Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Genealogue Challenge #78

I'm 97.3% sure I've figured out this one.

The character of Floyd Lawson on The Andy Griffith Show was first played (in just one episode) by actor Walter Baldwin.

Who were his parents?


This may be a long shot, but I found a newspaper article from Lima Daily News (of Lima OH) 4 Jan 1898:

"Little Walter S Baldwin Jr celebrated his eleventh birthday with a children's party. The house looked lovely in gay holiday attire, and after a lovely lunch the little ones passed the hours in various amusements and dancing."

I then found in later issues, references to the Theatrical Agent Walter S Baldwin, so I'll ASSUME that's the father of "Little Walter".

In the Lima Daily News for 11 Apr 1919, Walter Sr was made a lifetime member of a social lodge, and it said the his wife, Pearl, had died in a fire in a western city three years ago. It also said that Pearl had been a member of the Melville sisters, a group that Walter had managed. Pearl's sister was Rose Melville, known for her role in "Sis Hopkins", and I looked her up, and her real name was Rosa Smock.

THEREFORE, I'm going to GUESS that the parents of Walter S Baldwin were: Walter S Baldwin, Sr and Pearl Smock?



Walter Baldwin's parents were:
Walter Smith Baldwin Sr
and Pearl Melville Baldwin.

sources: WWI Draft card info showing Walter Smith Baldwin Jr. was born in Lima OH.

Lima OH newspapers, listing Walter S. Baldwin Sr as owner of a theater and manager of the "Melville Sisters", his wife was Pearl Melville and her sister Rose. They moved to Duluth MN ca 1900. Walter Sr died 4 Jan 1927 in MN. Pearl Melville Baldwin died ca 1916 "in a western city" in a fire.


Pearls sister Rose Melville is listed at imbd.com with the birth name: Rosa Smock. However, I still can't find them in the census.
Rosa Smock (Rose Melville)
b. 30 January 1873, Terre Haute, Indiana, USA
died in 1946 in NY


And this TribStar.com article:
lists: Walter Sr's wife as:
Ida Smock (Young).
The 1880 Terre Haute IN census has the family as:
Smock, Jacob 53
Smock, Ida 19
Smock, Maud 16
Smock, Rosa 14

I presume without proof that Ida (Pearl?) married 1st to ___Young then 2nd to Walter Smith Baldwin Sr. Walter Smith Baldwin Jr was born in Lima OH in 1889.


I too think that his parents were Walter S. Baldwin, Sr., and Pearl Melville (born Josephine Smock). I just haven't found the records to confirm it.

Walter, Jr., was living in Queens, N.Y., in 1930, and the census shows that his father was born in Maryland, his mother in Indiana. This jibes with the early census records for Josephine Smock.

Here's an extra-credit question: Who was Josephine's first husband, and when and where did she marry Walter Baldwin?


Okay, I guess I'll try for extra credit.

According to the Indiana Marriage Collection at Ancestry.com, Josie Smock married 5 May 1880 in Vigo County, Indiana, Pearl F. White (perhaps the source of her stage name?). Here they are in 1880. According to this site, Josie M. White married Walter S. Baldwin 1 Apr. 1886 in Cook County, Illinois.

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