There are various spellings of the name Leming, including Leaming, Lemming, Limming, Lemmon, Lemon, Leamon, and Leman.
Harvey Walter Leming
HARVEY WALTER LEMING
Harvey Walter Leming was born Sept. 15, 1905, in Battle Creek, Michigan. He was the son of Charles Edward Leming and Grace C. Harvey. They lived in Battle Creek where Edward was a baker. In about 1909 they moved to Tennessee where Grace’s brother, Walter, was in the publishing business. In the 1909 Nashville City Directory, Charles E. Leming is listed as a bookbinder. Edward died of tuberculosis on August 7, 1909, at Olathe, Colorado, where he went four months prior, hoping to regain his health. In the 1910 Census, widowed Grace Leming is living in Nashville with her five-year-old son, Harvey. In the 1910 Nashville City Directory, Grace C. Leming is listed as a bookbinder.
Grace remarried to Harold V. Pratt, whom she must have known in Battle Creek. The 1918 Battle Creek City Directory lists “Harold V. (Grace C.), driver, res 199 Glenurban av.” Thirteen-year-old Harvey is listed as an employee of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, which was a well-known hospital at that time. Harvey Walter Leming was listed as a boy in the 1920 census living with his mother, Grace C. Pratt, and his step-father, Harold V. Pratt, in Battle Creek City, Calhoun, Michigan. There was also a step-brother, Robert H. Pratt, and step-sister, Agatha M. Pratt, living in the home. In 1920 or 1921 the family moved to Los Angeles.
Harvey married Neola Georgina Eicks on February 5, 1927, in Los Angeles, California. The marriage did not last long and in 1928 Harvey is living in Seattle, Washington, where his uncle, Harry Harvey, lived. According to the Seattle City Directory, Harvey is working as a helper at Mother’s Grandma Cookie Company. It was here that he met Leone Dougherty who was working as a stenographer at the same cookie company. She did not know that he had been married previously.
Leone and Harvey and their daughter
Harvey married Leone LaVonn Dougherty on October 11, 1928, in San Francisco, California, (where Leone’s brother was living). On the marriage certificate Harvey is listed as a baker and Leone is listed as a bookkeeper-stenographer. Their daughter, Dorothy LaVonn Leming, was born in 1929 in Oakland, Alameda, California. In the 1930 census Harvey Walter Leming is living in Brooklyn Township, Alameda, California, with his wife Leone, and his nine-month-old daughter. The 1930 California Voter Registration records Harvey Walter Leming and Mrs. Leone Leming living at 2209 Ransom Avenue. Harvey is listed as a collector and Leone as a housewife.
They lived together for about two years and then Harvey sent Leone to Tennessee with their baby to live with his relatives for a few months. Harvey was a collections man for the electric company from 1930-31. He was a handsome man who had many affairs. He took off to Los Angeles, leaving his wife and little daughter to fend for themselves. This was during the Depression. Leone divorced Harvey when her daughter was about 7 years old. (It took her a while to save the money.)
Harvey and Dorothy Mae
Harvey married Dorothy Mae Crabtree about 1934. At this time, he spelled his name with two m’s – Lemming. The 1936 California Voter Registration records show them living at 350-1/2 West Salem Avenue in Glendale, California. Dorothy had a daughter from a previous marriage, and Harvey and Dorothy had a two sons together. The first son (living) was named after his father and grandfather. The second son, Robert Walter Lemming, lived 6 1/2 months (June 19, 1936 to January 10, 1937). He died of bronchitis. The parents sent their children on a trip back east with relatives while they went to New Mexico. Harvey applied for a Social Security number in Eunice, New Mexico, in 1937.
Not long after that, Harvey left the family. [Dorothy had three more children with Louis H. Branch. A Long Beach Press Telegram newspaper article published on March 12, 1949, reports their marriage: “Thanks to a judge who played cupid, a couple who came to court to fight over custody of their three illegitimate children was happily married today. Superior Judge Thomas J. Cunningham married Louis H. Branch, 37, manager of an Azusa fishing club, and Mrs. Dorothy M. Lemming, in his chambers yesterday. Mrs. Lemming said she didn’t know what to do about a divorce from her husband who has been missing 11 years. The judge explained he was legally dead under California law.”]
In the 1938 California Voter Registration records, Harvey is listed as a baker living in Los Angeles at 3781 Roberta Street.
Harvey and Anna Ruth
Harvey and Anna Ruth Wheeler married probably in 1939 because in the 1940 Census, Harvey is a furniture salesman living in Pasadena, Los Angeles, California, with his wife, Ruth, and her son from a previous marriage, Delbert. A daughter, Linda Carole Leming, was born in October 1940. Harvey left about five years later.
