Thursday, September 29, 2011

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 6

Tveit Church, Aust Agder, Norway, ca 1900

This card from circa 1900 shows the church at Tveit with what appears to be the congregation or part of the congregation dressed in national costume. The caption at the top says that it is the Tveit Church with Alume, which suggests that this might be a confirmation class although some of the children are pretty young looking. I liked it because it does show the people and they are dressed up in the national costume. Also it is possible to see just how steep the countryside is with the hills in back of the church. Tveit is located in Setesdal north of Kristiansand but south and east of Evje og Hornnes.

Several years ago I became acquainted John Galteland (Børuf Johnsen Galteland married Åslaug Mikalsdatter Hornnes a daughter of Mikal Alfsen from his first marriage). John contacted me saying he was interested in learning more about the family because as far as he knew he and one other were the only Galtelands in the United States. We did find a connection, just not where we expected it and although he continued to refer to me as his cousin we were actually quite far removed as cousins. We corresponded for some time and even had some pleasant telephone conversations. I am sorry to report that John has since passed away.

In the process of researching his connection to our family I came across the following story in O.O. Uleberg’s Horness I book, pp 423-424. I always wonder what it was like to live back in those times and I thought this interview interesting as a view into the past. Included are also some other postcards from Setesdal dating from the 1900s.

Setesdal between Valle and Bykle, Norway, ca 1900

Here follows a few thoughts taken from an interview by Jon Løyland in 1925 with Eivind Telleivson Galteland-Kjetså, who was the husband of a grandniece of Mikal Alfsen.* Concerning Monen in Galteland where Eivind grew up he says:

“But the land was a poor place. We had a little corn and some apples. But we had a pretty good living. We had one cow and father was a waterman up in the valley all summer long until harvest time in the fall. And he thought we lived well. He was 74 years old and did his own work.

“There was not much school in those days. Some would go just 8 weeks to school. When I [Eivind] was 14 years old we were taken out of school to help. I went around with Jørund Lauvland, but he was little younger than me. He was extremely good at the lessons and also a very good skier. One time when we were in school at Omland we had to ask permission to travel across the ice. The ice was very thick and strong then. The schoolmaster came with us and we kept pace with him. On the way he [the schoolmaster] picked a birch stick and taught us catechism lessons and would be obliged to use it on the children who would not learn. Jørund had read his part, and so could Salve Galteland, but he was crying (for fear of the stick) so Jørund broke the stick up. The teacher would have us tell who broke the stick, but we would not. Notto Lauvland and I had our hands on the table, but Jørund wouldn’t have us whipped. There was an old woman’s house where the teacher took us, and so whipped us a time. The schoolmaster could not teach Jørund anything after that. Then a pastor came to the school. He said to the schoolmaster ‘You can be glad, you are rid of him now, he is working everywhere.’ Jørund was brave, but he had sometimes a humorous side that was so quiet. He was always straightforward and honest to associate with.”

Girl milking a goat, ca 1900

Eivind also told about how he spent his summer sheepherding—

“When I was a small boy I went herding in the summertime. The payment for herding was the cost of new clothes. For two years I had one lamb in addition to some food for a part, one counted on it. In the autumn we made new clothing, all the same. The first year I got low shoes, the next year I obtained my top boots. That was like one handy thing.”

Mordfjord**, Norway, ca 1900

Eivind learned to sew too—

“When I first began to sew, I was very eager to do it. Jackets were short then, they were called ‘short jackets.’ The vest was covered as now; some were perhaps short then too. Both the jacket and vest were so short that the shirt could be seen underneath, but that was the style then. Trousers were . . . I could just remember a pair of knee pants. The socks were white, and so they shrank easily. We sewed women’s clothing also, lace bodice and jacket; the women themselves sewed skirts. Skirts had gathering where it did some good. The bodice was much like a vest.”



