Sunday, June 30, 2019

Mrs Laura Barnes Obituary Salvaged from Microfilm

Canton Weekly Register, Canton, Illinois, December 21, 1857

On the 8th of December, at the residence of her son, Mrs. Laura Barnes, aged 60 years.
The deceased was born in Southington, Connecticut, where she resided until after her marriage to Mr. Truman Barnes. They resided in New Hartford, then at New Haven. They removed to Canton, Fulton county, Illinois, in 1838. She has lived a widow eleven years - she experienced religion at the age of thirteen years. Owing to a want of confidence in God, and fears of her hope not being as satisfactory as she desired, she delayed making public profession until after her marriage. She, together with her husband, united with the Congregtional Church. In 1840(?) she was baptised by Rev. J. D. Newel, and united with the Baptist Church in Canton, where she retained her membership until she was removed to the Church triumphant.
For many years she had been in a declining state of health, and for more than two years an almost constant sufferer, being confined to her room all the time, and the most of it to her bed. Up to the time she was excluded from the world she was a regular attendant on the means of grace, manifesting a consistent Christian life. Her policy was not of any impulsive or fitful character, but like the path of the just, "it shone brighter and brighter unto the perfect day." She endured her protracted and severe illness with remarkable Christian patience. At times her sufferings were so great that she would inquire of her children and Christian friends "Why she was spared to suffer when she felt her living would do no good to the world" but would immediately check herself by saying, "It is all ordered right" "I don't want to complain, I ought not, I will not, but the flesh is weak." Her greatest p?vation was in not being able to associate with Christians in prayer and social meetings and the Sabbath services. As she neared death, her hope of Heaven became firm and bright and death was disarmed of his terrors. When asked if the dark valley was lighted up by the Saviour, she said, with emphasis, "Yes! God is my hope and strength." Her ruling passion was strong in death; ardent love to God and her children. She steps in Jesus.
Her remains were taken to the Baptist Church, where a sermon was preached by her Pastor, S. G. Miner, from Phil. 1, 21, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Her remains lie in the City Cemetery, there to await the resurrection of the just.
"Asleep in Jesus! blessed sleep!
From which none ever wakes to weep -
A calm and undisturbed repose,
Unshaken by the last of foes."

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Cora Mann Estate Sale

These sale bills are always interesting to read. Cora Mann is my Great Grandmother, Leila Wierman is her oldest daughter. Cora died on the 4th of July in 1971 at 89 years old. I'm guessing that Leila, at 71, was downsizing and added her things to her Mother's sale.

The forecast for the day was mostly fair with a high in the 70's. Nice weather for July. They should have had a good turnout. 

Beatrice Daily Sun, July 24, 1971
Household Goods Auction
Wednesday Evening, July 28th, 6:00 P.M.
113 South Sumner Street, Beatrice
Hot Point Refrigerator, freezer across to top; 30" gas stove; Rose Davenport & chair; Small rocker; Arm Chair; 3 floor lamps; 2 table lamps; 3 pin-up lamps; set of placques; assorted pictures; Maple 4 - piece bedroom suite complete with mattress & box springs; Blonde 2-piece bed room suite, double bed & double dresser; RCA TV black & white; desk, 2 end tables; matching coffee table, walnut finish; telephone stand & chair; chest of drawers; small dressing table; metal utility cart with electric outlet; Hoover electric sweeper; colonial pattern Fostoria; 7-7" plates, 8 sherberts, creamer and sugar, 1-3 div. relish dish, 1 large bowl, Maytag conventional washer; 2 wash tubs on stand; portable ironer; 2 odd tables; 2 Christmas tree stands; Christmas decorations; fruit jars; Sunbeam electric lawn mower & grass catcher; 75' cord; 2 lawn chairs; step ladder; pair saw horse; some odd dishes; 2 skillets; asorted pots & pans, some heavy aluminum; pair pillows; bedding; linens & curtains; asorted throw rug & carpeting pipeec [sic]; Box of cut & rolled wool pieces for a braided rug; Fork; rakes; hoes; spades; trimmers; small tools; 2 50' plastic hose; 1 25' rubber hose; 2 sprinklers; [it]ems too numerous to mention.
Mrs. Leila M. Wierman
ANTIQUES: dresser; commode; treadle singer sewing machine; chair; square oak table; round table; kerosene lamp; match box holder; picture frames.
Household Goods: Electric refrigerator; 2 piece wine living room suite; Sears black & white TV; arm chair; odd chair; rocker; day bed; library table; round Oak dining room table; buffet & 6 chairs; end table; kitchen table; drop leaf & 4 chairs; twin bed, complete; double bed, complete; Montgomery Ward upright sweeper; 2 table lamps; pin up lamp; mirror; pictures; radio; cuckoo clock; small table; hassock; set of dishes; service for 12; set Melmac dishes; miscellaneous dishes & flower arrangements; bedding-sheets, cases, spreads, blankets & pillows; Assorted vases & flower pots; 18" electric fan; electric skillet; electric toaster, ass't pots & pans; electric iron; electric heating pad; electric hair dryer; bathroom scales; clothes hamper; bed pan; ironing board; suit case; Christmas decorations; Wringer type washer; 2 burner gas plate; old kitchen cabinet; porch swing; 12' ladder; garden hose, hand & garden tools and other numerous articles.
Mrs. Cora Mann Estate
Terms: Cash, no property to be removed until settled for. All bids off at buyer's risk. Not responsible for accidents.
Jr. Thimm, Beatrice
Delmer Jurgens, Wymore, Auctioneers
Beatrice National Bank & Trust Co., Clerk

Thursday, June 13, 2019

If Only I Had Rachel's Diary

I have so many questions for my Second Great Grandmother Rachel Jane (Simmons) McGrath about her family. I have often dreamed of finding a diary written by her. I'm sure many of my questions would be answered. If I found a diary written in her own handwriting, I would be so overcome with emotion I'm not sure what I would do. But I would start reading it immediately! I wouldn't be able to put that diary down until I'd read every single page.

