The Chase (City): Part One

This piece was originally posted a year ago on blogspot, dkaysdays, and is worth importing to this new storytelling site of mine.

Ira T. Sayles was a restless soul, or an incredibly persistent idealist or a bit of both.

Or maybe I am combining records of several Ira Sayles into one multifaceted individual. A google search engine creation, so to speak.

With a subscription to Ancestry, I can delve into any digitalized federal or state record I want! I can travel backward, go forward, and go sideways inside these files. Refine search. Spell it Ira and Isa and Sayles and Sayler and Sales. Look for Sherlin and Sherman, Merley and Merlin, Florette and Serena, Clifton and C D Sayles. Guesstimate birth dates, add known deaths, add known residence locations. Refine that search. Before I can move with certainty through the story arc I am building, I have to confirm Ira’s identity. For me, all the other data was made reliable once I read through the Civil War Pension Application records, retrieved from the National Archives in early May.


WASHINGTON, DC,Feb. 24, 1892

Mr. C.D. Sayles,
Chase City,
Mecklenburgh Co.,

Dear Sir:

This is to inform you that your father, Prof. Ira Sayles, who is connected with my division of the Survey, is now lying dangerously ill at Providence Hospital, this city. The details as to his illness I have communicated to his wife, addressing the letter to your care. Will you confer with her as soon as you can, so that in the event of his death the wishes of his family may be complied with as to the disposition of the body. If you will advise me of the decision made in this matter I will see that the Hospital authorities are promptly informed thereof and will personally do whatever may lay in my power to aid in carrying it out.

Very respectfully yours,
Chas D Walcott,

Care U. S. National Museum,
Washington, DC

With this letter, I begin to reliably connect the Ira dots of teacher, geologist, Clifton’s dad, and Chase City resident.

The Chase continues.

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