Monday, May 22, 2023

Mad Hoover


The term moral insanity was first used  in 1835 by Dr. James Cowles Prichard, a physician, who described it as 'madness consisting in a morbid perversion of the natural feelings, affections, inclinations, temper, habits, moral dispositions and natural impulses, without any remarkable disorder or defect of the interest or knowing and reasoning faculties , and particularly without any insane illusion or hallucinations."

In this post, I will deal with a case of moral insanity.

During a recent conversation with a cousin who is now an author, I made the comment. "You picked the right family", referring to his two published books and two more in the making, based upon our mutual ancestors, who were anything but usual and whose substance and lives are full of stories to be told. Truth be told, every family has a story, if one digs deep enough and wide enough, to find out more about the individuals within the family trees, not just names and dates. 

My last two posts were on members of the Solomon/ Dancy family. Three of the children of the John and Abigail Loyd Dancy family of Iredell County,  married three Solomons from Stanly County. My end goal is to answer certain questions about this family and these three Solomons, who were born in the 1820/1830's.

1) Were the three, John E., Jarrett Thomas and Lucinda G. Solomon siblings, cousins, or otherwise related?

2) If so, who were their parents? Which of the three sons of William and Diana Gordon Solomon who migrated to the Stanly (Montgomery) County area, William, Bennett, Goodwin, did they descend from/ were the children or grandchildren of?

3) How did they make the acquaintance of the Iredell County Dancy's? There were no Dancy's in Stanly County. 

While looking for answers to these questions, I discovered that Lucinda G. Solomon had married William Armstrong Dancy, the oldest son of John and Abigail Dancy. Lucy, as she was called, was the first Solomon to marry a Dancy, in 1848. Lucy was the middle one of the three, in age. John E., the oldest of the three, was next, marrying Will's sister, Eliza C. Dancy, in 1849. And lastly, Jarrett Thomas Dancy, the youngest of the three, married Will and Eliza's younger sister, Margaret, in 1855. We have two clues concerning the two Solomon men. First, John E. Solomon had been ordered in 1841, in the Court of Pleas and Quarters of Stanly County, to be brought to court to be bound out, a system of 'foster care' in the 19th century, so to speak. The court record also noted that he had been living with Edmund W. Lilly at the time. John would have been 17 at the time and this system was used in the case of orphaned or fatherless children.

Before 1850, John had bought and sold land in Stanly County, gotten married, and in 1850, was living in the town of Gold Hill in Rowan County, which is not far from his Stanly County origins. Also, in 1850, Jarrett Thomas Solomon was 14, and living in the home of John Dancy, as if he had been bound to that family, but normally, children who were brought to court to be bound out, were bound to family's who lived in their home county. To be honest, I've not seen the exception, ever. That doesn't mean it never happened, but if it did, it was probably a familial connection, because I know of two young girls who were "half-orphaned' and sent to live with family outside of their home county. In this case, the father had 'went west' and no one really knew if he was dead or alive, and then the mother, who was waiting for his return, passed away. 

The Texas Dancy Brothers, W. E (left) and John C. (right)

Two of the sons of William A. and Lucinda G. Dancy, William E. and John C., had also 'went west', in this case, to Texas. 

William E., was the youngest son of the couple, having a sister younger than he. His aunt, Eliza C. Dancy Solomon and her husband, John E., a childless couple, seem to have taken this one and his family under their wing. There were several land transactions and other instances, that find the two couples together in a somewhat 'parental' stance or situation. 

William had married a girl from Rowan County named Teresa Roxanna Pethel and they became the parents of seven children, the first four having been born in North Carolina, and moved sometime in the later part of 1899 or early part of 1900, to Texas, as daughter, Lucinda Love Dancy, was born in North Carolina on June 10, of 1899, and the family was living in Dallas by July of 1900.

The oldest child of this family was a son, named Elmer Hoover Dancy, sometimes  referred to as "Hoover". 

Hoover had been born August 14, 1891 in Concord, Cabarrus County, NC, a thriving mill town at the time. He was 8 or 9 upon the families removal to Texas. By 1900, cities in the east were fairly modern constructs, although farmers still plowed with mules and would drive the team and wagons to town. Yet, the West was still very much the wild wild West. It could have been a bit of a culture shock, especially to the women and children in the group. Dallas, on the other hand, was already a thriving and burgeoning metropolis by the turn of the century. 

