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.

Archives, Labels (tags), and other links appear at the bottom of the page.

Content at Before My Time is protected by copyright and may not be copied for publication elsewhere without permission. © T. K. Sand.

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Monday, December 31, 2007

Meme Slacker: Slow-Thinking Blogger Wraps Up 2007

I was flattered when Becky at Kinexxions tagged me with the Thinking Blogger award six months ago, and a little embarrassed, as I feel like a pretty inadequate thinker when I read the terrific work of others in this genea-blogging community. Well, my moment of undeserved glory has long since passed, and I'm even more embarrassed to say that I never finished writing my response to the award.

So, in the interest of wrapping up the business of 2007 in my usual meme-slacker style, I'll dispense with the rules and instead just offer up some links I think might be of interest to you:
  1. strange maps - You'll have to go there and see! History, fantasy, even a map tattoo, it's always interesting and you're bound to learn something new.
  2. Paleo-Future - a look back at what people of the past thought the future would be like.
  3. Michigan in Pictures - more than just pictures, interesting text too!
  4. WordReference - an excellent online translation tool for Spanish, French, Italian, and now Portuguese. Unlike the quick & dirty translators, this one aims to help you use a language correctly. I hope they add German someday!
  5. Fashion-Era - a wonderfully informative source for fashion history and more. Learn about clothing rationing during WWII, Edwardian corsetry, Victorian hair and hat styles... you get the idea. You may find information that will help you date your old photos.
Have a healthy and happy new year!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Grandfather's 120-Year-Old Murphy Bed

R.P. Kerr, reflecting on his folding bed, ca. 1951

Back in 1986, when I was still young and foolish enough to do such a thing, I moved across the country. I didn't have a destination address. I simply packed my grand essentials into my Toyota hatchback and drove 2500 miles. On the day I arrived, I rented an apartment, unloaded the car, unrolled my sleeping bag on my new floor, and called it a day.

I did not bring Grandpa's Murphy bed. Okay, technically, it's not a Murphy bed. My grandpa's bed predates the Murphy Wall Bed Company by more than a decade. The Murphy Wall Bed Company did not come into being until around 1900, when William L. Murphy applied for a patent on his folding bed design. But the folding bed had already been around in one form or another for over 200 years. In the 20th century, the term "Murphy bed" caught hold and came to be used in reference to folding beds in general, and by 1989 it was declared a generic term in court.

On the back of Rosmer's bed is this information:
A.H. Andrews
New York
Pat'd. Nov. 10, 1886
Aug. 10, 1886
I used Google Patent Search to learn more about the bed. This particular folding bed case was designed by Charles Teufel, and only his name appears on the patent. (There were many other interesting folding-bed patents, including one belonging to Charles Teufel and Sanford S. Burr, who patented various folding bed designs over the course of more than twenty years, and another in which Charles Teufel was named as assignor to A.H. Andrews & Company. Because I found the patents rather interesting, a chronological sampling appears at the end of this post.)


Text not available

Text not available

An interesting online biography of Alfred Hinsdale Andrews includes some history of A.H. Andrews & Co. which manufactured the bed. The company was headquartered in Chicago and had factories there and in Buffalo, New York.

I can only speculate about when the bed was purchased and by whom, but I believe it originally belonged to Rosmer's father, Milton E. Kerr. Milton was married first to Bess Zahniser on 16 September 1886, and after her death to Kate Pettis on 15 December 1889. Perhaps the bed was a wedding gift? Regular readers may recall that Milton was in the furniture business in Omaha at that time. Was he able to purchase the bed wholesale? His first son was born in Chicago in 1891. What was Milton doing in Chicago? Could he have been working in the furniture business there, maybe even as an employee of A.H. Andrews & Company? A little session with the Chicago city directories for 1890-1896 could help answer some of these questions.

As far as I know, the bed spent the first half of the 20th century at a Kerr home in Mercer, Pennsylvania. Around 1951, after Rosmer and Evelyn Kerr bought their home on Lakeshore Road (Lexington, Michigan), Rosmer went to Mercer and, with the help of his son-in-law Karl Parker, moved the bed to Michigan.

I believe the snapshot at the top of this post was taken soon after the bed had been placed in the spare bedroom of the Lakeshore Road house. (In fact, as sharp-eyed observers may have suspected, that's actually a composite of two snapshots which I manipulated in Paint Shop Pro.)

As young children, my sister and I slept in that bed a few times on overnight visits. The mattress seemed quite a bit higher than our beds at home! In my memory, the bed was not positioned by the window, but rather against the wall that Rosmer is facing in the picture.

In the mid-1960s, my grandparents decided to sell the Murphy bed. My mother didn't want it to leave the family, so she and my dad bought it and moved it into the breezeway of their home. A few years later, when I had a home of my own, my mother gave me the bed. Unfortunately there was no way to get such a large piece of furniture into my house due to the floor plan, so I had to leave the bed right where it was.

Over the years, circumstances have prevented me from ever taking the bed, so eventually my mother once again gave the bed away, this time to her youngest grandson. He's never had a place for it either, and thus the bed has now spent forty years in my parents' breezeway.

Last month, Apple wrote about the uncertain future of family heirlooms, and I thought about Rosmer's bed. There's been no mattress in it for years, but the case is in great condition. Although it would bring only about $1200 at auction (a guesstimate, based on a fairly similar piece sold at auction a year or so ago), it's a remarkable piece of furniture which, in the right setting, would be a great conversation piece and, with a new mattress, would also provide comfortable sleeping accomodations for overnight guests.

It's been in our family over a hundred years, and like my mother, I can't bear the idea of letting it go. But I've moved fifteen times in the last twenty years. More often than not, I've done the moving myself. Even though I've graduated from hatchback to minivan, the Murphy bed is obviously more than I can handle. And, just like Apple's family, others in my family have their own limitations of space, lifestyle, or whatever. The day may come when there's no one who has a place for it. Then what?

I don't have an answer for that.


A Bit of Folding Bed History in Patents


Text not available








Saturday, December 22, 2007

From Movie Extra to Female Lead: My Meteoric Rise to Stardom

(click to enlarge)

Just a week or two after I moved to Portland in 1986, I happened to hear about a casting call for extras to appear in an HBO movie being filmed here. I went to the audition, and was soon called to spend a day on the set.

I participated in two scenes shot in the courthouse lobby. My first appearance, as someone waiting for an elevator, either ended up on the cutting room floor or else I did a fine job of acting like someone who was hiding behind a pillar while waiting for an elevator. In the second, I was "a member of the defense team" and walked into the courthouse behind the stars of the film, Ed Harris and Roxanne Hart, who were joined by David Suchet upon entering the building.

And now, after only... gosh, it seems like only 21 years!... the famous and prolific producer/director Janice Brown of Cow Hampshire awarded me the female lead in the remake of that great old holiday classic, It's A Wonderful Life. My costars are David Lambert of NEHGS and the David Lambert Blog, Blaine Bettinger of The Genetic Genealogist, Thomas MacEntee of Destination: Austin Family, and Christina G. of Shaking the Family Tree, and a surprise guest (who plays the chauffeur). Now showing at a blog post near you! Very, very near!

Don't miss Janice's holiday movie marathon starring other famous or infamous genea-bloggers!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

From my mother's collection of 78 rpm records . . .

...a winter classic... not exactly a Christmas carol, but it sets the mood for the post below...

The proof is in the putting on.

Fellow genea-bloggers and Advent Calendar participants, there's something you should all know about me, and by way of explanation, I offer the following snippet of personal history.

