Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We left Texas on Saturday morning and arrived in Green Bay Sunday night.  Time for a little time off with family for the Holidays.  There may be a stray post here and there, but for the most part, I'll see you all in the new year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sunday's Obituary - SGT Lester J. Uelmen

"New Fane Soldier Dead, Barton B-24 Gunner Missing

A telegram from the war department conveyed the sad news to Mrs. Betty Uelmen of New Fane Monday morning that her husband, Sgt. lester J. Uelmen, 25, was killed in action Jan. 13, near Strasbourg, Germany.  The dead sergeant is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Uelmen of New Fane.

Sgt. Uelmen entered the army Dec. 4, 1942, and had basic training at Camp Chaffee, Ark.  From there he went to Camp Campbell, Ky., and then to a port of embarkation on the east coast.  He arrived at a port in France on Oct. 27, 1944.  Moving through France with an infantry division of the seventh army, he was killed in his first combat.  his last letter, written to his wife, was dated Jan. 9, in Germany.

Sgt. Uelmen worked at the Kewaskum creamery prior to entering the army.  He was married to the former Betty Krueger of New Fane on Oct. 12, 1940.  his wife resides with her parents, the William Kruegers, at New Fane.  He is further survived by his parents and two brothers, Pvt. Elmer, with the third army in France and Lawrence of New Fane."

There was no publication information with the clipping which was passed on to me.  The newspaper was almost certainly from Wisconsin and the story would have been published after January 13, 1945. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Stockings

The Tabor girls - Christmas 1974

I actually have the stocking I used when I was a little girl.  My mom made it out of felt.  Each one of us had our names on ours and a little toy pinned to the top.  Mine was a Santa head.  You would pull the cord at the bottom and Santa's eyes would open and the toy/pin would light up.  It's still attached to my stocking and the eyes still open, but not without difficulty.

When our oldest was born my husband and I went to K-Mart and looked at stockings.  I had little time (and skills) at the time to make stockings for everyone so we found pre-made stockings that we liked.  We bought four since we knew we'd have at least one more kiddo at some point.  I got felt at the craft store and cut out letters to glue our names on our stockings.  It wasn't quite like mom's, but the intent is there.

We didn't hang our stocking by the fireplace.  We just laid them on the tile by our lovely fake fireplace.  I'm sure my parents were most likely concerned that having the stockings hung would just be temptation for us to pull at them and pull something down on our heads!

We open our stockings first thing in the morning...before presents.  It gives parents time to enjoy that first crucial cup of coffee while somewhat appeasing the kids' desire to get into some goodies.  I can appreciate that more as an adult. 

Where do you put your stockings and when do you "open" them?  Is it a new tradition or is it what you used to do as a kid? 

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Grab Bag - Crafts

My mom was always very crafty.  I like to think that I inherited a little of that as well, but nothing compared to the mad skills my mom has!  She had the Farm Journal Christmas Book and had made some of the decorations from it for our house.  The ones I remember clearly are the nativity and the Santa Claus mobile.  I thought she had made the candle with presents as well, but it's not as clear in my mind.

When I got married back in 1999 in Hawaii, my mom (knowing how I loved the nativity) made one and shipped it to me.  I absolutely love it!  It just made it feel more like Christmas with it there.

I know my older sister has fond memories of all the crafty (and yummy) items in this book, because a few years back she went on eBay found copies of it, and PRESTO!...a little bit of our childhood was placed in our hands!  Now mom's not the only one with a copy! :)

Next year I've got to get to work on that Santa mobile and perhaps the candle.  I wonder how fire safe that candle IS!  Oh long as I don't leave it alone.

Were there any special home-made decorations that your parents or ancestors made that you cherish?

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Villers Saga, Part VII

This clipping was published under the column "State News" without any subheading and was published in "The Bismarck Daily Tribune" on January 13, 1898.

"In the trial of the Villers murder case at Jamestown the evidence of Mrs. Tromer was continued, she being still ill and weak, and being forced to give her testimony from a reclining invalid chair.  She told of the disappearance of Tromer, her husband, and of the fact that after his disspearance Villers had come to her with letters that he said were written by Tromer, stating that he was east being treated for his eyesight.  Testimony was also given of the statements of Villers after the disappearance when he was asked if he knew anything of the whereabouts of Tromer, and stated that he did - that Tromer had gone west.  The most sensational testimony of the day was that given by one Alex Frazier, who testified to having a conversation with Villers, the latter stating that Tromer had run away.  Villers also stated to him that he had heard Tromer and his wife having an altercation one time, when she had asked him to kill her, Villers stated to the witness at the time that he would not be surprised if Tromer returned at any time and killed her and threw her body in an old well.  This testimony is significant from the fact that Mrs. Tromer was assaulted afterward and thrown in the well, but Villers and not Tromer was the man who did it."

MJ Villers was convicted of attempted murder of Mrs. Tromer several years prior to this murder trial, and it certainly looks like he's guilty, but what pops into my mind when I read this is that we've already established he's guilty of trying to kill her and throwing her in the well.  Is this new evidence?  Seriously?  It has to do with the other trial.  Not that it isn't dramatic and I'm sure it sold papers, but it's old news.

The trial of attempted murder just seemed to have had much more substantial evidence as opposed to circumstantial evidence.  Ah, history!

One more mini post and then the long article concluding the trial!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Blog Caroling - Christmas Pipes

I love Christmas Carols!  I simply cannot wait until after Thanksgiving to start listening to them.  I've had to compromise with my husband though so I don't play any Christmas music until November 1st.  There are so many beautiful songs out there, and while I love Bing Crosby, Elvis, the Rat Pack and even Veggie Tales,  by far my favorite Christmas album is "Beautiful Carols with Celtic Women", by Celtic Woman.

I was torn between 2 songs, "Christmas Pipes" and "The Seven Joys of Mary" and I went with Pipes, but it was close!

Christmas Pipes

Christmas pipes, Christmas pipes
Calling us home on Christmas night
Call us from far, call us from near
Oh play me your Christmas pipes

Christmas bells, Christmas bells
Over the hills and over the dells
Ringing out bright, ringing out clear
Oh ring me your Christmas bells

Christmas strings, Christmas strings
Playing the peace that Christmas brings
Fiddle and bow, gentle and low
Oh play me your Christmas strings

Christmas choir, Christmas choir
Christmas carols 'round Christmas fire
Holy night, angels on high
Round up your Christmas choir

Christmas band, Christmas band
You're waiting for me with your Christmas band
Cymbal and drum, rattle and hum
March out your Christmas band

Christmas pipes, Christmas pipes
Calling us home on Christmas night
Call us from far, call us from near
Oh play me your Christmas pipes

Good to be home to your Christmas
Good to be home to your Christmas
Good to be home to your Christmas pipes 

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Villers Saga, Part VI

Another episode in the epic saga of Martin Joseph Villers.  Two articles again, since the first is rather short.

