Sunday, August 28, 2011

SNGF - Who is your genealogy model?

Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings poses a challenge every Saturday night (hence the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun) for those of us who like to blog on such things.  His challenge was to look at another blogger's list of types of genealogists and determine who best fits our style and write on tit.  I looked over the list and thought that while I could lay claim to a few of the types, no one in particular really summed up who or how I approach my passion for genealogy.  I settled on two types:

Frank Buck (hunter and tamer) - I love the hunt for new information, the elusive middle name, never settling for just the direct family line, but looking at all of the siblings and neighbors, trying to find ways to connect all together.  And certainly I did not have my notes in any resemblance of order, until this last month when I read an article about how to organize my research.  And then by deciding to write down family information in a blog form, helps to keep my thoughts in one direction.  I, too, would go from family to town, from paternal to maternal sides like innings in a baseball game.  No hits, next side up. 

Then again, I wanted to be like Steve Jobs, (Techno junkie).  I love the information that is now available on the 'net and don't have to leave the comforts of my home.  Yet that is not who I was either.  So I felt that I would think about it for awhile and maybe come up with another model. 

Deciding to look at others blogs, I came across the model I think explains me best.  In the blog, Research Journal, Melody writes "The Oprah Winfrey model is a genealogist conglomerate. She devours data left and right. When she has bought up all the data for one side of her family, she works on the other. If those lead to dead ends, she’ll work on the neighbors tree and possibly the postal carriers. She is involved in various projects (organizing her digital files, researching for the Korean War MIA Project, working on her own project to document the Portuguese people of Kauai, writing for her blog, networking online with other genealogist, and setting up special pages on Squidoo). Her genealogy empire keeps expanding. Family data spreads through 25 binders. And, that doesn’t count the ones who aren’t related. She helps others where she can, whether it’s aiding them in researching or providing ideas for how to research. Genealogy will never be boring for her because she will always find a new outlet even if her own lines dry up." 

Yup, that's me.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

#31 WBGB - Week 8

There is a movement afoot to have genealogy bloggers make a better post.  31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog by Tonia's Roots, we are challanged each week to rewrite, link to others, link within and the list goes on, to improve.  This week, week 8, we are to link our most recent posts to those written in prior months.  I accept this challenge.

#31WBGB: Interlink Your Old Blog Posts

Where I'm From

While perusing the genealogy blogs last night and undertaking the challenge put out by Tonia's Roots, I came across an entry on another site asking us to take the poem "Where I'm From" by George Ella Lyon, and make a poem about ourself using the template provided.  Here is my offering.

Where I'm From -- LouAnn Goossens -- August 2011

I am from music played on the piano to music sung on stage, from Kitchen-aids and Oil of Olay, to canned peaches and pickles, watercolor portraits and politics.

I am from the "big house on Wentworth", Christmas found in every room and sunshine streaming through the windows to warm the chilly winter days.

I am from Spirea and Tamarisk, the hyacinth and pussywillow.

I am from Easter morning breakfasts and big feet, from Glewwe's and Brossoit's and many generations staying in one spot, from close families and little Joe.

I am from storytellers and poets, from movers and shakers, from teachers and students.
From "God first, others second, me third" and Santa Claus.

I am from Catholics and Baptists and prayers before dinner, Sunday morning forums and Wednesday night rehearsals.

I'm from SSP and Argyle, Bridgepoint and Kaposia Days, cheesebuttons and applesauce to BBQ and booya.
From the produce department to the ladies dress shop, from the children's room at the library to the boardroom, from songs sung around the campfire to songs sung on Mama's lap.
I am from the scrapbooks in the closet, the boxes on the floor, costumes in the attic, decorations up at Christmas and the open arms of family.
I am from "A Place We Call Home."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Laura Toombs Jensen

Wordless Wednesday – a great way to share your old family photos! Create a post with the main focus being a photograph or image. Some posters also include attribute information as to the source of the image (date, location, owner, etc.). Wordless Wednesday is one of the longest running “memes” in the blogosphere and is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Nascher Family

Lois Glewwe, when writing the Glewwe Family History book also wrote a short booklet about the Nascher family.  What follows is an excerpt from that paper.

   "Frank J Nascher and Ursula Marie Marxer, known as Mary Marxer, were both born in what was then Lichtenstein County, Germany.  Mary was born in the village of Furstenthur on May 3, 1863; Frank was born on February 10, 1859, presumably in the same village.  According to family stories, Mary met Frank at a village festival.  She knew he was from "up on the hill," and therefore someone important in the village.  There was an unwritten rule at that time that you could not go courting on Friday nights; if you did, it would be an insult to the young lady.  Thus, Frank J Nascher, who had been given the strictest orders not to associate with the peasant girls from the village, was nevertheless watched closely, except on Friday night, when it was certain he wouldn't attempt to speak to a young lady.
  One afternoon, however, Mary was in the barn feeding the chickens when Frank came around the corner of the shed.  She said that at first she was very angry with him, but he told her that he loved her and just had to see her.  They began to meet secretly on Fridays and their love grew.  When Frank told his uncle, who was governor of the village at the time, that he wanted to marry Mary, he was disinherited.  Despite these efforts to end the romance, Frank and Mary were married on May 6, 1882.  They left a few months later for Minnesota, where Mary's oldest brother, Joseph Marxer had settled."

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Finds - War Ration book

While looking through an old file folder of miscellaneous papers to file for family history, I came across a War Ration book that was issued on May 5, 1942 to Rollin Bert Glewwe, 9 years old. 