* Eivind Telleivson Galteland-Kjetså was married to one of the granddaughters of Mikal Alfsen's brother Abraham Alfsen Roland-Abusland-Kjetså.

** It is a little hard to see because it is crossed out but the card originally identified this place as Mordfjord. Someone has written "Hest hyl Sætesdal" across the card in ink. Google Translate makes this "Horse Howl or Screech, Sætesdal" but I think the hyl in this case should be closer to høl and would translate more like a place called Horse Hole as in a pool in a river or stream located in Setesdal. Mordfjord itself translates to murder/death or dangerous water/lake. It certainly looks dangerous with the water rushing down into the pool. I was fascinated by the little cabins perched right in the midst of all that surging water.

Once again, the translation of the interview with Eivind is mine so I apologize for any errors and hope that our Norwegian cousins will help me make corrections where necessary. I am not sure if the new Google translate will help with the translations from Hornnes I since many of these stories are written in the dialect of the area and may be slightly different than bokmål or nynorsk.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Til Sæter" a play with Petra & Cornelius Landaas, 1903

The cast of "Til Sæter," December 18, 1903

I knew that Petra Landaas had been in at least one play because I had these wonderful old pictures but I did not have the date or the name of the play until Karen Roberts posted the newspaper article on Thank you Karen.

Petra Landaas as Sigrid, 1903

The article appeared in The Seattle Times as follows:

“Preparations for Christmas festivals among the Scandinavian have already commenced in Seattle. Leif Erikson Lodge of Sons of Norway is doubtless the first to announce its program. Friday evening December 18 at Christens Hall it will give a dramatic entertainment of rare merit. The actors have practiced more than a month to make the event a successful one. In addition to the rendition of a fine drama some choice music will be furnished. The program will open with a selection by Leuben’s band after which a tableau, Norden, will be presented by the following ladies arrayed in their national costumes: Miss O. Erickson representing Norway; Miss A. Graff, representing Sweden; Mrs. F. Olsen, representing Denmark. Nordmaendenes of Seattle will sing “Norden er et Soskenlag," which will be succeeded by the beautiful play, “Til Sæter.” Special scenery has been made for the play. The characters of the play are represented as follows: Sigrid, Miss Petra Landaas; Ragnhild, Miss Signe Norman; Asmund, Mr. C. Landaas; Nordal, Mr. A J Thuland; Skoleholderen, Mr. Fred Olsen; Busk, Mr. H. Haldorsen; Stenly, Mr. Theodore Pedersen, Jr.; Per, Mr. H. Eggan; Halvor, Mr. S. Garberg. The undertaking is in charge of A.J. Thuland, H. Holdorsen, Theo. Pedersen, Sr., and S. Dehly.” [from: The Seattle Times 29 November 1903, p 40]

Cornelius Landaas as Asmund, 1903

[I think the one on the left is Uncle Neil but not enough of his face is showing to be sure. He was not very tall, however, and all the Landaas men were of slight or slender build.]

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Patriarch: Mikal Alfsen Roland-Hornnes-Espetveit, 1805, part 2

Aerial view of Hornnes
[photo courtesy of Alf Georg Kjetså]

When Alf sent this picture he wrote on the back “I am sending you a picture of Hornnes taken from an airplane. Here you see two peninsulas as two “horns” putting out into the lake; therefore the name Horn nes. Nes means a headland. We see Fennefossen, the river Otra passing by Hornnes kyrkje [church] and coming out into the lake Breiflå. Between the two horns you see an isle called Kjeøya. And to the left a smaller isle called Helgeholmen.”

This then is where Mikal Alfsen and his family lived in the 1800s. When his first wife, Ragnhild, died in 1859 he still had eight children living at home ranging in age from 6 to 22 years of age. At age 56 he remarried in 1862 to 19 year old Anne Gundersdatter Uleberg. I imagine it would have been difficult for Anne to come into the home as the new mistress with four of the eight children older than she was and also quite daunting at 19 to become stepmother to the younger children with the youngest then 9 years old.

