After 57 years of searching
!!! We have found her !!!
Jan. 14, 2013
|Cleo Lavonne Brinker
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James Cecil Hall 1921-2000
Paul Elwood Rowing 1919 -1988
No Children of this Marriage
Harold Leon Martin 1920-1962
Cleo LaVonne Brinker was born August 29, 1925 in Indianapolis, Marion Co. Indiana. She was the ninth child of
John Kennedy Brinker and Henrietta Stevens. Source: many legal documents in this authors possession
and shown below.
April 18, 1930; The 1930 census shows Cleo, four years old, living with her parents at 1005 Yarman Ave.
Indianapolis, Ind. Source: 1930 census Indiana, Marion Co. Wayne Twsp. 14th ward, Indianapolis.
sheet 26A pg 99, enumerated April 18, 1930
November 1838 Cleo was 13 years old living at 316 Lockburn St. Indianapolis, Ind. when her father John Kennedy
Brinker died. Source: John Kennedy Briker's Obituary.
1939 Cleo graduated from Flimming Gardens Elementry School.
April 12, 1940 The 1940 U.S. cences show Cleo age 14 living with her mother at 897 Collier St. Wayne Twsp. Marion
Co. Indiana Source: 1940 U.S. cencus enumerated April 12, 1940
1940 Cleo attended Ben Davis High School,
the 1940 year book shows a picture of her as a freshman. Source: Ben Davis High School Library, Year Book 1940.
On February 7, 1942 Cleo LaVonne Brinker married James Cecil Hall in Indianapolis, Ind. Source: Marion Co. Circuit Court Marriage Records book 159 pg 444 ref # 70365
Cleo was 16 years old and James was 20 years old. Cleo's mother Henrietta
"Etta" Stevens (Brinker) signed for her, because she was a minor at the time. Source: Cleo's
Application for marriage license filed in Marion Co. Circuit Court Records
The wedding was held at the Assembly of God Church at 1456 Belmont St. in Indianapolis, Ind. The marriage
was performed by Rev. Lyda Paino
On January 8, 1943 Cleo and James' first child Judy Ross Hall was born at St Vencent Hospital in Indianapolis,
Marion Co. Indiana. Source: Judy Ross Hall's word of mouth
On January 30, 1945 Mary Lee Hall filled a divorce suite for James Cecil Hall. Records show a note stating that
James did not appear in person. The Marion Co. Circuit Court Records Cause #B-36526 reads; James Hall by Mary Lee Hall
vs Cleo Hall, Mary Lee Hall being James mother. Source: Marion Co. Circuit Court Records Cause
April 9, 1945 The divorce came to court and James himself appeared in person. Marion Co. Circuit Court
records read: James Hall with council vs Cleo Hall. James dismissed the charges filed by his mother on Jan. 30,
1945 Source: Court Records Cause # B-36526
Family story is that Mary Lee Hall had filled charges on Cleo acquiescing her of trying
to poison James.
On July 10, 1945 Again Mary Lee Hall filled for divorce for James C. Hall, James did not appear in person. Marion
Co. Circuit Court Records read: James Hall by Mary Lee Hall vs Cleo Hall. Source: Circuit
Court Record Cause # B- 47707
Some time between her separation in July and her divorce in November. Cleo met Paul Rowing. Paul managed a Shell
felling station at the corner of Morris St. and Holt Rd. on the west side of Indianapolis.
November 5, 1945 James and Cleo's divorce was finalized in the Marion Co. Circuit Court in Indianapolis, Indiana.
November 15, 1945 Cleo was living at 893 Collar St. Indianapolis, Ind. This was her mother Henrietta Brinker's
home. Source: This is the address Cleo used on her application for marriage to Paul Rowing.
On November 17, 1945 Cleo LaVonne Brinker (Hall) married Paul Elwood Rowing in Indianapolis, Ind. Source: Marion Co. Circuit Court Marriage Records book 171 pg 105 ref # 96544
November 18, 1945 Paul and Cleo was living at 4036 W. Morris St. Indianapolis, Ind. This was Paul's house. Source: Paul's application for marriage. Marion Co. Circuit Court Records
January 1946 Paul, Cleo and her daughter Judy Ross Hall moved to Paul's mother's house at 92220 Banning Rd. Riverside,
California. Source: Judy Ross Hall's word of mouth.
In March of 1946 Cleo and Judy returned to Indianapolis, Indiana. Paul Rowing remained at his mother's in
According to this author's personal research Paul Rowing was still found living in Monterey, California in 1970.
According to Cleo's brother, George "Ike" Brinker, Cleo and James Cecil Hall began secretly seeing each other
again the night she arrived back in Indianapolis.
On June 3, 1946 Cleo LaVonne Rowing filed for divorce from Paul Elwood Rowing in the Marion Co. Circuit Court
in Indianapolis, Indiana.
On January 21, 1947 Everett Leon Hall was born. The original birth certificate read; Everett Leon Rowing also
known as Everett Leon Hall
On December 9, 1947 the divorce of Cleo Rowing vs Paul Rowing came before the Marion Co. Circuit Court.
The court records show that this case was dismissed for want of prosacution. (Because Cleo did not appear)
On May 5, 1948 Linda Kay Hall was born. Like Everett, the original birth certificate read Linda Kay Rowing also
known as Linda Kay Hall.
This author has not yet found the actual divorce records of Cleo and Paul Rowing, nor the second marriage records
of Cleo and James C. Hall, but some time between the birth of Linda on May 5, 1948 and the birth of Cecilia on July 14,
1951, James and Cleo were remarried.
