Friday, July 30, 2010
The photos are coming from these two wonderful old albums. My plans are to eventually to scan every photo and try to make sense of them by comparing shots on the computer rather that take the photos out of the book. I want to leave them in the same order as the owner of the albums had placed them.
This is the photo of the same couple as was above, only I believe they may have not been married yet.
The man did not live long as you can see the funeral card made here. There was writing on the back, no name, but that he had died March 28, 1897. As you can see he and his wife were from Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have yet to find an exact name but I have a set of three sisters in the book and I think that the man from Osceola in the photo is married to one of the sisters.
So the main portion of the pictures in the two albums are coming from Osceola, Iowa and Fort Wayne, Indiana. There is one photo from Kellerton, Iowa and another from Clarinda, Iowa.
I will post about my own family from here on but I had a little more "show and tell" to do here as I found names today and it does get interesting. I will leave you one more picture of a woman with great character and determination as you can see in her face. She is an unknown for now.
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Friday, July 23, 2010
The couple above are Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Jackson. This card does not state the photo company on the front of the card. It was found with a pile of loose photos in the house at Osceola. It comes with all the treasures that were in the previous old house where my parents owned the property.
This card is one that I believe is taken of the same couple. I can't see the resemblance in the woman but it is the same man with the same trimmed beard. I could be mistaken that they may be brothers but I don't think so. The woman is in profile in this one so it is hard to be sure if it is the same woman. The Graves Brothers Photographers took this as they are identified on the card. It is dated as January 12, 1887. I think that the second card is the older picture of the two.
I have a diary that was found in that house in which my father tore down due to it's bad condition. The diary is written by a woman who does not identify her first name, but she is Mrs. Walter Hill. Her son's name is Dan and he is in high school. She wrote the complete year out page by page in a book that was intended for note taking for a medical professional and the calendar year is 1917. She writes of everyday happenings each day, from cooking a rabbit for supper to who visited who on the day. There are a couple of cake recipes included on certain days with notes jotted at the top of the page as to who died or got married that day. She mentions often that she does not feel well and that her husband bakes a cake once in a while, and to their going out to buy monuments for their graves including the prices they paid.
You are wondering where I am going with all of this but I do have a theory. The woman who wrote the diary in 1912 seems to validate my idea that the above couple in the photos did not live in the house my dad demolished. I believe that the man and woman lived in Osceola and were probably related to the diary writer, either as a brother or a sister to her. The name of the diary writer is Hill and the man in the photograph is Jackson.
I have two large albums of the family photos from those who lived in the house as well as of their relatives. I have yet to dig through that but I have noticed that their are sequenced pictures of people getting older. Their are only first names written on some of the cards.
The things that I know that I can eventually do to find out about the diary writer are numerous. Her son Dan had to graduate from Osceola High School between 1912 and 1914. I should be able to get that info from the school. I really do think I could fine the graves of Mr. and Mrs. Hill in the Osceola Cemetery. I could look for the Jackson couple in the cemetery. Lastly I am sure that once I try I should be able to find something on the different net programs that help you find ancestors. Not my ancestors but of the family group.
Not my relatives, but I have handled a lot of their possessions. I have large sections of hand sawed paneling from their home. I have the pictures and I walk where they use to walk in the downstairs cave. I have their canning jars in which Mrs. Hill made applesauce and canned meat. Their are books that showed they belonged to a lodge, leather postcards and their are knick knacks from other countries. I have this need to know more as it will give me the faces and names and not just people from the past. My albums may have Mr. and Mrs. Hill in them with Dan's picture also but at this point I can't identify them, but I need to know more.
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Saturday, July 17, 2010
As a part of a family history I am including the animals that surrounded us while growing up on the farm. My dad raised hogs and Hereford cows. It was also a grain growing operation with 180 of tillable hill country covered with Southern Iowa clay.
The animals were always a part of out lives and Tippy the dog was my first known dog in our family. We had a border collie when on the rental farm and I was 3 years old and something must have happened to it during the move to the new farm. It may have refused to move, I don't know what, but my parents would never be honest to us about the lost of animals. I remember at the age of 4 going to a farm near us and seeing all these puppies running around in the yard. My dad went up to the house, we had to stay in the car, and he just reached down and picked up a puppy and we brought it home. My brother three years older than me had a speech problem at the time and Tippy is the only name he could say clearly so that was his name.
Tippy lived for over 15 years as he died while I was in college. He became so ill and they just ad a hard time having him put down.
My brother Rex is in his Murray Mustang High School marching band uniform. The school supplied the coat and my parents had to buy him a pair of white slacks. Mom had to sew a purple stripe down the outside seam of the pants to match the purple and gold coat. They also had this neat hat with a white small bill and a large metal emblem on the front of it. I see the photo was processed in 1956 which means it could be 1955 or 56. He played a small bariton, while my oldest brother Ron played a French horn. The school owned the horns so you played whatever was available. It was a small school but I did admire the marching band anyway.
My oldest brother Ron with dad's help selected a heifer to show in the county fair for 4-H club. She was a special cow named Duchess and we had her for quite a few years. I believe that he sold all of the cattle in 1969 or 70 but she had been a pet among the herd for years. She had many calves for my dad to sell or to use to increase the herd size. When feeding the cows in the winter time back in the timber, my dad could pick her out among the 30 cows and she was very friendly.