In the late summer of 1992, I moved from my home in Portland, Oregon to a small apartment in Salt Lake City. My apartment was just a couple blocks' downhill walk to the Family History Library, where I planned to spend my days. My intention was to obtain some credentials as a researcher and make a small living doing what I most enjoy. For a multitude of reasons, this plan changed by the following spring and I returned to Portland, but let us not digress. That is not what today's little story is about.

I was quite happily adapted to Portland's moderate climate, so my first hot and dry weeks in Salt Lake City wreaked havoc with my sinuses. But soon enough, it was winter, a much worse fate. I came to think of my new home as Salt Lake City, where the evening news is always about whose roof caved in from the weight of the snow. In fact, I said as much to my Portland friends when they called.

In December, two of my Portland friends pooled their funds to send me a gift of clothing. Responding in the spirit in which the gift was given, I decided to send them a photograph of myself wearing their gift, so that they would know they'd chosen the proper size. I wanted to assure them the gift was every bit as flattering as they had surely imagined it would be.

To give the photo a festive look, I strung Christmas lights on the only tree I had room for, placed my little angel on top, donned the gay apparel, and struck a pose.

Genea-bloggers, in case there is any confusion or doubt, I offer the photo today as indisputable proof that I am a she-blogger, not a he-blogger!

Wishing you all many giggles, good times, and a union suit of your own this holiday season!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Who was Chick Kerr?

(click to enlarge)

These two items belonged to my grandfather, Rosmer Kerr. On the carte-de-visite at left, someone has identified the girl pictured as Chick Kerr. I don't know whose handwriting that is, and except for these two items, I've never heard of anyone called Chick Kerr.

To the right, the picture side of this postcard was inscribed by two people. The first, presumably the sender of the card, wrote This is "Betty" in the back yard. Later someone added Chic Kerr's daughter. The card was mailed from Mercer, Pennsylvania on March 22, 1909 to brothers Milton and Rosmer Kerr in Slippery Rock. The message is:
Kids, We just heard that you have 9 weeks vacation. Come up and hear about the trip south and see the new Court House. Uncle R.
I believe the uncle who wrote this card was Ralph Kerr, brother of the boys' deceased father.

I'd like to find out how Chick Kerr and her daughter Betty were related to the descendants of Andrew Jackson Kerr. If you can help, please use the Comments feature to share information. You can also use the Comments feature to provide your email address and I will respond to you personally. Any Comment which includes an email address will not be published to this blog. Your email address will be kept private.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Does this belong under your tree?

As I mentioned last week, a few years ago I purchased several items of genealogical interest at an estate sale in Portland, Oregon. In hopes of finding a family member interested in claiming these materials, I placed a notice on a message board and was soon contacted by someone who thought my collection pertained to relatives of one of her lines. I emailed scans of several items which were most genealogically significant and offered to mail the collection to her. Unfortunately I relocated soon afterward and lost track of the items, and by the time I came upon them again, her email address was no longer valid.

I've moved again, at least three times since then. The fact is, I have no idea where the items are at this moment in time, but as a little Christmas giftie for anyone who might be interested, I've uploaded the entire collection of scans to a Picasa Web Album.

Actually, I'd be very surprised if our own genea-blogger Becky at Kinexxions wasn't interested in this. Last month I saw her photo and post about Lysander Joslin, and when I saw how much he resembled the Alonzo Joslyn in my estate sale find, I nabbed his picture to make the side-by-side comparison below. Could a universe exist in which these two heads of hair don't spring forth from the same DNA?

The photo of Rev. A.J. Joslyn appears in a booklet, 1906 Year Book and Directory of the Gilman Park Methodist Episcopal Church of Ballard, Washington, which includes an alphabetical listing of the church members. The pages of the booklet appear in the slideshow below.

Also included in the slideshow is a four-page letter dated February 2, 1906, written by Alonzo Joslin (note the alternate spelling), who was also familiarly known as Lon. The letter was written to his nephew Marshall (E.M. Joslin of Weiser, Idaho). In it, Alonzo mentions several family members by name and relationship, along with the date of his wife's death (June 19, 1905) and that of his brother Ben, who died the next day (June 20, 1905) in Salem, Oregon.

The rest of the collection is postcards, some of which have photographs or messages of interest. Postcards are shown image side first, then message side, except in two instances. The "Owl Camp" postcard is shown front-only, no back. And the final postcard, a Christmas greeting "To Father from Lon," is displayed message-side first. Most items date between 1906 and 1920. Most names and places appearing in the collection are listed below the slideshow.

(To pause on a particular slide, mouse over the lower edge to make control arrows appear.)

Names and places appearing in the Joslin correspondence slideshow:
  • Rev. A.J. Joslyn, aka Alonzo Joslin, called Lon
  • Ben Joslin
  • Harry Joslin
  • E.M. Joslin, called Marshall
  • Mr. & Mrs. C.A. Joslin (possibly Carl & Emma?)
  • Wesley S. Joslin
  • Joe Joslin
  • Dan Joslin
  • Mrs. Hoff
  • M.L.B. (initials)
  • Alice M. Fox
  • Eula Marshall
  • Lillian Marshall
  • Eva M. Reedy
  • Oliver Calmar Reedy
  • Margaret Maribel Reedy
  • Mr. & Mrs. W.T. Ferguson
  • Joslin Asbury Association
  • Terre Haute
  • Pollock
  • Riley (in 1906), formerly known as Lockport
  • Weiser, Idaho
  • Boise
  • Salem, Oregon
  • Gervais, Oregon
  • Kirkwood, Missouri
  • Ballard, Washington
  • Osceola, Nebraska
  • Cameo, Colorado
  • Buttonwillow, California

For more holiday topics, visit the Genea-Bloggers' Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories
hosted throughout December at Destination: Austin Family by Thomas MacEntee.
Click here to find out how to join the fun.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

This family history stuff is for the birds.

And now for something completely different . . .

(For manual control, mouse over the lower edge to make control arrows appear.)

I'm really enjoying all the interesting posts to the genea-bloggers' Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. Many bring up memories of my own Christmases past, but yesterday, Terry Thornton's story about Snow Birds, Catching Birds in Parham, brought up a great spring memory. I rummaged through a few boxes of "old" photographs (and by "old" I mean "from the days before digital") and found the family history I was looking for, that of my Oregon Junco friend, Li'l Peep.

Photographically speaking, these photos are not the best. I never felt fully in control of my 35mm film camera, but I did have a really nice 200mm zoom lens for it. In my own defense, this series of pictures was shot at an angle through a glass doorwall (a thermally-correct double layer of glass) while I hid behind the slats of my vertical blinds standing on a kitchen chair, so the camera was not the only challenge!

Li'l Peep made her nest in the middle of a flower bowl inside my enclosed front patio. The bowl hung less than a foot from the doorwall in my dining area. I noticed her going into the greenery in the bowl one day, and she didn't come out for quite awhile. When she did, I went out there for a look. Sure enough, she'd made a nest, and there was an egg in it. The next time I looked, two eggs. And the next, three!

I began watching her, peeking through the vertical blinds, with my camera in hand. She noticed me sometimes when the blinds were open. I stood very still, as I didn't want to scare her.

One day I was upstairs at the back of the house, sitting at my desk next to the balcony doorwall. It was a nice day so the glass slider was open. As I worked on my family history newsletter, the sound of chirping penetrated my thoughts and I looked through the screen to see Li'l Peep sitting on the railing, looking and chirping right at me. Did she realize I was the same person? Call it ego, I like to think so! She visited me at the balcony several times that spring. I'm usually not one to feed the birds--I think they've been managing pretty well for themselves for quite some time and I'd rather not make them dependent on me--but I took to scattering a bit of millet along the railing for Li'l Peep once I knew she would find it there. I wanted her to know I was friendly.

