First Son: Albert

 

img164 (2)

The 316th Field Artillery 81st division boarding a train at Knotty Ash Depot to Southhampton, Liverpool, England August 14 1918.  From: httpdigital.ncdcr.govcdmrefcollectionp15012coll10id1564

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks  week 1 of 2019 the topic is “first”.  

Albert Grunst, Jr. was the first son born to Albert Grunst and Anna Schmerling.[1]  Albert was born on 5 August, 1892 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois.[2]  Albert joined his older sister Alma at home and by 1900 two more siblings, Lillian and Walter, were added to the family.[3]  In 1901 the last sibling, Elmer, was born.[4]

Sometime between 1900 and 1910 the family moved from Chicago, Illinois to the suburb of Cicero, Illinois.[5]  In 1910 Albert’s occupation is a key fitter for a piano company.[6]   Twenty-two year old Albert married twenty-two year old Adeline Olsen on 12 February 1913.[7]  The age on Albert’s marriage certificate seems to be different from his birth certificate.  It lists his birth year as 1891 yet his birth certificate says 1892. I believe his birth certificate to be right.  Albert’s WWI draft card lists that he married and his address is 21 E. Van Buren St., Chicago, Illinois, however that address is crossed out and 3046 S. 48th Court, Cicero, Illinois is written in as his address.[8]   He is working as painter for a Harry Bloom in Chicago.[9]  Albert’s physical characteristics are listed as medium height, slender build, grey-blue eyes, and dark brown hair, and he is not bald.[10]  

On 5 August 1918 Albert left the Port of New York on the ship Aquitania with his fellow troops of Battery E 316th field Artillery 81st Division.[11]  “The 81st Infantry Division “Wildcats” was organized as a National Division of the United States Army in August 1917 during World War I at Camp Jackson, South Carolina. The division was originally organized with a small cadre of Regular Army officers, while the soldiers were predominantly Selective Service men drawn from the southeastern United States. After organizing and finishing training, the 81st Division deployed to Europe, arriving on the Western Front in August 1918. Elements of the 81st Division first saw limited action by defending the St. Dié sector in September and early October. After relief of mission, the 81st Division was attached to the American First Army in preparation for the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. In the last days of World War I, the 81st Division attacked a portion of the German Army‘s defensive line on 9 November 1918, and remained engaged in combat operations until the Armistice with Germany at 1100 hours on 11 November 1918. After the cessation of hostilities, the 81st Division remained in France until May 1919; after which the division was shipped back to the United States and inactivated on 11 June 1919.”[12]  By the account of this article, it looks like Albert may have seen some action.  Albert departed Brest, France on 28 May 1919 aboard the Minnesota, and arrived back in the United States on 9 June 1919.[13] 

In 1920 Albert is living with his parents, brothers and sister in Cicero, Illinois, and his marital status is listed as single.[14]  He is working as a house painter in 1920.[15]  I can’t seem to find out what happened to Adeline.  In 1942 Albert is living in Chicago, Illinois and works for Wiebolts Dry Goods Co. at Milwaukee and Paulina in Chicago.[16]  Albert passed away on 26 April 1952 at 59 years, 8 months, and 21 days.[17]  He is buried in Bethania Cemetery with his mother, father, and brother.[18]  I can find no evidence that Albert remarried or had any children.

Copyright © 2019 Gail Grunst

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[1] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data:  “Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Illinois. Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922. Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Records, Springfield.  “Illinois. Cook County Birth Registers, 1871–1915.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah. Illinois. Cook County Birth Registers, 1871–1915. Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Records, Springfield.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois; Page: 17; Enumeration District: 0288; FHL microfilm: 1240256.  Source Information
Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.
[4] Year: 1910; Census Place: Cicero, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_238; Page: 20A; Enumeration District: 1539; FHL microfilm: 1374251
Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.  Original data: Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index, 1871-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data:  “Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871–1920.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Illinois Department of Public Health records. “Marriage Records, 1871–present.” Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois.
[8] Registration State: Illinois; Registration County: Cook; Roll: 1452380; Draft Board: 01.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.  Original data: United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. M1509, 4,582 rolls. Imaged from Family History Library microfilm.
[9] Ibid.
[10] Ibid.
[11] The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 377.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.
[12] From Wikipedia Website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/81st_Infantry_Division_(United_States)
[13] The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 204.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.
[14] Year: 1920; Census Place: Cicero, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T625_359; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 54.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch. Original data: Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 are on roll 323 (Chicago City).
[15] Ibid.
[16] The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (Fourth Registration), for The State of Illinois; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M2097.  Source Information: Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.  Original data:  United States, Selective Service System. Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. Records of the Selective Service System, Record Group Number 147. National Archives and Records Administration.
[17] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois Death Index, 1908-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.  Original data: Cook County Clerk. Cook County Clerk Genealogy Records. Cook County Clerk’s Office, Chicago, IL: Cook County Clerk, 2008.
[18] Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Original data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

Walter Grunst: Next to Last

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme this week is Next to Last
“There are several ways you could approach this theme. Who was the next-to-last ancestor you found? If you print out an ancestor chart, who is the next-to-last person listed? Pick an ancestral family and write about the next-to-last child. Since November is the next-to-last month, maybe feature an ancestor born in November.

Black-Hawk (2)

Blackhawk Insignia of the 86 Division WWI

I am writing this week about my husbands uncle, Walter Grunst, who was the next-to-last child born in his family and was also born in the next-to-last month (November).

Walter Frederick Grunst was born on 14 November 1895 to Albert Grunst and Anna Schmerling in Chicago, Cook, Illinois.[1]  Walter joined his siblings Alma, Albert, and Lillian at home in Chicago, Illinois.[2]  In 1901 a fifth sibling, Elmer, would join the family.[3]  Sometime between 1900 and 1910 the family moved to Cicero, Illinois where his father, Albert worked as a laborer, and Anna kept house and raised the children.[4]   Walter worked for the Ideal Movie Theater as a motion picture operator around 1916-17.[5]  He joined the United States Army during WWI and served in Company A — 311th Engineers — 86th Division.[6]  “The Eighty-Sixth Division was organized in August 1917 at Camp Grant, Illinois, from drafted men of Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The first unit arrived in France on September 21, 1918; the last on October 9, 1918.”[7]  Walter left for France on 9 September 1918 aboard the “Empress of Asia” from the Port of New York.[8]  It is very likely he was in the first unit that arrived in France on the 21st

The 86th was also known as the “Blackhawk Division” because the area of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota was formerly the territory inhabited by Chief Black Hawk and his tribe.  The division insignia consists of a small red shield with the initials “B” and “H” in black superimposed upon a design of a Blackhawk which, in turn, is superimposed upon a red shield. The insignia is a tribute to the pioneers of this sector, and in recognition of their prowess in battles with the Indians. The bird symbolizes keenness, cunning, and tenacity.[9]

