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Monday, December 15, 2008
Wishing my readers plenty of warmth this holiday season, since the whole country seems to be having an old-fashioned cold & snowy winter already.
At present, I'm packing things in anticipation of moving across the country within the next couple of months. At this point, I have no idea how I'm going to work out the details, and I don't expect to be settled and unpacked until... probably early spring? As a result, I don't expect to be blogging for awhile. I plan to resume once I'm unpacked at the new location. Please check back!
Meanwhile, if necessary, I can be reached via the Comments feature. Your comment will be delivered to me via email, which I check as often as possible.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
The voting records in this chart are those of my great-grandfather, Michael Krenz, and members of his family. They're sorted alphabetically, first by surname spelling and then by given name spelling. This list shows ten family members registered a total of 32 times during the years 1889-1931. On close examination, you'll see that the spelling of voters' names was pretty inconsistent.
Augusta (Mrs. Emil/Amel) Krintz, the only woman on this list, registered June 27, 1920. The women's suffrage amendment to the U.S. Constitution wasn't ratified until August 26 of that year, so I wondered whether Indiana had, like some other states, already given women the right to vote.
In fact, Indiana women had begun to fight for the right to vote almost seventy years earlier. I found a very interesting summary of their suffrage history in The History of Indiana Law (p. 180-184) by David J. Bodenhamer and Randall T. Shepard. Although this book is still under copyright (c. 2006), you will find the pages in question online at Google Books. The bottom line is that Indiana ratified their suffrage amendment on January 16, 1920, several months ahead of the U.S. Constitution amendment, but the history of their struggle is concise, readable, and worth a few minutes of your time on this very important election day. Read it, and then go make some American history... vote!
Monday, November 03, 2008
The 7th Edition of
Smile for the Camera
Join the fun!
(Deadline: 10 Nov 2008)
brother of Rosmer P. Kerr (my grandfather)
19 May 1891 - 3 April 1961
Sunday, November 02, 2008
I was delighted to find my great-grandfather, Milton E. Kerr, listed in the 1892 Chicago City Directory, which is online at ChicagoAncestors.org. I've been wanting this for some time, as I knew he was living there for a few years around the time of his son's birth in 1891.
I was hoping to find out where Milton was working. Unfortunately, it appears that either this directory had no section for looking up an address to see who was located there, or else that part of the directory is not online. Hence, while I know that Milton worked at 385 W. Madison, I still do not know the name of the company he was working for.
A great timeline at Encyclopedia of Chicago served up a bit of local history for the period when Milton and Kate Pettis Kerr lived there. Kate gave birth to their son in May 1891. That year, 2,000 Chicagoans died in an epidemic of typhoid fever, and 4.300 more died of bronchitis and pneumonia. Would that have been alarming in a city of 1.1 million people? I would think so.
Telephone service began between Chicago and New York in 1892. Hard to imagine, isn't it, in these days of cell phones and Skype? And in June of that year, Chicago's first elevated railway began transporting commuters around town. Good photos in this half-minute video:
"Those who made observation runs early in the day were well repaid," noted a Tribune reporter, "for the people living on either side of the track had seemingly forgotten the warning about the start, and the passengers saw bits of domestic life usually hidden from the gaze of passing crowds."
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Detroit, Michigan - ca. 1910
(click to enlarge any photo in this post)
These photographs belonged to my grandmother, Evelyn Hauer. She appears in the photo above, a small snapshot which doesn't seem to be related to the group of photos below. I'm not sure whether any of the men in the photos below appear in the one above. All of the photos below were printed as post cards, with the exception of #2, which was printed on lighter weight paper approximately the same size as a post card.
3. Unidentified - although the woman on the right seems tiny
enough to be Evelyn Hauer, I'm not convinced it is she,
but I think both men appear in photos below
I searched the Social Security Death Index for the first name Rhien, and there were no results. Evelyn was notoriously creative when spelling names, so I tried a couple of variations. Spelled Rhein, there were 3 records, but none which appeared to have a Michigan connection. The first name Rhine, however, produced a list of 60 records, almost a third of which had Michigan connections. Assuming the gentleman above is in the 18-25 age range, maybe he is:
- Rhine Cramer
- Rhine Fogt
- Rhine Klunder
- Rhine Newman
- Rhine Schmaltz
- Rhine Schram
Evelyn also wrote "Stanley" at an angle)
13. The Jolly Bunch - 1912
Evelyn worked at the New Palace Roller Rink when she was in her late teens. Although I haven't yet been able to determine the address of the roller rink, I believe it was part of Electric Park, an amusement park which was located on Jefferson Avenue at the Belle Isle Bridge from 1906 until 1928. Evelyn's family lived just across Jefferson at the time, so it would have been a short walk to work for her. There was a Palace ballroom at the park, but I haven't found any mention of the roller rink. You'll find a lot of great photos of Electric Park here (scroll down past the article).
Friday, October 24, 2008
Casey: Miss Annie Buss spent last week and part of this week with her sister Mrs. John Krantz. Mr. Krantz has been busy the past week doing some wood cutting on the banks of the Sheyenne.January 28:
Casey: Ed Buss, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. Buss, met with an accident last Friday while moving an engine, which resulted in the loss of one of his toes and injury to his foot, caused by getting caught in some manner in the engine. We hope that it will not prove serious. At the time of this writing he is getting on nicely.February 11:
Casey: Mr. and Mrs. Ferdinand Buss were the Sunday guests at the F. Kiefert house.
