June 10, 1944 Lois Shepard to in-laws…

 

301 N. 26th St.
Muskegee, Okla.
June 10, 1944

Dear Dick —

Have expected to hear from you again. Haven’t gotten the Saturday mail yet – so maybe there will be a few letters from home today. They have been few and far between.

The news of the invasion was a relief wasn’t it. I’m afraid it will take a while but I’m glad it has started. We got as a car – the ’39 Oldmobile $700. It needs a little work but much better than the Studebaker which is still advertized for $300 now & has to be sold by Sunday. That was just a story to get rid of the thing quick. The car we have has loads of space to pack things. It is a coupe – & no seats in the back but room behind the front seat for Bills & my trunks & a place for Kenny to sit. We could even fix a bed back there for them. Then the trunk is plenty roomy also. It is black & looks very nice. Radio-heater-clock. Tho they all need a little work done on them.

Bill had to fly this morning as it rained

[pg. 2]
Thursday all morning. He will be home at noon today tho. He had O.D.[?] Wednesday of this week, so we thot we’d have the whole weekend & here he has to fly this morning. Bill had his 40 hr. check then 40 hr. re check – he’s still in – tho he had me worried again. I refuse to worry any more.

Sue is taking her morning nap but it is about time for her to get up & I’ll have to get the kids cleaned up as we’ll have to take them to town with us.

We wanted to go out tonite but Sat. nite is the only nite Mrs Kelly goes out so we’ll have to wait. Maybe tomorrow nite.

Sue is awake so I’ll close –

Love
Lois.

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Fred W. Hamm vs. Carrie Hamm…

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Julia Caroline (Carrie) Amundson and Frederick Wilhelm Karl Emil Hamm about 1903.

It is a miracle.

I have finally found proof that Fred Hamm and Carrie Amundson were married! All I can say is keep on trucking with newspaper research and the story will out. And, as usual, I wasn’t even looking for this, I was actually trying to find out what happened to Fred’s daughter Margaret, whom he had with Emma Steinbach.

I finally cracked the nut on Margaret, but this beats all. There in the July 28, 1910 issue of the International Falls Press newspaper was a notice for a summons to court for the case of  Fred W. Hamm vs. Carrie Hamm. Further investigation gave me a divorce date in July of 1910 in Koochiching County, Minnesota.

Now I know why I couldn’t find their divorce record earlier, I only knew of two possible counties to research: St. Louis in Minnesota and Taylor County in Wisconsin. Neither had any record of a divorce for them. It didn’t occur to me to check the county where he lived with Emma in Minnesota.

 

newspaper_hamm_courtsummons1910

Fred had left the state by 1909ish and went to Montana for a very short while, probably to just disappear (he is in the 1910 census there which was taken in April). By July of 1910 he was back in Minnesota, in Koochiching County, where he was divorced from Carrie. Notices had been appearing in the paper since March.

The case file is very short. There is a complaint and a judgment, just 6 pages.

judgment

But these 6 pages give me the vital information I have been looking for these many years. Julia Caroline Amundson (I finally have her proper name)  and Frederick Wilhelm Karl Emil Hamm were married on the 24th of February in 1903 at Moose Lake, Carlton County, Minnesota.

Because the notices for the court case were appearing in the International Falls paper, I had serious doubts that Carrie would be in court, she lived in Duluth, and she wasn’t. I don’t currently know if any of these notices were appearing in the Duluth papers. However, from the complaint submitted by Fred, maybe she wasn’t going to appear regardless.

V
That on several occasions, since the marriage of plaintiff [Fred] and defendant [Carrie] the defendant in this action left the home of plaintiff, without any cause, and plaintiff sought her and brought her back. That on October 20, 1908, or about that date, the defendant disappeared from the home of plaintiff, leaving him and the little child above named, and has ever since that time, and still, is living apart from plaintiff and their child. That defendant has ever since the date last mentioned wholly deserted and abandoned plaintiff and kept her whereabouts unknown to plaintiff or their child, and has never returned to the home of plaintiff or to the home of plaintiff’s parents where the child of plaintiff and defend is being cared for and provided for. [So, Myrtle is now with her Hamm grandparents in Medford.]

VI
That defendant seems to possess no love for her child, the issue of the marriage of plaintiff and defendant, and has wholly disregarded, without any cause or provocation, her duties to her husband and child, and has wholly abandoned each of them since October 20, 1908, and has and still does concealed herself from them and kept her whereabouts unknown to them.

This was definitely a marriage with problems, and I believe that some of what Fred is accusing Carrie of is true.

When Fred appeared in court in November of 1908, after having been arrested for non-payment of child support, the newspaper article mentioned that Fred was complaining about also paying for support of her son John Gustafson, who had been living with her parents before they died. I find no evidence in later records that Carrie took care of her son John. And, Carrie does not appear to have made much effort to keep in contact with her daughter Myrtle after she was given to her Hamm grandparents to raise in Medford, Wisconsin. Admittedly, this supposition could be false. I just don’t have enough evidence to know how exaggerated the accusations are, and probably never will.

Here is another interesting newspaper article I found recently regarding the non-support case in 1908:

newspaper_hammfred_1908MNchildsupport

 

According to this newspaper version of events, it appears that my great great Aunt Lydia, was named as a source of contention in the marriage as early as 1908.

