Hutcheson Case Study

So far, the information regarding Oril’s death is consistent. Now to try to trace back to discover the facts about his birth.

Remember that it is always best to work from the known to the unknown. Therefore, the 1930 census should be my first stop. Here is the information about Oril from the more recent censuses.

1930: Oril O. Hutcheson is the 47-year-old head of household at 337 S 4th Ave.1 His birth year can be calculated as 1883. He owns the home which is valued at $6500.00 but did not own a radio. He is married to 37-year-old Etta Mae Hutcheson. Oril was first married at age 31; Etta was first married at age 17, confirming the information that she was previously married. He could read and write. Oril and his parents were all reported to have been born in Iowa. Oril was a wage worker employed as a brakeman by the railroad. He was not a veteran. Also in the home were Esther Hutcheson, his adopted daughter; Frank F Hutcheson, his son; and John H. Williamson, a lodger who was also a brakeman for the railroad.

1920: During this census year, Oril O. Hutcheson is reported at the head of the household at 320 East 12th St, which he was renting.2 He was 45 and his wife, Mae E. was 27. This time, his birth date is calculated as 1875. He could read and write. His birthplace was reported as Colorado, his father’s as Ohio, and his mother’s as Iowa. He was a wage worker employed as a conductor on the railroad. Also in the home were Esther Hutcheson, his daughter; Frank B. Oliver, a lodger who is a brakeman; Georgia M. Oliver, a lodger who is likely Frank’s daughter; and John J. Kuykendall, a lodger who is a boilermaker.

So, now I have birth dates for Oril that vary from 1875-1883, and was he born in Iowa or Colorado?! Luckily, the census ages can be approached with caution. The enumerators weren’t always known for their accuracy. They took notes when they were visiting homes and later wrote up the official pages — occasionally fudging when they couldn’t read their own writing. The informants weren’t always accurate when they had questions sprung upon them — and sometimes they weren’t the residents of a home, they were the neighbors. Therefore, I can add the information gathered from the censuses to my data, but I will keep looking to see if I can eventually land on the correct information.

Speaking of continuing to look, I can tell you now that before 1920 “Oril O. Hutcheson” doesn’t exist! If he did, I’d have been able to add more censuses to this post.

1. 1930 U.S. census, Pima County, Arizona population schedule, Tucson, enumeration district (ED) 66, sheet 10B, p. 195 (stamped, reverse), dwelling 87, family 96, Oril O Hutcheson; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Oct 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T626, roll 61.
2. 1920 U.S. census, Pima County, Arizona population schedule, Tucson, enumeration district (ED) 105, sheet 3A, p. 264 (stamped), dwelling 46, family 47, Oril O Hutcheson; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 27 Oct 2010); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T625, roll 50.

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