September 3, 1952 Herman Shepard to Parents

Columbus Ohio
Sept. 3 1952

Dear Dick & Dad:-

Just a line to let you know we arrived home okay we had dinner in St. Ignace and got across the straight about 2 P.M. We took Route 23 down to Standish where we stopped to ice the fish which lasted until we got home today. We ate supper in Vasser and got to Harbor View at 12:30 A.M. Every thing at Harbor View was O.K. we left there at 11:45 AM 11:45 A.M. today and arrived home about 3 P.M. found everything here OK. the fish were still frozen solid when we got here.

Charlie & Julie surly had a wonderful time and want to thank you for everything. Charlie said he forgot to thank you for the bread you sent home with us.

I surly hate to go back to work in the morning but at least I have some swell memories to take along with me. Ruth & I really enjoyed ourselves and want to thank you for the swell time. We all talked about different little incidents happened while we were there. Every time we eat one of those fish we will be catching it all over again.

We are going to take Ruths mom and dad out a couple of the Pike tonight and get all the latest news from Gahana. Also we are going to take Ralph a loaf of bread. Ruth is now getting supper and we are having bread and tea.

So will write you later when I get all the news Ruth & Herm (over)

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P.S.
We will call Edw to nite if we can get him that is find him home.

I just called aunt Dosh and she and Burch are okay. She mailed your check. Pauline & Lloyd & Jamie were over for Labor Day weekend. Jenny started to school this week. Brooks & Zara & the kids were up Sunday evening. Tommy just got over a bad case of poison ivy. The baby is getting real cute.

Ada wrote that Aunt Lib isn’t a bit good. Her heart doesn’t pump enough blood and she blacks out.

Well I guess this is about all the news. So will close. Ruth.

The fish kept swell. The frozen ones were stiff and the iced ones were so cold I could hardly handle them when I put them in freezer.

We had chilly weather all the way down. The rain was behind us most all the way. Only got in one little sprinkle.

Shirley says it’s been cool here in the last four days, but it sure was hot last week.

Margie was down home last weekend. She said Opel almost died from a miscarriage. She had twins at five months. They couldn’t tell for a while if she was dead or alive, but she pulled through. She must’ve been at the hospital because Margie said she was at home now and doing alright. The doctor said she must have an operation as soon as she can stand it. I hope she does before it is too late.

Everyone else in W Va was okay I will call Margie tomorrow, as I won’t have a chance to-nite. I want to go out home write. The bread is not spoiled Ha! Ha !Love Ruth.

We sure had a good time.

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Break coming up

I will be taking a little hiatus for a few weeks, so don’t be concerned if you don’t see a post, after this one, until the middle or end of June. The old man and I plan on attending high tea, climbing a mountain, and looking for ghosts. We’ve got big plans.

So until then keep cool and dry.

July 7, [1949] Lois Shepard to in-laws

 

July 7 [1949]

Dear Dick –

Yes-I received the package last week after I had written you. Thanks loads for it all. The paring knif is tops. Bill is still in Jamaica but should be home the 15th to stay. Went to OB today & the Dr. says Aug. 5th for the baby. Course I don’t care how soon it happens.

Lucy Williams just called me from the club to tell me Bill made permanent Captain but that will  be as of Dec. 9, 1949. But at least he made it. She said a lot of them didn’t who were elegible. It sorta takes the kick out of it to know he had it but won’t be effective

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for 6 months. Nice Xmas present tho.

Had a letter from Helen & she says Trinidad is O.K. but she misses Ramey.

I’m having the group meeting here tomorrow. Then I won’t have to worry about it for several months.

Kenny has his fungus all cleared up & hope we can keep it that way. They had a swimming party & hot dogs & watermelon Monday on the 4th – The kids had a good time Kenny had 8 pieces of watermelon & 9 hot dogs – Didn’t get sick tho Lord know why. Sue lost an upper tooth today is anxiously awaiting the Fairy who leaves the dollar – Well must close & get to bed-

Love
Lois

A creepy trend

I check the stats on my blog every couple of days, just for the fun of it, and have noticed something a bit creepy. There are two articles from past posts that appear to get an unusual amount of hits. The one about Nazis in Greenland, and the “How to murder someone and get away with it” post.

Just what does that say about the state of the world today? Like I say – creepy.

And just a note to those of you who might be one of those creepy folks, no I didn’t actually write a ‘how to’ post on murdering someone. Ick!

Later.

p.s. Not a Nazi. Not a murderer/serial killer.

Another year down, another new thing

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It’s a new year and I have decided to change things up a bit on my blog.

There was a popular genealogy dare a short while ago called ’52 Ancestors’. The objective of the project was to write a biography about one ancestor a week, and the goal appeared to be to improve one’s story writing skills.

Yeah, I’m not going to do that.

Reading about this project did get me thinking about doing the same thing. However, when I remembered that I am not retired, and that many of those bios would require a lot of research, it just wasn’t feasible.

