Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday's Faces from the Past - Harvard Kids #2

I can't imagine that any family would have a photograph taken of some but not ALL of their children.  So I'm looking for a family with four children, three boys & one girl.  Most likely living near Harvard, Eldorado or Stockham, Nebraska, in the early 1900's.

The oldest boy is sitting on something like a Sears catalog. All three boys have lapel pins, the middle boy has two.  The girl is decked out with a ring on her first finger, a bracelet and either a heart necklace, or necklace and brooch.

There isn't any photographer name or logo on this.  I have a few photographs framed on similar color cardboard marked with the name "J J Willy", so that's a possibility.

If you recognize this family, please leave a comment! 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Those Places Thursday - Grandma Bell's House

Obviously I'm not an architect, but that is the floor plan of my maternal Grandparent's house as I remember it.  Certainly not to scale or proportioned well.  It's the farm house Stan and Vi Bell moved into years before I was born.  I have vague memories of Grandpa there before he died.  Grandma lived there until I was in my teens, then she moved into town.  So my memories of this house are from my childhood.

The front door was on the North, the East side of the house faced the road.  There was an honest-to-goodness real American white picket fence that went most of the way around the yard.  The front porch was enclosed and pine wood lined the inside walls.  I remember the "secretary" desk that was kept in that room, I thought all the little cubbies in it were so cool.  There was a window between the front porch and the living room like the porch had been added on later.  

This was the living room.  Maybe the furniture was new here so they took a picture.  That looks like the sofa bed I slept in a few times.  It was a burgundy red color.  The guy who got cut off there sitting in the rocking chair is my Grandpa in his bib overalls.  That chair is either red or blue, there was one of each color and I have them both.  I also have the picture above the couch.  It's a "Helmscene" and lights up - you can see the cord.  It still works!  Grandma also had a lamp with a shade that had a forest fire scene which turned making it look realistic.  My sister has that.  The coffee table and end tables originally belonged to Grandma's brother and sister-in-law.  Each piece has a glass top; the coffee table glass has been broken and replaced at least once that I know of.  One of my brothers had this set for a while, then my sister, now a cousin has it.  

There's a bedroom behind the wall there and the kitchen is just to the right.  That's the fridge behind Grandpa.  There's a heating stove beside him and then another door into the kitchen.  For family dinners, a table was set up there in the living room.  Most likely a few people still ate in the kitchen.  The food, I'm sure, was fabulous, but food has never been my favorite thing.  I liked scalloped corn, and Grandma always had it.  Dinner rolls were what I was known for eating  and they were best at Grandma's because she had REAL butter to put on them!

I remember Grandma having a wood cook stove and using it some, but she also had a modern stove that she used more.  There wasn't much counter space, only about 3 feet, to the left of the stove.  The table was in front of a big window looking out into the back yard, left of that was the fridge.  Between both doors into the living room was the cook stove, then the sink was between the Pantry and bathroom doors.  That bathroom door was where I remember my brother getting a tooth pulled once.  Someone tied one end of a string to the closed door and the other end to my brother's loose tooth, then opened the door.  

Along with canned goods, paper supplies and the washer & dryer, the Pantry was where the bird cage was kept.  I had almost completely forgotten about Grandma's parakeet, I think his name was Sam.  She taught him to say "Sam (?) is a dirty bird."  She didn't have him very long.

The pool room was a bedroom before my time, but I only remember it with the pool table in it.  It was fun as kids to roll the balls around on the table - until one of them smashed a small finger that was holding onto the side.

The East porch was originally a screen porch which you can see a little of in the black & white photo taken in February, 1960.  (And a little of the picket fence).  But I remember it like in the color photo which was taken the day of the sale in September, 1991.  Grandma's old treadle sewing machine was kept in there I think.  Again, she had a modern sewing machine too.  I have a vague memory of playing the card game Crazy 8's in that room for some reason.  We used to play that game quite a bit, I don't know why my visual is of playing in that room.  For most of the years I remember, that room was used generally for storage. 

A porch swing hung from a tree in the yard on the north side of the house and a tire swing in another tree.  There was a barbecue that Grandpa had made, out of concrete I think.  Out in the southeast corner of the yard there was a can in the ground like a golf hole.  I don't remember ever seeing anyone practice putting out there.  We used to play croquet sometimes.

The house is gone now.  My cousin posted pictures on Facebook of it being torn down.  They were so sad to see.  It's been years since I was inside.  My crude floor plan may not be perfect. In my mind I know it's just an average Nebraska farmhouse.  In my heart it was not average, it was Grandma Bell's house.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wedding Wednesday - May Weddings in my Family Tree

This may be the "wedding photo" of my Paternal Second Great Grandparents William Roscoe & Lena Jorgenson.  This photo was taken in Peotone, Illinois where they both lived before coming to Nebraska.  But their marriage certificate is from Gage County, Nebraska dated May 4, 1882.  Whether the photo was taken before or after their wedding, getting it had me doing a happy little genealogy dance.  

