Friday, May 3, 2019

Maude Harkless, Green Ridge, Missouri 1900's


Maude Lee Helsley was born in Ionia, Missouri on Feb. 6, 1885 to parents William and Mary Catherine Helsley. Maude was the oldest child and had six siblings: twins Blanch and Nellie, Henry, Abbie, Perry, and Frank Guy. In 1904, when she was 19, Maude married Count Harkless. Like Maude, Count came from a family of farmers and eventually became a farmer himself.

In March 1905, Maude's mother passed away at age 41. In this photograph, Maude wears a black mourning band around her collar and a pin, which I believe is a small photo of her mother. It's sad that she experienced such a loss at only 20 years old, especially so soon after her marriage. Her father remarried soon after. From the marriage Maude gained two step-siblings and later, three half-siblings.

Maude and Count spent their marriage in Green Ridge, Missouri. They never had children, but Maude stayed busy. She was a member of her local chapter of the Royal Neighbors of America, a fraternal beneficiary society that provided women with life insurance and was an early supporter of women's suffrage. Her sister Abbie, who would later live on the farm with them, was also a member of the society. In 1915, Count announced in the Windsor Review that he had decided to quit farming and was selling off all of his livestock and equipment in a large sale. According to the notice, dinner would be served by the R.N.A ladies of Green Ridge. For whatever reason, Count was not entirely successful in giving up farming. In both the 1920 and 1930 censuses, his occupation is still listed as "farmer." By 1930, both Maude's sister and their father had joined them on the farm. The family was very social and frequently hosted guests at their home. Maude kept a garden and would send a large bouquet of roses to the office of the local paper, the Sedalia Democrat, every year.

In 1943, Maude and Abbie recieved news that their half-brother Billie had been captured while fighting overseas and was being held prisoner by the Japanese. He had initially been reported missing the previous year, so I can imagine this news was a relief as much as it was terrifying. Luckily, Billie returned safely home after the war. Sadly, Count passed away the following year at the age of 62. He was buried in Green Ridge, where he had lived his entire life. Maude continued to serve her community through the Royal Neighbors of America until she passed away in 1969 at the age of 84.

If you know who this woman may be, let us know in the comments!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Hugo Fuessel and Ella Zander, Taylor, Texas, 1906


Hugo Ludwig Fuessel was born in Pflugerville, Texas in 1884. He was the first child of Pauline and Ludwig Fuessel and the older brother of Frieda Fuessel, the subject of my last post. As a young man, he worked on the family farm with his father and brothers until he bought his own farm near Buckholts, Texas.

In 1906, Hugo married Ella Augusta Zander, who is misidentified as "Mary Sander" on this photo. Ella's parents, William and Carolina, were also German immigrants. William immigrated to the United States in 1873, followed by Carolina 8 years later. Ella was their second child. Hugo and Ella had 11 children of their own: Clara, Alexander, Conrad, Adolph, Lora, Freeman, Clarence, Hugo, Ella, Raymond, and Paula.

Four of Hugo and Ella's sons- Alexander, Conrad, Adolph, and Freeman- all served in the Second World War. They were inducted into service in 1941, the beginning of a difficult period for the Fuessel family. On July 3rd, 1942, Hugo was out plowing on his farm when he was struck by lightning. He was killed instantly. Though Ella had to endure the sudden loss of her husband and the absence of her four oldest sons all at once, she had the support of her community. 6 days after the tragedy she posted a brief note in the Cameron Herald thanking her neighbors and friends for their kindness. In September 1943, the family learned that Adolph had been captured in Sicily and was being held prisoner by the Germans. In May 1945, Ella was notified by the War Department that her son had finally been liberated and was safe. Alexander, Conrad, Adolph, and Freeman all returned home safely after the war.

Ella lived to be 85. When she passed away in 1970, she had 18 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren.

If you know who this couple may be, let us know in the comments!

Friday, April 5, 2019

Frieda Fuessel, Taylor, Texas 1900's



Frieda Fuessel was born in Pflugerville, Texas in 1888 to parents Carolina "Pauline" Walther and Ludwig Fuessel. Like the majority of the families in Pflugerville, the Fuessels were German. Pauline and Ludwig immigrated together from Germany to Texas in 1882, though they were not married until 1883. Frieda was their 4th child. She was one of 14 children in all, of which 11 lived to adulthood.
In 1908 at age 19, Frieda married Charles Galler, a German farmer from Nebraska. I think this photo may have been taken around that time.

