Mrs. Herman O. Shepard 1012 Hartford Worthington, Ohio
Dear Egghead and Dad:
I know now why you call yourself Egghead, you dated your last letter November 8 and I know you’re not nuts, but it helps a lot ha ha. We will be looking forward to the fruit as I only have about four left. I’ve been eating a lot of them. I’ve had a nice little cold for the last few days and I think a lot of fruit juice is good for a cold. Ruth called Al Maddox today and told him if she wasn’t home for him to set the baskets in the kitchen, so they won’t freeze. It was snowing when we got up this morning and it’s still at it 7:30 PM about 6 inches on the ground now. I took the pictures out of our front living room window at 4:30 PM just to give you an idea how snow looks, look at the drift on the house across the street. It’s up even with their porch floor, our driveway is clean out to about the front of the house from there to the street it’s about 2 feet deep don’t know if I’ll be able to get it out in the morning or not. I borrowed the Polaroid camera from Steve to take a few shots to see if I would like to have one. From the results I don’t believe I’ll buy one they don’t seem to be good sharp pictures. The picture of the group although you won’t be able to tell one person from another was taken last night. Martha Star, Ruth and I had a party for our officers and their husbands. We held it at the Linworth Methodist Church. Ruth and Martha prepared all the food at our homes and then we took it over to the church and serve there. Of course I got in on the dishwashing as did Ken, Martha‘s husband. Ocea Patman and Martha’s mother did their share and as far as I know everything went off well. Our officers presented Martha with a solid brass tray about 14 to 15 inches in diameter and me a metal tray with mahogany finish trimmed with chrome I don’t know what I’ll use it for unless I get a job in a restaurant serving tables.
We haven’t heard anything from K.W. But are looking for him to be here for the holidays. I received a letter from Ben Hott (he is the one that moved to Bayshore Gardens) he says there is a lot of work around Sarasota doing home maintenance, painting and etc. Said the field was wide open, in other words a handyman or jack of all trades, he said he was going to look out for me, maybe he’s got something in that kind of work. What do you think? He said he made $95 one week doing that kind of work. I would have to have a truck, ladders, spray painting outfit, steam cleaner etc. or about $3000 to be fully equipped to handle most of the jobs that would be available. I’m going to write him for more details and information etc.
Have you got your Christmas shopping done? We haven’t even started or even bought our cards yet. Ruth has been busy with Job’s Daughters and this party we had last night, next week we have a regular meeting Wednesday night and installation of the 1961 officers next Saturday night. By the time we squeeze in the Christmas shopping and all those details it will probably be another nightmare for the next two weeks. This about winds me up for now so till next time, so long.
How is everything at Safety Harbor? All right I hope. You’ve been home long enough that you should know all the news, good, bad and indifferent. So we’re looking for a nice long letter to bring us up to date.
I suppose you’re wondering how I got along with my first meeting. Well I got along O.K. and we had six candidates to start their degree work. There were a couple of items of business that came up during the business part of the meeting that I didn’t foresee, nevertheless I got along all right. Maybe I’ll be lucky for the whole year.
We had our first frost last night and it was a dandy. I suppose that will be the end of the sweet corn and good homegrown tomatoes. We had a mess of sweetcorn last Saturday night and thought about you while we were eating it.
We had two “stinking” weekends at the lake. Week ago last Sunday we didn’t get out on the lake until 2 PM due to high winds and rough water, but manage to catch 40 nice jumbo perch, and yesterday we didn’t get out period. The wind was blowing out of the north like a Gail and it rained off and on all day. I hope we get a couple more days as time is getting short. Will probably be pulling the boat
In another couple of weeks.
The grand chapter R.E.M. meetings are being held this week in Columbus, Wednesday and Thursday to be exact. The ladies are being entertain at a brunch Wednesday morning and some other activities are planned for the afternoon then will join for a banquet in the evening. I say that’s ‘rolling out the red carpet’ for the gals. I always enjoy the grand chapter meeting so I hope this will be a good one. Tell dad I’ll see Harry Sark there and will ask him about the Postal Service.
