Norman Leonard KNIBBS, son of Charles A KNIBBS and Annie GALLAGHER , was born abt. 1881 in Danville, New York, USA. He married Olive Vern LEARNED 15 March 1903 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He died 02 September 1909 in Los Angeles, California, USA. Olive Vern LEARNED was born 03 March 1884 in Trenton, Grundy County, Missouri, USA. She died 10 January 1971 in Costa Mesa, Orange County, California, USA.

Marriage/Union Events for Norman Leonard KNIBBS\Olive Vern LEARNED:

Marriage Notes for Norman Leonard KNIBBS\Olive Vern LEARNED:

See Norman and Mary's Marriage Certificate


From the Los Angeles Herald, 7 June 1905:
Petitions for divorce were filed yesterday in the county clerk's office for Olive V. Knlbbs against Norman Knibbs.

Other Marriages/Unions for Norman Leonard KNIBBS:
See Norman Leonard KNIBBS & Mary L BOOTH

Other Marriages/Unions for Olive Vern LEARNED:
See Roy L CORDREY & Olive Vern LEARNED

Notes for Norman Leonard KNIBBS:

I'm not sure what happened to Norman after the death of both his parents when he was just 4 years old. From what I can make our, his younger brother Charles was adopted by their mum's sister, Catherine (Gallagher) Barthau and was raised as one of her own.
I believe his other brother George was taken into the care of the Children's Aid Society, known as 'the News-Boys' and Boot-Blacks' Home'. Sadly, I've been unable to trace him other than to see one appearance in 1900 as an inmate at the home.

The earliest we see any reference to Normal after his parents died was in 1897, when it seems that his dad's sister, Isabel (Knibbs) Bogalsky made an attempt to take Norman into her care, but I've not seen any record to confirm it actually happened. I suspect it did because Norman moved from New York to Los Angeles at some time after his parents died, and we know that was where Isabel lived. What happened to him before 1897 is a mystery.

From the Los Angeles Herald, August 13, 1895:
The Leader of the Gang
Detective Hawley arrested Norman Knibbs, aged 15 years, yesterday on a charge of petty larceny. Some time ago the attention of the authorities was called to the operation of a gang of thieves. A careful watch was made for the crowd and finally Mr. Hawley nabbed young Knibbs on Spring street. When first charged with being a member of the gang Knibbs denied all knowledge of them, but on being questioned confessed to being the leader and went and dug up a quantity of tools that they had buried. The booty consisted of plumbers' tools, dies and other articles. He was arraigned before Justice Owens and his case set for pleading today at 2 p. m.


From the Los Angeles Herald, 24 July 1897:
The estate of Leonard Norman Knibbs. The petition of Belle J. Bogalsky that she be appointed guardian. The estate consists of $342 now ready to be paid over to a properly appointed person.

Note: Bell Bogalsky was his aunt - his dad's sister Isabel Knibbs.

From the Los Angeles Herald, June 22, 1898:
Warrant for His Knibbs
A complaint was Issued yesterday against Norman Knibbs. a boy. charging him with disturbing the peace. Mr. and Mrs. M. S. Kornblum, the proprietors of the City Dyeing and Cleaning works, at 347 South Broad way, formerly employed Knibbs, but discharged him recently. The youngster, according to their statements, has been trying to annoy them ever since. On Monday he threw some rocks on the house, and Mr. Kornblum ordered him to desist. The boy refused, and was Impudent to his former
employer. Kornblum looked to see If there was an officer near, but none was in sight.
Mrs. Kornblum went to the door and spoke to Knibbs. who In the course of his reply
called her a liar. The boy Is also alleged to have struck Mrs. Kornblum twice before he
ran away.


From the Los Angeles Herald, 5 January 1899:
Took Pins and Rings
Clinton Cloud and N. L. Knibbs, two decently dressed youths, were arraigned in the police court yesterday on a charge preferred against them by Detective Auble of petit larceny. They are accused of having stolen a diamond breastpin, two finger rings and other personal property of Ida Dunlap of 916 West Ninth street, valued at $45, on December 21st. The youths at first were inclined to admit their guilt, alleging in extenuation that they had returned the stolen property, which they had taken under a misapprehension. As they desired the services of an attorney. Judge Austin continued their case until this forenoon, when their plea will be entered.


