Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Me and my dad taken on July 28, 1974.
Steven LeGrande Warner
Dec. 7, 1940 - Sept. 3, 2002

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Wedding Stories

  Here are some humorous wedding stories from an article that was published in The Princeton Union on November 7, 1912.

Experiences Grave and Gay at
the Marriage Ceremony.
The Tearful Regret That Flowed From
the Heart of a Happy Ex-Widow--A
Pert Reply to "Wilt Thou?"--A Tragic
Wait and its Sequel.
  According to the stories told by several of Chicago's leading clergymen, wedding ceremonies do not always run any smoother than true love.
  "People seem to act more insanely at a wedding than at any other time, save perhaps a fire." declared one pastor, "and it is usually the bridegroom who gets the most flustered.  It is seldom that a woman gets the responses mixed as does the man.  One time at a fashionable wedding where I was officiating the bridegroom insisted upon saying in a loud voice, much to the amusement of his hearers, 'I take me this plight' instead of the usual 'I plight thee my troth.'
  "Another time when I was marrying a country couple at my home I asked the bridegroom the usual question, 'Wilt thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife?' and he replied, with fire in his eye, 'What do you suppose we're here for ef I wouldn't?'
  "It was at a wedding in my church that the six-year-old niece of the bridegroom caused a ripple of laughter.  With big eyes she watched the bridal procession come up the aisle, and as it neared the altar she noticed her uncle, who had come out of the vestry and with his best man and me awaited the bride in the chancel.  Up she jumped and, pointing a small finger at the bridegroom, said in her shrill baby voice, 'Oh, mother, if there isn't Uncle Bob with his best clothes on and his everyday nose!'  She had been told by her uncle, who possessed an unusually prominent nose, that when he got married it would be shorter.
  "One time after reading a ceremony the bridegroom handed me a five dollar bill saying 'I'll give you two.'  Not understanding him, I said, 'Thank you.' and put it into my pocket.  He touched me on the shoulder and again said, 'I'll give you two.'  'Oh, you want change?' I inquired.  He nodded and I handed him $3."
  One laughable wedding was that of a widow who married one of her boarders.  She was a woman past forty-five with all the airs of a school-girl and amused all who knew her by her references on all occasions to her departed husband, John.  In fact, John got to be a byword among all who knew the widow.  Among the boarders was a young fellow of twenty-five, who fell in love with the fair relict of the sainted John, and in a short time the roomers were all invited to attend a wedding to be held in the parlor.
  The widow was large, tall and stout and the bridegroom exceedingly small for a man and when on the night of the wedding the widow appeared at the proper moment leading her prospective husband into the parlor, much as a mother leads her little boy, even the waiting clergyman had to suppress a smile.  After the ceremony had been read and congratulatory speeches were in order the erstwhile widow exclaimed, with emotion, "Oh, if only my poor, dear John were here to see how happy I am at this moment!"  Only the perfect self control of the guests saved the situation.
  It was in an Episcopal church that a superstitious bride fainted at the altar.  Just as the bridegroom was about to put the ring on her finger his nervous, shaking fingers dropped it and it rolled away across the floor.  The bride, certain that some great calamity would overtake them, refused to go on with the services and then fainted.  After the delay of an hour or so she was prevailed upon to allow the ceremony to be finished.
  A Unitarian minister tells this story: "One time I was to read the service in my church in a western state where licenses are not required.  The church was filled and the bridal party arrived on time, all save the bridegroom.  For more than an hour we waited, the bride growing almost hysterical and the guests restless over a delay the reason for which was not suspected.
  "At last word was brought that the party was ready, and I came out from the vestry, the organ pealed forth the wedding march, and the bride came up the aisle to the altar, pale and trembling, looking much different from the pretty, flushed girl I knew.
  "Imagine my surprise when the bride and best man stepped before me.  The man said a few whispered words.  I looked at the girl, and she nodded, and I began the service that made the girl the wife of the best man.  The bride was saved from mortification, and the guests were not disappointed.
  "It seems the best man had been in love with the girl, and when the bridegroom did not come he quietly stepped in and got her consent to marry him.  I believe she never heard directly from her recreant bridegroom, and her marriage to the best man proved a happy one." --Chicago News.
From the Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspaper Site:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Halloween Anniversary Party

  I found the following article in The Princeton Union  newspaper about an anniversary party that was held on Halloween.  And since it is Wedding Wednesday and Halloween today, I thought it was very fitting for the occasion.
  I can't say that I am related to anyone in the article, but I like to think that some of my relatives probably knew the people mentioned.

The Princeton Union
Nov. 2, 1911
pg. 1
          Hallowe'en Party
  Although a day too previous, Dr.
and Mrs. McRae gave a Hallowe'en
party to the Anniversary club on
Monday night.  The occasion was the
second anniversary of Dr. and Mrs.
McRae's wedding and it was cele-
brated in befitting manner.  Decora-
tions of illuminated pumpkins, ghost-
ly paper figures and other uncanny,
or creepy looking things, converted
the living room at the McRae resi-
dence into a veritable hobgoblin
roost.  The biggest pumpkin was on
the dining table, and its interior con-
tained a beverage said to be cider
which the guests drew into their sys-
tems through straws.  It is possible
that it was not misnamed, for cider is
known to produce a ruddy complexion
after a sufficient quantity is imbibed.
It may be, however, that the ruddi-
ness was produced by the glow from
the illuminated pumpkins scattered
  Mrs. McRae furnished a delectable
supper and, when the guests were not
eating, or drinking through straws,
they amused themselves with playing
games of various kinds.
  Those present besides the host and
hostess were Mr. and Mrs. Ira G.
Stanley, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Keith,
Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Stark, Mr. and
Mrs. George Ross, Mr. and Mrs. O.
B. Randall, Mr. and Mrs. Henry
Avery, Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Davis,
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Goulding and
Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Kaliher.