Believe it or not I think Charlie and June are going down to Saint Petersburg for their vacation and will probably arrive there next Monday. Charlie says they are going to look you up. But don’t hold your breath
Ruth took your watch down to Rogers jewelers last week and the repair man told her the main spring was OK and that it had been full of water etc. so she is taking it to Jack Dennick here in Worthington for his examination and will report to you later. Ruth thought the man at Rogers was “full of you know what”.
Ruth hasn’t been downtown since you left and hasn’t got 10 your birthday gift. So we’re enclosing a check and you can apply it to whatever you like, such as a fifth, Maidenform bra, new car, dress, or the grocery bill. Well I’m bout shot my wad so will close for now.
I have actually written quite a bit over the years about Carrie. I am not sure if there will be anything new to learn when I finish this post, but at least it will be all together in one neat little package.
Julia Caroline, went by the name of Kari or Carrie throughout her life. She was the second known child born to Amund Amundson and Jorgina Johnsdtr. She was born on the 29th of August 1879, in Kenyon, Goodhue County, Minnesota (according to her obituary). At this time I have been unable to find a birth record for her in either government or church records.
Kari’s parents were married in Goodhue County1, and for a short time afterwards can be found living there, along with Jorgina’s parents and family. They bought land just to the south in Dodge County in 1875, (while they were still living in Goodhue County), and by 1880 they were living in Vernon, Dodge County, where they stayed until sometime before March of 1880 when they skedaddled quietly and stealthily in the cover of night out of Dodge. It looks like Amund and Jorgina were having problems paying their mortgage and keeping up with the expenses of their farm, so they decided the best course of action was to leave all their debts behind. Although, they didn’t go very far. In the 1885 state census we find them back in Goodhue County. Strangely enough buying more property.
Sometime after 1886 Amund decided that farming was not his cup of tea and moved the family around the state a bit until they ended up in Carlton County. He had a growing family to feed and was finding work as a laborer wherever he could. They stayed for approximately 7 years. By 1903 he and Jorgina had moved to Duluth where Amund found work on the ore docks, a job he would stay at until he retired shortly after 1913.
We really know nothing of Carrie’s early childhood. She was able to grow up around her mother’s Norwegian family until she was about 7-8 years old, then her parents hauled her off to another county far away from Goodhue and all she knew. She had an older sister Christina, and a younger brother John who sadly died between 1885 and 1895. Her mother had another child that never made it to any census records other than a statistic (the 1900 census asks the wife how many children they had had and how many were living, Jorgina’s answer was 4, 2 living).
In 1898 another tragedy struck the family. Christina, the eldest daughter, developed mental health issues and ended up being committed to the Fergus Falls insane asylum.
Christina’s medical records indicate that instances of her mental health problems started when she was about 17 years old, and were supposedly brought on by puberty. It was also noted in her records that her condition was inherited, but did not state from whom, or from which side of the family the illness is supposed to have originated (possibly her mother’s side). The Fergus Falls asylum, where she was taken, had been built in 1890 on the ‘Kirkbride Plan’, being spacious and well planned with lots of light. She was at the Fergus Falls facility until at least April 6 of 1902. She continued as a patient in an asylum for the rest of her life, dying December 11, 1927 at the Anoka State Asylum, of tuberculosis.
from John Family Book, 2008 edition
So now Carrie was the only child left at home.
The next thing we know is on October 25, 1900, Carrie had a child she named John. I can find no evidence that Carrie had married the father of this son. We know his name was John Gustafson, he was Swedish and he was born about 1876, and that’s about it.
Carrie was in the Duluth directory in 1900, she went to her parents in Moose Lake when she was due, as that is where John’s birth certificate says he was born. So, it doesn’t look like she was kicked out of the house, otherwise he parents wouldn’t have let her come home to have her child. Did she move to Duluth because she would have a better chance of getting a job that would support herself and her child in the city rather than a lumber town like Moose Lake? Was she in Duluth because the father of her child was there? We don’t know.
