Thursday, June 30, 2011

Birthday Barbara, cont.

Just to add to the fun, I've added a few more pics of Barbara. 

Barbara & Kevin
New Year's Eve - 1987

Birthday Bios! - Barbara

 Happy Birthday Barbara!  I'm not telling how old you are but 19 years ago at this birthday bash you were turning 30!  Surrounded by your nieces and one son, we celebrated in backyard style.  Not much had changed in the years that have followed: "the men are still strong, the women are still good-looking and the kids are still above average!"


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Up to the Lake (cont.....)

When the temperature reaches into the 80's...90's....or even tops out at 100, Minnesotans "Go to the lake".  This week I'm looking for all old pictures of family in their swimsuits or lounging around during those "hazy, lazy days of summer." 

Pictured is Hazel Brossoit (Grandma B) standing near the green camper we all called home when "up at the lake".  It was an old delivery truck that Grandpa B. renovated by adding a small refrigerator, kitchenette, and sleeping area.  Oh the years spent cooking, eating and playing cards inside.  We could always count on Grandma to have Blond Brownies available for snacking!

Blonde Brownies

  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (12 ounce) package chocolate chips


  1. PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 15x10-inch jelly-roll pan.
  2. COMBINE flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Beat sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract; gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Spread into prepared pan.
  3. BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summertime in MN

Kelton Glewwe cleaning fish at Lake Marion
 When the temperature wanders into the 80's or 90's or settles into the 100 degree weather, Minnesotans "go UP to the Lake".  We went up to Lake Marion near Perham, MN for many years in the 60's and 70's. Mom's sister, Bette, and her husband, Bud Ross had property on the lake and invited us to come up for the weekends.  Beside a trailer for the Ross family, there was the green delivery truck turned camper for my grandparents and the station wagon turned camper for my folks.  We kids bunked where we could or slept out in tents. 

Our routine consisted of our dad getting home from work late on Fridays, packing the car, driving for 5 hours, unpacking, go to sleep, get up and play, pack and go home.  Turn around and do it again the next weekend!

We swam, played cribbage or 500 in the camper, fished with Grandpa, waterskiied, went to Cal's (If he didn't have it, he could get it.  If he couldn't get it, they didn't make it!) country store, cooked suppers over the campfire, did dishes outside, and sat around and told stories.  Sunday services were under the canopy of trees at the church in a nearby town, and the Twins ballgame was always on Grandpa B's radio.  Grandma B always had a stash of blond brownies and ginger cookies in a plastic pail on the dashboard of the camper and the drinks were cold and the temperature hot!

Those were the "crazy daze" of summer for us!

Joan Glewwe, Kelton Glewwe, Hazel Brossoit & LouAnn Glewwe

Friday, June 24, 2011

1990 - "A Place We Call Home"

1990 was a great year to be in South St. Paul and to be President of SSP's Kaposia Days.  It was my banner year for this great community event!  Daniel had been born just a few months earlier and we had just celebrated our city centennial and REAP was in full force; Ronald Reagan was in office and President Gorbachev was disbanding the Soviet Union.  What more could one hope for!  The Disc Golf Course was open for the first time up at Kaposia Park, we had a rollarblade race down Thompson Avenue.  The parade had great weather, the "Lovely Liebowitz Sisters" played at the stage show and the fireworks were spectacular! 

As part of this celebration I wrote a letter to President Gorbachev who was in the country for a visit.  The letter stated " The theme for South St. Paul's Kaposia Days Celebration is 'A Place We Call Home' because at home it's not what's on the table that is important, rather it's who's at the table.......Please accept....the open invitation that you and your fellow countrymen have a place at the table in this "place we call home."

When it finally stops raining and there's not much to do...

just call on your cousins and have your own parade through the puddles!

More of our first float....

 Rollin Glewwe pitched in and stapled frou-frou to the float back in 1986.  Also helping were Joan Glewwe, Lois Glewwe, Elva and Jerry Miller, LouAnn Goossens and Eddie Helseth (the only carpenter of the bunch!)  Oh the heat we got when we featured her in the Memorial Day parade!  Some townspeople thought is was inappropiate and dishonored all the veterans from SSP.

