September 6, 1943 Lois Shepard to in-laws…

letter_shepardl_to_shepardwr_1943_09_06_p01

Sept 6, 1943

Dear Dick & Dad,

Labor Day. And a very wet one. We had quite a wind storm today at noon. We were eating and I started upstairs to shut windows when the dining room door started on a rampage – knocking me into a chair, about breaking my shoulder & did break my brassier strap. K. W. & Mary E. thot it quite funny. I came up home Thursday nite. Left everything under control as much a possible.

Friday we started in-picked red kidney beans & lima beans. About a bushel of each.

letter_shepardl_to_shepardwr_1943_09_06_p02and03

page 2
Then Mom & I shelled most of the limas & canned them. I have twelve pints of lima beans. Saturday we shelled all the kidney beans that weren’t to dry & I got five pints of them. Hope to dry & can corn last of this week.

Mary starts to school tomorrow. She is ready to go. Kenny has been having a grand time here on the farm. Sue crawled today. And I’m not kidding tho I don’t suppose you’ll believe it. She went about two feet across the floor to get her rattle .

I have had only one letter from Bill since you left tho

page 3
it was a large one. 10 sheets of paper & full. He even sent it in a large square official envelope. He wrote it because I said Herman had written Ruth a ten page letter. Nothing much of any news. Just rambling. He wrote it before he left Moses Lake.

It is time to put Kenny to bed so I’d better close. Received your cards Sat. Hope you are having a pleasant time.

Love,
Lois

September 9, 1943 William Shepard to parents…

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1943_09_09_p01

301 Service Squadron
Pendleton AAF., Ore.
September 9, 1943

Dear Mother:

Received your letter today. Happy to hear that you are up in fish-land. Id like to join you, but I have my job and its a big one. One of these days we can be back to normal. Have been pretty busy. I think that Ill go fishing this week end and relax.

Oh yes I’d better tell you. My promotion came through

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1943_09_09_p02

Sept 4, 1943. I am now 1st Lt.

No more news here so Ill close house.

Write & tell about the place

Your Son
Bill

September 2, 1943 Herman Shepard to parents…

letter_shepardh_to_shepardwr_1943_09_02_p01

9-2-43

Dear “Dick and Dad”

Just a line to let You know I am O.K. As you can see we are in Newark N. J. at the last minute they changed the plans. We came over here from Paterson today. Newark is a much larger city than Paterson and only 8 minutes by subway to the heart of New York City. I surely have enjoyed my trip here and have learned a lot about the Wright Engines. We are going to the propeller school now and will probably finish there tomorrow night and then be on our way home Saturday evening arriving in Colo. about 5 AM. I called Ruth last night to see how things were at home she told me that you had planed to leave about 2 AM Wednesday morning. I hope you had a nice trip and also that you didn’t have any trouble getting thru. Did you stop at Hale Mich?

letter_shepardh_to_shepardwr_1943_09_02_p02

She told me that you had burned you hand I hope it is nothing serious. Better take care of it. Of course I know that “Cumminic[?] Lake” air will heal any kind of an injury, why I expect Dad to come home with a new knee. How are the Forders? Give them my regards and tell them that I surely am missing my trip this year. Im not there in body but believe me I’d really spend a lot of time pretending I was there. How did you find the cabin and all the surroundings is everything okay? I want you to write and give us all the dope. I visited several sport shops here while I didn’t have anything else to do and I found several nice trolling rods some of the banbo ones were as low as $2.98 and ran as high as $11.50 dollars and fifty cents for the metal ones. I didn’t buy any because I knew I couldn’t get one to you folks to use now and there wouldn’t be any use of me buying one to take home. So all I did was “Shop.” We have had a good time here, Lawrence. Kentucky and I have run around together and Lawrence and I have run on Kentucky all the time just about like I used to pestor Simon. He is a good sport and a clean boy.

