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Found Deceased NV - Noel Davis, 15, Reno, 1 Nov 1915

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by rainwater, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. rainwater

    rainwater New Member

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    This teen went missing while travelling from Reno, NV to the San Francisco Bay Area to visit his older married sister in 1915. He never arrived. Due to the passage of time this is probably not solvable, but those are fascinated by historical mysteries might be interested and I thought Noel deserved a thread. I did not see one already started. Amazingly, there is a photograph of him on NAMUS. The NAMUS page mentions there was a World's Fair in San Francisco for most of 1915.

    Noel is listed as having brown eyes, black hair, and stood between 66-72 inches (obviously an estimate).


    Link to his NAMUS page:
    https://www.findthemissing.org/en/cases/24522/199/
     
  2. poppygirl

    poppygirl Active Member

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    Hard to solve yes, but unsolvable? Who knows what the technology of the future will bring!!! If they can locate a relative - maybe a descendant of that sister...they can get DNA.

    I looked on ancestry.com, someone has a picture of him listed but it's marked as private - so there's at least one person out there that is interested in finding out what happened - perhaps the reason he made it into NAMUS?

    I found him in the 1910 census, age 10 at the time, his father Eli and mother Nellie. 2 older sisters Wanda and Irene. 2 younger sisters, Myrtie and Nellie, and 2 younger brothers Vance & Glen. They lived at 605 Spokane Avenue in Reno.

    ETA: Wanda was 12 in 1910 and Irene was 14...which would have made them 17 and 19 at the time of his disappearance 5 years later...my guess would be that Irene was the older married sister he was going to see unless there was an older one not appearing on the census.
     
  3. j123

    j123 Member

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    I'm not 100% clear on how DNA works, but would (great) nieces and nephews be able to contribute samples?

    I'm wondering if this was a big story at the time, or something that slipped through the cracks. Depending on how much attention it received, there might be an answer out there just waiting to be discovered.
     
  4. poppygirl

    poppygirl Active Member

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    I'm not an expert on DNA...but even if great nieces/nephews aren't helpful today, that doesn't mean they won't be a decade or 2 decades from now :)
     
  5. rainwater

    rainwater New Member

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    Poppygirl,
    Yes, Irene was the married sister, according to NAMUS. Her married name was Brennan; her husband's first name was Edward.

    If I understand DNA correctly, they would need at least 2 DNA samples from descendants and possibly more. At least one of those samples would have to come from a male descendant, probably a brother's child,grandchild or great grand-child. The other samples would need to be from female descendants.
     
  6. Boomeroreo

    Boomeroreo New Member

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  7. PFF

    PFF New Member

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  8. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    This case caught my eye from day one. First, it's old and someone must still be searching for him or answers about what happened to him, even though he'd be 116 years old now, if it's on the missing person sites. I find that fascinating. Of course, with so little information, it makes it that much more mysterious. I have a ton of questions, like, was November 1st when he actually left, or was that when they realized he hadn't arrived in SF and reported him missing? How was he planning on getting there? Train? Hitchhiking? Walking (highly doubtful)? Going with friends? If he was taking the train, which route (I believe there were two at the time) and did his family see him off? Did his sister and brother in law plan to pick him up at the station in SF? Hitchhiking that time of year would have been dangerous, given he'd have to cross the Sierra Nevada, so I'm thinking that wasn't his mode of transportation. I wish there was more information on this case. With WWI looming, for all we know, he headed east to Parris Island, which opened that day in 1915, and just told his family he was going west. The one thing I'm certain of is that he isn't in any of the abandoned mine shafts because in 1934 a man named Frisch went missing. He was going to testify in a case against some mobsters and disappeared a week before the trial. They searched many of the abandoned mines around Reno to no avail. Is anyone good at newspaper searches? It would be interesting to read any articles about him missing, if there are any. I searched the google news papers and came up empty handed.