The oldest son from the first marriage, Notto Mikalsen, was 25 years old when his father remarried. Because the farm was to be divided if and when Mikal remarried as oldest living son Notto would take ½ as his inheritance from his mother. Notto did not take this half of the farm until 1868 when he was 31 and Mikal sold him the other half as well. Notto did not marry until 1872 at age 35.

Mikal started his second family while still living at Lunnen and three more children were born here before he bought and moved to a smaller farm, Rønningen also in Hornnes. In 1878 he bought Espetveit but had to sell it again in 1880.* His youngest children were born while they lived here.

Espetveit farm, ca 1960s
[photo courtesy of Alf Georg Kjetså]

He did not leave Espetveit but rented the farm until 1888. He died there in 1890. The man who bought Espetveit was Torjus Ånonson Abusland. Lill Anna persuaded two of Torjus's daughters, Anna** and Line, into coming to America. Later Torjus sold in 1908 and left for America too.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Patriarch: Mikal Alfsen Roland-Hornnes-Espetveit, 1805, part 1

Mikal Alfsen Roland-Hornnes-Espetveit*, ca 1870s
[photo courtesy of Alf Georg Kjetså]

Looking to a generation further back in time and to the life of the father of Lill Anna, Mikal Alfsen was christened 5 May 1805 in Grinheim parish, Vest Agder, Norway. He is shown in the picture here sitting on a chair dressed in a suit, tie, vest and wooden shoes! I am guessing at the date (ca 1870s) from the style of the photograph, his pose and the clothes. I liked the shoes, which are a bit hard to see in the picture, and his large hands. He was a working farmer and it shows even when he was dressed up like this.

The family was living at Haaland farm at the time of his birth. His father, Alv Simonsen, mother, Mari or Maren Mikalsdatter, were married about 1789 and had a total of ten children of which Mikal was the seventh. Their children in chronological order are:

1. Aase ca 1790
2. Anna, 1793
3. Simon, 1797
4. Askier, 23 Sept 1798
5. Torkild, 22 Sep 1799
6. Abraham, 16 Jul 1802
7. Mikal, 5 May 1805
8. Askier, 28 Aug 1808
9. Simon, 15 Jun 1810
10. Ole, 12 Dec 1813

Two of the sisters, Aase and Anna and five of the brothers, Torkild, Abraham, Mikal, Simon and Ole survived to adulthood, married and had children.

The family moved from farm to farm for a time and Alv Simonsen tried to buy his father-in-law’s place but was not successful. They ended up on Roland farm in Bjelland, Vest Agder, living there until a big fire in 1825 burned the house down and resulted in the death of Mari’s sister Jorand who had been living with them. Anna, their second child married Lars Nielsen Roland the same year as the fire, 1825, and lived in Bjelland. After the fire Mikal's parents remained in Bjelland where Alv died in July 1829 and Mari died in December of the same year.

The oldest surviving son, Torkild Alvson had moved from Bjelland to Hægeland where he married first, Marie Kristendatter Kiledal and after she died he married second to her sister, Anna Kristendatter Kiledal. A shrewd move since it allowed him to keep all the property and not have to divide it immediately. The other brothers followed their oldest sister, Aase, to the neighboring community on the other side of the county line, Hornnes, in Aust Agder. There Aase married Ola Olson Valebrokk-Abusland. Once in Hornnes these four brothers were known locally as the brothers from Roland or Bjelland. All five brothers gained a reputation for marrying well.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 5

Adelaide Hanscom's winning design for the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition emblem.

As some of you may of noticed the postcards from the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition often have a seal or emblem placed somewhere on them to designate that they are “official post cards.” I was curious about the design and the artist hence this Thursday postcard will feature the two versions of the logo. The top one is a regular one-dimensional illustration while the bottom one appears to be something similar to “claymation” or a three-dimensional raised image. The relief version has rays coming from the sun instead of the Northern Lights. But I suppose that is appropriate as well since Alaska is a land of midnight sun. My personal preference is the painted one. The lines are cleaner and it has that Arts & Crafts movement feel to it that appeals to me.