The fact that her name is listed as ‘Amundson’ in the directory, rather than Gustafson, raises the suspicion that she was an unwed mother. But, she also hails from a Nordic background where women keep their names when married. So we can’t with certainty say that she was an unwed mother, although, the 1900 census has her entered as single, not widowed. The census was recorded as being taken in August of that year, and her son was born two months later.
Regardless of her married status, she does not appear to be living with a man of any name in the early years of the 1900s. And she was working as a domestic, cleaning and working in other’s homes for a living. It would have been exhausting and tiresome work, for very little pay.
Sometime in 1902 Carrie met a man newly arrived in Duluth from Wisconsin. His name was Frederick Hamm and he was quite the looker. (Hey, even I can admit great-gramps was hot, I can see why the ladies would drop their knickers left and right.) The two were certainly smitten with each other, enough so that they were married on the 24th of February 1903. Carrie would have been relieved to no longer have to work as a domestic, she had a husband to bring home the paycheck now. Fred, when he met Carrie, was working as a carpenter about town. The 1903 directory had him listed as a laborer, probably getting any labor type work he could and by 1904 he had found work on the ore docks of Duluth.
About this time Carrie’s parents decided to make the move to Duluth also. They are found in the Duluth directory in 1904 living with (or in the same building with) their son-in-law and daughter, so they probably made the move sometime in 1903 (there are no directory entries for her parents earlier than 1904). Carrie’s father had also gotten work at the ore docks, maybe with his son-in-law’s help.
On June 3, 1904 Fred and Carrie welcomed their daughter Emelia into the world. And in 1905 they are found in the state census, in an error ridden entry, so who knows who gave the information to the census taker:
Mr. Hames [Fred Hamm] age 31, 2nd St. born Germany [Wisconsin], parents born Germany, carpenter Mrs. Carrie Hames [Kari Hamm] age 25, born Wisconsin [Minnesota], parents born Norway, wife Emilea Hames [Hamm], age 1, born Minnesota, parents born [can not read entry]
—1905 Minnesota Territorial and State Census, Duluth, St. Louis County:enumeration dist. 22, ward 7, sub-division B, precinct 2nd; sheet 18, page 101, City of Duluth June 7th-8th lines 37-40
Sadly they lost Emilia to gastroenteritis a few months after this census was taken.
Fred didn’t like dock work and went back to carpentry not long after their marriage. He continued in this line of work until 1907 when he became a police officer.
Annual Report of Police Department, Duluth, Minn., Jan. 1st 1907: Fred W. Hamm, appointed patrolman, Oct. 13, 1906; page 122
And then was fired two years later due to misconduct and dereliction of duty.
In 1906 the couple had another daughter, Myrtle Caroline, my grandmother.
But Carrie and Fred’s marriage was not destined to last for much longer. On April 28, 1907 Carrie’s mother died, after having been committed to an asylum for a short time. She most likely had dementia and Amund was unable to handle her erratic and violent behavior. Then a year later these articles started appearing in the local newspaper:
Non-Support Charge Fred Hamm, charged with non-support, was arraigned in municipal court this morning. His hearing was set for Wednesday morning, upon his pleas of not guilty. He lives as 2615 West Second St. and has a 2-year old child.
—Duluth Evening Herald, Monday November 16, 1908 page 8
POLICEMAN PROMISES TO PROVIDE FOR FAMILY Policeman Fred Hamm was let go on suspended sentence by Judge Cutting yesterday on his promise to contribute $25 a month to the support of his wife and child. The officer was arrested by Court Officer Jensen on a warrant sworn out by his wife charging him with failing to contribute to the support of his family. Mrs. Hamm, who carried her baby into court, testified that two months ago when the separation took place her husband said he was tired living with her. The evidence showed that the couple have had many quarrels which began when Mrs. Hamm’s mother died nearly two years ago and the patrolman was called upon to support a former child of Mrs. Hamm’s which had been living with her parents.