 “The division was sent to the vicinity of Bordeaux (Gironde) and headquarters were established in St. Andre de Cubzac.”[10]  “The Eighty Sixth at last was to get it’s chance at the front.  Moving out at dawn on November 8, the division was to go to Le Mans.  From there, the Eighty Sixth was to have proceeded to the Lorraine front on November 14th in the company of five other American divisions and thirty French divisions.  The Black Hawks were to have participated in what the supreme war council had planned as the Allies mightiest endeavor of the war – capture of the Metz, rolling back the German Army, invasion of Germany, the final crushing blow! But to the Blackhawks on November 11 came the news of the signing of the armistice, the event which immediately began to be celebrated by the world generally, with exception of the Blackhawks.  For them the curtain had been rung down just as they were about to enter the big show.”[11]

“With the exception of the 311th Engineers and the 311th Engineer Supply Trains, which remained in the vicinity of Bordeaux, practically all remaining Black Hawks units returned to the United States as organizations soon after breaking up the Eighty Six Division. The arrivals home were as follows:

333rd Field Artillery – Siboney – January 3rd

311th Trench Mortar Battery –Georgia – January 8th * See Note

311th Sanitary Train – Wilhelmina – January 19th

311th Field Signal Battalion – Nebraska – January 29th

311th Ammunition Train – Zeelandia – January 29th

331st Field Artillery – Duca D’Aosta – February 5th

332nd Field Artillery – Antigone – February 15th

The last three Black Hawk outfits to return were the 311th Engineers and 311th Engineer Trains, which arrived in June. The 311th supply train arrived in July.”[12]

“Upon their arrival in Chicago on their way back to Camp Grant to be mustered out, each of the Black Hawk units received a rousing welcome home, a tribute as genuine and whole-hearted just as if the armistice had not halted the Eighty Sixth just as it was preparing to show it’s mettle on the field of battle.”[13]

Walter left France on June 26th aboard the Mount Vernon from Brest France and arrived at Camp Merritt, New Jersey on July 5, 1919.[14] 

After the war, Walter lived in Cicero, Illinois with his parents and worked as a laborer in a Piano Factory.[15]  His mother died in 1926[16] and by 1930 his father is living in a home for the aged.[17] I cannot find Walter on the 1930 or 1940 census, however in 1942 his WWII draft card states he lives in Chicago, drives a truck and does hauling between Chicago and Milwaukee.[18]   I can find no evidence that Walter ever married or had children.  In fact, on his WWII draft card he lists the OK Motor Service as the person who will always know his address[19].  I find this sad, it appears he was not close to his brothers or sisters; therefore we have no pictures or stories of Walter.  My husband remembers seeing his uncle once when he came by their house with his truck.  Walter died on 13 March 1949[20] and is buried Bethania Cemetery in Justice, Cook County, Illinois.[21] 

*Note:  My grandfather, George Manfroid, was in 311th Mortar Trench Battery.  George Manfroid’s and Walter Grunst’s names appear in the book Official History of the 86th Division.

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

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[1] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Birth Certificates Index, 1871-1922 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: “Illinois, Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009. Illinois. Cook County Birth Certificates, 1878–1922. Illinois Department of Public Health. Division of Vital Records, Springfield.

[2] Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 10, Cook, Illinois; Page: 17; Enumeration District: 0288; FHL microfilm: 1240256.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1900. T623, 1854 rolls.

[3] Year: 1910; Census Place: Cicero, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_238; Page: 20A; Enumeration District: 1539; FHL microfilm: 1374251.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006.Original data: Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910 (NARA microfilm publication T624, 1,178 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA.

[4] Ibid.

[5] “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K681-GPJ : 13 March 2018), Walter Grunst, 1917-1918; citing Cook County no 6, Illinois, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,613,142.

[6] The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 431.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.

[7] Historical Branch, War Division, General Staff, 1921 (Brief History of Divisions, US Army 1917 – 1918)

[8] The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 431.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.

[9] From website: 86th Infantry division https://history.army.mil/documents/ETO-OB/86ID-ETO.htm

[10] Historical Branch, War Division, General Staff, 1921 (Brief History of Divisions, US Army 1917 – 1918)

[11] Chicago, States Publication Society (Official History of the 86th Division, 1921) Pages 65 & 66

[12] Ibid

[13] Ibid.

[14] The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 213. Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.

[15] Year: 1920; Census Place: Cicero, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T625_359; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 54.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.  Original data: Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920. (NARA microfilm publication T625, 2076 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C. For details on the contents of the film numbers, visit the following NARA web page: NARA. Note: Enumeration Districts 819-839 are on roll 323 (Chicago City).

[16] Ancestry.com. Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.  Original data:”Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916–1947.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original records.

[17] Year: 1930; Census Place: Wheeling, Cook, Illinois; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 2105; FHL microfilm: 2340234.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.

[18] The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (Fourth Registration), for The State of Illinois; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147; Series Number: M2097.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois Death Index, 1908-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.  Original data: Cook County Clerk. Cook County Clerk Genealogy Records. Cook County Clerk’s Office, Chicago, IL: Cook County Clerk, 2008.

[21] Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.  Original data: Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

 

Bearded

2 Ancestors in 52 Weeks topic this week is Bearded.  “There’s been a fad the past few years of “No Shave November” or “Novembeard” – making this the perfect time to feature ancestors with a beard. The popularity of facial hair has waxed and waned over the decades, but the last half of the 19th century and early 20th century saw men sporting all kinds of beards and mustaches. Find a photo of someone in your family tree with a great beard and share his story.”

 

Charles Bowers

Charles Bowers

Charles was born in 1828 in Terrington-St Clements, Norfolk, England to Bonnet Bowers and Eliza Linford.[1]  Charles’ mother died when he was just a little over two years old.[2]  Charles grew up in England with his father and brothers.  One wonders if Bonnet had help with the care of the children.  There were aunts and uncles living in Terrington-St. Clements perhaps they helped.

Charles left England when he was just 21 years old. He left Liverpool, England on February 1, 1851 with his father Bonnet Bowers aboard the sailing ship Conqueror of New York.[3]   If Charles had friends or family already in the United States they might have paid for his passage.  If his passage was not previously paid he would have to pay his passage and make the best bargain he could with the passenger-brokers.  The competition in this trade was very great, and fares varied from day-to-day, and even from hour to hour, sometimes as high as 5 pounds per passenger in the steerage and sometimes as low as 3 pounds 10 shillings.[4]

Charles’ experience immigrating to the United States was probably much like the following description of the typical emigrants experience leaving England through Liverpool.  “Notices were placed though out Liverpool with dates of sailing.  Most of the ships were owned and operated out of New York.   The average number of steerage passengers accommodated by most ships at that time was 400, but some had room for double that amount.  After the emigrant had chosen the ship that he would sail on, he had to bargain with the “man-catchers” a class of persons who received commission from the passenger- brokers for each emigrant they brought to the office of the passenger-broker.