Casey: Miss Annie Buss returned home the fore part of the week from the Smith home where she has been caring for her brother during his illness.February 24:
Casey: John Reis and family were pleasantly entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Fred Krantz Sunday.May 6:
Mrs. Alfred Wieg and children visited with the former's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Kiefert, Sunday.
YEAR'S SUPPLY OF HAY BURNED - A.C. Wieg Sends Man for Hay only to Find Smoldering Ashes - Sending his hired man and team for a load of hay a mile south of Venlo last week, A.C. Wieg found his supply of hay nothing but smoldering ashes. Last fall Mr. Wieg put up a quantity of hay near the Soo Line south of Venlo, leaving about thirty-five tons to haul home after seeding. A prairie fire a week ago swept up from the south and burned all the hay owned by Mr. Wieg and nearly one hundred tons belonging to other farmers. The hay burned for Mr. Wieg was every spear that he had to run him during the spring work and he is left short for feed. It is not known whether the fire was set by a passing train or by some person burning off the stubble field.June 24:
Fred Krantz had quite a serious accident and what might have resulted in a fatal one happen to him last Saturday evening when he and his wife were fording the Sheyenne river opposite the Carl Christman place. Mr. and Mrs. Krants were crossing the river near the Christman place to attend a dance which was being held there that evening. In driving up the steep bank on the opposite side of the river, the horse fell backward into the river, throwing both Mr. and Mrs. Krantz into the water. They both got thoroughly soaked and had the water been deeper might have drowned. The horse was not injured and the only damage done was the breaking of the fills of the buggy. A number of dancers went to their rescue and helped them get the horse and buggy up the embankment.July 15:
Fred Krantz has been troubled of late with appendicitis and he was taken to Lisbon Tuesday morning by Dr. Weyrens who performed an operation at the Patterson hospital.
Casey: Alice Wall returned the fore part of last week after a week's stay with her aunt Mrs. Ed Wall.
Casey: Mrs. Ferdinand Jaster and youngest son were visitors at the Leining home in Enderlin Saturday.
Casey: Mr. and Mrs. Ed Wall of Owego splendidly entertained Mr. and Mrs. Ferdinand Buss Sunday afternoon.
Casey: Ezra Kiefert has been employed by Oscar Wieg to assist him in his farm work for a time. We understand Ezra likes his kind of work fine.
It was sure some hot Monday and Tuesday of this week when the mercury shot up around the ninety and one hundred mark on the thermometer. Tuesday afternoon there were heavy showers both north and south of town, but very little moisture fell here. This morning a mist is falling, quite cool, with a good breeze, which keeps the grain moving. Some farmers report a little red rust in the fields, but so far no black rust has been reported, and with cool, windy weather there is not mch chance of the grain rusting. The corn crop certainly made a good growth this week and much of it stands more than knee high. The best corn we have seen was on the Miller place, east of Anselm, farmed by Fred Krantz.September 16:
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Krantz, east of Anselm, was made happy Monday afternoon by the arrival of a very sweet little baby girl--their first.October 28:
John Ries, living on what is known as the Thos. K. Black farm, two miles southwest of Anselm, will hold an auction sale on Thursday, November 4--a week from today. He will quit farming and will sell ten head of horses, eight head of cattle and all his farm machinery. He is carrying a full page ad in this issue.November 11:
The weatherman decidedly mixed things up Monday when the wind blew a hurricane for twenty-four hours. All threshing was stopped for the day, but since it calmed down the weather has been fine. All the machines have pulled in except L.L. Tregloan and Oscar Wieg and they each have about six days left. It's fine fall weather and farmers are rushing their plowing.
Edward Wall and family visited at Fred Wall's last Sunday.November 18:
Last Sunday Alfred Wall visited at the home of his brother Fred, who lives near Anselm.
A small gathering of friends and relatives was held last Sunday at Fred Wall's for Mrs. C. Wendler, Mr. Wall's sister, who has been visiting here from Idaho.
Mrs. Chas. Wendler, of Twin Lakes, Idaho, has been visiting with her brothers and father, Chas. Wall, the past two months. She left for her home in Idaho last Monday with Mrs. Fred Wall, who accompanied her to Fargo where she spent a few days visiting friends.
Mrs. Oswald Ihme and two grandchildren, Viola and Gertie, were visiting friends in Fargo last Monday and Tuesday.
John Ihme had to batch it a few days during his mother's absence. It seemed rather hard for him so we see a bachelor's life would not agree very well with him.
Already this fall a number of renters have changed places and many more will either move this fall or in the spring. Chas. Rightmire has rented the L.L. Tregloan farm and moved last week from the Mrs. Jennie Patterson place. Gottlieb Spitzer has rented the Patterson land and has moved over from the Kuntz farm. Julius Gilldenzoff, who has been living in the Kaatz house in town, has rented the Miller place east of Anselm and moved out this week. Chas. McDougall has rented the Jones place, being vacated by his father, and the T.J. McCully farm has been rented by Jacob Kaspari for one of his boys. Carl McDougall has rented the Creswell farm and the place where Mr. McDougall is now living has been rented by O. Wieg.November 25:
LIBERTY FARMER HAS ACCIDENT - While Leading Cow by Chain, Has Two Fingers Jerked Off - Adolf Krentz, living five miles south of Enderlin, met with a painful and serious accident last Wednesday. While attempting to tie a cow with a chain she tried to jerk away and the unfortunate gentleman had two fingers of his left hand torn off. He was brought to town and the wounds attended to and is now getting along as well as could be expected.December 2:
John T. Reis and family, who have been farming southwest of Anselm for the past several years, left Tuesday evening for Bemidji, Minn., near where Mr. Reis owns some land and where he will engage in farming. He loaded his car at Anselm this week. Last Saturday evening a number of their old friends and neighbors gave them a farewell surprise. About sixty were present and a very enjoyable evening was spent in renewing reminiscences and playing games which was followed by a nice supper.
