June 30, 1949 Lois Shepard to in-laws

June 30, 1949

Dear Dick-

Bill is off again this morning for Vernom[?] Field. He’ll stay two weeks this time unless I call him home. I rather doubt it tho cause most everyone down here goes overdue. Just 4 wks to go so it isn’t too long. I’ve a few things to get yet & a couple more things to make.

Sue is still asleep & Kenny had dinner over at Eric’s & spent the nite. The new swimming pool is open now & it is really wonderful. Kenny has been every day & I took Sue Mon. & Tues. Mrs. Crocker (Kenny’s teacher) had a party for them all again

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yesterday at the Pool. It is really beautiful & the Club really will be nice when they finish. They are redecorating it entirely.

Dick-I’m enclosing $2 & want you to get me a few things & send me. I want 4-4 inch zippers in white for neck openings. Not like a dress placket. The kind that open at the top. And I want 5 nice glass buttons as big around as a penny. And a couple of cards of little white flat peach buttons for Susies dress. About this size [circle drawn on page]. A little bigger than shirt buttons also a couple of yards of white

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feather boning. If $2.00 isn’t enough let me know. I don’t get into Aqualilla now & they don’t have the buttons I want anyway I need the zippers for some shorts I’m going to make. They open down each side.

Went to O.B. yesterday* & I haven’t gained a lb. in 3 wks & only 2# the last two months so I guess I’m not doing too bad & I don’t stick to my diet religiously either. I’ve gained 15# altogether. I have to go to O.B. every week now.

Well thats about all for now.


*NOTE: Lois is pregnant with their third child.


Like father, like son…

I am finding that newspaper research is becoming my favorite part of genealogy because I have been able to find so many family stories that have become lost, deliberately or just due to the passing of time.

So here I introduce Arthur Albert Hamm. Born in 1922, he was the middle child of my great grandfather Fred Hamm and Emma Paugel. All three of their children were illegitimate, or to be less crass ‘born out of wedlock.’ Fred and Emma did eventually married in 1931, but I am not sure what the hold up was as both were divorced from their previous spouses by 1921.

As per his modus operandi, it is doubtful that Fred was living with the family in 1935. That is the year their youngest son Clarence was killed in an automobile accident. According to the 1940 census, Fred was noted as living in Minnesota in 1935, so my gut is saying that he had probably left shortly after their marriage. Again. All previous research indicates that Grandpa Fred was a love-em and leave-em type of guy, so I don’t know why he would treat this wife any differently.

Fred’s sons, Arthur and Raymond, both joined the Army in 1942. Arthur joined up in January of that year. When Raymond (Alfred) was killed  in Africa in 1943 Art was sent home on furlough to be with his Mother and half-sister for the funeral.




Sometime between 1941 and 1944 he had married, and had two children with Bernice Schultz.


Arthur survived the war and came home to Door County and life went on, as it is wont to do, for a few years, then one day in April of 1949…



A few days later the paper reports…


Ah, but here’s the kicker. Arthur Albert Hamm died February 15, 1989 in Livingston, Park County, Montana. Prostate cancer and emphysema were the cause of death.

     Arthur A Hamm, 62, of Livingston died Friday Feb 15, 1989 in the afternoon at the Livingston Convalescent Center following an extended illness.
Graveside services will be held Wed. at 2pm at Mountain View Cemetery. Lowry Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Hamm was born May 5, 1922 in Fairland, MN. He worked in Park County for a number of years as a logger and ranch hand. From 1974-1980, he worked on a seismograph crew in Tulsa, OK. He came back to Livingston in 1981 and had made his home here since. There are no known survivors.”

His wife (ex-wife?) Bernice had told the children he was dead. She later married a man who eventually adopted Art’s children.

I guess in Grandpa Fred’s favor is the fact that a no time did he pretend to die or go missing. As far as we know he pretty much just packed up and left, with no subterfuge. His son Arthur was apparently a bit more of a diva.