Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My wife's branch

I have a pretty clear understanding of my wife's side of the family but I haven't been versed on it all of my life like we all are with our own parents when growing up in a family. I don't intend to have everything down to detail but I want to share the photo of her great grandparents Peitzman.

My wife Della Mae Seibert Burgus has the four family names in her history with Seibert and Peitzman on her father side,  and Cone and Mason on her mother's side.

The photo below is one branch of her history with her grandmother Anna Peitzman Seibert with her family members. Both names are from families in this branch are German.

Front row:   William Frederick Peitzman, Emma Marie Peitzman Grief, Mary Elizabeth Peitzman Knoll, Great grandmother Anna Mary Ellerman Peitzman ( b. 1838, d. 1933), Great grandfather John Frederick Peitzman (b.1837, d. 1908), Henry Frederick Peitzman.

Back row: ( Della's Grandmother) Anna Marie Lousie Peitzman Seibert, Frederick George Peitzman, John Peitman, Gerhart Louis Peitzman, and Helena Henrietta Peitzman Baer.

For my own clarity of understanding I like to explain that the members above are either Great grandparents, grandmother, or Great Uncle and Aunts.

John Frederick Seibert b. 1868, d. 1945 married 1905 to Anna Marie Louis Peitzman b. 1876, d. 1970.
My wife's grandparents on her father's side.

One of the relatives of the Peitzman family spent a lot of her life time recording the family history. If I were to share everything I would have to share the hundreds of pages of what we teasingly call The Book. It has been kept up in detail and is updated yearly with as much information as the families will share.

A side story to this post is that one of Della's distant cousins traveled to Germany a few years back to find family.  He actually found the family line of the brother to Della's great grandfather John Frederick Peitzman.  The house that they visited was the house in which Casper Heinrick Peitzman lived. It still stands today in Rhodinghausen, Germany.  It had been handed down through various female family members with the name of Klussman and Walker living there today.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Two boys from the farm........

Two Iowa boys from the Murray, Iowa area who dropped out of school to help save the family farm. It was the time of depression era. My dad Jesse T. Burgus, born 1917 and his brother Donald, born 1920. Their father had sold a farm north of Murray and bought two other farms with the money.  It was said that he was trying to get closer to Murray so the kids could go to high school.  Some of them graduated from Murray High School but Jesse and Donald did not.

The two of them with their efforts to help Papa Burgus to save the farm did not succeed as they still lost the one farm to the bank.  The other one southeast of Murray did survive the depression.  In the 40's both boys from middle America were drafted into the Army.

After completing basic training my dad,  Jesse, was shipped to Washington D.C.  to guard government buildings and also to read radar to watch for enemy aircraft. His being stationed in that area, with a wife and son at home had to be a considerable adjustment.  In the photo above you can see him walking the streets of D.C.  maybe even going to the movies.

His brother Donald, three years younger than him, ended up in Alaska, at the Aleutian Islands.  There the U.S. military were stationed to monitor aircraft and I believe also to repair planes.  There was a harbor there too. He is sitting on the right in the picture.

I am going to make the assumption that his is my Uncle Donald with a friend, even though I thought it was my dad for a long time.  When Dad and his brother were younger they looked a lot alike.  I will post this as Uncle Donald and let the relatives correct me.

This is Uncle Donald Burgus at his barracks in the Aleutians.

A year and a half before the World War ended, dad was sent overseas to reinforce troops there. He ended up in the Battle of the Bulge.  Before then he was stationed in Belgium before moving out towards Germany.  This is the first letter that my dad to my  mom after arriving in Belgium.  In it he is writing his concerns for one of his son's health and also very concerned about his brother Donald.  Little did my dad know what he was about to have happen to him in active warfare.

Here is my dad in uniform in the Belgium village in 1944. I have those patches from the uniform. I can't imagine how that uniform stayed safe as he went to battle. They must have returned to Belgium when the war was declared over to retrieve his things.

The are so many questions that I will never get to ask now but it is interesting how you don't even thing about them until the person involved is gone.

Both Donald and Jesse are gone now. Donald died a few years before my dad, who died in 2000.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Early on in my life.....

Larry Dean b. 1950

As the only child left living in the state,  I find myself shuffling through the remains of my parents things.  As I shift and sort photos and try to organize them, this 60 year old  man sees images of myself staring back at me.