Mr. and Mrs. Wieg Sundayed at Ed Wall's.
Alice Elafson is spending the week with Mrs. Ed Wall.
Anselm: Fred Wall and Barney Buss took two cars of cattle to St. Paul for J.R. Clements and Jake Walters. Some of their own cattle were included.
Anselm: Aug. Jaster's geese took a wild flight last week. They all returned but three. If anyone has seen them they would be pleased to know their whereabouts.
Anselm: Aug Froemke has moved on the Reis farm and Fred Krentz has rented the farm formerly occupied by Mr. Froemke.December 16:
Owego: Ed Buss was a weekend visitor at the Wall home.
Owego: Glenn, Ellen and Mae Black, Mac Elafson, Edna Wiltse and Mr. and Mrs. Ed Wall and son Herbert spend an enjoyable Sunday at the Van Horn home.
Anselm: John Krentz's spent Sunday at Kieferts.
Mrs. J. Muth and Ed Wall's visited at Wall's part of Thursday.
Walter Ihme and Fred Wall returned Tuesday from St. Paul driving a new car.
Mrs. Leaning [sic] from Enderlin is spending a few days at F. Jaster's this week.
August and John Krueger returned Monday from Leonard where they went to attend a dance.
Misses Annie Buss and Gusta Krueger were at Lisbon Monday during [sic] their Christmas shopping.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I have always been a very private person, holding inside my deepest feelings lest they be misunderstood--or worse, ridiculed. There are so many moments, so many thoughts that I have never shared. I am not sure that I can share them now.
How can one tell the story of a lifetime if only the good things are told. Yet, how can one tell the bad things--the sad times--the unworthy thoughts--the negatives that round out a life and make it real.
I remember a "Peanuts" cartoon where Charlie Brown was having a really bad day, and Linus said to him, "Life is never all one way, Charlie Brown. You win some, you lose some." Charlie brightened up considerably and said, "Really? Gee, that would be neat."
So perhaps it is mostly the good things that I am meant to record. The happy times, the humorous times, the special times that, for me, cancel out the bad and the sad, so that when I have finished writing I can read my story and say to myself, "You had a good life."
And I did.
I don't remember the day I was born. I'm told it was October 22, 1922, and Mama was pleased that I resembled my father.
Only one small problem--I became ill. Mama was scared. She'd already lost one baby, and that was one too many in her mind. So she prayed really hard that I would live, promising to name me Mary if I did. That was no small promise because they had already decided to name me Roslyn--first three letters of my father's name, and the last three letters of her name. I lived and was christened Mary Roslyn Kerr. Funny how Mama always thought when you asked God for something you had to promise him something in return. I don't believe God needs gifts in exchange for answering prayers. I believe He says Yes or No according to what's best for each of us. I believe sometimes our prayers are granted because we have something to learn from that situation, and sometimes He says No because there are better things ahead for us.
As you can tell, I believe in God. He is a very real part of my life and He has always been there for me through good times and bad, someone I could count on when things got rough. In a lifetime there are bound to be rough moments, but I have also come to realize that it is the heavy times, the hard decisions, the mistakes and the correction of those mistakes that help us grow.
Regular readers of Before My Time may recall reading some of my mother's memories in past posts. Today, in celebration of what would have been her 86th birthday, I bring you the beginning of her story as she wrote it. To read other posts in this series, click on the "lifestories by mary kerr" label at the end of this post.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
In this city on the morning of the 6th inst., Frankie A.,
daughter of D.J. and Katie E. Pettis, aged 5 years and 8 months.
The funeral will take place from the house,
on lower Second street, to-morrow at 2 o'clock.
The friends of the family are invited to attend.
Records at the cemetery indicated that Frankie died of gastric fever.
The only thing that can be read is her first name on the top of the stone.
Monday, October 20, 2008
These two carte-de-visite photos measure 2.5" x 4". They were taken by
Wiggins & Barnes, Photographers - Union Block, Second Street, Winona, Minn.
Husband: Darius J. PETTIS
Born: Abt. 17 Sep 1837 in Verona, Oneida County, New York
Alt. Born: 1833-1840 in New York
Married: 05 Mar 1860 in Lyndon, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Died: Abt. 1883 in Montana
Father: Micajah Petit PETTIS
Mother: Tryphena SEDGWICK
Wife: Kate EFFNER
Born: Jul 1841 in New York
Died: 25 May 1914 in Mercer, Mercer County, Pennsylvania
Burial: 29 May 1914 in Winona, Winona County, Minnesota
Father: Ezekiel Taylor EFNER
Mother: Salina BOUCK [or BURCH?]
1 Name: Frankie PETTIS
Born: Abt. Mar 1862
Died: 06 Nov 1867 in Winona, Winona County, Minnesota
Burial: in: Winona, Winona County, Minnesota
2 Name: Katharine E. PETTIS
Born: 02 Oct 1864 in Winona, Winona County, Minnesota
Died: 11 Jun 1937 in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan
Burial: 14 Jun 1937 in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan
Married: 15 Dec 1889, probably in Omaha, Nebraska
Spouse: Milton E. KERR
Saturday, October 18, 2008
- iPentimento - Cabinet of Curiosities 10th Edition: Ancient Indian Vessel
- The Educated Genealogist - My Maternal Surnames
- Looking4Ancestors - Fun Friday: Would You Care to Comment?
