Monday, June 29, 2015

Moving A Farm - Mondays With Mary #5

Ever thought about what it takes to move a farm? One can't just call a moving company and write a check or rent a UHaul and look for strong friends to help with the furniture.  Think of the things that need to be relocated. Hay from the barn, pigs from their pens, slow moving farm equipment onto the open road to the new place. What a process! In addition to this overwhelming task that my parents took on in the fall of 1969, they had to help Mom's parents move from Moody, Missouri to Scranton, Iowa and their daughter (me) and new family move to South Dakota.  Not until I started reading Mom's calendars, did I realize my dad's younger brother and family moved to their acreage down the road from the new farm also in the fall of 1969.  

I wanted to document just the moving sections of the calendar, but it got a little complicated. There was so much going on. I had always felt bad for Mom because it was such a busy time, but everytime I re-read the entries, I just marvel at her energy. She would have been about 48 at the time. Maybe I had that much energy at 48, but I doubt it.

In 1969, I was self absorbed in getting ready to have a baby.  The baby was overdue so we were seeing the Dr. once to twice per week. It was a 100 mile round trip and Mom went with me most of the time.  She was cleaning chickens and she and Dad kept driving to the Black farm (70 miles roundtrip) trying to decide if they were or were not going to take the big plunge and buy the farm.

Wednesday, August 20
     rained this morning    8/10
     went to Jefferson to get hair set.  Went to
    Jeff to sign for farm. Scranton in the
    evening and to show Mom the farm  drove
    around by Neva's.

So, it was August 20 when they bought the farm. I really didn't even remember. I do remember Saturday, August 23 when we all went to Scranton for the Centennial Celebration. Dad was put in Kanagroo Court and fined for not being a grandfather. See, what I remember is all about me.

Starting Sunday, August 24 almost every entry says "went to farm".  Remember 70 miles round trip. He took a load of tin one time, a stock water another. By Saturday, August 30, they were "painting and fixing". Let us be clear. I know that it was Mom painting not Dad. He was evidently fixing the barn and getting ready to "lay up the well pit". Next several weeks, everyday there is something about going to the farm, painting at the farm, and Margie going to Ames. (Dr. appt.) We thought this baby would never come.

Saturday, Sept. 13
      Went to farm and painted. Unloaded
      Dad's furniture. They went to
      John's about noon.
      Tom went to guard.
      Lynn T. down in evening

So, Sept 13 must be when Grandpa and Grandma Grisso moved to Scranton. The next week I went to Ames to see the Dr. on Monday, Sept. 15 and on Thursday, Sept. 18. On Tuesday, Sept 16, we went to the farm, and I helped paint. Things have certainly changed since the late 60's. Pregnant gals don't paint anymore.

Friday, Sept 19, 1969
     Kids left for hospital at 6:00 a.m.
     K. Lynn born at 1:20 p.m.
     We worked all day at the farm.
     Gene bought acreage.

O.K. it is well known in the family that since there was no phone at the new farm yet, Mom and Dad didn't know about their first grandchild until supper time. However, I did not know Uncle Gene bought his acreage that day.  It might also be fun to note that Grandma Nina's Wright's (Dad's mom) first great-grandchild was born on her 69th birthday. And so my readers don't get confused, both my maternal grandmother and paternal grandmother were named Nina.

During the week of Sept. 21 - 27, Mom and Dad spent lots of time at the new farm. One entry says they took 99 bales of straw to farm, another day took the 706 tractor there, helped Gene and Cheryl, brought Kelley and me home from the hospital.  Then, the company began to arrive to see the baby but she still found time to can peaches and take a load of something to the farm and many entries about working there. So, for a break (I am being funny here) on Sunday, Oct. 5, she left with my husband, our 2 week old baby and me  for our move to Vermillion, S.D.  She stayed until Wednesday, October 8 and then back to start making those daily trips to the farm. By now she is starting to paper the kitchen. I guess the painting was done. She had some cupboards built and a few other improvements and they got the furnace going (Oct. 17)

The next couple of weeks are about harvesting the crop on the Bagley place. Grandma Nina helped cook and Grandpa Bert helped out too. Then on October 28, she writes:

Tuesday, October 28
     Went to farm again today-Vern spread
      fertilizer & started plowing- I came
      back and did chores  Took up another
      load of boxes & and got kitchen linoleum
      Cheryl brought over soup for supper.

