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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Hutcheson Case Study

There are currently two places I can go online to get scans of the Tucson newspapers. GenealogyBank has older issues. And Newspaper Archive has issues from around the 50s. Several sources have text from the newer issues from this century.

So, Oril’s obituary is available at Newspaper Archive. And it implies an answer to one of the questions that I had when I first began this project. Why would he commit suicide?

blockquoteOril O. Hutcheson Services Planned
Arrangements will be announced by Bring’s funeral home for Oril O. Hutcheson, a longtime Southern Pacific employee who died of a self-inflicted bullet wound Friday. He was 69 years old.
Mr. Hutcheson, who had been in ill health since December, was found in a shed at the rear of his home, 337 S. Fourth ave. Unconscious, he was taken to the Pima county hospital where he died three hours later. He was found by a roomer, T. C. Fuller, who with Mrs. Hutcheson, heard the shot.
Surviving Mr. Hutcheson, who lived in Tucson 37 years, is his wife, Etta Mae, who is active in Pima county Democratic circles; a son, Frank; and a daughter, Mrs. Esther Herman, all of Tucson.1

Since the article mentions his bad health, it might be assumed that that was discussed as a contributing factor. Was it the only factor? Maybe, maybe not.

A funeral notice also ran two days later:

blockquoteOril O. Hutcheson Rites To Be Tuesday
Rites for Oril O. Hutcheson, who died Friday, are set for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Bring’s funeral home, with Rev. Wlllard A. Schurr of the First Methodist church officiating and Tucson lodge No.4 F&AM, officiating at graveside services in the Masonic plot in Evergreen cemetery.
Pallbearers are A. C Thayer, O. C. Boone, William Wisdom, A. W. League, John J. Ellis and Bert Menge.2

Additional details agree with the death certificate.

1. “Oril O. Hutcheson Services Planned,” Tucson Daily Citizen, 19 Feb 1949, p. 4, col. 6-8; digital images, Newspaper Archive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 12 Oct 2010).
2. “Oril O. Hutcheson Rites To Be Tuesday,” Tucson Daily Citizen, 21 Feb 1949, p. 8, col. 3; digital images, Newspaper Archive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 12 Oct 2010).

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