C:\Users\Vern\Pictures\HISTORICAL\FORT HILL CEMETERY\Fort Hill photos of individuals\Riddle, Florence Marie (Ebberts) (1904-1933).jpgFlorence Marie (Ebberts) Riddle
(Photo by Ancestry.com contributor “DanPrice9962”)


B. August 16, 1904 in Osawatomie, Miami County, KS
D. April 22, 1933 in Grayslake, Lake County, IL
Find A Grave memorial (click here)

  • Father: Robert L. Ebberts born in October 1867 in Warrensburg, Johnson County, MO; married Lavina Gardner about 1894; Robert died in 1950; Robert sued Lavina for divorce in December 1915; buried in Pleasantview Cemetery, Glenlock, Anderson County, KS

According to the Ottawa Herald (Ottawa KS) Saturday, April 14, 1917, page 1:

Dismissed Some Cases.

Several cases were dismissed. Among these was the divorce case of R. L. Ebberts vs Lavina Ebberts. The husband is said to be in New Mexico.”

  • Mother: Lavina (Gardner) Ebberts born about 1878 in Illinois
  • Husband: John Richard Riddle born July 13, 1887 in Bloomington, Monroe, IN, son of James E. Riddle and Ida B. (Clark) Riddle (1873-1949); John died November 9, 1938 in Poplar Bluff, Butler County, MO; buried in Marble Hill Cemetery, Poplar Bluff, Butler County, MO

According to the Ancestry.com website for John Richard Riddle by contributor “DanPrice9962”:

1920’s – 1930’s United States
Circus, various duties. At the time of his death, his profession was recorded as Aerialist: tightrope artist: an acrobat who performs on a tightrope or trapeze”

According to the Missouri State Board Of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death:

“Place of Death: County: Buttler, City: Poplar Bluff, Mo.; Print Full Name: John Richard Riddle; Residence: Poplar Bluff, Missouri; If married, widowed, or divorced, husband of: Florence Riddle; Date of Birth: July 13, 1887; Age: 51 Years, 3 Months, 26 Days; Trade: Aerialist; Birthplace: Indiana; Father Name: James E. Riddle; Birthplace: Indiana; Maiden Name: Ida Clark; Birthplace: Kentucky; Informant: Mrs. Janet Riddle, Poplar Bluff, Missouri; Burial, Cremation Removal: Marble Hill, Nov. 11, 1938; Principal cause of death: malnutrition from chronic gastritis and enteritis”

  • Children:
  1. Annetta Blanch (Riddle) (Stemen) (Harris) (Ayers) Williams born December 26, 1921 in Overbrook, Osage County, KA; married (1) Alferd W. Stemen on January 4, 1939 in Butler, MO; married (2) Thomas James Harris on December 22, 1944 in Oklahoma, OK; married (3) John B. Ayers and divorced in November 1957 in Fort Worth County, TX; married (4) Edward L Carpenter in August 1971, “both of Buford, Ga.”; married (5) unknown Williams; Annetta died March 17, 2002; buried in Memorial Park Cemetery, Gainesville, Hall County, GA

According to the U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007:

“Name: Annetta Blanchriddle Stemen [Annetta Bla Riddle] [Annetta Ayers] [Annetta Williams] [Annetta Harris]; Gender: Female; Race: White; Birth Date: 26 Dec 1921; Birth Place: Overbrook, Kansas; Death Date: 17 Mar 2002; Father: John R. Riddle; Mother: Florence M Eberts; SSN; 283144123; Notes: Aug 1939: Name listed as ANNETTA BLANCHRIDDLE STEDEM; Jan 1949: Name listed as ANNETTA BLA RIDDLE; Jul 1954: Name listed as ANNETTA BLA WILLIAMS; : Name listed as ANNETTA BLA HARRIS; 06 Apr 2002: Name listed as ANNETTA B WILLIAMS”

According to the Social Security Death Index Death Record:

“Name: Annetta B. William; State of Issue: Ohio; Date of Birth: Monday December 26, 1921; Date of Death: Sunday March 17, 2002; Est. Age at Death: 80 years, 2 months, 19 days; Confirmation: Verified: Last Known Residence: City: Gainesville; County: Hall; State: Georgia; ZIP Code: 30504; Latitude: 34.2704; Longitude: -83.8786”

  • Siblings:
    • Lottie (Ebberts) Collins born in 1895 in Kansas; married Richard Collins; Lottie died February 1969; buried in Greeley City Cemetery, Greeley, Anderson County, KS
    • Henry T. Ebberts born about 1897 in Warrensburg, MO; married Eva K Ragen (1900-1978); Henry died October 12, 1964 in Kansas; Henry and Eva are buried in Gardner Cemetery, Gardner, Johnson County, KS

According to the Kansas City Star (Kansas City MO) Wednesday, October 13, 1965, page 16:


Henry T. Ebberts, 68, Gardner, Kas., died yesterday at the University of Kansas nursing home. He was born in Warrensburg, Mo., and had lived in Gardner 45 years. He was employed by the Santa Fe railroad. He was a member of the First Presbyterian church, Gardner. A veteran of World War I, he was a member of Earl Collier post 153, American Legion. He leaves his wife, Mrs. Eva Ebberts of the home; two sons, Robert Ebberts, 5156 Hays street, Merriam, and Wayne Ebberts, 7935 Jarobe street; a daughter, Mrs. Naoma Kramer, Olathe; a brother, Robert E. Eberts, 7641 Antioch road, Overland Park; two sisters, Mrs. Lottie Collins, Garnet, Kas., and Mrs. Bertha Clarrey, Tonganoxie, Kas.; 11 grandchildren. Services will be at the Bruce chapel, Gardner; burial in Gardner cemetery.”