I was a child who was born a year before the child, that died at birth.  It affected the number of photos taken of me and as I see a few coming through a couple years later after that loss.  I can see my parents are healing a little and getting on with their lives those few years later.  I remember my mom telling others that she sat and cried over her lost child and rocked me.

In the photo above, I am probably maybe 2 years old.  I am standing outside of the home of a farm my parents were  renting.  We moved to another farm that they bought during winter in 1953.

 Dwight Lee b. 1947 d. 2008  and Larry Dean b. 1950

I have two older brothers and they were always photographed together.  Ron and Rex can be seen as the prewar babies growing up together.  Dwight and I are the postwar babies and we two can be seen together in the pictures. This photo was taken the same day as the one at the top.

As I sort through things, I have tended to withdraw some of my younger self away from this process and just be about doing the business.  It does jolt you back when you pick up a new image of the past that takes you back to the time and place.  In many ways Sepia Saturday is all about remembering the families that we are following, but also it is a time to reflect on where we too fit in on this very large family tree. Our own lives carry the biggest set of memories and the lives of the past help us to know how we became a part of this very big family.

Thanks so much to all of you who have become my following.  I do appreciate your interest in the blog and it's process.  I hope to make new friends here, but most of all I hope it inspires you to start charting your past for others to see.

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Great grandparents Charles and Elizabeth Burgus

My great grandparents Charles and Elizabeth (Ries) Burgus. This photo is taken from the 1968 Murray, Iowa Centennial Book. I tried to bring it up to a better quality but this is it. There are other photos out there among my cousins and maybe I will get a copy from them someday. They had 14 children as seen below.  
A photo of their tombstones is in the blog two weeks past.

The above photo is of the 14 children shown with their mother Elizabeth Burgus.  My grandfather Charles is in the back row and he was apparently named after his father, my great grandfather Charles Burgus. He is not in the photo so he must be deceased when the photo was taken. He died in 1898 so this dates this photo some time after that.  Great grandmother Elizabeth died in 1911.

Charles b. 1832, d. 1898 and Elizabeth Ries Burgus b. 1847, d. 1911,  parents of:

Christian Frederick
b 1 Nov 1865 m Emma Corbin
Anna Maria b 19 Sept 1867 m William Neidt
Margaret b 22 Dec 1868 m Fred Spellerberg
Catherine b 24 Oct 1870 m Oscar Klein
John b 5 Nov 1872 m Alice Bingham
Henry b 5 Dec 1872 m Laura Dick  John & Henry were twins
Charles Thomas b 28 Sept 1874 m Grace Turner (my grandparents)
Elizabeth b 7April 1876 m Brady Wetzel
Louis b  Have this date at home but am doing this at the library
William b 25 Oct 1879 m Winnie Stephjenson
Mary b 7 Sept 7, 1881 m Arile Jeffers
Matilda b 24 Feb 1883 M Frank Morgan
Ernest Leland b 1 Feb 1887 m Nelle Glee
Clara Jaunita b 25 Jun 1889 m John Devine

I just realized that these would all be my Great Uncle and Aunts.

Charles Thomas Burgus born 1874, died 1949

 I am reposting the wedding photo of Charles to Grace Elizabeth Turner Burgus to tie this lineage altogether. They had 10 children which included my dad Jesse Thomas Burgus born 1918, died 2000.

This is getting to be long but I should be posting the family of 10, but it is in a previous posting. If you are curious as to what 10 family members look like click here. I have posted a lot of different photos of them when they were younger.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

A new found photo, postcard......

I received this from my Cousin Bob Brown a few weeks ago.  I was so surprised to see it as I didn't know that it even existed.  It is a very high quality photo of my Grandfather LeRoy Martin Brown and Grandmother Mabel Zella Wheeler Brown.  It is their wedding photo and I have the portrait form of it in a frame.  It is seen on the sidebar of this blog.

My mom had always had the framed wedding photo and I hadn't thought about it before but when my grandfather passed away in 1937 my mom was still in high school.  A few years later she was married and my grandmother remarried.  I assume that my grandmother didn't think she could hang her first wedding photo in her house when she remarried so she gave it to her daughter for safe keeping.

I really like the clarity of the photo and how you can see all the details of the shoes and clothing. I wasn't able to do that with my oval framed photo.

The photo is actually a postcard.  I recognized my Grandmother's handwriting on the back.  She was good to share the dates so I could verify my records.  As a footnote to all of this, I have the wedding dress and bow and bracelet that is shown in the photo.  My oldest niece Stacia has the necklace as my mom gave it to her many years ago.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Three generations......

