Learning from the past, living in the moment, and leaving footprints for the future. Stories of lov

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - John Albert and his Bride

Mathias and Magdalena Roesch sailed from Germany to America in 1857, settling in Potosi, Wisconsin to have a better life for themselves and their children.  Their son John Albert was the first Roesch born American citizen in 1860.

On March 18 1880 he married Susan LaNette Taylor, known lovingly as Nettie.  They had two children, Son Lake Basil and daughter Iona Blanch.

Iona Blanch Roesch
John and Nettie

Monday, August 29, 2011

Matrilineal Monday - Ada Voted Yes

Ada Louise Houston
1857 - 1924
  My great grandmother, Ada Louise Houston was born in Enterprise, Florida on May 19, 1857.  When she was three years of age, her father, John C. Houston III brought his family to live in Eau Gallie.  He was after all the founder of the town.  She was 19 years old, still living at home, with her parents when she gave birth to a daughter, Eva Lena Houston, born on Ada's 19th birthday. 

Ada married William Russell Roesch on January 16, 1885 and she brought Eva Lena with her and William welcomed her and gave her his name. Our family called her Aunt Lena.  Ada was nine years older that her husband. 

Ada is listed in memoriam
in this book
  Ada, along with her husband, was one of the founders and builders of the Methodist Church in Eau Gallie.  She was also a member of the Eau Gallie's Women's Club.  Many Sunday's she would have her minister over for dinner.  On those occasions, children were seen and not heard.  Her son had to eat after the minister left.  But, it was not unusual for Ada to sneak her son a piece of chicken.

Ada gave her husband six children, three girls and three boys, but only one child, a son survived, my grandfather, William Phillip born May 2, 1893.  (Mary, b Dec 22, 1885, d May 6, 1887, infant son b April 2, 1887 d Apr 3, 1887, infant daughter, born and died Jan 15, 1888, infant daughter, born and died Aug 22, 1889, and Earl Leroy Roesch b Oct 7 1895 d Oct 26 1895)

According to an article in an old newspaper, Ada was involved in the local school.  It was about the controversy of allowing five Japanese children to attend the public school.  Some of the Eau Gallie citizens obviously didn't want them there, they should have their own school they cried.  Ada voted to allow these five children to attend school with her son.  I am so proud of my great grandmother and her decision to vote yes.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Great Atlantic Hurricane and Me

This story is going to give my age away, oh well.  But, with hurricane Irene making her presence known, I felt it would be an appropriate time to tell this story.  Some might say I am focused or determined or have tunnel vision.  I do know when I have a goal I work til I get there.  Somewhat like a hurricane, nothing can stop her.  I wonder if a being born during a hurricane has any influence on my personality. Maybe, but then again I am always accused of looking through rose colored glasses. Guess I just like to look beyond the dark, windy, rainy days to the bright side.

It was on September, 7, 1944 when I entered this world; born on the Banana River Naval Base Hospital (known as Patrick Air Force Base today) in Cocoa Beach, Florida.  While in the hospital a hurricane warning was issued.  It was first detected on September 9, northeast of the Lesser Antilles.  It likely developed from a tropical wave several days before.  It moved northwestward and steadily intensified to a 140 mph (230 km/h) major hurricane on the 12th, northeast of the Bahamas.    The Miami Hurricane Warning Office designated this storm The Great Atlantic Hurricane, to emphasize its intensity and size, which appears to be the first time a name was designated by the office that evolved into the National Hurricane Center. 
Wood Plank Bridge
All patients at the Naval Base Hospital had to be evacuated.  My mother and I were put into the back of a military jeep that drove us over a wood plank bridge that crossed the Indian and Banana Rivers to a school in Melbourne and given a cot to lie on.  Later, we were moved to a small Melbourne hospital after the men were moved out of one ward to make room.

 My grandmother had arrived at the base to take us home just as we were being driven away.  My poor grandmother and father went into a panic trying to find us.  It took them until the next morning to find us partly because the military kept moving us about.  Thankfully, the hurricane turned northward and on the 14th it hit the Outer Banks.

I just love the first home I lived in. This adorable little cottage that sat on my grandparents property still exists today minus the front screened-in-porch.  I think I feel like Abe Lincoln.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Family Receipe - Sweets For The Sweet

My husband's grandfather, Oscar Maxell (1879-1961) owned a candy store at 251 Congress Street, Portland, Maine, that he operated from 1907-1915. He was listed in the city directory as selling ice cream and confections. 

Below are some of his candy receipes
written in his own hand.

He would put customers orders up in this pretty little victorian box

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursday - A Good Friend

A good friend is one who you have never met, but a friend none-the-less who will take their time to do something special for you.  That is Annmarie.  We first became acqainted on facebook, now we are friends on blogger. 

Joseph Roesch is my great, great uncle, (1836-1905).  His father, Mathias, sent him to America in 1853 so his son wouldn't be forced to join the German military. Joseph was the first Roesch family member to sail to America at the age of 16.  He settled in Wurtsboro, New York.

Annmarie, who lives in NY was kind enough to make a trip over to the Sylvan Cemetery to take pictures  for me.  Then she mailed them and wouldn't accept any reimbursement for her time or postage.  The extra mile was when I received a box.  I opened it up and was quite surprised.  She enclosed this letter. 

