Surname Tree

When do you take down your Christmas decorations? While I know that technically, the Christmas season lasts into January, I’ve never been able to leave my decorations up that long. Instead, I tend to take them down and put them away shortly after Christmas.

While I may be taking down my decorations today, I’m going to continue a Christmas theme by sharing my ‘surname tree’.

Landing Pages

Do you ever think about organizing your blog? I’m thankful for the ‘search’ feature on my blog. Otherwise it would be very difficult to locate information buried in my older blog posts! That’s why Marian Wood’s recent post, Cousin Bait: Ancestor Landing Pages caught my attention.

While I already had a few ‘landing pages’, I wasn’t taking advantage of the ability to use pages as a way to organize my posts. Heck, I even struggle keeping my existing RootsMagic page updated with newer posts. While I would love to emulate Marian Wood and create a landing page for each of my ancestral lines that includes link to the posts for that line, I’m going to take some time to think about how I need to organize additional pages.

After putting Marian Wood’s type of landing pages off for now, I looked at Randy Seaver’s pages and decided that I could make some changes to an existing page and add some additional pages.

  • Changed the name of my ‘online trees’ page to ‘My Genealogy
  • Added pedigree charts for each of my grandparents to the ‘My Genealogy‘ page
  • Created an Ancestors page listing out my ancestors with links to the narrative reports for each ancestor
  • Created a Cousins page with links to the various descendancy reports I’ve published

I also made some changes to the sidebar of my blog. I added a ‘contact’ form and moved the word cloud above the archive listing.

Thanks Marian Wood for the challenge to evaluate my blog and see how I could improve it!

Blogging Goals

When you were in high school did you think of yourself as a writer? I know that I definitely did NOT visualize myself as a writer. I remember a time during my career when I was composing a letter thinking I never would have imagined having to do so much writing in my career. And I have to admit that during that career, I became pretty good at technical writing – or writing those directions.

And then came 2021 when I published a blog post almost every day. When the year started, I didn’t have any specific blogging goals. My goal was to blog more consistently. To help me achieve that goal, I decided to

  • share family pictures in ‘Throwback Thursday’ posts
  • use Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun as a blogging prompt for Sundays – prompts posted on Saturday evening on Randy’s Genea-Musings site)
  • use Amy Johnson Crowe’s 52 ancestors in 52 weeks blogging prompts for Saturday posts. (2021 Themes)

Since I’m not a ‘creative’ writer, I found the 52 ancestors writing prompt difficult at times. Thus, I quit worrying about using that prompt and just blogged from my research activities.

What helped me accomplish these blogging goals was learning to SCHEDULE my blog posts. Instead of writing every day, I simply wrote when I had something to share. Unsure of the ‘best’ time to post, I decided to make my posts available at 6:45 am central time. I kept a simple calendar in my bullet journal where I would write down (in pencil) the title of a post for when I planned to have it published. Sometimes I found writing a post that would be of little value several days out. When this happened, I scheduled that time sensitive post for the next day and moved all the scheduled posts to make room for this timely post. Thus, the need for using pencil to fill in my calendar.

As I determine my 2022 genealogy goals, I’m also setting some blogging goals. For 2022, I’m going to have specific ‘topics’ for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

  • Friday Finds — pulling information to share from my digital and paper files from the early days of my research
  • Saturday Tidbits — sharing historic articles from local (Nemaha county) newspapers (where I currently live) and possibly from Yates Center, Dodge City and other papers where my ancestors lived
  • Sundays — Saturday Night Genealogy Fun prompts
  • Monday thru Thursday — sharing my current genealogy activities


What are your Christmas traditions? Does one of them involve making something?

Growing up, my mom’s tradition was to make candy. Since she worked full time, this was usually an evening project – one batch at a time.

  • Fudge
  • Divinity
  • Nougat
  • Peanut Brittle
  • Fondant
  • Pecan Caramel Roll

From her, I learned how to tell the different stages of candy and the importance of a good candy thermometer. During the early years of my marriage, I tried to carry on this tradition. I remember being in tears and calling mom because I didn’t think my fondant was going to be much more than a plate of ‘slimy’ mess. Thanks to her talking me down over the phone, I kept stirring and it turned out fantastic.

