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.   

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