- Genealogy Traces - Searching for Arthurs Near Ducktown, Tennessee
- Heritage Happens - It Tickles My Funny Bone
- Life's Journey - How to Make a Printer's Hat
- Granite in My Blood - My Parents Tickle My Funny Bone
- The Research Journal - Look! It's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!
- Transylvanian Dutch - Returning to St. Louis City 1908
- Creative Gene - Polish Pottery and Crystal
- Destination: Austin Family - My New Genealogy Page and More!
- Genea-Musings - Keeping up with the Taggers
- Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog - City Directories
- Twig Talk - The Eyes of Old Tom
- West in New England - Dancing Maggie
- Random Ramblings of a Mother and Genealogy Enthusiast - Photo of My Grandfather Having Fun
- Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog
- FamHist and/or FamHist2 (I'm not sure which is primary and which is backup)
- From Axer to Ziegler
- Life's Journey
- Forgotten Faces
- Cow Hampshire
- Two Sides of the Ocean
- Paula Goff Christy's Blog
- Kathy's Genealogy Blog
- Random Ramblings of a Mother and Genealogy Enthusiast
Thursday, October 16, 2008
10 years ago I...
- ...published a family history newsletter for relatives on my dad's side. There were 22 issues in all, published from 1997-2004 and mailed to about 75 families. Two or three more issues would complete my original vision for the series, but for several reasons my process was interrupted. I don't rule out the possibility of finishing, but don't hold your breath.
- ...watched 191 movies. I can tell you which ones, if you'd like. Ask me how I know. Never mind, I'll tell you. I...
- ...kept a planner throughout 1998 in which I noted every iota of minutiae pertaining to my daily life. Wanna know who-all I dated that year?
- ...turned 50, and lost a friend to cancer.
- blog post (should this meme count? so many topics, so little time...)
- toss ten things
- clear off the coffee table (psssh... commit to that publicly? what are the odds I'll actually do it?)
- pack at least one box (I'm covered on this one, I'm almost done with a big container of linens... yeah, okay, what I really meant was one box of books, but...)
- start collecting all boxes of photos & family memorabilia into large blue Rubbermaid tub (Genea-Bloggers Treasure Hunt?... unh... commitmentphobic!)
- Flamin' Hot Cheetos followed by mint chocolate chip ice cream
- a big fresh crisp raw potato, sliced, briefly soaked in cold water, salted as you go
- homemade applesauce spread like jam on buttered mixed-grain toast
- candy (Smarties, Skittles, caramels, fruit chews, and of course chocolate)
- Funyuns with Wasabi (were these a temporary thing? I haven't seen them in quite awhile)
- metropolitan Detroit area, Michigan
- Salt Lake City (a short walk from the library!)
- suburban Portland, Oregon
- Eugene, Oregon
- not Canada, Mexico or Hawaii, although I've slept more than a few nights in each of them
- postal clerk
- letter carrier
- tax prep
- keypunch operator (whoa, that's goin' back a ways!)
- counter girl at coffee shop (my first job)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I was about to give up when I spotted a large marker thirty or forty yards from where I stood. Even at that distance I could clearly read the name: PETTIS. I was pumped on adrenalin and covered with goosebumps as I ran toward the stone, but I stopped short when I got near enough to see that there was nothing else inscribed on it. No first name, no date, nothing. I couldn't quite believe my eyes. What did this mean? Was she buried here or not? I turned away briefly, rubbing the goosebumps on my arms and wondering what to make of it.
When I turned back to the stone, I was startled--truth to tell, I may have shrieked a bit, I don't remember--as there now stood before it a little girl maybe five or six years old. I'd been alone in the graveyard, or so I had thought, and now in the dwindling light stood this little girl, staring at me.
"What on earth are you doing here?" I asked when I'd recovered myself.
She didn't respond with anything but an unsettling stare, so I tried another question.
"Where are your parents?" And why, I wanted to add, would they let their daughter wander around a cemetery alone at this hour?
"Is your daddy here?" I asked again, as she hadn't seen fit to answer yet. Slowly she shook her head.
"What about your mother? Is she here?"
"Yes, your mama. Where is she?"
This little girl was really starting to creep me out, you know what I mean? There was something really strange about her. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but my goosebumps were getting goosebumps.
"Mama?" she said again, and I turned around to see if her mother was sneaking up on me from behind. I was a little jumpy, you know, and I didn't want to shriek again. As graveyard behavior goes, shrieking is just too cliche. I did not want to embarrass myself again.
I didn't see her mother or anyone else behind me though, despite a careful scan of the surroundings, so I turned back to the girl, but... she was gone. I was more than ready to leave too, if the truth be told, but the mother in me made me peek behind the PETTIS stone to see if the girl was there. She was not.
"Hey, little girl," I called, fighting down my shivers, but there was no reply. I ran to a small mausoleum that stood nearby and looked behind that too, to no avail.
"That's it, I'm outta here!" I said to no one but myself, and I hightailed it back to my motel as fast as I could. When I got there, my hands were shaking so hard I couldn't unlock the door to my room, so I headed for the office. I tried to compose myself before I went in.
"I think you should call the police," I told the desk clerk, stifling any telltale trace of irrational hysteria. "There's a little girl in the cemetery alone. She seems to be lost."