From the Los Angeles Herald, 20 January, 1899:
Boys Foolishly Entered a House and Flayed at Burglary
Miss Ida Dunlap, who lives at 916 West Ninth street, was the comely witness who appeared before Police Judge Austin yesterday morning and testified against .Norman Knibbsi and Clinton Cloud, charged with commiting larceny. Defendants, who are mere boys, were arrested by Detective Auble on the 3rd, of January. Knibbs failed to put in an appearance at court yesterday morning, and left Cloud to breast the full storm of their offense alone.
Miss Dunlap, so he testified, decided on a trip for the holidays, discharged her servant girl, Pearl McLain, locked up her house, and departed. Miss McLain was allowed, however, to leave certain of her effects at the Dunlap residence.
Knibbs loved Pearl, and very often, went to see her when evening comes and all was fair. Cloud, too, quite frequently accompanied him. After Miss Dunlap's departure Miss McLain took rooms at the Carlton, on Broadway, and the young men continued their attentions. Out walking one night, the boys noticed that the McLain girl was without a wrap, and asked her why this thusmess. She replied that her cape was locked up in Miss Dunlap's house. The foolish youths announced their determination to get it for her, and on the following night entered the house through a rear window. Instead of one cape, as they expected, they found three, and were thereupon in a quandary as to which was Pearl's. They decided to take none, however, but failed to leave the house at once without further exploration.
Knibbs suggested that they play at burglary, and they proceeded fo ransack the house and carry away three or four finger rings, a diamond breastpin and a pair of pearl-handled opera glasses. These articles they fully intended to return, Cloud averred, and two evenings afterward, when the boys came back to return the jewelry, they found Miss Dunlap at home, searching for her missing valuables, worth about $75.
This frightened the boys immediately, for they anticipated trouble, but diidn't know what to do, they left, keeping the jewelry until they were arrested - which Cloud claims they were very eager to give up. Cloud's story on the stand was evidently the truth, and the whole matter was meant as a joke. But Miss Dunlap could not see it that way, and caused their arrest. While Cloud's intent was probably not criminal, yet he undoubtedly committed the offense of larceny, and Police Judge Austin ordered him to appear for sentence at 9:30 a. in., on January 21.


Norman volunteered for service in the military in Company F, 34th Infantry, during the Philippine-American war in 1899-1902. The conflict arose when the First Philippine Republic objected to the terms of the Treaty of Paris under which the United States took possession of the Philippines from Spain, ending the Spanish–American War. The war was a continuation of the Philippine struggle for independence that began in 1896 with the Philippine Revolution.
Fighting erupted between United States and the Philippine Republic forces on February 4, 1899 and quickly escalated into the 1899 Second Battle of Manila. On June 2, 1899, the First Philippine Republic officially declared war against the United States. The war officially ended on July 2, 1902 with a victory for the United States.

In 1902, Norman filed a disability claim with the army for problems resulting from his time in the Philippines where he fought chronic dysentery, malaria and a host of other maladies. He was examined by a doctor in Los Angeles in1902, and found to have heart problems, malaria, stomach and bowel trouble, blood poisoning and total disability to his left thumb and hand. Embroiled in a messy divorce and remarriage at the time, he abandoned his claim and deserted military service after reenlistment. He died of pulmonary tuberculosis in 1909 at the age of twenty-seven.

Reference is made to Norman in the book "The Devil's Causeway" by Matthew Westfall. It's the True Story of America's First Prisoners of War in the Philippines, and the Heroic Expedition Sent to Their Rescue.
As the United States prosecuted a bloody campaign to pacify its newly won Philippines territory at the turn of the nineteenth century, a secret mission of mercy went terribly wrong. The result was a prisoner-of-war crisis, the likes of which our nation had never encountered before. The epic struggle for survival that followed was not only a test of the human will to live, but a crucible for heroes. And yet, what was touted as a heroic rescue operation extended a war by almost two years and cost the lives of thousands. In April 1899, Admiral George Dewey dispatched the USS Yorktown to liberate a detachment of Spanish soldiers under siege by Filipino rebels. To reconnoiter enemy defenses, one of the Yorktown's armed cutters-manned by a crew of fifteen sailors-was sent toward shore. And then it happened. Defying orders, Lieutenant James C. Gillmore Jr. recklessly pushed upriver into heavy jungle-and headlong into an ambush that would kill four of his men. The survivors were dragged across mountains and through dense jungle from one pestilent prison to the next along what Gillmore called "a veritable Devil's Causeway." Their captivity and the torturous expedition sent to recover them, recalled today as one of the greatest marches in US Army history, features a tightly hewn cast of characters-including a frail yet determined teenaged sailor and his hardened seafaring mates; battle-tested veterans of the Civil War and the Indian Wars; and a fiery revolutionary commander who gave orders to bury wounded Americans alive. A sweeping military epic drawing on international primary sources, The Devil's Causeway tells their extraordinary story in its entirety for the first time.


The Patriotic Home Helpers' Association was an organisation within the City and County of San Francisco, for the purpose of aiding the families and dependnts of the brave Volunteers who answered duty's call, in defence of flag and upholding the honour of the country in far away Manilla. Norman was listed amongst it's members.

