Thursday, November 28, 2013

Those Places Thursday: "Uncle Lee's house in Wilmette"

While writing about the Wilmette, Illinois, townhouse my paternal grandparents lived in briefly in the mid-1950s, I decided to see if I could find (via Google Maps Street View) the long-time Wilmette home of my paternal great Aunt Gret and Uncle Lee, Leo John Pape (1893-1979) and Margaret Anna "Gretchen" Reis Pape (1886-1947).

The house was located at 210 17th Street in Wilmette, and Lee and Gret lived there from at least 1927 (according to the Evanston City Directory, page 843, which included Wilmette).  The 1930 Census shows a couple of lodgers, 63-year-old public school teacher Marion A. Long and 65-year-old insurance saleswoman Emma V. Hubbard, both born in Maryland, living with them in the large house.

After Gret's death in 1947, Lee invited some of his single and widowed siblings (including Walter Pape and Martha Pape Bleidt) to live with him, until he died in 1979.  Only Aunt Martha outlived him - she moved to a retirement home after Lee's death. 

The house was built (according to real estate records) somewhere between 1923 and 1926.  Here is a photo of the house from about 1947, taken by a member of the Bleidt family (Charles, his wife Martha Pape Bleidt, and children Mary Jane and Jack - whose godparents were Lee and Gret):

1947? "Uncle Lee's house in Wilmette" 210 17th St., Wilmette, IL - photo courtesy Bill Parker

My father described the house's setting a little when reminiscing about a bicycle trip he and Jack made to the house:
They owned two adjoining lots with the house and garage on one lot. Aunt Gret had a huge well-cultivated garden which occupied most of the other lot. They grew lots of greens like lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, etc., and cooking vegetables like potatoes, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, etc. We had fun picking some of the ripe vegetables with her. I really liked the radishes. She also gave us some to take home.
The second lot, with the garden, is apparently to the left of the house in the photograph above.

This next picture, which shows a car in the driveway on the other side of the house, also gives a view of the house next door.  This was helpful when trying to pinpoint the house in Google Maps Street View, as the addresses in that tool aren't always quite accurate.
Jack Bleidt - 1947? "Uncle Lee's house in Wilmette" 210 17th St., Wilmette, IL - photo courtesy Bill Parker
Here is Uncle Lee and Aunt Gret's house, with its white stucco neighbor to the right, as they appeared in about August 2011:

And here is the house as it appeared in about March 2013.  The vacant lot to the left is gone, with a house in its place that was apparently built in 1966. 

This 2,655 square foot house on a 6,400 square foot lot recently sold, on August 12, 2013, for $642,000.  It was described (abbreviations spelled out by me) as follows:

Lovely,sunfilled traditional home w/natural woodwork and charm throughout. Large living room with gas fireplace. Kitchen with pantry and breakfast room. Formal dining room with built-ins. 1st floor family room or 5th bedroom with new full bath. Master bedroom with fireplace. 3 additional bedrooms plus sitting room and bathroom. Open unfinished basement . Lots of storage. Nice back yard and 2 1/2 car garage.

The photos of the inside (no longer available online) were gorgeous.  It's probably been remodeled and refurbished since Uncle Lee and Aunt Gret lived there, but with the basic bones of the house, there was a lot to work with.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Thanksgiving! (tomorrow)

Drew is Breathless' son
© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday: Corporal Earl Emerson Jackson, 1905-1943, part 2

Yesterday I wrote about my quest to find a photograph of Corporal Earl Emerson Jackson as an adult for an archival project on all 270 Air Forces weathermen who lost their lives in service to our country.  You can read that post here.  Today I'm going to share all my research with a brief biographical sketch.

Earl Emerson Jackson, probably late 1910s, courtesy Kelly King & Craig Kirwin
Earl Emerson Jackson was born September 1, 1905, in Athens, Henderson County, Texas.  His father, Merriott Anthony Jackson (1877-1936), born in Carthage, Panola County, Texas, was age 27 at Earl's birth.  His mother, Ada Myrtle Glasco (1879-1960), born in Fairfield, Illinois, was age 25 at Earl's birth.1

Based on the 1910, 1920, and 1930 US Censuses, Earl was an only child, and was living at 707 N. Prairieville Avenue in Athens - the Black-Eyed Pea Capital of the World - all of those years.  The photo at left is of Earl, probably in the late 1910s.  It, and the next photo below, were provided by Jackson family friend Kelly King via Craig Kirwin.