NameHuver E Dancey
Birth DateAug 1891
BirthplaceNorth Carolina, USA
Home in 1900Kings Creek, Cabarrus, North Carolina
Ward of City#2
Sheet Number20
Number of Dwelling in Order of Visitation339
Family Number339
Relation to Head of HouseSon
Marital StatusSingle
Father's NameWm E Dancey
Father's BirthplaceNorth Carolina, USA
Mother's NameTerressa R Dancey
Mother's BirthplaceNorth Carolina, USA
Years in US8
Attended School1
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Wm E Dancey37
Terressa R Dancey27
Huver E Dancey8
Mary L Dancey7
Leroy S Dancey4
Lacy L Dancey11/12

John C. Dancy had went there to practice the trade of a Barber, while William E. Dancy was a carpenter, set to work in all of the building that was being undertaken. Elmer Hoover Dancy appears to have been called 'Hoover', his middle name, as a boy. He was a student in 1900, the oldest of 4 children, followed by Mary L, Leroy S., and Lacy L., the baby 11 months old. Leroy was obviously named for W. E. 's brother Leroy. 

NameHoover Dancey
Marriage Date19 Sep 1908
Marriage PlaceDallas, Texas, USA
SpouseMabel Shanks
Certificate Number18763

On September 19, 1908, at the young age of 17, Hoover married for the first time to a girl named Mabel Shanks. Mabel, 16, was a Texas girl, daughter of William Henry and Mattie Frazier Shanks. Thus began a series of both happy and tragic events for the teenagers.

On June 8, 1909, nine months after their marriage, Hoover and Mabel welcomed their honeymoon baby, a son they named William Hoover Dancy, aptly named for both of his grandfathers and his father.

Sadly, before the year was over with, on December 17, 1909, Mabel, barely 18 years old, would pass away. Her baby boy was only 6 months old. 

NameWilliam Dancy
Age in 19100
Birth Date1910
Home in 1910Dallas Ward 10, Dallas, Texas, USA
Sheet Number1b
Relation to Head of HouseGrandson
Marital StatusSingle
Father's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Mother's BirthplaceTexas
Native TongueEnglish
Enumeration District Number0074
Enumerated Year1910
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Jacob V Pethel75
William E Dancy46
Terisa R Dancy37
Hoover E Dancy18
Mary L Dancy17
Leray S Dancy15
Love E Dancy12
Gilbert Dancy9
Fleta Dancy5
William Dancy0

In the 1910 census, taken on April 10, 1910, little William Hoover is shown in the home of his grandparents, with his 18 year old father. Also in the home is Jacob V. Pethel, 75, Teresa Pethel Dancy's father. Many family trees have William as the last child of William Edward and Teresa Dancy, as Teresa was only 37 and still in her childbearing years, but the record clearly states that he was a granchild.

Then tragically, just a month later, on May 16, 1910,  little William Hoover Dancy died of Whooping Cough at 11 months old. This was a load of tragedy to happen to a boy before he's twenty years old. 

ameE.H Dancy
Marriage Date2 Oct 1910
Marriage PlaceDallas, Texas, USA
SpouseLillie White
Certificate Number27045

Hoover would quickly find another wife, and later that same year, on October 2, 1910, he would marry a girl named Lillie White.

Lillie Mae White was a mere child of 13 when she married the now 19 year old Hoover. The daughter of Hiram and Rosanna White, she had been born in Alabama. 

They settled in a town called Peach, in Wood County, Texas, but life was anything but peachy. A brief history of Peach is included below.

 Peach, also known as Genevie Switch and Elberta, was fifteen miles east of Quitman in eastern Wood County. The area was settled as early as the 1850s and by 1870 had a sawmill and gristmill operated by J. H. Saxon. No established community, however, was reported at the site until the late 1890s, when the W. G. Ragley Lumber Company of Winnsboro built a tramline through the area to ship timber; this later became part of the Texas Southern line (which in 1909 became the Marshall and East Texas Railway). Before it became known as Peach, the community may have been called Elberta, probably after the type of peach trees planted in the local orchards. It may also have been called Genevie Switch when the railway came through, but when the community received a post office in 1902, the office was called Peach. By 1914 the settlement had a telephone connection and its population of fifty-six was served by nine businesses, including a poultry breeder, two general stores, and one each of saw, shingle, and grist mills. Peach declined after the fruit orchards deteriorated and the surrounding timber was consumed by the mills. By 1923 the railroad line had been abandoned, and in 1929 the post office closed. In 1933 the Peach school district reported an enrollment of forty white students in seven grades. By the late 1930s the community had one school building and a few widely scattered dwellings. The population from that time until 1947 was reported at 200, after which no further records are available. By the 1970s almost nothing remained at the site
This Everlasting Sand Bed': Cultural Resources Investigations at the Texas Big Sandy Project, Wood County, 1850–1900,Quitman, Texas: Wood County Historical Society, 1976.