There she is in all her crowning beauty.  It was from a kit we purchased from a float-decorating company. We wanted an arrowhead design to honor the Kaposia Indians, our first settlers and the steer horns to honor the stockyards.  The purple was as close a color we could get to maroon and white, our school colors.  It was top-heavy, hard to put up and down and didn't last long in this format.  The arrowhead has given way to a brick gateway like what is at our borders into town and the horns were featured at the SSP Jaycees first entry into "On the Road Again International Booya Contest."  We claimed our booya was made from the the bones of Babe, the Blue Ox and we had the horns to prove it!  We didn't win that first year but did take home the grand prize the next and also twice more in the last three years.  Way to go Jaycees!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

South St Paul's 1st Princess!

Although by actual title this little miss was not granted royal status, in my mind she was the first princess to ever sit upon the newly constructed Kaposia Days float back in May of 1986.  The float was being constructed for the Centennial year, making its first appearance in the Memorial Day parade. Suzie Goossens was 10 months old when she waved at her admirers down at the city garages. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The first day of summer!

When the season turns to summer, South St Paul turns to its city festival, Kaposia Days.  Our families have been involved in Kaposia Days since its inception 35 years ago and the Fourth of July Celebration for years before that.  But for this entry we look back to the Centennial year of 1987 when four-year-old Annie Goossens won 1st place in the Kids Parade with her "Little House On the Prairie" look. 

The following year Rae Marie and I marched all of the kids out in their dancewear and costumed finery but the winner was a kid in sheep's clothing (Little Bo Peep's sidekick) belonging to Bonnie, (our long ago nanny,  but that's another story for another day.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Remember when....

June 20, 1953
"I, Rollin Glewwe, take you, Joan Brossoit, to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part."

Congratulations, and may you be blessed with many more years!

Happy Anniversary!

My folks, Rollin and Joan, were married 58 years ago today.  Throughout the years he has written poems to her (all of us) for one occasion or another.  I present one written to her for their 48th anniversary (2001).

"Our Wedding Anniversary"

On our wedding anniversary
I don't always write a poem,
but more often then not,
when my thoughts are on my Joan,
I find myself a musing over
what should or could have been,
and sit down by my keyboard,
or pick up my fountain pen.

My thoughts drift back to an Irish priest
who knew all Catholic girls
would rather marry a man of the faith
than a Baptist boy with curls.
It was like the inquisition,
he stretched me on the rack.
bedazzled by your loveliness,
I could not fight him back.

Cousin Randy fainted dead away,
your sisters threw tons of rice,
no bubbles blown to wish us well,
the reception line was nice.
I remember Milt taking pictures,
someday we'd own his house,
but on this day, in that place,
I became your spouse.

If I thought my happiness ended there,
I was wrong, as wrong as rain
for honey you've made me,
the happiest guy, time and time again.
Oh, I had my share of marriage advice,
from uncles and maiden aunts,
that the sanctity of marriage
wasn't found inside your pants.

We didn't consummate our marriage
on the steps of St. Augustus,
but the way that old priest hounded me,
it'd be poetic justice.
As honeymoons go we tried our best,
to relate to our conjungal needs,
from cabin step we kept the score
while spitting watermelon seeds.

After forty-eight years of sharing our bed,
our family, our life and these walls,
my heart took a leap when you woke from your sleep,
suggesting we go "hit some balls".
I sprung from the bed, combed the hair on my head,
and thanked the Lord for your thoughtful insight.
So, let's do it, let's show them, let's have some fun,
before we get into a fight.
Happy Anniversary Honey!

Friday, June 17, 2011

And I thought it would be easy.....

So it's a new day and I'm thinking I should continue on with the great grandfathers and finish up by Father's Day, but as I look for pictures or stories of the other side, I see how many missing leaves I have on my own tree or at least pictures of said relatives.

I came across a letter written by Ethel Glewwe about her relatives.  This was before the internet and ability to look up records in an easy way.  She wrote "Facts or heresay on Rebecca - no knowledge of her husband, but Rebecca, born in England, Scottish descent and came to Ontario, Canada in the early 1800's, died in Washington state or Oregon.  She was 101 years old."

According to the records I have found on line or from someone else's notes...I have a Rebecca Wilson who was born in Nov 1782 in Windsor, Nova Scotia, and died in 1847.  She married George Hymers, who was born in April 1784 in Judburgh, Scotland before emmigrating to Canada.  He died in 1873.  Not 101 years by a long shot.  But there is more.