In 1627 on the 28th of May in Drayton, Somerset, England William Roscoe's fifth Great Grandparents, John White & Joan West were married.   How cool would a "wedding portrait" be of this couple!  I'm their ninth Great Granddaughter.     

On May 23, 1867, Charles Gaisford & Henrietta Smith were married in Worcester, Massachusetts.  They are my paternal Grandmother's Grandparents and were married for over 52 years at his death.  Ancestry has his name as "Gilford".  

Three days in a row in Wayne County, Kentucky are anniversary dates of my direct maternal ancestors.  David Bell & Mary Polly Adair were married on May 4, 1812.  Twenty-six years minus one day later their son, John Silas Bell married Rutha Simpson on  May 3, 1838.  Those couples are my Fourth and Third Great Grandparents respectively.  Also in Wayne County, my Second Great Grandparents Benjamin Spann & Hiley Decker were married on May 5, 1852. 

Three sets of my Second Great Grandparents were married in May - the Roscoe's, the Gaisford's & the Spann's.   May 4th and May 19th are the most popular dates for May weddings in my tree with 4 each out of 42 total.  William & Lena were married for 65 years, the second longest marriage of my direct ancestors that I am aware of in my family tree.

In my husband's maternal branch of the tree there are two couples who chose May wedding dates.  His Second Great Grandparents John Austin Spalding & Ann Melvina Simms were married on May 27, 1851 in Marion County, Kentucky.  I have that his Fourth Great Grandparents Benedict Thomas & Ann Abell were married on May 29, 1798.  They married in either Maryland or Kentucky, I haven't found a record to confirm that yet.  

These marriages were more recent than the ones I had in my April list.  It's nice to be able to find actual copies and online images of the marriage certificates or licenses of these couples.  Photographs are still hard to come by, but any I can find will have me dancing like no one is watching -- and hoping no one is. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday's Obituary - Mary M. Boggs

Mary was a sister of my Second Great Grandma Eliza.  Mary died March 28, 1930 at "the ripened age of 81 years, 6 months and 6 days".  She and Eliza lived not far from each other for most of their lives. 

"Mrs. Mary M. Boggs Dies at Home Here
Mrs. Mary M. Boggs passed away at the home of her son, Charles W. Boggs, Friday, March 28th, at the age of 81 years.
The funeral service was held Sunday afternoon at the Methodist Church in Tobias, the Rev. E. L. Cochran officiating, and a quartet composed of Mr. W. C. Smith, Mrs. H. A. Trobaugh, Mrs. Frank Bartunek, and Mr. E. A. Stetson, sang.  Miss Estella Maxson accompanied them at the piano.  The body was taken to Clatonia for interment.  A large group of friends had gathered there, and a short service was again held by the Rev. Cochran, assisted by the Rev. Shepard of Clatonia, and the choir of the Clatonia Methodist Church.
Those from out of town attending the funeral were:  Mrs. Jennie Stearn and son Lyle, Denton, Nebr.; Walter W. Boggs, Woodbine, Kas.; Mr. and Mrs. Herman Alberts and daughters Blanche and Grace, Hallam, Nebr.; Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Rickard, and son, and daughter Thelma and her two children, all of Guide Rock, Nebr.; Mrs. Carrie Kleopper and daughters Lulu and Norma, and Mrs. Nettie Steinemeyer, all of Clatonia, Nebr; and Miss Elsie Boggs, of Guide Rock., Nebr.

Mrs. Mary Boggs
March 28, 1930 marked the passing of another of the old settlers of Nebraska in the death of Mary M. Boggs at the home of her son, Charles W., in Tobias.
Mary M. Knapp was born in Ohio on September 22, 1848 and left this world for the eternal world on March 28, 1930 at the ripened age of 81 years, 6 months, and 6 days.
On October 17, 1871, she was united in marriage to John W. Boggs, and to them were born nine children, seven of whom are now living; Charles W., of Tobias; George H., of Cummingsville, Nebr.; Mrs. J. S. Rickard of Guide Rock, Nebr.; Albert J. of Grand Forks, Minn.; Walter W. of Woodbine, Kas.; Mrs. Arthur Stearn of Denton, Nebr.; and Mrs. Emma Alberts of Hallam, Nebr.  There are also twenty-seven grandchildren, and sixteen great-grandchildren.  The husband preceded her in death about twenty-seven years ago.
Mrs. Boggs was raised by German parents in the Lutheran faith, but later united with the Methodist Church.
In the year 1884 she came to Nebraska where she has since lived.  For several years she has made her home with her son, Charles, in Tobias, at which place the Messenger of Death found her.
You painted no Madonnas on chapel walls in Rome
But with a touch diviner you lived one in your home
You wrote no lofty poems that critics counted art,
But with a nobler vision you lived them in your heart
You carved no shapeless marble to some high soul design
But with a finer sculpture you shaped this soul of mine
You built no great cathedrals that centuries applaud
But with a grace exquisite your life cathedraled God
~ Thomas W. Fessenden