When the US entered into WWII, we went into war production at the expense of consumer goods.  Because of our fight against Japan, one of the first things to be in short supply was sugar.  War Ration Book One was issued to every man, woman and child for this commodity so as to be sure that everyone could have access to some.  For the next few years, other books were issued for other commodites such as red meat and fats, cheese and dairy products, and coffee as tires, cars and appliances.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In Her Own Words - 1912-1913 Our First Winter as a Family in Our Very Own Home

      "It had been a good year - there was enough grain for spring seeding, the oats were sufficient for feeding the stock, the flax had long straw and provided fresh filling for the mattresses and plenty to burn in the stove for heat and cooking.  A new roof was on the house and a ceiling made space for storage and insulation from the cold winds.  The walls were covered with wood and looked so nice, better by far than the dirty looking tar paper and everything was freshly painted.  Most of the bachelor neighbors would be staying over winter on their land, while some of the married ones had gone back to their home base to bring back their women folk and children in the spring.  Everything was exciting and full of hope.  The winter would pass quickly - so much to plan and prepare for.   Grandpa left around the first of December.  I was 2 1/2  years old and Mama said that before Grandpa left he told me that when he got back in the spring he wanted me talking - for some reason or other I wouldn't talk very clearly and he was always coaching me.  But Mama said that right after Papa left to take Grandpa to the train, I was talking away and after that Grandpa had a hard time keeping me quiet.  They relate the story that when he came back he had brought some fresh peaches and I wouldn't be quieted unless I got a peach.  Grandpa told me if I sat still and didn't talk for an hour I could have a peach.  I did and I got the peach.  To this day peaches are my favorite fruit.
      Mama told me that when Papa and Grandpa had left for the train station it was a snowy, cold day and Papa had told Mama what to do while he was gone.  Mama could take care of me and the chickens, but keeping the fire burning in the stove was something else.  Flax straw for fuel was in bags just outside the door and the water was in a barrel in the house.  Papa's cousin would come every morning and night to take care of the stock.  There was nothing to fear but Mama was apprehensive and although she never let on to Papa, she was scared to be all alone with only me.  The first night it snowed quite hard and drifted around the door.  She hadn't really tried to open it before Papa's cousin came and dug her out, fed the chickens and stock, and told her if it snowed any harder she shouldn't attempt to go out.  The stock would be okay and he would come back on snowshoes.  He returned later in the day and brought a long rope with him.  Mama said she wondered what the rope was for, but when she saw him attach it to the side of the barn door and then over to the chicken shed and then on the pole for the wash line and then around the water barrel and then onto the house door jamb, she knew this wasn't just a snowfall.  When he was through he came in and told her she must stay in the house because this was a bad blizzard.  He assured her that the barn door was shut tight, the stock had plenty of straw and the chickens would huddle together.  If she should hear or see coyotes on the barn roof, not to worry.  He was sure they couldn't get in the barns - the rafters were close together to hold straw and there was tar paper between.  It would take a while for the coyote to work his way through and if it was real snowy they wouldn't hang around - they would find a straw stack.
      That night Mama said she didn't sleep, she could hear the wind blowing around the house and it seemed to blow right through the house.  The lamp would flicker and almost go out, but she kept it burning.  The she heard the howling of the coyotes or was it wolves.  There seemed to be more than one.  She remembered that Papa had said coyotes usually ran in pairs but wolves ran in packs.  She wondered if the chickens were frightened and she tried to see out the east window to the barn, but she couldn't see through the swirling snow.  The night became more threatening until she couldn't overcome her fears any longer and woke me up and kept me awake so she could talk to someone. 
      At last daylight came and the wind was quiet.  In the morning it had stopped snowing and sun danced on the new, white snow.  It was as beautiful a sight as one could ever hope to see.  Mama said the snow covered the straw roofs and hung over the sides like frosting on a cake.  She was glad that Papa's cousin had strung the rope form the barn to the house.  It was much easier to reach the barn with the rope as a guide.  After that, Papa always had the rope handy in case of a snow storm.  Many stories have been told about folk who did not prepare for a snow storm and lost their way in their own farm yard and some even froze to death."

(A continuation of the memoirs written by Ethel Hymers Glewwe about her childhood in Saskatchewan 1910-1918)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In Her Own Words - A Trip Home 1911

This is a continuation of the memoirs written by Ethel Hymers Glewwe of her childhood in Saskatchewan in 1910 - 1918.

       "The fall of 1911 came and it was decided that Papa would stay in Canada over the winter while Grandpa and Mama and I would return to St. Paul, Minnesota. It was necessary for someone to remain on the farm. The mare horse that we had bought from Papa's Uncle Jim's was in foal and couldn't be left alone. She was due in early spring, and Papa wanted to put a wooden roof on the house with wood on the walls and paint the walls, so he had plenty to do, along with feeding the chickens and stock. Grandpa wanted to go back to St. Paul. He hadn't been home for over a year and he missed Grandma and his family, and then he had heard that the fire department was selling the horses that he had driven as a team on the water wagon. He needed horses to break the ground, oxen were very slow and sometimes temperamental. We also needed farm equipment and Grandpa felt he could find better buys in the U.S."

(As an aside, I wanted to include a note about Grandpa John George Hymers. He was born in Blenheim, Burford, Ontario, Canada on Mar 1, 1859. He attended school with Rozella Kipp, whom he married 21 February 1882. They moved to St. Paul and he wound up working for the St. Paul Fire Department as a driver of the horse team that pulled the fire wagons. 'By 1889, the St Paul Directory lists John Hymers as a fireman/driver for Chemical #5. He and Rozilla were living at 887 Randolph from 1889-1892, and then their name does not appear again until 1898, when the address is given as 801 Hall Avenue. For most of their married life, they lived at 50 W. Belvidere in St Paul.' (excerpt from Lois Glewwe research 1980's) An article in the St Paul paper reports that in Jan 1891 "Engine Company #12 was put into service. It is one of the largest engines in service." Horses were on their way out as engine powered wagons took over. John retired from the fire department and wound up helping his son homestead in Canada.)