–Duluth News-Tribune (1908-11-19): page unknown
CHARGED WITH NON-SUPPORT Fred Hamm, a Policeman, Arraigned in Municipal Court. Fred Hamm, a local policeman, was arraigned in municipal court before Judge Cutting this morning on the charge of non-support. The case was continued for three months, under Hamm’s promise that he would contribute $25 monthly to his wife’s support. The couple have not been living together since last August. Hamm claims the trouble started because his wife objected to having his sister visiting at the house, claiming that the sister wanted to “boss” her. He said he had been perfectly willing to support his wife, and always had contributed liberally to her support, but that he insisted on the right to have relatives visit him, as long as he was paying the bills. He denied that the sister did any bossing. Mr. and Mrs. Hamm have one child, an infant in arms.
–Duluth Evening Herald. Publication Date November 19, 1908: page 2, column 1
Obviously the two were not getting along and Fred was feeling boxed in by his marriage. On July 19, 1910 Fred filed for divorce in Koochiching County, Minnesota after having run away to Montana. Here he is in the 1910 census:
HAMM, Frank, boarder, male, white, age 36, single, born in Wisconsin, parents born in Germany, speak english, laborer in a logging camp, works for wages, hadn’t been out of work on April 15, 1910, or all of 1909, can read and write.
–1910 census Hellsgate Twp, Missoula County, Montana details:Missoula National Forest-North Division, Enumeration Dist. 61, Sheet 5A, 23 April, line 21
Carrie was having a rough go of it. She has two children, a husband who now refused to support them, and then disappeared, (he objected to supporting Carrie’s son from another man), a mother now dead, and a father who would be useless to help. She was now all on her own, and not really capable to doing so.
The details of why are unknown, but their daughter Myrtle was living with her grandparents George and Amelia Hamm by the 1910 census. In fact she ended up growing up on the Hamm farm. And Carrie’s son John isn’t found again until a 1920 newspaper article when he was injured on the job and his mother sued the railroad for compensation.
Other than the newspaper articles related to her marriage to Fred, we know nothing about Carrie’s life after his desertion, other than what is found in directories and census records. She wasn’t at the divorce hearings in Koochiching County. I doubt she even was aware that they were going on, she didn’t live anywhere near there. And even if she did, she most likely couldn’t afford a lawyer or the trip.
So Carrie was now back living on her own and working as a laundress/domestic, a job she had until her death in 1949. As far as we know she had no further contact with her daughter, my grandmother after she was farmed out to her grandparents. If she wrote, we have no correspondence to confirm any such contact.
And she really had no other family to speak of from 1917, when her father died, until her own death in 1949.
From the Wednesday, June 1 1949 Duluth News-Tribune (Funeral Notice): AMUNDSON, Mrs. Carrie C., 212 West Second Street. Funeral Services 2 p.m. at the Johnson Mortuary Chapel, the Rev. Benjamin Urshan officiating. Interment Park Hill.
Same Paper: Mrs. Carrie C. Amunson, 67, of 212 West Second Street, died yesterday in a Duluth hospital. Born in Kenyon, Minn., she resided here 60 years. Surviving are a son, John C. Gustafson, Minneapolis; a daughter, Mrs. Myrtle John, Rothchild, Wis., and three children.
The clues that Carrie left behind regarding her life, lead me to speculate that the mental issues, (like depression), that plagued the family probably also affected her. She didn’t really raise her own children. Her son was farmed out to her parents in his early years, and her only other living child, Myrtle, was farmed out to her ex’s parents in Wisconsin by the time she was 4. Carrie only shows up again in her son’s life when there was a chance to make some money from the railroad.