The adult Oregon Junco (Junco oreganus) grows to be 6.25". They usually lay three or four eggs, whitish with reddish brown speckles, measuring about .75 x .55" which is about the size of a dime. Hard to believe a bird could fit in there!

This grass Junco nest weighs a fraction of an ounce.
Outer diameter: 4" - Inner diameter: 2"

The nest in this photo was one I'd found in a hanging pot of fuschia the previous autumn. It's a miracle of construction, held together primarily by love and good wishes. There were two little eggs which I believe were abandoned by the mother when she found the environment too wet. The pot hung from my balcony so it was higher than my head and I watered it generously from below, never suspecting the harm I was doing. Oh, the lingering guilt!

Li'l Peep's babies appeared one by one, so vulnerable-looking with their naked bodies and their tiny heads too small for their eyeballs. The third one, unable to compete successfully with his two older siblings for food, didn't live very long. I couldn't wait to get home from work every day to photograph the development of the other two.

I was very lucky to be off work they day they prepared to leave the nest. They had become more active in the flower bowl (which was hung at my eye level this time!), and I had spread a blanket on the concrete below the nest so they would have a soft landing. The older one jumped first. When he landed, he seemed a little surprised. Freedom! A blessing or a curse? I don't think he had any idea what to do next.

Although a little reluctant, the younger sibling didn't want to be left behind. He soon jumped too.

Li'l Peep was standing by, and she ushered her babies across the patio and under the privacy fence to a low bush on the other side. The babies were able to make their way up into the bush, where they could hide in the dense foliage.

That would be the end of my story, except for one thing. I was afraid the babies wouldn't be able to hide well enough from the stray black cat that had been lurking about. A neighbor had been putting food out for the cat, but she'd moved and he was on his own. I didn't want my Peeps to be reduced to cat food, so I took the cat in, named him Orion, invested in a trip to the vet for vaccinations and neutering, and tried to integrate him into my little family. As the weeks went by though, he made it perfectly clear he did not want the pampered life I offered him, and my other two cats made no effort to change his mind. Eventually I took him to a shelter where I handed over another fistful of money to give him a chance at finding a home more to his liking.

Some said I was a little too invested in the Peep family and their branch of the family tree. I don't think so. Li'l Peep gifted me with a privilege and opportunity most people never get. I just tried to be worthy of it. Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Friday, December 07, 2007

What the heck is this? (Updated)

(click to enlarge)

I found this little doodad in a box with tie clips and such. The items belonged to my grandfather, Rosmer Kerr. Neither my dad nor I could figure out what its purpose might have been.

On the top side, there's a leaf design in the center--my best guess is that it's a buckeye leaf--and what appears to be a tiny horseshoe at each end. Readers may recognize the leaf design, from which I made a digital ornament to use in the Kerr Family Homes slideshow last week.

It doesn't appear that any part of this thing was made to slide, but there seems to be some kind of spring inside the center box which allows the two end sections to flex to a slightly flatter position.

Turning the piece over, you can see that the horseshoes are mounted on little hollow cups. The tubes also seem to be hollow.

Anybody got a clue?


After reading Apple's comment, I thought I should reconsider this little doodad. Apple suggested it might be some kind of collar bar, an idea I had rejected. I got out the two collar bars that I'd found with the doodad, and indeed they were just about the same length.

But why, I kept wondering, does this thing flex? I fiddled around with the pieces for a minute and voilà!, the mystery is solved. When flexed, the little cups of the doodad slip over the bent ends of either collar bar. Release and the two pieces are latched together. (See image below.)

Unfortunately, there's no date or manufacturer's name on this ornament. The wee printing on the back indicates that a patent was applied for. A Google Patent Search turned up a couple of patents for collar bar ornaments. Although neither drawing resembled Rosmer's item, both patents dated from the mid-1930's, so that's my best estimate as to its age.

Thanks, Apple!

(click to enlarge)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

He had an office in the Marquette Building? Who knew?

Posted in December 1926, a letter to Santa from the Kerr sisters

Honesty or Catholic guilt?
Either way, Bonnie thought to offer improvement.
But... a wash board? Who was she kidding?

Mary had a few things to say to Santa too.
She continued her letter on the back of her page.
I decided not to publish that side.
Trust me, she just repeated herself.

As you can see here,
Mary and Bonnie did
try to be better in 1927.
Santa must have delivered!


This early writing sample from poet Bonnie Elizabeth Parker doesn't begin to hint at the skills to come. Read her amazing later works at Dark Tigers, daily through the end of this year.


For more holiday topics, visit the Genea-Bloggers' Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories
hosted throughout December at Destination: Austin Family by Thomas MacEntee.
Click here to find out how to join the fun.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Meme Slacker: Goin' Off on the 161...

My new cousin Miriam recently tagged me with the 161 Meme at her blog Ancestories. What a pity she didn't tag me instead for the other one she posted that day, Can You Top This?, for which you post about your most prolific ancestor. My response to that one would have been so easy: "Nope! Can't top that!" because Miriam posted about her most prolific ancestor, Elder John Strong, who also happens to be my 10th great-grandfather (my great-grandmother Kate Pettis Kerr is descended from his son Jedediah and Freedom Woodward).

Miriam didn't even know we're cousins until, well, right now. So I guess she can be forgiven for not knowing that I'm not much of a reader. Plus, I was in Michigan visiting my dad at the time. But hey, I can't sit here forever with this meme hanging over my head, and since I was mildly stimulated--I admit it--by the discussion about mystery novels with a genealogical twist a couple months ago at West in New England, off I went to the library for an armload of books. I'm gonna play your little meme game, Miriam, but in exchange, I leave it to you to determine exactly what our relationship is. Heh. Good luck with that!

So, okay, I picked up A Comedy of Heirs by Rett MacPherson, and the sixth sentence on page 161 was:
My children and I were enjoying a pepperoni and mushroom pizza, thin crust with extra cheese and a big pitcher of soda.
Hmm, as sentences go, there's really nothing genealogical about that, I thought, so maybe another book would provide a more thematically-appropriate sentence.

I turned to page 161 in the next book on the stack, A Misty Mourning, also by Rett MacPherson, and what to my wondering eyes should appear? This:
We were quiet a moment while we ate our pizza.
I'm not always a quick study, but I sensed a theme developing here, and it was decidedly not genealogical! A little more research was in order, I thought, so I sat down with A Misty Mourning, a tall coffee, and some simple note-taking supplies. I enjoyed a good read, and my notes appear below:

Each numbered entry in this list represents a single page. Numbered entries are listed in chronological order, but list numbers do not correspond with page numbers due to the fact that not all pages had specific food references.

