Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mary Reiter Long's Bible

This Bible belonged to Mary Celecy Reiter Long. Although she didn't write as much as my mother did in her Bible, she did have a few notes, but most were in pencil and are very faded and hard to read.
Here is her name. On another page very faintly written are:" Mrs. Mary Long De Soto, Mo. May 30, 1915" Then, written across the page is "4115 Castleman" which is in St. Louis. I'm guessing that was either Lawrence or Roy's address since they both lived in St. Louis.
There were all sorts of items stuck in the pages---the picture above has no writing on it. The Bible lesson below is September 1924.
There were a number of pages folded very neatly like the one below:Below: Mary Celecy Reiter and Thomas Henry Long

Come back in a few days for more of what was in Mary Reiter Long's Bible.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bibles: 1940's and 1930's

I have inherited a number of Bibles over the years---none of them are exactly rich in genealogy, but they are rich in what my family values. I love looking at the pages, what my family members have marked---the scripture that was important to them, the items that mark the pages, the notes---they are all windows into their souls. The Bibles above belonged to my parents and my great-grandparents---Thomas Henry Long and Mary Reiter Long.

The Bible pictured above was one my father, Le Roy H. Long, carried overseas when he was in the Navy during World War II. It is also the Bible that my mother slipped in my suitcase anytime I went to camp or off to college. She said, "It will keep you safe like it kept your dad safe during the war."
It has a page inscribed by the Commander in Chief---Franklin D. Roosevelt. I think it's interesting that he acknowledges that it is a source of inspiration despite what the recipient's background might be. Something tells me even with that disclaimer, these aren't handed out anymore to servicemen from the President of the United States.

This Bible was Mother's as a child. In her later year's mother went by "Louise Alice", but this Bible confirms that her name was originally "Alice Louise Wicker"
It also has a bit of genealogy in a more adult handwriting.
Indeed, Mother must have used this Bible during World War II because I found this tucked in the pages---the name is mis-spelled but there's no denying that is Norman Schwend!
Also, there is a lock of hair---don't know whose it is---it's very pretty---almost golden in color---reminds me of my daughter Rebecca's hair.
Of course there are passages marked. I'm not sure if these were significant passages, passages that were being studied or passages she had to read aloud in a Sunday School class.
The back cover is a reminder that this is, indeed, a child's Bible: source of inspiration, source of entertainment and source of writing a note to a friend sitting beside you in the pew (hint: read what's written side-ways on the right side)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Roy Long: World War I

Steve and Norma were at my house last weekend. We were talking about Grandpa, Roy Milton Long, and how he never admitted he was half German. He was not happy about me studying German or living in Germany either. They related a story that when Grandpa had taken German prisoners, the Germans looked at him and asked if other people back home looked like him. He said they did. We are sure the Germans recognized he was German and realized they were fighting other Germans in World War I.

Roy Milton Long enlisted in the Army Dec. 15, 1917 in St. Louis, MO. (double click to make the photos and documents screen size, then use the back arrow to return) He was assigned to the 95th Aero Squadron where he was stationed in France. I remember growing up hearing his stories about him fighting the Red Baron, flying with Eddie Rickenbacker, but I just turned a deaf ear on it all. I have never been able to verify those stories, but we do know he was a mechanic in the Air Corps. We also know that he received an award (a medal?) for capturing Germans.

I found a story I'd written down that Roy drained the radiator of a plane so he could have hot water for a bath. Also, I know that Grandpa used to always say that his cough was from being gassed, I'm not sure that is true either. As his grandchildren got older, I realized that almost all of us had allergies, asthma, coughs. So, I'm not sure about the mustard gas story although we heard it frequently.

After the war ended, he returned on the U.S.S. Frederick and was stationed in Fort Dodge, Iowa until his release on March 22, 1919.This is from a huge (but cracked and brittle) photo of all of the men in the 95th Aero Squadron in Ft. Dodge Iowa.
Roy is not in the above section, but that section has the information.
Someone drew an arrow pointing out Roy (above). Below is a close up---I can't imagine why the German prisoners thought he looked German!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Louise's memories: her early years

The photo above clockwise beginning left: Clara Hall, Macy Williams Wicker Hall (Louise Wicker Long's grandmother), James Wesley Wicker (Louise's father), Obie Hall, Ruth Hall, George Henry Hall.

No one seems to know why my grandmother Vennie Watson Wicker went to Hornersville to live with Maggie Williams (wife of Luther Williams). Helen, Maggie's daughter, said, "Mom just heard that your grandmother was living with someone down at Coldwater." So, we don't know how Maggie knew Vennie. But, my grandparents (Vennie and Wes) met while living at Maggie's house. Her family has remained close to ours even now.