The emigrant’s next duty was to present himself to the medical inspector.  A medical practitioner appointed by the emigration office of the port had to inspect the passengers to check for contagious diseases.  When the emigrant and his family had undergone this process, their passage-ticket was stamped, and they had nothing further to do until it was time to board.

The scene at the Waterloo dock in Liverpool, where all the American sailing ships were stationed was very busy at all times, but on the morning of the departure a large ship full of emigrants was particularly exciting and interesting.  Many of the emigrants boarded twenty-four hours before departure bringing quantities of provisions, although the government supplied the emigrants with liberal provisions to keep them in good health and comfort.

The following is the list of provisions provided by the government per week.

2 and ½ lbs of bread or biscuit

1 lb wheaten flour

5 lbs oatmeal

2 lbs rice

2 oz tea

½ lb sugar

½ lb molasses

3 quarts of water daily

On the day before sailing and during the time that a ship may be unavoidable detained in dock, some of the immigrants played the violin or bagpipes for their fellow passengers.   Young and old alike would dance and party.

A large number of spectators were at the dock-gates to witness the final departure of the ship full with anxious immigrants.  As the ship was towed out hats were raised, handkerchiefs waved, and people shouted their farewells from shore and the emigrants waved back from the ship.  It was at this moment emigrants realized this would be their last look at the old country.   A country in all probability associated with sorrow and suffering, of semi-starvation, never-the-less it was a country of their fathers, the country of their childhood, however little time was left to indulge in these reflections.

The ship was generally towed by a steam tug five or ten miles down the Mersey.  During this time the search for stowaways is done and a roll-call of passengers.  All passengers except those in state cabins were assembled on the quarter-deck.  The clerk of the passenger-broker, accompanied by the ship’s surgeon called for tickets.  A double purpose was answered by the roll-call, the verification of the passenger-list, and the medical inspection of the emigrants, on behalf of the captain and owners.  The previous inspection on the part of the governor was to prevent the risk of contagious disease on board.  The inspection on the part of the owners is for a different purpose.  The ship had to pay a poll tax of $1.50 per passenger to the State of New York; and if any of the poor emigrants were helpless and deformed, the owners were fined in the sum of $75.00 for bringing them and were compelled to enter in a bond to New York City so that they did not become a burden on the public.  The emigrants then settle in for the long voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.[5] After almost 3 month of sailing across the ocean, Charles arrived at the Port of New York on April 21, 1851.[6]  Before 1855 there was no immigrant processing center.  The shipping company presented a passenger list to the Collector of Customs, and the immigrants made whatever customs declaration was necessary and went on their way.’[7]

Charles’ brother, Robert and his wife, Rhoda, followed to the United States in November 1851 aboard the ship Emma Field.[8] Robert, his wife, and Bonnet settled in Syracuse, New York[9].  At this time, I cannot find when Charles’ brother, Richard, came to the United States, however he is found living in Syracuse, New York in 1870[10]

In 1855, just one year after Charles arrived in Ottawa, it became a chartered city.   “Ottawa, Illinois is situated at the junction of the Fox and Illinois rivers, nearly the geographical center of LaSalle County.  The Fox enters the Illinois from the northeast and with its rapid currents feeds the Chicago and Illinois Canal, which follows the banks of the Illinois River.  In 1854 Ottawa had about 4,000 to 6,000 inhabitants.  The bridge over the Illinois River was under constriction connecting South Ottawa with the main city on the North.  Ottawa was and still is the LaSalle County seat.  In 1854 Ottawa had a mill on the Illinois River that turned out 100 barrels of flour per day.  Ottawa also had a foundry, two large machine shops, and other large manufacturers.” [11]

The same year(1854) that Charles came to Ottawa, he applied to become a United States Citizen in the LaSalle County Circuit Court. 12]   I often wondered what brought Charles to Ottawa, Illinois when it appears that his brothers and father stayed in New York.  I recently found that his step-brother William Linfor(d) was living in Ottawa, Illinois in 1854.[13]  You can read my post “Finding Brother William” published November 24, 2012 on this blog.  I assume that Charles came to Ottawa because he knew William Linfor.                      

Statue of Lincoln-Douglas Debate

Statue of Lincoln-Douglas Debate

On August 21, 1858 the first Lincoln-Douglas debate took place in Ottawa at the stand in Washington Park.[14]  I wonder if Charles attended and what his thoughts were about the two men.  He was not yet a United States citizen so he could not vote.  He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in January 1859.  He signed his naturalization papers with an X indicating he could not write.[15]

In 1860 Charles is found living in Lisbon, Kendall County, Illinois working on a farm and living with a family by the name of Leach.[16]  Charles bought a house In 1868 on the corner of Chapel and York Streets (543 Chapel Street) in Ottawa, Illinois for $1,000 cash from William K and Ellen M. Stewart of Ottawa, Illinois.  The house sits on a high bluff across the street from the Fox River.  It is located in a rather well-to-do area of Ottawa surrounded by Victorian houses.  Charles’ house is rather modest compared to houses around it.[17]  The house had living room, dining room, kitchen, parlor, storage room, and one bedroom on first floor.  The second floor had four bedrooms and bath (bath may have been added later).[18]

In December 1868 Charles married Alexena Frazer.[19]  They had five children Richard, Elizabeth, Robert, Genevieve, and Ethelyn.[20]   There may have been two children who died as infants.  According to Ottawa Avenue Cemetery records there is an E. E. and a J.A. Bowers buried in grave one.[21]

Charles worked as a janitor for the East Ottawa Public School.[22]  He and Alexena lived at 543 Chapel Street in Ottawa.[23]  He was a member of the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows for over 30 years.  He was a kind-hearted man, patient with children and liked by everyone.[24]  Charles died in 1897 and is buried in the Ottawa Avenue Cemetery, in Ottawa, Illinois.[25

Bowers' Family Headstone

Bowers’ Family Headstone

Copyright © 2013 Gail Grunst                        


[1]Baptism for Charles Bowers baptized on 2 October 1828; Register of Baptisms in the Parish of Terrington St. Clements, Norfolk, England; 1813 – 1841 manuscript on microfilm #13640109 Item 3; Utah: filmed by the Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah at Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Cambridgeshire, England.

[2] Burial record for Eliza Bowers (wife of Bonnet Bowers) buried on 22 January 1831. Church of England, Parish Church of Terrington St. Clements, Norfolk, England;  Terrrington St. Clements Parish Register Burials 1813 – 1856; manuscript on microfilm #13640109 Item 8; Utah:  filmed by the Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah 1988 at Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Cambridgeshire, England.