Another version of the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition emblem.

Edmond Meany, a professor at the University of Washington, headed the publicity committee for the Expo and he was the person most responsible for the selection of the then mostly forested campus as the fairgrounds site. The committee held a competition to choose a design as a readily recognizable emblem for the fair. Over 100 entries were received and this one was chosen. The winner was a photographer and artist named Adelaide Hanscom.

She explains the significance of her design in this way:

“The figure to the right typifies the Pacific Slope with right hand extended in welcome, and the left holding a train of cars, representing commerce by land. The figure to the left represents the Orient, and the ship in her hand represents commerce by sea. The central figure in white is that of Alaska, the white representing the North and the nuggets in her hands representing her vast mineral resources. Across the sky in the background is seen the Aurora Borealis so vivid in the North. The purple background with the many colors of the northern lights makes a rich coloring. At the side of the figure on the right are tall trees, typical of the immense forests of the territory represented by the Exposition. My whole idea in this design was to keep it simple and still give suggestions of all the essential things to be represented.” [from: an article written by JoAnne Matsumura in the Black Diamond Historical Society publication, October 2008, p. 12]

Adelaide Hanscom was born in what is now Coos Bay, Oregon 25 November 1875. Her most famous illustrations are those created for the 1905 edition of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. She started taking photographs for the work in 1903. She said she decided to illustrate The Rubaiyat because it presented “an expression of the struggle of the human soul after the truth, and against the narrowing influence of the dogmatic religions of our time.”

At the time she had been living in San Francisco, California but after the earthquake of 1906 she moved to Seattle where she set up a new studio with another photographer. She also started working on illustrations for Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese that took many years to complete.

In 1908 she married Arthur Gerald Leeson and soon after they moved to Alaska. They moved several times during the next years. She had two children, a son, Gerald born in 1909 and a daughter, Catherine, born in 1912. Her husband was killed in World War I, her father a couple of years later. She went into a deep depression from which she never really fully recovered. In November 1931 she was struck and killed as she was getting off a streetcar by a hit-and-run driver in Pasadena, California. Her work was more or less forgotten until 2008. [For more detailed information about her life and works see]

I especially liked the fact that the artist was a woman who in 1909 was able to win the competition and produced this lovely logo. The emblem appears not only on the postcards but also pins, plates, posters, spoons, and many other tourist type objects. This tin plate was an advertisement for H. Tarnow & Co, Wholesale Wines & Liquors, 215 2nd Avenue South, Seattle . The plate is 9 3/4 inches [45 cm] in diameter.

Front side of tin plate.

Reverse side of tin plate.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bård Gåseflå from the 50th anniversary of Otterdals lumber mill

[I think he looks a bit stern and ferocious but perhaps they all did in those days.]

A 50 year anniversary booklet about the Otterdals saw and lumber mill was published in 1918. In this booklet are several pictures of the people and the mill. Bård Gåseflå, the father of Osmund Bårdson Gåseflå who married (Store) Anna Mikalsdatter Hornnes, is found on many of the pages. The booklet is quite interesting but it is too long to post all of it so here are just a few pages including the picture of Bård Gåseflå.

Cover page

First page of text.

One of the pages on which Bård Gåseflå appears. He is on several pages.

The top photo shows the men all lined up and ready to saw the logs into boards.

This last page shows the lumberjacks sitting on the logs getting them ready to take to the mill. The bottom picture shows a family at Naanes in front of the house with a horse and all dressed in their national costumes. That must have been for the photograph since they probably did not wear such finery when working.