After mother was born, Vennie and Wes were "sent" to Arkansas to keep Wes out of trouble. Some of Macy's family were not a good influence on Wes, so Vennie, Wes and Mom (Louise Wicker Long) moved to Arkansas around 1921.
It was there, they met the Everette Family: Big Mama, Big Daddy (neither were 5' tall), Pearl, Molly, Annie and "Brother".
Annie, Wes Wicker, Vennie and Louise Wicker, Molly @1923
Annie and Jim Spence, Vennie and Louise Wicker
Pearl and Louise Wicker

Although most of Mother's friends went to Memphis after high school, Mother came to St. Louis because the Everettes were all up here. My grandparents also moved up to St. Louis after my parents were married.Back row: Wes Wicker, Jim Spence, Bud Hughes Front row: Vennie Wicker, Pearl Hughes, Annie Spence (St. Louis, 1950's)
Jane and I (pictured above with Barbara, "Brother's" daughter, and Big Daddy) also grew up with the Everettes. I can even remember getting in a fight with Barbara over her aunts and grandparents. I insisted they were my aunts and grandparents, too. I, often, stayed with each of them several days at a time. Annie and Jim had a small house in Wellston, Pearl and her parents lived in Richmond Heights on Hoover, Mollie and Henry Haverstick lived in an apartment across the street from the zoo. They were wonderful, loving people. It's a shame that Barbara was the only grandchild---if you didn't count me, Jane, Mom and Billie (Mom's sister)!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Louise's memories: her parents' early years

Dollie Cates and Vennie (Louvenia) Watson @1916
My mother started her memoirs any number of times. This version was begun in 1999---paragraphs would have been nice, but I'm so happy she decided to put her life into words. (Double click on the page to make it larger and use the back arrow to come back) This first page tells a little about her father (James Wesley "Wes" Wicker), his personality and his drinking.
The second page is mostly about her mother Vennie Marie Watson Wicker and the Cates Family. I've included some photos of the Cates Family and their farm. From what I understand, Vennie's mother (Martha Silas) was the housekeeper. When she was committed to a mental institution, my grandmother (around 12 or 13 years old) was taken in by the Cates family who lived in the Coldwater area near Hornersville, MO. The Cates family remained close to my grandparents even after they moved away.
Here are photos of my mother and Dollie's son J.H.Cates when they were toddlers and later when they were in their 20's. I even corresponded with J.H. several times trying to learn more about Vennie's family.

Here are photos of me visiting J.H. Cates---around 1947. I can see my grandfather on the right.For many years, my only memory was of the chickens. As you can see by my body language, I was a little afraid of them and remember them pecking my hands trying to get to the seed that I was "feeding" them with.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wes Wicker--fisherman

Last week when we were in Alabama, we saw fishermen everywhere--for some it was a family event that reminded me of the times I went fishing with my grandfather Wes Wicker. Although I don't have a photo of me and Grandpa fishing, here's one of my grandmother who accompanied him on many fishing trips to Bull Shoals, Table Rock Lake, Lake Wappapello, Kentucky Lake.
I went with him frequently on "local" fishing trips---sometime just across the river in Illinois, sometimes ponds on a farm. I don't think my mother ever let me go fishing on the river with him. I can't imagine why he would take me---I talked and asked questions all of the time---so, it couldn't have been relaxing or peaceful. But, he did take me and called me his "Fishing Buddy"---I cherish those times.
I'm not sure who the gentleman on the left is. It's clear that Grandpa caught "a mess of fish." But I did find these cards in his wallet and wonder if there were times he just stopped by a fish market when the fish weren't biting.
When we were in Alabama, we noticed a sign that said "Salt Water Fishing License Required". It hadn't occurred to us that there would be a difference. Here are Grandpa's last fishing license---frankly I think he fudged on the height and weight just a little.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

1927 Tornado in St. Louis

My dad, LeRoy Long, had pretty vivid memories of the 1927 tornado in St. Louis. The above photo is from a website. When my parents would tell a story, I'd grab a piece of paper and start writing. This is what I wrote:

"1927 Tornado---I was attending Stix School behind Jewish Hospital at Euclid and Forest Park when the tornado hit. The Polarway stables (they hauled ice and coal) had 2X4's sticking in. There was a Columbia Touring Car with a jump-seat up against the building. Kids had to stay at school until their parents came for them. I think it hit in September around 1:30PM. Somebody had hauled coal coming through a gang-way but the brick had buried him. Aunt Mary (Wassmund) was an infant sleeping with broken glass all over her. Grandma [Annie Reed Maupin] picked the glass off her."

His sister Norma Long Adams Rogers recalled that Uncle Albert Maupin had to get them at school. They were living in a house across from the firehouse near Forest Park (Expressway)---the only house Roy owned. Vivian and baby Mary went in the bathtub during the tornado---the house was destroyed. They had no insurance and couldn't rebuild the house.
Here's a video that discusses this tornado with movies and interviews.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Fry Family at Home

Isaac Henry Fry and Alice Alderson Fry
Dave's mother's family had 9 children total. I remember them "alphabetically": Alfreda and Alderson, "Buddy", Cecil, Donald, Eloise, Phil (F-sound), George (doesn't count because he went by "Buddy"), Hale, Irene Fry.
In the photo (banded by yellow) above, they are in birth order---starting with Irene and ending with Cecil Fry. (Double click on the photo to enlarge, then use the back arrow to come back)
Most of their growing up was in Princeton, West Virginia where they lived on 304 Walnut Street. The photo above might have been before they moved to Princeton for better schools. Beginning with the mother Alice and going clock-wise: Alice, Donald, Phil, Alfreda, Irene, Alderson, Hale Fry.
The top photo taken Sept. 1920, doesn't have Donald, but does have their cousin Virginia.
The photos above are all of Alice Alderson Fry. My favorite is the one dated 2-20-46. There she sits so elegantly with her coffee cup (surely not tea!) with the photos of her children on the table behind her. She deserves a leisurely cup of coffee and an easy chair after all of those children: Irene Fry Vogt, Alderson Fry, Alfreda Fry Morris, Phil Fry, Hale Fry, Donald Fry, Eloise Fry Morgan, George "Buddy" Fry, Cecil Fry.