    • Bertha Lee (Ebberts) Clarrey born abt 1901 in Greeley, Anderson County, KS; married Clyde Clarrey (1889-1947); Bertha died January 5, 1975 in Kansas City, MO; Bertha and Clyde are buried in DeSoto Cemetery, DeSoto, Johnson County, KS

According to the Leavenworth Times (Leavenworth KS) Tuesday, January 7, 1975, page 5:

Bertha Clarrey

   KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The funeral for Mrs. Bertha Lee Clarrey, 74, Kansas City, Mo., was today at Shawnee. Burial was in the Silent City Cemetery, De Soto.
   Mrs. Clarrey died Sunday in a nursing home here. She was born at Greeley, Kan., and lived at Linwood and Edwardsville before moving to Kansas City, Mo.
   Survivors include four sons, James Clarrey of the home, Stephen R. Clarrey, Edwardsville, and Donald J. Clarrey and Jack Clarrey, both of Kansas City, Mo.; three daughters, Mrs. Alberta Greenwell, Tonganoxie, Mrs. Mary R. Ambrose, Las Vegas, Nev., and Mrs. Dorothy M. Beard, Edgerton; a brother, Robert I. Ebberts, Doylestown, Pa.; 19 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.”

    • Robert Ervwin Ebberts born September 22, 1905 in Warrensburg, Johnson County, MO; married L. Madeline Letha Bartlett (1905-1995) on November 11, 1925; Robert died in May 7, 1995 in Overland Park, Johnson County, MO; Robert and Madeline are buried in Johnson County Chapel and Memorial Gardens, Overland Park, Johnson County, KS

According to the U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947:

“Name: Robert Ervwin Ebberts; Address: 6018 Buena Vista Mission, Johnson County, Kansas; Telephone: Kansas City – 4iland 3714; Age in Years: 35; Date of Birth: Sept. 22 – 1905; Place of Birth: Warrensburg, Missouri, U.S.A.; Name of Person Who Will Always Know Your Address: Mrs. Madeline Letha Ebberts; Relationship of That Person: Wife; Address of That Person: 6018 Buena Vista Mission, Johnson County, Kansas; Employer’s Name: Ford Motor Co.; Place of Employment: 1025 Winchester Ave, Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri; Race: White; Height: 5-0; Weight: 190; Eyes: Gray; Hair: Black; Complexion; Light”

According to the Kansas City Star (Kansas City MO) Monday, May 8, 1995, page 13:

   Robert E. Ebberts, 89, Overland Park, Ks., died Sunday, May 7, 1995, at Menorah Medical Center. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 10, at Overland Park Christian Church. Private burial at Johnson County Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to a charity of the donor’s choice.
   Mr. Ebberts was born September 22, 1905, at Warrensburg, Mo., and lived most of his life in the Kansas City area. He worked for Ford Motor Co., for more than 50 years, retiring in 1970. He married Madeline Bartlett on November 11, 1925. They were active in community affairs for many years. She preceded him in death on May 5, 1995. He graduated from Gardner High School. Mr. Ebberts was a member of Overland Park Masonic Lodge, the Scottish Rite, and Abdallah Shrine Temple. He was also preceded in death by his only son, Ronald, and a grandson, Kirsten, in 1979, two brothers, three sisters, and several nieces and nephews. He leaves to mourn his death, a nephew, Wayne Ebberts, Kansas City; a granddaughter, Robin Greulich, and two great-granddaughters, all of Doylestown, Penn.; and a grandson, Steven Ebberts, Wake Forest, N. Carol. (Arrangements: The Amos Family Chapel of Shawnee.)”

    • Avery R. Ebberts born March 31, 1908 in Laurua, TX; married Wanda Eleanor Jenks (1914-2001); Avery died in July 25, 1964 in Los Angeles, CA; Avery and Wanda are buried in Waverly Cemetery, Waverly, Coffey County, KS

According to the Kansas City Times (Kansas City MO) Monday, July 27, 1964, page 14:

   Avery R. Ebberts, 56, Los Angeles, a former resident of Gardner, died Saturday night at the Veterans hospital in Los Angeles. Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Wanda Ebberts, and a son David Lee Ebberts, of the home; two brothers, Robert E. Ebberts, 7641 Antioch, Overland Park, and Henry Ebberts of Gardner, and two sisters, Mrs. Bertha Clarrey, Linwood, Kas., and Mrs. Lottie Collins, Garnett, Kas. Services will be held at 2 o’clock Tuesday at the Chapel of Chimes, Inglewood, Calif.; burial in the Inglewood Park Cemetery”