Below is her recipe for my favorite: Pecan Caramel Roll. This is also the one that requires Fondant.

When finished making the candy, trays would be prepared for work places, plates for neighbors and coffee cans would be packed to ship to her siblings.

The candy making is just a memory now.

School Souvenirs


We are all likely familiar with school yearbooks, but have you seen the small souvenir books that schools produced in the early 1900s?

My grandfather had kept several of his. And, fortunately, his wife, my grandmother, saved them and passed them down to me.

Rock Creek School
District No. 69
Burlington, Kansas
September 18, 1899 – April 13, 1900

Board of Education
C. W. Belles, Clerk
John L. Carroll, Dir.
John L. Clark, Treas.

Presented by Ella E. Gibson, Teacher

Mabel Belles
Earl Belles
Byron Belles
Osmund Briles
Ethel Briles
Glenn Briles
Charlie Carroll
Agnes Carroll
Iva Carson
Eva Carson
Joseph Carson
Ethel Beach
Nettie Beach
Dee Beach
Walter Carson
Willie Carson
Johnny Johnston
Harry McCartney
Libbie McCartney
Lora McCartney
Alice McCartney
Fred Merkle
Vicie Merkle
Willie Merkle
Dale Belles
Joe Belles
Tommy Merkle
Grant Morris
Claude Morris
Alvin Morris
Lizzie Moews
Frank Moews
Ethel Simmons
May Simmons
Blanche Sinclair
Harry Sinclair
Lewis Sinclair
George Weigand
Nella Weigand
Lyda Weigand
George Wagner
Laura Wagner
Earle Jones
Allie Weigand
Omer Weigand
Josie Weigand
Maud Wilson
Grace Rockhill
Pearl Rockhill
Virgie Potts
Herman Stewart
Mamie Stewart
Clara Stewart
Nettie Garton
Wilce Garton
Harry Kaufman
Willard Garton
Elsie Kaufman

H. G. Phillips Publisher, Williamsport, PA


Rock Creek School
District No. 69
Burlington, Kansas

September 4, 1905 – March 30, 1906

Presented By
Nora C Grennan, Teacher

Board of Education, John Harris, Clerk;
T. N. Bell, Director; J. W. Weigand, Treas.

Names of Pupils
Clara Stewart
Jennie Neff
Elizabeth Neff
Melvena Harris
Ellen Harris
Dollie Harris
Ethel Briles
Osmund Briles
Lulu Briles
Glen Briles
Anna Nikodim
Rudolph Nikodim
William Nikodim
Frank Nikodim
Harry Pollock
Delbert Pollock
Mildred Pollock
Walter Swenson
Hilda Swenson
Guy McCartney
Eugene McCarthey
George Weigand
Omer Weigand
Josie Weigand
Stella Fryer
Mabel Benzer
Elsie Coffman
Paul Wiegand
Florence Weigand
Harvey Weigand
Harrold Weigand
Stella Weigand
Frank Grose
Ethel Grose
Harry Grose
Edna Davidson
Gertrude Crockett
Harry Crockett
Ervin Clark
Porley Clark
Dale Houck
Margueriette Houck
George Cory
Robbie Harris
Elmer Fields
Benjamin Letak
Mary Quigley
Marian Quigley
Alpha Quigley
Ernest Quigley
Hazel Quigley
Ernest Kiefer
Willie Kiefer
Otto Kiefer
Loyd Williams
Nellie Sharr



Public School

District No.. 50

Liberty Twp., Woodson Co. Kansas

Josie Guy, Teacher

Willard Brown
Edith Smith
Ines Smith
Grace Smith
Henry Smith
Lulu Briles
Osmund Briles
Roy Smith
Elsie Smith
Lee Smith
Grant Smith
Ethel Briles
Glen Briles
Herman Park
Ellen Delong

School Board
Robert Cragg
John Brown
Charles Watkins


Phelps School
Grace Etter

District No. 50

Membership of Board

Robert Cragg, Treasurer
W. L. Smith, Clerk
Charles Watkins, Director

Ethel Briles
Hermon Park
Henry Smith
Marie Charlier
Cecil Withers
Grace Smith
Jesse Helmick
Lulu Briles
Willard Brown
Myrtle Smith
Glen Briles
Grant Smith

Character of Dodge


What do you think of when you hear the word, character? Do you have a ‘character’ in your family tree?