Instead, I decided that my new thing this year is going to be a celebration of the women in my family. By creating as full a biography as possible about one ancestress, as often as possible (some will certainly be easier than others), I hope to bring their voice more fully into the family narrative. All the posts related to my ‘New Thing’ project will be about my direct ancestresses, starting with my great grandmothers and working my way back in time as far as I can go. Hmmm, that will take more that 52 weeks, especially as I definitely will not be able to do one a week. I am hoping that by laser focusing on one individual in this manner I can fill in gaps in my research that aren’t noticed as much when one focuses on a surname, rather than a single person.

And don’t worry, I will still be making ‘special find’ posts, and sharing family letters, (boy do we still have lots of letters). I hope you look forward to reading these posts as much as I look forward to sharing them.

Oh, yeah! There’s the new theme, of course, can’t keep the same old look, it gets stale fast.

Unfortunately there were no great DNA finds or revelations in 2017, so I can’t share anything on that front. I did meet a few new distant cousins, didn’t get much out of them other than a hi, which is fine, but I always hope for a little more. (Hint – I love pictures! And DNA tests. Can’t get enough of those.)

Oh, well – maybe this year!

Have a great year,
jen

November 26, 1947 William Shepard to parents

This will be my last post for this year. So enjoy another short letter. Everyone have an excellent holiday and  New Year celebration.

See you next year!

 

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Albrook Field
November 26, 1947

Dear Dad & Mom & Herm & Ruth:

A brief letter to let you know I will be on my way to the Antilles. That is a group of islands reaching from Venezuaela to Miami Fla. I dont know what base as yet, but it wont be Panama, for Im leaving here. I think it may be Waller Field in Trinidad or Bounquen Field in Puerto Rico. As soon as I arrive Ill write a letter. Ill have more time & can tell you about Panama & everything then.

Bill

November 11, 1947 William Shepard to parents

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Nov 11, 1947

Hello Folks:

This will be a short letter for I am packing for New Orleans. We leave by train tomorrow to the New Orleans Port of Embarkation. We ship out on 21 Nov. by boat. The next time that I write Ill be in New Orleans. It has been pleasant here at F. Kilmer but Im ready to move on & get settled down. I found out that air force personnel are allowed the maximum of 2 1/2 years foreign duty now, so that places us back in June 1950.

Ill write you all the news when it happens. Until then remember candys dandy, but liquors quicker!!

Bill

Colonel Irving C. Pahl

After reading the title of this post I can hear my relatives asking, “Colonel Who?” A perfectly legitimate question too. But, in order to answer it I will need to go back a few years to give you a frame of reference.

The story starts with Laura, the youngest daughter of FW John and Johanna Deadrich, my great great grandparents. The second youngest of 6 children to survive to adulthood, she was born August 27, 1866 in Gillett, Oconto County, Wisconsin. (Laura was six years older than the youngest child, my great-grandfather, Victor.)

When Laura John was 19 years old she married her first husband, Charles Edward Pahl. A marriage which lasted for 10 years. Here are some notes from the divorce case:

“…That shortly after the said marriage the plaintiff [sic: defendant Charles] commenced a system of cruel and inhuman treatment towards the plaintiff by calling the plaintiff base, vile and abusive names, by threatening to strike, shoot and kill the plaintiff ….. conduct of the defendant became so cruel and inhuman towards the plaintiff and the said child [Victor] that the plaintiff was forced to and did leave …. That during the time the plaintiff and defendant lived together the defendant was ever jealous of every body who spoke to the plaintiff even of the plaintiff’s brothers …would abuse the plaintiff by the use of vile epithets…talking about shooting and killing the plaintiff.

…the defendant had a mania for whipping and punishing the said Victor Pahl … when the plaintiff remonstrated and attempted to prevent the defendant from so whipping and punishing said child the defendant would grossly and outrageously abuse the plaintiff by use of abusive words…

That the defendant frequently took up a stick or wood and threatened to strike and beat the plaintiff. That about six weeks before the plaintiff left the defendant…because she protested against the punishment of the said Victor Pahl by the defendant, the defendant violently assaulted the plaintiff and pinched and bruised her arm with such force as to take the skin off of her arm.

That shortly before the plaintiff left the defendant as aforesaid he told the plaintiff that if his style did not suit her she might leave and the sooner she left the better, that in consequence of said abuse and the great fear the plaintiff had of the defendant she left him as aforesaid.” 1

Laura had three children with Charles: Louis, who died at about a year old, Harold and Victor Pahl. She retained custody of Victor in the divorce proceedings. (It appears that their son Harold might have also died by the time of the divorce as he is not mentioned in the records).

Laura married again in 1899 to Edward Naylor.

Married
Last Saturday morning, at Gillett, Oconto County, this state, Dr. E. S. Naylor to Miss Laura Johns, Justice Riordan officiating. The bride is one of the most popular young ladies of Gillett, and a sister of our obliging station agent at this place, and the groom is well know veterinary surgeon formerly of Ripon, but now in the employ of the Rusch Lumber Company here. They arrived here on the evening train Monday and were duly serenaded by the village band, after which a social ball was given in their honor at the Exchange Hotel, where they are at present staying. The Advertiser joins their many friends in wishing them a happy and prosperous journey through life. 2

This marriage didn’t last long either, and there were no living children of this marriage when divorce was granted in 1904. Laura supported herself by working as a cook in lumber camps, and boarding houses. Skills she most likely learned from her mother, who was acclaimed as a great cook by locals and visitors alike.

