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Edna Bertha "Aka Johnston" Fell Young
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Birth: 1901
Beadle County
South Dakota, USA
Death: Nov. 24, 1942
Beadle County
South Dakota, USA

Edna Bertha Fell was born to Dudley Morgan Fell and Augusta Bertha "Gusty" Dubro in 1901 in Huron, South Dakota. There is a long line of Fells that came from England and migrated through Pennsylvania and then west to South Dakota, while the Dubro's came from Germany on May 6, 1881 and eventually to South Dakota.

Dudley and his family moved to South Dakota from McLean, Illinois in 1882. He worked and owned a music store in Huron in 1900 while he was living at home with his parents according to the census. He must have married Augusta in around either 1900 or 1901. Augusta called Edna "Baby" and when she was near death said "Baby, I`m coming to see you."

Paren t`s Divorce - Things didn't work out for the couple, as Augusta and Dudley were divorced when Edna was very young - Augusta said he drank too much. The 1905 Census shows that Dudley is single, so the divorce was probably finalized before 1905. The 1905 South Dakota Census shows Edna was living in Carthage, South Dakota. Her mother, Augusta had been a cook for for Edna`s uncle, Otto in his restaurant since 1903. Possibly, Augusta and Dudley Fell were divorced even before that time.

Mother`s Marriage to Arthur Back - Augusta later married Arthur Christian Back and soon, Edna would have three half-sisters: Hazel, Alice, and Geneva. Arthur and Augusta must have married close to 1908, according to Hazel Helen Back would be born on June 16, 1908 in Iroquois, South Dakota. Alice Back was born on August 21, 1909 also in Iroquois, South Dakota. The third sister, Geneva Back was born in 1911. Arthur and Augusta would also have another girl, Violet Back, who was born on August 12, 1913, but she died shortly after birth.

The family lived in Iroquois, South Dakota for a while before finally moving to De Smet, South Dakota.

Children - Edna had a child, James who was born on December 30,1922, probably with a man who might have been named Lester Storr or Lester Store. The details are sketchy at this point, but James would use his mother`s last name of Fell for a while, even in school. He would eventually take the Johnston name of his step-father, though. Edna would marry Jack Everett Johnston, whose real name was actually Robert Lee Roy Young, on December 9, 1923 in Beadle County, South Dakota.

Death - Edna would die of cancer at the young age of 41. Her youngest children (Mary, Bonnie, Patsy, and Sally) would be left without a mother and from what I understand, their father was never around. Edna's mother, their grandmother, Augusta Dubro would take them in. Her husband Arthur was killed in 1932 during a robbery in De Smet, so she raised them on her own in tough times.

Adlai Stevenson - I also learned early that a distant cousin had run for President of the United States. Adlai Ewing Stevenson is a shirt-tail relative of our branch of the Fell family who ran against Dwight Eisenhower twice in the 1950`s.

Jack Johnston (Robert Young) and Edna Fell

Robert Lee Roy Young, was married to Edna Bertha Fell using the name of Jack Everett Johnston on December 9, 1923 in Beadle County, South Dakota. Edna had a previous child, James who was born on December 30,1922, probably with another man who might have been named Lester Storr or possibly Lester Store. The details are sketchy at this point, but James would eventually take the Johnston name as his own.

Jack and Edna would have seven children of their own together before Edna died of cancer in 1942 in Dr. Tschetter's office in Huron, South Dakota. Story has it that Jack would not drive her to her cancer appointments in Huron nor would he allow her to drive, so she would hitch a ride to Huron and back.

It was almost three years after they were married, when the family was in Wolsey, South Dakota, near Huron, that Norman Lee "Blackie" Johnston was born on July 13, 1926. He was born on the farm as most children were born at home in those days. Jack (Robert) always worked on farm labor and was probably working on a farm at that time.

Jesse Willard Johnston came along on April 21, 1928 in Huron, South Dakota. Two years later, on April, 7, 1930, Mary Ellen Johnston was born in Huron. The family would live in Huron another couple of years or so and another daughter, Bonnie Johnston was born on December 16, 1931. It wasn't long after that the family moved to Los Angeles, California. Jack (Robert) had a sister, Anna, working for a television studio in California and she convinced the family their kids had a chance to audition for a new television series. So the packed up the kids and went to seek their fortune. Patsy Johnston would come along on October 31, 1934 in Los Angeles, but things didn`t work out after the auditions and Edna was feeling lonesome for her family back home. The family moved back to Huron and then to De Smet where Edna's mother, Augusta, was living. Mary Johnston reports that Edna had a miscarriage around November of 1936 in De Smet - a boy.

The family lived in De Smet until around the time Sally Johnston was born on November 22, 1938. It must have been shortly after her birth that family moved to Huron for two years, but returned back to De Smet to live. This was about the time that Jack (Robert) was in trouble for lack of child support. From what I understand, he went to jail or prison for not supporting the family. Edna probably wanted to go back to De Smet to be closer to her mother and family. There, she has cancer and after treatments and trips to Huron to see the doctor, she dies on November 24, 1942 at the young age of 42. The girls are taken in by Edna`s mother, Augusta Bertha Back. I`m not sure where their father ends up for the next several years.

From Jerry Smith who is Edna's Grandson, and Mary Ellen Johnston Smith Baker's son. 
Family links: 
  Robert Lee Roy Young (1898 - 1983)
  Norman Johnston (1926 - 2003)*
  Jesse W. Johnston (1928 - 1988)*
  Mary Ellen Johnston Smith Baker (1930 - 2011)*
*Calculated relationship
De Smet Cemetery
De Smet
Kingsbury County
South Dakota, USA
Created by: Duane Warren
Record added: Jun 01, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 111601656
Edna Bertha Aka Johnston <i>Fell</i> Young
Added by: Duane Warren
Edna Bertha Aka Johnston <i>Fell</i> Young
Added by: Duane Warren
Edna Bertha Aka Johnston <i>Fell</i> Young
Cemetery Photo
Added by: DonZas
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Kathy
 Added: Jul. 24, 2013

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