21 October 2013

Mystery Monday: Who is Nora Gartland

In the mail awhile back, someone sent me a news clipping concerning a Eugene Eckman who tried to rob a casino. At the bottom of the Associated Press article there was another paragraph that could have been part of that story or - knowing the way papers used to run everything together and avoid white space like the plague - it could a completely separate article.

The article read:
Eckman Killed Woman in St Louis in 1922
Eckman, who formerly lived in St. Louis, shot and killed Mrs. Nora Gartland in her home at 2944 Cass avenue, Sept 19, 1922. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison when he pleaded guilty of murder. Mrs. Gartland and Eckman had been partners in a bootlegging business and quarreled over that.

The article about the casino had the dateline "MIAMI, Fla, Feb 27". A handwritten note above the article reads "1932". It is conceivable that Eugene Eckman is the Eckman who was a bootlegger in St Louis, and who quarreled and killed his partner, Nora Gartland, then upon his release from prison 10 years later (1932) went to the Embassy Night Club in Miami and was involved in an incident there. The casino article states that Eugene Eckman was 50 then and he was of Miami. This would have put him being born in 1882, give or take a year. He was seriously wounded near the heart.

So who was Mrs. Nora Gartland and how did Eugene Eckman get mixed up in this?

Gartland is buried at the Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum in St Louis Missouri. He death date is listed as September 1922, according to Find A Grave. Her birth year is unknown although it does note her age as being 44. This would put her birth year as 1878, give or take a year.

As a side note: there are four Eckmans buried in that cemetery as well. Louise (d Oct 1936 at age 21), Vera (d Dec 1948 at age 44), William (d Oct 1936 at age 32), and George (d July 1922 at age one).

Back to Nora ...
We find Nora Gartland in the 1920 Census. She is a 42 year old widow who was born in Missouri. Her parents were both born in Ireland. Living with Nora is her 25 year old son John Coddy, 11 year old daughter Loretta Gartland, 44 year old single cousin John Moloney, and 67 year old widowed cousin James Moloney. Neither Nora nor Loretta list an occupation. Coddy was a salesman and the Moloney boys were laborers.

The 1910 census reveals that Nora's husband was Charlie Gartland. This was his first marriage and her second. Her son John Coddy was listed as a border by Charlie. Charlie earned his living as a huckster. John was a teamster.

According to the Missouri Marriage Licenses, Nora Cuddy married Charlie Gartland on 14 October 1907 in Clayton, St Louis, Missouri. She was 30 and he was 34 at the time.

The 1900 Census shows Nora Cuddy (born March 1877) living with her 43 year old brother-in-law Wm Grimes. William's wife is 32 year old Julia. Two year old Mary Cuddy is living there as well. Nora indicates that she is still married, has been for six years and has two children living. William is a teamster. He and Julia have been married 14 years but have no children.

Cuddy seems to be Nora's maiden name. John Cuddy seems to have been born either out of wedlock or in a short-lived marriage and reverted to using her maiden name. No where do I see any Eckman connection though.

Hence, the mystery continues. Who is Nora Gartland? And how did Eugene Eckman get messed up with her?
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.