Specific Food References in A Misty Mourning
  1. coffee
  2. bottle of wine
  3. bread, pinto beans, pinto beans
  4. Hershey's candy bar
  5. taffy
  6. navy beans, two desserts
  7. orange juice
  8. coffee, chocolate, sugar, soda
  9. Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, alcohol, spirits, booze
  10. alcohol, six-pack of beer, fifth of whiskey, gin, bottle of wine, potato salad
  11. potato salad, baked beans, potato salad, sliced tomatoes
  12. pork steaks, deviled eggs
  13. potato salad, chocolate ice cream cones
  14. pork steak
  15. cookies, crackers, iced tea, lemonade
  16. muffin, blueberry muffin
  17. coffee
  18. turkey sandwich, sliced tomatoes, cottage cheese, Dr. Pepper, Dr. Pepper, cottage cheese, tomatoes, turkey sandwich
  19. cottage cheese, sandwich, soda
  20. Dr. Pepper
  21. bread, chocolate
  22. fried chicken, mashed potatoes, beets, peas, homemade biscuits
  23. fried chicken, chicken leg
  24. chicken leg, chicken leg
  25. chicken leg, grease
  26. chicken leg, chicken leg
  27. spirits
  28. biscuits & gravy, juice, dough, orange juice, dough
  29. oatmeal, coffee, biscuits, juice
  30. biscuits, coffee
  31. homemade biscuit, excruciatingly delectable strawberry jam, biscuit, milk
  32. biscuit, shellfish
  33. low-fat, low-sugar, low-caffeine, low-calorie, or low-carbohydrate foods
  34. iced tea
  35. whiskey
  36. beer
  37. 7Up, 7Up, Dr. Pepper, 7Up, soda, soda
  38. pie
  39. soda
  40. oatmeal-raisin cookies, milk
  41. cookie, milk
  42. cookie crumbs
  43. spicy cheesy pizza, pizza, nice gooey piece of pizza, bottle of Rolling Rock, pizza, round red layers of pepperoni, piece of pizza, pizza, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, pepperoni, pizza
  44. pizza
  45. pizza
  46. Rolling Rock
  47. beer
  48. tomatoes
  49. beer
  50. beer
  51. beer
  52. chocolate bar
  53. bologna & cheese sandwich
  54. milk
  55. Dr. Pepper
  56. Dr. Pepper
  57. roasted chicken, vegetables, minced-meat pie
  58. cookies
  59. oatmeal-raisin cookie
Specific Restaurants Mentioned One or More Times
  • McDonald's
  • Burger King
  • Denny's
Food Words Used as Descriptors, Idioms, or Lyrics
  • pizza parlor
  • empty pizza box
  • Samuel Adams beer T-shirt
  • cake plate
  • tomato plants
  • grocery store
  • cream-colored marble
  • strawberry red hair
  • smart cookie
  • spill the beans
  • crying-in-your-beer music
  • Ninety-Nine Bottle of Beer on the Wall
A Non-Comprehensive List of General References to Food
  • breakfast
  • pail lunches
  • lunchtime
  • dinner
  • food was served
  • stomach rumbled
  • three fast-food stops
  • ate their food
  • snatching at her food
  • eating as fast as I could
And last but certainly not least,
  • "All I could think about was food."
Yeah . . . [sigh] . . . me too . . .

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Christmas Postcard

Oliver Calmar Reedy and Margaret Maribel Reedy offer
Christmas greetings from the Reedy family,
Cameo, Colorado, ca. 1913-1919
(click to enlarge)

Postmarked at Cameo, Colorado, Eva M. Reedy mailed this card to Alice Fox of Osceola, Nebraska. The year is illegible.

According to the very interesting history of the Grand Valley Diversion Dam, Oliver T. Reedy assumed the position of Supervising Engineer in charge of construction on June 27, 1913. Work on the Grand Valley Project went on for several years, and Reedy wrote an article about it in 1919. [Reedy, O.T. "The Construction of the Grand River Roller Crest Dam." Reclamation Record (August 1919): 374-378.]

I bought the Reedy greeting card, along with some other items, at an estate sale a few years ago. Watch for more on this estate sale purchase next week.

I'm not related to the Reedy family, nor to Alice Fox, original recipient of the postcard. If you are, please contact me via the Comments feature at the end of this post. Include your email address for a personal response. Comments containing your email address will not be published.


For more holiday topics, visit the Genea-Bloggers' Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories
hosted throughout December at Destination: Austin Family by Thomas MacEntee.
Click here to find out how to join the fun.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Homes of Rosmer & Evelyn Kerr

(To pause on a particular slide, mouse over the lower edge to make control arrows appear.)

A Kerr Residence Timeline, including Dates and Sources:
  • According to the 1916 Detroit City Directory, Rosmer P. Kerr lived at 525 Crawford Avenue. His mother was listed separately but at the same address. Rosmer married Evelyn Hauer on June 12th that year.
  • Rosmer filled out a draft registration in 1917. He listed his address as 115 Dragoon, Detroit, Michigan.
  • In 1918, the Kerrs' address was 1079 Jefferson Avenue, according to the Detroit City Directory. A handwritten caption on a photo of the home showed the same address, but it appears to have been listed as 1077 Jefferson in the 1920 census.
  • According to Evelyn's handwritten notes (see the notebook page entitled Memoranda in the slideshow above), she and Rosmer moved in August 1922 to 555 Algonquin, Detroit, where they were listed in several subsequent Detroit City Directories.
  • On March 21, 1939, they moved to 4265 Harvard Road in Detroit (see Memoranda), and they were listed there in the 1940 Detroit City Directory.
  • They moved to 11551 Roxbury, Detroit, on 15 October 1942. This later became the home of their daughter Bonnie and her husband Karl Parker. (Memoranda and personal knowledge)
  • According to the Memoranda notes, on November 15, 1946, they moved to Caro, Michigan. Their street address was 1896 E. Deckerville Road (noted in Evelyn's 1950 birthday & anniversary record book). On a different notepaper written at a later date, Evelyn figured that this move took place Thanksgiving week of 1947, not 1946. I haven't researched it and don't know which date is correct.
  • According to the Memoranda notes, on October 15, 1951, they moved to 7831 Lakeshore Road, Lexington, Michigan. Again on the other notepaper, Evelyn figured this date to be a year later, 1952 rather than 1951.
  • On November 30, 1956, Rosmer and Evelyn moved to Crown Point, Indiana.
  • The Kerrs returned to their home on Lakeshore Road January 15, 1959.
  • In the mid-1960s, they sold the house on Lakeshore Road and moved a short distance away to 7214 Aspen Road, Lexington. They were still living there in 1969 when Rosmer died.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Grandfather's Education and Career

Columbian Quartette
R.P. Kerr, K.S. Mesick, H.H. Savereide, and M.E. Kerr
(click to enlarge)

When I found the photo above, taken by a photographer in Valparaiso, Indiana, it raised a question in my mind. Had my grandfather and his brother gone to college there? On a driving trip in the spring of 2002, I stopped briefly at Valparaiso University, where I hoped to find some records indicating my grandfather's attendance there as a student. I was not disappointed.

The archivist brought me a large record book of students' credits for 1911-1912, and on page 355 I found Rosmer P. Kerr listed as a student in the Commercial program. During second term, December 12-March 2, his grade for Actual Business was 80, and in Spelling he earned a 93.

Rosmer's brother Milton E. Kerr was a student in the Commercial program also. I found his record on p. 346. During the first term, he studied 1st Rhetoric (85), Mental Arithmetic (99), 3rd Type [typing, I presume], Parliamentary Law (80), and Debate (9N [I don't know what that means--possibly it was an illegible two-digit grade?]). Second term Milton studied III Phonography (94) and II Rhetoric [in my notes I've written "8 wks?" after this entry].

In April 1910, at the age of 17, Rosmer worked as a hotel clerk in Topeka, Kansas. His brother worked at the same hotel as a steward. After college, Rosmer lived in Detroit with his mother. In 1916 he was a clerk at Michigan Malleable Iron Company. That was the year he married my grandmother, Evelyn Hauer.

Rosmer was working as a metal polisher for Burroughs Adding Machine Company by 1917.

The following year, according to the Detroit City Directory for 1918, he was a stock tracer. But he soon settled into the career he would eventually retire from, that of purchasing agent for the City of Detroit.

In the foreground, Rosmer P. Kerr,
purchasing agent for the City of Detroit.
Dig those crazy socks!

