Monday, February 24, 2014

52 Week Challenge #6 Great Grandfather Karl Dostal

Karl Dostal is my Great Grandfather, my 
father's father's father.
Karl was born October 11, 1849 possibly in
 Danzig, West Prussia, according
to family tradition. His father was 
Michael Dostal and was a "wandering veterinarian."
His mother was Anna Zivarth Dostal.  Karl
had 2 sisters that lived to adulthood, 
Anna and Louise. 
The family traveled together, from
town to town, following the need for a veterinarian.    
 Some of the towns that my Grandfather
 remembers his parents mentioning  were Potsdam,
 Lindenau, Danzig and Liepzig.
Not much is known to the family
about Karl's parents, beyond their names and 
knowing that work was hard and often scarce
for them.  Karl's mother Anna, died when he and

his sisters were pretty young.  The children were put in
other families to be taken care of.
How difficult for the children.  How 
young to learn such sorrow.

Karl Dostal married Caroline Meyer circa 1878.
Together they worked hard to make a life for themselves 
and their children.  Karl and Caroline were
not land owners, or business owners, 
nor did they have wealth passed down through the family.
Karl worked the land for the wealthy
landowners.  It was likely during this time that much
damage was done to  his back and hips.
He carried a yoke across his shoulders that held
 2 buckets (full of water or manure) out to the fields
time and time again . . . . daily . . . . . fertilizing and watering
the fields.  

*My Grandfather told of how his father walked, bent, with his
legs together from the hip to the knees, and the walking
motion coming from the knee to the foot, not the hip.  His 
back and hips gave him great pain, but it did not
hold him back from work.  Grandpa also said that his
father, Karl, was never ill, and worked every day without fail."

With the thought of a better life, Karl, Caroline and their
3 young children immigrated to America in 1884.
(I am still in search of their passage records and Karl's
Naturalization record.)

Caroline had a brother in Ludington, Mason County, Michigan,
and so it was Ludington that was their destination.  It would
be good to be with family.
After stepping onto American soil, it took 3 months before they
were able to get on their way to Ludington. The
processing for their immigration seemed endless.
The early months in America were certainly
not easy . . .  unable to communicate easily, no home, little money.
Maybe it was not the dream that they were hoping it would be.
Karl and Caroline wondered if they
had made a mistake in making the decision to leave Prussia.

Once Karl and Caroline reached Ludington,
Karl began working at the Stave Mill.  They lived
in an area of town called "Smokey Road," where many of the
immigrants lived.
 As time went along,  money was 
 saved and the day came when they were able to
buy their own farm!  I can only imagine how
that must have felt to them---their own farm!

Grandfather Karl was now a Farmer, a Farmer of his own land.  I wonder
if he had dreamed of this day, if he wondered if it would ever come 
to pass.  It was on his farm, out on his land that Karl fell down, 
in great pain and paralyzed on his left side.  He was taken 
carefully to the house, and it was there that Karl left the pain 
of this world to join his Savior.

Karl Dostal died September 23, 1914.
He is buried in Lakeview Cemetery along Lake Michigan, with 
his family.

The Dostal Home.  Karl and Caroline seated in chairs, youngest child, Helen standing, and my Grandfather, Frederick seated on the ground with the dog.  Holding the horses is thought to be their son, Charles.

Visiting in Burkburnett . . . .

Hello from Lake Arrowhead State Park, 
near Wichita Falls, Texas!
The early part of this month, we moved 
north and west a bit from Lewisville (in the 
Dallas-Fort Worth area) to the 
Wichita Falls area to
spend some time with Jason, Kerry, 
Ashley Mae.
They live in Burkburnett, Texas,
about 20 miles from the campground that
we are staying at.  Burkburnett is also about  miles from
the Oklahoma state line and the Red River.

This is Danny holding the Texas State Flag at his function. (Taken with phone camera)

Danny is very active in the Jr. ROTC at his High School.  He
is a leader within the ROTC, and loves it. (He began in
Jr. ROTC last year as a freshman down in San Antonio.)
Shortly after we got here,
he had a function to attend. . . .  he was part 
of the Color Guard!  We got to see him in full uniform . . . . .