  This is the wedding announcement for Dr. Duncan McRae, who was a dentist, and Miss Lena Frank.

The Princeton Union
Nov. 4, 1909
pg. 1
                 Dr. D. A. McRae Married. 
     Dr. D. A. McRae of this village was married at 3    o'clock on Saturday afternoon, October 30, to Miss Lena A. Frank at the home of Frank Goettche, Rice Lake, Wisconsin.  Rev. Koons of Eau Claire, Wis., conducted the marriage ceremony.  Only the immediate relatives of the bride and groom were present at the wedding.
  Dr. and Mrs. McRae departed upon the same day for Duluth and other places for a short bridal tour and arrived in Princeton yesterday, where they were heartily welcomed.  They are at home in the upper part of Mrs. C. H. Rines' residence on First street.
  During the doctor's absence from Princeton the exterior of his office was beautifully decorated with hearts, and legends, written with a brush, were hung upon the walls.

 From the Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspaper Site:
(wedding announcement)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Mrs. Effie M. Gawehn

Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette
Aug. 4, 1968, pg. 2A
              MRS. EFFIE M. GAWEHN
  "Services for Mrs. Effie M. Gawehn, 78, of 3036 Crescent Ave., will be at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Klaehn Funeral Home.  Burial will be in Lindenwood Cemetery.
  Mrs. Gawehn was dead on arrival at 8:40 p.m. Friday at Parkview Memorial Hospital.
  She was a member of St. Luke's Lutheran Church, the Past Matrons of Shiloh Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star and Daughters of the Nile.
  Surviving are her husband, George; one sister, Miss Mabel A. Beamer, Fort Wayne, and several nieces and nephews.
  Friends may call at the funeral home after 7 p.m. today.  Past Matrons will have services Monday evening at the funeral home."

Effie is the daughter-in-law of Zilla (Richter) Gawehn.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Gordon Robideau and Lou Etta Libby

Gordon is another one of my great grandmother Lulu's brothers. He was 29 and Lou Etta was 24 years old when they married on January 1, 1922.

The Princeton Union - Jan. 5, 1922, pg. 1
"Gordon Robideau, son of Mr. and Mrs. Nels Robideau, and Miss Louetta Libby, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Libby, were married in Greenbush on New Year's day.  Rev. Chas. A. Mayer performed the ceremony.  The attendants were Miss Flossie Libby, a sister of the bride, and Ralph F. Robideau, a brother of the groom."

Newspaper clipping is from the Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers site:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wedding Weddnesday - Clyde Robideau and Mabel Levi

    Clyde John Robideau married Mabel Dorothy Levi on Sept. 30, 1912 at St. Henry's church in Le Sueur, Minnesota.  Clyde Robideau is the oldest brother of my great grandmother Lulu (Robideau) Elsner which makes Clyde my great grand uncle. 

  The following newspaper clippings were published in The Princeton Union on Oct. 3, 1912:

      Clyde Robideau Weds.
  "Clyde J. Robideau, oldest son of
Mr. and Mrs. Nels Robideau of
Greenbush, and Miss Pearl Levi of
Le Sueur were married at St.
Henry's church, Le Sueur, on Mon-
day morning.  Rev. Vanderlanga
conducted the ceremony and cele-
brated the nuptial high mass.  Pat-
rick Hoey was best man and Miss
Myrtle Levi bridesmaid, while Miss
Vivian Lancaster, a niece of the
bride, acted as ring bearer.  Nelta
Fryeberg and Alice Grimshied, also
nieces of the bride, were flower girls.
Miss Elizabeth Fitzpatrick played
Lohengrin's wedding march and
Michael Hunt and Miss Fitzpatrick
sang, "Thou Art Always Mine."
  The bride was gowned in Roman

 net, trimmed with real Irish lace
                 over a costume of messaline satin
                 and carried American Beauty roses.
                 The bridesmaid's gown was of white
                 lace and she also carried roses.  Roses
                 and carnations were placed upon the
                 altar and the church was otherwise
                 prettily decorated.
                   A wedding repast followed the
                 ceremony at the home of the bride's
                 parents of which about 150 guests
                 partook, and a large number of use-
                 ful and costly gifts were bestowed
                 upon the happy young people.
                   On Tuesday Mr. and Mrs. Robideau
                 left for Edgerley, N. D., where the
                 groom holds a clerical position and
                 where they expect to make their
                 future home.
                   The Union joins the friends of
                 these popular young people in wish-
                 ing them happiness and prosperity
                                                                                            throughout life."

  The newspaper printed that Clyde married "Pearl" Levi, but I think this is a misprint. When I first saw it, I wondered who Pearl was because my research tells me that her name was Mabel.  And I have not found anything that indicates that her nickname was "Pearl".

Newspaper clippings are from the Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers site:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Erich Richter's Occupations

  Erich's obituary gave me some new information about his occupations.  It said that he was once a tavern owner in Fort Wayne, Indiana and later a member of the police force there.  It also said that he lived in Fort Wayne until 1894 when he moved to Napoleon, Ohio where he was in the restaurant and hotel business.

  I did not know anything about these occupations and thought that maybe his sister, Zilla, who I presume is the one that gave the information to the newspaper, must have gotten confused and given information about another brother. (At this time, I don't even know if she had another brother.)  The only occupation I had learned about was sign painter.  But I did a quick search of The Fort Wayne News and found a couple of articles about Officer Richter.  So all week I have been looking through old newspapers and City Directories to verify the information in the obituary.

  I knew that Erich was born in Germany and came to the USA in about 1881, when he was 27 years old.  The following year, he married Ida.  But I have not been able to find anything about his occupation until 1885.

  I found Erich in the 1885-1886 Fort Wayne City Directory.  It reads: Richter Erick, brickmaker Alexander McKernan, res s of New Haven road nr tollgate.

