I wasn't making much progress at the library the other night, so I renewed two films for another month. I was still in the mood to find information, just not on those reels. As I walked past a film cabinet while looking for something else, I saw drawers filled with registers of voters in St. Louis City.
After a quick chat with a librarian and a few minutes consulting a ward map, I got lucky and found 3rd great-grandfather August RICK listed in the records from 1908. At the age of 78, August was still working as a team driver (likely hauling coal). More surprising is that he was registered to vote on the same day his wife died at 6:20 a.m.
Aside from that odd/disturbing fact, I was happy to find that August's date of naturalization was listed. I had previously found that his paperwork had been filed in St. Clair County, Illinois, in 1860. But since those papers had been discarded, the exact date was seemingly lost to a landfill somewhere in the Midwest. But in order to verify August was eligible to vote, someone obviously checked with the Illinois court and wrote that information on the voter registration register.
I hadn't thought about using voter records for that kind of information, but I will in the future. There are still a few holes to fill in my citizenship research.