Then, in the margin of Oct. 28, it says, "Dad went to hospital"  Good heavens I don't know what this was about but now squeeze in trips to the hospital in Carroll to see Grandpa Bert.  There is no indication when Grandpa Bert came home from the hospital but by the next Thursday he was obviously doing O.K. because he and Grandma Nina were at the Bagley farm.

On Friday, November 7, Dad moved the elevator and the picker.
Tuesday, November 11, got rugs, layed linoleum.
Wednesday, November 12, brought 2 loads of stuff. moved dryer-washing machine, and gas stove.
Thursday, November 13, brought bed and more stuff today. Stayed here the first night.
Friday, November 14, moved cows & calves

Saturday, November 15
     28* this morning  warming up  moved
     hogs, horse, dogs & steers today
     more stuff this afternoon
     kept Kelley while kids went to D.M.

Once again, I guess I didn't think Mom was busy enough so why not have her babysit. I didn't mention the Des Moines friends who were hunting pheasants during the past two weeks. Their bounty is recorded in the calendar also.

Over the next week, they continued to move things like 2 loads of shop tools, 2 loads of corn, another tractor, more stuff, moved hay and straw, and I am sure I probably skipped over a couple of entries.  I didn't add in all the friends and family that stopped in for coffee, supper or just to see the new baby when she came to visit. Family and friends everywhere to see the new farm. So much going on.

Then, deer season came. Of course, everything stops. It is deer season. 

Saturday, Dec. 6, Tom got a doe deer she says.

I marvel at her. And she took the time to write it all down and leave us a glimpse into what it takes to move a farm and take care of everyone else at the same time.


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Thoroughly Tramatic Thursday

Well, tramatic isn't really the best word. A better word would be frustrating, but it messes up the illiteration.

I have spent the afternoon trying to fix the internal links on the post called Nelle.  If you tried the links, you might have found yourself on the correct page or maybe in the editing section. Then, of course, there is the "this page doesn't exist"  message and others that I don't care to talk about.  Finally, I think I have made all the links work. My problem, among several, is that I forget what I am doing from time to time.  I am currently composing an Index page which will be all links to older posts. I hope that I will remember what I did today and by the time I have done 95+ links, I might remember. Old age and technology are not always compatible, but I keep working at it.

It seems like there should be some significance to today's post besides the fact that I want my readers to know those links work today unlike yesterday.  I don't usually post on Thursdays.  There should be something that makes you glad you stopped by.  How about some pictures. Pictures are fun.

My Great Grandma Estella Vorhies Smith holding me.

Two of Estella's great-great grandchildren.
Two of my favorite descendants.

Why we go to Arizona in the Winter.

The white we see in Arizona.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Just call me Nancy Drew.  In the past few days I've gathered some long awaited and unexpected information on Aurilla's daughter, Nelle.  To review, I wrote about Aurilla Rosella Withrow Frederick on March 12, 2015 in Fourth child-Aurilla Rosella Withrow Frederick. Aurilla was the fourth child of Joseph and Sarah Jane Withrow my original family line to write about on this blog. Aurilla died when she was 27 of consumption and left a small child.  As I say in A Little More about Aurilla (Rilley)I never knew the name of the child or if she grew up. I did know that Aurilla's husband, Mat, remarried. I know where his grave, his second wife's and Aurilla's graves are located. I even took flowers to Rilley's grave (her nickname) on Memorial Day this year (2015) There is also a child buried on the plot. So, I can assume this was the child of the second marriage since I think I have found the daughter of Mat and Aurilla.  I came across a newspaper article in my favorite source that mentioned a Nellie Frederick visiting her cousin E.H Vorhies. O.K. there she is. Her name is Nellie. I was so excited back in the spring and wrote a short piece called On the Track of Nellie Then, in another issue I found a mention of some teachers around the turn of the century and one is named Nellie Frederick. She would be about 19 so that fits. The 1900 census lists her as a school teacher.  I found that she lived in several other parts of the state. I guessed she might have been teaching there.