Frieda and Charles lived together with Charles's brother, Emil, who helped them run their farm near Taylor, Texas. On November 6th, 1910, Edwin, their only child, was born. He had blonde hair and blue eyes like his father. After Frieda's mother passed away in 1924, her father moved in with the family. He lived with them until his death in 1939.  In 1940 the Gallers moved to Houston, where Edwin began working as a truck driver for an electric company. That same year he was drafted into the army. Sadly, Frieda died two years later at the age of 55 while her son was still overseas.

In next week's post, we'll discuss Frieda's older brother Hugo and his wife, Ella.

If you know who this may be, let us know in the comments!

Friday, March 1, 2019

The Hopwood Family, South Union, Pennsylvania 1900's



The writing on the back reads:
"Hudson Hopwood
Mother Hopwood
Your grandmother, Pat
Verda Hopwood
George took picture"

In this small photo, three members of the Hopwood family sit around a table. Each person is reading or at least pretending to, almost as if the photographer told them to look busy with something in their hands.

The Hopwoods lived in South Union Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. George Hopwood was a farmer and member of the Pennsylvania State Assembly. The Hopwoods were a prominent family and had lived in the area for several generations. In fact, the town of Hopwood in Fayette County was named for one of George's ancestors, John Hopwood, who according to family lore was a friend of George Washington. George Hopwood's wife, Alverda (née Black), was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and came from an equally distinguished family. Together they had 8 children: George, Verda, William Hudson, Julia, Margaret, Jane, Walter Monroe, and Mary Katherine. In September 1898, just a few months after finishing his second term in the Pennsylvania State Assembly, George Hopwood died of heart trouble. Though the family had lived in Pennsylvania for generations, Alverda decided to relocate to West Virginia with her daughters a few years after his death. They remained there until 1911 when they moved to California. I believe this photo may have been taken in the time before the initial move, while the family was still together in Pennsylvania in the "old Hopwood home."

George Black Hopwood, who took this photo, was the eldest of the Hopwood children. As a young man, he worked as a reporter for the News Standard, a local paper. In 1902 he left his job at the paper and went to Philadelphia with his brother, Hudson, the young man in this photo reading a newspaper (I wonder if he's reading the News Standard?). Together they enrolled in Jefferson Medical College. Hudson graduated in 1906, after which he worked in Grindstone, Pennsylvania as a physician for the Pittsburgh Coal Company. In 1909 Hudson became ill with tuberculosis. He spent the winter of that year in Mexico and Arizona, hoping to improve his health in a drier climate. Sadly he never recovered and died in July 1910 at the age of 28.

The young woman in this photo is Verda, the eldest Hopwood sister. She attended the California State Normal School, graduated in 1904, and became a schoolteacher. She mainly taught the 4th grade. In August 1919, Verda began showing signs of severe mental illness. According to hospital records, she suffered from hallucinations and became violent. She believed her doctor was a German spy and threatened to kill him, and at times imagined she was on fire. The record also suggested her illness may have been caused by a head injury she suffered as a young girl after falling off a horse. Her mother admitted her to Stockton State Hospital in Stockton, California a few weeks later. Verda remained there for the rest of her life. She died in 1947.

Alverda, or "Mother Hopwood," continued to live in California with her daughters Julia and Jane, Jane's husband Charles Rice, and Alverda's sister-in-law Julia. Alverda suddenly became ill after attending a Women's Christian Temperance Union convention in September 1921. She passed away 2 months later at age 68.

George Hopwood's life turned out somewhat happier. After graduating from medical school, he went on to practice medicine for nearly 50 years. He married Mary Reed, with whom he had two daughters, Dorothy and Myrtle. He died at age 77 in 1955.

I think the "Pat" referenced on the back of the photo may be Patricia Rice, a daughter of Jane Hopwood. She was born in 1922, the year after her grandmother passed away. I wonder if Jane wrote the inscription?

If you know who this family may be, let us know in the comments!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Mattie Holmes, New Lisbon, Wisconsin 1889



"To my dear friend Edna

with loving remembrance
from Mattie Holmes.
April 17- 1889"

This young woman, Martha "Mattie" Holmes, was born in Biment, Iowa in October 1869. She was the daughter of Henry P. Holmes, a farmer, and Rebecca Carrier, who passed away not long after Mattie was born. When Mattie was still only a few months old, the family moved to New Lisbon, Juneau County, Wisconsin. Her father soon remarried, this time to Emma Van Hiesen, a woman 27 years younger than he was. Mattie already had 7 older siblings by her mother- Lucy, Andrew, George, Phoebe, Freeman, Volney, and Frank- when she gained 3 younger half-brothers, Winfield, Henry, and Elmer. Mattie's father died in 1883 of "consumption," or what we would now call tuberculosis.

