Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fun Facts

I decided, when I wrote this post, that I would write to the school my great grandfather attended (prior to 1880) to see if they had archives on past students.  I heard from them this morning.  Here's what I received:

Photobucket"We were successful in locating information about your great grandfather Joseph Andrew Stegner.  Our records show that he was enrolled here for the 1877/78 school year. At that time, in addition to the college proper, Carleton had an associated "Academy" for studies at the high school level.  Your great grandfather took courses in Carleton's "Academy" in their Preparatory Department designed as a three-year program to prepare students for collegiate work. Joseph A Stegner was enrolled in the Classics Track, Third Class.  If he had continued his studies at Carleton, he would have moved into the Second and First Class the subsequent years. 

"His 'transcript' follows and was pieced together from handwritten entries on several pages of a large ledger.  His courses and marks are as follows:

"Fall Term 1877
Deportment - 8.7
Latin - 8.7
Algebra - 8.4
Grammar - 8.5
Rhetoricals - 8.2
Grade average 8.5
 1 unexcused absence

"Winter Term 1878
Deportment - 7.3,
Latin - 5.4/7.1,
Rhetoricals 7.5
 Grade average 6.5
3 unexcused absences

"Spring Term 1878
Deportment - 9.6
Latin - 8.6
Algebra -  7.6
Rhetoric - 6.3
Rhetoricals - 8.5
Grade average – 7.7
Unexcused absences 2

"The ledgers also list Joseph’s parent as Conrad Stegner and his address as East Castle Rock.  His age is listed as 19.3, 19.6 and 19.9 for October 1877, January 1878 and April 1878 respectively. During Winter Term 1878 he roomed in Willis Hall no. 16 and during the Spring Term 1878 in Self Boarding Hall no. 2.  Self Boarding Hall was popularly known as "Pancake House" due to the residents’ fondness for sour batter flapjacks.

"Joseph Stegner was also mentioned in 2 issues of the Carletonia, the monthly student newspaper of the time, in the early 1880s.  He is referred to as “formerly of ‘84” which would have been his year of graduation had he completed three years at the Academy and four years at Carleton College.  The first mention states that he was a founding member of the Alpha Beta Phi society. The Carleton College catalog of 1877/78, states that the Alpha Beta Phi society, along with the Philomathian society, were “voluntary organizations for literary culture [that]… afford their members valuable opportunities for improvement in writing and extemporaneous speaking. Recitations, readings, debates, criticisms, essays, orations, and music, occupy the regular weekly meetings, and occasionally public exercises are held in the College Chapel.”

"From the Carletonia newspaper

"Nov 1882, volume 4, no. 2
Under “Personals” column

"Jos. A. STEGNER, one of the charter members of the Alpha Beta Phi Society, has gone, with his family, to the far west to seek his fortune. May success attend all his efforts, is the wish of Carleton friends.

"November 1883, volume 3, no. 4
Under “Personals” column

"Jos. A. Stegner, formerly of '84, has ceased to roam in the "far west" and will now settle down  'for life' on the old place at East Castle Rock."

I LOVE that they responded so quickly!  It's so fun to receive facts like this.  It almost feels like putting flesh on the bare bones of the basic dates of birth, marriage and death.  Thank you Carleton College!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Peekaboo!

The Many Faces of #7

 Can't believe it's been two years!

Monday, June 27, 2011

How it Starts

The dog jumps on my lap first thing in the morning.  She seeks me out; gets her paws on my chest and acts like she's going to kiss my face, but she knows that's forbidden--EWW  licky dog!  So, she just acts like she's going to do it.  She waits for the words, "[Xxx] will you let the dog out?"  On these words, she bolts from my lap and charges for the sliding door.

This is our routine every morning.   She knows I'll somehow get her needs met.  The dog trusts me.

And so the day begins....

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My Mother's Work - Pt. I


Joseph Andrew Stegner

Born in Lomira, Dodge County, Wisconsin, on June 12, 1858. 
He married Matilda Greenfield Johnson, whom I have listed was called “May,” on November 17, 1880 in Faribault, Rice County, Minnesota, by Reverend Edwin G. Hunter at St. John’s Episcopal Church.