Then, I hit gold. Recently, while searching for information on Aunt Fanny (See: Aunt Fanny 1873-1956)  from my husband's tree, I found more information on Nelle Frederick from the 1930's. It seems she married. Yeah! She married a fellow that she had known as a young person in Willow Township, Iowa.  It appears that they ran into each other in California. It seems there was a Jefferson-California picnic on the first Friday of the month in California for many, many years.  Someone dutifully reported back to the hometown paper and listed the attendees.  I even discovered that my great-great grandfather, J.M Vorhies was in attendance in July 1930.  His wife. Ginevra, had passed away several years before. I guess he went to visit his niece, Nelle.

This fellow Nelle married in 1931 was Hiram Bowman. Then, I remembered I knew someone with the same last name who I have only known a few years. We connected and sure enough, Hiram was related to her late husband.  

 I love the whole idea of Cousin Bait. I have not actually had a bite on my Blog from a far flung cousin, but I have found a cousin connection that is pretty cool. I am so happy to learn that Nelle
Frederick Bowman lived into her 70's. Nelle, which she evidently went by and not Nellie, is my first cousin four times removed.  Pleased to finally meet you, Nelle. As an orphan and without decendants, I am so happy to finally find you and let you know you are remembered.

So, if I can find Nelle, can I find Carrie Plath?

Who Is Carrie Plath?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mondays With Mary #4

Sometimes, I just get exhausted reading Mom's entries. Work, work, work! At this time, she was in her early fifties. Aunt Ardea would have been in her sixties at the time of the following entry. They were hard working people.

Thursday, August 16, 1973

Hot & humid.- Ardea came out
& we cleaned 17 chickens- canned
3 1/2 qt of dill pickles- Vern helped Kinnan
fix fence on pasture in morning- cut
A load of silage for cows- rained about 6 p.m.
9/10 rain at 6 p.m.

My attention was caught at the cleaning of 17 chickens. This meant catching the chicken, beheading the unlucky catch, letting the chicken jump around the yard (literally flopping around like a chicken with its head cut off) so the blood drained out, picking up the chicken and holding it by the feet to dip it into scalding hot water to soften the feathers, then standing in the yard plucking off the feathers. The first few handfuls were easy, but once those were gone, the  pinfeathers were more challenging. This was when I handed over the carcass for Mom to finish up. Each chicken was singed over the flames on the gas stove and then set aside to be cut into pieces. My job was to cut off the legs and thigh unit and the wings. Usually, I was even able to separate the leg from the thigh. Then, I handed the body to Mom who processed the rest. I never learned how to cut off the breast or clean out the innards (thank goodness) or do any of the rest. As a young bride, I tended to massacre the chicken's parts except for the legs, thighs and wings. Those were skillfully cut.

Not long ago, we were discussing this process with contemporaries (retirees). One city raised friend responded that she couldn't imagine getting chicken anyway other than at the grocery store, precut and wrapped in cellophane.

My father wouldn't eat chicken from the grocery store. He never felt they were properly cleaned. They had not been bled enough. Well, on August 16, he had 17 properly cleaned chickens thanks to Mom and Aunt Ardea. Then, she canned pickles. Remember it was hot and humid and that also means no air-conditioning in the kitchen (or anywhere else in the house) where this work was taking place.

I counted the number of times she cleaned chickens that summer. Eleven entries about cleaning chickens were noted in her calendar from late July through August. Most days she cleaned three, but other days like August 16, it was more. I found references to a total of 51 chickens that summer. In her later years, her hands bothered her with arthritis. She thought it was from cleaning chickens for so many years.

Oh, the good old days or maybe they were just hard, hot and tiring.
But, the chicken was really good!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

School Reunion

The school I attended, my mother and her siblings attended, my great aunts and uncles attended, my husband attended, his siblings attended, their mother and uncle attended closed a number of years ago. The old three story brick structure has been razed, but the new gym (dedicated in 1953) is now a community center. Many community members have worked hard to update the facility and to especially have everything in pristeen shape for the 2015 Scranton All School Reunion. Since 1965 this event has occurred. I have never missed even one.

This year I had the opportunity to work in the memorabilia room. It was the vocational agriculture room when I was in school. It is filled with the large class pictures which used to line the upstairs hallways. I always loved looking at those composites when I was a student to see my mom, her siblings, and so many faces that I knew in our little town but didn't exactly look quite so young anymore. Every five years at this gathering those faces age a little more. And some of those faces are no longer with us.  But, we remember.

