Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

When Piggy Banks Were Pretty

Evelyn's piggy bank

My grandparents, Rosmer and Evelyn, didn't live close enough to be convenient babysitters, so it wasn't often that my parents left my sister and me to stay at their home. On the rare occasions when they did, Rosmer would open his old Murphy bed for us to sleep in. The bed was manufactured in 1883 by the A.H. Andrews & Co. of New York. It had belonged to Rosmer's family in Pennsylvania before he brought it to Michigan. Moving it must have been quite a project.

By the time I had a home of my own, the bed had been moved to my parents' house. My mother said I could have it, but the way my house was constructed, there was no way to get the huge bed into either door, so it has remained in my parents' breezeway for the past 35 years or so. It's still in beautiful condition.

Even as a child I admired the bed, and I liked my grandfather's desk too. It had interesting little cubbyholes to put things in. In one of the cubbyholes, he kept his Put & Take spinner. Since toys were hard to come by at their house, this game was interesting to me.

Put & Take is said to have been invented by a soldier during World War I. It became very popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Players ante up (pennies, candies, poker chips, or whatever) and then, in turn, spin the six-sided top and follow the instruction on the side that's up when it lands: put one (more ante into the pot), put two, take one, take two, all put (in one version of the game, this means the player must double what's in the pot; in another version, it means all players must put another one into the pot), or take all (which ends that game and players must ante up again to start a new game).

Another thing I liked at their house was my grandmother's piggy bank. I have no idea when or where she got it. It belongs to me now and, although it's a bit chipped, it's still the prettiest piggy bank I've ever seen.

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Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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