      "Mama's folks were so happy to see Mama and me, Grandma hoped that Mama wouldn't go back right away. Grandma was afraid that she wouldn't live to see us again so she arranged to have a three generation picture and finally when it seemed the time to go back was getting closer, she insisted that Mama's brother Bill, who was only 12 years old, had to go back with us. He could help Mama. Grandpa, my Papa's father had gone back on a freight train with horses and some furniture, farm equipment and tree plantings. We didn't have quite enough money for Bill, but Mama's father was a clean-up man and worked cleaning cars for the railway, and knew someone who could get a railway pass. So Mama, her brother, and I went back to Canada on a pass.  It meant a lot to Mama, but we didn't leave until her brother was out of school and on school vacation. My uncle told me we had to get back in time to plant potatoes, that was on Queen Victoria's birthday. We always planted potatoes on her birthday* - it was a Canadian national holiday. (*Note - May 24th)

      Mama was so surprised when Papa met us at the train with a team of horses and a two-seated buggy with a roof - they called them Democrats. We know them as surreys only I don't remember 'a fringe around the top.' The trip of 70 miles from Morris to our farm which normally took 4 days by oxen, was only 2 days and we only camped out one night. My uncle was a very excited young man and I suppose in his heart hoped he would never leave this adventurous life. Mama brought her sewing machine back with us and boxes of supplies. I'm sure she was happy to be back with Papa and looked forward to seeing her home. Papa had fixed the house over and it was more than she had hoped for.

      We had a brand new little colt and I don't think I can remember, I was only two, but they say that colt followed me wherever I went in the yard. One day Mama said it followed me right into the house and Mama had quite a time getting it turned around in our little house and out the door. In the process the colt burnt it's nose on the stove. Mama said she had to be careful when she hung up clothes she washed on the line.  If the colt was around he would chew on the clothes and one time she was cooling some pudding on the table by the open window. He stuck his head in through the window and took a nose full of pudding. He was always a pest when we fed the chickens and one had to be careful and make sure you hooked the door to the feed shed. Eventually it was through his nosiness that he met his death. He managed to unlatch the feed shed door and overate oat feed. And when Papa came up with the work horses to water at a well we had for stock, he drank with the horses and because he had overeaten on the oats - that no one knew about - he just swelled up. Mama said it was just awful and a big loss. This was our first horse and farmers need horses. I don't remember but I must have missed him. I have a picture taken with me on his back and my Papa holding me so I wouldn't fall.

      I don't remember personally, but my uncle said he was my babysitter whenever Mama was in the garden and I had to take a nap, he kind of watched out for me. He said he taught me nursery rhymes and cut out paper dolls and made toys out of milk cases and boxes that matches came in. He helped Grandpa plant the trees he brought from St. Paul and carried water to keep them growing. He slept with Grandpa in his little shack in the bank by the creek and then always came up to our house for breakfast. One day he thought he'd make a bonfire and cook some beans like the cowboys did, but Grandpa discovered him and immediately put out the fire and really scolded him. My uncle wasn't aware of the danger of prairie fires unless they are under tight control and water is near. My uncle never forgot. It was an unhappy young man when September came and he had to return to St. Paul and school - but a much wiser boy, with stories of adventure. I'm sure his school chums and the neighborhood boys could hardly believe him.

      It didn't seem right for Mama and me to go back to St. Paul for the winter. We had a fresh cow that gave rich, creamy milk. Mama could make butter and the chickens were increasing in number, eggs were plentiful, the garden had had plenty of water and there would be ample harvest. Grandpa was planning on returning, but later in the year. He had built a two-room house on his property and felt that it was time Grandma joined him the coming spring. So Papa took my uncle to the railway and he traveled back to St. Paul alone on the pass he used when he came - only now he was alone and the conductor questioned him and he felt he was older than twelve, not knowing that my uncle was only a week short of his 13th birthday and in those days children under twelve were one-half fare. But my uncle was on a railway pass and it was free. My uncle avoided being put off by disappearing into the washroom and locking the door and when the train stopped at the border he remained in the washroom until the train started and was well on the way. When my uncle came out and took his seat, there was a new conductor, the change being made at the border of Canada and the U.S. My uncle was scared, but the new conductor smiled, punched the ticket and told him to have a good trip. It was a welcomed relief and another adventure for a young traveler."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Surnames - the paternal side #4

      I read recently about using Saurdays to post Surnames and work your way back as far as one can.  And while this is not Saturday, I'm going to start with this series so others can track what is known, and I have time to scan a few photos.  I am also starting a new blog for my husband's line, the Goossens/Berres connection.  It's called "Gooseberries" and can be found at

LouAnn & Rae Marie Glewwe
LouAnn Elizabeth Glewwe #1
Rollin Bert Glewwe #2

Next then is my grandfather # 4, Reuben Benjamin Glewwe, born August 14, 1904.

      Reuben was one of 16 children born to Henry and Martha (Patet) Glewwe. He was the oldest son, who lived into adulthood.   The story goes that he was named for the oldest son (Reuben) and the youngest son (Benjamin) of the 12 sons of Jacob.  Knowing how important his faith was to him, this would make perfect sense. 

      One of the places where Reuben grew up was at 210 First Avenue South, in South St. Paul.  The house is still standing, so cruise on by and see how small it was for a family of 12 ( 10 kids) and one grandmother (Wilhelmina Kloss Glewwe).  Later the family would move above the grocery store on 5th and Marie.  (The original store no longer stands as it was hit by lightening in the late 70's (?) and burned down.  (Note to self:  Find those pictures)
      When Reuben was in his early teens, having completed the eighth grade, he went to work full-time for his father at Glewwe Grocery Store.
      But Reuben was more facinated with cars and how they ran then working beside his sisters in the family grocery business.  When he was 21 years old, he left the grocery business and went to work for Charlie Worm and his Overland and Willy-Knight dealership.   By the next year, his father had died, his oldest sister would run the family grocery store and Reuben opened his own garage in the horse barns of the grocery store.  In 1927, the R.B. Glewwe Motor Company was open for business.  (This is approximately where the SSP Educational Foundation is located.)
      His was a Willy-Knight and Auburn dealership.  The story goes he bought and sold one Auburn, today you can purchase this one for $64,500.

1927 Auburn

1930 Willy-Knight

10th Wedding Anniversary - 1938
      Shortly after getting married to Ethel Hymers and purchasing their home at147 15th Avenue South, the stock market crashed and times became tough. (Reuben and Ethel had two children born during this time, Elva and Rollin, and Lois came along in 1950.)

