Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Uncle Alfred's Treasured Papers

My Uncle Alfred G. Margheim had this Geography text book when he was in the fourth grade at Old Bosna School in Trego County, Kansas in 1932-3.
This is one of his geography assignments that was still stuck in the back of his book.  It's dated Feb. 22, 1933
Homework dated February 21, 1933
Assignment naming the capitals of some of the states. No date.

This sweet little Valentine was made for Alfred's dad, John L. Margheim. My father told me that Alfred  was his dad's little helper with outdoor work on the farm. 
These papers have no significance to anyone but me and my dad. To us they are treasures. I've written in previous posts about my Uncle Alfred. You'll notice that I included dates on these papers where it was written. Little Alfred had an enlarged heart, and in the Spring of 1933 was suddenly afflicted with Sydenham's Chorea (historically known as "St. Vitus Dance") and was hospitalized. My grandmother said the staff in the hospital left a window open near his bed and he contracted pneumonia, which caused his death on March 22, 1933---just one month after he'd written these geography assignments and one month after he'd given his father this precious handmade Valentine. He was 9 years old. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A remarkable connection between my dad and my husband

At far right is Ernest Margheim and 2nd from right is Alfred Margheim
In this picture, my dad, Ernest Margheim (b. 1921) is pictured at the right end. Next to him in front is his little brother Alfred George Margheim (1923-1933). The picture was taken in Wakeeney, Trego, Kansas about 1926. On April 22, 1932, when my Uncle Alfred was in the 4th grade, he received a certificate in school for having 300 perfect spelling lessons. This is the certificate from his dictionary.
Here are a few more pictures of the dictionary.

Notice the certificate is signed by the teacher Pauline Brungardt and the Superintendent of Schools, Carrie Gregg. Carrie's name caught my attention because my husband's great grandmother's name was Alice Gregg. She, however, lived in Greene County, Pennsylvania 1871-1949. And Carrie was the Supt. of Schools in Trego County, Kansas. The flat prairie of Kansas in that day was a long way from the rolling green hills of Pennsylvania!

I was curious enough to do some online research on Carrie Gregg and found that she was born Carrie Sophia Carpenter in Kansas in 1879. She married Delbert Gregg in 1898 in Stockton, Rooks, Kansas. Delbert died in 1919, leaving Carrie with 6 children. In the 1930 federal census, Carrie was listed as a farmer....her husband's occupation before his death. But in the 1940 census she was listed as the County Superintendent of Schools. We know from the above certificate awarded to my Uncle Alfred that she was the Superintendent of Schools in 1932. 

I proceeded with my online searching and discovered a direct connection between Carrie's husband Delbert and my husband's Gregg ancestors. I could say I was amazed, but I discover what seem to be unlikely connections like this so often, that I'm not that surprised anymore. They still excite me, however! I drew up the following diagram to show the connection:
You'll see that Larry's great, great grandfather Daniel Gregg was a 2nd cousin to Carrie's husband Delbert Gregg! In terms of years, however, Carrie was a contemporary of Larry's great grandmother Alice Gregg. But Carrie was living in Kansas and Alice was living in Greene County, PA. 

It's wonderful to have a copy of Carrie Gregg's signature and even more meaningful that it's found in my Uncle Alfred's dictionary on a certificate awarded to him for perfect spelling! The award was dated April 22, 1932 and little Alfred died less than one year later, on March 22, 1933. 

This book is a keepsake that I treasure and will certainly give it to my son and then my granddaughter as the years go by. This relationship chart will go with it.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Not just any old books!

I've been gathering treasures at my Dad's house and came home this week with a box full of old books. Not just ANY old books, but books that have been saved in my family for the past 100 years. My grandfather was born in 1900 in Russell County, Kansas, USA, but his parents immigrated to the United States from the Volga region of Russia in 1886. My grandmother, born in 1902, immigrated with her parents and two older brothers through Ellis Island in 1904 from Kratzke, Saratov, Russia. Her name was Amalia Koleber. My dad, Ernest L. Margheim, who lives near me at age 91, was born in Kansas in 1921. His next younger brother was born in Kansas in 1923, but passed away in Colorado at age 9, in 1933. Then his twin brother and sister Leonard and Laverna were born in Kansas in 1929, 9 days before the Stock Market Crash that ushered in the Great Depression. 

My Margheim family were strong and devoted members of the Lutheran Church. I say this as an introduction to the library of books I've inherited. Many are Lutheran catechisms, Lutheran hymnals and prayer books. Many are the text books the family had in school. I'm posting a few pictures here, but have created an album here on Picasa Web of the books I've brought home to date. If you see a book cover, the following photo shows the inside of that book, or the name of the family member who owned it.

My dad's "Student" Bible from his teenage years in the 1930s.

John and Amalia "Mollie" Koleber Margheim with sons Ernest at left and Alfred at right. 
Notice that my Uncle Alfred wrote "if you want to know my name, look on page 200". 
And on page 200, he wrote "did you ever get fooled well you did this time".
This was probably the most special "find", because inside were papers of homework that Uncle Alfred had completed. They were dated Feb 22, 1933. He passed away 22 March 1933.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dad's cousin married Mom's cousin

I discovered recently that Leroy Henry Stieben, my 5th cousin once removed from my Dad's paternal family line married Juanita Grace Strait, who is my 3rd cousin on my mom's maternal family line. What's so special about that? Nothing. Except that as I grew up, I had no idea that anyone in my dad's family even KNEW anyone in my mom's family. Since my parents divorced when I was a toddler, my dad remarried and my step-mother created quite a chasm between my dad's family and my mother's family. In my mind they existed in two separate WORLDS! So as I've aged and have studied my lineage, I'm still awestruck when I discover that a member of my paternal family was integrated with a member of my maternal family. I think it's cool!