A number of children were born, not all of them named.

Leroy R. Dancy , named for a series of Leroy's in the family, came frist, on August 18, 1911.

Another baby boy was born on September 417, 1913 and died in April of 1914.

William Elmer Dancy was born on September 17, 1913

Raymond Hoover Dancy was born August 19, 1915

Boy born and died in 1917. May have been born dead.

Boy born and died in 1918, also died at birth or shortly after.

The onlly daughter, Dorothy Dell Dancy, was born on January 20, 1919.

There was one other child, born after Dorothy, gender not revealed, buried as "Infant Dancy" in Lousiana.

Hoover's World War I  gives the information that he was born on August 14, 1890 in Concord, NC. He was employed in Sawmilling in Peach, Texas by F. H. Payne. He was of a medium height and weight with blue eyes and 'sandy' hair, referring to a dark blonde or light brown shade. He claimed a wife and two children.

NameCharls Dancy[Charls Daney]
Birth Yearabt 1888
BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Home in 1920Justice Precinct 8, Harrison, Texas
StreetJefferson High Way
House Numberx
Residence Date1920
Relation to Head of HouseHead
Marital StatusMarried
Spouse's NameLillie Dancy
Father's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Mother's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Able to Speak EnglishYes
OccupationMill wright
IndustrySaw Mill
Employment FieldWage or Salary
Home Owned or RentedRented
Able to readYes
Able to WriteYes
Household Members (Name)AgeRelationship
Charls Dancy32Head
Lillie Dancy23Wife
Leroy Dancy8Son
Elma Dancy6Son
Raymon Dancy2Son

The 1920 census is the only one that shows the family together. Hoover, oddly, is shown as "Charles", which wasn't his name at all. He's 32, Lillie is 23 and the boys are Leroy, 8, Elmer, 6, and Raymond 2. Dorothy wasn't born yet. The family was anything but happy. Hoover was working as a millwright at a Saw Mill. 

At some point, the family moved to Shreveport, Louisiana. Did too many folks know them in Peach? Did he have work there? Were there demons to be left behind?

At what point had Hoover gone mad, I wonder? Before or after the war? Had he treated Mabel, just a teen, like he treated Lilly? But mad, out of his mind, paranoid, angry, and hostile, he was.

Hoover Dancy was a dangerous and abusive husband, which leads me to believe his abuse my have led to the death of some, or all of the premature and stillborn babies. 

In April of 1927, Hoover , drunk and dangerous, threw his wife and children out of the house. They found shleter at a tourist camp. Lilly, at some point, had cautiously returned home to attempt to get some of their belongings, bringing her oldest son, Leroy, 16, with her, perhaps for protection. They may have been hoping Hoover was passed out or not at home. He was neither, and attacked Lilly with a kitchen knife, slashing her throat and arm. She was hospitalized and he was jailed.

Lilly, in a classic case of abused spouse syndrome, refused to press charges, but was attempting to get a divorce, which angered Hoover greatly. In a turn of events that seem shocking, Lilly left the children in the hands of her husband, and yet, returned to cook for them everyday. This act led to her demise.

Shreveport. Louisiana, June, 1927

Just two months later, when Lilly was at the home, Hoover shot her three times as she attempted to escape his abuse, and did so in front of their six year old daughter, Dorothy.

Several different papers reported the shocking "Murder - Suicide", some giving various details. Hoover had written a  letter to his children, indicating that his actions were premeditated. He stated he could not live without Lilly, so they would die together.

From "The Vernon Daily Record", Vernon, Texas June 27, 1927

A Texas newspaper, The Vernon Daily Record, reported that death was not immediate for either spouse, that Hoover was 'dying and that Lilly was in serious condition.

