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!