[3]Year: 1851; Arrival: New York, United States; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm roll M237_107; Line: 26; List number: 1664. Ancestry.com. New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006. Original data: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls); Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[4] GEN UKI UK and Ireland Genealogy web site.  Extracts from an article printed in the Illustrated London News on Saturday July 6th 1850. It is a contemporary account of the procedure of Emigration from the port of Liverpool to the New World and the Colonies.

[5] GEN UKI UK and Ireland Genealogy web site.  Extracts from an article printed in the Illustrated London News on Saturday July 6th 1850. It is a contemporary account of the procedure of Emigration from the port of Liverpool to the New World and the Colonies.

[6] Year: 1851; Arrival: New York, United States; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm roll M237_107; Line: 26; List number: 1664. Ancestry.com. New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006. Original data: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls); Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[7] GEN UKI UK and Ireland Genealogy web site.  Extracts from an article printed in the Illustrated London News on Saturday July 6th 1850. It is a contemporary account of the procedure of Emigration from the port of Liverpool to the New World and the Colonies.

[8] Year: 1851; Arrival: New York, United States; Microfilm serial M237; Microfilm roll: M237-107; Line: 26; List number 1664.  Ancestry.com. New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line].  Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006 Original data: Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1820-1897; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, 675 rolls); Records of the U.S. Customs Service, Record Group 36; National Archives, Washington D.C.

[9] Year: 1860, Census Place: Onondaga, Onondaga, New York, Roll: M653_829, Page 579; Image: 367. Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA. The Generations Network, Inc., 2004. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Eighth Census of the United States, 1860.  Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1860. M653, 1438 rolls.

[10]Year: 1870 Census Place: Syracuse Ward 7, Onondaga, New York; Roll M593_1063; Page: 464; Image: 239. Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2003. Original data: 1870 United States Ninth Census of the United States, 1870. Washington D. C. National Archives and Records Administration, M593, RG29. 1761 rolls.

[11] Ottawa Old and New: A Complete History of Ottawa Illinois 1823 – 1914 (Ottawa, Illinois: Republican – Times Ottawa, 1912 – 1914), p. 39.

[12] Declaration of Intent (naturalization) for Charles Bowers, LaSalle County, Illinois,  Circuit Court, LaSalle County, Illinois Courthouse, Ottawa, Illinois; Book 2, Pg. 227.

[13]  (Google eBook) (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1900), p. 227. 

[14] Ottawa Old and New: A Complete History of Ottawa Illinois 1823 – 1914 (Ottawa, Illinois: Republican – Times Ottawa, 1912 – 1914), p. 45.

[15] Final naturalization record for Charles Bowers.  LaSalle County Illinois, Circuit Court LaSalle County, Illinois  Court House, Ottawa, Illinois; Book E, Pg. 85.

[16] Ancestry.com 1860 United States Federal Census [database on-line], Provo, UT, USA:  The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.  Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census, Eight Census of the United States, 1860, Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration 1860, M653.               

[17] Author’s personal view of the house after visiting the area and seeing the house first hand in July of 2008.

[18] Probate File of Elizabeth A. Bowers Record A-6 page 176.  In possession of the LaSalle County Genealogical Guild, 115 Glover W. Glover, Ottawa, Illinois.

[19] Marriage License and certificate for Charles Bowers and Alexena Frazer.  License issued November 25, 1868, office of the clerk of the county, LaSalleCounty, Ottawa, Illinois.  Marriage date December 2, 1868 by Abraham R. Moore, Minister of the Gospel, filed with the LaSalle Illinois, CountyClerk office, LaSalle County Courthouse, Ottawa, Illinois.

[20] Year: 1880; Census Place: Ottawa, La Salle, Illinois; Roll T9 223: Family History Film 1243112; Page 516.10000, Enumeration District 81; Image: 0553.

[21] Ottawa Avenue Cemetery records; Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois, Record number 8539, Cemetery Card CCY-TS, Burial location OT18-7

[22] Year: 1880; Census Place: Ottawa, La Salle, Illinois; Roll T9 223: Family History Film 1243112; Page 516.10000, Enumeration District 81; Image: 0553.

[23] Ottawa Illinois City Directories 1866 – 1912.

[24] Obituary for Charles Bowers: Republican Times (Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois) February 18, 1897.

[25] Ottawa Avenue Cemetery Records: Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois. Record number 8539, Cemetery Card CCY-TS, Burial location OT18-7

Causes of Death

Eliza Bower's Tombstone

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks topic this week is Cause of Death. “Death is one of the certainties of life. Let’s explore causes of death this week. Do you have a relative who died in an unusual way? Perhaps you’ve found an unusual record that shows the cause of death. (One that comes to mind is a tombstone in a nearby cemetery that states that the deceased died of consumption. You don’t usually find a cause of death on a tombstone.)”

The one unusual cause of death I found was stab wounds to the chest.  I have already written about my ancestor who was killed by his neighbor so I didn’t want to do that again.  The rest of the causes of death were mostly ordinary.  I did a spread sheet of the causes of death and I did find a pattern in some illnesses among my ancestors.  There seemed to be a lot of Cancer among my ancestors. There were a couple of cases of lung cancer, along with prostate, bladder, pancreas, and  gallbladder cancer.  I also found several cases of Nephritis.  My father always said kidney problems ran in the his family. One ancestors died in the flu epidemic of 1918 -19.  Another one died young of Appendicitis.  She was operated on in 1898 but still ended up passing away.  I can’t help but wonder if today’s medicine would have saved either one. Below I listed all the causes of death among my ancestors that I could find along with a definition of them.  

 

