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NANCY ISABELLE DOLTON

When Nancy Isabell Dolton was born on November 6, 1895, in Maysville, Missouri, her father, Frank, was 31 and her mother, Ida, was 28. She was called Bell. She was the third of eight children born to Frank and Ida (Ford) Dolton. Bell's brother Thomas Frank Dolton was born on April 23, 1899, in Maysville, Missouri when Bell was 3 years old.

The family moved across the border and in 1900 Bell and her parents lived in Britton, Oklahoma Territory. By 1902 the family had moved to Mustang. Bell's brother Joseph Gilbert was born on June 27, 1902, in Mustang, Oklahoma when Bell was 6 years old. Bell's brother Elza Garland was born on February 25, 1904, in Mustang. Bell's sister Ines Olive was born on November 11, 1905, in Mustang. In 1907, Oklahoma became a state. Bell's sister Daisy Irma was born on July 18, 1909, in Mustang, Oklahoma.

The 1910 US Federal Census for Mustang, Canadian, Oklahoma, contains a listing of the Frank and Ida Dolton family enumerated 2 May 1910. Frank Dolton, white, male, age 46, married once at age nineteen, born about 1863 in Kansas, his father was born in Illinois and his mother in Missouri, working as a farmer doing general farming; Ida Dolton, age 43, wife, white, married at age 19, she had eight children who were all still living, she was born about 1866 in Illinois, her father was born in Tennessee and her mother in Ohio; William J Dolton, white, son of Frank, age 18, born in Missouri, was working as a laborer on the home farm; Florence M Dolton, daughter, white, age 16, born in Missouri; Nancy I. Dolton, daughter, white, age 14, born abt 1895 in Missouri; Thomas F. Dolton, son, white, age 11, born in Missouri, was working as a laborer on the home farm; Gilbert J Dolton, son, white, age 8, born abt 1901 in Oklahoma; Elza G Dolton, age 6, born about 1904 in Oklahoma; Inez O Dolton, daughter, white, age 4, born in Oklahoma; Daisy E Dolton, daughter, white, age 11 months, born in Oklahoma.

When the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, Bell Dolton was living in Mustang, Oklahoma. This was the year she married John Ray Watson who was born in 1892 in Kansas. In spite of a series of financial reverses, when Franks two eldest daughters, Florence and Bell, married, he gave their families horses, harness, plows, and the accoutrements necessary to make a living farming. Bell had two daughters with John Ray Watson between 1919 and 1926.

On his World War I draft registration card John indicated that his home address was Yukon, Oklahoma. He was twenty-five years old and was born April 13, 1892 in Clyde, Kansas, USA, a natural born citizen. He was Caucasian, single and working as a farmer for U.H. Brown of Yukon. He had no prior military service. The registrar indicated that John was of medium height, medium build, had dark blue eyes and light brown hair. He said John had no disabilities that would preclude him serving in the military and it was signed June 5, 1917.

John was a farmer until at least 1926. Sometime between 1926 and 1930 the family moved to California. One of Franks youngest kids, Gilbert, had moved to California and worked as a driver for Hal Roach who produced Our Gang also known as The Little Rascals. When the depression hit no one could sell their produce. Florence and Claude Barefoot & Bell and John Watson sold everything that Frank had given them and moved to California to work in the movie industry. They also worked for Hal Roach working as grips and later as a carpenter. John made the princely sum of $1,700 per year. My Dad, Louis Dolton Sr., told me about Gilbert and John's employment by the Studio.

Hal Roach was an actor, director, producer, and visionary. He managed to stay ahead of technology and made the transition to talkies early on. He made thousands of movies that are familiar names to movie buffs the world over.

Soon after Bell's and Florence's family moved to California Gilbert died. He died on November 1, 1929, in Los Angeles, California. Bell Dolton lived in Culver City, California, in 1930. Five years later she moved to Venice, California (1935).

Then, on December 7, 1941, America was forced to enter World War II. John was forty-nine years old when war broke out and had a wife and two daughters at home; age twenty-two and fifteen. Where he had been too young to serve in the Great War he was really too old to serve in this one. John's World War II draft registration card indicated that he was living at 4224 Irving Place, Culver City, California. His telephone was Ardmore 8-2292. He was fifty years of age, born 13 Apr 1892 in Clyde, Kansas. He gave the name of the person who will always know his address as Jessie / Belle Watson - 4224 Irving Place, Culver City, California. He indicated he was employed by Hal Roach Studio on Washington Blvd. in Culver City, California. The registrar indicated that John was white, five foot seven inches tall, about 156 pounds in weight, had blue eyes, brown hair, and light brown complexion. He indicated that John's right leg was scarred. It was signed April 25, 1942.

