I have an Unsolved Mystery maybe someone can help with. I was brought up thinking my grandfather was a character, now I believe he was a real scoundral.
Leslie Ray Wehrle was born 1/12/1886 in Lexington, Fayette Co, KY, son of Mary Catherine (Mollie) Jones and John Wehrle. In the 1900 Census he shows up as a student with his mother. That is the last known proof he existed.
My grandmother Bessie Edith (Elizabeth) Robinson married Leslie Ray Wehrle June 30, 1911 in Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa. He was a station agent for the railroad who had been stationed in Centerville, Iowa and that is supposedly where they met. The bride and groom proceed immediately to Sappington Montana. Within the next five years they had four children born in Montana.
After visiting Lexington, finding Wehrle ancestors and where they were buried - got home and decided it would be nice to get a copy of their marriage certificate. The MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE read: Bessie Edith Robinson married Orivlle R. May June 30, 1911 in Polk Co. Iowa. Orville lists his home as Sappington Montana. Both the license and certificate say Orville R. May. My mother passed this off as being a mistake however she did state that her brother said "our father is a bigamist". All of the children born in Montana have delayed birth certificates - meaning my grandmother provided all of the information at a very much later date. On the birth certificates Leslie is listed as the father. However - one researcher I had in Montana found one registeration that slipped through the cracks. A physician's register of birth stated "baby boy born 2/18/1915 to Bessie Robinson and O.R. May This was my uncle John Wehrle..
To date we have absolutely no proof that Leslie Wehrle existed except a 1900 census listing as a child and six children with his last name.
If grandma made up this family she did really good because I have the Wehrle Family Bible passed down through the Wehrle Family from 1802. There is a note in it written by his mother Mollie "Bessie and Leslie and four children left for Virginia today." (that would have been in 1918 - their fifth child was born in Virginia 8/10/1918.
Railroad Retirement has no Leslie R. Wehrle of any spelling. I have records on an Orville R May who was a telegrapher born the same year in Iowa and stationed in Iowa around 1910. The records do not show he was in Montana however. He also had a mother and father and sister all named May and well documented.
Sorry this is so long. If any one can shed any light on what happened here I would appreciate any input. Leslie is a researcher's nightmare.
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