I was somewhat calmer once I'd handed over the girl's well-being to the proper authorities. I managed to let myself into my room and, still feeling chilled, I stood in a hot shower until I was plenty warmed up enough to get to sleep. There would be no morning departure as I'd planned. I wanted to revisit the cemetery in the bright light of day, and see if the office had any records to show whether my great-great grandmother was buried beneath the PETTIS stone. And, I must admit, I was curious to know whether the little girl was safely returned to her mother.
In the morning, after a continental breakfast consisting of a dried-out doughnut and two cups of coffee, I stepped out into the light of day which, as it turned out, was not bright at all but rather ominously overcast. Still, I went straight to the cemetery, thinking to have another look around the PETTIS stone until the office opened, but it was already open when I arrived. An elderly woman looked up from her desk when I walked in.
"Good morning," she said. "Can I help you?"
"Can you tell me whether Kate Efner Pettis is buried here?" I asked.
"Is she dead?" she asked.
"That or else she's 150 years old," I replied.
"I see,' she said, getting up from the desk. "I suppose I'll have to look that up." And off she went to the back room. After a few minutes, I took a seat to wait. By and by, I began to nod off, having slept poorly during the night despite the hot shower I'd had, due to some frightfully chilling nightmares.
Her voice jerked me back to consciousness when she finally returned and announced, as if I'd wondered, "She's dead."
"Uh-huh," I said, waiting for more.
"She's in lot 69-I. Been there since the 29th of May, 1914. Funny thing, though, there are six plots in 69-I. The Pettis family owned them all, but only the two of them were ever buried there."
"Her husband is there? Darius is there?" I asked in disbelief. From what I'd heard, Darius had gone to Montana and never returned, leaving his wife Kate to raise their daughter, also named Kate, alone.
"Darius? No, the name wasn't Darius" she said. "The name of the other one is Frankie, not Darius. Buried in November of 1867. Youngster. There's a separate little gravestone next to the big one. You'll see it."
"I was there last night," I said. "All I saw was one big gravestone with nothing on it but PETTIS. I didn't see any small marker next to it. Was I in the right place?"
She pointed at a map of the cemetery, but of course I wasn't sure if her finger landed where I'd been the night before. I'd been too distracted then to notice exactly where I was. Which reminded me to ask, "Do you know whether the police found that little girl who was lost here last night?"
"Oh, I'm sure there was no lost child here last night," she said. "My son investigated that himself. He's a policeman, you know. So, you're the one who called that in? My boy gave the place a thorough going-over and I assure you, there was no lost child."
I saw no point in pursuing the subject further with her. I had more important things on my mind. I was eager to find out more about this Frankie. I'd thought my great-grandmother was an only child, but now it seemed she'd had a brother. With a mental picture of the cemetery map in my head, I left the office, and in minutes I was standing once again in front of the PETTIS stone I'd found the night before. Frankie's stone wasn't exactly next to the big one, but it was there alright, set off a little, toward the mausoleum. It said only "FRANKIE" on the top, and if there was anything inscribed on the front of the stone, it was no longer discernible. I'd never have known Frankie was a Pettis by looking at this stone.
Clearly I would not be leaving Winona yet, as I now had to return to the library. I hoped to find something in the old newspapers about the death of Frankie Pettis.
Luck was on my side. The library was open and they had an obituary clipping file among their holdings. It didn't take me long to find what I needed, and when I did, it chilled me to the bone. Frankie wasn't a boy at all. It was her. Frankie was the girl in the graveyard.
There's still time!
Tomorrow, October 15, is the deadline for
Carnival of Genealogy, 58th Edition:
Fact or Fiction?
This carnival was great fun, and my story is all true, except for the following:
- I didn't go to the graveyard in the evening, and there was no chill. It was a warm and sunny day.
- The cemetery office was open, and the person who looked up the Pettis records for me was, to the best of my memory, neither elderly nor eccentric.
- There was no ethereal Frankie by the Pettis gravestone. I don't rule out the possibility that she may have been elsewhere, but I didn't see or speak with her!
- There was no motel clerk, no police, no nightmares, no stale doughnut, and I didn't drink coffee back then either.
- There was no photograph of Frankie with her death notice.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
The topic: I read it in the news!
Visit Creative Gene to see the many ways that newspaper research
has enhanced the gathering of family history for 50 geneabloggers.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
You didn't want to sit through a three and a half hour programme anyway, did you? I thought not! Oddly, however, despite the elaborate minute-by-minute detail in this article, in the end I actually wished for a bit more... like the full text of the interesting student speeches, and a sound file of the galop that had the audience dancing in the aisles...
THE VALUED CERTIFICATES WHICH HAPPY GRADUATES OBTAINED—
COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES AT THE NORMAL SCHOOL—
A FINE CLASS NUMBERING THIRTY-FOUR.
The commencement exercises of the
were held in the hall of that institution this morning. According to programme the opening hour was , but long before that hour arrived the spacious room was well filled with a well-dressed, boquet-equipped, expectant throng, and before the specified half-past had fully come there was no available space unoccupied. Considerable attention had been paid to the decoration of the hall. The music was well arranged and as well distributed. The State Normal school Germaniaorchestra, under direction of Prof. Rohweder, was placed in front of the stage on the extreme north of the hall. Immediately behind them, on seats rising from the floor of the stage, obliquely towards the audience, were seats for one wing of the chorus and below them on the stage seats were placed for the invited guests, among whom were Rev. F.W. Flint, Prof. Sanford Niles, Gen. C.H. Berry, Hon. C.F. Buck, Supt. Helden of Mower county, Supt. Cook of Olmsted county, Supt. Lord of Winona county, Mayor Ludwig, Supt. McNaughton, Hon. O.B. Gould and Hon. E.B. Drew.