By helping in the memorabilia room, I had the opportunity to help people locate their own family members. I met a man that knew my mother and told me how she lived down the road from him when they were kids.  He pointed out to me one of her classmates that had died in WWII and who had been a beau of his sister. His sister was a generation older than me, but someone I had always known. However, the story was new.

I talked with a woman who said she was good friends in high school with my aunt. My aunt died about ten years ago after several years of living in a nursing home with dementia. But, there in the academic setting with those pictures, letter jackets and school annuals, she was young and vibrant in this woman's memory.

Seeing my classmates from the class of '63 and those up and down the years is delightful since we were such a small school. Anyone in high school from when we were freshman to when we were seniors could have been some of one's closest pals.

And then everyone's brothers and sisters come. It is simply a family reunion of those related by blood and those related by memories. I saw my four very favorite second cousins and hugged my third cousin once removed who just takes my word for it that my genealogy research is correct and that we are related.

It is always over too soon, but every five years we get a more little tired from the hoopla. Still, our next All School Reunion is scheduled for June 20, 2020. I want to say that I can't wait, but at this age I really don't want to wish anymore years away.  I guess I just need to say I hope everyone enjoys the daily blessings of the next five years and reports back in 2020.

My second cousins and me

Friday, June 19, 2015

Aunt Fanny (1873-1956)

Just as I knew my great aunts and uncles that lived in Greene County when I was growing up, my husband and his siblings knew theirs. Families stayed around the same areas for generations, and we have been able to savor wonderful memories of those relationships.

As I mentioned in Another Limb? I want to start climbing around in the Augustus, Reeder, Tolsdorf trees as well as my own family trees since I have a phenomenal resource in my mother-in-law.  I just learned about Aunt Fanny. Like I said, my husband and siblings knew their great-great Aunt Fanny, but my kids, their kids, some of the other grandchildren have likely never heard of Aunt Fanny. She was the younger sister of my grandchildren's great-great-great grandmother, Minerva Jane Marsh Reeder (1860-1953).

According to my mother-in-law, Aunt Fanny was an especially loved aunt by her niece, Ina Reeder Augustus, mother of my living source. I think I would have really liked Aunt Fanny too. She wrote a couple of documents that I think should be shared.  It appears that Aunt Fanny shared my interest in preserving family information. The following is one of  her documents. Fanny is discussing her parents, Richard and Celestia Marsh. Our decendancy would look like this:
Celestia Phillips and Richard Marsh/ Minerva Jane Marsh and Edward Reeder/Ina Marie Reeder and Hallie Augustus.

We have all read similar writing about the olden days. There is really nothing too new here except that these are our people.  Our Aunt Fanny wrote this in 1941.  What a precious souvenir to have her words.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Out in the Garden

Blogging in the spring and summer is going to be bit of challenge for me.  Gardening is my other love and sometimes I just have to leave the computer and my genealogy resources and go play in the dirt.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Mondays With Mary #3 (August 4, 1973)

Yep, it is the day that shall remain in infamy.

Saturday, August 4, 1973

Cleaned 3 chickens in p.m. Cleaned
house in a.m. Cut hay today. Last c no.186 had calf
Margie, Vern, & I went to Sac to Florence Wright
wedding- Mary & David
drove pickup in ditch

Sunday, August 5, 1973

Hot today. John's up for dinner
Mary went home with them
folks were out. Tom home from guard
left about 1:30 p.m. got truck out of ditch about 7 pm.
Then stopped at Mike Byerly's.

Monday, August 6, 1973

Hot & muggy & few sprinkles of rain
today.  moved 5 calves to behind machine
shed- horse behind the barn - took off cultivater
Vern got estimate on pickup at Jeff
I cleaned 3 chickens in p.m. drove over to Gene's in evening

So, other than a comment on August 13 about getting truck insurance straightened out, I have not found another mention of the truck incident. It sure seemed like a big deal at the time and has been the source of family legend for over 40 years including speculation on who the real driver was. Yet, here is the record. Just another day. Ho Hum. Still, just not the way I remember it.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Happy 114 Birthday to Nina Smith Grisso

Baby pictures don't show much except the love of the little one's parents. Nina Lorene was the first child of Hiram and Estella Smith. Born on June 13, 1901.

I love these pictures of Nina as a young girl.
  She looks very pretty here.  These two photos were obviously taken at the same time.