letter_shepardh_to_shepardwr_1943_09_02_p03

Lawrence is sitting here reading a “Liberty” and just taking life easy. He is a swell fellow to be out with we all do a lot of dirty talking but that is as far as it goes. If someone would ever hear us talking they would think we were the worst. We had very nice rooms at the Hotel in Paterson and the one here is very cheerful I wouldn’t mind living like this all the time if someone would furnish the money. So far including airfare, hotel and meals I’ve spent about $130.00 The meals have run pretty high as I’ve tried about all the fancy things there was on the menu including a different cocktail for nearly every meal. Tell you one thing and that is, this N. J, air does not work the same way on me as the Canadian air I would

letter_shepardh_to_shepardwr_1943_09_02_p04

Have spent twice that amount of money.

Have you heard from Bill lately? I wrote him a letter and mailed it last Sunday night. I am going to try too write to him more often. You surely see a lot of servicemen around here I think most of them are here for embarkation as this is where the convoys are made up and etc. Tell dad not to overdo himself while he is up there and to leave some of the work for me to do. I hope he hooks onto such a large fish that he will have to overdo himself to land. What did you find out about”Trout” season when does it end. And I wouldn’t want you to get into any trouble, be careful and not fall in the lake and etc.

I expect I better close and get to bed as we have to get up at 5:30 AM in order to get to school on time in Caldwell at 7:30 Caldwell is about the same distance from here as Times Square, N. Y. but it takes an hour to get to Caldwell by bus and 8 minutes by subway to Times Square. So you can see the difference in travel. You would get a kick out of riding the subway.

Love to all —
Herm

 

Great Aunt Ruth…

3260817401_9df2959b53_bI don’t remember seeing much of my great Aunt and Uncle Ruth and Herman Shepard when I was growing up. But I do remember some of the stories my mother would tell about Herman and his barn storming days, and how Grandma Dick use to like telling Ruth all about Herman’s old girlfriends. (Dick was kind of mean that way.)

Herman and Ruth never had any children of their own, and since I know lots about where Herman came from and his growing up years, but little about Ruth, other than she didn’t want Herman flying anymore when they were married, I thought I would improve that lack. (I have to say, she must have been a saint to put up with her mother-in-law Dick.)

Ruth Mae Kring was born the 1st of March in 1908, the daughter of Lowell Athelston Kring and Tressa Belle Hults, in Ohio. She grew up with two brothers and one sister: Ralph M., Vaughn A., and Esther. The family lived in Mifflin, Franklin County, Ohio where in 1930 her father was working as a welder for the Oxiste Company, and her mother raised the kids, as was typical of the times. Ruth, by 1930, was working as a sales clerk in a local department store.

Ruth and Herman were married in 1934 in Franklin, Ohio.

Ruth’s father Lowell’s parents, Andrew Kring and Mary Alma Kramer, were of German descent.

The Krings
Andrew’s parents were Conrad Kring and Catherine Siedner (nothing is known about Catherine’s family).

Conrad was an Evangelical Church minister, and apparently made up his mind, at 12 years of age, that a life of ministry was calling to him. This ministry led the family to move around from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Kansas, and finally back to Ohio where they made their final stop. Andrew grew up with 11 siblings.

Conrad’s parents were George and Magdalena Fry Kring, of Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

George Kring was the FIRST generation Kring born in the United States. He made a living as a shoemaker, a farmer and a minister (George would use his barn on the Sabbath to minister to the people living close to their farm). When he was young George spent much of his time making boots, harnesses, and shoes for George Washington’s army, and helping his father work on the farm. George hated working indoors, he wanted to be outside enjoying nature’s bounty.

George had a great urge to join the fight during the revolution as a drummer, his father discouraged his dreams, no doubt preferring his son home safe with the family. So home George stayed. George’s second wife was Magdalena Fye, of whom their son Conrad was born.

Magdalena Fye was born in Saxony, Germany. Her parents (whose names we do not know) came to American when she was a young child. The political strife going on in their homeland at the time was great incentive to move somewhere else and make a better life for themselves and their children.