Acidosis and dehydration  — an excessively acid condition of the body fluids or tissues and body does not have enough fluids
Acute Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura  —  is a blood disorder characterized by an abnormal decrease in the number of platelets in the blood. Platelets are cells in the blood that help stop bleeding. A decrease in platelets can result in easy bruising, bleeding gums and internal bleeding.
Appendicitis — is a medical emergency that almost always requires prompt surgery to remove the appendix. Left untreated, an inflamed appendix will eventually burst, or perforate, spilling infectious materials into the abdominal cavity.
Carcinoma of Gallbladder — Your gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, just beneath your liver. The gallbladder stores bile, a digestive fluid produced by your liver. Gallbladder cancer is uncommon. … But most gallbladder cancers are discovered at a late stage, when the prognosis is often very poor.
Carcinoma of the Pancreas metastases to liver and bone — is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells form in the tissues of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach and in front of the spine. The pancreas produces digestive juices and hormones that regulate blood sugar. Carcinoma of the pancreas can often first spread within the abdomen (belly) and to the liver. They can also spread to the lungs, bone, brain, and other organs.
Carcinoma of the Prostate and Urinary Bladder — Prostate cancer, an adenocarcinoma, is the second most common cause of cancer deaths among men, as well as the most common solid tumor in men, overall. The most common areas for prostate cancer to spread are your bladder, rectum, and bones. It can also spread to your lymph nodes, liver, lungs, and other body tissues.
Carcinoma Pulmonary and metastases to ribs, liver, and bone  —  Metastatic lung cancer may spread to the bones, brain, or liver. … of the liver may be sickness, reduced appetite, and pain under the right ribs.
Cerebral Hemorrhage and Paralysis — Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is when blood suddenly bursts into brain tissue, causing damage to your brain. Symptoms usually appear suddenly during ICH. They include headache, weakness, confusion, and paralysis, particularly on one side of your body. … This can quickly cause brain and nerve damage.
Chronic Gastroenteritis — Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining. Weaknesses or injury to the mucus-lined barrier that protects your stomach wall allows your digestive juices to damage and inflame your stomach lining. A number of diseases and conditions can increase your risk of gastritis, including Crohn’s disease and sarcoidosis, a condition in which collections of inflammatory cells grow in the body.
Chronic Interstitial Nephritis and Hypertension — Left untreated, gastritis may lead to stomach ulcers and stomach bleeding. Rarely, some forms of chronic gastritis may increase your risk of stomach cancer, especially if you have extensive thinning of the stomach lining and changes in the lining’s cells
Chronic Myocarditis and Arteriosclerosis Myocarditis is a disease marked by inflammation and damage of the heart muscle. … There are many causes of myocarditis, including viral infections, autoimmune diseases, environmental toxins, and adverse reactions to medications. The prognosis is variable but chronic heart failure is the major long term complication.  Arteriosclerosis is the thickening and hardening of the walls of the arteries, occurring typically in old age.
Chronic Parenchymatous Nephritis —  is ordinarily applied to a variety of renal diseases which pathologically may be widely different in character. Thus cases of chronic diffuse nephritis, of amyloid kidney and of chronic nephrosis are grouped under a single heading.
Eclampsia and Pregnancy — Eclampsia is a severe complication of preeclampsia. It’s a rare but serious condition where high blood pressure results in seizures during pregnancy. Seizures are periods of disturbed brain activity that can cause episodes of staring, decreased alertness, and convulsions (violent shaking). Eclampsia affects about 1 in every 200 women with preeclampsia. You can develop eclampsia even if you don’t have a history of seizures.
Influenza, Bronchial Pneumonia  — Influenza is a common cause of pneumonia, especially among younger children, the elderly, pregnant women, or those with certain chronic health conditions or who live in a nursing home. Most cases of flu never lead to pneumonia, but those that do tend to be more severe and deadly. In fact, flu and pneumonia were the eighth leading cause of death in the United States in 2015.
Myocarditis and Chronic Interstitial Nephritis  — Myocarditis is a disease marked by inflammation and damage of the heart muscle. … There are many causes of myocarditis, including viral infections, autoimmune diseases, environmental toxins, and adverse reactions to medications. The prognosis is variable but chronic heart failure is the major long term complication.  Interstitial nephritis is a form of nephritis affecting the interstitium of the kidneys surrounding the tubules, i.e., is inflammation of the spaces between renal tubules. This disease can be either acute, meaning it occurs suddenly, or chronic, meaning it is ongoing and eventually ends in kidney failure.
Pulmonary Edema, Coronary thrombosis, Heart Disease  — Pulmonary edema is a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs. This fluid collects in the numerous air sacs in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. In most cases, heart problems cause pulmonary edema.  Coronary thrombosis a blockage of the flow of blood to the heart, caused by a blood clot in a coronary artery.
*Pulmonary Tuberculosis — is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M tuberculosis). … This means the bacteria is easily spread from an infected person to someone else. You can get TB by breathing in air droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person. The resulting lung infection is called primary.
* Two ancestors died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis
Squamous cell carcinoma of the lung  — Squamous cell lung cancer, or squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, is one type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). It is also called epidermoid carcinoma. This type of lung cancer begins in the squamous cells—thin, flat cells that look like fish scales when seen under a microscope.
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage increased intracranial pressure — Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a life-threatening type of stroke caused by bleeding into the space surrounding the brain. SAH can be caused by a ruptured aneurysm, AVM, or head injury. One-third of patients will survive with good recovery; one-third will survive with a disability; and one-third will die.
Uremia and Chronic interstitial nephritisUremia is a serious condition and, if untreated, can be life-threateningUremia is a major symptom of renal failure. Uremia is also a sign of the last stages of chronic kidney disease.  Interstitial nephritis is a form of nephritis affecting the interstitium of the kidneys surrounding the tubules, i.e., is inflammation of the spaces between renal tubules. This disease can be either acute, meaning it occurs suddenly, or chronic, meaning it is ongoing and eventually ends in kidney failure

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

Grandpa’s Work

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks topic this week is work.

The one person who comes to mind for this topic is my maternal grandfather.  He worked for Texaco his whole life.  He went to work for Texaco in 1915 before the United States entered into WWI.  He left Texaco to enter the Army in 1917 and returned to Texaco after the War was over.  Texaco let  him retain his seniority.

texico-truck-fred-kaiser

Grandpa sitting above wheel.

He started out as a truck driver and moved up to dispatcher.

Grandpa at work (Texico)

Grandpa at work (Texaco)

Grandpa worked steady even during the depression.  He didn’t believe in taking a day off for a head cold.  He said the way to get rid of a cold was to work it off.  I don’t think he ever missed a day of work because he was sick or just didn’t feel like going in.  When I was young they had a dog, a Boxer, named Ken.  Ken knew what time grandpa would come home and about five minutes before Grandpa arrived home, Ken would go out on the front porch and wait for Grandpa. I guess you could say, we could set the clock by Grandpa’s work routine.

He retired from Texaco in 1961 after 46 years of service.

46 year service award

After retirement, he took a job at the local grade school as a crossing guard.  The children loved him.  When he decided to leave that job after many years, he received lots of cards and gifts from the children.  Grandpa had Alzheimer’s Disease and it was very sad to watch him lose his memory and not know any of us anymore.  He passed away on 6 October 1980 at age 84 years, and 24 days.

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

School Days

Every year it seems the kids start school earlier and earlier.  Now they start in the middle of August.  When I was in school, we started after Labor Day.  September meant back to school with new school supplies, new dresses, and new shoes.  I was always sad that the summer was over, but I always had  high hopes for the coming school year.  It was good to be back and see classmates that I did not see all summer.  Then there was the anticipation of a new teacher.  One I may have heard about from kids that were a year ahead, but was new to me.  Depending on what I heard, it could be kind of scary.  