The judgment for divorce was entered in the record on July 19, 1910 (Court date was the 12th). Fred went on to marry two more times. Carrie never married again, and spent the rest of her life in Duluth working as a laundress or house cleaner in local businesses and private homes. They had been married for 7 years.

I am quite happy that I can finally mark this question off my list of things I want to know.

Whatever happened to baby Margaret and other tales of woe…

I have made sporatic attempts over the last few years to find out what happened to Fred and Emma Steinbach Fischer Hamm’s daughter Margaret Dorothy, with no luck. (Margaret was my grandmother Myrtle Hamm’s half sister.) And the fact that she is a she has made it harder. Recently I made another stab at solving the mystery by using the Minnesota Newspaper digital hub, where more and more Minnesota newspapers are being digitized. It was there that I learned something new about Fred and Emma, and, using that information, was able to, probably, solve the mystery of Margaret.

Apparently, when Fred married Emma in 1912, she brought two boys from her previous marriage into this new family: Herman and Martin Fischer.  This discovery was made when I found the attached article from a Minnesota newspaper.newspaper_hammfred_fatalshootingMN1913

The article tells the story of how Herman Fischer, age 11, was accidentally and fatally shot by his younger brother Martin, age 9.

While Fred had been a ner’do well in life, he also had his share of tragedy. He lost two siblings when he was young, a brother and a sister. His first child with Carrie Amundson, Amelia, died just over the age of 1. His youngest son, Clarence, was only 8 when he was killed in a car accident caused by his wife’s brother (this would be his third wife Emma Paugel Hamm Hamm*), and his eldest son Raymond died in Africa during WWII.

Herman wasn’t Fred’s son, but the loss of a child in the family, and in such a manner, would have been shocking, and devastating, none-the-less.

Sadly, the fate of Margaret Dorothy Hamm appears to be no better, as she seems to have died at the age of 18, in 1933.

Using clues from Ancestry.com regarding Emma, and now knowing about her two sons from her marriage to Fischer, I have been able to determine that Emma, after her divorce from Fred in 1918, was married to Charles Green for a while and then later Sam Dougherty. (She died in 1947 as Emma Dougherty.) In the 1920 census I found Emma living with Charles Green, along with her son Martin, and daughter Margaret. Both mistakenly listed with the surname Green. Margaret, however, appears to have kept the Green surname. Martin after that census stayed a Fischer. So it was with these new clues that I was able to find Margaret in FindaGrave, where she is buried with her mother and step-father.

Until I get her death registration, cause of death at this time is unknown.

Below is the only identified picture of Margaret in the family collection.

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*NOTE: Emma Paugel married George Hamm, Fred’s brother, and had several children with him. Then she ran away with Fred, and her children, and divorced George. She married Fred about 1930. So she is Emma Paugel Hamm Hamm. Not a typo.

Would you like a little shave with your surgery?

 

Most of my ancestors had pretty traditional jobs like farmers and merchants, some were in specialized trades like doctor, blacksmith, or weavers. So I was quite intrigued when I came across a barber.

When we hear the word barber today we, of course, think shave and a haircut, maybe even a little tooth pulling, if jokingly recalling rumors of old.

Ellis Barron is one of those ancestors I ran across while trying to fill in some of the surname lines in my Fay tree. Frankly, there isn’t all that  much we do know about him. But, his probate includes an inventory taken of his estate when he died in 1676. In this inventory is found barber’s instruments:

record-image_3QSQ-G9DL-FPX4

Of course the first thought that pops in my head is Sweeney Todd and his lady friend’s nasty meat pies. But that is the stage. However, in real life these barbers did engage in some pretty gross practices along with, yes, tooth extractions, there was: blood lettings, enemas, wound surgery, boil lancing, and digging out hangnails, ingrown hair or nails. Apparently they even preformed the service of castration.

The barber-surgeon was a profession that had been around for a very long time, lasting into the early 1800s. If you are interested in learning more, here are two links to a little history of the barber and the barber pole, and I am sure you could find more:

http://wordinfo.info/unit/3364/ip:17
https://io9.gizmodo.com/5965741/how-barbers-became-surgeons

Ellis also had in his inventory a slave by the name of Shippio. It is thought that he might have been an assistant of Ellis’ in the barber trade, but we don’t know for sure. Shippio was given to Ellis’ wife, Ann, when he died and she willed the barber items to Shippio when she died. Other’s have tried to find out what happened to him, but nothing has been found so far.

… also the Negro servt I leave to my wife, and desire her to have a care of him that he may suffer no wrong …

So the next time I go to the dentist or doctor, I will be very thankful that they have the awesome skills they do to do their job right, so my hairdresser can just focus on my hair.

 

No date [aft March 1944] William Shepard to parents…

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1944_nodate_p01S.O.G.A.F.P.S.(P)
S.A.A.C.C.
San Antonio, Texas

Dear Mother and Dad:

Here I am again, in a barracks. All the fellows are swell. Its just as if I was a G.I. (dogface) again. We all live together, eat and march like O. C. S. Only it is easier. Not too easy. The meals are swell here. Best since Pendleton. Up at 5:15 and quit at 5:00 we also have plenty of calisthenics, running and sports.

Looks as if I would get through, at least I feel like it. Just saw “See Here Pvt. Hargrove” its a scream and the best army picture

 

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1944_nodate_p02

that I have seen. See you when you get the chance.

Tell Herman Ill write him soon. I hope to get some pictures of you all soon.

Well Ill close and give you a chance to write. Do. Give my regards to everyone

Love
Bill