The original Kring emigrant was Johan Jost Kring. He came to America with his brother. They were from Haigler, which is now in Western Germany.  As teenagers, they left Germany to avoid service in the Thirty Years War and went to the Netherlands for several years before immigrating to Philadelphia on the ship Two Brothers. They arrived in America on July 21, 1751. They settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. John was also a cobbler.

The Hults
I can not find much on Ruth’s mother’s side of the family, the Hults they are more elusive. It looks like Ruth’s great grandfather Henry Wells was born in England and came to America in 1850, when he was 15. He traveled on the ship Amazon with his mother, Sarah, and 6 siblings. Sarah was not with her husband (dead?), and never married after emigrating. She supported the family as a seamstress.

The Hults themselves appear to come from Illinois before moving to Ohio, where James W. Hults, Ruth’s grandfather was born. I do know that her maternal grandparents were James W. Hults and Cora Belle Wells. And a death record for James indicates that his parents were Milton Hults and Margaret Dempsey. (Dempsey is probably Irish.) One online tree indicates that the Hults line descends from the immigrant Benjamin Holsaert of the Netherlands born about 1675. There are no sources with this statement.

So, an admittedly cursory search into Ruth’s ancestral background. But it was a fun frolic up a different family tree.

We have lots of letters from Ruth and Herman that will be showing up in future posts, and I am looking forward to them giving more insight into Ruth and Herman’s lives.

3161334323_54debc4b61_z

Ruth and Herman Shepard

 

August 24, 1943 William Shepard to home…

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1943_08_24_p01

301st Service Squadron
Moses Lake A. A. B., Wa.
August 24, 1943

Dear Mother and Father

Here goes a letter. I try to write Lois all the news but now and then Ill slip you all a letter, presonal like. Nothing much stirring here. Ill be here for a while yet. It doesnt look as if Ill ever get overseas. Now Im a training officer. Its a horrible death to die. Happy to hear about Herman.

Say mom how about you and dad coming out Christmas to join Lois & me and we can have christmas together? Maybe you could come about Dec 15 and stay over & go to California? It would make a real trip, a vacation for you all and a chance for us to see eachother. Leaves of absence arent being given out here. Dad would enjoy this county. Yo may never get another chance. How about it?.

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1943_08_24_p02

Its getting cool up here now. I expect it though because its Sept 1 almost.

Have a good time in Canada. I wish that I could come up, but the fish are just as big here and just as many. Im getting trout and bass with my fly rods. Some fun. The first bass I caught with my small rod took 5 minutes to land.

Well Ill shut up and listen

Your son
Bill

Dillon becomes a Templar…

3102592367_9e53ba7b09_z

Dillon Franklin Hatch as a young man.

I recently found a very interesting newspaper article regarding my great great grandfather Dillon Franklin Hatch.

newspaper_hatchdillon_1867templarsVT

1867 Burlington, Vermont newspaper article.

According to the above news article he had been elected as an officer in the Independent Order of Good Templars (IOGT) as a W. O. G. He was only 18 when he became a member.

There are several different types of lodges and organizations I have vaguely heard about over the years in my genealogical endeavors. This one I was unfamiliar with. So I thought I would enlighten myself, and then share.

The IOGT was an abstinence/temperance society. These types of societies had started forming in the early 19th century, in some form or another, due to the large prevalence of societal problems related to drinking that existed at the time. Alcoholism and excessive drinking was having a very noticeable affect on the lives of families and society in general, so organizations were created by concerned citizens to try and curb the problem. (These same issues are also what greatly motivated the suffrage movement.)

This particular order started in a village near Utica, New York in 1850 and was considered “a radical movement, ahead of its times”1 because they included women in their organization “proclaiming that all were brothers and sisters in one united family.”1

IOGT was also considered one of the more successful organizations because their relapse rate was much lower than that of others. There are several reasons given for its success. One was that it came about at the right time period. Many people were realizing that to help society become better as a whole it was important to control ones relationship with alcohol. Fraternal societies were also in vogue at the time, and because the IOGT was inclusive of women, even giving them places in leadership, it better met the needs of society as a whole. And lastly “it combined temperance and fraternalism” using ritual and degrees that helped educate and train members so that they could better help others who needed support in their abstinence endeavors.