Danny also runs Cross Country and is part of the Varsity Track Team. 
He has been running for a few years now, but last week we
had the blessing of seeing him run during a Relay Meet.  Danny ran
a relay with 3 other team members, he called it a 
"distance medley relay."  He ran 3 laps and he was the first one of his team
to run, he put the team in a solid 2nd position, and they ended up 
placing 2nd!  He prefers Cross Country to
short runs, but enjoys the camaraderie of being part of the Track Team.  He seems to be a natural motivator to his team mates, and is most always smiling and upbeat.

Grandpa watching the relays . . . . . 

Ashley Mae is growing up to be such a lovely young lady!           She still loves all things Beatles and Elvis . . . .                but her passions are art, and        wolves and drawing.  Above you can see one of her recent drawings.  She has done some amazing pictures.  She recently made a card for her  dad and it had horses, done in a soft and fluid outline, and they were running . . . . . just lovely!   (Like her!)   She also loves to play the video game MineCraft, and often plays it online with her cousin Georgia, who lives in
England!  Ashley loves being a Texas girl, she has a growing collection of cowboy boots and hats, and loves a great belt buckle --- obviously she has GREAT taste!          

The photo above of Ashley, and the photo below of Kerry and Karen were taken
at the Track Meet.  I edited the coloring and some bits on both photos.  We
had a really good time, we got quite chilly after the sun went down and the wind
picked up!   :-)

Karen Lee is our fashionista!  :-)
Kerry says that Karen is the family "Social Butterfly!"

She is also one of our family's many musicians . . . .   She plays 1st chair French Horn
in her school's band.  She plays 2nd chair French Horn in the 
District Band, AND, this winter, she auditioned for,
and became a member of, the Wichita Falls Youth Symphony Orchestra.
This weekend she was measured for the gown that she will
be wearing for their performances. How Fun!
Her musical interests do not stop with the French Horn, she also plays
acoustic guitar, electric guitar (plays both beautifully), some drums, and is
beginning the piano.  She has a good ear for music, and it shows 
when she plays.  She also can text faster than anyone I know! ~ smile ~

This weekend, Jason and Kerry had us over for a delicious smoked brisket, with Jason's recipe BBque sauce and their own recipe of Ranch Style Beans.  Yes, we over-ate . . . .  and it was soo good! Wish that you all could have joined us . . . Jason has smoking the brisket down to a fine science, and Bob and I both agreed that we have never had any that good!  It was not fatty and the bark was crisp and delish!  Jason and Kerry have put together a notebook of their own recipes, along with some family recipes that have been passed down.

The day was wonderful---it was in the low 70's, abundant sunshine, lots of smiles and laughter and excellent company, not to mention the wonderful food!

Danny playing with the dogs out back

Ashley in the never-ending wind  :-)

Grizz was peeking at me from under the grill.

Just imagine that heavenly fragrance . . . . . .
Jason made his smoking grills, and this weekend, all of them were working away!

Good night from the Red River Valley!

Till next time . . . . . .

Monday, February 17, 2014

52 Week Challenge: #5 Ruelma Rowe

This is Ruelma Rowe Starkey Barnhart.  Isn't she striking?  Ruelma is Bob's 
Great Grandmother (his mother's father's father's mother's mother).

Ruelma was born circa 1818 in Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio.  We are uncertain of the names of Ruelma's parents, but we do know that she had a sister by the name of Mary Ann R. Rowe.
The parentage and ancestry of Ruelma has been of great interest to the family for 
many years.  
The interest comes from the family tradition of Ruelma being a descendant
of Chief Joseph Brandt.  

The scan below is what is written on the back of the above photo.  It is presumed to be
written by one of Ruelma's grandsons.