As you can see by the link, Rev. Hunter spent his time in Indiana, not Minnesota--I'm checking on this.  Also, unless it no longer exists, There are two St. John’s Episcopal Churches in Minnesota neither of which are in Faribault—one in Mankato and one in Minneapolis.  In Faribault, there is only The Episcopal Cathedral of our Merciful Savior, which was built in 1862.  Could this be the place?  I have written an email to inquire.

Matilda was born in Okaman, Waseca County, Minnesota (Okaman seems to no longer exist though it is found mentioned in historic documents.  There is, however, an Okaman Cemetery and an Okaman Lake in Minnesota) on April 10, 1861. 
On the back of the page my mother kept on the Joseph and Matilda it says the following:
Photobucket  “Joseph Andrew Stegner attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minn.
“Farmer at East Castle Rock, Minn., Merchant at Fulda, Minn; Salesman for the Singer Sewing Machine Co. at Latah, Trent & Spokane, Wash.

"Matilda Greenfield Johnson (“May”) went to Public School in Albert Lea, Minn. Started school at Wells, Minn. And finished at St. Mary’s, Faribault, Minn.  She moved to Wells when 7-8 yrs old and to Janesville when 15-16.  Went to school at Albert Lea, Minn.
PhotobucketAnd then to St. Mary’s Hall (Episcopal Girls’ Boarding School) at Faribault, Minn. Where she won a Cathedral Cross.  

The Stegner home in East Castle Rock.
At 19 she married and they moved to Fulda; then to East Castle Rock where they spent 6-7 yrs on a farm, with the exception of one year in Fulda.  Then they moved to St. Paul where Mr. Stegner was foreman for Lockwood, Allard & Co., wholesale feed and fuel.  In Nov. 1889, they moved to Latah, Wash. Where they opened a small notions store. 
The store in Trent.
In May 1890 they moved to Trent, Wash. Where they had the only general merchandise store between Spokane and Spokane Bridge.  Mr. Stegner was an adjuster and collector for the Singer Sewing Machine co. and was on the road most of the time, leaving the store to his wife.  He died of appendicitis, age 37.  She died at the home of her daughter Catherine, in her sleep, age 71 yrs, 10 mo. And 2 days.

“Here is a copy of a handwritten “character study” of Joseph A. Stegner by his friend, Monroe Denman.  This is one of Grandma Narup’s treasures:
State of Washington
County of Spokane
Monroe Denman being duly sworn on oath says that he is 36 yrs of age.  That his Post Office address is Hillyard, State of Washington.  I have known J.A. Stegner for 19 (nineteen) years, that he has always been honest and upright in all his dealings and that his character is irreproachable.  I have known him intimately and he is all that I have stated above so far as I know or have heard.
Monroe Denman
Subscribed and sworn to before me this 
17th of January A.D. 1895
Fred. L. Prescott
Notary Public.  
Residing in Spokane.

"(This was written only six months before his death, July 18, 1895)

Joseph Andrew Stegner - 1895
“Son, Conrad says of his father:
Honesty was his middle name, somewhat stern at times but with a fine sense of humor and a hearty laugh.  He was a life-long enemy of liquor and secret societies, like his father.
Under his mother’s influence, he became more liberal as he grew older and was fast becoming a power in the community.  He once ran for the legislature on the “Populist” ticket, but lost to a man named Trent, thru a mix-up over his residence address, which was Trent, and the name of the other candidate whose name was Trent.  Father died before the next election."

The Pedicord Hotel.
Joseph Andrew Stegner suffered an appendicitis and was operated on in the Pedicord Hotel.  My mother said that he died of an appendicitis but I've also heard it said that his was the "first successful appendectomy" in the valley, so most likely, he died during recovery from the surgery in Spokane, Washington on 18 July, 1895.  He was buried four days later in the Pleasant Prairie Cemetery in what was then known as Trent, but is now Spokane, Washington.

Matilda died in Glendale, California on February 12, 1933 and was buried two days later in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Joseph and Matilda had five children.  More on them later….