Earl's father Merriott was a blacksmith on the 1900 and 1910 Censuses, but by 1920, he is listed as a laborer in a cafe.  His September 12, 1918 World War I draft registration card notes that he "has withered limb," so perhaps that had something to do with the change in profession.2  On the 1930 Census, Merriott is a cafe manager, and at his death in 1936, he was a cafe owner, according to his death certificate.3

Here is a photo of Earl with his first cousin, Conan Doyle Jackson (1907-2001), the son of Earl's father's brother Estelle Dean Jackson, who was also a blacksmith, probably taken in the late 1910s or early 1920s:

Earl Emerson Jackson and his cousin Conan Doyle Jackson, late 1910s/early 1920s, courtesy Kelly King & Craig Kirwin

One of the people I contacted in the course of my research was Staci Phillips, the librarian at Athens High School, since the first article I found about Jackson indicated he was a graduate.  She responded,
The yearbooks I have from this period are the 1920 and 1922 editions.  He is listed in both, as a freshman in the former and junior in the latter.  Unfortunately, individual students were not identified in the yearbooks until their senior year....I also found him in the football section of the 1922 yearbook.  He is individually identified here, but it is difficult to see his face.

Earl Jackson in autumn 1921, from the 1922 Athenian, Athens, Texas, High School yearbook, courtesy Staci Phillips

Staci Phillips continued,
The last picture I found is out of A Pictorial History of Athens and Henderson County.  It shows the 1921 AHS [Athens High School] football team, who were East Texas champions that year.  This would also be Mr. Jackson’s junior year.  Here, he is listed by name and his face is easily seen.

Earl Jackson is seated at the far right in the photograph, published in this book by the Athens Daily Review in 1995:
from page 56 of A Pictorial History of Athens and Henderson County, courtesy Staci Phillips

Earl Jackson would have graduated from Athens High School in 1923.  As mentioned in my previous post, he attended Texas A&M University in College Station.  "The college catalogs show that he was a student here during the 1923-1924 and 1924-25 academic years and that he was studying Electrical Engineering," according to Robin Brandt Hutchison, Collection Management Lecturer for the A&M Library's archives.  He would have been a member of the Corps of Cadets, as all young men were at A&M at that time.  The A&M alumni network website indicated that he did not receive a degree, and the 1940 Census showed that Jackson had completed only two years of college at that point. 

On the 1930 Census, taken on April 8, Earl's occupation was listed as an electrician for a light company.  Four-plus months later, he married Virginia Layton (1907-2008) on August 30, 1930, at her parents' home in Dallas, according to this article on page 2 of the society section in the August 31, 1930, Dallas Morning News:

Born on December 8, 1907, in  Dallas, Texas, Virginia Layton was the daughter of Albert Thomas Layton (1877-1952) and Bessie Goode (1877-1971).  She attended Sunset High School and SMU (Southern Methodist University, in Dallas) for two years, and was a member of Phi Mu Sorority (Rotunda 1927 yearbook, page 237, and 1928 yearbook, pages 198-199).  Later Dallas newspaper articles showed she continued to be active in the sorority's alumnae group.  She was also a reporter on The Semi-Weekly Campus student newspaper (Rotunda 1928 yearbook, page 117).

Earl's address and occupation changed a number of times over the next few years, according to the Dallas city directory.  In 1930, he's listed (on page 1166) as a draftsman with Texas Power & Light Company and residing at 335 S. Windemere.  In 1931 (page 1280), he is still in the same job, but Virginia is listed with him, and they live at 1404 W. Jefferson Avenue, apartment 8.  The following year (page 918), they are living at 1107 Kings Highway Avenue.