     
  9. rainwater

    rainwater New Member

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    I did a little googling to see what was happening at the 1915 fair in SF. It seemed to be relatively peaceful- no mention of SKs operating like H.H. Holmes was at the Chicago fair in 1893. The SF fair was held in what came to be known as the Marina district, between the Presidio and Fort Mason. Four of the biggest attractions were a car-assembly line by the Ford Motor company (fairgoers could watch a car being assembled-one car every ten minutes); see a model of the Panama Canal; actually hear a telephone call placed from San Francisco to New York ; and a 14 ton typewriter with keys so large people could sit on a key. Fairgoers could also ride in an airplane with the original Sun-Maid raisin girl, who wore her famous bonnet during the flight. The fair closed on December 4, 1915. So if Noel made it to San Francisco, but not his sister's place, it would have been in the waning months of the fair.




















    n




    n












    noel

    http://www.history.com/news/10-top-draws-of-san-franciscos-1915-worlds-fair
     
  10. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the info. I'm wondering if he even made it to SF. Poor kid.
     
  11. rainwater

    rainwater New Member

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    I am also wondering if he made it to SF.
     
  12. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    I'm not very good at newspaper searches, and I refuse to pay for a subscription, but I did do a quick search of the Reno Gazette and found nothing. I will try to do the same in SF.
     
  13. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    If someone has access to ancestry.com will you please look up Wanda Davis marriage? According to the Reno Gazette, a Wanda Davis was granted a marriage license in 06/1915, but I can't see the grooms name and read the whole page without a subscription. Also, there was an Irene Davis still listed as Irene Davis as of 01/1916 in the Gazette, too. I find it odd that the paper would list who was visiting and going on holiday, where they were going and with whom, but I couldn't find mention of Noel's departure. I'm wondering if the married sister at the time was Wanda, not Irene.
     
  14. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    In the Reno Gazette, I was able to find death notices for Noel's sister Nellie D. Davis in October of 1918, and his mother Nellie H. in March, 1919. I also found their burial listings on a different site. I was not able able to read the whole notice for each because it's a paid subscription to newspapers.com and I refuse to sign up. I could only read snippets, like the marriage license announcement for Wanda in 1915. From what I could read, it doesn't appear to list Noel as missing, and I don't see any articles where the family reported him missing or where they were searching for him. I'm thinking he wasn't reported missing right away, in 1915, and if they did, it never made the local papers. If someone has access to newspapers.com, their notices are very easy to find with their year of death and a key word search of "noel". Davis brings up too many.
     
  15. rainwater

    rainwater New Member

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    Regarding the deaths of Noel's mother and sister, in 1918-1919 there was a world wide flu pandemic. The West Coast of the U.S. was hard hit with the illness, especially the SF area, by September of 1918. Could they have died from the flu?

    This is an interesting site about the pandemic. Each state has its own page: http://www.flu.gov/pandemic/history/1918/index.html

    Although the exact number of flu victims will never be known, it has been estimated that 675,000 Americans died from the flu in 1918-1919. World wide deaths from the pandemic have been estimated at 30-50 million.
     
  16. Alleykins

    Alleykins Well-Known Member

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    I've found in those old death/burial notices around that time that they do list a cause of death, but since I can't see it, I'm not sure. :(
     
  17. EllieBee

    EllieBee Former Member

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    While searching for marriage records (ancestry . com) for Wanda, I found her on a member's family tree. Noel Elijah Davis is listed as her brother, born 1899, died 1972 in Wisconsin.

    Grain of salt, because I do my own genealogy research and know first hand that some trees are assembled with lazy guesses and haphazard matching of people and records based on being "close".

    Off to look for more.

    And I haven't found Wanda's marriage record yet, either ;)
     
  18. EllieBee

    EllieBee Former Member

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    Also, the same family tree lists little Nellie as having died in 1910, at the age of 6. Again, grain of salt.
     
  19. EllieBee

    EllieBee Former Member

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    Well. I found the ss death index for a Noel Davis, dob 1 Aug 1899 (I think our Noel was 6 Aug 1899) , died Jan 1972 in Berlin, Green Lake, WI.

    His ss# was issued in IL before 1951.

    Thinking this is where the tree-maker got info they then applied to our Noel. But the dob closeness is a little "da da duh!"...
     
  20. EllieBee

    EllieBee Former Member

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    Aaaand, this Noel is a woman. Nevermind. :blushing:
     

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