Directly across the stage, on the extreme south of the hall, on seats corresponding to those above the invited guests, was the other wing of the
Normalchorus, the instruments for chorus accompaniment standing just in front of the center of the stage on the main floor of the hall. The faculty of the occupied the front row of seats on the stage, and immediately behind them were the members of the graduating class. Normal
The decorations of the hall were really artistic. Above the stage was an arch of evergreens bearing the motto, on a white center, “
non sine pulvere.” Displayed in the concave of the arch was the monogram, “S.N.S.” Surrounding this device was an evergreen circle, the date 1883 disposed on both sides of the arch. The ceiling and chandeliers were gracefully festooned with evergreens, and massive lines of the same dark green crossed the hall in well formed curves and were caught up in loops at the central chandelier. The stage was literally smothered in fragrance, and the display of cut flowers and potted plants on stands was most elaborate. Precisely at ten the orchestra, members of the faculty, guest’s chorus, pianists, and the graduating class took their places, and the Palma Germaniaorchestra rendered an overture, Mozart’s Die Entefuhrung, in a very inspiring manner.
The overture rendered, prayer was offered by the Rev. F.W. Flint of the Presbyterian church. This expression of devotional feeling was most appropriate to the occasion, and expressive of thanksgiving for the past and hope for the future.
Prayer was followed by music—The Dawning of the Day—rendered by the Normal School chorus, under direction of the efficient musical head of the Normal, Mrs. H.E. Gilbert, whose name is a sufficient guarantee of the artistic quality of the execution. The pianists were Misses Jessie Johns and Mary Buck.
Miss Hattie A. Keith was then announced as the salutatorian. The slow growth of nature and the necessity of all past to the existence of present, were noted as illustrative of the life of the class. The figure of the voyager was introduced, and the divergence of the course each will take, and the different cargoes each will collect, were adverted to. The address closed with a hearty welcome to each to make most of life’s voyage just opening. The enunciation was clear and the delivery slow and expressive.
“The Education of Women” was presented by Lizette A. Anding. The essayist affirmed the parallelism between the degradation of the women of any given age and the debasement of that age. In illustration certain historical examples were cited and a review made of the progress of
Europein affording women the privileges of the most liberal culture. The historical statement of the educational work of women in was well prepared. America
Ida I. Alleman presented the theme of map sketching, and the illustrations were by Frances Hopkins. This was a new departure from the old-time exercises, and a most commendable one. The idea was to illustrate the new method of teaching geography, and to show how the old methods failed, because there was so little to fix the memory. In this new method, illustrated as it was by the crayon and board upon the platform, it was shown that the memory of the outline was easily retained. The subject of illustration was
, and it was a first class specimen of free hand sketching, done “as fast as a horse would trot.” Boundaries, streams, and lakes were jotted down by the illustrator as fast as the crayon could move. Minnesota State, etc., were also delineated, showing the power of the memory to grasp marked features of mountain, plain and river, and so furnish correct bases for all future research. The work was excellently done and elicited marked commendation. South America, New York
Germaniaorchestra then enlivened the scene with “Wedding Wreath waltz,” by Resener, and at its conclusion the first hour of the exercises had passed.
The essay of Anna P. Fockens, “The Old is New,” was, in terms, a declaration that our most modern ideas of teaching are in fact very ancient; that as far back as the times of the Egyptians the methods so recently discovered were in vogue. It was really a thoughtful, well-worded paper.
Hattie E. Hayes’s theme on Nature’s Geometry was another new departure most acceptable to the audience. In this the illustrations were previously put upon the board, and were most elaborate. The name of the essay fully designates its character. It was an illustration showing how all nature’s multiform creations result from combinations of the most simple geometrical forms. The theme was unique, its treatment clear and concise, and the work of illustrative preparation (in which the essayist was assisted by Miss Flemming) was complete. The theme as presented was listened to and studied with breathless attention.
Ella Donaldson’s essay “Workshops” followed. Under this simile, the work of building character was presented as carried on in the
Port Royalshop, , in which Fletcher, Racine and others were master workmen. From this opening the transfer to the Swiss workman Pestalozzi was easy and the moral pointed, that those teach much who love much. The essay was given with pleasing voice and well received. Versailles, France
The Normal school chorus then rendered Abt’s “Home.” The effect of the exquisite selection was most impressive and tender.
The “theory” of the “Kindergarten” was presented in an essay by Kate J. Pettis. The human trinity of the body, mind and soul, brought to the high unity of a perfect humanity, was declared the end sought in this garden of the children. The “practice” of the Kindergarten was presented by Emma M. Whitney, and was a statement of the multiform uses of the globe, the cube and the cylinder, in inducting the youngest intellect into the mystery of form.
Josie H. Hegman gave “The Rise of the English Novel.” Daniel Defoe was set forth as its father, and the wonderful hold Robinson Crusoe has taken on the human imagination was pleasantly portrayed.
was naturally claimed as the home of the English novel, and in the further pursuit of the theme the England Atlanticwas crossed ad a tribute paid to ’s novelists. America
Elocution—(with illustrations)—a medley, was the theme of Ada B. Sailsbury. After setting forth the ability of all to cultivate the use of the vocal organs, and the marvelous power of the human voice, artistically managed, the theme was illustrated in person. Various passions were expressed, and the changes rung through all the possibilities of human utterance at the command of the speaker. The effect at times was quite startling, and the transitions peculiarly made.
