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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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.

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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