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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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Evelyn Hauer's Detroit Friends, 1910-1913

1. Evelyn Hauer and the New Palace Roller Rink Boys
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.

2. Allan Stone - Alanson, Michigan - 1911 - no studio imprint
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

4. Rhien - 1912 - Cornell Studios, Detroit & Toledo
5. Rhien - 1912

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
Maybe someday one of Rhine's descendants will be able to recognize him in these photos. If so, I hope he or she will leave us a comment with his proper identification.

6. Stuhl - Annie Long - 1912
7. Dave Mullen - Louise Mullen

8. and 9. Unidentified - but some of these faces are identified in the other photos.

10. Bertha Rickman and Joe - 1912
A "Drop The Dip" roller coaster is visible in the background.

11. Bill, Paul and Stanley - 1913 - Electric Park, Detroit

12. Rhien, Joe and Buster - 1913 - (below this identification,
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).

New Palace Roller Rink Programme
Evelyn wrote on the back, "Select Party - Nov. 5, 1912"

I think Evelyn (bottom right) and her friends must have had
some wonderful memories from that time in their lives!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bottoms Up!

Fun Friday meets the EEW! factor:

The Sheldon Progress
June 24, 1915
Page One
(click to enlarge)

Just you never mind about page 8. You know too much already.

Notes from The Sheldon Progress, 1915

(click to enlarge)

January 14:
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.

Casey: Mr. and Mrs. Ferdinand Buss were the Sunday guests at the F. Kiefert house.
February 11:
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.

Mrs. Alfred Wieg and children visited with the former's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Kiefert, Sunday.
May 6:
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.

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.
July 15:
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.

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.
November 11:
Edward Wall and family visited at Fred Wall's last Sunday.

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.
November 18:
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.

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.
December 2:
Anselm: Aug Froemke has moved on the Reis farm and Fred Krentz has rented the farm formerly occupied by Mr. Froemke.

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.
December 16:
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

My Childhood Memories: Introduction

written in 1993 by Mary KERR Krentz

Bits and pieces of my life. This is what I am supposed to write for our genealogy book. But where to begin. So many special times to record... happy times, sad times, learning times, and times I neglected to learn. It would take another lifetime to recall it all. I am amazed at all there is to write as little things jog my memory and great snatches of time come tumbling out.

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.

Mary Roslyn Kerr, July 1923
9 months old, 21 pounds

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

The Pettis Plot at Woodlawn Cemetery

Kate EFNER Pettis and firstborn daughter Frankie
are buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Winona, Minnesota.

Winona Daily Republican, 6 November 1867, page 3

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.

Any inscription on the front of Frankie's stone is no longer discernible.
The only thing that can be read is her first name on the top of the stone.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sisters for So Short a Time

Katie Pettis was just three years old when her sister Frankie died.
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
Burial: Unknown
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

Comment Challenge

I read a lot of blogs. Genealogy blogs, mostly, but a number of others as well, and I find myself adding more to my RSS reader regularly. Truth to tell, I can't begin to keep up with them all, but I love to visit each blog occasionally and scroll through to see what I've missed. Most of the time I scroll through the feed reader and just click through to a few enticing titles or a blog I haven't visited in awhile.

I don't leave comments very often, so when I read Kathryn's "Would You Care to Comment?" Challenge, I took it to heart. Having just recently reactivated my Facebook account to join the Genea-Bloggers group there, I discovered our little group has grown by leaps and bounds, so I've been visiting a lot of new blogs lately anyway. It's great fun to see the many ways people blog about genealogy. 

I ended up commenting on more than ten blogs, most of them new to me. 
I also added a few blogs to Blog Networks, and hope other Genea-Bloggers will join their networks so they'll get their feed added to the Feed Wall at Facebook. Some blogs which need additional readers are:
And now for something completely different, the ancestral spirits are stirring! There are 21 haunting tales of fact or fiction in the Carnival of Genealogy, 58th Edition, posted today at Creative Gene. Trick or treat!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Meme-Slacker Caves, Does Meme to Avoid Chores

I've been tagged by both Apple and Sheri Fenley for this meme and, well, since I really should be doing something else, here we go:

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.
5 things on today's to-do list:
  • 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!)
5 snacks I enjoy (the real reason I fell for this meme):
  • 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)
5 places I have lived:
  • 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
5 jobs I've had:
  • postal clerk
  • letter carrier
  • tax prep
  • keypunch operator (whoa, that's goin' back a ways!)
  • counter girl at coffee shop (my first job)
5 bloggers I tag to play:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Girl in the Graveyard

'Twas a dark and stormy night--well, it wasn't night exactly, more like evening, so it wasn't quite dark yet but it was definitely darkening--and it wasn't so much stormy as it was oddly chilly--dank, really, as I hastened from headstone to headstone, hoping to find the grave of my great-great-grandmother, Kate Efner Pettis, before it was too dark to see. I had spent too much of the day poking around the town of Winona looking for documents and places relevant to her life here during the last half of the 1800s. Time had gotten away from me--well, you're a genealogist, I don't need to tell you how that is--so the cemetery office was closed when I arrived and there was no one to point me in the right direction. If I didn't find her grave before dark, I'd have to postpone my early-morning departure from this town.

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:
Halloween Hauntings
Fact or Fiction?

poster courtesy of footnoteMaven

Update: 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.
For the real details and photos, click on this Tombstone Tuesday post.

Posted: Smile for the Camera, 6th Edition!

Almost thirty entries were posted for Funny Bone, the 6th Edition of Smile for the Camera. Becky did a great job of hosting the giggles at kinexxions. Go and be amused!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I Read It in the News!

poster courtesy of footnoteMaven

Jasia is hosting the Carnival of Genealogy, 57th Edition, today.
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


Rosmer Pettis Kerr and his mother Kate, ca. 1896


Posted for

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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