Family Lore

The Chase (City): Part Two

Part II, from a year-old post originally shared on my blogspot, dkaysdays.

This then is the story of how Ira T. Sayles finally came to reside permanently in Chase City, Virginia.

WASHINGTON, DC Feb. 27, 1892

Mr. C.D.Sayles,
Chase City, Va.

Dear Sir:

Am just in receipt of your telegram. Your Father is getting along very nicely and will probably be out in a few days. Had a telephone message from the hospital this morning to that effect.

Respectfully yours,
ChasD Walcott

He rallied from this attack but others are liable to follow.

WASHINGTON, DC, Aug. 15,1892

Mr. C.D. Sayles
Chase City,

My dear Sir,

Your letter received this morning. Just where your father is now I cannot say. I have learned that during the hot weather of last week he was prostrated by the heat, while on his way to the railroad station, and was taken to the Emergency Hospital. He soon recuperated, however, and left there last Saturday. He may be with you at this time: I hope so, at any rate, and that you are relieved of all anxiety.

Very respectfully,
HC Rizer
Chief Clerk

Carlins, Va.,
Saturday Eve.

Mr. C.D. Sayles
Chase City, Va.

Dear sir:
I write to inform you that Prof. Ira Sayles is here at my place where he will remain for several days.Last Thursday he was prostrated by the heat at the Pennsylvania R.R. Depot in Washington and while unconscious he was removed to the Emergency Hospital. Upon seeing the notice in the paper I went to see him and found him about to attempt a new start. But I saw that he was not in good condition for traveling and I prevailed upon him to stay with us and rest for a few days.
I will write you when he is ready to leave and the train etc.
He is somewhat confused still but is rapidly improving.

Very truly yr,
R.R. Gurley

Somehow, some way, Ira Sayles made his way to Clifton.

On old Department of the Interior stationary, Clifton Sayles wrote to Mr. James Tanner, the government attorney who collected and reviewed evidence given in support of Civil War Invalid Pension applications.

Chase City, Va

Mar 13th 1893

Mr. James Tanner,

Dear Sir, I take the liberty of enclosing several letters recd, by me from parties in Washington in regard to my father’s health last year . You will observe they all bear witness to the fact of his having been an inmate of two of the hospitals of that city. He was connected with the U.S. Geological Survey for several years; but was forced from ill health to resign last year. He is now residing here with me (We were formerly from Allegany Co. N. Y. )and is utterly powerless to procure any further testimony whatever in regard to his case., nearer than Washington. He is an old man 77 years of age in feeble health; and has neither money or strength to travel that distance. He is entirely without means and is utterly unable to do anything whatever towards his support. I think I may be excused for stating that I myself am a poor man with a wife and several children to provide for; otherwise I would advise my father to take no further steps in the matter. He is however, most certainly entitled to a pension (under the act of June 1890) and he just as certainly needs it. The Board of Surgeons who examined him must have seen; and so reported; that he was a physical wreck. He had a stroke of paralysis in Nov. 1891 while at Ithaca N.Y. engaged in business in connection with the Geol. Survey. In conclusion I can only refer you to the parties whose names are signed to the letters enclosed. They are all Government Officials, Mr. R.R. Gurley is (or was) connected with the U.S. Fish Commission. I am of course aware that it will put you to further time and trouble and I am willing to pay you as far as I am able. You will understand from above statement that my father is entirely without means; and that I am his only earthly dependence.

I remain,

Very respectfully Yours,

C.D. Sayles

Family Lore

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.