"Reulma Row Starkey Barnhart  Died in year 1885 Sept. 16th
PS) Born among the Wyndott Indians east of Lafayette Indiana
her Mother was Cheif Joseph Brants Daughter
he was a mohawk Indian from New York.
her Father was a scout for Mad Anthony Wayne
at fallin timbers about ?? miles east of Fort Wayne, Ind.
the present City wher the Fort Harmar was

The search continues for documentation . . .  perhaps down the road, 
DNA testing will help to answer some questions.  

In May of 1842, Ruelma married Ingham Starkey in Tippecanoe County, Indiana.
Together they had 3 children:
Harriet "Hat" (who married Daniel Dewitt Cole)
John W.
Mary Elizabeth "Lib"

On the day before Christmas in 1853, Ruelma's husband Ingham died. Harriet
would have been 10 years old and Mary Elizabeth, the youngest, 6 years old.  I am 
sure that the children must have been such a comfort and a help to Ruelma 
in the years right after Ingham's death. 

Ruelma met a German immigrant by the name of Peter Barnhart.
They were married August 30, 1858.  

Soon the Civil War would erupt and both Ruelma's 
son John and his stepfather Peter, would go off to war. 
 Peter came home, but John did not.  
John was severely wounded during the Battle of Mission Ridge
 in Tennessee. 
He died on March 14, 1865 of small pox in one of the "small pox hospitals" in 
Huntsville, Alabama.

Below is a photo of Ruelma and her 2nd husband, Peter Barnhart.

Ruelma lived to the age of 67, dying on the 17th of September in 1885.

The search for her story goes on    . . . . . .

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

52 Week Challange: #4 Hiram Hart

Hiram Hart

Hiram Hart is the father of my mother's mother's father's mother (whew!)
Or, my 3rd Great Grandfather on my mother's side.

His parents were Rodman Thomas Hart and Lorinda Granger Hart.
Hiram was born about 1816 in Junius, Seneca County, New York, about
a year and a half after his parents moved there from Farmington, Ontario County, also in 
New York.  His father had purchased a 50 acre farm.

Hiram's mother died when he was just 7 years old.  Rodman Hart remarried 5
months after his wife Lorinda died.  He still had young children in the 
household. Hiram had one sister, Rebecca, the eldest of the 
children, and 5 brothers, 3 elder, Haddasha, Henry and
Samuel, and 2 younger, Jacob and Gahazi.

Not much has been discovered about Hiram's younger years.  I would
imagine that he helped his father and brothers with the 

Circa 1839 he met and married Angeline Cushman, the daughter
of Solomon and Salina Cushman of Floyd, Oneida County, New York.
Together they had at least 4 children, William H., Lorinda Rebecca, 
Thomas Rodman and Clara S.

In the 1840 U.S. Census, Hiram and family are living in Junius.  In the
1850 U.S. Census, Hiram and his family are living in Rose,
Wayne County, New York.  Hiram is farming there.  We 
find the Hiram Hart family in Rose again in 1860 with 
Hiram still farming.  The Rose city directory from 1868
states that Hiram is a farmer and also a shingle maker.

The lure of moving a bit westward . . . . . .
so many families left the familiar, family and friends to head west.
Hiram, Angeline, their daughter, Lorinda and her daughter, 
Myrtle are next found in the 1870 Census in  Charlotte,
Eaton Co., Michigan.  In October of 1870, Hiram and 
Angeline sold their land in Rose to Henry Garlick.

September of 1873 brought sorrow to the Hart household when 
Angeline died.  Two years later, in March of 1875, Hiram
married Angeline's youngest sister, Susan P. 
Cushman.  This was Susan's first marriage.

Susan and Hiram had 5 short years together.  Hiram fell ill with typhoid
pneumonia, and died in March of 1880, leaving Susan 

Hiram is buried in South Center Eaton Cemetery in Eaton County,

The photo below was taken in Lyons, New York, not far from Rose.
It is a photo of Hiram and Angeline Cushman Hart.
How I love this photo!  I look and look, trying to see little hints of 
"who they were."