This first article ran with no title and was just one of many paragraphs under the heading "The City"

The Bismarck Daily Herald, December 31, 1897
"It is said that a change of venue may be asked for in the Villers case when it is called in district court at Jamestown next week, if any difficulty is experienced in securing a jury.  Villers' counsel would naturally prefer a trial in some other county of the district more remote from the scene of the crime with which he is charge, and where less pronounced opinions have been formed, but if it appears that a fair trial can be obtained it is said that Attorney Ellsworth will not seek to unnecessarily delay a verdict being reached"

Well, of COURSE he would want the trial in a different venue where less pronounced opinions have been formed!  Who wouldn't!?!  OK...I'm done...

"The Villers Trial

The Bismarck Daily Herald, January 12, 1898
The taking of evidence in the trial of Martin J. Villers the prisoner from the penitentiary who is on trial at Jamestown, for the murder of August Ttromer, began in that city yesterday morning.  The first witness called by the state was the coroner, Dr. Baldwin, who testified to the inquiry which had been held over the remains of Tromer discoverd in a field, and who stated that in his opinion death had been caused by a blow on the head from a blunt instrument, dealt with a great deal of violence.  The different exhibits in the case were identified by the coroner, they being a portion of the scalp with a little of the hair attached, a portion of the skull, to which the scalp was sttached, the latter being still bloody and discolored, pieces of the clothing of the murdered man, and the pipe, knife, and other articles found with the body.  Another exhibit in the case is the pocket handkerchief, knotted about the neck of the dead man by his wife before he left home, the knot having been identified by her.  The second witness in the case was Mrs. Tromer, the wife of the murdered man, who testified that she last saw her husband on the 14th of September, 1894, the time he left home with Villers.  She told how he was dressed.  An objection was made to her testimony by the defense, and during its argument, she fainted away, and upon her recovery went into violent hysterics, and the feeling in the court room was intense.  In the afternoon Mrs. Tromer had to be carried into court in an invalid chair and identified the handkercheif, clothing and some of the articles worn by the dead man."

She faints during an objections?  I object!  Actually I would have wanted to slap her.  I've got little tolerance for silly, hysterical people.  Talk about melodrama!  Maybe that's why Villers tried to kill her years before.  OK that wasn't nice, and I'm biased...but if you were watching this in a nice little fictional world of CSI, wouldn't you say the same?

Soon we'll be onto the documents of this case.  They are more challenging for me to transcribe.  My wonderful, darling husband got me several early Christmas presents, to include a new all-in-one printer so I can now scan legal documents.  Can't wait!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Presents!

What were your favorite gifts, both to receive and to give? Are there specific gift-giving traditions among your family or ancestors?

Favorite gifts?  Well, I think it was the ColecoVision we got when I was younger.  We never went to the store for those crazy sales, but there was my dad standing outside Boscov's (I think it was Boscov's...maybe K-Mart...I'll have to see if he remembers) with us kids in tow and maybe 50 other people lined up at the door as well.  The doors opened and he was off!  There was a limited supply and darn it, his kids were getting a Coleco!  Go Dad!

Tearing through the aisles he got to electronics elbowing old ladies on his way (or not, but it sounds more dramatic).  Other parents racing as well, but he trained for this all week...and his training paid off.  He seized the box and went to the checkout line.  As it turns out the mad dash to electronics was unnecessary. There were three boxes left after all was said and done.  It diminished Dad's victory a bit, but we kids didn't care.  WE WERE GETTING A COLECO!!!!  We got Zaxxon, Smurfs and a couple other video games that Christmas.  Smurf was pretty lame, but we enjoyed killing the Smurf in various ways when things got a bit boring!  We also were apparently not the only ones that instead of walking up to Smurfette at the end, would try jumping on her head instead...

Other Christmas parents would put the presents in piles in the living room.  They weren't under the tree, just in the same room as the tree.  I kind of followed this "pile" tradition that my parents set, but the piles are under the tree for the majority of the stuff (excluding any particularly large presents).  We also take turns opening presents and the kids hand presents to someone other than themselves.  I can't remember if we took turns opening them when I was a kid.  I mean, I was a kid.  I remember opening presents!

I also remember that my parents would hide presents on the second floor of our house.  It was parents hadn't had a tenant (by choice) since the early 1970s.  That was ONE of the hiding spots.  Another was in my parents' closet.  The closet angled down at one end because it was under the second floor's stairs.  They would hide presents back there.  I know I nearly got busted a couple times, but I don't know if they ever figured out that we knew most of the good hiding places.  I'm not sure if my boys have discovered my hiding places or not.

What was your most memorable present?

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Grab Bag - ORNAMENTS!

Better late than never on this one!  I missed the prompt but read so many great blogs on Christmas ornaments that I had to do it!

When I was growing up some of the ornaments were hand-painted, blown ornaments in the shape of pine cones, long icicles, balls with white glitter (you know the stuff that never stayed on the ornament for many years!), and tons of unique ornaments.  Each one of us kids had our own ornaments.  Ones that had been made or purchased for us.  I wish I had those ornaments for my own tree.  Sadly, my father can't find them.  I keep hoping for a Christmas miracle one of these years and I'll get a call telling me that they've been found!  It's hard to express the feeling of being able to put those beloved ornaments onto my very own Christmas tree!

What ornaments did my ancestors have?  Most likely homemade ones and perhaps one or two store-bought ornaments.  I don't know much about my Lithuanian roots, but of my Irish roots I'm a bit more familiar.  Those that came over to America were coal miners.  At least until the 20th century and the decline of King Coal.  Knowing something of the oppressed history of the Pennsylvania coal miner, we can pretty much assume that they did not have tons of money to spend and most likely made their own ornaments.  Now around the time my grandmother, Mary Quirk, was born she lived with her father, several maiden aunts and one uncle (after her mom died in childbirth while trying to have a 2nd child).  Living in such a group with only one child to bring up between them all there was more money.  Well, my mom tells me that her mom was most likely a bit spoiled by them all!  I would imagine that they began purchasing more precious items, and maybe this extended to Christmas tree ornaments. (So mom, again, if you're reading, start writing it down for me!  Keep the memories alive!)

With the longing for, and fond memories of, my own childhood ornaments I've started a tradition with my boys.  Each Christmas everyone gets a new ornament.  This way when my boys grow up and go off on their own, they'll take a little bit of home with them.  I can understand the urge of wanting to keep those ornaments with me to remind me of my children when they've gone, but I'd prefer to have them take a little bit of home with them.  Then fond memories of Christmas and their parents will never be far away!

What ornaments do you put on your tree?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Cookies!!!!