[His daughter, Linda Carole Leming married in 1981 in North Hollywood, CA. Her obituary said “Linda Carole Bowman lost her courageous battle with cancer September 20, 2005, at her home in Fernley, NV. Born October 16, 1940, she is survived by her loving husband, (living), of 24 years, and their son, Irv, who is currently stationed in Korea finishing 20 years of military service in the US Army. Linda was preceded in death by her mother, Ruth Wheeler, and her brother, Delbert. She graduated from Glendale high school and Glendale junior college in CA. She was a payroll clerk for seventeen years in CA and later a waitress in WA, and then became a cashier at the Wigwam in Fernley where she retired in 2000. She and her husband moved from Burbank, CA to Vancouver, WA in 1993. In 1997 they moved again to Fernley where they now reside. Linda had a passion for helping people and she loved her Keno machines. She will be greatly missed by her family & friends. At last she is in God’s hands and finally at peace…”]
In 1951, Harvey was injured in an accident in Bakersfield, California. Headlines to the newspaper article reporting the accident read: “Truck Wreck Crushes Man to Death – 2nd Man Critically Hurt; Driver Jailed.” The caption under the picture reports, “Two auto-carrier trucks parked last night on the east side of Union Avenue near Fourth Street. The two drivers met at the rear of the leader truck to check a fuel line. Moments later death had come to Lester L. Rife and critical injuries to Harvey Walter Leming. Jailed to face possible charges of manslaughter was James Elbert Mason. Highway patrolmen said Mason’s truck crashed into the rear of the parked auto-carrier. The impact hurled it forward to crush the two drivers between the huge bumpers of the trucks.” The article said that the accident happened about 10:20 at night. That night Harvey ended up having to have his right leg amputated. He sued and his case ended up going to the California Supreme Court as a landmark case (see Leming v Oilfields Trucking Co.) He won a huge settlement, but what a terrible price to pay. He was in a wheelchair from then on.
Harvey married Mary Virginia Miller (born 1908 in Atlanta, Georgia). Perhaps she was a nurse who cared for him after his accident. She developed cancer and died on January 16, 1956.
Four days after Mary Virginia died, Harvey married her cousin, Kay M. Harrison (Katherine Miller Harrison of Atlanta, Georgia), on January 20, 1956, in Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada.
Five years later he married Carrie F. Nash of San Bernardino, California, on February 21, 1961, in Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada. Harvey and Carrie were separated on May 3, 1969 and divorced in January of 1971.
He very well could have married several more women. These are the ones we have found. He filed for divorce from Carrie Nash, but other than that, he didn’t bother to divorce the women he married and left. He was a bigamist.
Harvey Walter’s death certificate showed that he died in Medford, Jackson, Oregon, February 27, 1984. The obituary for Harvey Walter Leming had very little information. It briefly stated: “Harvey Leming, 78, of Medford, died Monday in a local hospital. Funeral arrangements will be announced by Perl with Siskiyou Funeral Service.” The informant on the death certificate was a friend of Harvey’s named Letha Van Der Linden. Harvey was cremated, but Letha paid to have him buried with her and another friend, Beulah Taylor. Their gravesite is in Dry Creek Cemetery, Boise, Idaho.
CHARLES EDWARD LEMING
Charles Edward Leming was born on October 14, 1877, to John C. Leming and Mary L. Grant in Toms River, New Jersey. He was a twin to Annie Leming.
He joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church and soon after went to Battle Creek, Michigan. In Polk’s Battle Creek City Directory 1905/06, Charles E. Leming was a baker. He married Grace C. Harvey on Sept. 30, 1903, in Battle Creek, Calhoun, Michigan. They had two children: Harvey Walter born on Sept. 15, 1905, in Battle Creek, and Evelyn Edwina born April 18, 1907, in Benton Harbor, Berrien, Michigan (but sadly died a week and a day later on April 26, 1907).
Sometime after that the family moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where Grace’s brother, Walter, and his wife, May, lived. Edward is listed in the 1909 Nashville City Directory as a bookbinder. In early 1909 Edward contracted tuberculosis and in April went to Colorado hoping to regain his health. He died on August 7, 1909, at Olathe, Montrose, Colorado. He is buried in the Olathe Cemetery.
JOHN CORNELIUS LEMING
John C. Leming and Mary L. Grant were married on February 26, 1867, by W. Tunison, of Jersey City, minister at St. Paul’s Church Parsonage. John was 26 years old and Mary was 25 years old and their residence was Toms River, Ocean, New Jersey. John was listed as a seaman.
The 1880 Census shows Cornelius Loman (Cornelius Leming) living in Berkley, Ocean, New Jersey with his wife Mary, daughter Elizabeth (age 10), and twins Charles and Annie (age 2). Mary’s mother, Deborah Grant (age 74), also lives in the home.
The gravestone shows the following information: John C. Leming born July 18, 1842, died Nov 24, 1894 – Mary L Leming his wife born Feb 16, 1841, died Sept 12, 1896. On the back of the headstone is recorded: children of John C. & Mary Leming – Oscar Leming born May 22, 1868, died June 7, 1868 – Walter Leming born Dec 2, 1865, died Aug 12, 1877.
His obituary from the New Jersey Courier dated November 2, 1894, page 1, reads: Capt. John Cornelius Lemon, a life long resident of Bayville, died at his home there on Saturday last, of consumption after a lingering illness of several months. His life was principally spent as a mariner. He leaves a wife and three children all nearly grown to maturity. Funeral services were held on Tuesday of this week.