Then, Hal Roach was called to active military duty in the Signal Corps in June 1942, at age 50, and the studio output was converted from entertainment to military training films. The studios were leased to the U.S. Army Air Forces, and the First Motion Picture Unit made 400 training, morale and propaganda films at "Fort Roach". Members of the unit included Ronald W. Reagan and Alan Ladd. After the war the government returned the studio to Roach, with millions of dollars of improvements.

Nancy Isabell's father Frank passed away on October 28, 1952, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at the age of 88. Nancy Isabell's mother Ida Olive passed away in 1953 at the age of 87.

In 1955, Roach sold his interests in Hal Roach Studios to his son, Hal Roach, Jr., and retired from active production. Unfortunately, the younger Roach lacked much of his father's business acumen, and soon lost the studio to creditors. The studio was shut down in 1961. It's not known what John did after that.

Bell's brother William Jewel died on August 13, 1965, in Kansas City, Missouri when Bell was 69 years old. Her sister Florence May died in March 1973 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma when Bell was 77 years old. Her husband John Ray passed away on April 27, 1976, in Culver City, California, at the age of 84.

Bell died on June 15, 1981, in Culver City, California, at the age of 85. The next month Elza died and early the following year Thomas died. This left only Ines and Daisy of Frank and Ida's eight children still alive.


//////////////////// Family Tree ///////////////////

Isham Dalton
+ Elizabeth T Walton
Richmond Dolton (1815-1899)
+ Priscilla Hahn (1823-1861)
Joseph Hahn Dolton (1840-1918)
+ Sarah Isabel Thornton (1838-1888)
Frank Dolton (1864-1952)
+ Ida Olive Ford (1866-1953)
Nancy Isabell (Bell) Dolton born 6 Nov 1895
+ John Watson born abt 1892 in Kansas

Bell's daughter Lorene Watson
Lorene Olive (Watson) Trotter of Colfax, California, died in her sleep on Sunday, 25 Jun 2017 at the age of 94 years. Lorene was born in November of 1919 in Mustang, Oklahoma the daughter of John Ray Watson and Nancy Isabell Dolton (known as Bell). She spent her early life in the happy pursuits of childhood on her father's farm with her sister. John and Bell often took them visiting family where they enjoyed dinner, watermelon, fruit, and homemade ice cream. When the Depression came and based on tales of his in-laws in California Lorene's parents sold out and moved to Culver City where John got a job as a movie stage worker (grip) for Hal Roach Studios. That's where Lorene grew up and graduated from high school. In 1941 Lorene met and married John Crawford Watson, Jr. (known as Crawford); the son of a Methodist Minister. After the War Crawford got out of the Army and became a dentist. After Crawford retired he and Lorene moved to Colfax in Placer County, California. They had a little house on the side of a hill. The house had electricity but had no water & heat was provided with firewood which Lorene cut & carried water after Crawford died. Lorene was a devoted wife and mother raising two sons to maturity and enjoying a good life and then a good retirement with Crawford until his death in 1982. Lorene, was independent and cared for herself until a few months before her death when she transferred to an intensive nursing care facility. Lorene is survived by her two sons John Crawford Trotter and his wife Myrna and Ross Jay Trotter of Nevada City, California.

Bell's daughter Jessie Watson
Jessie Belle Watson was born February 17, 1926 in Mustang, Oklahoma. She was the third child born to John Watson and Belle, Dolton, Watson.
When she was six months old her family moved from Oklahoma to Los Angeles, California. Shortly after their arrival, the Great Depression began. As a family they survived the Great Depression and World War II.
Jessie graduated from Hamilton High School in 1944. Shortly after, she married Don Throe, a Sergeant in the Army Air Corps, on July 28, 1944. They moved to Tucson Arizona where Don was an air traffic controller.
After WWII they returned to Culver City where they had three children Donna, Larry, and Linda. Although Jessie primarily stayed at home to raise their three children, she also worked at the elementary school cafeteria as well as a children's clothing store. Jessie and Don lived happily in Torrance until his death in 1989. Jessie was a dedicated mother and grandmother and will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
Jessie is survived by her three children, her sister Lorene, five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.

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