Interestingly, in the early 1950s after his retirement, Rosmer returned to the hospitality industry in which he'd found his first job. He and my grandmother managed a motel for a time near Lexington, Michigan. I remember visiting them there. The motel was up on a bluff beside the highway, a block or two from a stony Lake Huron beach. There were Adirondack chairs, which I'd never seen before. They must have seemed odd to me, and very intriguing, as I remember little else about the place or our visits there.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Notes from The White County Democrat, 1914

The White County Democrat
Friday, September 11, 1914
(click to enlarge)

January 2:
Frances Krintz, organist at M.E. Church
Louis Krintz, church librarian

[In Reynolds, school had been closed due to scarlet fever but reopened in mid-January.]
February 6:
Emil Krintz has moved to the new house that he had built on his place just northeast of town the past season.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Klouck went to Indianapolis Tuesday where Mrs. Klouck will enter the Eastman Hospital to undergo an operation for hernia from which she has been a sufferer for the past eight years.
February 13:
Honey Creek Township Progressives have organized for the coming campaign by electing Charles Buss as chairman, R.E. Merkle, secretary, and Herman L. Buss as treasurer. The boys are very enthusiastic over the recruits they are receiving.

Mrs. Charles Klouck is making a fine recovery from her recent severe surgical operation which she had to undergo for the reduction of an abdominal hernia.
February 20:
Criswell-Ward Wedding (front page): Frederick Criswell, son of Mr. and Mrs. --- Criswell, and Miss Viola Ward were married Sunday afternoon at the home of the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jewell F. Ward, near Sitka, Rev. Jacob Fross officiating. The ceremony was performed in the presence of only a few of the immediate friends and relatives of the contracting parties.
The bride is a very charming young lady, and has always been prominent in church work and social affairs in the vicinity in which she lived. Her gracious manner has endeared her to a large circle of friends whose best wishes go with her. The groom is a young man of sterling worth and is a very successful farmer. After spending some time in visiting relatives and friends they will go to housekeeping on a farm near Chalmers, where they will be at home to their many friends after March 1st.
[License Feb. 13, married Feb. 15 in Liberty Township]

J.F. Ward is going to New Mexico for his health.

Mr. J. F. Ward is some better at this writing. (Tuesday)

Edith and Clara Hornbeck were called home from their work by the illness of their mother.

Jewell Ward left this week for Alamogorda, New Mexico for an extended stay in the hopes of benefitting his health, which is none of the best. Lewis Ward Accompainied him.

Court Notes: State of Indiana vs. Henry Brandt Jr.; jury trial on charge of petit larceny. Verdict of not guilty.
February 27:
Reynolds: William Buss and family have moved to Mr. [Charles] Buss' father's farm.

Mr. and Mrs. John Buss were guests of the latter's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dahling, in Brookston Saturday and Sunday.

Court Notes: Melissa Witz vs. Henry Brandt Jr.;continued to next term [scheduled for Monday, May 18]. [Defendant filed general denial, also matters for change of venue. Case sent to Carroll County.]
March 6:
Charles Buss Sr. is seriously ill.
March 13:
Sitka: Last word received from J.F. Ward stated that he was improving slowly.

Nina Ward was helping her sister, Mrs. J. F. Criswell, move last week.

Charles Stitt helped Fred Criswell move some farm implements one day last week.

Ellen Hughes, Alta Davis, Jennie Walther, Agnes Hughes, Ina Coonrod and Gertrude Ward took Sunday dinner with Hazel and Fae Criswell.

Fred Dahling's have moved into rooms in the Robison house until they can get their new house built, in order that Mr. Moore can move.

Gottlieb Erdman will go to Lafayette this week to make his home with his daughter, Miss Nettie Reule. He has been a continuous resident of Reynolds for nearly sixty years and is the oldest resident of the town.

Death of Charles Buss: Charles Buss, who has been ill for so long, died at his home in this place Wednesday, March 4th. He was born in Mecklenburg, Schwerin, Germany in 1837, and came to this country in the early sixties. But little can be learned of his early life but he has been a resident of Reynolds for many years. His wife and four children survive. The funeral was held Friday from the Lutheran church, Rev. Lindhorst having charge of the service. Interment was made in the Lutheran cemetery.
March 20:
Notice Progressives of Honey Creek Township: A meeting will be held in the Town Hall of Reynolds Saturday, March 21, 1914, at 8:00 p.m. for the purpose of nominating a Township ticket. Be sure and come. Charles Buss, Township Chairman.

J.F. Criswell of near Sitka is moving to a farm on Route 13 out of Chalmers. The Democrat will henceforth keep him posted on news from over this way.
April 3:
Reynolds: To be confirmed at the Evangelical Lutheran Church Palm Sunday: Fred Hasselbring.

Reynolds: Herman Hasselbrink of Chalmers visited his parents here Sunday.
April 10:
We see our old friend Lewis Ward arrived home Monday.

Real Estate Transfer: John Brandt to Jennie Brandt Lot 2, 3, and part 4, block 4, Brookston, $1.

John Buss has recently installed a new tool rack in his hardware store that is a great saver of wall space and is very effective for display work.
April 17:
Reynolds: Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dahlenburg of Brookston were Sunday guests at the home of Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Buss.
April 24:
John Adams is now currier on Rural Route No. 11 out of Reynolds, and his son Clarence is qualifying as his substitute.

John Buss, John Bardonner, Fred Dahling and Miss Gertrude Krinning were at Monticello Sunday to take the fourth class postmaster civil service examination. It is understood that all four are applicants for the Reynolds office.

Jewel Ward, who went to Tucson, Arizona, last winter for his health, returned home Monday much improved by his trip.

The second son of Rev. and Mrs. Kuonen, well known here, was operated on last Thursday in his home in Tioga, Fulton County, for relief from an abcess of one lung.
May 8:
Honey Creek Township Ticket: The Democrats of Honey Creek Township met here Saturday and nominated... [Amiel Krintz one of four Road Supervisors nominees].
May 15:
Gottlieb Erdman, who went to Lafayette in March to make his home with his daughter this summer, could not resist the call of the country, and returned here Saturday and will stay with his son Louis. He liked the city but thought that Reynolds and the society of his old friends would be better.

Saturday will be the close of the Reynolds High School after a very successful term. This in all probability will be the last session to be held in the old school building, for the new one will be ready for the coming term.
June 12:
Graduated from High School: Liberty Township--Gertrude Ward; Honey Creek Township--Donald Camp, Frances Krintz, William Krentz.
June 26:
Mrs. M.E. Kuonen and children are here visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. Krinning.

Real Estate Transfers: Bunnell Cemetery Association to Michael Krintz, lot b'l'k' 10, Bunnell Cemetery.
July 3:
Five years ago automobiles were a rarity in Monticello and White County. Today they form a large item in the list of personal property subject to taxation. [As of March 1, 1914, Jewell F. Ward of Liberty Township paid auto tax on $150 value.]

Mrs. Kuonen and children who have been here for some time past visiting her parents, Mr. and Mrs. August Krinning, left Tuesday morning for their home near Tiosa [sic] in Fulton County.
August 7:
Cullen Creek: Quite a number of boys have left here for Dakota.

Sitka: The long waited rain was welcomed by all Saturday evening. Nina Ward took Sunday dinner with Agnes Hughes. J.F. Ward, wife and daughter Lila spent Sunday with Fred Criswell and wife of Chalmers.
August 28:
Mrs. A.G. Krintz visited her daughter Mrs. Leonard Kamp [sic] in Goodland last week.
September 4:
Gus Krintz has been numbered among the sick the past week.
September 11:
Estrayed: A bay mule broke out of my pasture Sunday night and strayed away. Finder please notify Gus Krintz, Reynolds.

