Historic Cash Family Letter and Photos

▲ Odessa Pearl Cash (Spencer), called Dessie, and Motta Forest Cash (Noll), called Mottie, were two of William Galen Cash and Mary Elizabeth Cash's three daughters.
This portrait of them is circa 1895. (Click photos and letter below to enlarge them.)

◄ This 1903 letter from W. G. Cash to his wife appears to have been written while he was attending a business meeting or convention with a group of some sort.

Since he was a teacher and / or superintendent of schools, the meeting may have been for school administrators. However, he was also a local preacher, and the language suggests that it might have been a meeting of church leaders in his denomination, which I believe was Methodist Episcopal (ME). (Many others in our ancestral family were ME during that era.) Having said that, in 1895 the Nazarene denomination reportedly came into being as a split from the ME church. My generation's maternal uncle DeRand Jones (W.G.'s great grandson) reported that by the mid-1920s many family members had become Nazarenes. Thus, W.G., who died in 1916, may have become a Nazarene toward the end of his life.

The letter is transcribed below. (It's unclear as to why, but he used stationery from the Belmont County Treasurer's office.)

"St. Clairesville O. Jan 7, 1903

My dear wife:

Wednesday morning, and a little headache, but I think it will wear off directly. I got in Sunday about 2 P.M. but I met (illegible) who insisted that I should spend the night with him which I did and had a very pleasant visit. We were sworn and charged yesterday in the forenoon [morning] but did not go into session til afternoon, we are full of work, which will not get through til some time Saturday. We were in session til dark yesterday and oh I was tired A very full day today.

I recd. a letter from (illegible) yesterday morning, which I enclose. I presume if I sleep well I had better go up. I forgot the pills but I got a box last night and think I’ll get along alright. Hope the same for you.

Lovingly yours, W.G. Cash"


This photo of
W. G. Cash and some of his family - with their home in the background - was taken at their Belmont County, Ohio, farm circa 1905.

He's seated, with one daughter behind him. It appears to be his wife, Mollie, on the left - with daughter Leona, son-in-law Fleetwood and grandson Carleton (in front of Leona) on the right.


To provide a reference point for the information on this page, here are the relationships between the people named here:

William Galen Cash, known as W.G., married Mary Elizabeth Anderson, known as Mollie. In addition to Dessie and Mottie they were parents of…

Leona D. Cash, who married Fleetwood Churchill Jones.
They were the parents of Carleton Duane Jones and…

Mary Elizabeth Jones, who married J. Willis Anderson. They were the parents of…

John Anderson


Leona was my generation's maternal great grandmother; her sisters our great-grand aunts.

◄ Here's a wonderful photo, labeled on the back as, "Mottie Cash and Will Noll before they were married". WIll Noll is recorded in our uncle DeRand Jones' family history archive as being a farmer, which explains the setting for this photo.

Mottie appears to have been 18-22 years old when this picture was taken. I haven't come across a marriage date for them; however, she was born in 1877, and if my guess as to her age is correct, this photo would be circa 1895-1899.


Here's another antique photo. Since Carleton was born in 1895 and I estimate his age in this photo to be about 5 or 6, this picture would be circa 1900-1901.

The notes on the back tell about the barn getting struck by lightning and the people in the picture, but doesn't say whose farm it is. Since the photo is of the Cash family, I presume it is W. G. and Mollie Cash's. W.G. and Mollie were my generation's maternal great-great grandparents; Leona's husband, Fleetwood Jones, was my generation's great grandfather; Carleton was Leona and Fleet's son, and my generation's grandfather.
(Note the horse on the right side, behind Mottie Cash.)


◄ Here's a remarkable wide-angle photo, especially when considering that photography was relatively primitive in this era. It appears to be a gathering of the family, and on the back it says, "Mrs. W.G. Cash's [Mollie's] birthday" and "Mother Jones' mother".

Mollie was born in 1852, lived through the U.S. Civil War and WW I, and died in 1927 at age 75. This photo appears to be circa 1927 and the occasion may have been her 75th birthday.

Note the gentleman with the bowler hat in the back row. Also note that the women wore high-necked dresses, the girls all wore dresses and the boys wore ties. Although I'm uncertain as to who all the people in this photo are, it appears that grandma Cash (Mollie) is the one sitting down in front with the cane and her daughter Leona ("Mother Jones") is behind her with her hand on the chair.
W.G. Cash died in 1916, so he's not in the photo.


The names Mary and Elizabeth are biblical names, and they appear regularly throughout our ancestral family records.

◄In this photo the grandmother's maiden name was Mary Elizabeth Anderson and she became Mary Elizabeth Cash. The granddaughter's maiden name was Mary Elizabeth Jones and became Mary Elizabeth Anderson when she married.

Thus, her married name became the same as her grandmother's maiden name.
The younger Mary was born in 1907 and the older died in 1927, so this photo had to be taken between those years. I'm guessing the younger Mary is 15-16 years old in this photo, so if that's correct this would have been taken around 1922-23.

The younger Mary was the sister of Carleton, my generation's grandfather, making her my generation's great aunt. She and her husband became missionaries to India. According to her nephew, my generation's uncle DeRand Jones, Mary became known as a "superstar" missionary in the Nazarene denomination.


In a previous post on this blog (Our Cash Family Connection) I included info from a man whose detailed research traced the ancestry of W.G. Cash to a mariner who emigrated to the U.S. from Scotland. However, under a subject line of, "Bits of family history", in a 2001 email message to DeRand, his cousin John Anderson (Mary's son), provided the following. John said it was written to the family by his mother around 1980, and it says W.G.s forebears came to the U.S. from Wales:

"Wm. G. Cash (my maternal grandfather - both my grandfathers were William) was one of 7 brothers, whose grandparents [e]migrated to [the] USA from Wales in the 1700s. In this group of family was also J C Penney - J for Joseph--C for Cash. [His name was actually James Cash] They all settled in S E Ohio on rich farmland which is now in the bottom of the lake made by [a] T.V.A. Project.

Grandma was English all the way (Anderson). There is also a bit of Welsh in the Jones line -- not very much -- and a bit of German through my grandmother - Elizabeth Goodman Jones - otherwise English all the way! My Grandmother Cash - whenever I said 'Thank You' - always said 'You are a Welshman' instead of -'You are welcome!' She was very proud of my Welsh blood! The first book I can remember as mine, before I could read - was the story of a little girl in the Welsh Revival, entitled 'Mary Jones & her Bible' The Welsh people are known for their love of the Bible."

I have not been able to document either claim as to W.G.'s national origin, so I include both on this blog and leave it to readers to decide which seems more lilely to be accurate.

Last updated 7/5/2010


  1. Love the Cash family reunion picture for Mrs W.G. Cash's 75th birthday. Looks like possibly a young bride with white veil and dressed up groom standing in the center of the group. What do you think?
    Wish there were more names.

    Cash cousin

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thanks for your comment, cousin! I see what you mean, but it seems that the note on the back of the photo would have mentioned that if it were true. Also, combining a wedding and a birthday party would be strange, I think. However, since it could be a joint celebration, I can't eliminate that possibility.