‘Character’ is the #52Ancestors blogging prompt for this week. Not knowing how to approach this topic, I tried a newspapers search for the term ‘character’ in the Dodge City, Kansas newspapers between 1875 and 1885. I limited the search to Dodge City because that is my dad’s hometown. I used the 1875-1885 date range because it represents the time period in which the Crawford family migrated to Dodge City.

Instead of finding articles about a person, I found several articles about changing the character of the town. One of those articles discussed how the character of the town was appearing in newspapers around the world. So, I changed my search to look for ‘Dodge City character’ in 1883.

That search found a letter from several of the prominent citizens of Dodge City that was published in the Topeka Daily Capital (Topeka, Kansas) on 18 May 1883.

A Plain Statement

Of the Recent Troubles at Dodge City, KS

As Made by the Officials of that City – Simply a Desire to Rid their Community of Blacklegs and Gamblers.

Dodge City, Ks, May 15, 1883 — There has been quite a commotion among the papers of Kansas City and Topeka, and while they would have the readers of their respective papers believe that Dodge is in the hands of a mob, and that the persons and property of peaceable citizens are in constant jeopardy from destruction, the city itself and its inhabitants have been pursuing the even tenor of their way, the city assuming an aspect peaceable — if anything more so than it has for years. The doings of violence to persons and property by the mob in Dodge City is all being done in Kansas City and Topeka through the press, while in fact Dodge City itself, the scene of all the lawlessness as stated, is quiet, orderly and peaceable.

The occasion for what the press have called trouble is only a repetition of what is found to be necessary about every two years in Dodge City; that is, a clearing out of an element composed of bold, daring men of illegal profession who, from toleration by the respectable portion of the community, are allowed to gain a prestige found difficult to unseat. This element has to be banished, or else the respectable people have to be bulldosed and browbeat by a class of men without any vested interest or visible means of support, who should be allowed to remain in a decent community only by toleration, but who, instead, after gaining prestige, they undertake to dictate the government of the better class. This is the element which Dodge City has recently ordered out of town, an act which is done in every town of good government. The facts have been misunderstood, both to and by the press and to the Governor. The true state of facts is about as follows:

At the last April election, Deger and Harris ran for mayor of the city. Harris is a gambler by profession and living in open adultry with a public prostitute, and the interest which he has in the town is merely of a local character. He could close up and settle his affairs one day. The only real estate that he owns, and on which he pays taxes, is a small house in which he lives, and he would not own that only it is cheaper than for him to rent. It is worth about $400. He is a man whose character no respectable man in the community in which he lives would vouch for. He is a man that is recognized by the decent people as a sympathizer friend and shielder of the gambler, thug, confidence man and murderer, who may be arrested by the authorities for offenses against the law. He is always to be found on their bond for recognizance, no matter how glaring the deed or heinous the offense for which they stand charted.

This man was the candidate for mayor representing the gambling element. Dager, who is a man of irreproachable character and honesty, is an old resident o f the town and represented the better class of people and as a matter of course, as was conceded, he was elected by a large majority, but it was very apparent that Harris felt very sore over his defeat. It was also very apparent that he and some of his followers who were mostly composed of gamblers were going to buck against everything the new administration done.