The note continues," There was according to citizenship records 2 sons who followed the California Gold Rush and was killed by Indian attacks and never reached their destination, another son settled in Canada and was named Tom, who had a son named Carl and lived in Saskatchewan.  There was two known daughters, Rebecca and Sarah.  Rebecca married and is a part of the Cook's who live in Oklahoma and was in her 90's when she died in her daughter's home, (who is married to Bob Cook).  Sarah married Jim Crozier and settled in Summerbury, Saskatchewan, Canada."  Rebecca and George Hymers did have 8 children, one being Frank Hymers who had two daughters named Rebecca and Sarah.  I must do more investigating to make sure this is the same Rebecca of which we read.  And this is why I love genealogy research!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

When Glewwe's came to South St Paul

Henry Glewwe, pictured here with his wife Martha Patet Glewwe and their twelve children, was 19 years old when he left Prussia and sailed to America to join his brothers in the land of ten thousand lakes, Minnesota.  He was born on October 23, 1868, the fifth of seven sons and one sister.  He married Martha in 1892 and after living in various locations settled in South St Paul in 1904 where they opened their first grocery store.  By 1911 he sold his smaller store and purchased the larger store on the corner of 5th Avenue and Marie Avenue.  In 1912 he bought a Model "T" motor car, making him one of the first citizens to own a car. All of the children at one time or another worked for the grocery store.  Pictured left to right: Edwin Glewwe, Anna Glewwe Hildebrandt, Reuben Glewwe (my grandfather), Ida Glewwe, Alma Glewwe Kloss, Marie Glewwe Green.  Second row: Esther Glewwe Stassen, Henry Glewwe, Martha Patet Glewwe, Martha Glewwe Stassen, Mabel Glewwe Erickson.  Front Row: Zelma Glewwe Knopse, Wesley Glewwe and the youngest Ruth Glewwe Hammerstrom.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Alexander Brossoit and family

Pictured from left to right:
 Wilfred Brossoit, Orel Brossoit, George Brossoit, Omer Brossoit, Armand Brossoit
Virginia Brossoit Morin, Sophie Trepanier Brossoit, Alexander Brossoit, Caroline Brossoit Remme

Stephen MN Pioneer

The MESSENGER, In Marshall County, Minnesota           September 25, 1930

Alexander Brossoit, Stephen Pioneer, Dies
Death Claims Stephen Pioneer Following Several Months Period of Illness
Homesteaded in Tamarac in 1879 As One of Commuity's Earliest Settlers

   The Messenger is again called upon to chronicle the passing of another Stephen pioneer in the death of Alexander Brossoit, who died Tuesday, September 22 at the home of his son, Wilfred Brossoit, south of the city.
   Mr. Brossoit, nearing his 75th milestone in life, had been in failing health for the past year or more...The deceased was born Nov. 13th, 1856, at Montreal Canada, coming to Marshall County in the spring of 1879.  Mr. Brossoit homesteaded in Tamarac township over 52 years ago, establishing his home there at a time when the entire district had but few settlers and was regarded as a veritable wilderness.  In the fall of 1881 he returned to Montreal for a brief period, and on December 26th of that year he married Miss Sophie Trepanier of that city who returned to Stephen as Mr. Brossoit's bride and assisted him wholeheartedly during the trying pioneer days of home-building.  To their union nine children were born, two of whom died in infancy.  Mrs. Brossoit passed away in 1925, and in 1928 Mr. Brossoit married Mrs Mary Bergeron of Oklee, Minn., at which time he retired from active farming and had since spent the major portion of his time at Oklee.
   Mr. Brossoit was of sturdy pioneer stock, and up to the time of his retirement several years ago he was always active in all movements looking toward the advancement and upbuilding of his community.  He served for several years as a member of the Tamarac town board, and his counsel was always accepted by his associates as timely and sound.  He was a devoted member of the Catholic church, firmly grounded in the faith of his fathers and its ultimate hope of eternal rewards.  Always genial and friendly, ever ready to help those in distress or want, Mr. Brossoit held the esteem and respect of a wide circle of warm friends thruout Marshall county.
    The funeral services brought a host of old time friends who came to pay their final respects to one whom they had loved in life and respected for his sterling virtues and christian ideals.
     The ranks of the pioneers grow thin, and another of their number who has builded well on earth and left a monument of good works which live on after him, is gone.  Peace to the memory of the departed.

