1911 - 2005 (94 years)
||Esther Margaret Molohan  |
||12 Mar 1911
||Jasper County, Missouri [2, 3]
|Also Known As
||born Lillie Maybelle Amos. Her name was changed to Easter Lily Molohon after she was adopted. Later changed her name to Esther Margaret Molohan Capps |
||7 Apr 2005
||Carthage, Jasper County, Missouri [4, 5]
||8 Apr 2005
||Joplin Globe, Joplin, Missouri 
e.d. 49-39, s.d. 15, Sheet No. 9B
May 2, 1930 by Loy L Lewis
line 90, 227/230 MOLOHAN, Della Head O R yes FW 55 Wd 16 yes/yes IllinoisKentucky Illinois Farmer/Dairy Farm
CAPPS, Ira A. son in law MW 23 M 22 no/yes Arkansas United States UnitedStates Laborer/Dairy Farm
Easter L. Daughter FW 19 M 18 no/yes Missouri Missouri Missouri,
PAYNE, Clarence lodger MW 57 wd 20 no/yes Missouri Missouri MissouriLaborer/Dairy Farm
||Had a stroke 20 April 2002 |
||10 Apr 2005
||Fasken Cemetery, Jasper County, Missouri 
||6 Jun 2011 |
||Thomas Jefferson "Tom" Molohon, b. 6 Mar 1862, Kentucky , d. 14 Feb 1928, near Carthage, Jasper Co., Missouri (Age 65 years) |
||Della Mae Clayton, b. 18 Apr 1875, Sangamon County, Illinois , d. 10 Aug 1940, Burge Hospital, Springfield, Greene County, Missouri (Age 65 years) |
||Sangamon County, Illinois 
Date: ABT. 1902
Place: Sangamon County, Illinois,
||Ira Asbury "Cappy" Capps, b. 24 Mar 1907, Harrison, Boone County, Arkansas , d. Feb 1973, Carthage, Jasper County, Missouri (Age 65 years) |
||1 Jul 1929
||Carthage, Jasper County, Missouri 
| ||1. (Living)|
| ||2. (Living)|
| ||3. Ira Alan Capps, b. 23 Sep 1940, Carthage, Jasper County, Missouri , d. 8 Aug 2014, Freeman Hospital, Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri (Age 73 years)|
||18 Sep 2014 |
- "On the evening of April 11, 1911 a couple registered at the Eureka Hotelin
Carthage, Mo. as Mr. and Mrs. Luther Amos. The next morning they left,
leaving a baby (me) behind. The woman was young, not more than 19, light
complexioned, slightly rounded shoulders. The man was about 30, large and
dark curly hair. Several weeks previsouly he had worked in the lead mines
in Oronogo, Mo and some said he had traveled with a carnival before that.
In the conversation with the landlady, my mother said my name was LillyMae
Bell Amos and that I would be 5 weeks old the next day."
- letter of Esther Capps (c.1934-1940)
Baby Girl is Abandoned, Carthage Evening Press, Monday, April 17, 1911, Left at Rooming House on East Side of the Square * Police Force Now Searching For Young Couple Who Registered as "Mr. and Mrs. Luther Amos": The Carthage police force has a pretty abandoned girl baby on its hands and since there is not a single member of the police force which has a baby in the family, the little thing at once aroused a great deal of interest among all the knights of the stick and gun.
The little girl is a five-weeks old babe, named Lily Amos, and it was left yesterday morning in one of the rooms in the upper story of the Garlnd building on the east side of the square, which are leased for lodging purposes by Mrs. Lavonia Lowe. A couple giving their names as Mr. and Mrs. Luther Amos, with their baby, came here Saturday afternoon from Oronogo and took one of Mrs. Lowe's rooms. Mr. Amos is aged about 30 and Mrs Amos 19.
They told Mrs. Lowe they would leave next morning and paid her in advance the proper amount for the use of the room. The couple left about seven o'clock yesterday morning. An hour or two after they had gone, Mrs. Lowe heard a noise in the room which they had left and on going there found that the couple had left their baby and it had awakened and was crying. All the baby clothes and paraphernalia had been left in the room neatly packed away in a telescope.
The police were notified, and an investigation began. From letters left in the room, it was shown that the Amos couple had been in Oronogo for at least two weeks and had received mail there in that name. The oldest postmark on mail matter left behind was on a letter received two weeks ago from a Joplin photographer who had done some work for them. This couple was here about a week ago and stopped at the same room over one night. At Oronogo, the constable said he knew of the people mentioned, but did no know how long they had been there nor where they had come from. He is investigating further today.
Efforts have been made to learn by what route the couple left Carthage after abandoning the baby, but as there is only a description to go by, it has not yet been learned where they went.
A man and a woman were met on North Main street going to the depot with baggage shortly after seven o'clock, the man going to the Frisco and the woman to the Missouri Pacific depot. Another couple, answering their description, took an interurban car at Fifth street about that time in the morning.
It is a crime to abandon a child, so the parents or alleged parents, would cover their tracks as well as they could after leaving and they may be hard to find. So far as learned, there was not much mystery about the doings of the young couple prior to the abandoning of the babe, and yet if the whole story were known, there might be much mystery about it. This fact lends spice to the investigation. Officer James Hamilton went to Joplin this morning to see what could be learned about them and it was his plan to visit Oronogo too.