Edd Lorig, born 1865

Edd Lorig, ca 1890

Edd Lorig was born toward the end of the American Civil War on 2 March 1865 in Mt. Pleasant, Henry County, Iowa.* He was the fifth child born to Henry and Katie Lorig and their only son. Walt Lorig remembered a few stories about his dad. The Lorig children went to Catholic grammar school and when Edd was about eleven years old he was apparently wrongly accused of something and punished by the priest. That incident caused him to run away from home. Walt didn’t know how long he was gone. He eventually did return home but would never go back to the school.

By the time he was about 14 or 15 years old he was working in the brickyard in Mt. Pleasant. He left Iowa and moved west arriving eventually in Seattle shortly after the Fire of 1889. His first job was on the Front Street cable car in Seattle. It was the only streetcar in Seattle at that time. The 1891 City Directory shows him as a Gripman Front Cable, Ry Co. In 1898 he is listed as a fireman on the West Seattle Ferry. By 1900 Edd is listed as a machinist for the S. C. Ry Power House. Then in 1901 he appears as an engineer for the G.N. Elevator Co. and a year later in 1902 he is again a machinist but with Wm Campbell and Son.

It was while he was working as a machinist that he met Hy Dygert. They got along well together and started their own business in Ballard. Edd did the mill work and Hy liked to do the boat and car work. So what little car work there was they did it and also they worked quite a bit on fishing boats. The name S. E. Sagstad keeps appearing on documents and as witness to marriages and I think this is where it connects since Sagstad was a boat builder and prominent in Ballard about that time period. Sivert E. Sagstad came from Norway to America in 1905 and may have distant connections to the Landaas family as well.

Edd and Hy owned and operated Shilshole Machine Works from about 1908 until 1915. Their shop was first in Ballard at the foot of 24th. Later they moved to 633 Westlake Avenue North. It is interesting to note that Shilshole Machine Works appears also as Lorig & Dygert some years and Shilshole other years. Edd’s eyesight began to fail but he continued to do machine work into the 1920s. By 1930 his eyesight was so poor he began working as a watchman and could no longer do the machine work he enjoyed so much. From the vision loss described by Walt we can guess that Edd more than likely had macular degeneration—losing the vision at the center of his eyes and only able to see out the edges unlike glaucoma where the outer vision is lost and what is left is referred to as tunnel vision. There is no complete cure even today for macular degeneration.

Lorig & Dygert aka Shilshole Machine Works, ca 1910

As it looks today as part of Pacific Fishermen's Shipyard**

Monday, September 19, 2011

Stories from the life of Sadie Stean, part 2

Sadie Stean, ca 1916

Part 2 of the stories from Sadie Stean's life continues where part 1 left off. We next find Sadie as a 14 year old girl ready to make her way in the world.

“I was 14 years old and as my parents were not able financially to send me to high school I had to get a job. I had been nursemaid during school vacations so I knew how to handle children. Mrs. Gundrson wrote I could come to them. I helped with the children. I remember the big stone apartment house on Strandgaten, that is it looked big then to me now after seeing New York, Boston, Chicago and many other large cities when I think back on that apartment house it was not any larger than some of the homes I have seen in this country, but it was home to me that first summer away from home and I liked the nursery. It was a big room with bars over the windows so the children wouldn’t fall out. I slept there with 4 other little beds. It was a happy summer.

“Mrs. Gunderson was wonderfully kind to me. I was green to city ways and had lots to learn. She took me along on shopping trips and she would stop and talk to so many interesting people, everyone loved her. I’ll never forget how beautiful she looked when she was dressed for the big even of entertaining King Håkon and Queen Maud on their first visit as King and Queen to our city. When she was already she stood up on a stool so we could get a good look at her slippers, too. She was dressed in a black satin evening gown and gold slippers, her necklace and bracelets were garnets set in gold, a present from the Captain when they were engaged, she liked them best of all her jewelry. She sure was beautiful. She was very small, dark brown hair and blue eyes and a wonderful complexion. The Captain was handsome too, over 6 feet tall, and in his best dress uniform. I am sure they were the most handsome couple at the party. In the fall I had a chance to work in Jepson’s Factory doing this and that, sorting samples, working in the sewing room they had just installed electric sewing machines, the first I had ever used. I waited on tables at noon and so got my dinner free. Oh, I was getting along fine and liked it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Stories from the life of Sadie Stean, part 1