Alexander the Great

Continuing on with our forefathers, today I want to focus on my great grandfather on my mother's side, Alexander Brossoit.  Alexander was born in Montreal, Canada.  He was one of seven children, five brothers and two sisters.  I have been able to follow the Brossoit line all the way back to Jean-Joseph Bossua/Bourguignon, born about 1700 in France.  Somewhere in the following generation, they immigrated to Canada and in 1761 Michel Brossoit/Brouchois was born in Quebec. But I digress, back to Alexander.

Alexander homesteaded in the Argyle area in 1879.  In a history book of Argyle it is written, "No one can be certain who the first white person was who came to the Argyle area. He may have been a hunter, trapper, trader, land speculator, surveyor, or someone passing through from one settled area to another. It is interesting to speculate that it might even have been the blue-eyed Indian known as "Falcon", who hunted and trapped in northwest Minnesota and Canada and took his pelts to Alexander Henry's trading post at Pembina. Falcon's real name was John Tanner. He was a white boy stolen as a child for a grieving Indian mother who had lost her son. Much of his adult life was spent in the Lake ot the Woods and Pembina area.
Whoever the first white man was, his name is lost to history. But it is generally accepted that Peter Jarvis (Gervais) was the first person to settle in the village of Argyle. His homestead claim to the SW1/4 of Section 10, Middle River Township, was filed in 1878. Like many other settlers, he did not stay long. Six years later, he had already gone west and had given his wife power of attorney to dispose of any holdings in his name in Marshall County.... the village was incorporated on December 12, 1883, as Argyle."
 Needless to say, Alexander was a pioneer of his day, homesteading in an area not yet settled.  Alexander and his bride, Sophie Trepanier had 9 children, seven who survived into adulthood, Wilfred, Virginia, Caroline, George, Orel, Armand and the youngest Omer, my grandfather.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today is Family History Day

What better way to start a blog then with a picture.  These are my great grandparents, Martinus Jensen (1868-1943) and Laura Francis Toombs (1870-1921).  Martin was born on April 26, 1868 in Vrensted, Børglum, Hjørring, Denmark.  He immigrated to the USA in 1874 when he was six years old with his older brother Soren, and parents Niels (Nils) and Maren.  Martin was one of seven children, three who died within days of each other five months before he was born.  Neils homesteaded in northern Minesota in 1890.  The certificate reads:
To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting:
Homestead Certificate 5752      
Application 8196              Whereas There has been deposited in the General Land Office of the United States a Certificate of the Register of the Land Office at Crookston Minnesota, whereby it appears that, pursuant to the Act of Congress approved 20th May, 1862, "To secure Homesteads to actual Settlers on the Public Domain," and the acts supplemental thereto, the claim of Nils Jensen has been established and duly consummated, in conformity to law, for the West half of the North West quarter of Section twenty six in Township  one hundred and fifty eight North of Range forty eight West of  the Fifth Principal Meridian on Minnesota containing eighty acres according to the Official Plat of the survey of the said Land, returned to the General Land Office by the Surveyor General:
       Now know ye, That there is, therefore granted by the United States unto the said Nils Jensen the tract of Land above described: TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said tract of Land, with the appurtenances thereof, unto the said Nils Jensen and to his heirs and assigns forever.
      In testimony whereof, I Benjamin Harrison, President of the United States of America, have caused these letters to be made Patent, the Seal of the General Land Office to be hereunto affixed.
Given under my hand, at the City of Washington, the sixteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and fourteenth.
BY THE PRESIDENT: Benjamin Harrison
Recorded, Vol. 11, Page 435

Where Martin, who had immigrated from Denmark met Laura Toombs, who was born in New York, I do not yet know, but I will continue to chip away at the story in the years to come.  They were married in 1889 and settled in Stephen, MN, where they had 8 children, the youngest being Hazel, my grandmother.  After Laura died, Martin remarried two more times, eventually ending up a widower living with Hazel and Omer Brossoit in South St. Paul, MN.

Why now?

As most of my family knows, I've been interested in family genealogy for quite some time.  After Lois Glewwe published The Glewwe Family book in 1999, I started working on the Brossoit line as no one had much information on them.  Since then I have expanded to all the families and how they're interconnected.  But I don't want this to be about the direct lines of family, but instead the stories and objects that come with families.  Recently when looking for information on the Marxer family(more on that later), I came across a blog called They Came to Montana.  There were pictures attached of the Marxers which are now also in my family tree setup.  But what facinated me more was the blogging and stories.  I felt that there are so many stories that need to be told and what better way.  Hence, why now.......