In the 1933 directory (page 825), Earl and Virginia are living at 318 S Mont Clair Avenue (the home of Virginia's parents).  No job is listed for Earl.  By 1934 (page 844), Earl is a tax supervisor with the Texas State Comptroller of Public Accounts, and by 1937 (p. 675), he is listed as an auditor with them.  In both years, they are still living with Virginia's parents, perhaps because of the Depression.  According to the 1938 Dallas city directory (page 725), he and Virginia were living at at 4224 Prescott Avenue.

In 1940, Earl and Virginia were lodgers in the home of widower Clifford Hogg at 4007 Gilbert Street in Dallas. They had no children.  Earl was still an auditor with the State Comptroller's office and earned $2400 in 1939.  Virginia worked as a stenographer for a life insurance company and earned $480 that same year.  The 1940 Census shows that Earl had only completed two years of college at that point.  This corresponds to the two yearbooks at A&M in which he was listed and the fact that the alumni network indicates he did not complete a degree.

Earl was not in college between March 1, 1940, and the census date of April 5-6, 1940, indicating he must have started law school at SMU sometime after that.  According to Stephanie Duvall with Alumni Relations of the SMU Dedman School of Law, "We have him marked as graduated in 1941." 

from the front page of the January 24, 1949, Athens Daily Review,
used with permission from the editor Chad Wilson
Chad Wilson, the editor of the Athens Daily Review newspaper in Athens, Texas, sent me the article to the right from the front page of the January 24, 1949 issue.  It verifies most of the facts I've already presented, and provides a few more:
He was connected with the State Comptroller's department for 12 years, and was field analyst for the War Production Board when he was inducted into the armed services on December 29, 1942.

After training as a meteorologist at Camp Wolters and at Seymour Johnson Air Base, N. C., he was sent to England on Nov. 30, 1943.

Corp. Jackson died in an English hospital on Dec. 19, 1943, following a heart attack.

He was a member of the Masonic Lodge; of the Dallas Downtown Rotary Club, and a member of the Athens Christian Church since he was 16 years of age.

Here is Earl Jackson's death certificate from the State of Texas4 :

And here is his military veteran headstone application, courtesy of Craig Kirwin:

Jackson's body was returned from England for reburial in the Athens Cemetery on S. Prairieville Rd.  After a service at First Christian Church of Athens on January 24, 1949, he was buried in section P, plot 667, near his parents, who are in plots 639 and 640.  These tombstone photos were provided by James A Gamblin via

Based on entries in the Dallas city directory, Jackson's wife Virginia remained single and living in the Dallas area, working as a clerk with the Veterans Administration (1947, 1952, 1853) and with Consolidated Lloyds (1955), and then as a secretary with Consolidated General Life Insurance Company (1958).  I could not find her in the online 1959 or 1960 directories.  When her mother died in May 1971, she was listed as Virginia Bryant of Athens, Ohio, so she apparently remarried between 1958 and 1971.  She was back in Dallas by 1990 and passed away there at the age of 100, on  February 5, 2008.

Thanks once again to Jim Craig for his blog post that inspired my research, and to  Mary Ellen Johnson of the Dallas Bar Association for providing the clear photograph (the same one as in the Athens Daily Review article above) that CMSgt. Kirwin needed for his project.  I hope to research someone else on his list - but it will have to wait until after the holidays!

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

1 "Texas, Births and Christenings, 1840-1981," index, FamilySearch ( and : accessed 13 Nov 2013), Earl Emerson Jackson, 01 Sep 1905.

2 "United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 25 Nov 2013), Texas > Henderson County; A-J; citing NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d).

3 "Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 25 Nov 2013), Death certificates > 1936 > Vol 111, certificates 055001-055500, Nov, Harris-Jefferson counties; citing State Registrar Office, Austin.

4 "Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 Nov 2013), Foreign deaths > 1944-1945 > Vol 006-011, certificates 002801-005400, all counties; citing State Registrar Office, Austin.

Other sources included and the Dallas Morning News via the Newsbank database.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Military Monday: Corporal Earl Emerson Jackson, 1905-1943, part 1

I was inspired to do this post by one on Jim Craig's blog, Under Every Stone.  He was writing about Sherman Levine, a weatherman for the US Army Air Force who was was killed on Pearl Harbor Day.