Not everyone is meant to be a parent, and it is quite possible that Carrie was one of those people. So maybe both of her children were better off not being raised by their mother.
Her life seems a bit sad and lonely to me, I hope she had a good one in spite of herself.
SOURCES: 1. Ammon Amunnson and Kari Jorgina Johnson entry, page 60; “Minnesota, County Marriages, 1860-1949,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X2BR-JQK : accessed 26 Sep 2013), Ammon Amunnson and Kari Jorgina Johnson, 1874. Image saved as marriage_amundson_to_johnson [FHL Film number: 1379159 online Digital Folder Number: 004540657 online Image Number: 01315
2. Fred W. Hamm vs Carrie Hamm divorce case file #492 Koochiching County, Minnesota 1910; Civil and Criminal Case files, 2907-1950, 1961, Minnesota District Court, Minnesota Historical Society. Accession number(s): 999-71; 2006-58; 2007-20; 2008-22; Catalog ID No.: 1735999. Forwarded by Koochiching County Clerk of Courts office.
Happy to hear you are settled at the cabin. Just be sure that you don’t start any more construction jobs. I’m rather sorry to hear that other people are building at the beach I had the idea but you know how it is.
Lois is probably written you about her coming over. I think she will leave Ohio just after October 1. At least that is what they tell me here.
We have a brand new three bedroom apartment in Kaiserslautern. It is the nicest I’ve seen in these parts. We will probably move on the base next spring.
The beer and food taste so good here I have a hard time keeping my waist line down. I weigh the same I did when I left Ohio 200 pounds.
We will send you some pictures when Louis gets the camera over.
Enjoy your vacation north and I hope that Florida is warm this winter. I’ll try to write next month, although my pen isn’t very long!
Fred Hamm, maybe in a desperate attempt to get away from his ex (my great grandmother Carrie Amundson), ended up settling in Koochiching County, Minnesota for a while.
According to his second marriage certificate he married Emma Steinbach March 22, 1912 at Fort Francis, Ontario, which is just over the border north of International Falls.
International Falls press and border budget. Pub. Date January 22, 1914: Fred Hamm moved his family and stock to his claim on the upper Black River last week. [Emma, Margaret, himself]
And the 1920 census above shows Fred and a different family there, because by 1918 he had divorced Emma Steinbach and was now living with his brother’s wife Emma Paugel and his brother’s children, along with his and Emma’s son Raymond.
As far as I can tell Fred’s only purchase of property, ever, was a homestead purchase from the United States Government in 1918. So I do not know if he actually owned a different property that the family was moving to in 1914, or if it was the same property, and he just hadn’t purchased yet.
Even today you can see that there are no real roads out in this area. Here’s another view a bit further away in airspace:
The pink box in the image above is a close approximation of his property. The closest road appears to be Hwy 101/Black River Road and Fiero Truck Trail. Just the name of the latter road brings forth visions of rough travel. When you get up close using satellite images, it almost looks like this was pretty much swamp land, but according to various online histories about the area there was plenty of good farming.
There was a US agricultural census made in 1920, and Fred was on it, but unfortunately it was destroyed by the US Government, who saw no reason to keep it. Only a few states survived the destruction, Minnesota was not one of them. So that means we have no idea what Fred and Emma were growing and farming on their property during the 8-10 years that they lived there.
In 1924 he quit claimed the property to Asa Kelsey. (According to current maps on the county’s register of deeds site, it is all now owned by the State of Minnesota.) It might be at this time that the family moved to Shawano, Wisconsin, where he finally saw fit to marry Emma Paugel in 1931.
This is the only evidence I have found of Fred settling down anywhere for any length of time. After this bout of farming fever, he never owned property again, although he did work as a farm hand of some sort until he died.
Here’s a fun tidbit: As of the 2000 census, there were 23 people, 11 households, and 6 families residing in Rapid River township.[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapid_River_Township,_Lake_of_the_Woods_County,_Minnesota]
It’s been so long since I’ve written, maybe I can get this one to you before you leave Tuesday. We are looking forward to seeing both of you and hope you have a safe trip north.
