Gilbert McEven Norcutt and Ada “Addie” May Kelly were married on September 2, 1894 in Sleepy Eye, Brown County, Minnesota. Their daughter, Ora Norcutt Wentworth, was my paternal grandmother. Gilbert was born on June 9, 1872 in Nodaway, Iowa to Allison Henry Norcutt and Lucy Ann Boyles. Addie was born in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota on September 24, 1873 to Peter Kelly and Rachel Wylie. They were blessed with ten children: Lucy Olive (1895-1955), Ora (1896-1994), Ella (1899-1900), Lottie (1900-1970), Noble Elias (1901-1927), Forrest S. (1904-1980), Rachel L. (1906-1933), Mamie (1908-1997), Myrl Earl (1912-1977), and Naomi Glenice (1914-1993).
Gilbert grew up in Nodaway and Addie in the Sleepy Eye / Leavenworth, Minnesota area. Although their childhoods were firmly rooted in the area they were born, Gilbert and Addie relocated numerous times during their life together. Their children’s birthplaces gives us an idea of how often and how far they travelled. Lucy and Ora were born in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. Ella, Lottie, Noble, and Rachel were born in Pleasant Hope, Polk County, Missouri. Forrest was born in Bolivar, Polk County, Missouri (which is only 16 miles from Pleasant Hope). Mamie was born in Exeter, Barry County, Missouri which is 84 miles southeast of Pleasant Hope. Myrl was born in Cabool, Texas County, Missouri and Naomi was born in Geraldine, Montana. They also lived in Goshen, Lane County, Oregon.
Gilbert was a farmer per U.S. Census and Montana Homestead Patent records. However; in Yale College’s 1858 Yearbook, his father’s (Allison Henry Norcutt) biography listed his son as Rev. Gilbert M. who lived in Exeter, Missouri. Thus far I have found no records to support Gilbert being a pastor. He apparently was successful as a farmer. Records indicate that he purchased rather than rented land and he was able to obtain financing in multiple locations.
Addie and Gilbert were willing to take risks, to start over, and what a life they had together. I did not have the pleasure of knowing them or all of my great aunts and uncles but seeing how my grandmother, Ora, approached life gives me a good idea of their values. Grandma Ora was hardworking, devoted to her family, plain spoken, and goal driven. She also was very competitive, especially baking contests!
Gilbert and Addie made their way to Mapleton, Bourbon County, Timberhill Township, Kansas and spent their final years there. Gilbert passed on February 22, 1930 at age 57. Addie followed her mother’s example by maintaining the farm after her husband’s death. The 1930 census date was April 3rd. Addie was widowed, she lived on a farm which she owned, and her occupation was farming. Olive (Lucy), Forest, Rachel, Mamie, Myrl, and Naomi were still living at home with her in 1930.
Addie passed on January 8, 1947 at age 74 in Mapleton. She and Gilbert are laid to rest at Yates Center Cemetery, Woodson County, Kansas in Section B Lot 18.