At the end of the post, Jim provided a list from Chief Master Sargeant Craig M. Kirwin, the manager of the Weather Operations Division of the Directorate of Operations of the U.S. Air Force, who is pulling together material on all 270 Air Forces weathermen who lost their lives in service to our country for the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) archives at Offutt Air Force Base in the Nebraska.  The list included 79 men for whom he needed a photograph (as an adult) and other information.

Given that my father served in the Air Force in Korea as a navigator/bombardier, accurate weather information was important, so I was interested in working on this project.  I scanned through the list and did some initial searches on a number of weathermen with ties to Texas.  I had quite a bit of luck with the one who is the subject of this blog post, Cpl. Earl E. Jackson.  This blog post will take you through my process of finding an adult photograph and other information about him.  Tomorrow's post will give you a brief biographical sketch.

Here is the information provided by CMSgt. Kirwin for Jim Craig's post:
JACKSON - Cpl Earl E. Jackson
Home of record  -  Dallas, Texas
Born – 1 Sep 1905 in Athens, Texas
Died – 19 Dec 1943 in England
Parents, Merriott Jackson and Ada M. (Glasco) Jackson
Wife, Virginia L. Jackson
I have a couple photographs as a young boy but nothing as an adult. 

First I searched just the Dallas Morning News in a database called American Historical Newspapers from Readex, a  Newsbank company (Newsbank also powers the Genealogy Bank subscription database).   

According to an article on page 4, section I of the January 23, 1949, Dallas Morning News (pictured at right), Jackson attended Athens High School and Texas A&M College (now University).  He received a law degree from Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas.

As you can see from the article, there is a photo of Corporal Jackson, but it's not very good.  I decided first to see if he might be in a Texas A&M yearbook.  Since I am also a graduate of that fine university, I first checked the Aggie Network website for alumni, and determined that he was a member of the class of 1927, had studied electrical engineering, but did not obtain a degree.

Next, I contacted the archives at the library at Texas A&M.  I received a prompt reply from Robin Brandt Hutchison, Collection Management Lecturer.  She wrote:

The college catalogs show that he was a student here during the 1923-1924 and 1924-25 academic years and that he was studying Electrical Engineering. 

Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate a photograph of him in our yearbooks or in any of our other photograph collections.  Underclassmen during these two years did not have individual photographs in the yearbooks, but rather a large panoramic photograph that was spliced into three different images to fit on the pages of the yearbook, so the students are unidentified and their faces nearly impossible to see.  He does not appear in any of the club photographs either.  Henderson County and Electrical Engineering did not have clubs at this time. 

I searched an online collection of SMU yearbooks  (from 1928, when the law school began, through 1942, when Jackson entered the Army), but did not have any luck finding Jackson. I also e-mailed the SMU Dedman School of Law. Stephanie Duvall with Alumni Relations replied that she too, had checked yearbooks from those years with no success.  She added that ,"We have him marked as graduated in 1941."  I think because he was an older student (he would have been 35-36 in 1941), he did not get his photograph taken for the yearbook.

I found another article about Jackson in the Dallas Morning News of May 26, 1946, section I, page 7:

The article indicated that Jackson was a member of the Dallas Bar Association, which was going to honor those who died in World War II.  It also said, "portraits of the attorneys wlll be presented."

Based on this information, I contacted Mary Ellen Johnson, Executive Assistant to the Director of the Dallas Bar Association and Staff Liaison to the Memorial & History Committee (among others).  Bingo!  I heard back promptly from her:
"I was able to find photo of Earl E. Jackson that I found in our 1944-1946 edition of The Dallas Bar Speaks, which featured a memoriam of members who died in WWII. I have attached a cropped photo of him as well as the entire memoriam."
photo courtesy Mary Ellen Johnson, Dallas Bar Association

photo courtesy Mary Ellen Johnson, Dallas Bar Association

Now that I had the adult photo of Jackson to send to CMSgt. Kirwin, I continued my research to try to create a biographical sketch of Jackson.  I was able to find a lot of information, thanks to people like Staci Phillips, the librarian at Athens High School; Chad Wilson, editor of the Athens Daily Review; and James A Gamblin, a volunteer with  SO much information that it would make this post twice as long as it already is.  Come back tomorrow for the rest of the story!

 © Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: Mom & Dad at Nana & Grandpa's, 2547 Hastings, Evanston, Illinois, ABT 1956

These are my parents, Geraldine Margaret Guokas and Frederick Henry Pape, in front of my paternal grandparents' home at 2547 Hastings, Evanston, Illinois.  As mentioned in a blog post from July 2011, this is the "house" (it's really a corner unit of a triplex) where I remember my grandparents, Paul Robert Pape (1896-1970) and Elizabeth Florence Massmann Pape (1902-2000), living when I was a child, particularly a memorable July 4 in 1970.  I'm estimating that this photo was taken about 1956.

When my parents married in September 1954, according to church records, my grandparents were still living at 2093 West Lunt Avenue in Chicago, where Dad grew up in the 1930s and 1940s.  Dad was the last of their five children to marry, and I suppose, as empty nesters, they did not need such a big house any more.  First they moved to a duplex townhouse at 2027 Lake Avenue in nearby Wilmette, pictured at right in a photo from about that time.  This building was supposedly constructed in 1955, so I imagine they moved in around then.

The note on the back of the photo did not give the exact address (only "Mom & Dads townhouse on Lake Ave. Wilmette").  I used Street View in Google Maps to find an identical building and determined the address from that. It is directly across the street from Harvard Street, and just a few blocks from St. Joseph Catholic Church.   I also learned that this building (pictured at right in probably autumn, 2011), including the address 2025 Lake at left, sold for $370,000 in February 2013.  Each unit had two large bedrooms and 1.5-2 baths with a detached garage in the back off an alley, and a full basement.

The unit on Hastings was recently (August 2013) listed on the market for $340,000.  It was built in 1953 and has 3 bedrooms and a full bath upstairs, a half bath on the main floor, a parking space in a garage shared by the triplex, and a full finished basement (it was unfinished when my grandparents lived there, from approximately 1956 to about 1971).

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: Spanish-American War Soldier's Memorial, ABT 1899

One of the items my maternal great-grandfather, Louis Henry Wolfe (1872-1929) left behind was this Spanish-American War "Soldier's Memorial" poster:

In the middle of the poster is a listing of the officers and privates of this unit, Company C of the 6th Infantry Regiment of the Army. Look in the far lower right-hand corner, and you'll see the name of Private Louis Wolfe:

Over the years, it was folded and apparently not stored very well, as pieces of it are missing. Fortunately, I found that these posters were apparently mass-produced by publisher Fuller Bros., 618 F Street, Washington, DC, for various military units participating in the war, and there are a lot out there.  I found one web page ("22nd Infantry Soldiers Memorial Print") that explained a lot of the illustrations on the poster.

At the center top, the woman Columbia (also a popular term for the United States at the time) is above portraits of President William McKinley (left) and General of the Armies Nelson Miles (right).
Columbia is handing a laurel wreath of victory to a wounded soldier on the right.  She appears to be riding on the back of an eagle:

In the upper left corner, "American troops in full field gear march off from their encampment," with the US Navy offshore:

Pictured above is the upper right-hand corner, where United States "troops in parade dress stand in formation.  They wear the model 1895 forage cap, sometimes called the 'pillbox' cap."

There are some other interesting illustrations in the middle part of the poster, on either side of the listing of officers and privates.  This one at right, a sentimental "Off to the War" illustration, is to the left of that listing.

The next two, pictured below, are of cannon.  The first is on the left side of the poster, just below the "Off to the War" drawing,  The other is on the other side of the poster, to the right of the officers/privates listing.

On the bottom left hand corner of the poster is the "Roll of Honor," listing those in Company C who died in the war, and how.

At the bottom right hand corner is a list of the battles and engagements this unit participated in during the war.  These included the "storming and capture of Fort San Juan, near Santiago de Cuba, July 1st, 1898," the "occupation of trenches on San Juan Heights, July 1 to the 10th, 1898," and "supporting batteries during bombardment of Santiago, July 10th and 11th, and in siege until the surrender of the Spanish Forces, July 17, 1898."

At the very bottom of the poster, in the center, there is an illustration of  "US and Cuban troops attacking Spanish positions, flanked by portraits of General William Shafter (left) and Commodore George Dewey (right)."