At the first meeting of the new administration it was found necessary to pass and revise certain ordinances and among them was one to prohibit women of lewd character from loitering around saloons and upon the streets. This ordinance was passed upon the application of a majority of the business men including the saloon men of the town. They also passed another ordinance in regard to gamblers, which they considered stringent and loudly denounced it, and upon the application of a committee representing the gamblers, the councilman made conceptions, and in fact, made all the concessions asked, in order to preserve peace and harmony. The ordinance in regard to women, went into effect two days before the concessions was made by the councilmen. The first day and night the women obeyed the ordinance without a single exception, but the second night which was the night of the concession made b the mayor and councilman, Short, Harris and another gambler, who were loud in their abuse of the ordinance, there being no women down town, went to a house of ill fame, and according to their spoken works, forced two of the inmates down to their saloon to violate the ordinance, saying that they would pay the fines and costs assessed against the women. the women, after being tried and fined for the offense had to pay their fines and costs themselves, and when ordered to leave town, and after Short and Harris refused t pay their fines, as above stated, they made a statement as above set forth, before the police judge, and since.

The officers, as was their duty, arrested the women and locked them up in the calaboose, for a violation of the city ordinance. After their arrest, Short, the partner of Harris, who is a gambler and an acknowledged hard character, attempted to assassinate L. C. Hartman, a special policeman who assisted in the arrest, by shooting at him from an obscure spot after night, which happened about as follows:

After making the arrest, Hartman walked down the principal street, and when in front of a general store, which was closed the front being dark, Hartman met Short and another gambler coming up the street. While passing by, Short and his companion, Short turned and drew a pistol and said, “There is one of the son’s of _____; lets throw it into him,” immediately firing two shots at Hartman from his six-shooter. Hartman, in his endeavor to turn upon Short, in some way fell to the ground. Short, supposing he had killed him, started to the saloon of one Tom Land, near by, but Hartman, immediately recovering himself, fired one shot at Short. Strange to say, neither of the shots fired took effect.

Short gave bonds in the sum of 42,000 and afterwards filed a complaining against Hartman, stating that Hartman had fired the first shot, half a dozen of Short’s confederates being ready to testify that he (Hartman) had done so, although there are several reliable business men who witnessed the affair, who will testify that Short fired the two first shots as above stated.

The women were locked up. Short and Harris were bound they should not remain locked up all night, as is customary with prisoners when locked up by city authorities. By intimidating some of the city officers by threats, etc., they affected their purpose. In all these proceedings, Short was the leader and spokesman. He is the man who but a few weeks ago pulled out his pistol and best one of our most respectful citizens over the head until he was carried home on a stretcher, and his life was despaired of for several days. He is a man who, on several occasions, has picked up chairs and broke them over the heads of men who, as it happened, had done something in his place of business that displeased him. He is a man that killed his man, an old gray-headed man 57 years old, in Tombstone, Arizona, and has been run out of that and other places by respectable people. He is a man who was an intimate friend of such men as Jack McCarty, the notorious and well known three card monte and confidence man, known all through the west as being a hard character, and who recently died near this place after being convicted of highway robbery and about to receive his sentence of ten years.

Harris and Short keep a saloon that is a refuge and resort for all confidence men, thieves and gamblers that visit the town, and the statements that have been made in regard to the place kept by Webster are false. He is regarded as a man of personal honor and integrity, and as mayor of the city, an office he held for two terms, he so conducted the affairs of the city, and made such vigorous war on bunko, steerers, thugs and confidence men as to gain the gratitude and respect of every law abiding citizen of the place.

It was very apparent to the mayor and councilmen of the city that this element, with Harris and short at their head, were gong to violate, encourage, shield and protect all violators of the laws of the city, and that the probability was that there would be trouble n the city during the whole of their administration if they and their followers remained. Short had attempted to assassinate an officer in the discharge of his duty, had bulldozed the city officers, had violated, aided an abetted in the violation of the laws, and at a meeting of the mayor and a large number of citizens, including the council, it was after due deliberation and consideration, determined to arrest Luke Short and his followers and let them leave town, and accordingly, he, with six other associates, were arrested on complaint and warrant and locked in the calaboose and precautions taken that they did not escape, and were allowed to leave town the next day. There was no mob violence used whatever. None but regular officers of the city made the arrest, but in the case they were resisted there was sufficient force composed of armed citizens held in reserve to aid in the arrest.