Ray Camp is quite sick with typhoid fever.

Louis Ward went to Indianapolis Tuesday evening to attend the State Fair.
September 18:
Ray Camp who is ill with typhoid fever is getting along very nicely.

Gus Krintz was in town Tuesday for the first time since his recent illness.
September 25:
Cullen Creek: The Sunday guests of J.F. Ward and family were J.V. Lance and family, Earl Baker and family, W.A. Ward and son William, Wm. Ward and wife, all from near Reynolds, Mrs. Holliday and Mrs. Lotimer of Clinton County, John Criswell and wife, Ina Coonrod, Faye Douglas and Jessie Walthers called in the evening.

M.E. Church Calendar: The Ladies' Bible Class called a special meeting on Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 15, at the home of Mrs. Gardner for the annual election of officers... The following were elected for another year: President, Mrs. D.A. Hopkins; Secretary, Mrs. G.A. Krintz; Treasurer, Mrs. A.T. Moshier.

Mr. and Mrs. Augustus Krinning and daughter, Miss Gertie, with Bert Joserand, motored to Richmond Center Sunday to visit the former's daughter, Mrs. Kuonen and her family.
October 2:
Gertrude Ward who cut her wrist is getting along nicely but is unable to use it any yet.
October 23:
Fred Krintz of Sheldon, So. Dakota [sic], was here the past week visiting his father and took his brother John home with him.
[Don't believe everything you read in the news! John was already living in North Dakota, and in fact had gotten married to Gertie Buss on February 11, 1914. It was most certainly his brother Adolph who went back to North Dakota with Fred.]
November 13:
Jesse Ward and family passed thru here monday on their way from Oklahoma to Wolcott. They made the entire trip in covered wagons and seemed to be none the worse for the journey. Mr. Ward will be employed on the Davisson farm near Wolcott. He is a former resident of Monticello.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Most days, these people masqueraded as serious college students...

Rosmer P. Kerr - back row, center (click to enlarge)

postmarked at Valparaiso, Indiana, 8 February 1912

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Claim This Photo: The Scheeley Girls

(click to enlarge)

Subjects: Margarette, Ilene, and Felice Scheeley
Photographer: F.G. Poli, 234 Randolph St., Detroit, Michigan
From the photo collection of Rosmer & Evelyn Kerr
Date: Unknown

I've cleaned up the digital scan of this photograph for presentation here. The original is in less good condition.

To my knowledge, the Scheeley family is not related to my family. I'd be happy to send the photo to a Scheeley family historian who can prove his or her relationship to these three girls. Please contact me via the Comments section at the bottom of this post. Include your email address for a personal response. Any comment containing an email address or other personal contact information will not be published to the blog.


In Image 9 of Evelyn Kerr's 1944 address book, there is a listing for a Mrs. Ralph Seeley. Because Evelyn often misspelled even her own sister's name, it's possible that there is a relationship between the girls in the photo above and the Seeley listing in the address book.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Adventures in California

I believe my grandmother Evelyn may have created her address book, featured in the previous post, in anticipation of a trip she planned to make from Michigan to Hollywood, California, where her younger daughter Mary (my mother) was living and working at the time. Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed Mary's California telephone numbers listed in Image 11. Her home number was HOllywood 2320, and her number at work was STanley 7-1241, ext. 1453.

In the summer of 1993, my mother wrote the following memories of her California experience:

In 1943, a co-worker named Pat asked if I would like to go to California to work in one of the aircraft companies. Her two sisters had an apartment and were willing to share it with us. It seemed a wonderful opportunity, so I agreed. Mom was apprehensive, but I was approaching my 21st birthday and felt it was time to try my wings.

Daddy said, "It will be the best thing in the world for her."

Mom said, "You're not even 21 yet."

I said, "Okay, I'll wait until I'm 21."

I boarded the El Capitan on October 23rd--one day after my birthday--for my journey across the country. I had received a personal invitation from Pat's sisters when she decided not to go after all, due to chronic appendicitis attacks.

My new friends' apartment was on North Esplanade in the Hollywood Hills. I gazed in awe at the arched entrance leading to a large courtyard. Palm trees lined the street, and exotic flowers were in full bloom everywhere I looked. Each apartment had a private entrance, and came completely furnished, with a cleaning lady who came once a week.

Eleanor and Helen worked in offices at Disneyland. They insisted I take some time to become acquainted with California before starting a new job, but I was eager to settle into my new life. I wanted to try something different from data processing, but soon I discovered that the pay in other jobs was not enough to handle my share of the expenses. We had each agreed to contribute fifty dollars a week to cover rent, food, and telephone expenses. So I arranged an interview at Lockheed Aircraft, presented my letter of recommendation from Chrysler's, and was hired on the spot.

I loved California. Just walking down the street was a new experience. Perfect strangers would smile and say hello as we passed each other, and people were so kind, friendly and helpful.

In May of 1944 Mom wanted to come and visit but had no money for the trip, so I cashed in my return ticket (my insurance in case things didn't work out) and sent her the money. She too loved California, and kept putting off her return to Michigan. Then I received a telegram from my former boss at Chrysler's, saying that a job was waiting for me if I would just come back. I began to feel pressured from all sides. Mom had been with us for a month and I felt such an extended visit wasn't fair to Eleanor and Helen; and there was my Dad back in Michigan alone; and Chrysler's needed me in the new department they were forming, so I gave notice at Lockheed, Mom went home, and I followed her home two weeks later.

Going to California was something I wouldn't have missed for the world. I grew up that year, and I learned a lot about the cost of living on one's own, and making a budget work.

Many years later on a trip to California I decided to visit our apartment. Much to my dismay I was faced with a cloverleaf expressway winding through the area. Not only had North Esplanade disappeared, but all the flowers and trees as well. My Garden of Eden had been totally destroyed. Hollywood Boulevard, once a street of beauty lined with first-class shops, had deteriorated into a sleazy thoroughfare with neon signs, porn shops and tattoo parlors.

In seeming conflict with the story above,
my mother identified her companion in this photo as Pat.
Perhaps Pat resolved her appendix issues and then went to California?


Thursday, October 25, 2007

In Search of the Schulte Line, Part 5: The Clues in Evelyn's Notes

It's a pity my grandmother Evelyn didn't have pedigree charts and family group sheets to fill out. She would have been a great family historian. She hung onto old photos, clippings, memorial cards, and lots of old bits of paper on which she'd written notes to herself. I don't think she trusted her memory. In conversations, she often sampled her way through several first names before she hit upon the one that actually applied to the person she was addressing. She did her best to outwit the Alzheimer's that would creep up on her in her later years, and keeping notes was her best strategy.

In this post, we'll look at two of the records she created, both of which will help in our effort to discover and document the family ties of our immigrant ancestor, Joseph Meyer Schulte.

The first is Evelyn's list of deceased friends and relatives, shown below. Numbers 1-23 on the list, written in pencil, appear to have been the original list. The entries are not sequential, and the latest date in that portion of the list is 1963. Number 24, written in dark blue ink, was probably added in June 1964, as another list was started on the back of the paper in the same ink, noting the birth of a new family member about a week later. Numbers 25-28, in green ink, were probably added shortly after the death of Evelyn's husband, Rosmer P. Kerr, in 1969.