We have our last eastern star meeting next Wednesday night before summer recess, maybe you can make it. I’ve been working on the boat every chance I get, still have many things to do i’ll try to enlist dad maybe he can speed me up a little. I didn’t realize I was getting myself into such a project.
I am enclosing a couple of dollars for you to bring me a few jars of Damson Plum jam (Deep South Brand) if it isn’t too much trouble.
We were up to our cottage at East Harbor last week and for the first time this year, between rains it took me a day and a half to cut the grass. Everything was O.K. up there and all her friends were O.K.
Had news from Birch that he is improving and even has an offer of a job at the golf station in Westerville if he is able to take it. Well Ruth is scratching a note. So till next week when you arrive.
Well, it is official. I am on furlough from my job until August 31. Although the boss is working on possibly getting that shortened. We’ll see. One of the many different types of casualties of this pandemic. Thankfully, as of yet, no one in our family has contracted the virus.
The one thing that I have been doing these past few months is keeping a journal during this time specifically, (although I have been keeping a journal on and off for the last ten years). But in this time of massive social upheaval, crazy shenanigans, and scumbaggery, it is even more important to record one’s thoughts, feelings, day to day life, anything to help those in the future understand what living ‘in’ this bit of history was like for folks. (The genealogist in me can’t help myself anyway.)
With furlough coming up, starting next week, it is time to make an effort to find a little joy in life. For me genealogy and beading are two of those activities that help with that. I can focus on projects that have been on the back burner for retirement. Including my beading. I have a project that has been on my loom for 17 years (ever since I started working again), now I can finish it. I will also be back to my blogging again.
It will be good to get a little joy back.
When the 1918-1920 flu epidemic swept the world it doesn’t appear that any one in our family was personally affected by it. No one, as far as I can tell, died from it, no one talked about it either. They certainly didn’t leave any records of having done so. I would really like to have found a diary or journal from that time. Did it affect them personally? Did anyone of their close friends die? How did they get through day to day life? Did they help their neighbors? Did they grab their guns and storm the capitol building of their state, screaming like crazed rabid humans, to go back to work? I don’t know.
But at least our descendants will know that their family was sane, smart, and sensible.
I have two ancestral relations by the name of Jeremiah Smith. The one on my father’s side is my 4x great grandfather, of New York and Michigan. The one on my mother’s side is, most likely, a 5x great uncle of Ohio.
A cousin of ours, who also descends from Jeremiah of New York and Michigan, recently contacted me with the information that recent DNA testing has proven that our Jeremiah Smith is indeed a son of Jeremiah Smith, senior, born 1755ish in New York whose wife was Sophia Herder. This also means that our belief that this line originates from George Adam Schmit of Rossbach, Germany, a Palatine German immigrant, is true!
Over the years our cousin has been in contact with a couple of researchers who descend from the same Smith line, and in one case the paper documentation just couldn’t be found to prove the connection of an unknown son of Jeremiah Smith and Sophia Herder. The DNA testing has proven that while the paper documents don’t exist, the results can’t be denied. So I also have another son, Benjamin, I can add to the list for this couple, a previously unknown uncle.
With more and more folks getting their DNA tested to help solve puzzles just like this, I am hoping that the future will bring more confirmations and affirmations to my own research.
This photograph found in my mother’s parent’s collection was not labeled, so I could only guess who the people were who are in it.
Thankfully a cousin who descends from the Mobley or Buchanan side of the family saw it, and recognized them.
The man sitting on the porch floor is Silas Mobley. His second wife Ura Finch is sitting in the chair. They are at their home in Missouri. Silas is a brother to my 3x great grandmother Margaret (Mobley) Buchanan. (Margaret was married to William Buchanan.)
There are several reasons that I scan and upload old family pictures to flickr. This, right here, is one of those reasons.