Buried at the Union Cemetery, in the country in Union County, Iowa are my  Great Grandparents Charles Burgus, d. 1898, and Elizabeth Ries Burgus. b.1847, d.1911.  I think it is interesting that they died 13 years apart and that the same stone has been given different treatment with the writing of information. I want to visit this cemetery sometime as Charles Burgus has some writing below his name that I want to know.  The two of them had 13 children.  My dad Jesse T. Burgus is standing in the photo, the third generation of those buried there.

One of the 13 children was a son named Charles Thomas Burgus.  That confused me when I was young as the great grandfather and grandfather had the very same name.  He was the chosen one to be named after his dad.  My grandmother's standing in the photo in her wedding dress.  She was Grace Elizabeth Turner Burgus.  The photo is coming from a locally published centennial book of Murray, Iowa made in 1968.  It is a low resolution publication and I can't bring the photo into a sharper form with my photoshop.

I can't screw up the dates on this one as it is sandblasted into granite.  They are buried on top of the hill at the Murray, Iowa Cemetery.  Grace Burgus had parents with the name of Turner, and her mother was an Abernathy.  I have found some interesting reading among my parents things about  Abernathy's as they helped to settle Idaho before it was a state and they lived among the native American Indians. They lived in Slurbie Valley somewhere in Idaho.

Sepia Saturday has helped me to touch the tip of the iceberg.  I have here writings that my parents have received from various relatives and old photos of people that I don't know.  It is just a beginning as I have to get a structured way of recording this started.  I have a few more years to get on it and time will be that I can really dig in to it all.  I have heard verbal tales about Ries', Abernathy's, Turner's, and of course the distant Burgus's.  It makes so much more sense that it ever has before but I do want to take control of it all. But, I still have piles to go and promises to keep. My apologizes to Robert Frost.

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Teasing Ivalea

Instead of showing a very old sepia photo, I have a poor quality color photo of the 60's.  The photo is a good one showing my Grandmother Mabel Brooks with her brothers and their wives.  My grandmother is the second from the right in this photo.  The interesting thing for me of this photo is the prank that is going on while they are posed.  On the right side is Ivalea Wheeler.  She was married to my great Uncle Elva Wheeler and you can see his bald head behind her and he is holding the cigarette.  Behind him is one that I can't identify who his tapping Ivalea on the head with some object, artificial flower or something like that.  As you can see she is turning around wondering who is doing that to her.

The story goes further than this as she is the one who had such flowery language.  At that time in her life she would cuss a blue streak casually in almost any conversation.  I can imagine the hells and damns that are coming out of her mouth right then as someone bonks her on the head. Cussing wasn't unusual once in a while from a few of them but most of that bunch didn't really make it a daily practice. She was the perfect one to tease to get a great reaction. The woman who played Carol Burnett's mother in the tv show "Mama" would be that same character. Later in life, Ivalea mellowed out and was an avid creator of quilts.

On the left, in the front row is Ellen and her husband Weaver Wheeler.  They lived in Iowa Falls, Iowa. The next row back is Lee and his wife Esther Wheeler who farmed in the Macksburg, Iowa area.  I am assuming the guy in the very back on the left is Elga Wheeler and I am assuming his wife is the one not shown standing behind my grandmother. The guy doing the teasing is unknown to me right now but maybe it will come to me later.

Here is the same bunch much earlier in their years.   Elga, Elva, Mabel, Weaver and Lee Wheeler.  One brother also lived in the Des Moines area and left the group behind.  I bet someone can date that car for me and I will know the year.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Great Grandma Driver........

Late 1920's

The longer the time passes while doing Sepia Saturday, the more I am finding photos of Great Grandmother Carrie Maxson Brown Driver. She was talked a lot about by my mom and also my Grandmother who was her daughter in law. She first married my Great Grandfather William Brown. When he died she remarried a Thomas Jefferson Driver.
I want to do a very thorough blog about her but not today. I just want to share this photo. She is the woman holding a child and pointing to the camera person, probably trying to get the little girl to look toward the camera. Carrie Driver had two sets of family and the second set had the the two daughters which are probably in the picture with their husbands and children. One daughter is not really in sight in the photo The daughters names were Ida and Florence. If I count out the husbands there is an extra guy who must be one of the three sons, either Glen, William or Jesse.