The audience then rose to rest themselves, and listened to the strains of the orchestra in “Mit Sturmeseile,” (a galop) Frauke—and to judge from the bodies in motion there were not a few whose spirits moved responsive to the strain.
A phase of insect life was then presented by Fannie G. French; illustration by the giver of the theme. The destructive insects that ravage the Northwestern grain fields were artistically drawn and a full description, in brief, given of their introduction into this country, means of destruction and migrating habits. It was one of the most concrete presentations of a very interesting subject we have listened to in a decade.
The New Education, by Fred. D. Parsons, was the only “oration” of the hour, and with this the exercises of the class were brought down to the valedictory. The oration was a plea, quite effectively delivered.
Valedictorian, Ella J. Williams, closed the list for the graduating class. The words she uttered were an appreciative acknowledgement of the services of the officers and teachers of the Normal school. The farewell to classmates was tender, and to all, affecting.
The Normal School chorus gave Gounod’s “Sing Praises Unto the Lord” with jubilant expression, Miss Jessie Johns presiding at the organ, and Miss McCutchen assisting Miss Buck at the piano.
President Shepard then presented the graduating class to the President of the State Normal Board, Hon. Thos. Simpson, and recommended the conferring of the usual diplomas.
Mr. Simpson responded—regretting the absence of the State Governor who, down to a very late hour, was confidently relied upon to confer the diplomas. The address to the class of graduates, which followed, was replete with practical suggestions to them as teachers standing upon the threshold of their professional life. The speaker asserted that the later time had created a fourth profession, that of teaching, and tat this now profession was not second in its importance to its older sisters of law, medicine and theology. Some valuable statistics of the educational progress of the State were given, and an earnest appeal made to the candidates for graduation to fit themselves for the high work of meeting their responsibilities with faithfulness. The authorization of the board was then given in the delivery of the parchments which were then duly presented, the benediction pronounced and the exercises closed.
An interesting feature of the hour was the presentation of the diplomas of the Frœbel Union, upon the authority of Mrs. S.E. Eccleston, directress of the kindergarten of the State Normal. These diplomas are not authorized by the State Normal Board, nor has the board the power to confer them.
The names of the graduating class are as follows:
NAMES OF GRADUATES.
Anna Catherine Fockens,
Josephine Helen Hegman, Faribault, Minn.
Anna Catharine Killian,
Alice Amelia May,
Frederic Dewitt Parson,
Blanche Sailsbury, Ada Winona, Minn.
Lucy Anna Stewart,
Minnesota City, Minn.
Ella Josephine Taylor,
Elementary Course—Junior Class.
Ida Iona Alleman,
Lizette Augusta Anding, Reads Landing,
Adela May Crane,
Rachel Ella Donaldson, Dundas, Minn.
Fanny Gertrude French,
Nancy Eveline Grover,
Hattie Eliza Hayes, LeRoy, Minn.
Hattie Asenath Keith, Burre, Vt.
Ada Maude Stella Melville, Winona, Minn.
Alfred Nelson, White Rock,
Ella Jane Williams,
Jane Marinda Beebe, Winona, Minn.
Annie Maude Craik,
Frances Annette Cram,
Emma Louise Dick, Dakota, Minn.
James Meddick Drew,
Minnesota City, Minn.
Mary Cecelia Flannery,
Edith Helen Flemming,
Otis Carsley Gross,
Elna Frances Hopkins,
Mary Jane Lyman,
Emma Minnie Rose, Winona, Minn.
Mary Burns, Homer,
Kate Efner Pettis, Winona, Minn.
Emeline Morgan Whitney,
There was nothing to mar the harmony of the occasion. The vast audience sat out to the close through more than three and a half hours of waiting, with no signs of impatience notwithstanding the afternoon services of decorating the soldiers’ graves were to follow. Thus closed the 25th commencement of the
at State Normal School . Winona
Prized Parchment, The Winona Daily Republican,
Monday, September 01, 2008
seated 2nd from left, the one with a bodiceful of buttons
(click to enlarge)
We'd be a lot cooler right now if we were wearing our 21st century clothes, wouldn't we? Have you spotted my great-great granny? She must be here somewhere--her only child is graduating from high school. Don't bother looking for my great-great grandpappy--he went off to Montana seven years ago and hasn't come back.HAPPY GRADUATES.The fact that the mercury is vibrating in the eighties has had no tendency to lessen the interest of the parents and many friends of the twelfth graduating class of the High School in the exercises being held at Normal Hall this evening.
THE HONORABLE GOAL ATTAINED--
COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES OF THE HIGH SCHOOL.
Psst! Are you as worried as I am about those temporary stages? Look, the orchestra is getting ready to play, and isn't that stage wavering a bit?DECORATIONS.The rostrum is properly decorated with choice cut flowers and potted plants, arranged in pyramidal and other attractive designs. Festoons of evergreen and roses arranged over and about the stage lend additional beauty to the scene. On the wall in the rear is the class motto in Latin and German--"Post Proelia Praemia," "Ohna Kampf Kaena Krona," the dates 1878 and 1882, and the monogram W.H.S.THE GUESTS.The members of the Winona Board of Education, State Superintendent D.L. Kiehl, of St. Paul; Dr. C.N. Hewitt of Red Wing; Prof. C.H. Gilbert, formerly of the High school here, County Superintendent O.M. Lord, Prof. Irwin Shepard, Rev. F.W. Flint and C.H. Berry, Esq., ex-President of the Board of Education, occupy seats to the left on the rostrum, while Rev. J.J. Hillmer, Miss F.A. Caldwell, Miss Jeanette A. Mitchell, Miss Frances A. Elmer and Miss Kate M. Ball, of the high school faculty, and the graduates are seated on the right.