This is another favorite picture of my grandmother

Recently found, this picture says so much. First, it is from 1941. Pictured are Estella Smith, Nina Smith Grisso, Bert Grisso, and Laura Grisso. The grandmas on the ends are the mothers of Nina and Bert. Look very closely at this picture. It first struck me when I saw the loving look Nina has for Bert. Look again and notice the expressions on Estella, Bert, and Laura's faces. They are almost smiling. I am not sure I have ever seen many pictures of any of them smiling. I wonder if Bert made some remark that caused Nina to look at him and the mothers to smile.  Pictures really do tell us many things.
Bill, John, Donald, Marvin
Mary, Bert, Nina, Thelma (Pat)

This picture is from Bert and Nina's 50th wedding anniversary celebration in 1970.

Nina Lorene Smith Grisso


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Attention all Reeder Readers

I incorrectly stated the middle name of Minerva Jane Reeder. Please, note this correction. If you receive this blog via email, I don't know if you will see the corrected version or not. It will appear in the corrected form at

The author of this blog sincerely regrets this error.   :-) 

Reeders, Reeders Everywhere

I've heard my husband's family talk about Edward and Minerva Jane Reeder. I have seen their picture and know that my sister-in-law bears her middle name.
Edward and Minerva Reeder
Edward and Minerva had four children. Our line comes from their daughter, Ina Reeder Augustus. Her siblings were Jennie Lind Reeder White, Charles Reeder and Archie Reeder. Ina's older grandchildren including my husband remember some of them.  It seems that summer picnics at Chautauqua Park in Jefferson, Iowa were quite an event.

My interest and curiosity in earlier generations was piqued when I discovered Edward, his siblings, and parents had lived in Greene County, Iowa since about 1875. Edward's parents were John Morris and Elizabeth.

John Morris Reeder (1839-1935) married Elizabeth Neely (1837-1909) in Cedar County, Iowa in 1868.  According to John's obituary he was born in Palmyra, Missouri, May 5th, 1839.  His mother passed away when he was two years old and he went to live with an aunt.  In 1843, they moved to Ohio where he resided until he reached manhood.  Mr. Reeder, with his aunt, then came to Cedar County, Iowa where he married Elizabeth Neely.  The obituary goes on to say that Mr. and Mrs. Reeder resided on a farm in Cedar County where four sons and three daughters were born to them.  Their eighth and last son was born in Greene county in 1878.

John Morris and Elizabeth Neely Reeder's children were: Edward Maurice (1858-1949), Charles M.(1860-1882), Ella (1861-1934), Emma R. (1863-1934), Martin Ellis (1864-1940 ), Harriet (1865-1937), George Leonard (1874-1942), and William John (1878-1952).

Each of John Morris Reeder's eight children could be an interesting research project, but I am going to save that for later and only if I feel there might be an interest.  I was amazed to learn that the parents of our Great Grandpa Edward Maurice Reeder and all of his siblings were long time Greene County residents.

Mr. John Reeder operated a meat market for a few years after which time, he retired and lived in Jefferson.  Mrs. Reeder preceded her husband in death in 1909.

Interesting, interesting.   John Morris was a widower for 24 years and he ran a meat market after having been a farmer.  He also had a sister named Elizabeth that went by Lizzie. She attended functions with him and they took a trip together in 1924 to Ohio.  From the newspaper of September 24, 1924:

     Mr. John Reeder and his sister, Elizabeth Reeder, leave tomorrow for a visit to their old home near Cincinnati, Ohio, where they will be guests of relatives. 
     Mr. Reeder has not been back to the old home for exactly half a century, and is looking forward to the trip with anticipation.         .

I have determined through various records that William, father of John Morris Reeder, remarried about a year after his first wife, Nancy Martha Morris, died. It is rather obvious that John's middle name must have come from his mother's maiden name.  I wonder about this second family. William and his second wife had children, but evidently they did not raise John. Did they stay in Missouri or go back to Ohio too? Was John's aunt a sibling to his mom or his dad or was she really even an aunt? 

Earlier I mentioned the family picnics that my husband and his siblings remember. Looking through the  pages many of those picnics are detailed. The one I found the most fun was from 1929.