  However, in September of 1885, I found this in the newspaper:
  "Erich Richter has been sworn in as a special officer to do duty for Keil Bro.'s, Fred Eckart and other merchants in the block opposite the court house.  Keil Bro.'s now have a light burning in their store at night.  Before the recent burglary they did not, although the police frequently prevailed on them to do so."  - The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Sep. 29, 1885

  In the 1887 city directory he is listed as a watchman and then in the city directories from 1888 through 1894, he is listed as being a policeman or patrolman.  I also found many newspaper articles about arrests he made.  Here is one that I found amusing:
  "Louis Hamilton, a printer, was arrested by Officer Richter for intoxication.  Hamilton got bail for a prisoner yesterday, and alas, poor fellow, his thanks came not by a similar favor to day.  Cyrus Danes and John Nalligan were arrested by Officers Limecooly and Richter, and both are now in jail for eleven days." - The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Feb. 11, 1890

  Then I came across a couple of articles regarding an incident in May of 1890 that led to Erich being suspended from the police department for 30 days.

  "The police commissioners met last night, with Mayor Harding in the chair, and investigated charges of intoxication which had been proferred against Lieut. Leonard Fuchshuber, and Officers Erich Richter and Henry Stoll.  Lieutenant Fuchshuber was dismissed from the service, Officer Richter suspended for thirty days and Officer Stoll let go with reprimand.  The board elected Henry Lapp as the new Lieutenant in place of Fuchshuber, dismissed, promoting Mr. Lapp from the ranks.  Mr. Lapp is a faithful officer and will no doubt make a good lieutenant.  The vacancy on the force will be filled at a meeting of the board next Tuesday evening." - The Fort Wayne Sentinel, May 24, 1890

  "Another lively and interesting discussion was one caused by councilman Boltz objecting to a section in the police commissioner's report wherein Officer Eric Richter was suspended from the police force for thirty days.  Mr. Boltz wanted to know why Officer Stoll was not suspended too.  Both were eating frogs from the same dish, he said and drinking wine from the same bottle at the Globe restaurant in company with Lieutenant Leonard Fuchshuber, who was discharged from the force.  This was too much for some of the police commission who simultaneously jumped to their feet.  Councilman Michael insisted that certain affidavits relating to the case be read to the council to show that the members of the police board were honest in their action.  Councilman Gordon, also a member, addressed the meeting in emphatic and cloquent terms.  Councilman Meyer, a member, demanded that an investigation be made in Stoll's case and Gordon forthwith filed a resolution demanding that Mr. Boltz produce certain testimony to bear on the case, which resolution was adopted." - The Fort Wayne Sentinel, May 28, 1890

  Erich returns to the police force:
  "Officer Richter will resume his beat on the police force next Monday, after thirty days' suspension." - The Fort Wayne Sentinel, June 20, 1890

  And then I saw this headline in The Fort Wayne Sentinel:  "Charles Beuret Stands Trial for attacking Officer Richter With a Razor".  I gasped when I read what happened to him!
  "Charles Beuret, who attacked Officer Eric Richter with a razor, pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault with intent to kill, and is having a trial in the circuit court.  On the night of the 8th, young Beuret insulted ex-Councilman Aime Racine and another gentleman as they were about to enter the Randall hotel.  Officer Richter ordered Beuret to move on, but the young man continued to loiter in the vicinity.  A second time the officer repeated his warning, whereupon he was attacked by Beuret, who drew a razor from his pocket and slashed it across the shoulder and neck of the officer, inflicting an ugly wound and nearly severing the jugular vein.  The brave officer overpowered his assailant and soon had him behind the bars.  The prisoner had a hearing and was bound over to await trial.  The circumstances are very much against Beuret.  The officer's heavy coat, worn on the night of the assault, is to be brought before the jury, showing where the keen blade cut through the garment and indicating the force with which the instrument was dealt in the attack.  Prosecutor J. M. Robinson will put up a strong case.  The defense is represented by J. R. Bittenger and George W. Louttit.  The prisoner, a young man of perhaps twenty-three years of age, formerly worked in the Olda spoke factory.  His aged father, Charles A. Beuret, a respected citizen, residing at 34 East Second Street, attends the trial at the side of his son and council." - The Fort Wayne Sentinel, Oct. 24, 1890

  The newspapers have several other articles about arrests that he made until 1894.  Then I found this article in 1919 titled  "What Happened Twenty-five Years Ago.": 
  "June 1. - Twelve well known policemen will be discharged through political change.  They are Stephen Fletcher, William Rohrer, Erick Richter, Charles Lindsey, Frank Roelle, Fred Limecooly, Joseph Gushing, Dennis O'Connor, John Tremmel, Jessie Trautmann, William Pappert, George McCrory.  Three new men who will be placed on the force are Albert G. Foulks, John W. Flickinger, Theodore Hardendorf." - The Fort Wayne News And Sentinel, June 2, 1919

  After he was let go from the police department on June 1, 1894, I checked the city directories to see what he was doing.  I didn't expect to find him because his obituary said he moved to Ohio in 1894.  But he was still in Fort Wayne until some time in 1897 or 1898. 

  The 1895 Fort Wayne City Direcotry lists his business/occupation as grocer & saloon, 1896 - grocer, 1897 - saloon.  After that, I did not find him in the Fort Wayne city directories. 

  The censuses from 1900 thru 1930 all show that he was living in Napoleon, Ohio and his occupation was sign painter.  But I came across a Fort Wayne newspaper article that had a totally new occupation:
  "Eric Richter, who will be remembered as a member of the city police force some years ago, is spending a few days in the city.  Mr. Richter is now the representative of the Erie Manufacturing company, with headquarters at Toledo." - The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette, Jul. 6, 1907

  I found him listed in the Toledo, Ohio City Directories in 1907 and 1908 but he wasn't living in Toledo, he was still living in Napoleon.  Here is what the 1908 listing looked like: "Richter Erich J B (Erie Mngf Co), res Napoleon, O." 