Additional Information:

According to the 1910 U.S. Census for Pecos City, Reeves County, TX living on Hickory St, the household members were:

“Robert L Ebberts, head, age 42, married once for 16 years, born in Missouri, father born in Illinois, mother born in Pennsylvania, Occupation: Laborer – Railroad; Lavina Ebberts, wife, age 32, married once for 16 years, 5 children born, 5 children living, born in Illinois, parents born in Missouri; Henry Ebberts, son, age 13, single, born in Missouri; Bertha Ebberts, daughter, age 9, single, born in Kansas; Flossie Ebberts, daughter, age 6, single, born in Kansas; Irvin Ebberts, son, age 4, single, born in Missouri; Avery Ebberts, son, age 2, single, born in Texas”

According to the 1915 Kansas, U.S., State Census Collection, 1855-1925 for Franklin, Franklin County, KS, the household members were:

“R. L. Ebberts; age 48; Henry Ebberts, age 18; Birtha Ebberts, age 14; Flosie Ebberts, age 11; Ervin Ebberts, age 9; Avery Ebberts, age 7”

According to the 1920 U.S. Census for Quenemo, Agency Township, Osage County, KS living on Second St., the household members were:

“Robert Ebberts, head, age 52, widowed, born in Missouri, father born in Pennsylvania, mother born in “un U.S.”, Occupation; Laborer – steam railroad; Henry Ebberts, son, age 22, single, born in Missouri, Occupation: Occupatioin: Laborer – steam railroad; Bertha Ebberts, daughter, age 19, single, born in Kansas, Occupation: Servant – private family; Florence Ebberts, daughter, age 16, single, born in Kansas; Irvin Ebberts, son, age 14, single, born in Missouri; Avery Ebberts, son, age 11, single, born in Texas; Oren Gardner, brother-in-law, age 32, married, born in Missouri, parents born in Missouri, Occupation: Fireman – steam railroad”

According to the Illinois, U.S., Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947:

“Name: Florence Marie Riddle [Florence Marie Efferts (sic)]; Birth Date: 16 Aug 1904; Birth Place: Osawatomie, Kansas; Death Date: 22 Apr 1933; Death Place: Grayslake, Lake, Illinois; Burial Date: 24 Apr 1933; Burial Place: Grant Twp., Lake, Illinois; Cemetery Name: Fort Hill; Death Age: 28; Occupation: Circus Performer; Race: White: Marital status: M; Gender: Female; Residence: Poplar Bluff, Missouri; Father Name: Robert L. Efferts (sic; Father Birth Place: Warrensburg, Missouri; Mother Name: Levina (sic) Gardner; Mother Birth Place: Missouri; Spouse Name: John R. Riddle; FHL Film Number: 1684958”

According to the Lake County Illinois Genealogical Society. “Strang Funeral Home – Grayslake, Illinois – 1908-1964”. Mundelein IL. 2015:

“Surname: RIDDLE; Name: Florence Marie; Birth Date/Place: 16 Aug 1904; Death Date/Place: 22 Apr 1933, Grayslake; Cause of Death: Pneumonia; Married; Occupation: Circus Performer; Minister – Funeral Home: Rev. H. McKEON, M.E. Church; Burial Place – Next of Kin: For Hill, James R. RIDDLE-Husband, Robert L. EFFERTS (sic) (MO)-Father, Levina (sic) GARDNER (MO)-Mother”

According to a copy of a written letter on Seils-Sterling Wild Animal Circus letterhead posted on Ancestry.com for Florence Marie Ebberts by contributor “DanPrice9962”:

“Middletown Ohio
May 8th 1933

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ebberts
Olatha Kansas
RR 8
Clare Kansas

Dear Henry and Eva

   Your letter received glad to hear from you. Sorry none of you came you must have known & would not of wired you if Florence had not of been very bad off. I had 3 doctors and 8 nurses, but it did no good. I did everything that I could do. And so did every one else. The ladies on the show worked day and night, but to no good. I set up 5 days and nights with her, but it did no good. No one feels it as much as I do. But may be it was for the best. But i can’t see it that way. I trust this letter finds you folks all well and happy. I am out. Will close for now. 
   Will be in Perrysburg Ohio on May 28 mail will reach us there.

Jack Riddle Asst Mgr.
Seile Sterling Circus
Perrysburg Ohio

As ever yours

(NOTE: For several months after the death of Florence in 1933 there are a number of newspaper clippings of the Seils-Sterling circus announcing their appearance in local towns. Even after the death of Florence, her name appears in the announcements, for example:)

“Some of the highlights of the show include the “Princess of Siam” a mammoth costumed spectacle; Orval (Sunshine) Lindeman and his sensational leaps over elephants, camel and horses; dainty Miss Heller, acclaimed the world’s outstanding lady gymnast, and Miss Florence Riddle, who introduces a golden whirl under the dome of the big tent.”