A Louisiana newspaper reported that Hoover was a carpenter, by trade and that he was on parole, or "liberty', as it was called, and that Lilly had filed for divorce. Odd that she would use fidelity, and not abuse, as cause. Perhaps in the twenties, abuse was not a valid reason for divorce.

On his death certificate, Hoover's name was given as 'Elam Hoover Dancy'. He had lived at 3011 Alabama Street in Shreveport. Despite having been described in the newsparers as 'middle-aged',  Hoover was only 38 years, 10 months and 13 days old. He was a Carpenter, and married to Mrs. Lillie Mae Dancy. Born in North Carolina, He was the son of 'Wm Edward' and T. R. Pethel Dancy, both born in North Carolina. The informant was Lee R. Dancy of Dallas, Texas, his brother, not his son or Uncle of the same name. Cause of death was Traumation and Firearm (suicide) and the date was June 27, 1927. He was buried at Forest Park Cemetary.

The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, LA

There must be ghosts in Old Shreveport, because in a macabre twist and discourteous affront to Lillie, both killer and victim were buried in the same grave, per Mad Hoovers wishes, detailed in the note he left for the children. The four surviving children were placed in the custody of Hoover's brother, Gilbert, in Mira, LA.

Lillie Mae White Dancy outlived her murderer by one day. Her name was given on her death certificate as Mrs. Elam Hoover Dancy. She was only 28 years, six months and 20 days old. Her brother-in-law, Leroy, was again the informant, and he didn't know the names of her parents. Her cause of death was again traumation and firearm, with (Homicide) in parentheses.
The couple left four living children and a half dozen deceased ones. Only daughter, Dorothy Dell Dancy, six, witnessed the violence. I wondered how such a volatile and traumatic childhood had affected the Dancy children. 

With little Dorothy, we couldn't know. She passed away just a little over a year later on August 10, 1928 in Henrietta, Clay County, Texas, of spinal meningitis. Her meager estate was settled by her tutor , William Solley and uncle, Gilbert Dancy, guardians and executors of what little Hoover had left. 

All three of the boys living at the time of their parents deaths made it to adulthood.

LeRoy, the oldest son, married young, at 18, just a few years after the murder/suicide, to a girl named Edith. They had two boys and that relationship ended in divorce. Edith remarried a Smith and at times the two boys were seen as Smith. Leroy worked as a farmer and carpenter. In midlife, he moved to New Mexico, after serving in WWII. He married again, possibly more than once, but at 48 he married a lady named Rita, and helped raise her children. This seemed a happy match and they retired to Volusia County, Florida and left pleasant memories with their survivors.

William Elmer Dancy, the middle son, lived to be 66. He seemed a troubled soul. He left Louisiana behind and didn't look back, preferring to live in Texas. At 28, he's found in prison, during the end of the 1930's, for multiple counts of forgery. His brother sued him. He married twice, but remained childless. In the 50's, in middle age, he took a wife named Gussie. That relationship would end in divorce. At 65 years of age, in 1975, he married Martha. He would leave her a widow the next year, in 1976, while working at his chosen profession, truck driver. He died of a heart attack. 

The youngest of the three boys, Raymond Hoover Dancy, known as Ray, seemed to have faired the best out of all of them. He lived with his older brother, Leroy, as a teen, and then left for Detroit, Michigan with his other brother, William Elmer. There, at 24, he met and married his only wife, Leona. They had three children and Ray, as he was known, became a successful business man. He owned several ventures, sometimes in conjunction with his brothers, but that didn't seem to go well. He settled in Arizona, before eventually moving to San Diego, where he died in 1984.

Who knows what got into the mind and the life of Hoover Dancy? Did WWI change him? Or was it something else that drove him mad, and led him to be an abusive spouse and probably parent. But among the few grandchildren he left, it seems that the cycle was broken.

Monday, May 15, 2023

The Death of Lee Roy Dancy

Lee Roy Dancy

Lee Roy Dancy was important in my research for three reasons. Well, he was probably important for many more things than that, I'm sure, but I never knew the man. The reasons are:

One, the  date he was born, March 15, 1853...all the way back then.

Two, the date he died, September 7, 1915...into the days of Death Certificates

And three, his parents, William A and Lucinda G Dancy.

