Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Halloween!

me, 1961, age four and a half
© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: 76 Years Ago Today...

...Ewald Theodore Pape filed his Declaration of Intention to become a citizen of the United States, on October 28, 1936, in the United States District Court in Portland, Oregon.  The photograph at right, with his signature, was included in the application, and was likely taken earlier that year (maybe even earlier that day or week).

Ewald had been in the United States since December 3, 1913, when he arrived in New York City on the SS Friederich der Grosse from Bremen, Germany, along with some of his siblings.  They originally stayed with their father Lorenz and uncle John Pape in Evanston, Illinois, but by the following year, Lorenz and his children had moved to nearby Wilmette, to 1622 S. Forest Avenue.

Apparently, Ewald had filed a Declaration of Intent earlier, on December 11, 1920, in Denver, Colorado, while living in Fort Logan.  He is recorded on the 1920 Census on January 6 as living with his father Lorenz, brother Carl, and sister Petronella (Nellie) in Port Edwards, Wisconsin.  His sister Mary had married Herman Walter of nearby Nekoosa the previous year.  His brothers Joseph and August were already married and stayed in Wilmette.  So, sometime during 1920, Ewald headed west.  I have not found any evidence yet for why.

By 1923, Ewald was living in Portland, Oregon, at the Royal Palms Apartments, 262 Flanders, and working as an independent draftsman, according to a city directory.  He married Alma Albert, who was raised in Wilmette, on November 24, 1923, in nearby Vancouver, Washington.

Ewald's actual Petition for Naturalization was filed August 6, 1941.  However, he was not allowed to take oath of allegiance until December 12, 1947.  His petition was continued from March 18, 1943, "until end of war."

I don't know why Ewald didn't follow through on obtaining citizenship sometime before 1927 (a Declaration of Intent is only good for seven years).  He had registered for the draft, as required, in World War I.  Perhaps by 1936, with Hitler's rise to power in his German birth land, he felt the need to finally become a full-fledged United States citizen.  Unfortunately wartime fears seemed to delay his citizenship - even though he also complied with the 1942 World War II draft "old man's registration."

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

(Not-So-) Wordless Wednesday: Elizabeth Benevičiūtė Guokas and Cow

This is my maternal great-grandmother, Elizabeth (Elžbieta Benevičiūtė) Banevich Guokas (1875-1929).  We're not sure exactly when the photograph was taken, but my mother says the house in the background is their home at 1717 Shearn in Houston, Texas, so it was probably taken sometime between 1908 (when the Guokas family is first recorded living at this address) and 1929, when Elizabeth passed away.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Fire at St. Nicholas

from Chicago Daily Tribune, February 4, 1898
As noted in an earlier post, the original St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Evanston, Illinois, burned down February 3, 1898.  Construction began on a new church building in 1904, with completion in 1906.
Where did the parish meet in between?

Alan Kozlowski, who is involved with the parish's 125th anniversary this year, send me the article at left (and a more detailed article from the February 5, 1898, Evanston Index) as well as the picture below, as well as the following information from the parish's 50th anniversary book:

Temporary Accommodations 
Now again the flock was homeless. Again Mass was said in a hall, this time in Burden's store, on the north side of Main Street between Sherman and Custer. Father Biermann moved temporarily to a building owned by Mr. Risch, at 832 Custer Avenue. After a week school was reopened in Burden's store. 

Father Hugh P. Smyth of St. Mary's [Catholic Church, also in Evanston,] with the generous cooperation and sympathy that was characteristic of his entire life, at once offered Father Biermann the use of his church. One Mass was thereafter said at Burden's store, and one at St. Mary's.  

The New School 
Father Biermann's first thought after the fire was to restore school facilities. The first building to be erected after the fire was a four room school building with a basement hall. It was completed the year of the fire [1898] and the hall served as the church until 1905.

Above is a photo Alan Kozlowski sent of the school basement hall that served as the church from sometime after February 1898 to sometime in 1905. It looks like it is decorated for a special occasion - perhaps First Communion, or a wedding?

My great uncle Otto Richard "Dick" Pape may have been baptized in the hall picture above, as that event occurred on November 13, 1898.  Based on other church records, it's possible that some of his siblings had their First Communions or were confirmed in this building, and that their first cousin Hugo Pape was married in this hall.

Below is a photo sent by Jim Heckenbach (a descendant of the Didiers, a founding family of the parish).  It's a picture of students at St. Nicholas School in 1899, so this must be the new school/basement church hall referred to above, built in 1898.  I love some of the little details in this photo:  the potted plants on the windowsills, the USA flag with 46 stars, the boy in the top row blowing a horn, the row of boys with drums, the crooked sign, and the bicycles!  Perhaps the priest on the left is Father Biermann; the nun might be Sister Justine.