I know this post is later in the day than I had originally wanted, but sadly my Internet provider stopped providing last night so blogging was halted and to bed I went.  When I finally got on today I was able to do a quick Wedding Wednesday blog before heading over to a Webinar, picking up the kids, making dinner, etc.

There is NO WAY I could have let this blog go!  So Christmas cookies...oh there were so many on the table when I was a kid.  My mom would make sugar cookies and of course we kids would decorate them with way too much sugar.  Kind of like my kids do now!  It's not Christmas if you don't go into sugar shock from eating one cookie.

There were also Chocolate Chip Cookies (Tollhouse, of course!), Cocoa Refrigerator Cookies (they had walnuts in them and it was the ONLY time you'd catch me eating something with nuts!), and Chocolate Cookies with Peanut Butter Chips (I wish I could find this recipe now!  It was in a Hershey's mini cookie book, which I was given by my father, but the recipe does not jump out at me.  We add the chips ourselves so it's not quite as easy as finding one with PB chips!), and my mom would make Spritz Cookies with her cookie press.

I'm sure there were more that I'm forgetting.  I get like that sometimes.  I remember my favorites, and that's OK.  I think the best part was not one specific cookie, but the sheer number of cookies to eat.  My sisters and I would sneak cookies when my dad was in the kitchen having a cigarette or a cup of coffee.  Even if he put the tin "up high" on the mantel.  We'd get at them.  And eventually he'd notice...when he'd open the tin for a cookie and see that nothing (or very little) was left.  We'd get a mild scolding and then more would be made to replace them.

What cookies did I like to sneak most of all?  The cocoa cookies with nuts, if you could believe it!  I don't really know what it was about them.  They weren't rich or anything really special, but that mixture of cocoa and walnuts was so yummy to me (still is).  They aren't even made with butter or margarine, but there's even less flavor to them! :)

I still make those cookies every Christmas.  I'm the only one that really eats them.  My boys won't touch them.  My hubby does have one or two with a cuppa in the morning, but he doesn't like things that are "too chocolaty".  So I have them all to myself pretty much.  I don't mind that at all.

I still like making my mom's sugar cookies, but haven't for the past two years because I just haven't had time (so if you're reading this, mom, and are making those cookies, you can send them to Green Bay for Christmas! :))  I make cranberry shortbread cookies, pecan lady fingers (got this tradition from my mother-in-law), and these yummy cookies with cream cheese that came with my cookie press.  It looks like my cookie tradition is a nice mix of mine and my husband's.  I like that.

The recipe I'll share with this blog is my favorite Cocoa Refrigerator Cookies (don't worry, I'll get around to the others on a Supper Sunday or a Family Recipe Friday!

Cocoa Refrigerator Cookies

1/2 c. cocoa
3 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c. shortening
2 tsp vanilla
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp milk
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped (optional)

Sift together and set aside the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa.  Cream until well blended the shortening and vanilla.  Add gradually, creaming until fluffy, the sugar.  Add the eggs and beat.  Add the dry ingredients in halves, mixing thoroughly after each addition.  Stir in the nuts.

Divide the dough in half.  Place each half on a sheet of waxed paper and form into a log about 2-inches wide and roll in the waxed paper.  Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F).  Slice the logs into cookies about 1/8-inch thick and place on parchment-lined cookie sheets.  Bake for 5 to 9 minutes (depending on how done you like your cookies...I like them crispy).  Cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving them to a cookie rack to cool completely.

I'm a bit behind on my cookie making, but will have to grab a picture of them when they get baked!  I'm certainly having a craving now!

Wedding Wednesday - John Kuehl and Dora Hermann

John and Dora Kuehl nee Hermann
Johannes Hermann August Kuehl born in Wayne, Washington Co, Wisconsin in 1883.  The surname KUEHL is German.  Feel free to remove the "e" and add an umlaut to the "u".  That's most likely how you'd see it spelled in the homeland.  In fact that's how it was spelled with the first few generations in this country.  Well, most census takers didn't actually put the umlaut.  They just spelled it "Kuhl".  I love John's full and proper name.  He was two generations removed from the homeland, but still got a rockin' name!

Well, John married Dorathea Bertha Hermann.  Dora was born in Theresa, Dodge County, WI in 1885.  Her surname can also be seen with or without that second "n".  Dorathea....I like that name very much.  So these two were married on November 6, 1906 in Theresa, WI.  I haven't gotten to reentering all of the Kuehls in the family tree so I can't really give detailed information on their children, just one for now, Romand.

Romand Valentin Gustav Kuehl was my husband's grandfather and who my son Benjamin Romand is named for!

(Sorry for the late post!  My internet provider wasn't working until this morning!  Now off to a Webinar!)

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Villers Saga, Part V

You knew it was bound to happen!  Another installment of the trial of Martin Joseph Villers.  I really want to get through these articles and move on to some of the documents and articles from the other trial.  I would still love to find out why all this happened! 

The next article in the series is very short so I'll be doing two in this post.

The Bismarck Daily Tribune, November 29, 1897

"Staff News

The son and daughter of the prisoner Villers were at the Stutsman county jail Thanksgiving day to meet their father, who is waiting his trial for murder"

Just a side note...Martin Joseph and Octavia Villers nee Waguener had 5 children (that I am currently aware of):  Florence, Mary Ann Mina Octavia,  Louis, Alta  Ellen Ella, and Agnes.  So apparently only two of them visited (Louis being one as his only son).

The Bismarck Daily Tribune, December 29, 1897

"The Villers Trial

The Jamestown Alert says of the coming trial of the man Villers, who was taken from the state penitentiary here to be tried for murder:  The trial of M.J. Villers for the alleged murder of August Tromer, It is believed, will be the first murder trial ever to have been held in Stutsman county and for this reason, outside of the local interest in the case, will attract a great deal of attention.  Attorney S. E. Ellsworth has been designated by the prisoner and appointed by the court as counsel for the defendant and, it is understood, Judge Glaspell has called in Judge Fisk of Grand Forks to try the case because of his ineligibility, having assisted in the prosecution of Villers at his trial and conviction of assault with intent to kill upon Mrs. Tromer.  The state will be ably represented in the prosecution by County Attorney F. Baldwin.  The case will be the first on the calendar and it is expected will be taken up and the trial begun Thursday, January 6.  Both the prosecution and defense are expected to make a strong fight and the case will probably occupy the greater part of the term."