The Dancy/ Solomon family and their connections is something I had picked up and laid down nearly a decade ago. In fact, I wrote the lines above this paragraph on January 16, 2014. Today is May 6, 2024. Today, I am picking it back up. Having been so long ago, I would not want to attempt to find my Dancy folder, compiled all those many years ago, boxed and stacked by someone in boxes too large for me to pick up now. So, I will go on what I can remember, and what I have access to, in order to complete this post. 

The Dancy family were a tight-knit bunch. In 1850, before the above mentioned Lee Roy was born, William Armstrong Dancy and his young family were living near his father, John and brother, Enos, and their households. 

William and his young bride, Lucy, married about 1848, were already parents to two small children, one year old John and 3 month old Mary Frances. William was Lucy's senior by 15 years. Here, he was already 35, and she was only 20. 

In my previous post, "The Forgotten", I had revealed that the 15 year old boy, Jarret Thomas, who was listed in the home of William A. Dancy's father, John Dancy, and stepmother, Francis, in the household above his, was not 'Jarrett Thomas Dancy', his name was actually Jarrett Thomas Solomon, and he would marry William's baby sister, Margaret E. Dancy, pretty soon after this census record. 

The Forgotten was about John E. Solomon, who had married another sister of William Armstrong Dancy, Eliza C. Dancy, in 1849.

So, William Armstrong Dancy married Lucy in 1848.
John E. Solmon and Eliza C. Dancy had married about 1849.
Jarrett Thomas Solomon and Margaret E. Dancy married in 1855.

William and Lucy were the first to be married. 

John Dancy and his sons, William and Enos stuck very close together. Here, in 1860, we see William, Lucy and their family, still living in Coddle Creek, next to his brother, Enos and family. One page over, their father, John and his wife, Frances, their stepmother, are listed at the bottom of the page, meaning they again led off this family group. Leroy has been born and is listed at the bottom of the page. 

A ) William Armstrong Dancy was the firstborn son of  John and Abigail Loyd Dancy, born about 1815. He married Lucinda "Lucy" Solomon of Stanly County, North Carolina

B) Phoebe Dancy Smith. Their second child was Phoebe. Phoebe had married James H. Smith, son of Jesse and Nancy Smith from Davidson County, NC. He was a widower with two small children. He and Phoebe would add another three children to the family fold, Naomi J. Wightman Charles and Harriett E. Smith, all mentioned in their grandfathers will. Phoebe would pass away before 1849 and James would remarry Annis Elliot, whose mother was a Dancy. James would move his ever growing family to Buncombe County and then to Illinois, where he was constantly on the move, working as a Carriage Maker, for the Railroad in sales, and various other careers in various fields, always professional. He would marry a fourth time and have a last son. The Smith's are a story of their own. 

C)  Wilson Dancy was the third child, born in 1818. He had married Adeline Edwards and had settled in the Mt. Ulla community of Rowan County, just a skip and a jump from where he was raised. Wilson and Adeline were in Mt Ulla in 1870, but Wilson had passed on before his father's estate was probated in 1874. It's unknown where he was buried, but he left behind a large family of orphans.

D) Enos Dancy was the fourth child, born on January 3, 1819. He married Sarah Millholland, daughter of John and Nancy Hunter Millholland of Alexander County, North Carolina, with whom he had 5 children. Enos became a widower in 1856 and did not remarry. He raised his children in Coddle Creek Township, Iredell County and died there on June 3, 1892 at the age of 73.

E) Naomi Dancy Brown, the fifth child, was born on September 18,1821. She married William Henry Brown, son of Judson and Susanna Albright Brown of Iredell County, and they raised their 8 children in the Deep Well Community of Coddle Creek Township. She died on June 21, 1900, at the age of 78 and was buried at Prospect Presbyterian Church on the Rowan/Iredell County border with a number of the other Dancy family .

F) John LeRoy Dancy, the sixth child, was born on December 9, 1823. He migrated as a young man to DeSoto County, Mississippi and married there in 1848 to Margaret Harriett Scott, daughter of James Scott and Mary "Polly" Rumple Scott, of Rowan and Cabarrus Counties in NC, whom he probably migrted to Mississippi with. the Scotts were in Cabarrus County, NC in 1840 and in DeSoto County, MS in 1850. They raised 8 children and John LeRoy Dancy died on May 16, 1984 in Tate County, MS at the age of 70. Lucinda and William A. Dancy's son, LeRoy, was probably named for this brother who moved away.