      By 1935, the grocery store was sold to Elmer Stassen (brother to Esther Glewwe's husband, Harold Stassen). Shortly thereafter, Reuben enrolled in Dunwoody Technical Institute night school and in 1940 he was hired by the State of Minnesota Highway Department where he worked his way up to supervisor and would need to inventory/inspect all highway departments in Minnesota.  (This is where all of the orange flags came from that Ethel embroidered state flowers on which was turned into a quilt by Jeanine Czech for Joan Glewwe one Christmas. But that's another day!)
     Grandpa Glewwe was a woodworker/carpenter of sorts as were his brothers. He helped build remodel many a home, including Rollin's current residence, turning an empty photo studio into an attached apartment. (Thanks, Grandpa!) He also built wooden dollhouses for family, one for his youngest, Lois, which currently is located at my house and the last one for his oldest granddaughter, Rae Marie, as a wedding gift.    (I'll have to get some pictures to post of the dollhouses.)  All of his woodworking was done in the workshop that was attached to the garage.  I remember the smell of wood shavings and how the boys could enter in, but we girls were only allowed to peek in the doorway.  

Another memory of grandpa was how he could throw his voice, but especially a cat's meow!  Many a time as young kids, we were fooled into thinking that there was a cat lurking behind the furniture across the room, to the delight of Grandpa.

Reuben, father to three, grandfather of seven and great-grandfather of twenty-three, and now great, great-grandfather to a handful more, died on May 9, 1986.   

Friday, August 12, 2011

In Her Own Words - Our Home (part 2)

          "It might be interesting to describe out house.  It was one room, I would say about 20 feet square.  The exterior was sod slabs about 2 feet wide and 3 feet long, 2 to 3 inches thick.  These slabs were stacked on top of each other like you stack bricks.  We had a door and window on the south and a window on the east.  The grass roots would begin to grow and as they grew they formed a binding and strengthened the wall.  Then the grass grew and even flowering crocuses and buttercups came through reaching for the sun.  The roof was rafters and a building tar paper laid down, nailed to the rafters and covered with straw and then covered with more tar paper and straw with wires that was laced over the top.  The wire was wound around stones that held the straw down and made the roof more secure when the winds came.  Grandpa had bought windows from his sister's place and the door was one I think Grandpa made, because I remember it was very heavy for me to open. 
          The interior was heavy tar paper, grey in color, fastened to the sod by strips of wooden slats and nailed into the sod.  Mama said it was warm in winter and cool in summer.  Grandpa, when he was a fireman and had spare time between fires, developed skills in cabinet making and interior finishing, making furniture, etc.  In one corner of the room he had built a frame for a double bed.  The spring was make of ropes, the cover was straw put into a canvas type bag and that was the mattress.  Under the bed was a smaller frame that could be pulled out and was my bed.  We called it a trundle bed.  The stove was in the center of the room and the chimney went through the roof.  I don't know how they prevented the straw on the roof from catching fire.  I do know Mama was always afraid of making the fire too hot. 
          The head of the built-in bed frame and a long cupboard with shelves formed a small space behind the stove for supplies, dishes, pots and pans, and canned goods, flour, beans, sugar and whatever else one stores in food.  At the end of this food pantry in the corner was a dry sink where a water pail, basin and a slop pail for the waste and dirty water sat.  Above this sink and along the wall above the window was a shelf where we kept the lanterns and lamps, an old fashioned clock and some books.  There was one medical doctor book, one section was on animal care, a Bible and some other books that must have been important to the grownups.  There were some boxes of bullets and shells that fit the two guns that hung on pegs above the door and were always in readiness for any coyote or even a wolf that might venture too close to our horses or oxen, or chickens.
          Under the shelf and between the window and sink, was  roller towel and a box nailed to the wall with a brush and comb.  Grandpa and Papa had their shaving strap hanging there too.  There was a round table in front of the south window and next to it and in the corner was a couch that Grandpa slept on when he didn't go to his own house in the bank by the creek.  That couch was to be my brother's bed, but it wasn't to be.  The opening in the floor for the trap door was on the other side of the table.  I can remember we had to move the table to open it.  Later on Papa dug it deeper and we had a box to step on so we could reach some of the dried vegetables and meat hanging from the floor boards.  Papa was pleased with that improvement - he said at first he didn't even have a floor, only hard dirt and some boards over the hole.  So it was great to have a wooden floor in our house when we came.  Mama hung a curtain in front of the bed and I can remember when I took a nap, Mama pulled the curtain and I pretended I was in a cave.  It was quite dark and sometimes I played on the bed with my clothespin dolls.

          Grandpa, with the help of his nephews, had dug a well on his property and it was very good spring water.  So we got our water from Grandpa's well but we had to haul it.  Grandpa's was about a half mile from our house and we had two big barrels and every week Papa would hitch the team of horses up to what we called a stone boat.  It was wooden planks nailed on two runners about 4 x 6 feet in size.  The barrels would ride on the planks and it took careful steering and control of a team to pull, but Papa never spilled the water.  We could never waste water and when it rained Mama would get all the pails and kettles to catch every drop she could.  Water was a precious commodity.
          Grandpa and Papa built a shelter of sod for the horses and oxen and attached a small shed to this to store feed for the chickens and a space for the chickens to roost and lay their eggs.  Papa and Grandpa and Papa's cousins helped each other in plowing and working up the ground so they could plant wheat and rye and oats and they broke a piece of ground for Mama to make a garden.  She planted potatoes and turnips, beets and another root vegetable called mangelsHymers Glewwe's memoirs of childhood in Saskatchewan 1910-1918.)

In Her Own Words - Our Home

          "This account is recorded from what I had been told, from pictures, and from my childhood memories."   Chapter 2 of Ethel Hymers Glewwe's memoirs.

          "Mama said when she saw our house and entered the door, she wanted to turn and run.  She couldn't ever accept this huge block of sod as her house.  But Grandpa was there to greet them and he was so glad to see her and inside it was just as homelike as Grandpa could make it.  He had a table set and even a bunch of prairie roses - the setting sun shone through a window and she realized that Grandpa had tried to make the room as comfortable as possible.  He had been waiting so long for Papa and his family to return.  It was hard for him to hear the news of his first grandson's death...and realize that some of his dreams now would not come to pass.  Grandpa had fresh bread, but when Mother unpacked some of her foodstuff and eggs and cans of vegetables, fruit and jam - it was a feast for kings.