The August 8, 1929 issue of The Jefferson Herald reports on the Reeder Reunion at Chautauqua Park in Jefferson, Iowa.  The family decided to have the picnic every year  on the first Sunday of August.  There were numerous families listed as attendees.  The names that most interested me were J.M. Reeder and his sister, Lizzie, and Mrs. and Mrs. Hallie Augustus and family This would make my 97 year old mother-in-law just eleven years old and her brother about eight.
The last paragraph states, "There are 104 descendants of the Reeder clan, a number of whom were unable to be present Sunday."  So, if there were 104 in 1929, I wonder how many there would be 86 years later.  I did a little estimating and came up with a 1728+ totally unscientific guess. I don't think the park has enough picnic tables for the Reeder Reunion anymore. 

Cemetery marker for Edward and Minerva Reeder.  See their picture above.

Cemetery marker for the parents of Edward Reeder

Interesting marker with parents on one end and Edward's brother, son of John Morris and Elizabeth on the other end.

This appears to be the original marker for Charles M. Reeder.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Mondays With Mary #2 (1971)

Several devoted readers have expressed interest in Mary's calendars. At first, I thought I would just start with the year 1966 and move forward, but being the globally organized (all over the place) person that I am this seems too confining to me. So, it looks like helter skelter wins.

Last Monday, on June 1,  I wished Mary's favorite (and only) grandson a happy birthday. Later that day I wondered what she had written on June 1, 1971.  Was she over the moon with excitement? You can decide.

Tuesday, June 1, 1971

Cool all day & windy
Vaccinated cows-wired bull in
Catch pen.   I got my hair set in p.m.
Scott born at 8:12

Even though there doesn't seems to be fireworks going off or shouts from the mountaintops, I can feel the excitement in the entry for

Wednesday, June 9, 1971

Tom and Kelley left about 8 a.m
Margie & Scott got to go home from hospital.
Vern plowed 2 pieces of corn. I painted
back porch. hoed garden - picked strawberries
Went to W City to see Scott & family home about 10:30 p.m.

It wasn't until in the afternoon that we were told that we would be able to take the baby home. We thought that only I was going home and the baby would have to stay in the hospital. At the last minute, his tests were acceptable and he was released also.  So, after a full day of work as noted on the calendar, Grandpa and Grandma jumped in the car, drove 60+ miles to meet their new grandson.

I am discovering that it is important to read between the lines and really know the author as well as I do.

What else happened in 1971? It looks like August must have been fence building on the farm.

Monday, August 2, 1971

I went to Perry for Dave-Vern put
on post pounder-drove 2 pumps
feet in 20 rds fence on 80 in p.m.
awfully dry & hard to pound posts
(80 means 80 acres)
(not sure what the drove 2 pumps feet means)

Tuesday, August 3,1971

Vern and Dave working on fence
I canned peaches-cleaned 4 chickens
started pickles-took pigs to L. City
for Bert & Neva-stayed for supper &
sale. Still dry-

Wednesday, August 4, 1971

cloudy & cool- but still no rain
Vern & Dave worked on fence
all day- I kept Janie in p.m. Margie
 & kids came about 5 p.m.  Carl & Thelma
up in evening- hunting frogs

Thursday, August 5, 1971

Still dry- Vern & Dave still on fence - I got my hair set
in morning- 5 1/2 hours to set 2 corner
posts - Bert and Neva went to Ill today

Friday, August 6, 1971

R cow- calf- I took Dave to Perry in
morning - Margie to town in p.m.   
We went to Lynn's shower in evening- Vern kept Kelley

Well, I guess the first week of August in 1971 was dry. My dad and his 13 year old nephew, Dave,  worked hard on that fence. I thought the reading was getting boring until I came to the frog hunting. Did anything interesting pop out for you?

Friday, June 5, 2015

Another limb?

I have been asked if I am going to write about other branches of the family besides my mother's, mother's, mother's, mother's, mother's side, I find it hard to believe I am still out on that maternal limb so far and not anywhere near finding an end to it. There are the collateral Vorhies that I now have boxes worth of pictures, papers, and treasures to sort and report. I haven't even finished with my mom's parents or siblings. Then, there are the Grissos. They will go on forever. There is so much research already completed. However, I would like to study and understand the few pictures I have of grandpa Bert Grisso's siblings. Of course, one cousin is curious about the Grisso Mansion in Oklahoma, (Yes, we are related) and I have a great article about a Grisso Cemetery in Arkansas. What about the Wrights, Bordens and DeHarts on my dad's side? Then, my big worry is that if I veer off into other branches and limbs, I might lose a few devoted cousin readers. Well, what I need  to focus on is that all the family limbs and branches I write about are all ancestors of my grandchildren. I hope cousins on all sides will stick with me.