This fact is known because on July 14, 1951 Cecilia Lee Hall was born and unlike Everett and Linda her birth
certificate only read Cecilia Lee Hall and there was never a paternity suite filed for her or James Jr. who came later.
On October 23, 1952 James Cecil Hall Jr. was born. It is unknown to this author how long before but, at the time
of James Jr's birth the family was living at 1458 Belmont St. in Indianapolis, Indiana. This was a duplex owned by Mary Lee
Hall, James mother. It was located next door to the Assembly of God Church were James and Cleo were originally married. Many
years later the house was torn down and the church was enlarged.
Some time between James Jr's birth on October 23, 1952 and his death on February 6, 1953 the family was split.
James took Judy, Cecilia and James Jr. and Cleo took Everett and Linda.
This author remembers staying at several of the Brinker families houses during this period of time, because Cleo
was without transportation and looking for work.
Some time between November 1, and December 25, 1952 Cleo left Everett and Linda with a baby sitter;
Everett and Elise Warren at 8653 W. Washington St. in Bridgeport, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis. She found work in Stillsville,
Ind. about twenty mile west of Bridgeport and not having transportation she did not return for five days. The sheriff
was called and the children were turned over to the Indiana State Welfare. Source of time line: This author remembers spinding
Christmas at Elise and Everett's that year
On January 2, 1953 Everett started to school at Bridgeport Elementary school.
On February 6, 1953 James Cecil Hall Jr. died in a childrens home on the south side of Indianapolis. His funeral
was held at the Farley Funeral Home at 1604 W. Morris St. in Indianapolis. According to all the family Cleo did attend the
On June 29, 1953 Cleo met with her lawyer about a pending paternity suite, the current address that she
gave him was Cleo Hall C/O Stilesville Tavern, Inc, Stilesville, Indiana. In researching
this author went there many times, The Stilesville Tavern was a family type restaurant with a neighborhood bar on one side
and two apartments upstairs which is were Cleo had lived while working as a waitress there.
On June 30, 1953 Cleo filled a paternity suite against James C. Hall in the Indiana
Juvenile Court of Marion County. concerning the paternity of Everett and Linda Hall.
On July 2, 1953 in the Marion Co Circuit Court James Cecil Hall vs Cleo Hall. James received an annulment
of the second marriage of James C. Hall and Cleo L. Brinker Hall.
Some time between August and September of 1953 the Indiana State Welfare allowed Cleo to take Everett and Linda
to Stilesville for the weekend. This author remembers her picking us up in an old model Cadillac Hurst that she had barrowed
from a friend.
On November 5, 1953 in the Indiana State Juvenile Court of Marion Co. in the paternity case of Everett and
Linda Hall both Cleo and James lawyers requested a new judge and change of venue.
On January 11, 1954 Judge Robert I. Marsh was appointed to hear the paternity case.
On March 24, 1954 Cleo's lawyer sent a letter to judge Marsh requesting a later court date, because he was unable
to contact Cleo.
Some time between the court hearing on January 11, 1954 and the her lawyer's letter to the judge, requesting
a later court date, on March 24, 1954 Cleo LaVonne Brinker Hall vanished never to be heard from again. No family contact,
no friends contact and no record of any kind have been found sence.
In my search this author has received unconfirmed stories that Cleo married a man by the name of Knight in Stilesville,
Hendricks Co. Ind. in 1953 and had a daughter named Doris Gene Knight about April 1954.
One story says Doris Gene Knight was adopted by a dentist in Broad Ripple, Indiana
Cleo's sister-in-law Dorothy Brinker visited her once in Stilesville and she said there was a baby in the apartment
at that time but, did not know if it was Cleo's.
Another story says that there was no marriage that the Knight story was only Cleo's attempt to stop the Hall
Family from harassing her.
On January 7, 1955 Cleo's lawyer, Kirkwood Yockey, sent a letter to Cleo informing her of final chance for action.
The letter was sent to Cleo Hall, C/O Stilesville Tavern, Inc, Stilesville, Indiana. The registered
letter was returned with a note that Cleo no longer lives at this address and left no forwarding address.
On January 13, 1955 Cleo's lawyer wrote a letter to her sister Naomi Brinker Eastridge attemting to locate Cleo.
Naomi Eastridge's reply to Cleo's Lawyer
On January 21, 1955 in the Indiana State Juvenile Court of Marion Co. the case of the paternity of Everett Leon
Hall and Linda Kay Hall was dismissed.
On February 1, 1956 Cleo's mother Henrietta "Etta" Stevens Brinker died. Cleo did not attend the funeral, She
was listed in her mother's obituary as Cleo Knight.
Starting a new life
After fifty seven years of searching, on Jan. 24, 2013 we found our mother Cleo LaVonne Brinker and
two other children.
She had changed her name from Cleo LaVonne to YaVonne C. and her past was unknown even to her later
On ___. __, ____ Cleo LaVonne Brinker married Harold Leon Martin. Born Jan. 23, 1920, he was the youngest child
of Albert Ross Martin and Julia Catherine Ogden from Litchfield, Montgomery Co,
On Sept. __, 1957 Cleo and Harold's first child, Harold Leon Martin was born in _____, _____ Co, Illinois
On Dec. 31, 1958 Cleo and Harold's second child, Dawn Marie Martin was born in Springfield, Sangamon Co,
On the birth certificate Cleo gave her maiden name as YaVonne Brinker.
At the time of Dawn's birth Cleo and Harold were living at 28011/2 S. 6th St. Springfield, Ill.
Harold was working for Andrews' Oil Co. as a furnace repairman. Source: Dawn Matin's