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 11.23.30 AM

Taken from ritual book for the IOGT, regards part of initiation ritual.

This organization is still in existence today. In the 1970s they made changes to become more relevant to the times. Titles were changed, accoutrements became simplified, or were eliminated altogether. The name was changed from Order to Organization, little things like that. The rituals are also no longer secret.

I guess my question is – did Dillon become a member because he had issues with drink? Or was he just interested in the ideas of temperance and wished to help further the cause? In 1870 this article is found in the newspaper:

3395701408_c579d5e35e_o

R-L: Oscar, Dillon?, Olive (Robinson) Hatch

Olive Hatch was elected W. V. T. at a regular meeting of Evergreen Isle Lodge No. 128, I.O. of G. T. on Friday evening, May 6th [1870].

This was Dillon’s mother Olive Robinson Hatch. She was elected Worthy Vice Templar of this particular lodge. So maybe her membership influenced her son’s interest in temperance.

I probably won’t ever know the answer. But, I learned something new and interesting.

iogt-temperencce-society

IOGT members in their regalia.4

GoodTemplars


Sources:
1. http://www.iogt.us/iogt.php?p=35
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Organisation_of_Good_Templars
3. https://archive.org/details/ritualofindepend00inteiala
4. group shot pulled from: https://marketlavingtonmuseum.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/the-independent-order-of-good-templars/
5. Olive Hatch article, Grand Isle; News/Opinion, St. Albans Messenger; Date: 05-13-1870; Page: 3; St. Albans, Vermont

July 22, 1943 William Shepard to mother…

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1943_07_22

301 Service Squadron
Moses Lake A.A.B., Washington
July 22, 1943

Dear Mother,

I want you to do me a favor. There is $5.00 here and I want you to get Lois a real nice wood rolling pin and put the rest in flowers with a card reading.

“For the one you broke at Pendleton” Bill.

and on the flowers put

“With love for our wooden anniversary, From a wooden soldier.”

Thanks Mother.
Everything is OK. For news read the letter I sent to Lois.

Your Son
Bill

What’s in a tree..

 

The_Charter_Oak_Charles_De_Wolf_Brownell_1857

The Charter Oak by Charles De Wolf Brownell in 1857.

Most families have tall tales regarding an ancestor or two, some ghoulish, some funny or in this case kind of heroic.

In the year 1662 King Charles II granted the Connecticut Colony a large degree of self-rule in its charter. So they were accustomed to running things the way they liked. But in 1686 when James II took the throne, he decided that he wanted better control over the running of these colonies. So in his infinite wisdom he decided to combine several of these colonies together in what was called the Dominion of New England. [That has such a Deep Space Nine ring to it.] To oversee this change in policy he appointed Sir Edmund Andros as the new governor-general, and indicated that his appointment nulled and voided the colonies previous charters, after which Andros proceeded to visit each colony to collect their original charters, probably as a symbolic gesture to emphasize the change in policy.

Andros’s visit to Hartford in October of 1687 was as unwelcome as his visits to the previous colonies. According to local stories, when Andros demanded that the document be handed over, the local leadership produced the charter but, shortly thereafter, the lights were doused. The charter was then ‘spirited out a window and thence to the Oak by Captain Joseph Wadsworth’. The man who doused the lights is said to have been his good friend Cyprian Nichols.

Andros was overthrown two year later in the 1689 Boston revolt, therefore dissolving the Dominion. The tree that the charter was hidden in became known as the Charter Oak. 

According to a diary in the Wadsworth family Joseph told family:

I returned to Hartford on Friday and the following night removed the Charter from the hollow oak and concealed it in a candle box which was fitted into the stone foundation of my house.