The 6th Infantry Regiment even then had a long history, as the legend at the bottom of the poster says it was "Mustered Into the U. S. Service August 1, 1799."

My great-grandfather enlisted in the Army on May 4, 1898, in Tampa, Florida, at age 25.  I'm not sure what he was doing in Tampa at the time, as his hometown was Monongahela, Pennsylvania, but he was a bricklayer by trade, and his work later in life often had him traveling.  He died at age 57 in an auto accident near Devers, Texas, en route to or from a job, as his home was in Houston.

On August 18, 1898, about a month after the war ended, a monthly return for his regiment to the Adjutant General’s Office shows him to be sick in the hospital at Fort Thomas, Kentucky.  On January 20, 1899, he was discharged at Fort Sam Houston in Bexar County, Texas.  However, just two years later he re-enlisted for three years, but this time was assigned to Company I of the 6th Regiment, where he saw action in the Philippines.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Military Monday: Louis Henry Wolfe's Service Record

Among the papers left behind by my maternal great-grandfather, Louis Henry Wolfe (1872-1929), was the picture at right (which I now believe was him around 1898, when he joined the Army), and some military documents.  One of them is pictured below.

Part of the document - perhaps as much as a third - appears to be missing, but there is quite a bit of information on that which remains.  I'll transcribe it below, with the handwritten parts in a different color.

On one side of the document, it reads:


To all whom it may concern

Know Ye, That Louis H. Wolfe, a Private of Company "I" of the Sixth Regiment of Infantry, who was enlisted on the Seventh day of January one thousand nine hundred and one to serve 3 years is hereby Honorably Discharged from the Army of the United States by reason of expiration of term of service.

The said Louis H. Wolfe was born in Monnongahela [sic, it should be Monongahela] in the state of Pa. and when enlisted was 24 7/12 years of age, 5 feet 7 inches high, Fair complexion, Blue eyes, Lt. Bro[wn] hair, and by occupation a bricklayer.

Given under my hand at Fort Leavenworth Kansas...

...and at this point, the paper is torn.

On the reverse, it says:


Continuous Service at date of discharge: 3 years -- months -- days
Previous Service: Company "C" 6th Infy [Infantry] Discharged Jany [January] 20, 1899
Non commissioned officer: No
Marksmanship: 3rd class season 1903
Battles, engagements, skirmishes, expeditions:  Expedition in Island of Cebu, P.I. [Philippine Islands] from Sept. 19 to Nov. 5, 1901.  Expedition Island of Bohol, P.I. from Nov. 6 1901 to Dec. 19, 1901.
Wounds received in service:  None
Physical condition when discharged:  Good
Married or single: Single

...and again, the paper is torn.  All of the information here corresponds with a handwritten Register of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914, available on National Archives microfilm and at

Note that my great-grandfather had been previously enlisted in the Army and discharged in January 1899.  More on that in another post.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday's Faces From The Past: Mom, Dad, & Sister Jean Marie in Bryan, Texas, ABT Mid-1950s

This photo is from a slide that was among other slides of my parents' dating and honeymoon, so I think it was taken around the same time - somewhere between 1952 and 1955.  Mom tells me that Nani, her mother and my grandmother, would pack a picnic lunch with fried chicken for Mom and Dad to take from Houston to Bryan, Texas, where Mom's sibling Sister Jean Marie was teaching at St. Joseph Catholic School at the time.  The Incarnate Word Sisters of Houston staffed the school from 1930 through 1981, and my aunt Sister Jean Marie taught in elementary Catholic Schools in Baytown, Bryan, and Houston from 1948 through 1955, before starting a Catholic high school teaching and leadership career that spanned from 1955 through 1982, followed by parish religious education through 2011.
© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Mom & Dad, ABT mid-1950s

 No idea exactly when or where this photo of my parents, Geraldine Margaret Guokas and Frederick Henry Pape, was taken, but I love the way they are smiling and laughing in it.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Military Monday: Happy Veterans' Day!