How many times do you hear people say that their most valuable resource for family information is gone. They lament the loss of this valuable asset. Keeping this in mind, I am going to turn to a branch of my husband's family next.  My husband's mother is 97 years old and has a sharp memory. I think the time has come to climb into this family tree.

As I read various blogs, I scan the surname list hoping to see if I can make a connection. Recently, I came across the name Reeder. Reeder was my husband's maternal grandmother's maiden name. Ina Marie Reeder Augustus (1893-1978) was the daughter of Edward  Maurice (1858-1949) and Minerva Jane Marsh Reeder (1860-1953) Ina was one of four children. I asked my mother-in-law about the Reeder's ancestry. I wondered if she have any information on them. She said no but that there had been a family story which told that someone in that family had held the hat of Herbert Hoover when he was inaugurated president. How happy I am that this story surfaced. 

With a little more research, I discovered that the parents of Edward Reeder, John Morris and Elizabeth Reeder, are buried in the same cemetery lot as Edward and Minerva Reeder (block 3 lot 32) in the Jefferson, Iowa cemetery. I have also found that when I tell her about some of my research discoveries, she confirms my findings and expands. What a treasure she is.
      So, I think I will try to find more information on the Reeder family.  Here is a picture of Edward and Minerva Reeder, my husband's great grandparents.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

John M. Vorhies (1850-1939)

So, John Mac Vorhies lived another seventeen years after his wife, Ginevra Withrow Vorhies, who died in 1922. Many of these years he lived with his daughter, Estella Smith. He seems to be a loving ancestor who my mother, her siblings and cousins remember fondly. 

This is one of my favorite pictures and is part of my framed collection.
John Mac Vorhies and his daughter, Stella Smith
Photo Dec. 1938 or Jan. 1939

His obituary was on the front page of the Scranton Journal.  It reads as follows.

John Mac Vorhies Buried Sunday
Long Time Scranton Resident Buried From
 Church of Christ on Sunday

     Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon, March 19, from the Scranton Church of Christ, for John Mac Vorhies.  The funeral sermon was given by the pastor of that church, Rev. M.R. Willson.
     Music was furnished by Mrs. Wilbur Peterson, Jean Willson, Milo Lawton and J.W. Mouw with Miss Lola Legore accompanying.
     The pall bearers were Sam Hall, Jesse Loomis, Ross Amsden, Andrew Foster, Alva Madison and Gordon Mac Donald.  Interment was made in the Scranton cemetery.
     The following obituary was furnished for publication:
     John Mac Vorhies, son of John and Jane Vorhies, was born in Knox county, Illinois, April 8th, 1850 and passed to eternal realms at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Estella Smith in Scranton, Iowa, on March 17th, 1939, at the age of 88 years, 11 months and 9 days. Death came following a two weeks illness with flu and pneumonia. He was the last of his family to go, having been preceded in death by his parents, three brothers and five sisters.
     When a small boy six years of age, he came with his parents to Marion county, Iowa, where he grew to manhood.
     He was married to Miss Ginevra Withrow on May 27th, 1875 in Jasper county and moved the following year to Scranton, Iowa, which has since been his home.  To this union were born three children, who service to mourn the death of their beloved father. Mr. Vorhies was preceded in death by his faithful companion and wife in August, 1922.
     Mr. Vorhies is survived by his children: Mrs. Estella Smith of Scranton, Eugene Vorhies of Ralston, Iowa and Leroy Vorhies of Granite, Colorado.  He also leaves ten grand children and nine great grand children besides many other relatives and friends to mourn his loss.
     Mr. Vorhies was a sincere earnest Christian man, a member of the Scranton Church of Christ for over 30 years.  He enjoyed his church and gave it a faithful service, for he was truly a servant of God.
     "Servant of God, well done!
     Thy glorious warfare's past,
     The battle's fought, the race is won
     And thou art crowned at last"

Even though this appears to be the same picture as above, I have to wonder. The pictures do have
different dates. One might say they are dressed the same in both pictures, but how many cold weather outfits
do you think they would have had. I mostly want to point out the sleigh bells. Those bells are in my basement.
They would be a wonderful heirloom to pass on to a descendant of John Mac Vorhies. Any takers?