She would surely write about the death of her father, Lebius Simmons, when she was about 11 years old. If not written on the date of his death that was somewhere between 1851 & 1854, there would likely be something written about it in later years. She surely remembered that day for the rest of her life. I'm sure there were times when he was especially on her mind, like when her children were born. And when she buried two of them. If she had a diary, I feel that her father's death would certainly be mentioned somewhere in it.

Like their father, I don't know the death date or location of Rachel's younger sister Louisa, who died by the age of 14. I would hope that Rachel would remember her younger sister at some point later in life and write about her. Another sister, Mary Rosilla, died in her twenty's, possibly in childbirth. I would hope to learn about all of these deaths that surely had a lasting effect on Rachel. If she had a diary, she would most likely have written something about these events.

A diary would have made a nice personal wedding gift. It would be fabulous to read about her wedding day! She married John McGrath when she was 17. The year was 1858, but the location and exact date still elude me after 28 years of searching. If she had a diary, that's something that would very likely be mentioned, maybe more than once. It would be so interesting to read about the ways they celebrated their anniversaries. Her youngest sister, Ruth, married in 1868 in the same county where Rachel was living at the time. I'm sure she would have had something to say about Ruth's wedding. Also, anything about her little brother William could be mentioned in her diary. I know nothing about his adult life.  If she had written a diary, the joyous occasions would certainly be something she wrote about.

Rachel's mother, Ruth, remarried when Rachel was 13. I would hope that Rachel would write in her diary about her relationship with her step-father and four half-siblings. She was married by the time the second of those four half-siblings came along. Mother Ruth died with the birth of the last one.  I'd love to read that the two families saw each other often before her mother's death in 1863. 

It would be so nice if Rachel would mention the cemeteries where all of her loved ones were buried, and someday I would be glad to visit them. And if there were no markers I would love to be able to place some. 

To read about my Great Grandpa as a young boy would be so much fun. To read Rachel's point of view about the fire, or the wolf pups or run-away horses incidents I found in old newspapers would be fantastic. To read about the places they lived in Illinois and Nebraska and what Rachel loved about each one would be wonderful. To learn what life was like for Rachel, and how she dealt with her losses and her final months of suffering, and what made her happy...

Oh, if only I had Rachel's diary.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Friday's Faces from the Past - George Negley's children

A few old photos in the collection of my Great Grandma Sadie McGrath were labeled, and other photos are identifiable because of the same people in the photo. Of the three photos here only one had names written on, but I'm positive they are all the same children. 

George Oscar Negley, a brother of Sadie, was married to Lena Fisher in 1906. Together they had nine children, three of them preceeded both parents in death. 

In this picture are Cleo (1904-1927), George D (1908-1992), and Sarah (1911-1987) Negley. Between Cleo and George D there was Mary who died at less than a year old. Guessing Sarah's age at about 2, this photo was taken about 1913. 

Here the children are with their Aunt Alice, George's sister. From left to right are Sarah, George D, Rodney (1912-1999), Cleo in the back and Alice is holding Weston (1915-1992). Guessing that Weston is just about a year old, this photo was likely taken in 1916.

Again, this is Cleo to Weston, all a little older, maybe another year later. After Weston, three more children were born, Harriet Alice (1917-1991) and Albert (1920-1924) and Elmer (1927-2001). Albert died after eating some green currants. 

George, Lena and their family homesteaded in Benkelman, Nebraska. George Oscar Negley died May 15, 1955 only a few weeks after the removal of part of a leg. Lena had died in February of that year.

The children in these photos are my Grandma's first cousins, they were all older than her. She was born the same year as Harriet Alice, 1917. Benkelman was over 200 miles from Eldorado, probably a three hour ride in those early years. By 1930, George & Lena moved their family to Eldorado near his parents and siblings. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Grandpa's National Honor

Starting in about 1918, a national campaign to eradicate barberry bushes began and went on for many years. This is one of only a couple of Nebraska newspaper articles that I found about it. The article says that school children gladly cooperated with experts in the campaign. My Grandpa Kenneth Menke and four of his siblings were the only ones mentioned in this article from 1933 to receive certificates. At the time Grandpa was 16 years old, the oldest of his siblings listed here and Clarence was the youngest at 7. 

If I understand correctly, all they had to do was locate the bushes and let the state do the eradicating. I had never heard about this or even about "Rust Busters" before finding this article. I wish I knew what happened to Grandpa's certificate. 

Beatrice Daily Sun, June 23, 1933

Irene, Kenneth, Robert, Larna and Clarence Menke, children of Mr and Mrs Albert Menke of the DeWitt vicinity, have been made life members of the National Rust Busters club. 
Membership in the organization is limited to those school children who have located common barberry bushes in the campaign for the eradication of the pest. The common barberry bush - not the Japanese variety - plays an important part in the life cycle of the spore that causes black stem wheat rust. The cycle cannot be completed without the barberry bush, so the state and federal departments of agriculture have concentrated their attack on the eradication of the plant, which allows the rust spores to spread and cause thousands of dollars loss to wheat growers throughout the country. 
County Superintendent J W Miller reports that the school teachers and children gladly cooperated with state and federal experts in the campaign, as did his own office. 
The Menke children received a handsome certificate for meritorious service in the eradication work, signed by Governor Charles W Bryan.