1930 - A Moment in Time

Randy, Sadie and children

How could we consider their moments in time without a glimpse of what was most likely their happiest moments as a family. Sadie Elliott was the daughter of Howell Barron and Sallie Forwood Elliott and raised at Gut I Landing Farm on the Potomac River in Fenwick, Charles County, MD. Randy was the son of Charles and Levenia Baldwin. Randy and his father were watermen and Randy met Sadie on her farm, when he was working on a dredging machine. Randy was more than ten years older, when he met Sadie and anxious to settle down. They married in 1906 in Washington, DC, where their first child was born. By 1910 they were living in Accokeek, Prince George's County, Maryland with their small children and the aging Baldwin parents. Sadie's mother, brother and sister were still in Fenwick. In the 1910 census Randy was still listed as working on a Dredging Machine. It is believed they lived near the water in Accokeek and maybe he stayed on the dredging machine for days before returning home. By 1914 Randy's parents had died and they moved to a small tenant house on the Elliott farm in Fenwick. This was a very rural area and I understand that Randy owned a two horse buckboard wagon. Son, Robert was born in 1914 and my father, Joseph was born in 1917. After this is when the Elliott grandmother decided to sell Gut Landing and move to Washington, DC with her son, Howell William Elliott as the children were grown and life was difficult with the many problems that had gone on with the sand and gravel rights to her river shore. As told by my Uncle Robert, his father worked for the Naval Powder Factory in Indian Head, while he lived at Fenwick. Robert said his father walked 2 1/2 giles to work. He crossed the Pomonkey Creek (at Fenwick) by row boat or on ice and continued walking to work in indian Head. He moved his family by the two horse buck board wagon to Pomonkey. He remembered Joe as a blond haired toddler on the floor board and his mother holding a kerosene lamp. The Baldwin Pomonkey home place was a two story simple county house with no nooning water or electricity. I believe they felt proud and happy. There were plenty trees to chop for fuel, several out sheds, natural water springs close by and fields for growing fruit trees, vegetables and a big front porch for rocking babies and planning for the future. Dr. Owens was near by, a country store, a Post Office and St John's Episcopal Chapel. Randy worked for the Naval Powder Factory at Indian Head and then switched over to Saw Milling near by. He bought his first car during this moment in time and a happy family photograph shows the family together in the car. There is another photo of young Ed and Abby on the car fenders and these boys were the biggest blessing of the family in Pomonkey. As many families in this era, a six year old daughter, Alice, died in 1926 from complications of measles. Next was the winter of 1927, when an infant daughter, Kathleen, only survived for several days and weeks later, Sadie died from the complications of child birth. These kind of deaths are very rare in 2003. All Randy could hope for now was the chance to raise his children and give them a mother figure and security of home. He married a widow with under age children and they hoped to merge their family for stability of the children. How could anything else happen to Randy Baldwin? Within a short time after his marriage to Elizabeth Dodson, tragedy struck again and the children were horrified at the sudden death of their father. The step mother tried to keep house and home together for almost a year, but it was not possible. Four small boys, not of age, were for that moment in time, orphans. The following census shows the happiest and most positive moment to remember.

Sadie & Randolph Baldwin, parents of the Baldwin children.
Sadie died in 1928, because of childbirth complications
and Randy died in 1929 of a lung infection.
Child is Charles Baldwin

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