          Pioneering is a life style that is so totally different than normal traditional living and Mama was soon to experience it.  I remember Mama telling about an incident soon after she arrived.  She had asked Grandpa what he did for meat and shortening and Grandpa raised a rug from the floor and opened a trap door.  Getting on his hands and knees and reaching down into the darkness of the hole, he pulled up a slab of what is called sow-belly.  It is the fat with streaks of meat, cut from the underside of a pig's carcass and cured with salt.  At your butchershop it is called salt pork.  This particular piece was green with mold and Mama couldn't believe that Grandpa would consider using it for food.  Surely he didn't expect her to eat it!  But Grandpa just scraped back the mold and sliced off some pork - it was Mama's first lesson in preparing sow-belly.
          This summer was difficult.  We had no fresh vegetables, the seeds that Grandpa planted did not really produce very much.  We had three hens who had hatched out a few chickens, but we had to keep them for eggs and chickens don't always lay every day.  It takes about four months before young chicks are grown enough to be eaten and then one would only use the roosters and that would take time to select the best rooster for breeding and those that were not.  We had canned milk and occasionally some of the neighbor bachelors would bring some butter and fresh milk in exchange for bread that Mama baked.  Sometimes Mama would cut their hair or wash and mend their clothes - Mama was the only woman around the first two years we lived there.  Papa and Grandpa would go hunting and then we would have prairie chicken or wild turkey, sometimes rabbit or some of the men shot antelope and then everyone shared in a roast and we could make soup.  Mama said the wild meat was always tough and she never liked it much, but she learned how to cook it and cure it with salt."

Found - Pictures of the Hymers men

Yesterday I was talking with the Lois, daughter of Ethel Glewwe, and she gave me access to pictures to include in with the memiors of Ethel and growing up in Saskatchewan.  I've posted a few here and have also gone back and posted them into previous entries on this blog.

Wedding of Caroline "Lena" Marie Nascher and Francis Rankin Hymers
September 26, 1905
St. Paul, Minnesota 

Three generations of Hymers men

John George Hymers (1859 - 1940)
Frank Rankin Hymers (1885 - 1918)
Lloyd Alvin Hymers (1906 - 1910)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

In Her Own Words, cont........(2)

The continuation of Ethel Hymers Glewwe's memoirs of moving to Saskatchewan in 1911.

          "Finally on the last day of this seemingly endless ride, Papa would say it is just over the ridge and then we would be over the ridge and there would be another ridge, and then it was there.  Mama said she knew as soon as she saw a field of green wheat swaying in the breeze like the waves of a green sea that she was home.  Papa stopped the oxen and they sat there and drank in the beauty of the vast country.  Mama said she forgot all the discomfort, the anxiety and the loneliness and the longing for those whom she left behind, and just fell in love with this new life.  This was a new beginning and from that day on she never regretted her decision in becoming a pioneer woman.  After all, her mother was also a pioneer when she left her homeland across the ocean, never to return.  With Papa beside her she could meet whatever was ahead.  As I grew up I looked over that same green field of waving wheat many times."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

In her own words, cont.........

Ethel Glewwe (1910-1986) memoirs writing about her life on the Saskatchewan prairie.  This chapter details her move to Canada in the spring of 1911.

        "It was at this time that a tragic event happened - my brother became seriously ill.  The doctors couldn't agree as to what ailed him and he gradually weakened and died - he had an intestinal blockage.  He died just two weeks before we were to leave for Canada.*  We had no way of notifying my father and he couldn't be reached before he would come to meet us at the train. 
        My mother and I, with most of our possessions and a year's supply of canned milk for me and other essential baby foods, medicines, etc., left the security of her family and boarded the train for the unknown.  Plans had been made to go to my grandfather's sister Sarah's at Summerberry, Saskatchewan, about one hundred miles north of our farm, where we were to meet my father.
        My mother had never met these relatives, but she became very close to Sarah and her daughter, Maud.  I suppose I was a welcome addition - a baby always wins the hearts of young girls and Sarah had three daughters and four sons.  They were all at home except Bud and Bert, who were out in the same new territory my father and grandfather had laid claim to.  The many stories and experiences my mother had in adapting to pioneer life and just preparing for the long trip to the new country we were to call home would be a chapter in itself.

          Eventually my father came and we were saddened again over the telling of my brother's death.  My father, they say, just cradled me in his arms and said I'd be his daughter and son.  There was no time to waste.  Papa had to get his wagon ready and buy supplies.  We had to carry our drinking water.  Papa bought lumber to finish the interior of our house - we had three setting hens in a crate and eggs.  Papa's Uncle Jim gave him two horses and we had oxen to pull the wagon, with the horses tied on the back.
          I was told the wagon was like a covered wagon, but at night we would sleep under the wagon and Papa would take some of the lumber and some canvas and put it against the wheels to break the night's cool air.  With straw and horse blankets we would keep warm.  Mama told me one night it rained and rained but we kept dry under the wagon.  That must have been difficult with a baby.  I wonder what happened to the things in the wagon - maybe Papa had enough canvas to cover the flour, sugar and other perishables.  Mama had the chickens with us under the wagon. 

          I don't recall how long Mama said it took but usually with oxen one made about 10 miles from sun up to sun down.  I'm sure Mama was tired of it all.  I was probably fussy - after four or five days I wonder if I even got a bath.  Mama told me that at night Papa would light two lanterns and keep them burning so the coyotes wouldn't come too close.  Mama said she could see their eyes shining in the dark, but they never came real close, just whimpered and cried almost like me.  I wonder if Mama got any sleep - I'm sure Papa had to hold her in his arms to chase away her fears."

*Lloyd Alvin Hymers (1906-1910)

Ethel Hymers Glewwe - In her own words

Ethel wrote her memories down when her daughter, Lois started working on a family history book back in the 1990's.  What follows are some excerpts from her writings.

