Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

Friday, May 21, 2010

The John and Iva connection.

Today's blog is a little review of what I have written about before but the pictures are not the same.  My grandmother was Mabel Wheeler Brown.  Her husband Leroy Brown died in 1937.  The above picture is a few years later after his death as she is pictured here with my mom Zella Brown on the left.  I think it is probably 1939 as my mom was probably still living with Mabel as they are standing in front of their house in Murray. Mom was teaching country school near there at the time. That house sits on the exact opposite end of the block of where my Grandma and Grandpa Burgus lived for a few years later.
In the back row on the left is Kenneth Brown and beside him is his brother Marvin Brown.  In the front on the lright is Fern Brown, Marvin's wife.  Fern die of TB probably ten years later, leaving Marvin with four kids to raise by himself.  So they are my Uncle Kenny who is still alive and Uncle Marvin and Aunt Fern, who are not alive.   Grandma died in 1973 and mom died in 2008.

In the early 40's my Grandmother remarried to Oscar Brooks pictured above.  That made her total lineup of names to be Mabel Zella Wheeler, Brown, Brooks.  I knew her as Grandma Brooks all of my life.  He was a farmer who share owned his land with his son.  Oscar was a widower of a wife for many years just as my Grandmother was a widow from a marriage of 20 some years.
The marriage itself was a marriage of necessity.  My Grandmother did learn to like him, maybe love him, but she needed to be supported.  He needed the company and a wife.  They were married over 23 years until his death in 1963.

Oscar was my step grandfather but he was the only grandfather that I ever knew.  He would sit in his rocking chair and watch baseball games on the tv and lean over and spit his chewing tobacco spit into a tall can on the side of his chair.  He did like kids to a certain degree but he was a gruff man.  He didn't give my grandmother money to spend so she raised chickens and sold eggs to have spending money.  She sew all of her clothes and worked hard as a farmers wife.

As a little journey off the beaten path, here is another connection to my family.  Oscar had a sister named Iva.  She is the one of the John and Iva that became close grandparents too me also.  They were living in an early century home and we would visit them often.  John and Iva really liked my mom and our family. Their kids all lived out of state.  They are the ones who gave me so many antique things.  I have furniture, stone jars,  metal cans and antique toys that came from them  They were avid readers and had been teachers, even tough John made his living as a farmer.  They are pictured above with a set of their grandchildren who live somewhere in the Western states.  They didn't have a tv until their last few years of marriage.  They loved watching Bonanza. They live South of a town called Hopeville, Iowa about three miles. Hopeville is a blog in itself.

The gave me a love of history as they were living historians.  They lost a son in the second war.  They loved to travel and as you can see in the photo they had a 1957 Ford Fairlane.  It was a two door hardtop and was almost pink in color.  They would travel out west and share their stories of the places they visited and the unusual experiences that they would encounter.  People who follow my Larry's Creative Zone, know that I mention the John and Iva connection.  I am always posting something that has the connection to them.  I am still in contact with one of their sons, Loren Horton, who is retired and lives in Iowa City with his wife.  He is just as interesting as his parents as he was one of the main directors of the Iowa Historical Administration for quite a few years.

As I continue to blog the family stories, I can see that I need to write down all the dates of deaths and births in one location.  I was very frustrated to know that I did have those dates on other photos but I didn't want to dig for them.  It will become a discipline eventually to do the right thing when I discover things, and write them down.

Please visit all of the others who are sharing their family histories on Sepia Saturday.  Just click here. 

As a footnote to my last week's blog, my cousin pointed out that the classroom photo had to be taken inside of a larger town school.  It shows tall ceilings and doorways to hallways.  It could have been taken there in Osceola in one of their older school buildings or even from the Murray school.  It was a good observation made by my Cousin Joan.


Vicki Lane said...

Another interesting post, Larry! And I love the school photo from last week!

Far Side of Fifty said...

It was nice to see a photo of John and Iva as I feel that I know them through your other blog and all the wonderful treasures you got from them!
I get frustrated also with birth and death dates I finally wrote most of them down in my notebook I keep at the computer. It saves me from hunting for them all the time..this was a great Sepia Saturday entry Larry, I enjoyed it:)

Martin H. said...

I love reading about your family, Larry. You always tell the stories with such touching affection, particularly when the stories involve John and Iva.

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post Larry. Like Connie, I have come to "know" John and Iva through your writing. John and I always enjoy you sharing the many treasures you have from them. Seeing the tail lights of that Ford Fairlane reminds me of my childhood neighbors ~ they always had Fords and my Daddy had Chevrolets!

willow said...

I also have many family photos on the wonderfully quintessential American front porch. Love the jammies pic.

John Hayes said...

I agree with Martin--there is a great deal of affection & care in your writing, which makes the stories come alive. Also, I think the history of a midwestern farming family is such an intriguing & essential piece of Americana. The photos, as always, are great.

Barry said...

Farming was a tough life and bred some tough people. Underneath the gruffness was often a surprising tenderness, even in the men.

Barbara and Nancy said...

I always love reading about John and Iva. Thanks for another interesting post, Larry.

Poetikat said...

My problem is not the writing down; it's the mess of random notes that I have all over the place!
I can't imagine having someone nearby who was spitting tobacco in a spitoon. Yuck! Thank goodness that is a habit that faded out over time.

Wonderful photos as usual, Larry!


Leah said...

Such an interesting family history! I was especially interested in the independent way your grandma made her own spending money.

Crystal Mary said...

Yes I picked up on the fact that your grandmother was unappreciated by Oscar, and it saddened me. He just didn't seem to realise her value but she was a GEM, a treasure of goodness by the sounds. Bless you for sharing.

Alan Burnett said...

As usual, quite fascinating. Isn't it amazing how we pick up our likes and our interests from such a wide network of friends and family.