Sadie Stean*, ca 1917
Like Anna, Sadie wrote her life story and kept a journal or diary off and on through the years. Her accounts are so long they will need to be split into 2 or 3 parts. Here begins some of Sadie’s stories from her childhood--

“One of the first things I remember happened when I was only 2 ½ years old. My parents rented a small far just a little ways from where we were living. A bachelor friend of my mother and father was helping us move. On the last trip mother took my two older sisters by the and and walked, but the baby was to ride piggy back with my arms around Erick’s neck and we were going on skis and to this day I remember the excitement flying down the hill so to say and Erick had to jump a small stream. What a thrill it gave me. Yes, children do remember things many times and many things happened in the next year, but nothing exciting to a child’s mind until father bought a small piece of land and an old log cabin that he moved and fixed up as a home. I remember mother taking me across the river to look at our new home.

“One day they were putting in a new ceiling and a nail puller fell down and I had to have a hole cut in my curls to get the blood washed off. I cried but after being treated to ginger cookies I forgot about it and it soon healed up. All that reminded me of it was when my hand should touch the bare spot where the hair was cut short.

Ragnhild and Ola Stean (Birkeland), inside the house**
[photo courtesy of Agnes Allpress]

“It seemed like father never could make enough money only for the very necessary things, and sometimes we didn’t always have enough to eat. I remember particular one evening mother gave us the last piece of bread and butter we had in the house. Father was away working in the mine and only came home Saturday nights and we didn’t have a cent in the house to buy with, us children didn’t realize how she must have felt, there were 5 of us then with big appetites and nothing left to give us for breakfast. Us children went to bed and mother sat knitting by the fire. I woke up and heard someone knock on the window and I heard a well known voice say—“I saw the lamplight so I knew you hadn’t gone to bed, something just told me you might need a little money” and she gave mother $2 that she had earned that day washing clothes for our neighbor, Dr. B. Mother told her she was an answer to prayers. “I was praying for something to feed the children for their breakfast.” How well I remember that old lady and I am glad to know that mother was able to return some of the kindness she showed us.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Margaret Mae "Maggie" Lorig, born 1861

Maggie Lorig, ca 1883

Margaret Mae “Maggie” was the fourth daughter in the family of Henry and Katie Lorig. She was born in Mt. Pleasant, Henry County, Iowa on 8 February 1861 just at the beginning of the Civil War. She lived her entire, rather short life (she died at age 39 May 1900) in Iowa marrying Thomas LeRoy Ford on 21 July 1883. Jim Ford, who remained in the Mt. Pleasant area and farmed there, wrote that a large framed copy of this photograph of Maggie was still hanging in the family home 80 plus years after she died.

Thomas LeRoy Ford, ca 1883
[photo courtesy of Helen Ford Fuqua]

LeRoy, as he was known, was born 1855 and lived in the neighboring town of Trenton, Iowa. Maggie and LeRoy had seven sons, however, the youngest son, Guy, born in 1900, died before he was one year old. Considering that Henry and Katie had six children it is interesting to note that Maggie is the only one of their children to have what we would think of today as a large family. Anna and Mary did not wed and had no children. Lizzie had only one daughter. Edd had three children. Mattie had two sons. That makes a total of 13 grandchildren at a time in history when many families had 10 or 12 children and they could have, in theory, expected to have approximately 60 grandchildren. Mind boggling, isn’t it?

LeRoy and Maggie Ford with four of their six surviving sons, Earl, LeRoy "Bert", Ralph and Ray.

Six of the seven sons of Maggie and LeRoy Ford, from the left standing: Ray, 1887, Ralph, 1884, LeRoy "Bert", 1889. Sitting from the left: Earl, 1892, Charles, 1896, and Ellis, 1894.