E. T. Sevier

My brother was visiting our Uncle Kenny in Murray, Iowa and he had a portable scanner. Instead of dumpster diving he was doing large photo box diving. He scanned a lot of new ones for us to see of my mom's side of the family. He also scanned some non relatives. The guy above looks like he graduated from high school and he is an unknown, not our family lineage. He could be someone's neighbor's grandson or nephew.  It is a fancy folder presentation and I can not make out the photographer's name embossed on the front. It looks like Gulander. The name Sevier is a French name.

Vettie's Older Son

Another wonderful old photo which is probably a non relative. This is Vettie's older son as it is written on the back. My Aunt Sylvia was from Czechoslovakia and the name of Vettie doesn't seem German or British. I have visited with cousin Bob her son and he doesn't know the origin of it.  I believe this is one of my most favorite old photos of all that I have seen so far.

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

The house that Charles built..........

Charles Thomas Burgus, younger

Charles Thomas Burgus, older, died in 1949

I found this photo among my parents things and it is the house that my Grandfather Charles Burgus built. It stood northwest of Murray and was built in the early 1900's. Their first child was born in 1902 so it had to have been built years after that. I don't know that much about the place. They had ten children and they sold it and moved to another farm nearer Murray. The main reason, I was told by family members, was to move closer to town so the older girls could go to high school there. My grandfather actually bought two different farms after he had sold the one on which this house was built.

I have many questions about the place as my grandfather had 12 brothers and sisters and I wonder if any of them help him to build it. I wonder if his own dad, my great grandfather was alive and helped with the job. I really can't believe that he would move out of it but I guess when they moved the older children were moving out and they would be able to go to a smaller house. A lot of these questions will go unanswered as all ten of the children are gone now. The house itself was a traditional style that was built back then but also it reminds me of the ones Sears and Roebuck sold in kit form.

I don't know the date of this photo but it is later in time and newer than the photo above it. This photograph looks like it came from a Kodak camera owned by one of the family.

My first cousin Joan tells me that the house has been moved into the town of Lorimor. I will either have to get in contact with friends in Lorimor, or go over there myself to see if I can find it.

Another task that I realized that I must do is locate some dates of birth and deaths of my Burgus grandparents and great grandparents. I have found so much out about my mom's side this past two weeks that it is overwhelming. I am glad to discover the family tree and it just makes you become more anxious to find more.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Great Grandfather Brown

My grandfather LeRoy Martin Brown was three years old when his father died. No information is known about any of it but I have relatives who are looking for his father's grave in Illinois.

The photo has the identification written on the back, done in fountain pen, Grandfather Brown. He is Charles W. Brown born in early 1860's. He would be my mom's grandfather and she wrote the name on the back. That means he would be my great grandfather Brown. As I am writing this, I have just picked up an obituary of his wife, my great grandmother and I have found out more details about the family.

Charles W. Brown married Carrie Rosella Maxson from Fulton county, Illinois, in 1983. They had two sons, LeRoy, my grandfather, and Ira Brown. In March 8, 1888 five years after they were married, he died. My grandfather LeRoy was three years old. Again the past two generations say he is buried there but it is not known where.

I know nothing more about him other that what I just stated. Because of his early death, my great grandmother remarried and gave me many half relatives to keep track of in my family tree journey. I will have to blog about her another time as Carrie remarried a guy name Thomas Jefferson Driver. I have quilts that she has made and I have a lot of material about her five other children.

As a final comment, I wanted to note the background of this photo. It probably was taken in the state of Illinois and the mural is a hand painted effort. On the back is written in cursive the word Woods. I will probably never know what that means but I will always keep in buried in my little grey cells.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Burgus Side.......

My first cousin Joan shared this photo with me of the ten Burgus children of Grace and Charles Burgus. I know it isn't in great shape but the character of it is grand. Most of the photos that I have of this group had been taken when they are all adult sized people. This photo helps to show the age differences as the three youngest are really young. At this point I am not going to share ages or dates of death as that isn't the purpose of this post. All of them have passed away with the last three being gone in the last 12 years.