The baby was left yesterday to the care of Mrs. Lowe, the landlady, and it was well cared for. The telephone police gong summoned Marshal R. B. Jones to the phone about three o'clock yesterday afternoon, to be informed that it was thought that the police baby was ailing. The marshal hustled around with great solicitude and hunted up City Physician R. W. Webster to administer to its needs. The baby's troubles were found to be only trivial, however.
It is pronounced a hearty, healthy, pretty baby, and how anybody could have the heart to abandon it is a mystery.
* * * * *
It's fairly clear that Esther's parents could have been tracked down, and might have been if Tom Molohon hadn't been so keen to adopt her. He and his wife had had no children survive birth. It is clear from reading the articles that they took her home on the Monday that she was found and had adopted her within a week of her abandonment.
It is even possible that the officer who went to Joplin to find theparents did find them and either got their permission for the Molohons toadopt or threatened them with prosecution if they came forward. The original newspaper article spells out that probability very clearly.
Barring finding a divorce record, it appears that Esther's natural mother was dead by the time Esther was 9. This might help explain why no oneever came looking for her.
Esther was convinced that Della thought she was Tom Molohon'sillegitimate child. She recalled their conversation when Della came out of the room where Tom had just died: Della looked at her and said, "He didn't say anything," which Esther understood to mean that he didn't admit that she was his child. Esther always seemed convinced that he knew her origins.
If the police officer who went to Joplin to track them down succeeded andgot them to agree, either by offering her a good home or by coersion, to let the Molohons adopt then it may be true that he did know. Just not for the reasons she suspected.
She later sought to find out if she might have been the illegitimate daughter of a cousin or relative, someone who might have asked to Tom toadopt their child knowing he and his wife couldn't have any. At onepoint she thought she was the illegitmate daughter of Amy Vinson, adaughter of Mollie Simpson Vinson who never married. Late in life shewas interested in DNA testing to try to discover the truth, but neverpursued it.
I'm convinced that the Luther Amos and wife listed here were her parentsfor several reasons, the foremost of which is that Luther Amos is anunusual name. That they were from the area and their ages match quiteprecisely the ages of the couple who left the baby in the Eureka Hotellends credence to this idea. I suspect that the landlady was able togive the ages because, considering the obvious age difference, she hadchatted with Mrs. Amos about it.
Two couples were mentioned as 'fitting their description' in the original Carthage Evening Press article as having been seen leaving the area at that time. One couple splitting up (one heading for the Frisco trainstation the other for the Missouri Pacific station). The other caught an'interurban' on Fifth street. Luther Amos's mother lived in Joplin,which would have been reachable by interurban. He and his children areliving with her in 1920. He says he is widowed, but his second wife Ellais living in Benton Co., Arkansas at this time. Were they in the processof divorcing? That is unknown, though by 1930 she is "Ella Crane",widowed with her three Amos sons living with her in Texas.
Marriage record notes Luther's first wife as Annie Catherine Sharp, daughter of F.M. Sharp. This is likely the mother of Lillie Maybelle Amos.
* * * * *
Joplin Globe, Joplin, Jasper County, Missouri
Esther M. Capps. She was born March 12, 1911, in Jasper County, Mo., andwas the daughter of Thomas J. and Della M. Molohon who operated a dairyfarm east of Carthage in the Maxwell Community. Ester attended Radiumrural school and graduated from Carthage High School in 1929.
On July 1, 1929, she was married in Carthage to Ira A. Capps, whopreceded her in death in 1974.
Esther is survived by a daughter, Delores and husband, William PainterSr., of Carthage and their children, William Painter Jr., of Manchester,England, Mark Painter, of Dallas, Pa., and Christian Painter, of Tulsa,Okla.; son, Bob Capps and wife, Marie, of Carthage, and their son, PaigeCapps, of Carthage; son, Ira Capps and wife, Linda, of Grove, Okla., andtheir children, Cathy Coleman, of Carthage, Julie Aldridge, of Grove,Michael Capps, of Jasper, Ind., and Douglas Capps, of Grove. Additionalsurvivors include nine great-grandchildren and twogreat-great-grandchildren.
Esther was one of the first women in Carthage licensed to sell realestate, working for Southwest Agency and Walter Robinson agency. She latewas a unit manager for a national arts and crafts decorating firm. Formany years she was active in the Jasper County Republican organization,Lincoln Ladies.
Esther experienced a full life and loved to travel. Her tours took herinto every state of the USA, including Hawaii and Alaska, as well asCanada, Mexico, Cuba and the Caribbean. Graveside services will be at 2p.m. Sunday afternoon in Fasken Cemetery. Visitation will be from 3 to 4p.m. Saturday afternoon at Ulmer Funeral Home.
Arrangements are under the direction of Ulmer Funeral Home,Carthage.
- [S2030] Esther Molohan Capps, preferred the spelling Molohan because she met an man she was related to and introduced herself as "Molohaan" and he said that if she hadn't said it that way he wouldn't have spoken to her..
- [S2509] Personal comment, T. Anderson Painter, DCP, 12 March 1911?.
- [S2030] Esther Molohan Capps.
- [S2509] Personal comment, T. Anderson Painter, DCP.
- [S368] Social Security Death Index online, Esther M. Capps-SSN:-493-34-3667-Last Residence:-64836 Carthage, Jasper, Missouri-Born:-12 Mar 1911-Died:-7 Apr 2005-State (Year) SSN issued:-Missouri (Before 1951 ).
- [S1786] Newton Co., MO Marriage License, Book L, pg 150.
- [S2509] Personal comment, T. Anderson Painter.