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Quadrangle on Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas--September 2013

This past September, we spent the greater part of the month
camping at the
campground on Fort Sam Houston.
We were there in San
Antonio helping Jason, Kerry and the kiddos get ready for 
their move to Burkburnett.

While we were there, we had the
opportunity to spend a 
bit of time being tourists on the Army Post.
When we lived here
in the 1980's, we did not have the chance
to check out
Fort Sam----apart from the great amount of time
that we spent at BAMC
(Brook Army Medical Center).
Mary Ellen had 2 major surgeries there, and many,
many minor procedures.

This is the Old BAMC.  This is where Bob, myself and MaryEllen spent many hours, and several nights.  The building is still being used, just not in the Medical Field.

It was fun having the time to poke around a bit!
Wow! What an amazing and history-laden post!  I wanted to share with 
you all some of the photos from there, and especially from the 
beautiful Quadrangle, right there on Fort Sam.

Above is the view from outside the Quadrangle, by the parking lot.  There are several static
displays of artillery, helicopters, tanks, etc.  The palms were such
a beautiful backdrop, and some were so tall!
The construction of the Quadrangle began in 1876 and one year later the Quartermaster
Depot moved into it.  The Quadrangle was the original Fort Sam Houston and is
the oldest building on the Army Post today, and is still in use.

The following photos  show a few of its wildlife residents . . . . .

I loved this goose, we dubbed her/him "Mother Goose!"

There is food for the wildlife for sale inside the Quadrangle.  They all expected that everyone would be passing out food!

This is a beautiful live oak tree in one corner of the courtyard inside the
Quadrangle.  It was so very peaceful the day that we went,
and it was lovely to sit on the benches provided by the tree and just
enjoy God's goodness!

This guy was a hoot!  He was not shy or skidish, he posed so nicely for me!

And yes, there were deer right there grazing.  They would come right up to you to take the
grain from your hand.  They were wary, but not fearful.  Beautiful!

The courtyard of the Quadrangle had many peaceful areas, we loved this one above.  As we were walking away, we saw that there were chickens under the foliage!  (It was a hot morning, and they were seeking shade.)

In 1886, Geronimo, the Apache Chief, and about 40 of his tribesmen, were held there at Fort Sam Houston (which was the Quadrangle at the time) before their exile to Florida.  Some say that the tradition of the animals in the courtyard started then, that soldiers brought wildlife into the courtyard for Geronimo and men to "hunt."  That is not validated, but the story
continues on . . . . .

Above is the water/clock tower in the Quadrangle.  It is 90 feet in
height and used to hold the water tower and
a watchman's station at 60 feet.
Another tale of Geronimo is told in conjunction with this tower.
The tale says that Geronimo had climbed to the top windows of the
tower and was going to jump to his death, not wanting
to be a prisoner of the "white man"--wanting to have
control over his own life and death.
Hence, when a young person jumps from a place of some height
they call out "Geronimo!!"

Below is one of the plaques by the tower:

Below was one of the plaques within the Quadrangle . . . .

If you ever get to San Antonio, and enjoy history, a brief tour of 
Fort Sam Houston is well worth your time.  President D.W. Eisenhauer
was once stationed here, as was General Pershing.  Both of those homes
are on the driving tour.  President Teddy Roosevelt was
also a visitor to the Post.

There is also a Museum of Military History to include much of Texas'
military history as well, undergoing a major upgrade.  We had the pleasure to
be able to visit with the curator for a bit one Sunday afternoon. 

Texas sky after a bit of rain---so beautiful!

This sculpture is amazing!  The detail provokes emotion---seeing the rifle used to hold the IV bag for the wounded . . . . Took my breath away.  This is in front of the Medical Museum on the Post.

Bob, Grizz and Bailey checking out some of the vehicles from the past, also at the Museum.

And I HAD to get a photo of the M.A.S.H. copter!

Wish you could have been there with us!  
Till later . . . . .