  The last thing I found was a random article that contained a part of the 1916 Farmer's Directory for Napoleon, Ohio and Erich was listed in that as a sign painter. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Erich J B Richter 1854-1939

  Today's obituary contains new information about Erich Richter which started me searching for confirmation on the things I had not known before.  Here is the obit:

Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette April 25, 1939, pg. 2
  "E. J. Richter, 85, once a tavern
owner in Fort Wayne and later a
member of the police force here, died
yesterday at his home in Napoleon,
O., of senility.  He had been ill for
three years.
  Mr. Richter was born in Germany
but came to the United States when
a young man.  He was here until 1894
when he moved to Napoleon, where
he had lived since.  In Ohio he was
engaged in the restaurant and hotel
  Survivors include the widow, Mrs.
Ida Richter; one son, Walter of
Milwaukee, Wis; three daughters,
Mrs. Bertha Huston, Napoleon, Meta,
River Rouge, Mich.; 10 grandchil-
dren, and a sister, Mrs. Zella Gawehn
Elsner, Fort Wayne."

  What I did not know was that he was a tavern owner and a member of the police force in Ft. Wayne, Indiana and that he had been in the restaurant and hotel business in Ohio.  In my research, all I had ever seen was that he was a painter or sign painter.  Sign painter/painter was on all the censuses and even his death certificate.

  Of course I have already begun digging around trying to find out about his other occupations.  (This is the fun part for me!)  I think I have already found proof of him being a police officer but nothing yet about restaurants, taverns or hotels.  But, I will keep digging and I will post my findings in a couple of days.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day 2012

Steven LeGrande Warner 
It's been 10 years since my dad died.  This year the anniversary fell on Labor Day.  So my sisters and I decided that we would make the day about our dad.  The four of us got together with our families and had a simple barbecue with hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, potato salad, and chocolate chip cookies for dessert.  We even played a game and included Dad in the game!

The game is called Imaginiff.  If you've never played it before it goes something like this:  There is a board that has places to write 8 names.  We had 7 players so we wrote all our names down and included Dad as one of the names to make 8.  With each turn, a player rolls the dice and then selects a card from the stack.  They read the card and insert a persons name into the question.  The questions are things like "Imaginiff ______ was a character from Star Wars.  Which character would he/she be?"  And there are 6 answers to choose from.  Each player has a stack of 8 cards and will choose one of the numbers for their answer.  The "correct" answer is the one that the majority chose, and those players will move their token on the board.  There are 8 cards because sometimes the question is about everyone, so you will choose from the 8 names written on the board.  For example, "Imaginiff we were all whitewater rafting.  Who would be the first to fall out?".  The variety of questions leads to some hilarious conversations!  And we had some pretty funny arguments about what household appliance one of my sisters would be and why Dad would/wouldn't be a great matador!

It was a fun day and we all had a great time together laughing and remembering our dad.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Talented Tuesday - Virgil Frederick Elsner, 1915-2009

Virgil Frederick Elsner, son of Frederick W. and Edith Lorena (Winsor) Elsner. 
Born - Dec. 3, 1915 in Princeton, Minn.
Died - Aug. 15, 2009 in Redondo Beach, Cal.
Married - Aug. 20, 1942 in Boston, Mass. to
Mary Louise Hart, daughter of Leo Hart and Ann (Gross) Hart
Born - Feb. 27, 1920 in Woodstock, Ill.
Died - Oct. 14, 2003 in Redondo Beach, Cal.

  The following passage is from: Down Winsor Way - A Family History and Genealogy, by Vivian Winsor Toothaker, Publish by Cuddy's North Park Printery, San Diego, CA (October, 1962).

  "As a very young child, Virgil showed great aptitude for drawing.  His parents encouraged him in this.  After taking an art course in high school, he attended the Art Institute of Chicago.  His work has been in the field of commercial art both in Chicago and on the west coast, having worked for Walt Disney Studios during one period.
  In 1960 an exhibit on electronics, which he designed, was chosen as the best of approximately 5,000 pieces submitted for the Annual Los Angeles Art Directors Club Exhibit.  This same exhibit won a medal in the annual competition for displays and exhibits conducted by Display World Magazine and it also won a first place award in the annual competition conducted by the West Coast Industrial Advertisers Council.  The design was carried out to display products in an electronic equipment show in New York City.
  His designs for some 42 departments were used in a new department store (Kauphman's) which opened in 1961 in a suberb of Philadelphia.  His industrial designs for various companies are often seen on the market.
  During World War II, Virgil served in the U.S. Navy for more than three years.  He was assigned to a Sub-Chaser which combed the waters of New Guinea, Australia and the Philippines.
  Before entering the Service, he had met Mary Louise Hart, who was teaching school in Oak Park, Ill.  They were married in Boston, Mass.  While Virgil was in the Service, Mary Lou taught school (physical education) in San Bernardino, and San Diego, Calif. and became very fond of the west.  Virgil, too, decided it had much to offer and they stayed in California upon his release from the Navy.  During 1958-59 Virgil again worked in Chicago but the whole family was happy to return to California once again.
  Creative work, such as Virgil's cannot be bound by hours from nine to five.  His great passion for the work he is doing very often causes him to burn the midnight oil and even to greet the dawn.  This calls for great forebearance on the part of Mary Lou, who has much understanding and interest in his work.
  Their sons show an inclination toward the business of art also."

  I did a google search for "Kauphman's" and could not find anything with that spelling.  However, there was a store called "Kaufmann's" which according to wikipedia, originated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.   Click here if you want to read more about Kaufmann's.