In the previous Schulte post, I listed some items needed to help further our work on Lizzie Hebert and her connection to the Schulte family, and Evelyn's list provides a clue for finding one of our needs, Lizzie Hebert's death certificate. Lizzie is number 13 in the list, and Evelyn noted that Lizzie's date of death was in 1963. Although not specific, this date is probably pretty accurate as far as it goes, being the latest date on the pencil portion of the list. We still hope to find Lizzie's grave with a date specific enough to send for the death certificate, and having this date will help to assure us we've found the right Lizzie Hebert in the event she's not buried with her husband Fred. And if we can't locate the grave, which is surely in Detroit, this approximate date may help us find a church record.

Evelyn Kerr's list of deceased friends and relatives
(click to enlarge)

In the transcription below, my corrections and clarifications appear in brackets.
  1. Mr. Grosscup
  2. Mrs. Grosscup
  3. Allen Paarlburg [Allan Paarlberg]
  4. Mr. Paarlburg
  5. Clara Kerr - Mar 26, 1958
  6. Milton Kerr - Arp 3, '61 [Apr 3, 1961]
  7. Mamie Tracy - Feb 14, 58 [Feb 14, 1958]
  8. Harold Tracy - 1957
  9. Marselene [Marceline Koenig] - Aug 26, 1962
  10. Rilla [Aucoin] - Dec 27, 1962
  11. Arthur Meyer - Dec 1962
  12. Mr. Fred Hebert
  13. Mrs. Lizzie " [Hebert] - 1963
  14. Harry Kurtz
  15. Hugo Kurtz
  16. Hugo Son [?]
  17. Aunt Adda [Adda Isenberg Kerr 1869-1953]; Aunt Alice [Alice Kerr Howe 1869-1960]
  18. Miss Talbert [sp? Talbot, Talbut, Tallent]
  19. Warren Parker
  20. Paul North
  21. Mrs. Lewis
  22. Mrs. O'Toole
  23. Herman Stolzenfeldt
  24. Jim Sandercott - June 8, 1964
  25. Paul Koenig - Apr 19, 1966
  26. Elmer Schulte - Died 1968, Born Aug 1894
  27. Karl Parker - Feb 1, 1969, Born 1917 [died Jan 30, 1969, buried Feb 1, 1969]
  28. R. P. Kerr - Feb 9, 1969, Born Sept 30, 1892
  29. Hugo Prietz - 1967 [This entry was written on the back in green ink.]
The second resource we'll look at is an address book. The addresses for which no city or state is given were in Detroit, where Evelyn lived at the time she created this record. Most of the those entries have a circled number which was Evelyn's notation of the postal zone, e.g. Detroit 5, Mich. (Use of the 5-digit ZIP Code didn't begin until July 1963.)

I believe this record dates from early 1944, based on the page 2 address of her son-in-law, Karl Parker, who was then stationed at Camp Haan in California. Readers of this blog have already seen a Camp Haan letter from Karl dated February 1944. Two more addresses for Karl were added later to this book (see Images 11 & 12) when his unit relocated.

In Image 8, you'll see Evelyn's listing of Mrs. Fred Hebert at 13939 Rochelle in Detroit. This nicely ties up any doubt we might have had about whether Rosina Rorken, traveling companion of Maria Schulte Koenig, was actually the third of the Schulte sisters who were, according to Josephine Sandercott, nieces of Joseph Meyer Schulte. I had earlier assumed Rosina was going to stay with her son, Erich Roehrken. So much the better, for our purposes, that Rosina's stated destination, 13939 Rochelle, was the address of Lizzie Hebert. Surely these three, Rosina, Maria, and Lizzie, are the sisters Josephine spoke of. With this information, I am convinced that Joseph's niece Lizzie Schulte and Mrs. Fred Hebert are one and the same person.

Image 1
(click any image to enlarge)
Josephine Staniewicz, Mary Allen, Al Kallil, Mary Czarneski, Mary Slawek

Image 2
Mrs. Hazel Parker, Cpl. K.F. [Karl Franklin] Parker, Pvt. Harry Sandercock

PFC John T. Loftus, Pvt. Marvin S. Jackson, Mont Bowman

Image 3
Mary (Marion) Cromor, Margarette Chandler, Catherine Olshefski, Martha Hakkinen, Dorothy Crawford
Jennie Calamia, Agnes Witkowski, Pearl Wherrett, Alberta Cornelious, Grace Bright

Image 4
Viola Meyers, Julia Polka, Philliss Szzypinski, Dorothy Williams, Loretta Bennett

Irene Smith, Cecile Urkenik, Ione Lockwood, Merrel Bolyard, Martha Kapica

Image 5
Earline Ziegler, Dorine Davis, Miriam Kinney, Nona Jones, Lois Knight

Willie H. Rouels, Isabel Earley, Susie Arnold, Josephine Anderson, Adda Carpenter

Image 6
Mrs. E. Norling, Gladys-Elsie-(Butch), Hazel Murler, Ida Magneson, John Alef (Dad)

Emil Erickson, Leonard Chartier (Frenchy), Mrs. John Loftus, Mrs. L. Grosscup, Lilly Heaman

Image 7
Mrs. Wm. Ross - Irene, Mrs. John Lyons, Leo Lyons, Mrs. H.W. Gould, Mamie Tracey [Tracy]

Mrs. Jos. Prince, Mrs. Milton E. Kerr, Mrs. Harry Kurtz, Carl & Blanche Schulte,
Jos. Sandercott

Image 8
Lincoln Russell, Ted Schulte, Mrs. E. Oestman, Mrs. Jack O'Toole, Mickey McLean

Mrs. Elmer Schulte, Mrs. Fred Hebert, Mrs. E. McDonald, Mrs. L. Berg, Mrs. Wm. Bergman

Image 9
Mrs. Laniewski, Mrs. Roy Urbin, Mrs. Ralph Seeley, Mr. & Mrs. Wiess [Weiss?],
Mrs. Louis Berg

Zona Gaulden, Lula Osborne, Jennette Duke, Beatrice Darrow, Elsie Siebert

Image 10
Sarah Pittie, Pearl Wilsman, Minnie Grable, Eva Mae Jones, Verlie Bowling

Hettie Gibson, Mrs. Jessie Keatton, Mrs. Pearl Hurlbut, Marceline Koenig

Image 11
Mary Kerr, Helen Lanewski [Laniewski?], Mrs. Hazel Parker

Corp. Karl F. Parker, PFC John Loftus

Image 12
Johnny Philip [?] Morris, T/5 Karl F. Parker, Hello Sweetheart (Nancy Martin)


Readers may have noticed that some of the listings above include phone numbers which, at that time, began with two letters. For a list of Detroit telephone exchanges and lots of other interesting Detroit trivia, visit Detroit Memories. Phone exchanges are listed in the sidebar a little more than halfway down the page. And you'll find a very informative telephone thread at Discuss Detroit.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Notes from The Sheldon Progress, 1914

(click to enlarge)