On either side of the rostrum temporary staging has been erected, which is occupied, on the right, by the members of the junior class, and on the left by the Germania orchestra.
Messrs. Seymore Brown, Frank Roe, Harry Cole, Herbert Averill, Frank Doud, Louis Doud, Charles Purdy, Bert Merigold, Fred Smith ad William Frey are acting as ushers.
Dear God, let the temporary stage hold up!THE EXERCISES.The programme of exercises is admirably carried out under the direction of Superintendent McNaughton. While the orchestra plays Krieger's Vereins march, the ushers are distributing programmes, and when the music ceases Rev. Mr. Flint leads in prayer.
Mr. Allison W. Laird, to whom has been entrusted the duty of delivering the salutatory, extends the thanks of the class to the members of the Board of Education for the interest they have manifested in them, and to the teachers of the High School who have ever had their welfare at heart. The latter, he says, might be compared to horticulturists; they have pruned, trained and cared for them since childhood. Four years have rolled away--years which have been too short--and the time has come when they must part. Concluding his salutatory, Mr. Laird turns to the audience and extends in behalf of the class a cordial welcome. He then delivers an able oration on "Labor and Pay."Look, she's next! My great-grandmother... although she doesn't know that yet... well, I guess she never will, since she'll be eleven years gone before I'm even born...
"Traces," an original poem read by Miss Lucy A. Stewart shows that the young lady's studies in versification have been pursued with marked efficiency.
After music by the orchestra Miss Anna C. Killian reads an essay entitled, "Masterkey," and then delivers the Valedictory. She addresses in turn the members of the Board of Education, the High school faculty, the members of the junior class and bids them an affectionate farewell. Then, turning to her classmates, she addresses them in touching words, saying that the long-looked-for, though dreaded hour has come. She hopes that they will carry with them as they go out into the world pleasant recollections of their school life, and that the lessons they have sought will not have been sought in vain.
The parting song, written by Miss Helen Bradley and set to music by Mr. Warren H. Peirce, is sung by the members of the class.THE GRADUATES.While the class remains standing, Superintendent McNaughton presents them to Dr. McGaughey, President of the Board of Education, for the bestowal of appropriate honors. Dr. McGaughey congratulates the young ladies and gentlemen on the completion of their studies. The reputation of a school is entrusted to its Alumni, and through their exertions the honor of the High school must be maintained. Diplomas are then presented to the following graduates:
Anna Catherine Fockens
M. Adelaide Harter
John Horace Johnson
Anna Catherine Killian
Allison White Laird
Robert Hayes Laird
Clara Vesta Nichols
Edith Simpson Norten [Norton?]
Kate Efner PettisOh, my! I think I may have just nodded off there for a minute! Do you think we could slip out whilst the orchestra is still pl... uh-oh, too late...
Warren Huntington Peirce
Ada Blanche Sailsbury
Emma Gertrude Staples
Lucy Anna Stewart
Chauncey F. Waterman
Emeline M. Whitney
While the orchestra plays, handsome bouquets and baskets of flowers, whose fragrance fairly fills the hall, are presented to the members of the class as the compliments of various friends. Miss Carrie Bohn, assisted by Masters Joy Lombard and Frank Terrill, acting as bearer of red roses, and Prof. Hillmer as flower distributor.SUPERINTENDENT KIEHLE'S REMARKS.Hon. D.L. Kiehle, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, next speaks of the duties and responsibilities of life, and bids the class adieu with best wishes for their success. Music by the orchestra follows.
Heh, if you think this was a long programme, just wait until next year's Normal School commencement exercises...DR. HEWITT'S ADDRESS.Dr. C.N. Hewitt, of Red Wing, is introduced and makes an address on Physical Education--the importance of the physical training of the body. He says this subject is greatly neglected in our schools. Instructors should insist upon it that a rigid system of physical education should be enforced. He then turns to the members of the graduating class and speaks to them of the necessity of physical as well as mental culture.THE CLOSE.Music by the Orchestra concludes the evening's exercises.
Superintendent McNaughton and the additional members of the High school faculty have reason to feel proud over the efficiency of their work, and the happy manner in which the programme has been carried out.
Okay, readers, I admit it, I did take the liberty of changing Saturday's news story from past tense to present, so that we could enjoy the programme as we fanned our perspiring selves with the, uh, programme. Other than that, it's a faithful transcription which includes all errors and inconsistencies except for one, which I just could not leave alone. "Post Proelia Praemia" ("after struggles come rewards") appeared in the newspaper this way: "Post Praelia Praemia." And, at the risk of spoiling the illusion that We Were There, which I worked so hard to create, I must now admit that We Weren't Really There, so I do not know whether the spelling error originated with The Winona Daily Republican or the Class of '82 poster-makers. Either way, I didn't want all my fluent Latin-speaking readers to be distracted by the heinous error. Yah, you're welcome.
If you so desire, you can click here to read the original article at Winona Newspaper Project.
Can you help? Readers who recognize their own ancestor in the class photo above are invited to use the Comment feature to let us know which name goes with which face. If you wish to request a high-resolution copy of the photo, please do so in a separate comment which includes your email address. Any comment with an email address in it will not be published.
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