Frances Hoke was born 13 November 1859 in Sacramento County, California, as the first child of George Washington Hoke and Elizabeth Julia Martin who were both from St.  Louis, Missouri. By September of 1860, they had moved back to St. Ferdinand Township in St Louis County and were living with her uncle, Thomas Martin, on a farm. On 16 July 1862, Fannie’s sister, Laura, was born in Bridgeton, and then a brother, George Thomas Hoke, born in St. Louis, joined their family on 15 April 1865.

Fannie was nine years old when her mother died of tuberculosis or consumption on Wednesday, 10 February 1869. A newspaper article says the funeral was from their “late residence at the Eight-mile House, St. Charles rock road on Friday, February 12th, at 10 o’clock.”

Now a widower with three small children, George married Louise James of St Louis, and they went on to have additional children. Elizabeth was born in 1869 and William in 1870 while the family was living in Bedford Township, Lincoln County. Three years after William’s birth, George contracted cerebrospinal meningitis and passed away at Sister’s Hospital in St. Louis on 1 June 1873 when Fannie was thirteen years old.

On 21 March 1877, the Troy Herald reported the news from Cap-au-Gris that “Miss Fannie Hoke of Bridgeton, St. Louis County, is visiting relatives and friends here.” The next year in 1878, Fannie, now nineteen, and John Henry Kline of St Louis married on 22 December 1878 in St. Louis County, and in 1880, they were living in St Charles, Missouri. Children born to them from 1879 to 1884 were George Leonard, Laura Irene, Eugene V., and Clementine. In 1885, they lived for a time in Bridgeport, Warren County, Missouri. Their unhappy marriage led to divorce and a custody dispute over the youngest daughter, Clementine, which was reported on and off in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from 1887 to 1893.

Sometime before 1916, Fannie met and married John Peter Johnson who was about twenty years younger than she was. The St. Louis 1916 city directory lists Johnson, Frances I. D. living at 3682 Olive Street working as a “medium.”

Fannie lived two houses away from daughters, Laura (Kline) Schneider and Clementine, on Delmar Street in St. Louis in 1920 while working from home as a “medium spiritualist.” Her address on the April 1930, census was 1414 Evergreen Ave, Wellston, where she lived with her husband, John, whose occupation was a bank guard. By 13 October 1930, her residence had changed to 4202 Humphrey Street, St Louis, as listed on her death certificate. She died at St. John’s Hospital, St. Louis. The informant on her death certificate was her husband, John Johnson, living at the same address. Frances was a member of the Harmony Council No. 618, Knights & Ladies of Security. She is buried at the Saint Paul Churchyard in Affton, St Louis County.

(Sources: Missouri Republican; St Louis, Mo., 12 Feb 1869, pg. 2, and the St Louis Post-Dispatch, 14 October 1930, p. 6C, Burial permit, 16 October 1930, p. 5D.)

Written by Lena Seng
August 2022

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Last Modified: 12-Nov-2022 16:30