It was afterwards ascertained by one of the parties arrested, who peached on the balance, that it was known by Short and party they were to be arrested, and as soon as the officers came to arrest them it was understood they were organized and that Short was to start the shooting and the balance of the party were to follow it up, but as stated by him “somebody weakened.” The citizens understood the characters of the men they were dealing with and were prepared for them, and this was the occasion for the circulation that it was a mob. It was bona fide citizens armed to aid the officers if necessary in the enforcement of the laws.

Much of the confusion and misunderstanding regarding the situation in our city is due to the misrepresentations made to the Governor by one W. F. Petillon. Petillon is clerk of the district court and lives about six miles north of Dodge City on a claim of 160 acres. He had been recognized and identified as a Harris man some time before the lection, which cam about as follows: Jack McCarty had been arrested at this point for highway robbery, and had given bond for $2,000. Harris, as one of the bondsmen, and Short, having no property against which execution could issue, got a citizen worth some real estate to sign the bond and he (Short) deposited the amount to secure the party so signing. The bond was given for McCarty’s appearance to be tried. McCarty appeared and in the course of the trial it was evident from the evidence McCarty would be convicted. After conviction and before sentence, McCarty escaped. When his escape became known, the clerk, Petillon, was applied to for the bond, he being the proper custodian of the papers in the case. Upon application, he could not give it, as he did not know where it was. He had it at the last day of court and was the one seen to have it last. The bond was never found, although he acknowledged it was properly filed, and it is impossible to obliterate from the minds of a great many respectable people here that Petillon knew why and where that bond disappeared. it has been a noticeable feature that since that time Petillon has been a firm believer and supporter of the Harris and Short combination. This is the kind of man Governor Glick sends for, instead of sending for a proper representative as any reasonable, intelligent, discreet man should to investigate.

The condition of Dodge City at present is orderly and law-abiding, and the prospects are it will so continue if these men remain away. If they are allowed to remain it will be against the will and without the consent of a majority of the law-abiding citizens of this community, and if the Governor, through his interference and encouragement, forces these men back on us he does so at his peril, and if there is bloodshed as a result the responsibility will not rest entirely with the Governor, who had he not given the matter encouragement,, it would have passed by unnoticed, as an occurrence frequent in all cities desirous of being law-abiding, and of good government.

Dated at Dodge City, Kansas the 15th day of May, 1883.

L. E. Deger, Mayor
H. B. Bell
H. T. Drake
George S. Emerson
H. M. Beverly, Councilmen of Dodge City
R. E. Burns, Police Judge
N. B. Klaine, City Treasurer
L. C. Hartman, City Clerk
C. E. Chipman, Assistant Marshal
Fred T. M. Wente, City Attorney
J. L. Bridges, City Marshal
T. L. McCarty, City Physician

About a year after this letter was written, my 2nd great grandfather, Washington Marion Crawford, would move his family from Warren County, Indiana to Dodge City where he would join his older brother who was already living in Dodge City. Obviously the conflict in Dodge City did not prevent my ancestor from moving there. Perhaps that is due to the fact the citizens of Dodge City fought to change the character of the town.


When looking for an obituary, do you quit looking after finding one? I have to admit that I would quit looking after locating one, particularly prior to the digitization of the newspapers.

I’ve had found the obituary for Marion Crawford, my grandfather’s brother, in microfilm copies of the local newspaper some time ago. Today, I located a digital copy. His death at age 24 was indeed a tragedy.