  When I googled Virgil, I found 2 patents that were awarded to him!  This one is for a design for a waffle iron:

Patent number: D121386
Filing date: Apr 16, 1940
Issue date: Jul 9, 1940

Here is  the link to view it on google - Virgil Elsner's Waffle Iron Patent 

And this one is for a sprayer:

Patent number: D156873
Filing date: Jun 14, 1949
Issue date: Jan 17, 1950
The link to view it on google is - Virgil Elsner's Sprayer Patent

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Thomas H. Caley 1848-1921

I am not related to Mr. Caley, but many of my relatives lived in and around Princeton, Minnesota and probably knew him.  And Fred Elsner worked at the Caley Hardware store for a while.
The Princeton Union, Oct. 20, 1921, pg. 1
 Passes Away Without Warning at His
Home During the Noon Hour
on Friday, Oct. 14.


Was a Veteran of the Civil War, a
  Progressive Business Man and
       a Man of Honor.

  Thomas H. Caley, prominent busi-nessman,  progressive American citizen and veteran of the civil war, is no more.  He passed away suddenly at his home on Friday, October 14, at 12:30, shortly before
the time for his midday meal.  He was conversing with his wife and Mrs. Chas. Rines, when he collapsed, his head drooped upon his breast and his life went out.
  Mr. Caley had not been in good health since he fell on an icy sidewalk, the result of which incapacitated him for many months.  But when called by death he appeared to be fast regaining his usual health and was at his usual place of business every day, being one of the first to
reach there in the morning.  He knew, however, that he suffered from an ailment of the heart and more than once expressed
a desire to pass from earth in the manner in which he did.
  When the news of his death was circulated in Princeton it cast a deep gloom over the village, for Mr. Caley was generally held in the highest esteem-esteem which he well merited for the public spirit and generosity which he displayed during his 52 years residence in this village.  He was at all times progressive and had the interest of the village at heart.  He did his part, in fact a great share, toward placing Princeton in so prominent a position on the map as it is today, advocating and enhancing public improvements which he considered would benefit the village and the surrounding territory.  He was generous, contributing to the churches and charitable organizations, and a hundred per cent American citizen.  In his home life he was kind and affectionate and at all times strove to make his family happy.
  The passing of Thomas H. Caley means a heavy loss to the village of Princeton and county of Mille Lacs, and for many a year his presence will be missed, but his memory will be revered.
  Funeral services were conducted at the family residence on Sunday afternoon by Rev. Besselievre of the Congregational church, who delivered a short sermon setting forth the sterling qualities and worth of deceased and which was imbued with comforting words for his relatives and business associates.  Mrs. George Ross sang two hymnal selections during the progress of the ceremony.  Hundreds of people were in attendance at the obsequies and followed the remains to their last resting place in Oak Knoll cemetery.  The pallbearers were S. S. Petterson, J. F. Petterson, E. K. Evens, A. E. Allen, E. L. McMillan, Jas. Hartman, Fred Newton and Ben Soule.
  Among those present from out of town were C. J. and W. H. Birch, nephews of Mr. Caley, Duluth; Lloyd Mallette, nephew, St. Paul; Mother Madeline, niece of deceased, Minneapolis; Sister Aquinas, Minneapolis; Sister Bernadine, St. Paul; Miss Elizabeth Nelson, Miss Morrison, Miss Nellie Larkin, Dr. and Mrs. Card, Mr. and Mrs. Satterlee, Minneapolis; Carl Tarbox, Anoka; Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Allen, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Morneau, Wm. Haggman, Milaca; A. E. Williams, John Grahek, Mora.
  Thomas H. Caley was born at Carleton Place, Canada, in 1848, and at the age of 6 years moved to Janesville, Wis.  When 16 years of age he enlisted in the Thirty-seventh Wisconsin infantry and served until the end of the war, entering into the following engagements during this period: Cold Harbor, Va.; siege of Petersburg; assault on Petersburg, June 17, 1864; Mine explosion, Va.; Weldon railroad, Ream's station, Poplar Spring church, Hatcher's Run, assault on Fort Steadman, assault on Petersburg April 2, 1865.  He came to Princeton in 1869 and engaged in business with his brother, Daniel, under the firm name of Caley Bros.  Shortly afterward the partnership was dissolved and
he entered into business on his own account, which has continued for 52 years in the same location under the name and style of the Caley Hardware company. - In 1874 he was married to Mary Applegate and two children were born of this union, Clair and Glen, the latter being dead.  Mr. Caley's wife died in 1889 and in 1891 he married Mary Ward, who survives him as well as two sons -
Harold and Thomas - born of this marriage.  Deceased was engaged in many enterprises, being vice president of the Rudd Lumber company, a director in the First National bank of Princeton, and was interested in several hardware stores.  At one time he owned the Princeton Starch factory, which was sold to the R. L. Pitcher Co. a few years ago.  In the early days he was president of the village council 12 years and councilman six years.  There never was a more progressive man in that body than Thomas H. Caley.

The Princeton Union-Eagle online newspaper has an article titled "Legacy of Princeton pioneer T.H. Caley draws group tour" about a group that came to Princeton on April 29, 2012 to tour the sites related to Mr. T.H. Caley.  There is a picture of the old Caley House too. (Click on the title of the online news article to read all about it.)

Newspaper clipping is from the Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers site:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Frederick William Elsner, 1885-1965

Fred Elsner

Frederick William Elsner, s/o Albert Elsner and Lydia Richter
b. April 8, 1885 in Germany, arrived in US on March 1, 1887
d. Nov. 13, 1965 in St. Cloud, Stearns County, MN
m. April 30, 1913 in Princeton, Mille Lacs County, MN

Rena Elsner

Edith Lorena Winsor, d/o Samuel Winsor and Edith Lyon Banks
b. Dec. 17, 1889 in McIntire, Mitchell County, Iowa
d. Aug. 26, 1970 in Sherburne County, MN

Fred and his parents arrived in America at the Port of New York on March 1, 1887.  They travelled to Fort Wayne, Indiana where his mother gave birth to Elizabeth Natalie Elsner on April 6, 1887.  And by 1889, they were all living in Chicago, Illinois where his parents had four more children: Paul (b. July 16, 1889),  Anna (b. Jan. 17, 1891), Otto (b. Oct. 22, 1894), and Erick (b. Oct. 13, 1896).  According to the 1900 Census for Chicago, Illinois, and the Chicago City Directory, Fred's father, Albert was a Saloon Keeper.

