Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Nina Lorene Smith Grisso ( 1901-1984)

The first child of Hiram and Estella Smith is the last one I am writing about in this family group. Nina was the oldest of seven children, six of whom grew to adulthood.  She was a sweet kind soul, and she was my grandmother.  In 1920 on January 31, she married Bert Roscoe Grisso.  They were married in her parents house, which to this day is a lovely home. I don't know the circumstances but Nina and Bert went to Oklahoma following the marriage. I once saw a card that Nina sent to her parents. She signed it " Mrs. Bert Grisso". One could almost feel the joy and happiness in that signature. She was no longer Miss Smith, she was "Mrs. Bert Grisso".

A little further research in those digital newspapers that I love, I found this:

March 31, 1920
     Mr. and Mrs. Bert Grisso returned Friday evening from their winter sojourn somewhere in Oklahoma.  Mr. Grisso says no more of the southern life for him. Mrs. Grisso was formerly Nina Smith, daughter of H.L. Smith south of town.

I think he was referring to Oklahoma not Missouri where he grew up.

Bert was from Moody, Missouri which sits just north of the Missouri/Arkansas border. His family goes back through four generations in Fulton County, Arkansas. Three Grisso brothers and wives migrated from Virginia in the mid 1800's. There has been a huge amount of Grisso research already done. (More on that to come).  So, how did this young Grisso man end up in Greene County, Iowa? Some family lore says he came to Iowa to work. Picking corn (by hand)  was a common source of employment in those days. It was hard work suited to strong young men.  It is possible Bert's future father-in-law, Hiram Smith, came to the area for the same reason many years earlier.

I don't know much about grandma Nina's formative years. I imagine she was busy helping her mother with babies. She was approximately  8, 9, 12, 13, and 16 when new babies joined the family. She always loved kids. Maybe this is where her training came from. Her grandmother, Ginevra Vorhies and her great-grandmother, Sarah Jane Withrow lived nearby. I imagine they taught her many things.

She attended country school with her brother, Merroll.   I love this keepsake. It is probably my teacher side showing.

With pleasant memories of
happy days
spent together in the schoolroom
this souvenir
is presented to you with the
best wishes of your teacher

As I was working on this post, I found the following letter. I have    no idea what grandma Nina was asking for, but I do think this must have been from her teacher, W. C. Henning. I love the beautiful penmanship.  I scanned the envelope as well as the letter. Notice the 1 cent stamps.

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