Injury Fatal to M. R. Crawford
Death This Morning Follows Accident

Young Man Missed Footing when
Attempting to Mount Switch Engine
and Fell Beneath Wheels –
One Leg Severed and the Other
Amputated by Physicians

Marion R. Crawford, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Crawford, 504 Avenue D, was fatally injured early Thursday morning about 2:30 when attempting to step upon the back of an oncoming switch engine. He accidentally missed his footing and fell under the wheels. One of his legs was cut off next to the hip and the other was so badly mangled as to make amputation necessary.
It was necessary to jack the rear of the engine in order to keep from running over the boy a second time. As soon as this was accomplished he was taken to the McCarty hospital with all possible speed, where everything that could possibly be done was performed to save the young man’s life. He remained unconscious almost to the time of his death, which occurred at 8:30 this morning.
Marion R. Crawford was born in Dodge City October 24, 1895. He was well known here, having lived practically his entire life in the community. During the war he enlisted in the army, serving with Battery D, of the 13th Field Artillery, stationed at Camp Green, Charlotte, North Carolina. He was overseas and fought for his country in the Argonne, afterwards serving with the army of occupation. Marion Crawford was quiet, reserved and had a host of friends in Dodge City. After returning from the army he obtained a position with the Santa Fe railroad as switchman, and it was at this job that he was working when the accident happened. He was a member of the A.O.U.W. in good standing and also a member of the Brotherhood of Switchmen.
He is survived by his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Crawford, four married sisters, Mrs. Bernice Allen, of Cimarron, Mrs. Russell Horton of Dodge City, Esther and Lois Crawford and two brothers, Leon and High. His grandmother, Mrs. Mary Crawford, also lives in Dodge City, and Nelson Crawford, an uncle is an employee in the post office.
The funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

“Injury Fatal to M. R. Crawford,” The Dodge City Kanss Journal (Dodge City, Kansas), 29 July 1920, page 1; digital image, ( : viewed online 8 August 2021).

Since the obituary didn’t contain information about the funeral or burial, I decided to look further. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find such an article in the one 1920 Dodge City newspaper on Since his sister was living in Cimarron, Kansas at the time, I decided to broaden my search to the state of Kansas. That’s when I found two additional articles about his death.

Under Engine an Hour
Santa Fe Switchman Died from Loss of Blood
Marion Crawford, a Santa Fe switchman in the Dodge City yards, who was run over by a switch engine severing his left let, died later from the injuries and loss of blood. He was a son of J. F. Crawford night yardmaster at Dodge City. He served overseas in an artillery outfit.
Santa Fe railway men say Crawford lay for nearly an hour under the engine before he could be moved. The locomotive had to be raised with jacks to get him out, and he sustained an enormous loss of blood. His leg was severed close to his body.

“Under Engine an Hour,” The Hutchinson News (Hutchinson, Kansas), 2 August 1920, page 15; ( : viewed online 8 August 2021).

Even more details of Marion’s death were included in the obituary published in The Hutchinson Gazette.

Dodge City Switchman Killed under Engine
Dodge City, July 30. — Marion Crawford, Santa Fe switchman and a son of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Crawford, 504 Ave. G, died yesterday morning as a result of an accident when a switch engine passed partially over him, severing his left leg close to the body. He sustained considerable loss of blood before he could be removed from beneath the locomotive.
Crawford had fallen from the switch engine as it was backing and fell beneath the wheels, about half the locomotive passing over him before his screams warned Engineer L. O. Pierson of the accident. Foreman George Anderson, Switchman R. C. Nickerson, and the engine crew rushed to Crawford’s aid, but investigation proved that he could not be removed until the locomotive was raised with jacks, his position being such that to move the engine would have inflicted further injuries. Dr. C. E. McCarty, Santa Fe physician and surgeon was immediately summoned, but it is said it was forty-five minutes before the locomotive could be jacked up and the injured man removed to the hospital, causing an enormous loss of blood. The knee cap and thigh bone in the left leg also were broken.
Marion Crawford was one of the most popular of the employes in the Santa Fe yards here. He was m[b]orn in Dodge City, oct. 24, 1895, being over 24 years of age when he died, and had spent practically all his life in the community. As soon as the United States entered the world war, Marion, with his brother, Leon, enlisted for army service. He was stationed as a member of the coast artillery in California, in Texas and in South Carolina, before he was sent overseas, where he saw many months of service in the expeditionary forces, and later in the army of occupation. His contingent participated in several important engagements, among them the Argonne.