Well, I don't know how long a "term" was, but the trial didn't take too terribly long...I'm running out of articles!  One subtle thing I noticed in the 2nd article was how the prosecution is referred to as the "state will be ably represented" if the state's attorney is more important.  The law is (theoretically) the law and the defendant deserves to be ably represented as well.  I'm biased, I know, but still.  Gives an overall feeling of, "don't worry, we'll be winning this thing".  Just sayin'...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Amanuensis Monday - William Quirk

Hazleton, Pennsylvania April 19, 1902
"Dropped Dead While Working in Garden

Sudden Summons of William Quirk, an Aged Resident of Jeanesville

William Quirk, aged 65 years, of Jeanesville, died suddenly between 12 and 1 o'clock today.  Mr. Quirk, who is one of the best known residents of the South Side, was at work digging in the garden at his home when he fell over in a swoon.  Members of his family saw his condition and Dr. Rutter was hurriedly summoned.  When the physician arrived, however, Mr. Quirk was dead, never having recovered consciousness.  Death was due to heart failure.

Deceased had resided on the South Side for many years, and was one of the oldest and most prominent citizens of Jeanesville.  He was highly respected by all his acquaintances, and had many warm friends.

Besides a wife he is survived by two sons and four daughters as follows:  Edward, of Harwood; William, Ella, a school teacher; Katie, Mary and Bessie, of Jeanesville.  No arrangements have yet been made for the funeral."

Love the title of the article.  I was a bit shocked when I found this on my great-great grandfather.  I knew when he died, but just found the title less than tactful for the family.  Of course I got a giggle out of it when I found it, but I get to wondering how this was received then.  Maybe it was just something normal for the time.  For anyone that's read older newspaper articles some of the phrases used are quite odd.  More what I would consider slang than proper.  Either way, it's an interesting look into the past, not just to see that William was apparently a loved man (This article was on the front page of the Hazleton newspaper), but at how the papers wrote.  Wish I had a picture of him.  Actually, I most likely do have one in my collection of unknown photos from the Quirk side.  Just nothing labeled.  Who knows what may turn up!

(The clipping was taken from the Hazleton, Pennsylvania newspaper.  Currently the paper is known as the Hazleton Standard Speaker.  It has previously been the Plain Speaker and the Standard Sentinel.  I need to check a timeline to see which paper this would have belonged to!  The clipping was taken before I got into the habit of citing sources properly!  Sad, but true!)

UPDATE: Thanks to I was able to find this article in The Plain Speaker, 19APR1902, pg1.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sunday's Obituary - Mrs. John Boegel

John and Bertha Boegel nee Rosbeck (sitting)
"Mrs. John Boegel

Mrs. John Boegel, 66, nee Bertha Rosbeck, of the town of Ashford, residing near St. Kilian, passed away Tuesday, June 3, at St. Joseph's hospital, West Bend, after an illness of nine months with carcinoma.

Born Aug. 2, 1880, in the town of Wayne, near St. Kilian, she made her home in the vicinity of St. Kilian most of her life.  She was married to John Boegel on April 24, 1900, at St. Kilian and he preceded her in death on March 2, 1935.

The deceased was the mother of four children, one of whom predeceased her.  Surviving are Roman of Theresa, Leona (Mrs. Roman Kuehl) of St. Kilian and Clarence of Barton.  She also leaves five grandchildren; two sisters, Mrs. Frances Steichen of Milwaukee and Mrs. Wm. Pesch of Kewaskum; five brothers, John, Herman, Martin, Adolph and Alfred Rosbeck; one daughter-in-law and on son-in-law.

The remains were in state at the Miller funeral home here from 7 p.m. Wednesday until the time of funeral services which were held at 9:30 a.m. Friday at St. Mathias church in the town of Auburn, the Rt. Rev. J. C. Lederer officiating.  Burial was in St. Matthew's cemetery at Campbellsport.

Mrs. Boegel was a member of the Ladies' Altar society of St. Mathias parish, the members of which attended the services in a body.

Card of Thanks

Words cannot adequately express our deep appreciation for the many kind and sympathetic acts that came to us at the time of our bereavement.  We are grateful to all who helped in any way during the sickness and after the death of our beloved mother.  Mrs. Bertha Boegel, especially Rt. Rev. Lederer, choir, pallbearers, Lades' Altar society, for the floral offerings, spiritual bouquets, to the traffic officer, Miller funeral home and all who showed respect by calling at the funeral home or attending the funeral.

The Surviving Children"

Bertha was my husband's great grandmother. I feel very lucky to have a wedding picture of the young couple.  I need to ask mom if she knows who the other two standing in the picture were!  Since I try to type the obits as-is (no corrections...any differences are my own errors!), I need to specify that the paper got a couple things wrong or were omitted...

1)  Bertha's daughter, Leona, was married to a man named Romand Kuehl not Roman.  There is a "D" at the end of her son-in-law's name.  Her brother was just plain Roman.

2)  I really don't know why they mentioned that one of her son's predeceased her and then didn't mention his name.  Either way, his name was Rudolph and he died in a hunting accident on December 7, 1924.

I also wanted to note that since this obituary was passed on to me by my mother-in-law and was a clipping, I do not know for sure which Wisconsin newspaper ran the obit not the exact date.  It shouldn't be too difficult for someone wanting to track it down though!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wednesday's Child - Susie Quirk

Susan "Susie" Quirk was the 2nd child of William and Mary Quirk nee Lee of Jeanesville/Hazleton area of Pennsylvania.  She passed away on August 13, 1889 at the age of 15 years and 8 months.  I actually found out something rather interesting when preparing this blog.  I have a baptismal certificate from the church for Susie giving her a date of birth of September 22, 1870.  See the problem?  If this was the same Susie she would have been 18 years 11 months if she died on August 13, 1889.

My guess is that there was another Susie.  I had previously requested baptismal records for all of William and Mary's children and what I got was rather surprising.  I received 3 baptismal records for a William Quirk born to these two people.  My guess is that, sadly, all of their William's died as children (except the last one, of course).  I guess William felt it was important to have a child named after him.  Perhaps he was a first born and was passing on his father's name as well.   

What I do know is that Mary's mother's name was Susan.  Perhaps the Susan that was born in 1870 died and Mary really wanted to name a daughter after her mother.  Don't know, but I'll be writing to the church and asking if they can double-check the records!  It's always fun to make these discoveries!

Anyway, I was given an album with some beautiful card photographs (and a few tin-types).  In there I noticed 4 pictures of a young girl.  The pictures were all on the same page and one page away from a funeral card of Susie Quirk.  I don't know who anyone in this album is for sure.  I only know that it's from my Quirk ancestors due to the dozen or so newspaper clippings referring to marriages and deaths of various Quirks.  I like to think these 4 pictures are Susie, but I'll most likely never know.


Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Christmas Cards

Did your family send cards? Did your family display the ones they received? Do you still send Christmas cards? Do you have any cards from your ancestors?

We never sent Christmas cards when I was a kid...or if we did, I knew nothing about it.  Money was almost always tight and I'm fairly certain that every bit that we had was used to make Christmas as special as possible for us kids.  We did receive some Christmas cards though. 