Air Force Lt. Fred Pape in Honolulu, Hawaii, probably September 1952
This photograph of my father, Frederick Henry Pape, in his Air Force uniform, was taken in Honolulu, Hawaii.  It may have been taken in September, 1952, when Dad helped ferry a B-26 from McClellan Air Force Base outside Sacramento, California, to Japan.  Dad said the trip took 11 days.

Dad sat on the right side in the B-26 with the pilot to his left.  He only had a LORAN for navigation, and that is why they followed a B-29.

On the first day, it took 14 hours to get from Mather to Hickam Air Force Base on Oahu.  Dad said it was terribly hot and they were down to their shorts inside the plane by then.

They wanted to stay in Honolulu an extra day, and got their wish.  The B-29 leading the group had left but came back when Dad's B-26 burned up a magneto. The B-29 circled around taking photographs of Hawaii while it burned off fuel before landing.

Their next stop was Johnston Island, which is only about a mile long.  "The only thing to do there was fish," said Dad, so they left the next day.  The next stop was the island of Kwajalein, where they overnighted.

The next stop was Andersen Air Force Base on Guam.  They were there five or six days because the pilot of the B-29 had a girlfriend there.  Dad remembers traveling around in a "Guamanian Cadillac" - a jeep.  He says that eventually the Guamanians imported Fords to use as police cars to ticket speeding servicemen.  He also remembers "hot closets" - a light bulb in the closet that gave off enough heat to dry clothes that would otherwise stay damp in the humid climate.  Dad also said the air field on Guam was unique, at the edge of a cliff.

Finally, they flew into Tachikawa Airfield in Japan the next day.  They had flown over with hard noses with machine guns on them, but in Japan, the hard noses were swapped for plexiglass noses with bombsights.  Dad said they brought brand-new B-26s that had been in mothballs to Japan, but flew old B-26s in Korea - "good thing we had good crew chiefs."

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Friday's Faces from the Past: Mom & Dad at Kemah, 1953-54

Fred Pape and Gerrie Guokas at (according to Mom) "Henry Clay's family's place in Kemah, Texas," on a Sunday Rosarian Club activity in 1953 or 1954.

This looks a lot like the area I remember visiting as a child in the 1960s.  Mom's aunt and uncle, Edith and Bob Brown, had a place on the water in or near Kemah.  I remember going out on piers like those pictured and tying raw chicken legs to one of a string, and the other end to a plank in the pier.  Later we'd pull them up slowly, net at the ready, to see if we'd caught any crabs.  I remember dropping them in a pot of water to boil and eating them outside a white one-story house.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Stanford Newspaper Data Visualization

Lisa Louise Cook of Genealogy Gems
I attended a presentation by Lisa Louise Cook of Genealogy Gems at the Texas State Genealogical Society conference last Friday.  I was impressed with Lisa's knowledge and enthusiasm, and I've subscribed to the premium content at her website, as well as purchased some of her books and DVDs, which I'm sure I'll talk about more in the future as I explore them.

Lisa's presentation was called "Get the Scoop on Your Ancestors with Newspapers." Lisa showed us some "cool tools" for finding old newspapers.  I'm just going to talk about one of them in this post, the Stanford Newspaper Data Visualization.

According to its website, "This visualization plots over 140,000 newspapers published over three centuries in the United States. The data comes from the Library of Congress' 'Chronicling America' project, which maintains a regularly updated directory of newspapers."  The site provides some great historical information about the evolution of newspapers in this country.

I use Chronicling America a lot, but was not aware of this cool tool you can use to find newspapers in a particular time and locations (and language).  There's a timeline slider bar at the top that you can use to slide to the era that interests you.  For example, here's how the map looks for 1887:

You can then pan and zoom in to a particular area, and when you click on one of the dots, you can see what newspaper(s) were published in that city or town at that time.  Here's an example for Stephenville, Texas, in 1887:

If I click on that dot, a red triangle points to it, and then I can click on (any one of) the title(s) that appear for that location and date:

When I click on "The Stephenville empire," I get the corresponding page from Chronicling America:

If electronic copies of the newspaper are available in the Library of Congress collection, this page will tell you (scroll down) , and provide a link.  If it's not available electronically here (keep in mind it may be available elsewhere), you can then click on the "Libraries that Have It" link to find out some (not necessarily all) of the libraries that may have that title in some format:

I'd caution users of this feature to also use WorldCat (for additional libraries that might have the newspaper), as well as to contact the library in question, to make sure they truly have the newspaper and the years you want.  Note just above that for Tarleton State University, where I work, the holdings were last updated in January 1988.  We actually have the newspaper on microfilm beyond 1917, albeit with numerous gaps in the early years.