Back to school time has me thinking about my ancestor’s and their schooling.  My paternal grandmother went to a Lutheran School.  One time I went to the church to look up records.  It was a weekday and they walked me through the school to the church office.  While walking through the school, I thought to myself, I am walking where my grandmother walked.  The school looked old, and I don’t think it changed all that much since she went there.  I never knew my grandmother, and while walking through the halls, I felt especially close to her.  

I have also played on a school playground where a great-aunt taught school, only I didn’t know it at the time.  I have since gone back and walked around the outside of the school and thought about her and what she may have been like as a teacher.  I have already written about her Bowers Family History 1757 – 1955 Part 6 .

I haven’t seen any class pictures in years.  I don’t know if they still do them like they use to do, so here is a sample from the past.

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My father’s class (I’m guessing maybe 2nd grade) about 1926.  Dad is in first row on right 3rd one from front.

moms-sixth-grade-class

Mom’s six grade class (about 1936) Mom is 2nd row 1st from left.

My first second grade class_NEW

My Second Grade Class 1955.  I am in the second row 5th from the left.

I’d like to note that I am in touch with several of my classmates through Facebook and a couple outside of Facebook and one that has been a life long friend.  We met in first grade that is now 65 years ago, and we are still going strong.  

This weeks 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks topic is school.

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

 

Ancestor member of the IOOF

Charles Bowers Obit

This week 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme is as follows:

“The federal census that we use in the US is sometimes comprised of more than one schedule. The one that we usually use is called the “population schedule.” However, there are some censuses that have additional schedules, such as:
– 1850-1880 Agricultural schedules

– 1850-1880 Industry and Manufactures schedules

– 1880 Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes

– 1890 Schedule of Union Veterans and Widows

Have you found your ancestor on one of these schedules? What did you find?

Another way you could look at this theme is to write about something related to an ancestor, such as a church, school, or organization they were affiliated with.”    

I have not found any of my ancestors in any of the schedules listed above.  I have found them in church, school, and organizations.  Mostly, I find this information in the newspapers through the various digitized newspapers.  For example my one ancestor, Charles Bowers, is listed in the Ottawa Free Trader newspaper as belonging to the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows. 

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a non-political and non-sectarian international fraternal order founded in 1819 byThomas Wildey in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. Evolving from the Order of the Odd Fellows founded in England during the 1700s, the IOOF was originally charted by the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity in England but has operated as an independent organization since 1842, although it maintains an inter-fraternal relationship with the English Order. Beyond fraternal and recreational activities, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows promotes the  Ethic of reciprocity and charity, by implied inspiration of Judeo-Christian ethics.”[1]

In December 1879 he is listed as being inducted as an officer[2] and in February 1882 he is listed as the C. P. (Chief Patriarch – presiding officer of encampment) of the Ottawa Encampment #33.[3]  In January of 1883 he is listed as I. G. (Inside Guardian)[4] and in January 1885 he is installed as an officer in lodge #41.[5]  I don’t know if the number changed from 33 to 41 or if it is an entirely different lodge.  This is not the most exciting news, but it does give me a glimpse into his life.  It is just one more component of his life to add to the other parts that make up his whole life. 

I knew he belonged to the IOOF from his obituary, but I did not know the extent of his involvement until I found more information in the newspapers.  His Obituary states that Ottawa Lodge, No 41, IOOF had charge of the obsequies at the cemetery.[6]  It also states that he was a member for over 30 years.[7]

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

________________________________________________________________

[1] From website: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_Order_of_Odd_Fellows

[2] Ottawa Free Trader (Ottawa, Ill.), December 27, 1879,  Image 1.  From: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/search/pages/results/?date1=1789&rows=20&searchType=basic&state=Illinois&date2=1963&proxtext=charles+bowers&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=2&sort=date

[3]  Ottawa Free Trader (Ottawa, Ill.), February 25, 1882 Image 1.  From: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/search/pages/results/?date1=1789&rows=20&searchType=basic&state=Illinois&date2=1963&proxtext=charles+bowers&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=2&sort=date

[4] Ottawa Free Trader (Ottawa, Ill.), January 13, 1883, Image 1.  From: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/search/pages/results/?date1=1789&rows=20&searchType=basic&state=Illinois&date2=1963&proxtext=charles+bowers&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=2&sort=date

[5] Ottawa Free Trader (Ottawa, Ill.), January 3, 1885,  Image 1.  From: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/search/pages/results/?date1=1789&rows=20&searchType=basic&state=Illinois&date2=1963&proxtext=charles+bowers&y=0&x=0&dateFilterType=yearRange&page=2&sort=date

[6] Obituary for Charles Bowers: Republican Times (Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois) February 18, 1897.

[7] Ibid.

Colorful Brother Harry

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Harry and his mother Alice

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Week 30: Colorful
“It seems that in every family tree, there’s at least one person who is a bit larger than life, someone who bold and different… “colorful.” Colorful could also be taken to describe someone artistic. How about an ancestor with a colorful name?”

The most colorful character in our family is not an ancestor; it is my husband’s brother Harry.  The first time I met Harry was at a family dinner at my future mother-in-law’s house. Harry sat across the table from me and was feeling no pain.  He winked at me all through dinner.  After dinner my future husband said to me, “Well, now you have met Brother Harry!”  Harry was 19 years older than my husband.  He never married, lived at home with his mother, and he never learned to drive a car.  We never learned the reason he did not drive.  One time his mother offered to buy him a car if he would learn to drive.  Her motive was so that he could drive her to the grocery store and other places, but he still refused.  He got around by walking places, public transportation, family, and friends.  He worked for Valspar Paint Company.  When Harry was off work, he would sit around in his PJ’s all day.  I think back in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s it was more of odd thing to do than today.  Today I see people wearing their PJ bottoms to the grocery store.  My husband tells a story of bringing a friend home and there was Harry sitting on the sofa in his pajama’s watching Pinky Lee.  If you’re too young to remember Pinky Lee click the link to see Pinky Lee.  He painted the house, cut the lawn, and did other things around the house.  Harry liked to have a good time, and he would imbibe from time to time.  He played basketball, bowled, and roller skated quite well. When Harry turned 50 he decided that he had enough of working and quit.  He never did get another job.  It was around this time that he started going to little league games.  He bought a kids plastic batting helmet and would wear it to the little league games.  We would all laugh at the thought of him sitting there at the little league games wearing a kids plastic batting helmet. 