In my post on Holiday Foods I had a picture of our (fake) fireplace with cards taped to the mantle.  I remember hanging cards near the entryway that lead to our living room.  We'd wrap tinsel around the square pillars on either side and tape the cards along the tinsel.

Do I send Christmas cards?  I mean to every year.  I've got a ton of cards packed away with the Christmas decorations from previous years.  Each year I've wanted to send them out and never got around to it.  I love receiving them from friends and family and always want to do the same, but I'm so bad at it.  It's not happening again this year...most likely.  We can hope for a Christmas miracle! :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Villers Saga, Part IV

The next in the series of articles would have been one published on November 20th, 1897 titled, "They Want Villers".  I transcribed this article for Carnival of Genealogy's "There's One in Every Family".  So if you'd like to see it, it was my November 20th post...Wow...that was NOT planned!

So moving on to the next in the series...

The Bismarck Daily Tribune, November 23, 1897
"The Villers Case

The prisoner M. J. Villers was arraigned in justice court at Jamestown yesterday charged with murder of August Tromer.  The prisoner is said to have been unaffected by the reading of the charge against him and stated to the spectators in the court that he would be a free man after the trial of the case at the January term of court.  Villers had no attorney and the hearing was continued until Nov 29, when it will be again taken up.  In the meantime Villers is confined in the county jail in Stutsman county.

The removal of the man from the pen here was an extraordinary proceeding, and before Warden Boucher would consent to surrender the man he (wired) for the opinion of a majority of the board of trustees.  Three of them agreed to (allow) the man to go upon the authority of the governor's decision and the request of Judge (Glaspell).  The removal of the man may open up a legal controversy if Villers should be acquitted, or indeed even if he should be (convicted) the former attorneys who have considered the case (said) that there may be a question as to what authority there will be for his return to the penitentiary, after he has been released."

So he had no attorney?  He refused an attorney?  That just sounds awful (and odd).  Anyway, this case was a landmark case for the state of North Dakota in the sense that they were unsure of what to do with a man that was already incarcerated.  How could you release him to be tried for another crime?  I know.  Today we don't think of it as a big issue, but it apparently was a first in the state.  I've got court documents that I'll be posting once I get through the newspaper articles.  Some of those documents...WOW!  Hard to read!  But we'll get there.

Now I'm tired so it's off to bed!  I had wanted to do my Advent of Christmas Memories post on ornaments, but my brain is tired and my Christmas ornaments (for the tree) aren't out yet.  So I'll have to write that one later and find a way to fit it in!  Night all!

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Holiday Foods

Our always seemed like there was more on there as a kid! :)

Mmmmmm...what a wonderful time of the year!

Cookies galore!  Our dining room table was always decked in a tartan tablecloth.  On top were various containers and tins containing fudge, candies, various cookies, nuts, and Christmas hard candy!

Now what I have to say about the nuts is...I NEVER ATE NUTS.  Plus they were in shells and I had no idea what was what.  About the only thing I DID want to do was to shell the nut...and not eat it.  I have learned to love nuts since my childhood, but a nut was not passing my lips even if it was Christmas!  Well there was one cookie exception, but that was cookies, so it's different!

The Christmas know the kind.  The hard candy ribbons, the peanut filled nuggets, etc.  Yeah...I never touched that either. But it was there every year.  It was really more of a decoration in our house than food.  Something I need to ask about.  Perhaps it being there was a tradition.  Not one I continue however!

My sister and I on Hazel Blum's lap.  I'm only about 2 or 3 so must be 1974-ish.
So, on to a recipe.  The fudge that would be found in one of the various tins on the dining room table!  We call it "Aunt Hazel's Peanut Butter Fudge".  Who is Aunt Hazel?  Well, she's not an aunt or a relation.  We had a wonderful woman that lived next door to us on Diamond Avenue in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.  She married late and never had kids of her own.  She loved us kids.  We called her Nana (both of my grandmas having passed away years before I was born).  She was the only grandmother figure I ever knew.  She taught me to knit and crochet, so I dedicate this post and it's recipe to Hazel Blum.

Aunt Hazel's Peanut Butter Fudge

3 c. sugar
1 c. milk
3 tbsp light corn syrup
1 pint (abt 2 c.) peanut butter
1 pint (abt 2 c.) marshmallow fluff
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

Combine sugar, corn syrup and milk in a large pot over low tp medium-low heat and stir constantly until not gritty (this will take a few minutes as the mixture begins to heat up).  Let cook until soft ball stage is reached (234-240 degrees F); stirring occassionally.

Remove from heat.  Immediately add peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, butter and vanilla extract.  Let sit for a couple minutes to allow marshmallow and peanut butter to soften slightly.  While fudge is sitting, line a 9x11-inch pan with aluminum foil.  Butter aluminum foil.

Stir fudge until well combined.  Make sure you are using a strong spoon (depending on atmospheric conditions, i.e. – humidity, etc, your fudge may harden quickly).  Once fudge is mixed thoroughly, pour into lined and greased pan.  You may need to use your hands to press down if fudge has become too thick to pour.  Be careful as it will be hot and you will need to cool your hands intermittently with water to prevent burns.  Let cool until firm.  Cut into squares.

NOTE:  If fudge becomes too hard when stirring (breaking is occuring)  then add a little bit of milk and continue stirring.  Add more as needed, but adding too much at once will ruin fudge so be cautious.

NOTE:  I use “Reduced Fat JIF” for the peanut butter.  It’s not the tastiest peanut butter, but it gives the fudge the taste like Nana’s.  I’ve tried peanut butter that I like on sandwiches and it just doesn’t taste right in the fudge.  Use which you prefer, but if you want the right taste for Nana’s fudge use JIF.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - The Tree

Me (in my Brownie sweater) and my sisters with our dog, Scottie #2
I have fond memories of our Christmas tree.  How absolutely perfect it was.  And it should be since it was artificial! :p

I never wondered why we didn't have a real tree when I was little.  We just didn't.  I accepted that and assumed that everyone did.  My father would take HOURS putting up that darn tree!  Every branch was color coated at the end and they had to go in specific holes or it just didn't work out.  Problem was we had one tree my entire life.  So after decades of use you can imagine how little color at the end of the branches remained.  There was much profanity involved in the assembly of our Christmas tree! :)

I don't think badly for my father about that though.  I'm sure if I had to put together that wicked little thing there'd be some less than lady-like phrases spewing from my mouth!  In fact when hubby and I first married and looked to purchase our first artificial tree (he's allergic to the real thing so this was a no brainer!), we got one and it was just like assembling the tree my dad used to put together.  After almost an hour (if that long) of attempting to erect this monstrosity, the hubby packed it back into the box and back to K-Mart we went to exchange it for a pre-lit deal that only had three pieces to put together...and the branches were on hinges to boot! :)  But this isn't about now it's about then so....