I don't recognize any of my Pape kin in this photograph.  It's possible the John Pape family had already moved to Chicago by this point (where they were definitely living in 1900, according to the Census and to youngest son Walter's baptismal record).

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Mother!

Mom - Geraldine Margaret Guokas - as a 15-year-old at Incarnate Word Academy, Houston, Texas - about 1943
© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Baby Sister!

Amanda and Mary, probably early 1965, on the driveway of 8015 Sharpview, Houston, Texas
© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sentimental Sunday: Aunt Gret the Artist

Gretchen Anna Reis and Lee John Pape with godson Jack Bleidt, May 17, 1936
I first wrote about my Great Aunt Gret (Margaret Anna "Gretchen" Reis Pape, 1886-1947) about two years ago, sharing one of my dad's childhood memories of her. 

About a year ago, my (new friend) "Awin" commented on another post on this blog, saying Aunt Gret "was a friend of my Grandmother, Amy Zender Windler of Ridgeville, Chicago. I have a painting Gretchen did in 1908 and gave to my grandmother. It is beautiful. I have always been looking for another of her paintings."

Then, about two weeks ago, I received an e-mail (via this blog) from someone who said Aunt Gret "was a wonderful water color artist. I have a painting of hers signed Gretchen Reis-Pape 1/11/40.  I think we also may have another painting. We bought them at an auction in Holly, Michigan, a few years ago. I have searched for years to get info on the artist."

Gretchen was born April 4, 1886, in Evanston, Illinois, the oldest of the seven children of Joseph A. Reis and Margaret Muno (who were both born in Illinois of German parents).  She's listed as an artist in various Evanston city directories from 1909 through 1933 (although she obviously continued painting after that).  She married my uncle Lee John Pape between 1925 and 1927, and they lived in Wilmette after that.  They had no children.  She died on April 20, 1947, and is buried at St Henry's Cemetery in Chicago.

When nephew Jack Bleidt was born on February 13, 1929, Gretchen and Lee became his godparents.  Gretchen made the clever card at right (noting that J.C.B., John Carl Bleidt, was born between Abe Lincoln and St. Valentine), which Jack's mother, Lee's sister Martha Elisabeth Pape Bleidt, saved in Jack's baby book.

Great Aunt Martha also saved the little watercolor drawing below, from the Easter greeting Aunt Gret sent her godson on March 29, 1929.

I asked my family if they had any of Aunt Gret's paintings.  My Aunt Betty said, "I had a painting of Aunt Gret's hanging in my bedroom on Lunt Ave.  I don't know what happened to it after they sold [2093 W.] Lunt Ave.  Now  wish I did.  As I recall it was of a girl holding a straw hat with the wind blowing her hair."

Recently, Awin was kind enough to send an image, at right, of the 1908 painting she has by Aunt Gret, back when she was Gretchen Reis.  You can see her signature in the lower right corner of the drawing.

In 2005, Awin noticed a note in her father's handwriting on the back of the painting that says, Your grandmother, Amy Windler, was a close friend of Gretchen Reis, who drew this picture. Gretchen was engaged to Mr. Sontag but he left her at the altar.”

Wow!  That could be a yet another story (two Sontags, Henry and Arby, were of the right age and were members, like Gretchen and her family, of St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Evanston).   This does help explain why Gretchen married Lee Pape so late in life (she was around 40) for that era.

Awin also sent me a link to a painting by Gretchen that she found on about a year ago.  Here is what the seller wrote:

"Recently we were contacted by an upper end Antique & Asian Gallery in Chicago's Magnificent Mile. They asked if we would take some consignments, of course we jumped at the chance...Up for auction is a wonderful winter landscape painting, signed G. Pape  1904 [sic]. Attributed to Gretchen Anna Pape (1866 [sic]-1947) of Evanston, Illinois. She was an easel painter from the turn of the century. It depicts a winter forest landscape with the light of the full moon. It has a cabin barn with an open door and what looks like a blacksmith working at his anvil. This was restretched somewhere shortly after it was done. It measures approx. 42" x 28". We couldn't find a bio on Gretchen Pape."

Their (mis-)information appears to have come from page 2525 of the 1999 edition of Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975 : 400 Years of Artists in America, which has an entry for:

Gretchen Anna Pape (Mrs.), painter, b. 1866/ d. 1947, Evanston, IL.  Addresses : Wilmette, IL

Additionally, it's unlikely the painting below was done in 1904, as Gretchen was not Mrs. Pape at that point - unless she signed the painting after her marriage.