By the time the 1910 Census was taken Albert had moved his family to Greenbush, Mille Lacs, Minnesota and was a farmer.  Fred and his sister Elizabeth had moved away from the farm and were living together in Princeton on Eastern Avenue.  Fred was employed as a salesman at a hardware store and Elizabeth was a sales lady at a general store.

Fred married Edith Lorena Winsor on April 30, 1913 at the home of Rena's parents, Samuel Winsor and Edith Lyon Banks.

Fred and Rena had one child, Virgil Frederick Elsner, born December 3, 1915, in Princeton, MN.

The 1920 Census shows Fred, Rena, and Virgil living in Princeton, Mn. where Fred rents a home and works in the office of a garage.

The 1930 Census shows that Fred has moved his family to Elmhurst, Illinois.  Fred owns his home at 264 Willow Road and it is valued at $7500.00.  Fred's sister-in-law Vivian Winsor (age 19) is living with him and his wife Rena and their son Virgil.  Fred's occupation is carpenter, and Vivian is a Stenographer for a Life Insurance Company.

The 1940 Census shows that Fred and Rena are renting a home at 194 East Fremont Ave, in Elmhurst, Illinois for $27.50/month.  (I looked up the address and found that this is a multi-family unit built in 1924.)  Virgil is 24 years old and living with his parents.  (sister-in-law is no longer living with them).  Fred's occupation is Carpenter - Building Construction.  In 1939, Fred worked 26 weeks and earned $500 that year.  Virgil's occupation is Commercial Artist - Household Equipment.  And in 1939, Virgil worked 50 weeks and earned $1500.

The following passage is from: Down Winsor Way - A Family History and Genealogy, by Vivian Winsor Toothaker, Published by Cuddy's North Park Printery, San Diego, CA (October, 1962).

         "Rena", as she is known to her family and friends, has a wonderful sense of humor
         and the ability to stir others to laughter. She possesses something of the adventurous
         spirit of her grandparents, always willing to try something new, always seeking greener
         pastures. She has moved her home many times during her lifetime, but wherever her
         home is located, it is tastefully decorated and furnished and is kept spotlessly clean
         and neat by daily cleaning. In adversity, she has gone to work outside her home to
         help keep the larder filled. Before her marriage, she worked as a milliner.

         When he was but a few years old, Fred's family took the long and adventurous journey
         from Germany to America. His father operated a store in Chicago for a few years before
         buying a farm near Princeton, Minn.

         Rena's younger brothers and sisters considered Fred the ultimate in romantic figures
         when he came to court her, driving-not the horses from his father's farm-but a hired, shiny, 
         livery rig with smartly groomed horses, bringing a procession of artistically wrapped
         gifts to sweep the lady off her feet.

         Baby sister, Vivian, who was only two weeks old the first time he came to call at the
         Winsor farm in Wyanette Township, was two and one-half years old and steady enough
         on her feet to be the ring bearer when Rena and Fred took their marriage vows in a lovely
         home wedding. The family, by that time, had moved to a house in town.

         Those were happy days when Fred worked at the Caley Hardware Store and they lived
         in a little cottage in Princeton. Later Fred worked at Powell Hardware Store in St. Cloud.

         In 1923 they moved to Elmhurst, Ill. where a building boom was beginning. With his
         brother, Otto, Fred learned the carpenter trade and things went just fine until the great 
         depression set in and they lost the home they were buying and on which Fred had shared
         in the building. Since that time other homes have been bought and sold. They spent two years 
         in Manhattan Beach, Calif. and eventually returned to Minnesota."


Since the 1910 Census for Princeton says Fred was a salesman at a hardware store and Down Winsor Way mentions that Fred worked at Caley's Hardware Store in Princeton, I was curious to see what I could find out about Caley's Hardware Store.  I found out that Caley Hardware Company was owned by Thomas H. Caley and was in business for 52 years.  They sold all kinds of things, from items for the home to farm equipment. 

These are just a few of the many ads that ran in The Princeton Union newspaper throughout the years.

November 13, 1913, pg. 3
Oct. 19, 1916, pg 5


I also found a photo on The Minnesota Digital Library website of an interior view of Caley Hardware.  I was surprised to find Fred's name written above the picture!  Click here to see it.  Enlarge the picture to get a better look at it.  I believe Fred is the one with the bow tie. 

I had heard that Fred had moved to Illinois to help his brother Otto with building houses.  Down Winsor Way mentioned it was 1923.  I checked The Princeton Union  and found this add on September 14, and 21, 1922.
The Princeton Union, Thursday, September 21, 1922, page 3.

I looked for an article in The Princeton Union that mentioned them leaving town, but was unable to find anything.  The online newspaper I used (Chronicling America) only goes up to Dec. 31, 1922, so there may be something after that if they left in 1923 like was mentioned in Down Winsor Way.

Down Winsor way also gives me some more clues about where Fred and his mother Lydia might have been born.  It says that Fred was born in Stetin, Germany and Lydia was born at Mecklenburg, Germany.   However,  I also have a copy a document that was written by Elizabeth Elsner (Fred's sister) that says that Lydia was born in Neuendorf, Germany.  (It doesn't say where in Germany Fred was born.)  Down Winsor Way does not mention where Albert was born, but Elizabeth's document says that he was born in Stolp, Germany and on his marriage license to his second wife (Zilla Gawehn) he put that he was born in Neuendorf, Germany, and his obituary says West Prussia!