“Dodge City Switchman Killed Under Engine,” The Hutchinson Gazette (Hutchinson, Kansas), 31 July 1920, page 7; digital images, ( : viewed online 8 August 2021).

Each one of these death notices provide different details regarding the tragic death of Marion Crawford.

Mumps, Measles, Chicken Pox

#52Ancestors, #Health, #SaturdayNightGenealogyFun

Well, it’s not Saturday night, nor is it Sunday. but I haven’t forgotten about doing a Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post. So, let’s pretend, it is Saturday night and some time for some genealogy fun.

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music):

1)  What memories do you have of family sickness or death?  Tell us about one or more of them and how the family dealt with it.

2)  Tell us in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or on Facebook.  Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog post on this post.

Do you remember being sick or in the hospital as a child? I was in the hospital to have my tonsils removed around age 5 and had a bad case of influenza while a kindergartner. However, my best memories are of when I got the childhood illnesses of mumps, measles and chicken pox.

Towards the end of first grade, I evidently wasn’t very careful when I used the drinking fountain because I got the mumps. The theory was that another student who had recently had the mumps passed them to me via the drinking fountain.

I remember being placed in my parents’ room and the room being kept dark. I also remember being told that the dishes and silverware I used had to be kept separate from the other dishes and silverware. I even have a vague memory of the doctor visiting me in that room. My mom’s efforts to keep me isolated from the rest of the family remind me a lot of what families are going thru today when someone gets COVID. Thanks to my mom’s efforts no one else in the family got the mumps.

I couldn’t have been released from my ‘quarantine’ very long before I got the measles. This time, I wasn’t alone. Both of my brothers also got the measles.

After recovering from the measles and being released from our confinement, the three of us came down with chicken pox. Thus, we were confined again. I remember the oatmeal baths and the constant reminders not to scratch.

So basically, I spent the entire summer between first and second grade confined to the house. And my mother spent the entire summer caring for a 7 year old, a 5 1/2 year old and a 2 year old.

When I interviewed my parents, I asked my mom about what I referred to as the ‘summer from hell’. Below is a transcription of that portion of the interview:

Me – Do you remember what must have been the summer from ‘hell’ when you had three kids with measles and chicken pox

M – well I remember it wasn’t too bad thanks to grandma and grandpa Crawford and uncle LR. Cause LR was I’ll never forget him sitting there oohing and aahing at the fireworks when you guys still had the chicken pox. Cause you couldn’t go outdoors. And you couldn’t go out and see the fireworks but we could see them from the picture window there in Dodge and he was sitting down there by that window and course Gene was gone he had gone away to school that summer

D – you remember that

Me – I don’t remember that

M – he had left a week early because you got the mumps and he had never had the mumps and how the boys escaped the mumps I’ll never know

Me – you kept me in isolation

M – ya but you know even so, they probably, they’re lucky, they got vaccine as soon as the mumps vaccine came out

Thankfully, we have now have vaccines for the mumps, measles and chicken pox. These vaccines keep children (and their parent caregivers) from going thru a summer like mine.

As adults, we have another vaccine that we can take. This one is to prevent COVID-19. Currently, young children cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19. To protect them, we need to create a circle of vaccinated people around them. So please, protect the children in your life by getting a COVID vaccine.


#52Ancestors #Fashion

Even though they are evidently back in style, I can confess that I have never worn a corset. However, my grandmother wore a corset – every day. As a child, I once asked her why and she said it helped her back.

While grandma may have been wearing a corset in her later years to help her back, I doubt that is why she started wearing a corset. Like Sphinx Shapewear and corsets of today, corsets were worn to ‘shape’ the figure. A search of the Emporia, Kansas newspapers for the word corset between the years 1930 and 1950 supports the notion that a corset was a fashion ‘necessity’.

The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 24 Sep 1934 at –

In 1939, the article “New Styles Call for Old Fashioned Corsets” promotes the need to wear a corset.

Chicago, Aug. 1 (AP) – The business of putting women back into corsets, the kind with laces and stays, came to light at the Merchandise Mart style clinic today.