Our tree stood on a platform that my father built.  About 4-inches tall, 7-feet long and 4-feet wide, the tree sat on the back portion of the platform and train tracks were set down in a large oval with an inner, smaller oval. We kids loved playing with the trains each year and decorating the platform was as exciting as decorating the Christmas tree!
My baby sister (baby then, not now!).  You can see the baby's breath in this close up

When I was a teenager I went to live with my mom (divorced parents) and she had a real tree.  She would put baby's breath on some of the branches and it would look like the tree had snow on it!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tech Tuesday - FilmScan35 I Negative/Slide Converter

Now don't look for me to be writing many Tech Tuesday posts.  I'm not technologically sound...I'm not completely clueless either, but as for why things work the way they do...well, I'm not your girl.  "Thingie" and "Whatchamacallit" are technical terms in my book.  What I can do is review something from an everyday user point of view.

Now I've noticed that Dick Eastman has had a couple posts about negative/slide scanners recently.  That's not why I decided to do this post.  I actually am reviewing this because my friend Jen of Climbing My Family Tree had talked about these types of scanners and wanting one.  I gave her my quick 2 cents and promised a review when time allowed.  It does so here goes...

A year or so ago I finally got my negatives into archival sleeves and in binders (labeled by location of course!) and thought it was time to sit down and start scanning them.  Sadly, I believed that my all-in-one printer could do this and found out quickly that I was mistaken.  The printers I looked into that could handle negatives and slides were way more than I wanted to pay.  I started searching online and came across a number of them on  What I saw were negative/slide converters that were either several hundred dollars or less than $100.  Nothing really in between.  I went with the FilmScan 35 I by Innovative Technology.  Most of the complaints at the time had to do with it taking so long rather than the quality and effectiveness of the converter itself, so I decided to give it a go.

I must start by saying that my laptop had been running Windows Vista.  The converter was compatible with Vista, but is anything really compatible with Vista?  The converter didn't work right off the bat and I had to reintall the software a few times before I got it running, but it would crash.  Sometimes it would work for one picture and sometimes it would work for an hour or more, but inevitably it would crash and burn.  I tried everything, removing the USB plug and putting it in another port, reinstalling the software/drivers/etc, closing it down and walking away, yelling at it, voodoo, etc.  Nothing worked. I could never tell if I was going to have a good day with it or a bad day.

I put it away for quite some time and decided that today was the day I was going to bring it out and see how it ran on Windows 7.  My laptop is no longer recognizing it's disk drive (time for the hubby to get friendly with my computer again) so I installed the converter on one of his laptops.  It took a little bit of time (not knowing whether to do the x82/32-bit or x64/64-bit installation, I apparently chose the wrong one and it failed to work until I did the 64-bit installation) and a lot of swearing, but I got it to work. No crashes.  It didn't freeze and it worked beautifully.  Well, as beautifully as a $65 converter can be expected to work.

So, how did it work?  That really depends on your negatives.  Some of mine were getting quite discolored.  This scanner will do the job of converting them when you get it working, but it's not going to fix your negatives.  You need photo editing software for that and be warned this converter comes with no photo editing software.  But what do you expect for $65?

The converter isn't super fast, but it's not awful.  You've got to wait a few seconds for the negative to adjust.  Once the image stops making subtle changes you can push the copy button on the top of the converter and capture the image.

Image immediately after inserting

Image after converter has stopped adjusting
The trays for the negatives have little prongs to help hold the negative in place.  Sadly the majority of the time these prongs don't match up with the display window and the picture on my negatives.  It's not difficult to overcome.  Just make sure you don't allow the prongs to catch and close the lid.  It won't damage your negative and the negative doesn't slip if the prongs aren't in the holes anyway.

It took me about 2 hours to convert 160 images.  I've got thousands to go, and I still have to fix the color on the majority of the converted photos, but I've converted them and that's better than they were before!

As you can see from the picture above, the program really isn't that complex.  You won't get lost using it, which is good, because the instruction booklet that came with the converter was 2x3-inches and 6 pages long.  I'm not was a tiny thing.  There is a quick-start guide and an instruction manual on the disk that comes with the converter, but it doesn't get extremely detailed. It could be better.

Now as for customer support.  There was NO contact information with the packaging or in the instructions booklets.  I had to go searching for a way to contact Innovative Technology online when I was having problems with the converter back in May 2009.  I emailed twice in a 6 week period and got the computer-generated response that my email was important to them and that I would be contacted shortly.  Well, that never happened.  In my 2nd email I even told them that I was preparing to review their product on and would appreciate a response so I could give a better review.  Nothing.

I've seen more current reviews saying how brilliant customer service was.  Maybe they fixed their customer service issues.  Bottom line...the converter is on the slow side, but it works and it's cheap.  It's cheaper than paying someone to do it for you, but you'll be investing a lot of time in the conversion process.  I think it's worth it in the end.  I gave it 3-stars when I rated in a year ago.  With Windows 7, I'll bump that up to 4-stars.  Now I just have to get smart on my photo editing software so I can fix the colors!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Amanuensis Monday - The Villers Saga, Part III

The Bismarck Daily Tribune, 12NOV1897
"Remains Identified

Testimony was taken at the court house in Jamestown in the identification of the remains of August Tromer.  Mrs. Tromer was on the witness stand most of the time, and positively identified the body, or what remained of it, as that of her late husband.  She did so by a handkerchief found tied around his neck which she said was tied by herself, and a missing tooth in the upper jaw and the clothing that still remained in a fair state of preservation.  Several other witnesses remained to be examined.  There seems to be no doubt whatever of the identification of the body as that of Tromer.

While the identification of the body appears to have beeen satisfactorily established, it is stated that it will be a more difficult matter to fasten the crime upon Villers by evidence which will warrant a conviction.  It simply appears that Tromer was last seen with Villers, and surrounding circumstances point to the latter's knowledge of Tromer's death.  The fractured skull wound indicates that death was caused by a blow, and probably after a struggle.  in this connection, Mrs Tromer tells of a dream she had soon after his disappearance, in which her husband appeared with a great hole in his head, bleeding, and said he had escaped from a grave in the plowed ground.  She had a similar dream only a few weeks ago."