Monday, February 3, 2014

52 Week Challenge: #3 Mabel Irene Parmelee

Mabel Irene Parmelee was born on the 18th of August in 1881 in  either 
Ludington or Amber Township in Mason County, Michigan. 
(No birth certificate can be found at the County Clerk's Office.) 
Her father was Fay Platt Parmelee, the son of Erastus Parmelee
 and Maria Clarissa Shaw Parmelee.  Her mother was 
Villa Moore Parmelee, the daughter of Michael Moore 
and Mary Jane Day Moore.  Mabel was their eldest daughter. 
 Mabel had two brothers born before her, Edwin and
 Edward, but they both died in infancy.  I am sure that having already lost two 
children made Mabel and her siblings born later 
even more precious to her parents. There were five more siblings 
born to the Parmelee family, Ella, Mae, Walker,
Eugene and Gladys, all but Gladys lived to adulthood.

Mabel was my Great Grandmother, my Mother's Mother's Mother.
I had the good fortune to know my Great Grandmother, and to
have spent many of my own early years close by.  How I loved to 
hear the stories that she would tell me!  

As a child, Mabel and her family lived in Amber, Michigan.  Her 
Grandparents and then her own parents ran "Amber Station."
Amber Station was a stop, a depot, along the train route to Ludington.  Her
parents took in the local mail from the depot, and had a store there
at the station.  Her father also had a blacksmith shop there.

Above is a photo of Amber Station taken circa 1901. In the photo, number 12 is Mabel Parmelee, the man and woman in the back row to the far right are her parents, Fay and Villa Parmelee, and the man in the back row on the far left with the wonderful beard, is Mabel's Grandfather, Michael Moore, her mother's father.

One of the stories that Mabel would tell is of when the local Indians would
come to trade at their store.  Usually her parents were
there to do the trading with them.  One day in particular, Mable told 
me, her mother had gone out to the fields to bring in the cows, and 
her father was out as well, and the neighboring Indians came
to trade.  Mabel was quite young, and became very 
afraid of the men with the stern faces.  She told me that
she ran and hid, leaving the poor customers without any
help at the store. Her mother returned after a time, and 
took care of the trading that was to be done, and the men left,
with their goods in hand.  Mabel did not come out
until well after they had left.  She said she must have been around 
five years old at the time, and scared "near to death!"

There was another event that happened in Mabel's childhood that 
impacted her for the rest of her days.  Mabel had a bicycle
that she enjoyed riding in the yard.  Around the age of  nine,
Mabel was riding her bicycle in the yard, and 
she ran into the water pump.  The pump hit her in the knee
area of her leg, and did a great amount of damage.
There was no ambulance to call, no 911, not even a car to
run Mabel into town to the Doctor's office.
When they did get to the Doctor's office, it was determined that
the damage to Mabel's leg was too great, and they had
to amputate her leg, at the knee.
As time went on, the healing was not going too well,
and soon they were back to the Doctor's as
gangrene was beginning to set in.
So, Mabel endured amputation number two,
losing more of her leg.
This time the healing went well and was closely
monitored.  Grandma never told me how
she felt at that age about the amputation,
but she was a very strong woman, and could be, well,
stubborn at times.  Perhaps that served her well during
her healing and the slow learning to move about in new ways.
Mabel learned to walk with crutches, run with crutches
and to use those crutches as handy "arm extensions!"
She also used a prosthetic for a time as an adult,
but she had told me that it was a bit of a pain and slowed her down!

Great Grandma learned to play the piano (loving music), learned to sew,
 loved quilting, tatting and crocheting.
 She had a great love for her Lord and Savior and
I am sure that her faith (and that of her family) had a
great hand in the healing of her leg.
Mabel had a wonderfully dry sense of humor, and loved to play games--
she loved to laugh!
She also loved to read, as a child and as an adult,
and sought to instill that love in her Grandchildren.
(Her father, Fay Parmelee, was also a lover of
the written word, considering his books as
his friends.)

How I would have loved to have known my Great Grandmother as
a child!

This is a photo of Mabel Irene Parmelee Cooper (on the right, and her daughter,
Lila Mae Cooper on the left).