Front row are the two youngest children of the family Donald and Doris, twins. Their older sisters Mary and Amye are next with the silly guy on the end being my dad, Jesse. He was third from youngest. It is a silly picture of him and I really think he is about 9 or 10 years old in the photo.
In the back row I believe is Ralph, Ruby, Carl, Cecil, the oldest, and Eva. I had never really noticed that the young twin boy grew up to look like Carl. Carl went bald early though and Donald the younger one really didn't have the same hair.
Eva in the back row, far right, is the Aunt that I am featuring today. I have only this one photo below of them.

Eva Burgus married and became Eva Dovenspike. Her husband was Dick Dovenspike and they had one child name Charles.

My first memories of them were when we would visit their home for Burgus dinners. I was probably 7 or 8 years old. They lived near Lucas, Iowa an old coal mining town. They owned a home on the side of a hill back in the woods on their farm. They were good people and they had a nice home inside, but Dick wasn't too concerned about image. So their house was a one story home covered with black tar paper for it's siding. The farm house actually sat in a valley where Native American Indians wintered probably 60 years before then. They found so many artifacts in the valley in the cornfields.

Dick couldn't make a living at farming so he became a carpenter and worked most of his life building and renovating homes. His glasses were always covered in splattered paint.
I said earlier that they were good people but I do remember Dick holding his pipe, clenched tight in his mouth and he had a gruff outlook and personality. It was strange to have a grumpy one among all the Burgus clan but he was just that.

Eva and Dick eventually built a very nice home on top of the hill and lived in a very modern home. He did all of his own work as it was his trade. Eva was very good at growing plants and flowers and when you arrived to the door of their home their would be lush plantings of begonias blooming profusely. It was a jungle. It was said that she was a lot like my Grandmother Burgus but I think most of he daughters were in personality.

I don't know too much about the whole life of my cousin Charles. I do remember him at his wedding with his wife to be Helen and they did have three daughters, Kathy, Julie and Becky. Since they lived over in the Lucas and Chariton, Iowa area they were not seen much other than a once every two years at a family dinner. I really think the he was a carpenter also but I don't know that for sure. Charles finished his life much like my brother did with addictions that eventually took his life. He was an extremely bright man and played a guitar. Country music was his style. His wife divorced him at the last of his life but Helen has been so good at keeping track of her kids side of the family. We see her at funerals and visitations.

The last of the memories of this family are of where the three of them are buried. I attended my Aunt Eva's funeral probably 20 years ago and her body was buried next to her husband and son on a hill overlooking a southern Iowa treelined valleys. They tended to live the back woods life style and they chose a place in the cemetery on the edge of a steep hill with trees everywhere in the cemetery.

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

One photo day......

These are cousins from the Madison County area in Iowa. At this point I don't know who they are nor do I know who the woman is standing on the porch. The photo is one more picture that has the chicken house in the background and the taller old tree in it.  I have many photos of my mom and her brother or other cousins standing by that disfigured tree.  It probably is a great Uncle's farm place but there were six of them in that family, so which one could it be?

It is a mystery that my cousin once removed and I am working on.  I will have to do some digging and cataloging and see if the site can be found on one photo. That is all it is going to take to figure it out.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

An early view back..........

Most all of my young pictures were taken with a box camera. They either couldn't figure out how to turn the focus on the side or they didn't walk forward or backward to get it into focus while looking through the little glass viewfinder. I am the youngster born in 1950. My brother Dwight was born in 1947. I can guess ages of young people but not when I am looking at myself. Dwight looks like he could be 3 going on 4 here which makes me at least 1 year plus.

I did find a little booklet of Kodak pictures that I assume were taken with a box camera, that are in focus. The year was either 1952 or 53. I am eating watermelon and apparently the juice was running down my stomach. I was told that it was the reason for the scantily clad boy to have his photo taken. I am either 2 or 3 years old.
I know that we moved off of this farm that fall into winter onto a farm that my parents had bought a few miles away. I don't know how to judge how old I am here but I was always in belief that I was ill when they moved and that I was three years old. Instead of riding to the new older house in the back of wagons like my parents, my Uncle Bill and Aunt Mary drove me in their very warm car. I can remember being wrapped in a blanket and in a rocking chair in the living room on that day. I think I remember it was snowing. I now realize that my three older brothers were all at school on the day as they were not around so they had to come home to a different home.

I mentioned to you earlier that I have been in contact with a cousin once removed. He has an uncle on his wife's side that does He has access to the use of the program and he sent me something that overwhelmed me. The visual to the left is one half of what he sent me containing the relatives in a bracket from my great grandparents on my Grandmother Brooks, mom's side. It isn't all of it but the first batch that he sent me. I really appreciated it.