When our son was six months old we took a trip to Northern Wisconsin with Harry and his mother to visit my mother-in-law’s brother and his family, and to attend a 25th wedding anniversary party.  On the way there, we stopped at a gas station and Harry bought an orange soda.  After he drank it down, he went to the restroom.  When he came out of the restroom he yelled across the parking lot, “Hey Mom that orange soda really made me have to pee.”  My mother-in-law was sitting in the car and saying, “Oh Harry stop! Harry just stop it!”  After the 25th wedding anniversary party, we got back to the motel late and somehow Harry and his mother got locked out of their room.  They had to wake up the motel owner to let them in.  We agreed to meet outside at 9AM the next morning to leave for home.  At 7:30AM there was a knock on our door.  When we answered it, there was Harry and his mother with their suitcases ready to leave.  They couldn’t go back to their room because they left the key in the room and were locked out again.  We had to let them in and wait in our motel room as we got ready.  My mother-in-law said to Harry, “I told you it was too early.” Nothing like having your mother-in-law and brother-in-law in a small motel room as you are trying to get dressed.  On the way home, I asked my husband to find some place to stop and eat.  I needed to feed the baby, and I was also hungry.  Harry did not want to stop and said, “I don’t think he needs to eat. I heard a dog can go all day without eating.”  I replied, “He is a baby, not a dog.”  Of course we did stop despite Harry’s objection. 

Whatever Harry bought or had it was the best.  If he bought a shirt, he would say, “Look at this shirt, isn’t this the best shirt you ever saw. Guess how much I paid for it?”

One time he tarred the foundation on their house.  Not sure why he did this, but he did.  And as if that was not bad enough, he had some tar left over and without asking permission tarred the neighbor’s house while she was out.  Then he could not understand why she was mad at him.

When we were first married we lived in an apartment for a year and then moved to a house.  After six years in that house we moved to another house.  Harry saw some friends of ours and told them that we were gypsies because we were always moving.  They got a big laugh out of it, and after that we were known as the gypsies. 

He was always moving his money around to different banks to get free gifts.  At one bank it said the gift was in lieu of interest for six months.  When Harry didn’t get interest on his savings account he went back to the bank and asked why.  They showed him where it said, “in lieu of”.  He showed us the disclaimer and said, “I didn’t know what that Hawaiian word meant.” 

You may think by this description that Harry was kind of lazy or dumb but that really was not the case.  Harry served in WWII decoding the enemy’s radio transmissions.  Harry could be as sharp as Harry wanted to be.  Sometimes I think he lacked common sense. 

My mother-in-law fell and broke her hip while Harry was out.  She had surgery to repair the hip and about a week after the surgery she had a stroke.  She remained in a nursing home for the next three years, and Harry remained in the house.  She died in February 1981 and left the house to Harry in her will.  Six months later in August 1981 Harry died while cutting the grass. 

We were amazed at all the people that came to Harry’s funeral.  He was well liked and had hundreds of friends.  Even his mailman came to wake.  Everyone spoke of Harry with love and laughter.  Harry would have liked his funeral.  I picture him there talking, laughing, eating, and having a good time. 

I hope no one takes this story as poking fun at Harry.  That is not my intention.  Harry was colorful, eccentric, had a big heart and we loved him dearly.

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

The Singer

 

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks topic this week is Music.  The first person to come to mind is Patricia Beck. While I wrote this, I listened to one of her recordings.  Every time I hear her voice it brings tears to my eyes.  It’s like she is still here with me.  I miss her so much! Here is my Godmother’s story.

Pat was my mother’s 1st cousin, and my 1st cousin once removed.  When I was born Pat was 14 years old and lived in Chicago with her divorced mother (my grandmother’s sister) Frances, better known to me as Aunt Fran.  We lived in a suburb of Chicago, Villa Park.  Almost every weekend Pat and Aunt Fran would come out to my grandmother’s house and spend the weekend.  I looked forward to their visits.  They always brought me some little trinket.  Pat had long hair and she would let me brush it and play beauty shop.  Pat was my idol.  She would tell me stories, sing to me, take walks with me, play games with me, and just talk with me.  In other words she paid a lot of attention to me.  She took me places too.  She would take me shopping in downtown Chicago, we would eat in nice restaurants, and she would take me to the movies.  I would spend a week during my summer vacation staying in Chicago with Pat and Aunt Fran.  One time Pat took me to Riverview (an amusement park in Chicago) with her boyfriend.  She didn’t like roller coasters, but her boyfriend did, and he took me on all the roller coasters several times.  Pat and Aunt Fran were good at organizing and holding birthday and Halloween parties.  They would buy all the decorations come out to my house, decorate, and organize the party.  The other kids loved my parties because Pat and Aunt Fran made them so much fun.

Pat had a beautiful voice and sang opera.  She would practice every morning when I was staying with her.  We would not go anywhere until she did her practicing.  She earned a B.A from the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago.  Her non-professional experience included the Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church and M. B. Sachs Amateur Hour in which she won first prize.  Her professional experience included the American Opera Company in Chicago, Board of Education Radio Station, New York City Opera, American Red Cross (Great Lakes Naval Hospital), Muni Opera in St. Louis, Pan American Council in Chicago, Decca Records – Forgive and Forget record.  She won an award at the  Chicagoland Music Festival Contest 1952 sponsored by the Chicago Tribune.  I know that Pat had won a bicycle and it was given to me.  May be it was the Chicago Tribune contest because that would have been about the time that I got the bicycle.  Pat was also fluent in several languages.  She married a man from Columbia South America and they had a daughter.    I remember one Christmas Eve she sang I’ll be home for Christmas and my father played the Organ.  No rehearsal for either of them and it was beautiful.  It brought tears to everyone’s eyes.  I wish that we had a recording of that.  Years later I asked her to sing for my husband as he had never heard her sing.  She said, “Oh, I can’t anymore, it takes practice and I haven’t kept it up.”  After my mother passed away in 1987, Pat became my go to person when I needed to talk to someone.  Pat was my Godmother, and I was her daughter’s Godmother, and her daughter is my oldest sons Godmother. Pat passed in April 2014 at age 81. For Pat’s memorial service her daughter made a CD of her mother’s singing.  She recently made a copy for us.  It’s scratchy because the recordings are old, but it is nice to be able to still hear her voice again.  She was a big part of my life, I loved her very much and she lives on in my heart.

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst

Traveling Men

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Leonard “Fuzzy” Fiderius (left) Christina Fiderius (center) and Joseph Fiderius (right)

I have written a little about my Great- Grandmother Mary Fiderius, but nothing about her parents or brothers and sister.  Today I am writing about her brother’s Leonard and Joseph. 

Several years ago I hit a brick wall on the Fiderius line of my family tree, and I just haven’t gotten back to it.  However, I did think of this line when I saw that this week’s theme from 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is Travel.  Way back in the 1990’s I worked at a library, and we received some computer Cd’s (pre-Internet) with phone books from all over the country (USA) on them.  At the reference desk, we were told to learn how to use them so we could help patrons.  I started putting in all the surnames of my ancestors.  When I got to Fiderius only three showed up in the whole country and they were in the Cleveland, Ohio area.  I knew my grandfather was born in Toledo, Ohio and Fiderius was his mother’s maiden name.  I figured they must be related, and way back then the only way to contact them was telephone or regular mail.  I was too shy to telephone so I wrote each one a letter.  I received a very nice letter from Erick Fiderius (my second cousin 1X removed).   The other two I wrote to were his father and his sister.  He told me about my great-grandmother’s brothers, Leonard and Joseph.  He also included a picture of my great-great grandmother Christina Oberdoester with her son’s Leonard and Joseph (see above).