Awin and I are hoping to find more examples of Aunt Gret's work in the future.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

(Not-So-) Wordless Wednesday: My Sister's Ship

This is the Karen Pape, named for my sister by its owner, Genesis Marine LLC, as she is the CFO of its parent company.  This towing vessel was built in 2009 by Eastern Shipbuilding Group Inc. for Florida Marine Transporters, and was originally named Capt. C. H. Guidry.  It is 85.8 feet long and weighs 260 tons.  Lately it's been moving up and down the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sports Center Saturday: Homecoming Mums

Recently a genealogist blogger friend of mine, who did not grow up in Texas, asked about homecoming mums.  Back when I was in high school in Houston, in the early 1970s, a homecoming mum was a corsage made with a large, real chrysanthemum, and decorated with ribbons in the school colors.  Pipe cleaners were used to put the school's initial or initials (or, if you were dating a football player, his jersey number) on the flower, and sometimes your name (and your date's name) were spelled out in glittery letters stapled to one of the ribbons.  There might be a tiny cowbell.

In the photo at the top of this post, I'm wearing the homecoming mum my date (let's call him Bill) gave me on November 15, 1974.  You can see the "S T" in red on the mum, which stood for his school, St. Thomas (an all-boys Catholic high school in Houston).

In the black-and-white photo below, Bill and I are at the St. Thomas Homecoming Dance the following night, November 16.  To make it easier to dance, I transferred the mum corsage to my wrist.  You can also see my name spelled out on one of the red ribbons.  In the background of the photo is another girl with a bigger mum, almost as tall as she is.  Back in 1974, that was considered a little gaudy - but apparently, it was a portent of what was to come.

Nowadays in Texas, homecoming mums are a even bigger deal.  Silk flowers have replaced real ones - although some "mums" don't seem to have any flowers at all, instead a stuffed animal of some sort is the centerpiece.  They are also so huge that one wears it with a cord around the neck (instead of pinned on), and some of them completely cover the wearer.  With all the ribbons, feathers, glitter, beads, animals, and other trinkets, these monstrosities can weight up to 12 pounds and cost up to $500!   Apparently, in many areas, guys wear them too, in the form of an armband (called a garter though).  Frankly, I think most of them (for guys and girls) are way too big and gaudy and (often) ugly and ridiculous.

Nowadays, of course, with the flowers (if there are any at all) not being real, the homecoming "mum" is often a keepsake.  Naturally, my real flower mum died, but I saved the glitter letters spelling my name on their red ribbon, and the red pipe cleaner S and T, and put them in my scrapbook. 

At left and right: peewee football "home-coming"
mums, November, 2007
These are homemade and pretty tame (and tasteful) compared to many today.

Homecoming "garters" (worn on the arm) for guys, 2012; and a homecoming mum from 2007:

copyright © Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Those Places Thursday: Mission San José, San Antonio, Texas

Mission San José y San Miguel de Aguayo in San Antonio, Texas, was my parish church in the summer of 1978.  This historic Catholic Church was then under the operation of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and I worked there that summer as a park ranger intern.  The church was and still is an active Catholic parish; the state (was, and now, the National Park Service, which took over in 1983, is) responsible for maintenance and operation of the surrounding mission structures and grounds.

My family came to visit me that summer.  At left, my brothers Mark and Brian (in back), sister Mary, aunt Sister Jean Marie (in front) and parents Gerrie and Fred Pape stand in front of the beautiful wooden doors at the intricate facade of the church, carved between 1768 and 1777.

Below left, my family (now with my grandmother, Sara Archibald), stands in front of the Rose Window (aka Rosa's Window), which looks out from the sacristry and was carved by Pedro Huizar.  A year and a half later, in January 1980, my cousin Donna Pape came to visit Texas, so of course I had to take her to Mission San José.

Above and at right are photos of me during the time I worked at the state and national historic site, in my two uniforms.

I don't have any photos of the interior of the church from the time I was there.  The Archdiocese of San Antonio completed a renovation of the interior in 2011, including restoration of the upper dome, new colors and textures to match the original interior design, stabilization of walls, and a new retablo behind the altar. It's pictured below.
Altar at Mission San Jose, San Antonio, Texas, December 27, 2011,
by Mike Fisher, BFS Man
(Own work) [CC-BY-2.0], via Flickr

This post is for a series on "Doors of Faith" at the Catholic Gene blog.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: St. Benedict's Painted Church, Hawaii

Also not a true Doors of Faith entry, just another beautiful little Catholic church on the Big Island of Hawai'i, that Breathless and I saw on a Hawai'i cruise with my parents and aunt in late May, 2010.  This is the famous St. Benedict's Painted Church near Kailua-Kona.  Above is a photo of the entrance to the church (with the statue of Hawai'i patron Saint Damien of Molokai in the lower right corner), and below is a collage of my photos from the beautiful interior.  Click the church's link above to read all about it.

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.