Caroline Nascher
      "My father's parents, John and Rozella, attended school, grew up in the same neighborhood and it was quite natural that my grandmother should be courted by the neighbor's son who was my grandmother's stepmother's brother, or my grandmother's step-uncle.  And so they were married and moved to St. Paul, Minnesota.  My grandfather, John was a fireman on St. Paul's west side and was in charge of the horse drawn wagon.  The family lived at 50 W. Belvidere and my father, Frank, was born on December 6, 1885.  During his school years he worked as a lamplighter along the Mississippi River, and after graduating from Humboldt High School, began working for the Ferguson Gordon Cap Company.  At the same factory was a young girl who sewed caps, named Caroline Nascher.

        In 1905 he married my mother and in 1906 my brother Lloyd was born.  In 1908 twin boys were born prematurely and lived only a few hours, and on June 7, 1910, I was born. 

        In 1908 my grandfather was urged to join his sister Sarah and her husband Jim in Saskatchewan, Canada, where parcels of land were being opened up for homesteading and there seemed to be a great future in wheat farming.  Two of John's daughters, Bertha and Maymie, were married and living in St. Paul.  Ethel, Cora, and a young son, Allen, were still at home.  His years of service in the fire department were beginning to weigh on him and horses were on their way out as power for fire vehicles, so he retired from the department, left his family in St. Paul, and went to Canada.  With his nephews he staked out land some hundred miles south of his sister's spread and returned to St. Paul.  He convinced my father of the wonderful opportunity to be in on a great future, breaking and cultivating virgin prairie for growing hard kernel wheat.  Employment in St. Paul was not that secure and it was a chance to better one's circumstances, so my father decided to join his cousins.

        Grandpa and Papa left in October, 1909, and laid a claim by living on the land in a sod, one-room shack, dug out of a bank and bordering a creek, for six months.  They then returned to St. Paul to tell the family and buy supplies.  My brother, Lloyd, then 4 years old, was a strong healthy boy and my father's pride and hope in the future.  Our father, after much preparation, left in August, 1910, to return to Canada for the winter and build a house for us.  We would come in the spring after he had planted the wheat on the newly turned sod with the help of his cousins and father. 

In those months while Grandpa and Papa were gone, my mother, brother, and I lived with Grandma Rozella and Papa's sisters and brother until the spring of 1911.  Communication with Papa was difficult, almost impossible.  Our spread was seventy miles from a town and railway, a four to five day trip by oxen and wagon."

Ethel Hymers Glewwe - As a bride

" One night in the summer of 1927, Ethel was at a social event at the (Riverview Baptist) church with one of the young men.  As the group prepared to go home, Ethel's date asked Reuben Glewwe if he would give them a ride home.  Reuben agreed and Ethel and the young man climbed in the back seat of Reuben's car.  Reuben was also with a girl, but during the trip, his eyes kept meeting Ethel's in the rear view mirror.  Romance was born and Reuben and Ethel soon began dating.  They became engaged on December 10, 1927.

In later years, the family often joked about Reuben's sisters' reactions to the engagement.  Reuben had always received more of his sisters' attention than he ever wanted and when he announced that he was going to marry that 'new girl', Ethel Hymers, the Glewwe girls were shocked.  No one knew anything about her or her family and she was only seventeen!  Still, Reuben had made up his mind and he and Ethel were married at Riverview Baptist Church on Ethel's eighteenth birthday, June 7, 1928.  The reception was held at her mother and stepfather's home in St. Paul.

Their honeymoon was not spent at some romantic vacation spot.  Instead, Ethel insisted that Reuben take her back to the prairies of Saskatchewan and the hometown of Kincaid where she had such strong memories of her childhood.  It was over eight hundred miles one way in Reuben's 1928 Whippet.  The trip generated enough stories to keep the family amused for years to come."

The Glewwe Family History  by Lois Glewwe, Dec 1999, page 269

Ethel Hymers Glewwe, cont.

"Our Social Circle"          
        by Lu Jarvis

     Rollie Glewwe, whose mother, Ethel (Mrs. Reuben) Glewwe was chosen as one of Suburban Newspaper's "Personalities of the Year" last week, sent her a dozen gorgeous American beauty roses the next day.

     "If you're going to be 'Queen for a Day', we might as well do it up right", was Rollie's laughing comment.

     (His thoughtfulness gets him our own nomination as No. 1 Son of the year.)

     Reason we happened to know about the roses is that we glimpsed them on the dining table when we returned the old pictures we'd "filched" from some of the Glewwes to go with the story.  Ethel Glewwe, ..... was unaware of the purpose of our interview with her last week.

South St Paul Reporter Booster, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 1965 page 11

Ethel Rozella Hymers 1910-1986

South St Paul Reporter Booster, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 1965, page 13

"On the Distaff Side -
 These Are Personalities of the Year"
by Lu Jarvis

     There were wails from the bedroom and Ethel (Mrs. Reuben) Glewwe went in and scooped up the five-month-old infant with expert arm.  "She just wants to be fooled with a little," Mrs. Glewwe explained with a smile.  Immediately the baby's cries changed to delighted coos, and she accepted a bottle without a murmur. "It's hard to know how a mother can give up a sweet baby like this." said the foster mother. "This one didn't even have a name when she came."
     Baby Wendy is only the latest in a long series of infants and children the Glewwes have cared for over the years.
     "My mother was really the one who started me on this," explained Mrs. Glewwe.  "She was really a remarkable woman.  She took in welfare children all her life, and raised three of them to adulthood along with her own children."
     The Glewwes themselves have had three-year old Johnny since he was five days old.  Eleven-year-old Edith has been a member of the family since she was six.  There's been a long succession of babies who've had the same kind of tender,loving care Mrs. Glewwe gave and giving her own children--Rollin, married now and living with wife Joan and their four youngsters at 134 McArthur, South St Paul, daughter Elva, Mrs Gerald Miller, who lives at 19 W. Wentworth in West St Paul, and Lois who will be 15 in February, a 9th grader still at home.
     "Everything is against these youngsters who come from the Welfare.  What they need is love and security" said Ethel Glewwe.