G) Eliza C. Dancy was the seventh child, born June 30, 1830. She married John E. Solomon of Stanly County about 1849. His parents are unknown, but he was orphaned between 1836 and 1840. They lived in Gold Hill, Rowan County, for a few decades before moving to Iredell County and lived near her family. She died on November 25, 1909 and was buried at Prospect Presbyterian Church on the Rowan/Iredell County border. They had no children.

H) Margaret E. Dancy, the eighth child, was born in October of 1832. She married Jarrett Thomas Solomon of Stanly County in 1855. They first lived in Iredell County, before settling in the Mount Ulla Community of Rowan County. They spent their latter years in Cabarrus County. They had 5 children and Margaret died on May 23, 1907 in Cabarrus County at the age of 74.

I) Hannah E. Dancy was the ninth and final child, having been born on May 3, 1836. In 1854, she married Silas A McNeely, son of David and Ann Nichols Lowrance McNeely of Rowan County. In 1850, Hannah had been living with her sister Naomi. Silas and Naomi settled in Mt Ulla with most of the other family and raised 4 children. Hannah died between July of 1880, when she's counted alive and well at 57 in the census, and June of 1881 when Silas remarried to Louisa Elizabeth Shinn. She may have been buried at Prospect with a now illegible or crumbled marker.

I had discovered Jarrett Thomas Solomon after researching John E Solomon, but it was because of the death of Leroy Dancy, and his death certificate naming his mother as Lucinda Solomon, that I found the third Dancy/Solomon marriage. 

I later discovered that William A. Dancy and Lucinda "Lucy" Dancy had six children who lived long enough for a death certificate.
Besides LeRoy, who died in 1915, there was Mary Frances, who died in 1910, Margaret Ann, who also died in 1910, Eliza Jane, who died in 1944, Sarah Hugh, who died in 1931, and  William Edward Dancy, who died in 1919. William Edward was the nephew that John E.and Eliza Dancy Solomon had taken under their wing, so to speak. 

NameWilliam A Dancy
Age in 187054
Birth Date1816
BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Dwelling Number81
Home in 1870Barringer, Iredell, North Carolina
Post OfficeAmity Hill
Male Citizen Over 21Yes
Personal Estate Value150
Real Estate Value400
Inferred SpouseLucy G Dancy
Inferred ChildrenJohn C Dancy; Mary F Dancy; Winfield S Dancy; Margaret A Dancy; Rebecca P Dancy; Lizzie J Dancy; William E D Dancy; Sarah H Dancy
Household members
William A Dancy54
Lucy G Dancy39
John C Dancy21
Mary F Dancy19
Winfield S Dancy18
Margaret A Dancy16
Rebecca P Dancy11
Lizzie J Dancy9
William E D Dancy6
Sarah H Dancy4

Sometimes, if a name, usually an out of the ordinary name, is passed down to younger generations, it can help lead you, forward or backward through the generations, but not so with the Dancy's.

NameWilliam Dancy
Birth DateAbt 1815
BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Home in 1880Barringers, Iredell, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number151
Relation to Head of HouseSelf (Head)
Marital StatusMarried
Spouse's NameLucy Dancy
Father's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Mother's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
William Dancy65
Lucy Dancy49
Liza Dancy18
William Dancy17
Ula Dancy4

William and  Lucy would have about 9 children as what I can obtain between records and the census. Not all of them made it to adulthood, as was tragically common for the times. Of those who did, a few stayed local while others took off south and west, to make their fortunes and  spread their seed into the growing country.

William's last appearance in records was the 1880 census, as shown above, at 65. The two of the youngest children who grew up, William and Eliza, are still in the home, as is 4 year old granddaughter, 'Ula'. Eula Vandora King / Donaldson Goodman, born in 1876.

1) John C Dancy, born about 1848, is shown with his parents in 1850, 1860 and 1870. He made his way to Dallas, Texas, where he worked as a Barber,  and married a Mollie Nutley of Louisiana. They had three daughters, Mae, Markleata and Sadie. John died on February 22, 1911, in Dallas. he was 63.

2) Mary Frances Dancy's birthdate is given as March 7, 1852 on her death certificate, however, she is shown as being 5 months old on the 1850 census, taken on the 10th day of October in 1850. It appears at some point, she adjusted her year of birth to make herself appear younger. Women did that quite often back then. She remained in North Carolina, mostly in the Mount Ulla area and married a Beam.