Click this link for more about Matilda 
NOTE:  On Matilda's “christened” line on the family group sheet, there is no date, but under “where” there are the words “Episcopal Church by Rev. Geo. Tanner, D.D.”  There is a book written by this gentleman, so I’m assuming that it doesn’t mean that Matilda was christened by him but that it serves as a reference of her birth information.  I will find this out also.

The First Day

I didn't write about the first day we spent in Spokane.

We arrived at 8:22am.  It was an hour long flight.

We went to breakfast near the airport and then drove off to the Hillyard part of Spokane to meet up with a Holz cousin at Holz Fuel, which we understood was still family owned.  We were correct.

With the Holz descendants at Holz Fuel in Hillyard.
Holz Fuel was started by my grandmother's oldest brother.  These are his grand, great grand and great-great grandchildren in the photo.

We met up with the Stegner's at my cousin Carol's R.V.  I knew each of their faces from photos I'd seen as a child.  Sometime I'm going to post the current face with the photo face.  It was pretty great to meet them and listen to their voices.

After visiting for a little while, we checked into our hotel.  Before this, we felt like we were running in circles, so we needed to get organized.  We then went to dinner with the Stegner cousins.

Stegner's at dinner on Monday night.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Historical Spokane

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Highlights of the Day

Went to Greenwood Cemetery today.  We found the family graves right away, which is pretty amazing considering this is a huge cemetery.  It helped that we had my cousin, Jeff, around who lives in Spokane and had just been to this cemetery for Memorial Day.

My grandmother is buried near a tree.  Her grave was looking pretty nasty.  I took my bottle of water and tried to get it clean, but just water wasn't going to cut it.  Here's what it looked like when we first got there:

HaHa!  You can tell by the lighting on this photo how much time I took scrubbing it.  The sun had come up a bit higher in the sky.  At first, I used my hands and fingernails.  I know...nasty, but I had nothing else, and I wasn't going to leave it looking like that.  My cousin, Mary, found a paperclip in her purse, so that was very helpful.  Jeff got out some baby wipes, and that did the trick for the flat surfaces.  Mary also went at it with a pine cone.  We joked around that that's what God made them for.  It worked wonders for the scroll work.

I don't know if you can tell from this photo, but it looked markedly better when we left.
One of the funny things, I thought, was that the Holz's and the Stegner's are buried together in this cemetery.  I don't have to wander far to find both sides of my mom's family.   They're all around the periphery of the same tree.

This was my grandfather's house in Spokane.  My mom grew up here.  I was glad I caught it when I did.  They're putting through a new highway, and all the other houses on the street have been taken out.  Theirs is honestly the ONLY one left.  Sad.

About six blocks away was my mom's junior high.  She loved this place and had reunions with friends from this school for years after she left it.  We got to walk in and walk around.  I talked to one of the teacher's aids there.  He said that he went to school there and his grandmother did too--probably about the same time as my mom.  Sounds like she may have been one of my mom's neighbors too.  Wonder if they knew each other.

This house was lived in by my great grandmother and step great grandfather back in 1926.  I need to get home and look through the information my mom kept to find more information, but when I scanned this photo years ago, I also searched googlemaps because the photo had an address on the back (very helpful).  I found that it was still standing and was so excited.  Tonight I got to see it in real life.  One of the guys who lives there let us in his apartment (the downstairs one where the large turret is.  It was so cool!

This was the carriage house out back:

These were the doors to the parlor (which is now shut off), just inside the entrance:

This was the fireplace in the guy's apartment:

This was the radiator in the guy's apartment, which he says still works:

This is my lovely cousin, C.J. on the stairs going up.  The detail work on this house is fantastic!

This has to be the original flooring near the servant's stairs:

We think this is the original gate.  It was hanging on the wall downstairs:

This is the utility room:

The railings on the first floor stairs:

The front door from inside (sorry about the yellow.  My camera was having issues):

The radiator between the two entrance doors (what the Japanese would call the "genkan":

Sideways view from the front porch just leaving the apartments--the large turret area:

Can't wait to get home to find out more about how my family ties into the history of this house.  Such a beautiful piece of work!

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