     Maybe it's because she's always felt she was blessed with a special abundance of both that this woman her pastor calls "amazing" has been so willing to share her life with those less fortunate.
     "My sister Alice and I were always very close to our parents", she said.  When Ethel Hymers was just a baby of six months her mother made the long trip to the province of Saskatchewan to join her husband who had homestead 500 acres near what is now Kincaid.
     "It was 60 miles from the railroad to their claim", remembers sister Alice (now Mrs. Frank Hanowceck) of 356 13th Ave. No., South St. Paul, but my mother thought the trip was fun.  She made it sitting on top of a pile of lumber in a grain wagon with baby Ethel in her arms. (Alice wasn't born until eight years later.)  The Hymers lived in a sod hut completely isolated from their neighbors, but according to Ethel they had some "wonderful" times.
     "I'll never forget my father," she said.  We were inseparable.  As soon as he came in off the fields at night I was right there with salt water to wipe the horses down."

     When Ethel was eight, her father was killed in a threshing accident.  Two and a half years later her mother remarried (a neighboring widower who had taught her husband to farm) and when Ethel was 14, her sister Alice six, the family came back to West St. Paul to live.  The old family home of nine rooms was at 146 E. Sidney and there Ethel, her sister Alice, and a varying number of foster children lived until Ethel, who worked at West Publishing company after she left school, married Reuben Glewwe.
     "They were the closest family I've ever known" said a friend who knew them well then.  Ethel's mother, Mrs. Joseph Rand, seemed to trust her daughters implicitly and because she had so much trust in them, they fulfilled it."

     The same friend remembers how active both girls were in church - Riverview Baptist, then located at Stryker and George.  "They were always in church," she said.
     "I never had a brother," said Alice Hymers Hanowceck, so when I was a teenager I thought pretty much of my brother-in-law.  Whenever something was going on at church, he took me and brought me home.  I can't ever remember having an argument with him, or with my sister, and any anytime I needed her she came a'running."  "She's always been that way--not only with me, but with everyone else, too."  "She didn't always approve of everything I did, but she never criticized."

     Mrs. Glewwe's interest in the work of her church had continued down to today.  She is chairman this year of the board that directs the work of the "Pioneer Girls," a group of youngsters from eight to fifteen years of age.  She's secretary of the Women's Mission Society.  For many years (until this year) she was coordinator of the church kitchens.  A few years ago she volunteered to serve in the church nursery so that young mothers could take part in the Sunday school teaching program of the church or just sit in on classes.
     "Mrs. Glewwe is a good example of a true Christian" says her Pastor, Harold Weiss.  "She has faith in the Lord and willingness to share that faith and her life with others."  "We recognize her as an amazing woman, and marvel at the way she does everything so gracefully.  She comes in with that big smile and her arms are loaded with those little ones."
     "She's a good cook, too," added his wife.  "We were invited as a family to the Glewwes the week before Thanksgiving for turkey and all the trimmings."

     It was even before daughter Elva, South St. Paul librarian, was old enough to join that Ethel Glewwe got interested in Girl Scout work.  "I helped her start Troop 67 at Central school," said Mrs. Peter Knops of 347 8th Ave. So.  "She made a marvelous leader, and we had some wonderful times together at Day Camp.  She got her 25 year pin two years ago."
     Dayis (Mrs. Ed) Sroder of 975 Caren Court, Mendota Heights, member of Ethel Glewwe's first Scout troop, remembers those days with nostalgia.  "We used to have costume parties at her house," she said. "She had an attic full of stuff we could dress up in."  "And what a ball we had at Camp Lakamaga!  Rollie Glewwe was our mascot.  He used to short sheet the beds and put frogs in them!"

     Rollie himself, produce manager at Glewwe's food market, says his mother is "all heart."
"We always had our home full of children--our own and some who were orphans or retarded," he related.  "Mother used to explain that it was a matter of sharing what we had with them, and encouraged us to make them a part of our lives."
     His wife, Joan, marvels at the ease with which her husband's mother can handle children.
"Lots of times, though she has the three of her own, she'll take Elva's two and our four and watch the whole crew" said the younger Mrs. Glewwe  "They all mind her."  "We always celebrate every birthday in the family, and nine out of ten of the celebrations are at her house."

     It isn't only children who have known Mrs. Glewwe's loving care.  Her step-father lived to be 84 and her mother 73, and both of them were with Ethel and her husband Reuben when they passed away.  "When we saw Dad was failing, we remodeled the house" said Ethel Glewwe.  "I'd come in to it as a new bride on Aug. 17th, 1928, but it was small.  "We added on a few more rooms and finished the upstairs to make it the way you see it now.  Then we took Dad out of the rest home where he'd been for almost a year and moved in twin beds for him and for mother.  That was July 14.  We all had a happy time together until he passed away on Sept. 7.  Mother died of cancer a short while later.  How we miss her!"

     "I don't know how Ethel does it" said her sister Alice.  "She's really got stamina, and she's a pretty wonderful person."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Talented Tuesdays - And the Beat Goes On..........

Talented Tuesday – Got ancestors who had a special talent? Be it musical, comical, or any manner of skill, post at your genealogy blog through words and pictures.

When I think of someone with talent, my first thought is "who's musical?"  Today I thought of my brother, Kelton Glewwe.  He's been drumming since he was in diapers, if not on his knees then on the back of a chair with a pen or whatever was convenient.  He officially took lessons in 5th and 6th grade and was instrumental in starting the Marching Band in South St. Paul High School under the direction of Mr. Royce Morrissette.  He played drumset, snare, or quads for the South St Paul Stridesetters, Blue Knights, Rivermen, MN Brass and his high school band, Ramshackle.  He also played in the World's Largest Marching Band back in the early 80's when "Music Man" Meredith Wilson came to town.  And the beat goes on..........

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mystery Monday - Marxers

Mystery MondayClosely related to Madness Monday only these missing ancestors might not cause madness! Mystery Monday is where you can post about mystery ancestors or mystery records – anything in your genealogy and family history research which is currently unsolved. This is a great way to get your fellow genealogy bloggers to lend their eyes to what you’ve found so far and possibly help solve the mystery.