The Princeton Union newspaper information is from the Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers site:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Virgil Clark Winsor, 1887-1955

Since my last post was the wedding announcement for Virgil Winsor and Olga Krengel, I thought I would post more about them.

Virgil Clark Winsor, son of Samuel Winsor and Edith Banks

b. Dec. 12, 1887 in McIntire, Iowa

d. Mar. 11, 1955 in Excelsior, Minn.

m. Sept. 5, 1916 in Mankato, Minn.

Olga Krengel, daughter of William Krengel and Theresa Keller

b. Oct. 15, 1889 in Mapleton, Minn.

d. Sept. 26, 1977 in Excelsior, Minn

Virgil and Olga had two children; a daughter, Evelyn Marie Winsor who was born and died on Jan 16, 1919 in Minneapolis, Minn; the other child is still living as of this post.

This information is from Census records:
1900 - Virgil is 12 yrs old and is living in Jenkins, Iowa with his parents and siblings.
1905 - Virgil is 17 yrs old and living in Wyanette Twp, Minn. with his parents and siblings and is a farm laborer.  His father Samuel is a farmer, so Virgil is most likely working on his father's farm.
1910 - Virgil is now 22 yrs old and rooming with a family in Red Wing, Minn.  He is a traveling salesman selling medicines.

On Sept. 5, 1916 Virgil and Olga are married at her parents home in Mankato, Minn.

On January 5, 1917 Virgil filled out a WWI Draft Registration card.  He lives in Excelsior, Minn. and lists his occupation as salesman.  His employer is W.T. Rawleigh Company in Excelsior and vicinity.  He claimed exemption from the draft on the grounds of a weak heart and bad feet.  He is described as being tall and slender with brown eyes and dark brown hair.

More Census records:
1920 - Virgil and Olga are living with Olga's widowed mother, Theresa, in Excelsior, Minn.  Theresa owns her home, free (no mortgage).  Virgil is a salesman at a medical company.
1930 - Virgil, Olga and their child are living in Excelsior, Minn.  Virgil owns a home valued at $2500.  He is a salesman for Rawleigh Co. (medical) and Olga is a proprietor of a wearing apparel shop.  Olga's mother Theresa Krengel is now living with them.  In the column asking if the person is a veteran of the US military or naval forces, it is answered "no" for Virgil.
1940 - Virgil, Olga, and child are living in Excelsior, Minn.  Virgil owns a home valued at $4000.  He is a salesman of retail ready-to-wear and Olga is the manager of retail ready-to-wear.  Under the column of "Class of worker", Virgil is classified as "Wage or salary worker in private work" and Olga is classified as "working on own account".

The following information was gathered from a book I found about the Winsor lineage.  The book is titled Down Winsor Way - A Family History and Genealogy written by Vivian Winsor Toothaker.  (Vivian is one of Virgil's sisters.  She was also mentioned in a previous post about Fred and Rena Elsner's wedding.  She was the little sister that carried the wedding ring.)  I won't copy the whole page from the book, but will give you the highlights that clarify the information above that I had gathered from other sources.

             "Virgil possessed a happy nature and a real interest in people.  These

              characteristics combined to give him the qualities of a salesman.  As
              he traveled about the countryside selling Watkins, then Raleigh (sic)
              Products, he enjoyed visiting with the people on whom he called."

             "In his youth, he and his brother, Roy, were good helpers on his father's farm."

             "Virgil borrowed money from his parents to attend Minneapolis Business

              College.  The money was faithfully repaid.  His brother-in-law, Fred Harrington,
              had become a Watkins salesman and was living in Mapleton, Minn.  Virgil
              visited them and was introduced to a young lady friend of theirs, Olga Krengel.  
              A romance developed which resulted in marriage.  Virgil also became a Watkins  
              salesman as a result of that visit.  His territory was first in Red Wing,
              then Zumbrota, later when he moved to Excelsior, it was south of
              Minneapolis through Chaska, Mendota, etc."

             "Olga had a natural bent for business.  She learned the milliner trade.  For

              many years she owned and operated a variety or dry goods store in Excelsior
              which she called "WINDSOR SHOPPE."

             "In later years, Virgil gave up traveling as a salesman and assisted Olga at the store."

             "He loved to sing and whistle as he went about his work; this was an

              expression of Virgil's happy spirit.  He was always busy, trying his hand at
              many jobs around his home, even to the extent of building some rental houses.
              During one period, he raised dogs, specializing in Boston Bull Terriers."

             "He overtaxed his heart shoveling snow after a storm and in his later years

              he suffered many heart attacks which brought about his death in March, 1955."

             "Virgil was deeply religious and united with the Lutheran Church of Excelsior.

               He was interested in the civic activities in his city."

Virgil Clark Winsor is my great grand uncle Fred Elsner's brother-in-law.  Fred and his wife, Rena, had a son named Virgil.  I wonder: did they name their son after Rena's brother?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Winsor-Krengel

Virgil C. Winsor is a brother of Rena (Winsor) Elsner.  He married Olga Krengel on September 5, 1916.

The Princeton Union, Thursday, Sept. 7, 1916, pg. 1
   Mr. Virgil C. Winsor and Miss Olga Leona Krengel were united in marriage Tuesday noon at the home of the bride's parents in Mankato.  The groom is a son of Mr. and Mrs. S. Winsor of this village, and is a young man of sterling worth.  Numerous friends here wish Mr. Winsor and his bride a married life of uninterrupted bliss.  Mr. and Mrs. Winsor will reside at Excelsior.

Newspaper clipping is from the Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers site:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Kettelhodt-Smith

Frederick T. Kettelhodt married Mrs. Elvena E. Smith on June 16, 1921.  It is the second marriage for each of them.  Frederick Kettelhodt's first wife, Ottilie (Kriesel) Kettelhodt, died Jan 5, 1920 and Elvena E. (Kriesel) Smith's first husband, Frank, died July 17, 1919.