According to the Cook family of Harwinton, Connecticut:

Captain Wadsworth and Captain Cyprian Nichols, of Hartford, agreed that they would try to save the charter; that Wadsworth gave Captain Nichols the choice of whether he would undertake to extinguish the candles or hide the charter. Nichols chose the former, and upon receiving a prearranged signal, personally and by others extinguished all of the lights in the Council Chamber, and that Captain Wadsworth seized the charter, secreted it in the oak, coming back as quickly as possible. Late that night, or very soon thereafter at the dead of night, Captain Wadsworth brought the charter to his own house with the intention of secreting it there, without anyone knowing of that fact. Upon his arriving home, to his dismay, he found that his wife had been suddenly taken ill with the colic, and he had to impart to her or some other member of the family the nature of his employment, and thereupon the charter, placed in an old candle box, was secreted in the corner of Captain Wadsworth’s cellar, and the earth replaced in such a way as to thoroughly conceal it. His injunctions to the person to whom his secret had to be disclosed were that if anything should happen to him, they should communicate to Captain Cyprian Nichols the secret of its hiding place.

Family tradition says that Joseph told this story to his daughter, Hannah, who told her grandson Allan Cook, who repeated it to R. Manny Chipman, who wrote History of Harwinton.

Wadsworth is suppose to have kept the duplicate charter until 1698, when he presented it to the ruling Governor and Council, at which time he was told to keep it until otherwise instructed.

 The original at that time was in the hands of Samuel Wyllys…From May, 1698, to May, 1715, the duplicate charter lay in its box in the cellar. Over twenty seven years had elapsed since it was taken from the Council Chamber, and as almost all of those who participated in those stirring incidents had passed away I deemed it advisable to return it to the Governor and General Court, which after a conference, passed the following  resolution: “The resolution in the original paper is thus endorsed by the clerks: … Their agreement, viz.: twenty shillings to Capt. Wadsworth for the services mentioned in the Resolution…”

Both of the main characters of this heroic tale, Joseph Wadsworth, and Cyprian Nichols are related to me. Joseph is an ancestral uncle, and Cyprian is my 9x great grandfather.

Historically, the white oak tree that housed the charter for a short time has become the focus of the tale. But it is Joseph Wadsworth who deserves all the credit for putting it there in the first place.


Sources:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_Oak
  2. http://colonialwarsct.org/1687.htm
  3. https://connecticuthistory.org/hiding-the-charter-images-of-joseph-wadsworths-legendary-action/
  4. http://www.hartfordhistory.net/charter_oak.html

July 7, 1943 William Shepard to Dad…

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1943_07_07_p01

301 Service Squadron
Moses Lake A. A. B., Wash.
July 7, 1943

Dear Dad:

As you problbaly know by now, Lois, K W and Sue are coming home with Mom. I think that it is best, because Im moving about to much for Lois to follow me, and Ill probably move over soon anyhow.

Its getting hotter than a fiddlers bitch [what does that even mean?!] here in the desert. I never knew there was a desert in the North West untill I came to Moses Lake.

I am working dawn till dark. My outfit is busy on B-17s, the heavy bombers.

 

letter_shepardw_to_shepardwr_1943_07_07_p02

Right now Im at Ephrata, Wash. doing some work to help out the sub-depot here. They are behind in their work so we are helping them out.

Nothing more now so Ill close and write later. Tell Ruth & Herm hello Ill write to them later also

Your son
Bill

June 13, [1943] William Shepard to Dad…

letter_shepardw_to_shepardw_1943_06_13_p01

June 13 [1943]

Dear Dad:

On the road again. It seems that I’m always traveling. We finished school (or what ever you would call it) the 12th. I expect to get home on the 18th.

Ill be glad to see Mom Lois & K W & Sue. I wish that you could come out.

Lois and the babies might come home with Mother,

letter_shepardw_to_shepardw_1943_06_13_p02

all depending upon how things look.

The weather has been hot here. Water melons are getting ripe. The south isnt such a bad place, but Ill take Ohio.

Meeting a lot of boys from West Va.

Well dad I hope taht you can read this as we have been switching in the years.

Ill write later

your son
Bill