January 8:
Fred Krantz met with a very painful accident last Monday while splitting up a box at his home in Anselm. A piece containing a rusty nail flew up, penetrating his instep which caused a bad wound. He came to Sheldon in the afternoon and thought little of the injury until along in the afternoon when it began to pain him considerable. Dr. Weyrens probed the wound and the danger of blood poisoning is now past.
January 22:
Anselm: Biscuit Nohr decided to make a high dive a few days ago. The object to dive from was a horse and the place to dive onto was the frozen ground. He landed on the other end of himself and the result was a sprained thumb.
March 12:
Jacob Muth of Kidder, South Dakota, was an office caller [at The Progress] Monday afternoon and advanced his subscription ahead another year. He has sold out his livery business at Kidder and expects to take charge of his farm near Buttzville this spring.
March 19:
Election Returns: Owego Township Constable, Ed Wall. Casey Township Clerk, Philip Nohr. Casey Township Constable, Frank Nohr.
March 26:
Leonard: Miss May Rice, of Tower City, was fortunate in finding Rev. and Mrs. Danford, with whom she was well acquainted while she lived in Tower City, and she spent the weekend with them. [Danford is local.]
April 2:
At a meeting of the supervisors in Owego township last week, Ed Wall received the appointment of road superintendent. A six-mill tax was levied for road purpose.
April 9:
Fred Krantz was a Lisbon visitor Monday.
May 14:
Born to Mr. and Mrs. John Krantz, living east of Anselm, a ten pound boy, Wednesday.
June 4:
The Sheldon Farmers Elevator Co. have contractor Newton's force of men engaged in remodeling the rooms over the old Severson blacksmith shop. A stairway is being built on the front, double doors cut in the second story. It will be used to store the company's line of machine extras. The old house, just east of the Severson building, which was formerly used as a store room, has been sold to Ferdinand Buss, who will tear it down and move it out to his farm. The removal of the building will lessen the fire danger and things will have a neater appearance around the elevator.
July 30:
Lisbon: Ernest Krentz, who has been the faithful baggage man at the N.P. depot for several years, was promoted to cashier Monday. [As far as I know, Ernest was not related to our Krentz family!]
August 6:
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Krentz had a boy Saturday.
October 8:
Oscar Wieg and Ed Buss are going to hold a joint auction sale of their personal property on the McDonald farm two miles east of Sheldon on Thursday, Oct. 15. They are offering twelve head of horses, milch cows, forty head of hogs, and all farm machinery. Mr. Wieg has been offered the foremanship of a large farm in Canada and he expects to go up there next spring to take charge.
November 12:
J.T. Reis left Friday evening for Brainerd, Minn., to look after his farm he has near there. He will visit the Altmans who moved there a year ago.
November 19:
Mrs. Philip Nohr visited with her daughter Mrs. Leo Froemke Monday.
November 26:
Philip Nohr and sister Clara were Lisbon visitors last Friday.
Cards are out announcing the marriage of Fred F. Krentz and Miss Emma Nohr, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Nohr, old residents in Casey township, on Thanksgiving day. Both parties are well known in the community in which they live. Mr. Krentz is a young man of sterling worth who is engaged in farming the old Manning farm east of Anselm where the couple will make their home.

(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Eerily Prescient...

Visit Dark Tigers today to read the chilling poem Black Wind by Bonnie Elizabeth Parker, written 30 years before the September 11, 2001 destruction of the World Trade Center.

I don't know what event inspired the poem. Do you?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

In Search of the Schulte Line, Part 4: Mystery or Soap Opera? You Decide!

(click to enlarge)

Our story so far:
Part 1, in which the Bloodhound Cousins discover the German hometown of our Meyer-Schulte ancestors,
Part 2, in which we perch a fresh bunch of Schulte, Hagedorn, and Friderici ancestors in the distal branches of our Familienbaum, and
Part 3, in which we figure out where the mysterious niece Lizzie Schulte came from, but then she disappears.
Who among us can let sleeping ancestors lie? Probably nobody who's reading this. Certainly not Cheryl and I. Our great great grandfather's niece Lizzie Schulte was in her mid-30s in 1911, the year of the last document we found with her name on it. Did she move back to Germany? Die young? Get married? Cheryl and I speculated a bit, but we were clueless.

Clueless, that is, until we discovered that Cheryl has been sitting on a key piece of our Schulte puzzle for decades. It was exactly what we needed in order to see the whole eye-poppin' picture. Here, read over our shoulder:

Cheryl emailed me:
I had my mother sort out two huge boxes full of my Schulte materials. She worked on it all day. In the end we had 15 piles, one pile for each family group - Joseph & Alvina, Rudolph & Juliane, Elmer & Ella, etc.

Some things I found bear sharing with you, and maybe you will have some ideas on this. I typed 5 family group sheets that all show Josephine [a granddaughter of Joseph Meyer Schulte by his daughter Ida] as the source. On March 18, 1981, Josephine told me that her grandfather Joseph had a brother who had 3 children that she knew of and their names were Elizabeth, known as Lizzie, Mary and Rosa - in that order - Lizzie oldest, then Mary and then Rosa. Elizabeth, Mary and Rosa were all born in Germany. Remember that photo you have of Joseph and a young girl sitting on the porch of an old house? We wondered about that at the time and here is the answer. She was indeed his niece and the daughter of his brother, and also sister to Mary and Rosa. Now WHICH brother of Joseph, I wonder. All those Beckum records we found showed siblings of our Joseph, but which one could be the father of these 3?

Josephine told me that she didn't know if this niece Lizzie ever married. She said that the daughter Rosa married (Josephine didn't know Rosa's husband's name) and had a son named Eric...

[Readers, what's that sound? Is the name Eric ringing any bells for you?]

...and she said that the middle daughter Mary was married to Herman Koenig and they had a son Paul H. Koenig who married your Marceline (Corneilson). Is that right? Was Paul Koenig's mother a Schulte, also??? I just looked back on all your Koenig posts in Before My Time and you DO mention Paul's father as being a Herman Koenig but I don't see any mention of who his mother was. Do you know? Is it possible this information from Jo is correct? That Paul's mother was a Mary Schulte, niece of our Joseph???

And I emailed her back:
Holy cats, Paul's mother, a Schulte!! Well, I have no idea about any of this, I've never heard it before. I have never heard what her name was, nor anything about her being related to the Schultes, but I suppose it's possible. Paul's immigration record says he was from Buer which was where his father lived. I did not find it in my German road atlas, but I did find a Büren which appears to be only about 50 km from Beckum.

Hey, in the Hebert post, there is a census showing Paul's brother Alfons staying with his aunt and uncle, Fred and ELIZABETH Hebert, and Elizabeth was from Germany and maybe she was Lizzie Schulte the niece???? Alfons' mother's sister???? AND in the census with the nephew Alfons staying with them, they have another German nephew staying with them named ERICH Roehrken!!!

Oh, my, you and I together are a genealogical force to be reckoned with!! I bet this is how Paul and Marceline met! They were COUSINS!!
That was the Aha! moment in our Schulte research. Did you see it coming? (My grandmother would have known all this, of course, but my interest in family history, which really burgeoned in 1987 when I discovered how to organize it with genealogy forms, came too late.)

I sent off for Paul's death certificate, and there it was in black & white:

Paul Herman Koenig, son of Herman Koenig and Maria Schulte
(click to enlarge)

From Lizzie's 1909 ship manifest, we learned that her father was Heinrich Schulte. And we did indeed have a Beckum birth record for Heinrich Schulte, our Joseph's brother, both of which you read about in Part 3 of this series.

Readers as eagle-eyed as Cheryl might have discovered another piece of the puzzle (which I so cleverly hid in plain sight!) in Two Mrs. and a Frau. There were actually zwei Frauen of interest in Maria Koenig's 1950 ship manifest. Listed directly above Maria is her sister, Rosina Rorken, also traveling to Detroit. Her destination was surely the home of her son, Erich.

Next, we need to unearth a few things, such as:
  • a Detroit city directory listing for Erich Roehrken at 13939 Rochelle ca. 1950
  • the date of Elizabeth Hebert's death (or where she is buried), so we can order a death certificate which may show that her father was Heinrich Schulte, or...
  • the marriage record (where? when?) of Fred and Elizabeth Hebert, which should also name her parents
  • German churchbooks documenting the marriage of Heinrich Schulte and the births of his three daughters (and possibly others)
Readers who can shed any light on this topic, please use the Comments feature at the bottom of this post to contact me. Include your email address for a personal response. Any comment containing an email address or other personal contact information will not be published to the blog.

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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