OK, now this is where I start becoming irritated with the reporting if not the investigation.  Does Mrs. Tromer's dream really have anything whatsoever to do with this investigation?  Knowing (or at least supposing) the science and beliefs of people at the time are a bit backward compared to modern times, how much of an impact did her "dream" have on the trial?  I hope not much.  That's not to say that I'm convinced of his innocence.  Despite what they say in this article about the challenges of pinning this crime on Martin Joseph Villers, they do a pretty darn convincing job of it.  They had some pretty damning evidence (that I will post in the future) and some extremely circumstantial and ridiculous evidence (will also post in future).  The overall impression I get is that they found their man and it was all about getting evidence to support that.  Perhaps that's how it works.  I just hope that the judge and jury were a bit more "innocent until proven guilty" driven!

Sunday Supper - Krazy Kake

This recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law, Dolores (Lori) Cayemberg nee Kuehl.  When my husband and his sisters had birthdays this was the cake they'd get.  It's quite an unusual recipe.  No eggs and it has vinegar in it!  Krazy! ;)

But I'll tell you's the BEST tasting cake I've ever made.  Like a devils food.  So yummy.  Now the icing that is traditionally used for the cake, well, I don't use it.  It's made with Crisco shortening and in my opinion lacks much flavor.  I make homemade cream cheese frosting to go with the Krazy Kake in our house (which is now a birthday family tradition with us as well!).  I am including the original icing recipe, for those loyalists that want to have the initial recipe intact.

My husband and I are guessing that this recipe may have been a Depression Era recipe, when they had to make due with what they had.  We could be wrong though...there is quite a bit of sugar!  Anyway, here it is!

Krazy Kake

3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1/3 c. cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp vinegar
3/4 c. canola oil
2 c. cold water
1 recipe Krazy Kake Frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).

In an ungreassed 9x13-inch cake pan sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  Make three separate holes in the dry ingredients.  In one, place the vanilla; in the second, the vinegar; in the third, the canola oil.  Pour the water over it all and mix together with a fork until combined.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Frost with Krazy Kake Icing, if desired.

Now isn't that KRAZY?!?!  Make three holes and pour different liquids in each topping it all with water and mixing with a fork!  But it's soooo yummy!

(Note:  You can make this cake in a regular bowl and then pour into a prepared cake pan for baking.  Making it directly in the cake pan will not allow you to remove the cake from the pan.  It will stick when prepared as directed above.)

Krazy Kake Icing

2-1/2 tbsp flour
1/2 c milk
1/2 c Crisco shortening
1/2 c confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Hershey's syrup

Blend the flour and milk in a saucepan over medium low heat.  Cook to a thick paste.  Remove from heat and set aside.  In another bowl beat the shortening and sugar until fluffy.  Add the paste and vanilla.  Beat until combined.  Spread over cake and drizzle with chocolate syrup.

(Note:  The recipe I have from my mother-in-law says "sugar" and not confectioners sugar.  After making the icing for the cake one time, my husband said that it was most likely confectioners sugar used since the icing mom used to make was not so grainy.)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Villers Saga, Part II

The Bismarck Daily Tribune, November 11, 1897
"Finding of Tromer's Body"

(The first paragraph is pretty much impossible for me to read.  I can make out very little, but you can have a go if you like!  If you click on the image it will take you to a larger version!) 

The body lay in (a partial ??) grave three feet deep five feet seven inches long and just wide enough to contain the body.  The head was slightly bent to the south as though after placing it in the excavation it was discovered the grave was a little too short.  The lower limbs were extended, the right foot yet wearing a shoe.  The other shoe was thrown in upside down beside the body, evidently having been removed from the body in the death struggle or in carrying the body to the place of deposit.  On the lower part of the body was a few small field boulders that may have been laid upon it when it was interred or may have been thrown down the badger hols to get them out of the way of the plow. It has been suggested that they were placed in the grave to deflect and throw upward the plow share to prevent discovery of the body in the future.  Distant a hundred feet or more was a stone pile where the stones may have been obtained.

The place of the grave is in a depression on a rise in the ground out of sight of Viller's house, but distant not more than a quarter of a mile.  No other house is in sight than Mr John Ford's three or four miles away.  Work could be carried on indefinitely without discovery.  In the fall of '94 a straw stack stood there and after the attempted murder of Mrs Tromer the ashes of the pile which had been burned were forked over thoroughly with the expectation of discovering some of the bones had the body been thrown in the straw pile with the intention of cremation.  Two crops of grain have been grown over the grave, twice has the land been plowed and it may possibly have been worked indefinitely without discovery of the body had not the wild badgers dug into the grave and thrown up pieces of the skull, some of the clothing and a pocket knife.  The hiding place was well planned and executed and the murder had confidently counted on everything except the excavations of the wild animals.  His devices had but the one defect, but that proved fatal to the preservation of the secret.  The work of interring the body may have occupied the greater part of a single might or it may have been the work of several nights, the body the meanwhile being hidden in the straw.

If the body is (??) as that of Tromer as now seems probable, Villers, the (person) in the pen may be taken thence and (??) to stand trial for murder.  Villers was sentenced to nine and one half years (it gets bad again here, but they are undoubtedly talking about his attempted murder conviction that he was serving in the state penitentiary and that he would have gotten out in 1902).

Sorry for the lack of posts recently everyone!  I've been trying to kick a nasty cold for the past 1-1/2 weeks and it's getting there.  Slowly but surely.  I'm going to be concentrating on transcribing some of my Martin Villers posts before ramping up to the Advent Calendar posts!  Sharing a part of my family's history that I find very interesting.  Always hoping for that bit that could possibly point to Martin being innocent!  I can always hope!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Black Friday

Is that a contradiction?  I don't think so.  I hear so many people grumpy about Christmas music and items being in stores before Thanksgiving.  I'm an early shopper.  I like to get it all done preferably before Thanksgiving. Once Thanksgiving hits you've got a month to get everything done, and I'd prefer to spend that time decorating the house and baking cookies.  I want my children to have the wonderful holiday experiences that I did when I was younger.  Far too many people rush into the over-crowded stores to do holiday shopping and are in anything but a holiday spirit.  It makes me wonder how it was for my parents.  For their parents...and so on.  I'll have to talk to my mother and mother-in-law about that one.  What was it like?

I like to think of snowy, peaceful streets and shoppers strolling through stores.  Parents baking cookies for excited children.  I do tend to romanticize things though.  I know my mother and her siblings have long commented on how exact "A Christmas Story" was to their reality!

Today, for most people, marks the beginning to the Christmas season.  I know that my sisters-in-law and mother-in-law will most likely be heading out to Bath and Body Works (and various stores throughout the Green Bay area) in search of some great bargains.  I have fond memories of going with them (venturing out on Black Friday was something I never would have considered before becoming a part of the Cayemberg family!).  There are enough grumpy people out there today, but my Green Bay family are simply shining lights on a knock-down, drag-out shopping day.

