Try again in 2008

From Dick Dunagan in Wi for the Yahoo Dunagan List:

In case I did not send it before, let me post a biographical sketch of my grandfather that I recently found in a web site for Parke County, Indiana. The article apparently came from one of those county history books around 1909 that were planned with local people doing all of the writing. Somehow I had l had missed this article when I checked the standard sources as I started doing research in 1990. For those related to the Solomon Dunagan branch of the Thomas Dunagan line, this may be of interest. Others may be curious about the process of the research process.

It is my understanding that sketches like this were gathered by having local people submit their own articles and then printed them free or for a low cost. The publishers then made their money by selling the books to the writers and to their relatives. That means that this article was probably written by Oscar T. Dunagan himself. This is important to me since it should be correct on some of the details that differ from other sources.

For example, I always thought of him as an educator despite the fact that he also went to law school. In this sketch he describes himself as "teacher and practicing attorney" so the law work seems more important that I had thought. When he wrote about working in "county normals" he probably means the type of county workshops sponsored by the school superintendents that were called "teacher institutes" in Illinois.

Another example. I knew that OT Dunagan's step-father, Charles W. Moss, was important in the local community and an important personal influence - but I did not know that the Moss family owned 2000 acres of timber and farm land. From other sources I also know that Charles Moss had a local saw mill. After the civil war Charles Moss spent a few years operating a saw mill in Alabama in the area where they were building new railroads to serve the new postwar iron industry in the Birmingham area. That's probably why my grandfather OT Dunagan went to Warrior AL for one year to help start up a new high school.

Although listed as "Thomas Oscar Dunagan" as a boy in the census, the references to him as an adult identify him as "Oscar T. Dunagan" or, more often, "O.T. Dunagan." This suggests that he started life as another Thomas of the Thomas Dunagan line and then - for one reason or another - as an adult he changed his name sequence.

One more detail. I found it interesting to find out that the article was printed when my father, Carlos Dunagan, was a high school student in Brazil IN.

Biographical Sketch of Oscar T. Dunagan of Indiana
(Grandfather of Dick Dunagan of Wisconsin)

From the web site for Parke County Indiana
(Parke County, Indiana Biographies; see favorite places list)

Contact; James D. VanDerMark (volunteer coordinator)

Oscar T. DUNAGAN who is a teacher and practicing attorney of Sugar Ridge Township, Clay County, Indiana residing at Center Point, was born in Parke County, Indiana October 6, 1852 and was educated in the public schools of Clay County in Ladoga Seminary, Indiana in the Terre Haute Commercial College, Michigan University and Indiana State normal school. He is a son of Solomon and Eliza Seybold Dunagan. The father was a native of Morgan County and mother of Parke. The father died in 1854 in Parke County and in 1857 Mrs. Dunagan married Charles W. Moss and they moved to Sugar Ridge Township, Clay County where they owned a farm containing about 2000 acres divided between timber and farm lands. Mrs. Moss died in 1904, aged 71 leaving one daughter, Mrs. Mattie Webster of Terre Haute a sister of the subject; also a half brother and 5 half sisters. Mr. Dunagan remained at home with his parents until his marriage in 1878 when he was united to Susan AMBROSE, of Center Point, a daughter of Lewis F. and Elizabeth Phillips Ambrose, natives of Westmoreland County Pennsylvania where she was born. He began teaching school in 1868 when 16 and still follows this profession a part of his time. He has taught in the Center Point schools in township schools and was superintendent of schools in Martin County, Indiana . He has also taught in Warrior, Alabama; Mt. Lebanorf University, LA; has been superintendent of the Pima Indian Boarding School in Arizona and was principal of the Aurora, ill Normal School. During the past 5 years he has held the position of principal of the Perry Township and Sugar Ridge Township High School. In 1874-75 he took a course in law at the Michigan University and was admitted to the bar in Indiana in 1875. During his vacations from school he has practiced law, but has made teaching his specialty. He has performed considerable special work in township and county institutes in Indiana and has also worked with county superintendents and teachers in county normals for five sessions. A judge of the circuit court a number of the members of the bar and a large number of teachers in Clay County are numbered among the pupils of Mr. Dunagan, aside from many good business men of the county. Politically he is an ardent supporter of the Republican Party Mr. and Mrs. Dunagan are the parents of the following children: Lois L. now a milliner; Verna L a music teacher and Carlos a student in the high school of Brazil. - Travis, William. A history of Clay County, Indiana. New York: Lewis Publishing Company, 1909 Page 408

December 28, 2007
It is my intent to resume postings in my existing blog in the next few days. What I want to do now is to post this notice in my existing blog to recognize the lack of activity in recent years and to promise to give it a try again in 2008.
I'm not sure that I have the directions right, but we will give it a try.
If you wish to comment or offer help, my email address is
Best wishes, Dick Dunagan in Wisconsin