Mary Frances was one of the first people in Cabarrus County to receive a death certificate. She spent her last years there with her brother, LeRoy, who had moved to Concord. Mary Frances died on March 25, 1910. She was 58 years old, married, but separated, apparently, and had been suffereing from asthma and general edema for a period of about 3 months. She had been born in Iredell County, (spelled 'Irdle' on the form) as had her father, William Armstrong Dancy. Her mother, Lucy Solomon (spelled 'Sallomon') was born in Stanly County (with an 'e' inserted, a common error). The informant for the death certificate information was her brother, Leroy Dancy and she was buried at Oakwood Cemetery, an enormous old Concord cemetery located just outside the center of the heart of the historic district.

Here the birth order becomes a little skewed, because the later dates of birth given do not line up with the ages the children were in the 1870 census. So, I'm going to follow that list, which had Winfield as 7, Margaret as 5 and LeRoy as 3. 

3) Winfield Scott Dancy was born about 1853. He lived in Iredell County until the 1890's when he and his wife, Rosanna, moved to Cabarrus County. Scott died on February 21, 1905 in Cabarraus County, leaving one known child, Emma, despite his obituary stating he left several.

4) Margaret Ann Dancy was born on October 16, 1854. At 17, she married Elisha Leander Sherill in 1871. They had two daughters, Alice Gibson Sherill in 1872 and Frances Adella Sherrill in 1875. The couple splits up either before or after they remove to Alabama. Sherill, a physician is in Pope County, then moves to Emporia in Volusia County, Florida, where he dies in 1910. Margaret remarries to a James William Alexander from Mecklenburg County, NC and they settle in Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, where they raise 6 more children; Edward Toy, William Hogan, George B., Walter Charles, Lillian G. Alexander Kinnett and Arthur Little Alexander. Margarett died on December 6, 1910 at the age of 56 and was buried in Pratt City, Jefferson County, Alabama. Her second husband James, lived until 1939 and also died in Florida, this time, Miami

5) LeRoy P. A. Dancy was next. More information on him forthcoming. 

6) Rebecca D. Dancy is shown as a 10 year old in the 1870 census. She doesn't appear in the 1880 census with her family. No more information. She may have either married and I haven't found her, or she may haved died young. She would have been 20 by 1880 and in that time, could have been married. 

7)  Eliza Jane Dancy was born June 8, 1860, according to her tombstone, but she is shown as 9, younger than Rebecca in the 1870 census and as 18 in the 1880 census. She had an interesting life and was married at least twice, possibly as many as 4 times. However, she only had one child, daughter Eula Vandora King Goodman. Eliza married at least a King and later a White. She may have married more than one White and also possibly a Donaldson, however, one or two of those may have also been one of her missing sisters. More research to be done. Eliza Jane lived in Iredell, Lincolnton and Rowan Counties. She died on February 9, 1944 in Rowan County and was buried at Saint Lukes Evangelical Lutheran Church at Mount Ulla. 

8) William Edward Dancy was born on Halloween, 1863. What a time to come into the world. He was favoed by John E. Solomon and wife, Eliza C. Dancy Solomon. He married Theresa Roxanna Petchel and recieved an inheritance from her family, financing their move from Cabarrus County, where they lived in 1888 and at least until 1900, to Dallas, Texas, where they are found in 1910. W. E. and Theresa would have a family of seven children: Elam or Elmer Hoover,  Mary Lou, Leroy Smoot, Lacy Love, Gilbert Edward, Fleeta and William E. Dancy, Jr. William Edward Dancy died on January 20, 1919 in Jonesville, Harrison, Texas. His wife, Theresa Petchell Dancy followed their  son, Elmer to Lousiana and died there in 1957.

William E. Dancy in Texas

9) Sarah Hugh Dancy was born July 8, 1864. Sarah was the youngest child. She married George Maxwell Wilson on Juy 15, 1880 at the age of  17. Sarah and George raised their family of 10 children in Cabarrus County. They were living in Kannapolis in 1930, and Sarah died in Alamance County in 1931 of apoplexy, so she probably died in the hospital. They had 9 sons and one daughter whom she named Lucy, for her mother. Most of their sons served in World War I. There was James, William Robert, Floyd Monroe, Claude, John , Walter Franklin, Lonnie Winford, Lucy J, Charlie and George Brazel Wilson. Her youngest son was the informant on her death certificate and name his grandmother only as Lucy Dancy.