I clearly recall sharking through the parking lot for a space at the mall and my SIL Lori rolls down the window in the bitter Wisconsin winter.  Hanging half out the passenger window she shouts with an enormous smile and a cheer that I hadn't felt on a Black Friday...ever, "Are you heading back to your car?"  The lady smiles back and points to a spot directly in front of us and near the front doors to the department store.  Who says the Irish are lucky!  Luck of the Belgian/Germans here!  On the way out of the department store, Lori flags down the nearest person and tells them where we're pulling out. They bring smiles to people's faces wherever they go.

My father-in-law was always up early and would head out at 3:30 or 4:00am on Black Friday over some deal he saw in the newspaper on Thanksgiving day.  He seldom got the item, but he loved the adventure of it.  He had the excitement of the holidays.

Whether deals were found or missed, a nice breakfast was had and stories were told.  Truthfully I've only been in Green Bay a handful of times on Black Friday, but every time I've been there (well, and any time I'm with my in-laws) shopping is involved.  I don't think I've ever caught a truly great deal when I've gone out on Black Friday, but I'm definitely in the Christmas spirit after being out!  Could you imagine if everyone could be so kind and cheerful at the beginning of what's supposed to mark such a season?

For those who think Christmas has become too commercialized.  You need to remember that Christmas and the holidays aren't what retailers make it.  It's what you make it.  And frankly, there is usually something to be purchased because we do something special for the season.  Whether it's extra baked goods, a fresh pine tree or presents.  What you purchase is up to you.  You decide.  Not the retailers.  

This is a very traditional time of year.  Whether you "believe" in Santa visiting all the good boys and girls in a celebration of the birth of Jesus, or whether you prefer to leave Santa out of it.  If you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice or any other winter holiday, it's a time steeped in tradition.  Have you started your own traditions or are you doing something you learned from your parents?  And if you learned it from your parents were they passing it on?  Find out.  Find out before you can no longer ask.

Maybe people need to look at the Holiday merchandise in the stores in October and the seasonal music playing early as a ramp up for their good attitudes?  Get in the Christmas spirit early.  After all shouldn't we keep Christmas throughout the year?...before we are visited by three spirits reminding us to ditch the Humbug!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - McGinnis, Monahan, Fay and Boyle all in one!

John and Alice McGinnis nee Monahan and John and Mary Fay nee Boyle
Normally I don't particularly like tombstones that don't give dates.  I'll have to admit that when I finally found this tombstone for my 3rd great grandmother (Alice Monahan) I was a bit disappointed.  However, what I do like about the tombstone is that it gives both ladies' maiden names.  I found that very unusual.

Alice McGinnis nee Monahan (as I mentioned) was my 3rd great grandmother.  John McGinnis was her 2nd husband.  Alice was the wife of Manus Maurice Boyle (of whom I've previously blogged) who died in the shipwreck of the Royal Charter in 1859.  May Fay nee Boyle was Manus and Alice's oldest daughter (my 3rd great aunt or 2nd great grand aunt...although I'm not as familiar with the second version of expressing it).  Mary's sister, Anna, is buried in Philipsburg, New Jersey.

Finding this tombstone wasn't difficult.  Finding St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Beaver Meadows, Pennsylvania was.  You blink and you miss it even though it's right off the side of the main road!  I had driven by it several times missing it until I was given specific directions!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Amanuensis Monday - The Villers Saga, Part I

The Bismarck Daily Tribune, 10NOV1897
"Murder Revealed

Discovery of a Skeleton in Stutsman Supposed to Be That of August Tromer

Latter Disappeared Several Years Ago, and M. J. Villers, Now in the Pen, Suspected.

L. E. Booker Fails to Appear in United States Court to Answer the Charges Against Him.  (This is not a part of the Villers article and was just in the subheading.)

Found a Body
A murder mystery has been cleared up by the finding of a body in the southern part of Stutsman county supposed to be that of August Tromer.  This is the man whom it is believed M. J. Villers now serving a term in the state penitentiary at this place for the attempted murder of Mrs Tromer, killed some time previous to his attempted murder of the wife.  The body was plowed up in a field where it had been burried underneath a straw stack which later had been fired destroying all traces of excavations in the earth.

August Tromer, with his wife, were simple minded German folks living in LaMoure county.  several years ago Tromer disappeared and his whereabouts could not be discovered.  There were rumors of foul play and Villers, who had had dealings with Tromer was believed to have been connected with his disappearance but there was no proof.  Not long after this, Villers was arrested on a charge of murderously assaulting Mrs Tromer, the wife of the man who had disappeared, and was sentenced to ten years in the penitentiary where he now is.

At the time of the disappearance of Tromer, Villers occupied a thirty acre piece of land which he had rented from one Talley.  After Viller's incarceration in the pen, Talley took back the land, and "not long ago, while at work the plow suddenly dropped into soft ground near a badger hole and the plow, catching on something, was thrown out of the soil.  A piece of cloth was hanging from the share and as Mr Talley had lost a coat on the land the previous season he paid little attention to the matter except to think that he had discovered a portion of his old coat.  The next time around the field, however, in passing the same badger hole he discovered a (nub?) of preculiar shape, and near it pieces of a human skull.  It immediately suggested itself to him that he had discovered the long sought body of August Tromer.  Scraping away some of the soil he discovered that the body of a human being was interred there.  A pocket knife and a portion of a jacket were picked up together with a portion of the skull which showed evidences of being crushed in a some previous date.

It is believed that the body which has been thus discovered is that of Tromer, and there is also a belief and some evidence that Villers was the man responsible for his death.  Attorneys in Stutsman county and citizens interested are speculating whether if this can be shown to be the body of Tromer, Villers can be taken from the pen before the expuation of his present sentence tried for murder."

I find it interesting to say that "a murder mystery has been cleared up" when they found the body.  Perhaps the mystery of what happened to Mr. Tromer, but hardly the murder itself. Makes me wonder how fair the trial was! 

(Typographical errors are intentionally left in these transcriptions)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sunday Supper - Laura Laurent's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Laura Cayemberg nee Laurent and Patrick H Cayemberg Sr
This recipe originated with my husband's paternal grandmother Laura Cayemberg nee Laurent.  Her son, Patrick W. Cayemberg, began making them and they are a Cayemberg family favorite! 

1 c. oleo (or imperial margarine)
1 c. Crisco shortening
1-1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
6 c. flour
2 tsp baking soda, in a little hot water
1 (12 oz) bag chocolate chips

Combine the baking soda in a little hot water and set aside.

Cream together the oleo/margarine and shortening.  Add both sugars; mix well.  Add the eggs, vanilla and salt.  Mix well.  Add the baking soda/water mixture and mix. 

Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Mix in the chocolate chips.

Bake on cookie sheets at 375 degrees (F) for 11 minutes (9 minutes on the middle rack and 2 minutes on the top rack).  Remove from oven and cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely.