Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Country Squire..........going back in time.

No, this is not an old photo but it is an old Ford from the fifties.  These two cars were parked in the lot where I was visiting today and I couldn't resist catching their classic lines.   The Ford is actually a woody that has wood panels on the side of the car.  The car in the background is an unknown to me but I bet one of my blogger friends will know.  My dad drove Fords all of his life and one of them was a 57 Fairlane. 

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

School classroom of old.......

As a supervisor of a student teacher today,  I thought  I would revisit one of my older photos from a past blog.  This is a photo in a classroom with high ceilings so I am thinking that it is in a larger town school house, not in a country school.

The photo came from the Osceola pile of old photos that my dad had collected from a house that he demolished.  It has no identification on it but it looks like it was a special day in the early 1900's.

Schools have changed in so many ways from the time this was taken.  Technology today encourages students not to read books but to flip pages on a computer screen.  The types of things read back then are not the same.  The older classics were probably contemporary pieces back then, but today's teaching is geared to less historic study and more contemporary thinking.  Who of those who are in control of the kind of thinking the students should follow does bothers me a lot, but hopefully students learn to think out their own viewpoints from learning how to do so without the command of others.

There are a handful of students who do read the classics and a small handful of teachers who are introducing some classic writings.  Times have changed and the classroom is only a temporary holding spot for students until they can get out and make their own way.  In some ways that was the same back then, but today the multi media overwhelms and dominates more that what is taught in schools.

Photos of students from my mom's country school days.  The majority probably have lived their lives to the fullest and many would be in their 80's  if they are still alive at all. They have progressed into this modern world.  Some I am sure have easily embraced the computer world and modern thinking and are blogging.  Others have refused to belong to this computer age and television is their only means of viewing the outside world.  The difference now with television is that we are viewing earthquakes and mine collapses live on the spot.  Daring rescues are seen live and not in books of old.

As I ramble on, I have no message to preach. I am just an observer of life and the lives of people that I observe today in comparison to old.  Time changes all things and we control so little of the things that we thought we could.

As I sit in a classroom of eight graders of today, I wonder if they will learn of the wars of old through today's movies, will they know the philosophies that caused them and do they know what they will face in the future. Will the today's versions actually tell the truth or tint it to their liking?  Is their future frosted with dreams of old that may never be attainable and will the true purpose of life ever be revealed to them?

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

They lived at the gas station.........

Jesse Thomas Burgus, 1917-2000

My parents Jesse and Zella Burgus were married in December of  1941.  I assume my dad was living at  home with his parents at that time and my mom lived in town with her mother.  She had been a country school teacher but getting married stopped that employment.  Ten months later after their marriage, my  oldest brother was born in October, 1942.  

I don't really know all the details but my parents then lived at the filling station, gas station, out on Highway 34, south of Murray, Iowa. The station eventually had a restaurant in the back room where there was originally an apartment. As a young boy riding the bus home from school, the bus driver would let us stop at that station and buy pop to drink.  We of course kept the bottle and I am sure we threw the bottles out the window then, as that is what everyone did.  Go figure that behavior. 

Ron being the first child gave my parents a good reason to record his early life and as a result we get to see the family history of where they lived.  Highway 34 is behind the baby buggy and the town of Murray is behind there up the gravel road about a mile. That highway was built for model T's as it was very narrow. Originally the highway would be built with raised side curbs to direct the water to different drainage areas, cement gutters.  You can see the curb in the photo as it flared in to meet a road intersection.

As a kid when those things were still in place, one had to be careful not to drive up onto that four inch curb or hit one of the concrete drain areas.  The old 1957 ford would really dance around when you hit them. The sound of hitting a drainage gutter was devastating and it actually could destroy a tire. I can remember when the speed limit on that narrow highway was 60 miles an hour and 55 at night.

Murray, Iowa remains a pretty small town of 700 people or more.  It still has a train going by it but it wasn't the county seat so it didn't grow in size. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Machinery and a follow up session......

I don't know why I don't have photos of the machinery on our farm when I was a young farm boy but I do have a photo of some thrashers.  The photo is in tough shape and I may have posted it a long time back, but it is one of my Grandfather LeRoy Martin Brown, my mother's father. She has written Dad above him so you would be sure to find him. I think that what we see in the background on the left is the tractor that is being used to turn the belt to make the thrashing machine work.

Returning to give follow up to the Ries family mystery that I blogged two weeks ago,  I will share the following information.

My great great grandfather Christian Wilhelm Ries had 11 children.

Their 11 children are as follows:

Marie (Mary Ries) b 27 oct 1834 in Schuylkill Co. PA   m. John Feldman
Margaret Ries b 1837 in Virginia   m. Matthew Schaff
Catharina Ries b 1839 Virginia   m. Jake Audelhelm
Christian W. Ries b 1841 Burlington, Des Moines Co,IA
Carl (Charles) Ries b 1842 Burlington, Des Moines Co, IA
Henrich (Henry) Ries b Jan 1844   m. Katherine Scholl  (Father of the son John in the house photo below)
Elizabetta (Elizabeth) Ries b Jan 1847  m. Charles Burgus  (MY G.GRANDFATHER)
Rebecca (Regitta) Ries b 14 Nov 1847  m. Ferdinand Burgus  (MY G. GRANDFATHER'S BROTHER)

Louise Ries b 1852  m. Matilda Luth
Frederick Ries b 14 Jun 1855  m. Margaret Luth (probably a sister of Matilda)
Johann ( John) Karl Ries b 14 Aug 185   m. Mary Elisa Melinza Burgus

The Henrick (Henry) Ries as is written in bold  in the list above  had a son John.  In the photo of the family in front of  house are John's family.  So this group actually shows great nieces and nephews of my great grandmother Elizabetta (Elisabeth) Ries. Mixed up in the group is John himself, a nephew,  and also I think some cousins to John with the name of Hickman.

So this is the same family of John and his wife with their family at an earlier time than the house photo.  As you can see that at this time John and his wife have 8 children so far.

Having a large family was the norm in rural middle America as it was settled.  Most were in business or agriculture and large families helped to keep the farm operations running.  The other thing that I always say about large families is that pregnancy was the only form of birth control back then. When you look at the dates of each child's birth of my great great grandfather you can see the kids are scattered every few years.

My great grandfather Charles Burgus and his brother Ferdinand married into this Ries family.  They were from a family of 13 and married two sisters of a family of 11. Elizabeth Ries and great grandfather Charles had 14 children. One of their sons, my grandfather Charles Burgus, same name as his father,  then when married had 10 children.

As a new observation of my family tree that I now see is that the Ries family and the Burgus family actually first migrated to the Burlington, Iowa area along the Mississippi River.  Then from there a few of them moved on to be in the central part of Iowa. Family stories hint that they may have followed the same trail as the Mormon trail, but I need to check the dates to verify it's possibility.  The Mormon trail did have two branches in the Murray, Iowa area, one going through Murray and the other south of the town.

When you follow back on the branches into the finer little twigs, it gets to be confusing. I know that it was not probably clear to you what I have written, but it has helped me to figure the actual family line more specifically. I can visualize a little more clearly the reason my Dad or Mom were always saying they are related to us.

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