaph.

Summary of findings:

Edgar Everett Beaver, b. August 26, 1881 in Ohio to Samuel Beaver (1839-1915) and Malinda Cecile Handley Beaver (1842-1935). Edgar was the 9th of 10 children.

Edgar is listed in the 1900 census in Sharon OH with his parents and four siblings. Father and two brothers were butchers.

In the 1910 census, Edgar E Beaver is a single white male, aged 28, a roomer, a miner in a gold mine in Gold Road, Mohave, AZ. This was about 50 miles from where John Flood once worked as a quartz miner, but we couldn't find anything that places them together in that time period.

John Flood was living in LA by 1907, but Edgar Beaver first shows up in the LA city directory in 1914/15.

He was in the army toward the end of WWI (1917-1919).

In the 1920 census, he is back in LA, employed at a bank; in 1930, he is listed as a salesman for securities and investments (bad timing...). He also worked as a journalist for several years, and that's what I chose to emphasize in the novel.

The first documentary record of John and Edgar being at the same address is in the 1920 LA city annual directory. Thereafter, the two men remain at the same address until death parted them in 1958. So, that's 38 years together. Not quite as long as Wyatt and Josie, but certainly a long stable relationship.

In the novel, I push the relationship back a bit so that Edgar can become part of the story when John meets the Earps, instead of a few years later.

In the 1940 census, they live at 2933 4th Avenue in LA. Edgar is no longer listed as Lodger but as "Partner," per Instructions to the Numerators: 

451. If two or more persons are not related by blood or marriage share a common dwelling unit as partners, write head for one and partner for the other or others.

John, being four years older, was listed as "Head."

Like John Flood, Edgar registered for the WW2 draft in 1942 at the age of 60; John Flood was 64. (See Epitaph for some background on the draft of old men.)

Their address is still 2933 4th Avenue, LA CA, according to their WW2 draft cards. John H. Flood is given as Edgar's contact:  "Person who will always know your address." Edgar was retired by then but John continued to work and listed his employer as his contact on the draft card. (Still closeted?)

Edgar died in LA on November 14,1958, just eight months after John. (Broken heart?)
He is buried at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.

The 1910 US census places John Henry Flood Jr. (single white male, 32, b. 1878 in Philadelphia) on the Colorado River Indian Reservation in Yuma AZ. There were quartz miners on the res at the time and given JHF's education at Yale as a mining engineer, best guess is that he had something to do with that.

He didn't graduate from Yale -- ran out of tuition money after 3 years.

—Mary Doria Russell

" Life is the art of drawing without an eraser."
—John W. Gardner

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