From the Los Angeles Herald., May 03, 1905:
N. L. Knibbs Bolts Through Kitchen Door but Is Overtaken by Officers
N. L. Knibbs, 563 Towne avenue, attempted to escape the police by a clever ruse yesterday morning after being arrested by Detectives Boyd and Ingram. The detectives found Knibbs it: his home and when told that he was under arrest he submitted quietly and asked permission to eat his dinner be fore being taken to the police station.
This request was granted. On the ex cuse of getting some coffee Knibbs went Into the kitchen and bolted through the back door while the officers remained in the front of the house.
When it was learned that the 'prisoner had made his escape Boyd gave chase through the rear door and Ingram rushed out through the front door. In gram succeeded in heading oft,the fleeing man as he came around the corner of the house. His escape foiled,
Knibbs became desperate and a fierce struggle followed. It was five, minutes before the officers were able to hand cuff him and get him to the patrol wagon.
It is alleged that Knibbs left his wife, Mrs. Olive Knibbs, 640 Ruth avenue, several months ago and has since been living with another woman at 633 Towne avenue.


From the Los Angeles Herald, 11 May 1905:
Guilty as Charged.
The case of Mrs. Norman Knibbs against her husband, In which she makes charges against him and Viola Clark, was tried before Judge Austin yesterday afternoon. The case was .brought up for trial at 3 o'clock and lasted until half past 8 last night. At the close of the testimony Judge Austin pronounced Knibbs guilty and ordered him to appear for sentence at 9 o'clock tomorrow morning.


Norman re-enlisted in the army at Fort McDowell, California on 6 October, 1906, but deserted on 28 January, 1907.

Sources for Norman Leonard KNIBBS:

  1. Military Record,
  2. - California Death Index, 1905-1939,

Notes for Olive Vern LEARNED:

Also known as: Olive v Leonard

Olive aged about 21 years in 1905 (click to enlarge) as she appeared in the Los Angeles Herald, in association with the following newspaper article.

From the Los Angeles Herald., June 24, 1905:
Mm. Olive Knlbbs Tells Court of Meeting Other Woman Who Was Wearing Her Hat, Dress, Coat and Shoes.
It Is difficult to imagine what the average woman would do should she meet "the other woman," the woman who had robbed her of a husband's affections, and the situation would not be very much improved should "the other woman" be wearing the hat, dress and other finery purchased for wife by the husband before "the other woman" had charmed him away from home.
But when these particular events crept into the life's experience of Mrs. Olive Knlbbs she straightway had her husband arrested and filed suit for divorce. She told the story of this experience on the witness stand yesterday In the following words: "I was taking a little walk on Broadway one evening when, happening to glance at the woman ahead of me, I noticed that her hat resembled a hat formerly owned by me. . I Immediately
made a close Inspection and saw that the woman was the one who had taken my husband from me, and that she was dressed in clothing which had formerly belonged to me and which my husband had taken away when he left my home.
Her Own Clothing
"As soon as I saw that the hat belonged to me I noticed the woman's clothing. Yes, there was my dress, fitting snugly to this other woman's figure, and there was my coat giving her a natty appearance. The woman was Just my size. As she started to cross the street she lifted her dress and in a flash I recognized the shoes which she wore as part of my lost property."
Mrs. Knlbbs alleged non-support and desertion and Attorney J. Marlon Brooks appeared for her. She was the only witness on her own behalf with the exception of Police Officer Ingraham, who testified regarding a recent criminal prosecution of the husband, Norman G. Knlbbs.
"I was married in Los Angeles about two years ago," testified Mrs. Knlbbs, "and with my husband went to light housekeeping. For awhile all went well, but I soon began to suspect that he was paying attention to another woman. I accused him of It and he
admitted to me that he was In love with a young woman who was living at the Preston house. He told me her name was Bessie Clarke, but that she went under the names of Lola Clarke and Minnie Bee.
"I told him that all was over be tween us and that I would take, my furniture and clothes and go to my home on Boyle Heights. He said that if I took the furniture I could not have the clothes, so I left him all the things and went home.
"I then met this woman on the street and when I recognized my clothes I followed her. The woman joined my husband and that settled it I did not Intend having another woman wearing my things. I went to the police station and with an officer I went to my husband and demanded my clothing. He said that the things belonged to him and then the officer arrested him on the criminal charge and he was sentenced to 150 days In Jail."
There was no defense offered to the charges, as the husband Is serving his 150 day sentence, and she secured a decree of divorce.


From the Independent Press Telegram, December 10, 1961:
BAXTER (Bellflower) Mrs. Lolah J., 62, of 9435 Palm St., died Saturday. Surviving are husband, Albert; son, Albert Jr.; sisters, Mrs. Alice Pfunder, Mrs. Olive Cordrey; brother, Henry H. Learned. Service Monday, 2 p.m., White's Funeral Home.


Our gratitude goes to the members and volunteers at Find A Grave web site for recording the details, in memory of Olive.

Sources for Olive Vern LEARNED:

  1. Marriage Record, gave State and approx year of birth 
  2. - Bright/Wilkins/Creamer/ Everhart/Clark/Wade/Butler/ Norcross/Summers/Davenport Tree,