He says that he has it going back to the 1300's. When I look at the little kid eating watermelon, I have to think how our genetic code has to be so unique from the combination of so many people.
I will talk about the whole bracketed document later as it is twice the size of the one you see here. When you follow the surname of Wheeler on this bracket it goes all the way back to a Wheeler that has been born on a ship while traveling here from England. One of my ggg grandfathers was named Andrew Jackson Mobley.
I am in awe of the many people who have married and had children and as the process of life and death continues the branches keep extending. This one set of people really are only one fourth of the sides of my whole being. It almost seems impossible to be able to know all this information but I do need to analysis the dates and the movements of these people throughout all the years.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010


Cyrus Wheeler, b.1872 and Mattie (Mobley) Wheeler
My great grandfather and great grandmother on my mother's side.
On the back of the photo it is written that it was taken in front of the Morrow's house in Murray, Iowa.  It was the neighbor's house to my Grandmother who was their daughter, Mabel Zella Wheeler. Mabel's wedding photo is to the side of this posting in the oval frame.  I was so surprised to see that as she grew older that my grandmother had her mother's same body build and same facial features.  The great grandfather looks like a couple of his grandsons. 

Cyrus' parents, my great great grandparents, were George L. Wheeler, b. 1839 and Mary Jane Henry Wheeler.
Mattie Wheeler's parents , my other great great grandparents, were Hezekia and Orilida Mobley, m.1838.

I am going to make the assumption at this time that Wheeler is an English name as when I research it on the net I find it predominately a British name.

 The great grandparents are all buried in Moon Cemetery in Mackburg, Iowa. That is another project for me. Since I just recently discovered the past year, this picture and it's information on it, I now want to get a more accurate sets of dates for births and deaths. The great grandparents dates I will get for sure.

This is the back of the photo above.  There is a pencil writing that was by my grandmother as she called them her parents.  The writing in pen must be my mom's writing and I really don't know when that was done.  It is interesting that some of the dates of marriage are known and some birth dates too but all is a lot sparse.

This is an older photo of the Cyrus and and his sister Jess. It says it was taken in 1941. (as a footnote I was told that Mattie died of TB in 1941)

From the photograph back this was written out as the children.  The woman in the above picture is my grandmother Mabel Zella Wheeler who added two married names of Brown then Brooks. The names of the children are numbered and I am assuming by date of birth order.
1. Weaver
2. Mabel
3. Collus
4. Lee
5. Gerald (died at birth)
6. Elva
7. Elga

Mabel Zella Wheeler Brown Brooks

I am amazed as to how much more information that I have from my mom's side than I ever knew most of my life. My mom couldn't or wouldn't explain it but now with this photo and other smaller loose photos I can piece things together more than I would have ever imagined.

There is so much more to this posting that I will cover as time goes on with this blog.  The farm that Cyrus and Mattie owned has stayed in family ownerships through their son Lee, my great uncle and now has moved down to the next son Lee Junior and is being farmed by the next son Troy Wheeler. Macksburg, Iowa is nearby and the county seat of Winterset, Iowa in Madison county is not too far from there.  All my bloggers are familiar with the movie the Bridges of Madison County. That area is North of that farm.

As relatives read this and see any need for corrections, I sure can make them.  Ones facts are only as good as the original source. Any help in correcting and adding on to this new journey for me would be more than appreciated.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Random pics........

My grandmother Grace Elizabeth Turner Burgus shown here in a rare hand tinted portrait.  My brother shared this photo with me which he photographed while visiting a first cousin in Murray.

A three year old with her abacus . This happens to be my mother,  Zella Marie Brown Burgus.  The year would be 1922. She looks a little stern with the photographer.

I am always entertained to see how parents take their kids out into the yard and pose them.  Here is a photo of my oldest brother Ron on the left and my second oldest brother Rex on the right.  My brother Dwight has been stuck on a tree stump or an upside down bucket for the pose.  I would say the year would be 1948.
I remember that since air conditioner was not invented yet, we as kids wore as few clothes as possible most of the day in the summer. Shoes were optional and in most cases we went barefoot. Going barefoot on the farm meant stepping on thistles, thorns, sharp rocks and other undesirable farm animal stuff from chickens or cows.

A classic Christmas in our old house.  I am thinking my brother Ron had just received a new Brownie Kodak camera from Santa and he is taking the photo. That camera had the one time flash bulbs as it's lighting device.