Larry Dean, age 5, with Blacky the cat and Dwight Lee, age 8, with Snoop the cat, kittens were an ongoing event on the farm. The fun thing to do in early spring was to go into the haymow and see where the mother cats had birthed their kittens. We had them tamed before they got a chance to be wild. My mom made my shorts all the time so her selection of prints were always wild. Snoop had an early demise which was a childhood trauma for my brother. It was a sad thing but we learned a lot about hard knocks as kids on the farm.
Twin calves were a novelty and I have a photo of a pair that dad must have brought up to the barn to keep out of the cold snow. The picture is not dated like the rest of them but I would think it still was in the 50's.
Lastly is a picture of our pigs and babies. I really don't know why the picture was taken unless it was because there were cute piglets. My dad always raised hogs. He had started out with just a few sows but then kept an average of 20 sows or more in order to raise pigs each spring. What is interesting is that I can tell these are an older breed of sows as his herd of sows changed in appearance to a more modern looking pig later on in the years. My dad started buying expensive boars in which to have hogs that would gain weight faster and be a larger pig. They were bred special in Northern Iowa and the company was called Farmer's Hybrid Hogs. Farmers who didn't do that would raise runty looking pigs that would mature to be about 160 pounds. His market pigs were ideally 240 pound pigs.
I know animals are not genealogy but the animals were a part of our family history. We learned tough lessons about animals when we would loose one or one would become injured and have to be taken to a butcher. We lost cats with great grieving and loved dogs to the bitter end. I would not have wanted to be on the farm the day my dad sold all of his cattle. I know he probably cried. The herd was his since 1954 until 1969. He had run out of boys to help him make hay and he couldn't do it alone nor were there any other neighbor kids to hire. I actually was the last one to be hired out to four different farmers, besides my dad. I returned from college one year and hired out to make hay and then I stayed in summer school from then on and worked at the ISU library. The farm changes and the livestock became less and less. My dad sold the farm in 1973 during the winter and I assume the sows were sold out right after that.
My children never knew my dad as a farmer and I think they would have liked being on the farm. As a teacher my students thought that I was so old and surpirsed that I was a son of a pig farmer. I find the past has made me who I am today, the carer of animals, birds, and fishes and the grower of everything, including weeds.
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Friday, July 9, 2010
My older brother was told to take a bunch of the old photos home with him many years ago by my mother. Since he has learned to scan and post I am finding photos from him that I have never seen before now.
I have posted about my Grandmother Mabel Wheeler Brown Brooks many times and above she is standing among four of her brothers. There was another brother named Calus who lived elsewhere. I guess they didn't see him very much as he married a woman from Des Moines and they didn't associate with him or her. This is a rough looking bunch of people from my mom's side. They all lived in or near Winterset and Lorimor near the Madison County area in Iowa.
They area already identified but they are from the left, Lee Wheeler, Elva Wheeler, Mabel Wheeler, Weaver Wheeler and Elga Wheeler. What were the thinking with the double W name and also with the Elga, Elva similarity?
My Grandmother Brown lost her first husband and a few years later married the guy above. His name was Oscar Brooks. He was a grumpy character and I think I explained in an earlier blog that he sat and watched black and white baseball games, while spitting in a tin can next to his chair, his chew. I have notes on another picture where he went to in-laws and refused to get out of the car except to have his picture taken. That tongue thing is something he did all the time and I am not sure he is holding in a chew spit when he is sliding that tongue. My brother Rex is in his lap here and Ron is standing.
This is a prized photo as I don't have many photos of my Grandmother Burgus. She is holding my oldest brother Ron in front of their house in Murray, Iowa. This woman is where I get my British blood line as she was Grace Elizabeth Turner Burgus. Her grandparents on her mother's side were Abernathy.
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Saturday, July 3, 2010
Because it is my older brother's class, I kept an eye on all of them and watched them while I was growing up. My brother is in the top row and a first cousin of mine, Gerald Brown, is on the right of the second row. Of all my cousins, I feel he was the one who inherited the facial features of my Grandpa Leroy Brown.
Last names names of of few would be Brown, Edwards, Files, Creese, Bustad, Dinham, Bettis, Crittenden, Mathis, Gonseth, Dugger, Jones, Hughs, and Mills.
First names at the time were like Ray, Tim, Merril, Gerald, Barbara, Arlene, Tom, Karen, Linda, Nancy, and Carolee.
Of the history of these members of the class of 1960, I don't know now so much about them. I know of three of them that are not alive. One of them is still a close friend to my brother, Ray Files, and the one on the bottom right corner lives in a town near here.
Did you notice the influence of Elvis Presley on this class or maybe James Dean? The three sponsors are all gone now, as the one on the far top left was Mr. Kirby, who actually returned and retired in Murray, Iowa.
A bonus set of pictures are the one here of my brother Rex Thomas Burgus, 1942- , and this could be a photo of him in '58 or '59. He was a sports buff all four years in high school and you can tell that from his tan. Below was his high school sweetheart. Janet Dugger.
My brother Ron married the year out of his 3 year stint in the service to Julieann Liggitt and they have three grown children today with two grandchildren. He still owns a printing business in Mesa and his one son helps to run it.
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