LeRoy was married three times, first to Ellen Crouch in 1878. She died without issue in 1879. Maggie Lorig was his second wife and after Maggie died he married Laura Moore in 1906. He and Laura did not have any children and were later divorced. Maggie died in 1900 and LeRoy in 1916.

Their oldest son, Ralph, was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) an organization for descendants of Civil War soldiers and since Henry Lorig did not serve it logically seemed as if his other grandfather, Lloyd Ford, must have served in the War even though he was born in 1818 and would have been in his 40s during the war years. It also turned out that there was a Quaker heritage on the Hunt side of the Ford family and that would make Lloyd more likely to be a dissenter rather than a soldier. Quakers were by and large abolitionists and therefore pro Union even though they were also pacifists and did not fight as soldiers. Helen Ford Gisser put together and self published an undated extensive genealogical record of the Foard, Forde, Ford families. The binding had disintegrated and the entire thing was in pieces; nevertheless, I did look carefully through her accounts to see if any mention was made of Civil War service by any of the Ford men. LeRoy would have been a child and clearly not old enough to serve at age 6 to 11 years of age. The only other relative I could think of was Maggie’s uncle Adolph Schloeder who did serve as a Union soldier and was severely wounded. I don’t know if an uncle would have been a close enough relative to justify membership so it remains a mystery as to how and why Ralph joined the GAR.

Helen Ford Fuqua shared these photographs that had been in Ralph’s collection (her father). They are not of very good quality but are interesting as historical pictorials of that era.

Ralph Ford in his GAR uniform.
[photo courtesy of Helen Ford Fuqua]

The Fords owned and lived in the old Lorig home on Locust Street in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa for at least three years. Later Ralph Ford purchased the old Lorig home and lived there for a while with his wife. LeRoy Ford also lived in the old Ford home in Tenton, Iowa, that was said to resemble the Lorig house.

Old Ford home in Trenton, Iowa.
[photo courtesy of Helen Ford Fuqua]

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska as well as the Dakotas produce so much food, not only corn and wheat but also soybeans, tomatoes, spinach, and other vegetables. Wheat, corn, alfalfa, rye, and barley would been the major crops a hundred years or so ago. Today farmers have large air conditioned threshers but when the Lorigs and Fords were living in Iowa they were using mules, oxen, or the steam powered thresher shown here. It would have been the newest convenience that the farmers used and would have seemed an amazing labor saving device compared to reaping and threshing by hand. Even though our families lived in town they most likely hired out to help during the harvest times.

Old steam threshing machine.
[photo courtesy of Helen Ford Fuqua]

Ralph Ford as a small boy.
[photo courtesy of Helen Ford Fuqua]

LeRoy "Bert" Ford with horse and buggy.
[photo courtesy of Helen Ford Fuqua]

Ralph with the Fire Department water hose truck.
[photo courtesy of Helen Ford Fuqua]

Thursday, September 15, 2011

If this Thursday it must be postcards, 4

All of our ancestors living in area at that time went to the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition or World’s Fair held in Seattle the summer and early autumn of 1909. They saw the things reproduced on the postcards from the Fair when they were brand new and bigger than life. Those of us who are familiar with the University of Washington campus can place these attractions in our mind’s eye but it is still hard to imagine what it must have been like in real life.

The Forestry building has been mentioned in other postcard Thursday posts and since there are several different cards with various views of this amazing structure I’m putting them up this week.
It was said to have been the largest “log cabin” ever constructed and was huge as you can tell from this card. Note how small the people appear in front of the steps leading up to the entrance. As the building aged some of the wood became infested with beetles and the weather in the Pacific Northwest is wet, soggy, and generally hard on untreated wood, so the building had to be demolished when it could no longer be reasonably repaired.

