Biographical Sketch of Gladys CRITCHFIELD.

Submitted by Carole Grant , 9 Apr 2010.


“The Critchfield children including Gladys were not orphans.  They were victims of broken marriages.  The family lived in Princeton, Gibson County and Gladys’ father worked as a machinist for the Southern Railway.  The family was originally from Orange County Indiana.  On at least two occasions, Gladys’ mother went back home to Orange County to have her babies.


Gladys Critchfield was born Lavesta Gladys Critchfield on August 8, 1913 in Orange County, Indiana to Ivan Holmes Critchfield and Isabelle “Belle” Hobson.   Three children were born to this marriage; Lois Alma b. October 27, 1908 in Orange County, Albert C. born March 20, 1908 or 1909 and Lavesta Gladys born August 13, 1913.  The birth date of Albert is conflicted on all documents.  His social security records give a 1908 birth year and other records have a 1909 birth year.  There is a possibility that Albert may not be Belle’s child or more likely, his birth was never recorded and being placed in foster homes, he may have guessed at his birth date.   I found a record of birth for Lois and Lavesta Gladys in Orange County, Indiana but nothing for Albert.  To complicate matters, Ivan’s World War I Draft Registration dated June 5, 1917 declares that he has only 2 children, but we know that there were at least 4 children by that date.


The April 1910 census states Ivan and Belle have been married for three years and they are living in Princeton.   Living with them are Lois age 2, daughter, and Albert, age 1, son.


On April 30, 1914, Ivan had a child with Clara Jane Bell from Dubois County, Indiana who was named Hugh Wallace Critchfield.  On March 2, 1916, Ivan married Clara.

By 1920 Clara and Ivan are divorced and Clara is living with her father and son in Orange County.


Ivan married Lunetta Self on April 21, 1920 in Princeton, Gibson County.   Lunetta was originally from Orange County.  Ivan remained married to Lunetta at least until 1942. 


By 1920 we find that Belle Hobson’s widowed mother Sarah and some of are siblings are living in Princeton but Belle is living in Orange County again and is married to Robert Ottis Kendall.  This is a bit confusing because she married Ottis under her maiden name, which may mean she was never married to Ivan or she divorced, took back her maiden name or we’ve got the wrong Belle.


All of the Critchfield children are in orphanages or foster homes.  I do not know if Belle ever reclaimed her children.   Ivan did not.


The children of Ivan and Belle were placed in various children’s homes over the years following the end of Ivan and Belle’s relationship.  

In 1920 both Lois and Gladys are on the census as living in the French Children’s home in White River Township, Gibson County and listed as “inmate.”   At the same time Albert was placed in the household of Frederick Besing in Warrick County as “orphan boy.”

By 1930 Gladys was living in Rush County in the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors home in Center Township, Rush County as a “pupil.”  Gladys must have been moved around several times.  Lois is not to be found and is presumed to have married.


Lois died on Jan 13, 1992 in French Lick, Orange County, Indiana as Lois Degenhart.   The marital name was proven by her brother Albert’s death information at Browning’s Funeral Home.  It is possible she married in Gibson County since there is a large population of Degenharts in Gibson County.   I have also found her under the name spelled Degenhard but the correct spelling is Degenhart.

Albert married Nona Burnett/Barnett and lived for a time in Warrick County before moving to Evansville where he died on July 7, 1976.   Albert and his wife Nona are buried in Warrick County.


Gladys Critchfield married a man with the last name of Baer and lived in Dubois County, Indiana.  She died in November 1981.

The children’s half-brother Hugh (by Ivan and Clara Jane Bell), was raised by Clara and her second husband, William J. Charnes, of Orange County Indiana.  Hugh took the last name of Charnes.”