Here is what Erick wrote on January 6, 1997I was delighted to receive your letter requesting information on your family lineage.  I am in fact related to your Great Grandmother Mary Beischer.  She would be my Great Aunt and sister of Joseph Fiderius, my Grandfather (about 1877 – 1970).  His brother Leonard was my Great Uncle “ Fuzzy” who must have gotten his nickname from his curly hair (see photo on left).  Fuzzy met his wife in Altoona, PA. I’m not sure but possibly your Great Grandmother Mary could have been from around that area. Both Joe and Fuzzy lived the majority of their adult life and died in the Cleveland area.  They were both very involved (held elected positions) in the early start of the local and possibly the national brotherhood of electricians, and I remember hearing stories of how they spent time (1920-1940’s?) working or wiring many of the old amusement parks of the day form Cleveland and east to NY (such as Luna Park and Euclid Beach Park).”

There was more to letter, but about other ancestors.  I found it interesting that they traveled around the country wiring amusement parks.  I wonder how many they did and where they were all located.  I have great memories of going to Riverview in Chicago.  It doesn’t sound like they made it west to Chicago to wire Riverview, but who knows maybe they did.  Since 1997, I have done more research on Leonard and Joseph and here is a short biography of each.  

Leonard Adam Fiderius was born 20 October 1884 in Cleveland, Ohio to Peter Fiderius and Christine Oberdoester.[i]  Leonard married Louisa C. Wagner on 24 November 1909 in Scranton, Pennsylvania.[ii]   Leonard did travel around wiring amusement parks as Erick said in his letter.  In 1907 Leonard was the chief electrician in the construction of a Luna Park in Scranton, Pennsylvania. [iii]  Around the same time he was chief electrician for Luna Park, he purchased a moving picture theater Dreamland in Hazelton, Pennsylvania and renamed it Bijou Dream.[iv]  Two months later he is trying to sell it.[v]  In 1914 Leonard is named chief electrician for the year at Luna Park.[vi]  While I was researching Leonard, I was surprised to find this headline:  19 indicted by Cleveland Jury.  Here is a transcript of the entire article from 20 June 1914:

“Cleveland, June 20 – (AP)— Nineteen electrical construction contractors and officials of the Cleveland Electrical Workers Union were indicted by the county grand jury here today on charges of violation of the Valentine antitrust law. 

The indictments charge the men entered into a conspiracy to fix prices on electrical construction jobs that they prevented competitive bidding.  The grand jury investigation followed three weeks of investigation.

Those indicted were Louis G. Kubach, John H. Fitzgerald, L. A. Fiderius, Herbert C. Mohr, Godfrey C. Davis, Albert G. Koestle, John A. Linden, William C. Schuur, Adolph P. Goldberger, Charles N. Dennison, Henry C, Morlock, Max Rapport, Herman R. Keppler, J. B. Morgan, George W. Billington, William E. Ranney, L. Wolfert, George W. Malone and Tom C. Fowler.

Fowler is president and Kubach secretary of the Electrical Business Association, a contractors’ organization, which according to Prosecutor Ray T. Miller, conspired with the union.

Fitzgerald and Fiderius are officers of the union forced the contractors to submit to the conspiracy under threat of withdrawing labor from jobs.  The contractors allegedly were required to bid on jobs at agreed prices and to take turns bidding.”[vii]

I could not find out if he was convicted or not.  Leonard lived a long live and passed away on 4 September 1970 at 85 years, 10 months, and 15 days in Cleveland, Ohio.[viii]

Joseph P. Fiderius was born on 7 December 1889 in Cleveland, Ohio[ix]  Joseph enlisted in the Army on 12 November 1917 and received an honorable discharge 30 November 1918.[x]  Joseph worked as an electrician.[xi]  Joseph married Mary Louise Kardos on 19 May 1919 in Cleveland, Ohio.[xii]  Joseph and Mary Louise had one child, Walter, born 1 May 1920[xiii]  It seems Joseph lived a rather quiet life compared to his brother Leonard.  Joseph passed away on 11 January 1975 at 85 years, 1 month, and 4 days in Cleveland, Ohio[xiv

* Sad Note:  Erick Fiderius passed away on 7 March 2009 at 54 years old in Cleveland, Ohio.

Copyright © 2018 Gail Grunst


[i] Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2014.  Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.

[ii] Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania website: http://www.lpa-homes.org/LPA_Public_Inquiries/Views/CAXMLW_Views/MRG460DW.aspx  Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania marriage applications:  Fiderius, Leonard/Wagner, Louise C., Book 93, Page 202, File Number 0093-00202,Marriage date: 11/24/1909.

[iii] The Scranton Republican (Scranton, Pennsylvania) 17 May 1908, Sunday,  Page 6.

[iv] The Plain Speaker (Hazelton, Pennsylvania) 12 October 1907,  Saturday, Page 5.

[v] Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 8 December 1907, Sunday, Page 42.

[vi] The Scranton Truth (Scranton, Pennsylvania) 29 April 1914, Wednesday, Page1.

[vii] Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio), 20 June 1920, Friday, Page 8.

[viii] Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.Original data:  Ohio. Division of Vital Statistics. Death Certificates and Index, December 20, 1908-December 31, 1953.State Archives Series 3094. Ohio Historical Society, Ohio.

[ix] Registration State: Ohio; Registration County: Cuyahoga; Roll: 1831776; Draft Board: 12. Source Information:  Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.

[x] Ancestry.com. Ohio Soldiers in WWI, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.  Original data: The Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the World War, 1917-18. Columbus, OH, USA: The F.J. Heer Printing Co., 1926.

[xi] The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147.  Source Information:   Registration Cards, 1942 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

[xii] Cuyahoga County Archive; Cleveland, Ohio; Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records, 1810-1973; Volume: Vol 103; Page: 296; Year Range: 1917 Jun – 1920 Oct.  Source Information:  Ancestry.com. Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records and Indexes, 1810-1973 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.

[xiii] Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.  Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007.

[xiv] Ancestry.com and Ohio Department of Health. Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010.  Original data:Ohio. Division of Vital Statistics. Death Certificates and Index, December 20, 1908-December 31, 1953.State Archives Series 3094. Ohio Historical Society, Ohio.  Ohio Department of Health. Index to Annual Deaths, 1958-2002. Ohio Department of Health, State Vital Statistics Unit, Columbus, OH, USA.

*Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2014.  Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.