An interesting side note about the coloration on these post cards-- color film was not yet in use when these pictures were taken so the postcard company had the black & white photographs tinted by hand and then reproduced them as colored cards. On some of the cards the tinting is much better than on others.

Here is another view from the corner of the building.

This next card gives us a look inside the building where we see a woman descending the stairs and a man peeking through the bottom support pillar.

The interior staircase.

The outside view of the colonnade.

An inside view of the colonnade.

And finally, this view is of the Forestry Building with the Band Stand in the center of the picture.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Anna and Axel, courtship pictures

Anna and Axel, ca 1909

I knew I had seen some courtship photographs of Anna and Axel but I couldn't find them in time for the post "Anna Hornnes, 1908 and Beyond." Here is one where they are sitting on a park bench. Notice the way their fingers are touching. Sweet.

And this one--
Anna has a small stick is she going to poke him?

Axel and Anna ca 1909/1910

They went out in canoes but Anna was in one boat and Axel was in another.

Axel in a canoe with two women. Anna is in a different canoe with another man! Shocking. [Wait, it might be Axel it's hard to tell from this angle and the pictures are not very sharp but he is usually wearing a suit coat and a hat.]

Axel and Anna on the back steps of their home as newlyweds, ca 1912.

One thing that struck me was that they were so dressed up when they went out together, even when they went out in the canoe. Times have certainly changed.

Mary M. Lorig, born 1859

Mary Lorig, ca 1880s

Mary Magdalene Lorig was the third daughter of Henry and Katie Lorig. She was born 1859 after the family arrived in Iowa but before they were settled in Mt. Pleasant, Henry County.

Mary and Maggie, her younger sister, were the daughters who stayed at home. It appears that Mary never married. Like her sister, Lizzie, she is listed as a dressmaker on the 1880 Federal Census for Iowa. She and Maggie are the ones who kept house for their father until Maggie died and he moved to Chicago. As far as can be determined Mary remained in Mt. Pleasant.

After Katie’s death in 1893 Henry stayed in the old home then about four years later in 1897 he deeded the property over to his daughter Maggie who was married to (Thomas) LeRoy Ford
for $400.00. They had a large family of seven sons. Henry stipulated in the deed transfer that he was to retain the right to continue to live in the house and was to receive any income there from during his lifetime. He later moved sometime shortly after 1900 to Chicago where two of his daughters, Lizzie and Mattie were then living.

After Maggie died in May of 1900 the Lorig family home then was deeded over for $30.00 to her sister, Mary, who kept it until 1918 when it was transferred back to Maggie’s son, Ralph Ford for $800.00 by A.W. Kinkead. For a while I thought that perhaps Mary had wed A. W. Kinkead as his name appears on the transfer of property but it turned out that Mr. Kinkead was a lawyer and that was why his name appeared on the records. It is evident by the disparity in transfer amounts that the Fords could afford to pay close to the actual value of the property but that Mary was more or less given title and made a tidy profit if she was still alive when it went to Ralph. The death record for Mary has yet to be located so it is not possible to tell if this transfer by Mr. Kinkead was made after Mary died or if she moved or perhaps later married and decided to sell it to her nephew.

The property is described as Lot 1, block 12 in the Commissioners First Addition of the city of Mt. Pleasant. The address was listed as Locust Street. There was a kitchen garden in which they grew many of their own vegetables. Oral reports also indicated that they had a cow and probably chickens as well even though the house was in town. Walt Lorig remembered his father, Edd, saying that the house itself was constructed of hardwood (black walnut and oak, Walt thought) and that it was still standing as late as the mid 1950s. It is not, however, still standing today.

Historic Harland Hotel in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa
[postcard courtesy of Jim Ford]

The town of Mt. Pleasant looks very different today than it did when Mary Lorig lived there. One of the remaining historical buildings is the Harland Hotel. Jim Ford, a descendant of Maggie and LeRoy Ford, sent this card several years ago as an example of the local architecture during the 19th century.