In future posts, I'll write about some of the other tools Lisa showed us, as well as a cool way to use Google Earth in genealogy that she demonstrated before her talk. 

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Motivation Monday: 2013 Texas State Genealogical Society Conference

I returned home yesterday from three brain-busting days at the Texas State Genealogical Society annual conference, held this year in Round Rock, which was an easy 15-minute drive from my 85-year-old parents' new home in Austin. 

So much useful information packed into so little time; my mind is 'bout to 'splode!  Since I am the Coordinator of Archives and Special Services at my library, and our archival collections include county records, I decided to attend a lot of sessions pertaining to that topic (since my employer did give me the time to attend the conference Thursday and Friday).  Here are just some of the sessions I attended (with descriptions taken from the conference speakers web page):

Susan Ball: Sinners and Saints: Genealogical Finds in Civil and Criminal Court Records -
Drawing on her abstracting work with the Tom Green County Court Docket, Susan discussed information that can be found in court records about ancestors and their activities.

Teri Flack: Unearth Your Ancestors Using Land and Property Records - While land records primarily prove ownership and transfer of real property, they also can provide the evidence needed to prove family relationships. Using case studies and original documents, this lecture provided an array of tools researchers can use to solve problems with land records.

Teri also presented on Overlooked and Underused Courthouse Records.  Most genealogists are familiar with the birth, marriage and death records found at the local courthouse, but they may not have thought to investigate the variety of other records located there. These records may establish births, marriages, and deaths when those specific vital records do not exist. This presentation showed what records to look for, how to locate them, and what to expect when you find them.

Lisa Louise Cooke, Get the Scoop on your Family History with Newspapers - I attended this session because we also have old issues of the Stephenville Empire-Tribune on microfilm, and many genealogists who visit our library use these as well as the county records.  I'll talk more about this session in tomorrow's post.

I also attended five sessions (four of which were on Saturday) by featured speaker Thomas W. Jones:

Special Problems II: Identifying Female Ancestors – Strategies for identifying wives and mothers in the absence of marriage records; laws regulating females’ land ownership, inheritance, and other rights that may yield genealogical evidence concerning them; tracking men to learn about women.  I have a few "brick wall" women in my family trees, and hopefully these ideas will help.

The Jones Jinx: Tracing Common Surnames  – This case study explained how missing, erroneous, and altered records were overcome to identify the parents of an orphan named Jones.  I learned research strategies I can use to solve my own common-surname problems (Smith, Jones, Moore, etc.).

Five Ways to Prove Who Your Ancestor Was – Case studies illustrated five ways—some (the last two listed) reliable and others (the first three listed) not—that genealogists “prove” an ancestor’s identity:
  • using information provided by others; 
  • using a single source; 
  • following a chain of evidence; 
  • correlating evidence from multiple sources; and 
  • weighing conflicting evidence. 
I also learned how to use the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS).

Problem Solving with Probate – This session described the wealth of records created to distribute property after someone’s death and demonstrated how to use such records to identify and trace ancestors - definitely related to our county records at work.

Solutions for Missing and Scarce Records - I  learned strategies for overcoming research barriers caused by lost or destroyed records, poor record-keeping, or a simple lack of records.

I also attended two "round table" discussion sessions on Thursday evening.  TSGS Webmaster and incoming Director for Development Randy Whited led the Social Media Open Forum, where pages versus groups and privacy issues in Facebook was a big concern. TSGS incoming President John Wylie led a discussion on Ethics in Your Family History.  Topics included copyright, plagiarism, publishing personal information on living people or potentially embarrassing information on deceased relatives, and other issues family historians must address.

John Wylie's Ethics round table - photo courtesy Crystal Calbreath and the Texas State Genealogical Society

More to come tomorrow!

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.