The Princeton Union, June 23, 1921, page 1
  Frederick T. Kettelhodt and Mrs. Elvena E. Smith of Princeton were married at the home of Mr. and Mrs. C. R. Sundboom in St. Paul by Rev. Heyne at 7:30 p. m. on June 16.
  The bride was gowned in blue Canton silk crepe and carried a bridal wreath of rosebuds.  She was attended by her daughter, Mrs. C. R. Sundboom, and Mr. Sanboom (sic) was best man.  Hazel Sundboom was ring bearer and Lucille Sundboom flower girl.  Mrs. Sylvia Troseth, niece of the bride, played the wedding march.
  Following the ceremony a wedding supper was served, those present being E. G. Waldhoff and son, Earl, North Branch; Bernard Klaus and son, Harry, St. Paul; Mrs. Lydia Apgar, Mrs. Sylvia Troseth, Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Peterson and son, Jerome, St. Paul; Miss Elenore Smith, daughter of the bride, Princeton.
  Their many friends wish them their full share of life's blessings.

  Ottilie and Elvena are not sisters.  I'm sure they must be related somehow, but I haven't figured out the connection yet.  I'll let you know once I figure it out.

Newspaper clipping is from the Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers site:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Mrs. F. T. Kettelhodt

The Princeton Union, Thursday,
January 8, 1920, pg. 1
Mrs. F. T. Kettelhodt.
   Mrs. F. T. Kettelhodt died at the Northwestern hospital, where she had been for 10 days, on Monday at 7 a. m. She was taken to the hospital after being confined to bed for five weeks at her home. Mrs. Kettelhodt had been in poor health for eight years.
   Funeral services will be held tomorrow (Friday) at 1:30 p. m., at Ross' undertaking parlors and at the Princeton German Lutheran church at 2 p. m. The interment will be at Oak Knoll.
   Mrs. Kettelhodt was born in Posen, Germany, on September 22, 1863, came to the United States in 1874 and located at Crown, Isanti county. She was married to F. T. Kettelhodt at Cambridge on September 17, 1882. With her husband she then went to Young America, Carver county, where she lived about a year, from there going to New York city. On March 1, 1903, with her husband, she returned to Minnesota, locating in Princeton, and here she lived continuously until called by death. She is survived by her husband; one son, W. F. Kettelhodt of Livonia; two daughters, Mrs. Gust Kriesel and Mrs. Theodore Kriesel of Crown, besides seven grandchildren.
   Mrs. Kettelhodt was a quiet, unassuming, home-loving woman who was loved and respected by everyone favored with her acquaintance.

Mrs. F. T. Kettelhodt's name was Ottilie (Kriesel) Kettelhodt, and she was Elizabeth (Elsner) Kettelhodt's mother-in-law.

Newspaper clipping from the Library of Congress, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers site

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mystery Monday - Mystery Couple

Thanks to a newly found cousin, I have pictures of Albert & Lydia!  Everyone in the picture is identified with the exception of one mystery couple.  I have been trying to figure out who they are, but have had no luck.  So for now, they are Mr. & Mrs. Mystery Couple.  (I am assuming they are married, but maybe they are brother & sister.)

In this picture we have from left to right: Lydia (Richter) Elsner and her husband Albert Elsner, then Bill Kettelhodt, Lulu (Robideau) Elsner and her husband Erick Elsner, next to them is Fred Elsner, the mystery couple, and Elizabeth (Elsner) Kettelhodt.

In case you forgot how they are all related, here is a reminder:  Albert & Lydia Elsner are the parents of Fred, Elizabeth, Otto, and Erick.  Bill Kettelhodt and Elizabeth were married on Sept. 22, 1913; Erick Elsner and Lulu were married on Nov. 15, 1917; and Fred and Rena (not pictured here) were married April 30, 1913; Otto and Betty were married on Nov. 25, 1919.

So who is the mystery couple?  Is it Fred's in-laws, Samuel and Edith Winsor?  Or could it be one of Albert's brothers and his wife, or Lydia's sister and her husband?

In this picture, they have moved a few people around, Bill Kettelhodt and Fred Elsner are gone, but Fred's wife is in this one and now Otto and Betty are in the picture.  From left to right is: Otto and Betty (Hedin) Elsner, Lydia and Albert, Lulu and Erick, Elizabeth (Elsner) Kettelhodt, Rena (Winsor) Elsner, and then the mystery couple.

It looks like Mrs. Mystery Woman has her arm around Elizabeth's waist.  This makes me wonder if it might be Elizabeth's in-laws, Frederick T. Kettelhodt and Ottilie (Kriesel) Kettelhodt.  Bill isn't in this picture but he is in the one above and isn't even standing by his wife or the mystery couple.  And Rena is in this picture but she wasn't in the other one but her husband was.  Maybe they took turns taking the picture.  Were these two pictures taken on the same day?  Maybe they took the first picture before Otto and Betty arrived, so they had to take another family picture.  They all seem to be wearing the same clothes in both pictures.  Erick took his hat off for the second picture and Lydia has a different belt on her dress in the second one, but otherwise I think they are all in the same clothes.

In this one, all the ladies got together for a picture.  Left to Right: Lydia, Betty (Hedin), mystery woman holding a little dog, Elizabeth posing for the picture, Rena, and my great grandma Lulu in her sailor dress laughing at Elizabeth.  (Are they sitting on a wheelbarrow?!)

I noticed that in all these pictures, Elizabeth is always next to the mystery woman.  Is it because it is her mother-in-law, or a favorite Aunt?

Hopefully, someone will be able to help me identify the mystery couple and maybe we can figure out what year these pictures were taken too.  I believe the pictures were taken on Albert's farm which was in Greenbush Township, Mille Lacs, Minnesota.