This photograph was taken in 1889 when Mattie was 19 years old. Two years later, in 1891, she married Peter M. George. Peter worked as a drayman, someone who delivers beer for a brewery, and later as a teamster. Mattie and Peter had three children, Otis, Rena, and Chester, as well as two other children who did not live past infancy.  The eldest, Otis, was granted a registered pharmacist certificate in 1916 and became a druggist in Sparta, Wisconsin.

Mattie passed away the next year, 1917, at age 48.

Otis went on to become President of the Sparta community commission and in 1928 was elected mayor. Rena married Carl Reinhardt, a carpenter from Norway. Chester became a chauffeur and married Elizabeth Manzeck, with whom he had one son, Chester Jr.

If you know who this woman may be, let us know in the comments!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Mary Madzin Pidich, Scranton, Pennsylvania 1910's



Mary Madzin was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania on June 26th, 1900. She was the 2nd child of Helen Yanochko and Michael Madzin, both Czech immigrants. When Mary was born her family was living in a house with other Czech immigrants, many of whom were day laborers like her father. She had one older sister, Helen, and 2 younger brothers, John and George. As a teenager, Mary worked as a weaver in a silk mill. Her brother John worked as well, in a button mill.

There's nothing in this photograph that explains who all of these kids are or what group they're a part of, but I have a guess. The Madzins were Roman Catholic and were a part of St. Mary's Greek Catholic Church.  According to the Scranton Republican newspaper, Mary's brother George was a member of the St. Mary's Choral Club. I think it's very likely that Mary was too and is photographed here with the club on the steps of the church. In fact, I think that may be one of her brothers sitting to her left with his hand around her arm.

In 1922, Mary married a coal miner named Nicholas Pidich. According to his WWI registration card, Nicholas was tall and slender with brown eyes and dark hair. They had two daughters, Minerva (born 1923) and Evelyn (born 1925). Soon after her mother's death in 1938, Mary's father Michael moved in with them. In 1940, Nicholas is working as a laborer in a machine shop while Mary stayed at home with their daughters, who were now teenagers. Mary's husband and both brothers all served in WWII. Sadly, her brother George died while serving on December 25th, 1943. He was buried in his hometown of Scranton.

Minerva worked as a nurse before marrying Frank Sempa, a reporter for the Scrantonian Tribune. Evelyn was a secretary until she married Thomas Evanko, who served in the Navy.

Mary Madzin Pidich died in 1999, just shy of her 99th birthday.

If you know who this may be, let us know in the comments!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Elizabeth Havens, Marion, Indiana 1890s

"Aunt Beth Havens"

Elizabeth Barley was born October 3rd, 1843 in Bedford, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Mary Stuckey and David Barley, a farmer, and was one of 8 children. Her father died in 1854 when she was only 11. After his death, her uncle Daniel became her guardian and much of the family's land was sold, including their home, described in the newspaper as a "good log house, cased with brick."

From Pennsylvania, Elizabeth moved to Grant, Indiana, where in 1866 she married Samuel B. Havens. Samuel served in the 34th Regiment, Indiana Infantry of the Union army during the Civil War and had been mustered out earlier that year. After the war, he worked as a plasterer. Elizabeth and Samuel had 8 children: Van Rancelier,  Carolyn Effie, Clyde, Gertrude, Margaret Mary, Laura, Charles, and Grover Cleveland.

In 1899, the same year her son Van was married, Elizabeth's daughter Effie died. It was the beginning of a difficult period in Elizabeth's life. In April 1901, she lost her son Clyde to tuberculosis. Later that month, she lost her daughter Laura. She was 20 years old and unmarried when she died in childbirth. During this time, Samuel's health had begun to decline. He suffered from chronic rheumatism, pain from an injury in his left hip, and scurvy, which resulted in the loss of his teeth. He had also lost his left eye and had limited vision in his right. Elizabeth decided to admit him to a home for disabled soldiers in 1904. He died of tuberculosis there in 1907.

In her old age, Elizabeth was cared for by two of her sons, Charles and Grover. Grover worked in a motor factory to help support them.  Elizabeth passed away in 1932, at age 88. Though she faced many hardships in her life, she must have been remembered fondly as "Aunt Beth" by her nieces and nephews.

If you know who this may be, let us know in the comments!