Victor was born in 1891. It is possibly because Laura was working in lumber camps, a place that would be dangerous for a young child, that he is found in the 1900 census living with his grandparents, FW and Johanna John. He appears to have had a complicated, rough and confusing childhood, because we find him a few years later at the State School for Boys, in Waukesha, at the age of 14. I don’t know what his incarceration was for, or for how long he was a guest of the facility.

In 1916 when war started in Europe, Victor was working in Ontario as an ironworker. It appears that he was so eager to join in the fight, that he didn’t want to wait for the United States to get involved.

Oconto Boy in the War
Victor Pahl, son of Charles Pahl of Oconto, has enlisted in a Canadian company and will participate in the European war on the side of the allies. Victor was born and brought up in Oconto. 3

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He was in the Canadian Navy. When the United States finally join in the cause, he signed up for the draft there.

Victor died in 1951 in Florida. Leaving three children from his first wife: Irving, Martha and Laura. From the little that I have found, I am quite sure that there is much more that could be written about Victor, but this post is really about Irving, my Dad’s second cousin.

Here is a picture of Victor from a Brazilian Passport4 from 1943. He would be about 52:

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Like his father, Irving C. Pahl was born in Wisconsin. His mother however, was a Romanian immigrant.

Irving’s father moved the family around a lot, probably because of his job (I believe he was a sailor, or worked around boats), so the family wasn’t actually in Wisconsin very long before they left on the first of many moves. It was in Connecticut that the family settled for a short while, and Irving started his formal education.

But he can tell you all about that in his interview.

One of the great things about the internet is how it makes it so much easier to find gems, that you wouldn’t otherwise know about. In researching Irving online, I ran across an interview with him, recorded by the Winthrop University, for their oral history program. The main focus of his interview is the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviets, because he and his family were there when the hammer came down.

Finding the interview, seeing his involvement in Czechoslovakia, and his rank when he retired from the Army, I thought that he might have been an interesting cousin to know about, so I did a little more digging. What follows are newspaper clippings that I found regarding Irving’s life in the military. And I was right, it was pretty interesting.

This first newspaper article is from 1953 and gives a good overview of his accomplishments and involvement in the service from 1939 up to that time. The rest of the articles are chronologically organized.

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Kentucky New Era 06/11/1953p9

 

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Pacific Stars and Stripes, vol.11, no. 149, may 30, 1955

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Excerpt from book published about the Czechoslovakian fight.

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Those are the highlights of what appears to be quite an interesting life for himself, and his family. And when Irving retired in Columbia, South Carolina he didn’t actually ‘retire’. He was still very much involved with the community, volunteering and writing letters to the editor.

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Irving passed way in 1996, leaving a son and a daughter to carry on his legacy.

The interview which I mentioned above can be downloaded from the University’s website, and listened to at your leisure, it is about 50 minutes long. I have also transcribed the interview as best I can. The transcript (a link to it is below in .pdf format) is the best I could get from listening to it on my iPhone. Some bits were too garbled for me to hear clearly, and I indicate such, on occasion he is speaking Czech (or German), or using Czech names and places, and I can’t quite tell what he is saying. A few times several people were talking at once, (I believe his wife was present at the time, interjecting a comment on occasion, which I couldn’t quite hear).

TRANSCRIPT OF PAHL INTERVIEW

As each new generation is born, it is only natural that family starts drifting farther apart. So I am glad when I can find and share these stories of cousins we never knew. I hope you enjoy them too.


Sources:
1. Divorce of Laura Pahl (plaintiff) from Charles E. Pahl (defendant) December 24, 1895 (filed January 8, 1896) Oconto County, Wisconsin, Circuit Court Case #4044, Area Research Center, UW Green Bay, Green Bay, Wisconsin. June 23, 2005.
2. Northern Wisconsin Advertiser, Wabeno, WI (Madison WHS micro PH 73-1888) January 26, 1899 c5 (weekly Thursday paper).

3. The Union Farmer Herald, Vol. 5, Issue 42, March 24, 1916, page 1, col. 1.
4. Rio de Janeiro Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965, FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2013. Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records. Image 145-146 of 201 (pulled from Ancestry.com).

November 7, 1947 William Shepard to parents

November 7, 1947

Dear Folks,

Ill give you what information that I have, and it may be incorrect.

I should leave here within a week, go to new orleans & ten by boat to Panama. Where to then is anyones guess. it will be somewhere in the carribean my address to write to is:
APO #825
c/o Postmaster, New Orleans, LA

I went in to New York yesterday. What a time! I really didnt care too much

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for it. Its all right, but not what its cracked up to be.

There are too damned many people living in each others backyard in this part of the country.

Ill write you a letter when I leave here. No news so Ill close.
Love
Bill