Nicholas was a stone mason, not a music professor. He is listed as a stone cutter in the 1870 census, living in St. Louis. His wife Sophia Jane Clements was originally from Woodville, Mississippi. They married in St. Louis, 12 Aug 1868 and sometime relatively soon after 1870, moved to DeSoto. Children were Frank Anthony, Robert A (died infancy), Sophia Anna, and Nicholas Clements. Nicholas had an accident or stroke around 1873, died 17 Dec 1880 and is buried just outside Boyne Cemetery, De Soto, Missouri. After Nicholas' death his parents moved to Michigan where there was a daughter, and eventually Sophia Jane and the children moved to Denver where the boys worked for the telephone company.
Excerpt, letter from Irene Geneva Cannon (Dahlberg) to Edwin Cannon, 28 July 1961:
"In 1924 when Henry, Henry Jr., and I were in Italy and other countries of Europe, Henry was on business for Great Western, so was busy. Henry Jr. and I took a train to Carrara - which is not far from Pisa, where the leaning tower is located. It is beautiful mountain country and of course Carrara marble is known the world over. Colorado's state Capitol building has quite a lot of Carrara marble in it. Because of leaving the main line, we had to take a small train from Pisa to Carrara. The people at the hotel spoke only a very little English, but we managed to get a room. I remember feeling very much a "foreignor" there and was not content at night to lock the door, but moved some heavy chairs against it so as to feel more secure. I was glad I had my little son with me, as a woman with a child is protected to some extent. The next morning I found my way to a Catholic Church where I inquired of the priest about the family. There was no family by that name on record - 'Cannoncini'. That 'cini' is pronounced either of two ways - the 'ci' like the last part of the work 'which' and the 'i' like an 'e' in the word 'me'; the 'ni' is pronounced like the word 'knee'; so we have 'chee-knee' or 'she-knee'. The Florentines use the soft 'she' fo 'ci', which is the better spoken Italian.
Now as to what Grandma Smith [ Sophia Jane Clements Cannon ] told me about her husband and her life in De Soto, Missouri: Grandpa Cannon was ten or eleven years older than she was. Dad [ Frank Anthony Cannon ], Grandma, Henry and I visited the place they lived in 1929 or 1930, and saw the low stone wall Grandpa Cannon built around their place. He was a stone mason and worked in a nearby quarry. His parents lived with them. While building this fence after coming home from work, and by the light of a lantern, he had a stroke or something that left him paralyzed for seven years [ age 34, he died age 41 ] before he died, - which was in 1882 or 1883. [ He died 1880, not long after the census ] To think he must have been buried in De Soto seems most reasonable. It is sixty miles south of St. Louis, and while they were married in St. Louis, I never hear anything said about where he was laid to rest.
Ada's mother, grandma's sister, wrote urging her to come to Denver.
So Grandpa's parents, who had lived with them many years, went to a son or daughter in the state of Michigan. This daughter, Grandma said, was a fine singer. Grandpa may have had more than one brother, I rather think at least two, but only the one sister I think.
The family was Catholic so by writing to the Catholic Church in De Soto you might learn where he is buried. Grandpa Cannon's ambition for my father was for him to be a priest. He was an "altar boy" when a boy. He was twelve years old when his father died.
Grandma told me that her husband's mother used to tell her of life in Italy. She told Grandma about how our Great-grandfather Cannon [ Francis / Francisco Cannoncini ] would get his weekly wages and how she would go to meet him to guide him home because he always spent some of his money on drink and she was afraid he might fall in the stream coming home over the hilly country, as he could not walk very steadily. As far as I know, he was also a stone mason. I never have heard anything about his being a count.
I have never been in Sicily.
Grandma seemed to like her husband's parents and said they were both good to her. "