None of the children or grandchildren of Lucinda G. Solomon Dancy were named in anyway to give hint to which Solomon they might have descended from. They all held overly common or 'trendy for the times' names.

NameLeroy P. Dancy
Birth DateAbt 1858
BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Home in 1880Davidson, Iredell, North Carolina, USA
Dwelling Number12
Relation to Head of HouseSelf (Head)
Marital StatusMarried
Spouse's NameDelia E. Dancy
Father's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Mother's BirthplaceNorth Carolina
Cannot ReadYes
Cannot WriteYes
NeighborsView others on page
Household members
Leroy P. Dancy22
Delia E. Dancy21

Now back to LeRoy. After leaving his parents home, LeRoy or Lee Roy, was next found in the town of Davidson in north Iredell. He had married a woman named Delia E. Morris. He and Delia assumed the lives of a quiet farming family. They couldn't have children of their own, and at some point adopted a daughter named Essie, who was born in 1881. They, too, like most of the children of Will and Lucy who didn't move to Texas, settled in Cabarrus county.

In 1896, LeRoy, who went by "Lee", had his barn struck by lightning in a storm, causing a fire. He suffered a considerable loss, not only of the structure itself, but of farming implements, and worst of all, two mules had burned to death in the fire. This would not be the only loss Lee would suffer before the turn of the century. 

Lucinda Solomon Dancy was several years younger than her husband, William, and logically outlived him. It appears she has taken up residence with her son, Lee. 

Lucy died on July 6, 1899. She was just 68 years old, not 80 as the newspaper suggested. Five documents gave her year of birth as 1831.

The turn of the century finds the family on King's Creek, in Cabarrus and Leroy is working as a 'Well Boger' and has a hired hand living with them.

I've got to admit, I don't know what a "Well Boger" was, but I can imagine it was akin to a well digger, or perhaps someone who used divining and other skills to locate a good location for a well. The word is not a transcription error. This census also introduces their adopted daughter, Essie, who was working in the Cotton Mills as a spinner, and boarder Matherson Hall, a carpenter. The 1900 census also reported that Delia had never had children.

A newspaper report of the visit of some Enochville friends, revealed that Lee and Delia were living on West McGill Street in Concord. McGill Street is off of the Enochville Road, and just a skip and a hop from the little town itself.

Lee was living on the Cabarrus/Rowan County line. 

Shown is a typical McGill house that would date to that era. 

It wouldn't be long and Lee would also lose his dear wife, Delia. She would pass away on April 8, 1908, at the age of 50. She just missed having a death certificate, so we don't know why she passed away at such a young age. The paper was mistaken that she left no children. She may have had no biological children, but they had Essie.

Leroy had lost so much in such a short time. His grief may have put him in the state of mind that a change of scenery was needed.

The papers reported that Leroy was leaving on a trip to Texas, where his brothers, John C and William E Dancy had moved to, in order to see if the area suited him.

Texas must not have worked out for Leroy, because we find him back in Concord in the 1910 census, working as a carpenter, and boarding with an Atwell family. 

1910 would be Leroy's last census. He passed away on September 7, 1915 at the age of 62. He died of Arsenic poisoning and Brights disease with arterialosis were given as contributing factors. The informant for his death certificate was John F. Dayvault, his son-in-law. John knew his parents were William Dancy and Lucy Solomon, but not where they were born. He guessed Iredell for both. 

Leroy's estate was settled the very next year, 1916. His only heir was daughter, Essie Dancy Dayvault. Essie remained in Cabarrus County, becoming the mother of four children, three who survived to adulthood. She died in 1956 at the age of 75.

While Lucinda G Solomon Dancy was the mother of nine children, six who lived into the years when death certificates were beginning to be issued, it was the death records of her son Leroy which led me to discover that not one, not two, but three of John and Abigail Dancy's children from Iredell County NC had married Solomons from Stanly County.  The Solomons were more than likely siblings. Perhaps one day the descendants of Jarrett Thomas Solomon and Lucinda G Solomon Dancy can compare DNA to confirm this. 

Yet the mystery remains, how did these two groups come together, why, and who were their parents.