Monday, June 1, 2015

Mondays With Mary

As I read other blogs, I find lots and lots of illiteration for daily prompts. Wordless Wednesday, Tombstone Thursday, Sibling Saturday are a few.

Thus, I am starting my own special feature called Mondays With Mary.  This will be my first entry, and I have not yet decided how I will differentiate them but I am sure something will come to me.

My mom, Mary, kept a journal...of sorts. She wrote on free calendars that showed one week at a time. These were given out by the local grocery story or feed supply company as customer appreciation gifts around Christmas time.  Because the calendar showed one week at a time, she had about 5 lines to write the most pertinent events of the day. For example:

Tuesday, October 29, 1968
     28* this morning
     beautiful day-washed
     picked 8 load of corn-corn
     in w field 24-25%-Mom went to see
     Aunt Carrie-Ada called about Marvin

Then in the margin she added:  Beaver for supper, Mom had an accident

( I will write more explanation on the above later. You might especially be curious about Beaver for supper. Also, I don't know where the degrees symbol is on my keyboard so I substituted *)

Mom kept these calendars from April 1966 - November 26, 2003. In her last entry she mentioned that she didn't feel well. She died a week later.

Since starting this blog, it occurred to me that these calendars might provide a source of family information.  Imagine 37 years at 365 days per year comes to about 12,505 entries such as;

Thursday, January 5, 1967
     washed-sorted hogs
     sold 31 butchers-2 sows
     moved calves to n. lot
     fat cattle to s. lot
     went to Carls for supper-SE wind and cold.

Yes, it could get a little boring unless you are really into the weather.  However, with closer observation and thought, I realized the daily existence of the great-grandparents of my grandchildren could be quite a treasure. They might never have known how their rural grandparents lived. I am going to experiment with these 12,000 plus entries of weather, farm work and family interactions for them. And to my cousins, don't be surprised if you turn up in her jottings.

Expanded Explanations on Episodes of Existence
(Sorry.... I just love illiteration)

As uninteresting as 28 degrees might be, it is actually kind of interesting when one looks at the days surrounding it. The temperatures were all over the place that week.  On Thursday, October 31, just two days later she says, "Up in the 80ties to-day". Fall temperatures are important due to that inevitable frost that would kill the living plants.

washed ... What could there be to say about this little word.  In 1968, my parents lived on a farm near Bagley, Iowa. My dad rented this farm for five years (1965-1969) before he bought his own farm. The washer was a wringer type machine that was used in an old cement basement.  It was old fashioned even then. Most people had regular automatic washing machines like we do today, but Mom claimed her wash was cleaner with the wringer machine. She was probably right. I just purchased a new efficient washing machine. It uses less water, less detergent and in my opinion gets the clothes less clean.

picked 8 load of corn ...This is what is done on the farm in the fall. Of course, by 1968 farmers had been using corn pickers for a long while. They did not pick corn by hand like my dad and grandfather did long ago.  Corn pickers are now a thing of the past as well. Today corn is taken from the field using a combine and is often shelled directly into a truck in the field. I assume the percentage figures are for the moisture content of the corn.  This is another important piece of information to the farmer.

Moved calves from north lot and fat cattle to south lot...They were always moving the cattle. I grew up helping move cattle. I hated moving cattle, but hated moving hogs even more.

Mom went to see Aunt Carrie...  Mom would be referring to her mother, Nina Grisso. Aunt Carrie is the wife of Eugene Vorhies, Stella Vorhies Smith's brother. (There will more on them in the future...collateral relatives)

Ada called about Marvin...   Hmmm? I don't know what this is about but I will try to find out.  Marvin was my mother's brother and Ada was his wife.

Beaver for supper...  Don't worry they didn't eat a semi-aquatic rodent. Beaver is the name of a small town near Ogden, Iowa that had a great steak house at the time.

Mom had an accident...This actually made me laugh when I read it. Grandma was NOT a good driver.  I assume she wasn't hurt.

So the above is my explanation of October 29, 1968. 

January 5, 1967 looks pretty self explanatory. If you have a question, please feel free to use the comment box below. In fact, I have actually wondered if it even works.  Hint. Hint.

And one more thing:

Happy Birthday to Mary's favorite grandson born June 1, 1971.