The room we are in was in the drafty old house we tore down in 1959, so I am thinking it is about 1957.  My dad has a windup toy that my mom had bought for him.  He liked the little tin donkey toy with a tail that twirled around or a car that would spin in circles.  I can't tell which one he has in his hand but that was a tradition in the family every year or two to buy him curious wind up toys that continued until he was 80 years old.

All of the first three photos are a lot out of focus but notice the Brownie Kodak took a great picture.

I am sporting some cool homemade pajamas and it is very early in the morning.  Mom is in the rocker and Dwight is on the couch behind my dad.  This was the year that Santa brought a brown paper wrapped box with Dwight and Larry's name written on it.  It was the train that you can see set up on the linoleum living room floor.  The box is behind my dad in which it came.  The wooden knick knack rack on the wall is holdinge photos in frames that I have up in my store room. The rack is made of one eighth inch thick plywood, made by a local Murray man, and I have that too.

It is so amazing how one can return to an old photo and see all the world inside of it as if it is was just a few years ago.  This is one of those amazing photos that I did not know that it existed.

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

All Iowans from times gone by.......

The time is the 1935's and taking photos of one another was really cool.  On the left is my Uncle Kenneth Brown, who still lives in Murray, Iowa today.  I have lost the record of how old he is but he is in his middle 90's for sure.
In the middle is my mom Zella Marie Brown Burgus. (1919-2008). She is younger than Kenny and is probably near graduation from high school which did happen in 1937 from Osceola Public Schools.  She lived in Murray and boarded weekdays in Osceola.
The guy on the right is Donald Garrett.  My mom really liked this guy, and I heard his name mentioned a lot in the later years. I do think he was a relative. I am posting this to see who out there of my relatives can give me some info about him.  He hung around the family a lot as I have seen him with vintage cars with Uncle Kenny.  He looks like a movie star of the era doesn't he?

Jumping forward in time is this photo of the backyard barbecue.  My parents belong to a group who got together every two weeks to play cards and during the summer they would barbecue. The group was a friends group as well as relatives.  On the left is my dad Jesse Burgus, Galen Burgus, a distant cousing, Bill Farr, Uncle to me and dad's BIL.  Janice Nannen, a friend to the ladies who played card together, Mary Farr, Aunt to me and dad's sister, Zella Burgus, mom, and June Walters Burgus, wife of Galen.  Apparently Ted Nannen, Janice's husband is taking the photo.
I was in college at the time so it was th 1970's.  When I was younger, I was the tag along only kid still around and I was able to get some great food at these things.

I have to get my pictures organized as I have them in piles to sort and place in family folders.  This is the Russ and Leila Wheeler Witt family.  It is a Christmas photo of family who lived on a farm near Macksburg, Iowa. From the oldest to the youngest boys is Gary, Larry, and Aldean.  The little girl's name Leann.  I know her as a grown woman and see her once in a while at family funerals.  She was the flower girl at my oldest brothers's wedding.
Leila is a Wheeler which made her a neice to my Grandmother Mabel Zella Wheeler Brown Brooks and a first cousin to my mom. I have just made new contact with Leila's nephew Troy Wheeler and I am looking forward to digging in and finding out more about my Grandmother's side.
My mom was good about rambling on about it but bad about  making it make sense.  One last session that I had with her, she was describing the stray sheep Uncle that moved away and live in Des Moines. The family didn't see much of him. Since my mom has passed away I have collected photos and documents that have really made that side of the family more clear to me. I have just found photos of the Cyrus Wheeler's, the parents of two generations back, young and old photos of the them. I will post them in the future. Their photos are actually at the top of my header photo, one large one and a small one laying on top of it.

Dwight in 6th grade in 1959.

Junior year in high school, 1963.

Dwight Lee Burgus, 1947-2008

I haven't included my brother Dwight in the Sepia Saturday blog up until now as I am still dealing with what I can say. I was close to my brother as a kid, being 3 years younger. We were the post war babies in the family. I was loyal and true to my brother while growing up.  He had a lot of problems and as he grew older the happy smile continued to dissolve. He was on a path of self destruction most of his life starting during  his college years. Addictions and insecurity can be hidden from public view but eventually they all took their toll. The abuse to his close family was probably not known.   I loved my brother and he could never love back. He never figured out relationships in a meaningful way and died young due to the life he led.