There was an emphasis on bustle effects and smaller waists, posing the immediate question of how to get the smaller waist line.

“By corsets, and in some instances, of course, corsets that lace,” said Mrs. Katherine Ratto, stylist in charge of the clinic, a feature of the fall-winter wholesale apparel market.

“Hip interest,” she said is achieved by the bustle effects — bows in back, loops of material, peplum jackets or nipped-in waists.

The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 1 Aug 1939 page 4 on –

So, where did my grandmother purchase her corsets? Since Newmans was one of my grandmother’s favorite stores, my first guess would have been Newmans.

The Emporia Daily Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 28 March 1935 page 6 on –
Polk’s Emporia City Directory 1940-1941 available on Ancestry in their U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 database

However, Newman’s wasn’t the only clothing store selling corsets at the time. There are several ads in the newspapers indicating that Poole’s sold corsets. One of the most interesting ones is from the February 1942 paper discussing the rationing of rubber and the impact that had on the making of corsets.

The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 4 Feb 1942, page 2 on –
Polk’s Emporia City Directory 1940-1941 available on Ancestry in their U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 database

In the December 1949 issue of The Emporia Weekly Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) was a short news item about the corset department at Poole’s.

Mrs. Ann Van Cleave, of Poole’s corset and lingerie department, has recieved a certificate indicating that she has recently attended and completed a prescribed training course in the fundamentals of corsetry. The course is conducted by Warner’s of Chicago.

The Emporia Weekly Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 15 Dec 1949 on –

However, the ad that appeared the most often in the search results was for a small shop on 823 West Street run by Mrs. Roe G. Collins.

The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 20 Mar 1946 on –

My ‘corset’ search of the Emporia papers also turned up some interesting medical information regarding the wearing of corsets. The first article involved having monkeys wear corsets.

Wants Monkeys to Wear Corsets Two Full Years

Chicago (Oct. 11 (AP) – Dr. Andrew C. Ivy, physiologist and vice president of the University of Illinois wants 40 monkeys to wear corsets for two years in an experiment which may determne how grandma got her ulcers.

Dr. Ivy said he believes tight corsets, proposed for American women by Paris designers, help peptic ulcers. Research disclosed, he said, that women had more ulcers when they laced themselves tightly.

The experiment with the monkeys, estimated to cost $5,000 would establish, or disprove his belief, Dr. Ivy said, and he plans to go through with it as soon as he can find 40 monkeys, the tightest corsets and $5,000.

To prevent stripping, he’ll put the monkeys into plaster caste molded from the corsets. After two years Dr. Ivy will tell women what, if anything has happened to the monkeys’ insides.

The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 11 Oct 1947 on –

Even though Dr. Ivy’s proposal sounds inhumane to us today, there may have been some truth to his hypothesis that corsets caused ulcers since he was quoted about the corset-ulcer issue in an article about the issue in the Oct. 1950 issue of The Emporia Gazette.

Ulcers Less Numerous When Women Discarded Tight Fitting Corsets

Palm Springs (AP) – Old-fashioned corsets went out of style and peptic ulcers among women declined says a medical expert.

Using the year 1900 as a turning point, Dr. Andrew C. Ivy said that before the turn of the century there were about three times as many peptic ulcer cases among women as among men.

Today, since the stiff stays and tight lacings have been tossed out the style window, the ratio is reversed.

Dr. Ivy, vice president of the University of Illinois, added in his lecture to a dental medicine seminar Monday that the beneficial effect of more comfortable foundations for the ladies was accompanied by a general change in the American way of life and increased tensions among men.

The Emporia Gazette (Emporia, Kansas) 17 Oct 1950 on –

While I disagree with Dr. Ivy’s conclusion that the disappearance of the corset “increased tensions among men,” I do believe that wearing a corset every day would have been uncomfortable and may have impacted the body. One will never know whether my grandmother’s wearing of a corset helped her back or caused other medical issues. She was accustomed to it and continued to wear one even after styles changed.

However, I’m thankful that I live in a time period where I don’t have to don a corset.