When one begins to blog on family genealogy, there are suggestions for daily blogging to keep one from getting too overwhelmed with where to go/write, etc. One of Monday's suggestions is "mystery".  Well, here's one of mine.

My paternal great-great grandmother is Marie Ursula Marxer, born in Liechtenstein in 1863.  My husband's first cousin is married to a Marxer. She can trace the Marxer's back to the 1550's to Alsace, France.  I can follow a line back to 1640's but still stay in Liechtenstein.   The only common factor we think is that we both can trace relatives to Montana!  We figured we must be related but can not find a connection.   Cousin Kathy is now retired and can spend more time researching so she's taking this line on.  "I'll report, you decide."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Omer Joseph Brossoit - August 5th

One hundred seven years ago today, Omer Joseph Brossoit was born to Alexander & Sophie (Trepanier) Brossoit in Argyle, Mashall County, Minnesota.  He was baptized 10 days later at St Rose de Lima parish and Trottier and Elizabeth Parent were his godparents.  There were many "Frenchmen" who were friends with the Brossoit family, with names like Fournier, Landreville, LaBine, Dufault and Parent.  There were many relatives who married into the ranks too, like Chauvin, Valliere, Desjarlais, Morin, Legault, Lebouef and Lemire. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

American Civil War 1861-1864

While researching information on Alexander Brossoit, a few years back, I came across this bit of information.  Why I think it is interesting is because in all of the Canadian censuses that I have looked at for Brossoit's, (or Broissoit) the only Alfred I have found is Alexander's older brother and he is the right age for this event, being born in 1847. 

          "Not all French Canadians were enlisted into the Union forces of their own free will. During the Civil War, both sides used entrapment and coercion to fill their ranks. Some French Canadians were illegally drafted in the United States while others who had become American citizens were subject to the draft. During the conflict, stories abounded of "crimps" drawing Canadians over the border with the promise of work and tricking or coercing them into enlisting. These stories generally follow a predictable pattern: An American would hire a French Canadian or promise him work across the border. The French Canadian would cross the border and go out and get drunk with his new friend (sometimes victims were drugged). The next morning, he would awake hung over in a barracks dressed in a blue uniform and discover that he had enlisted in the Union army. Often, his freedom and his bounty had been taken away. Some men were abducted from their homes along the American border, while others were arrested while in the U.S. for alleged desertion from an army to which they had never belonged and were forced to enlist to avoid incarceration. The Collector of Customs at Coaticook, Quebec, claimed that crimps made it unsafe for townsmen to be out at night. Reports of mere boys being tricked into recruiting were not uncommon.

          In 1864, six French Canadians petitioned the Governor-General of British North America, Lord Monck (1819-1894), on behalf of a sixteen-year-old named Alfred Broissoit who had been made drunk by a recruiting officer, taken from Montreal to the United States where he enlisted and then was fleeced of his bounty money and forced to sign a receipt for a sum greatly in excess of his bounty."


Although the railroad was built from Crookston to St. Vincent in 1878, white men had been in the area years before. As early as 1750 there was a white trader at Pembina -- across the river from St. Vincent. Alexander Henry Jr. was stationed at Pembina from 1800 to 1808, and he and his men made many trips to fur posts on the Red Lake River, Thief River, and elsewhere in the area. In the early 1840's, Norman W. Kittson and Joseph Rolette, agents of the American Fur Company at Pembina, launched their ox-cart trains from that point to St. Paul carrying fur. The main route followed the high land some distance east of the river through central Marshall County.
In 1872, the St. Paul and Pacific became insolvent. When the panic halted railroad building, James J. Hill began to look into the possibilities of railroad promotion. He interested three Canadian financiers. Donald Smith, George Stephen, and Norman Kittson. They acquired the defaulted bonds of the company in 1878 and in May of 1879 organized the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba Railway Company to take over St. Paul and Pacific holdings. This system became the Great Northern and eventually the Burlington Northern.

Construction work began again in 1878, and the Canadian border was reached that year. Many settlers who had come into the country found employment on the railroad and news that it was built built spurred settlement.

About this time, Hill and his associates began to circularize Europe with literature telling of opportunities in northwestern Minnesota. The result was that thousands of settlers flocked to the area. One such group settled east of Argyle. and the Marshall County Banner for May 19, 1910, reports "Twenty-four Belgian families along with a priest and a Belgian count arrived in Foldahl Township. The party was in charge of the D.S.B. Johnson Land Company. They will make Argyle their trading point so as to affiliate with the Catholic Church here."

The railroad had obtained large land grants along the right-of-way, and this land was sold to settlers at $5 per acre, with a rebate of $2.50 per acre if 3/4 of the land was broken and another rebate of fifty cents for every acre cropped. This was a great incentive for settlers. Argyle was one of the many towns that sprang up as a direct result of the coming of the railroad.

 (The above information was taken from the pamphlet, written in 1938,  "After Sixty Years -- When the Railroad Came", commemorating the projection of the line from Crookston to the Canadian boundary in 1878, bringing into existence the towns along the route.)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pictures from the past - Part 1

Pictured here are the boys at play, Armand Brossoit, Omer Brossoit and Adrian Morin.

 And they're still playing, albeit a different game........Armand and Omer

Stephen Baseball Team -  Omer Brossoit is third from right, back row.  Fifth from right is Orel Brossoit.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Another post on Omer

Omer's daughter, Barb, wrote back after reading about Omer, "Omer worked for Chrystler in Detroit and was offered a 'white collar' job but had to turn it down as he was called home to help care for his ailing mother.  He slept on the couch with a string tied to his toe so she could 'call' him if needed.  His dad (Alexander) married again after her death and Dad disliked the new wife.  I can't remember her name. 

My favorite story about Dad was he and Orel went to the church one Saturday am for confession.  The priest was not there so Dad got in the confessional and turned the priest light on.  Orel confessed to Dad and when the priest got there he had to break up a fist fight between the two brothers!"