Hello Kathryn

Enclosed you'll find the pinecone and pine needles/branch I found on your ancestor's grave.  I want you to feel like you were there.  Happy Easter!  Annmaire

 A very grateful thank you to you, Annmarie. 
You may enjoy visiting her at Skipping Down Memory Lane - my Genealgical Journey

Joseph Eugene Roesch
and his wife
Rachel Ann Smith

Church he attended

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Two Knots Tied Up Quick

                                      Oskosh Northwestern Oskosh, Wisconsin

                                       February l, 1888
                                       Victorian Valentine Wedding 

Ida M Roesch

Ella J Roesch

"Mr. Henry Korber married Miss Ida M. Roesch and one minute later Mr. William L. Gelbach was tied to Miss Ella J. Roesch. 

Mr. and Mrs. Philip Roesch took the mingled loss and blessing as well as could be expected.  Rev. E. M. Corey tied the two knots up quick and in the most approved fashion.  The parents were congratulated on the addition of two fine sons-in-law."

"The men had made a most excellent selection for their companions in life.  The husbands on the other hand, were thrifty, energetic businessmen, and neither of the men, smoked, chewed, nor drank."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Thombstone Tuesday - Serendipity

This picture I find particularly poignant.  It is of my mother, Elsie, looking at her father's tombstone taken in September of 2008.  Her father was William Phillip Roesch. Unfortunately, her parents divorced after ten years of marriage when she was eight-years-old.  Her mother, Florence, remarried Scott Hilligoss in April of 1944 when Elsie was 15.

It was two years earlier, March of 2006, when I went looking for his stone; to see the grandfather I never knew.  Once discovered, I was surprised at my reaction, a feeling of such anger and hurt came over me and I asked him quite sternly "Why didn't you care?" (About me, the granddaughter you never knew.)  I had a grandfather I loved, my step-grandfather, Scott, the only grandfather I knew, and he loved me.  

I believe William heard me and he set out to answer that question.  I felt my grandfather leading me to the answers. Amazing pieces of evidence seemed to find their way to my hands.  I discovered that yes, he did indeed care, so very much.

The door to the Roesch family had been opened and each member of the family beckoned unto me.  This was how my genealogy passion began that led to me writing "Forever Laced".

Military Monday - WWII War Effort Donation

My 2nd great grandfather, William R. Roesch established the Eau Gallie Record newspaper in 1916.  He was its writer, publisher, and editor. When this pioneer became Mayor of this quaint town of Eau Gallie, Florida his son, my grandfather, William P. Roesch, assumed most of the responsibility for the production of the paper.

It was in September  of 1925 after the death of the Mayor's wife, Ada, and a week later, his son's wife, Nellie, that father and son decided to sell the newspaper. 

When WWII was fully engaged, my grandfather donated the old printing press. 

Printing Press

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Church Record Sunday - Faith and Family

William and Ada

It was 1890 and a house of worship for all Methodists in the
new community of Eau Gallie, Florida had not yet been established.  From 1890 to 1900, worshipers met any and everywhere they could find space.  My great grandparents, William Russell Roesch and his wife, Ada Louise Houston met under the supervision of William for Sunday School.  On those occasions when a guest minister was not available, William would prepare and give the sermon.

St. Paul's Methodist Church
In 1900 a formal organization was created and William and Ada were among the first few to sign the charter.  It was with faith and vision that this small group undertook the building of St. Paul's Methodist Church.  The first service was held in 1902.

Sadly, this first church burned down on August 6, 1965.  It was rebuilt and continues to serves the community to this day.

Ada gave her husband the gift of a Bible in 1904.  This Bible has been passed down through the years.  Cut out and glued onto this first page in the Bible was the newspaper article of the 62nd wedding anniversary of William's parents, Philip and Helen.  Inside the Bible there are many bookmarks indicating various versus.  A faded Fifth Premium ribbon from the Lenawee County Fair Association, State of Michigan, lay inside.  The fair started in 1839 and continues today.  There is also a white ribbon with red lettering for an Epworth League Convention held in Deland, Florida, Jacksonville District, October 12-13  in 1904 that my Aunt Lena attended. Today it is known as the MYF, Methodist Youth Fellowship.  Postmarked 1941 is a Christmas card addressed to Lena signed by Scott, Florence and Kiddies. This treasure is now in my care.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Smells That Bring Happy Memories

A wonderful memory for me was visiting my maternal grandmother, Florence Sterling and step-grandfather, Virgil Scott Hilligoss, known as Scott, and my great grandmother, Elsie Eldridge whom I called Gram, in Florida.  We went there every year for the first two weeks in July when dad got his vacation. (Read Gentle Hands) Scott was married to my grandmother before I was born, so he truly was a grandfather to me.
The family homestead property included a garage that my grandfather ran. He purchased it from his father-in-law who first ran it. Scott pumped gas and as a great mechanic worked on many cars.  I came to love the smell of gasoline.

It also brings back the happy memories of traveling from Massachusetts to Florida by car, stopping to refuel, picnics at rest stops for lunch, going over the George Washington Bridge and all the other wonderful and familiar sights.  I remember when I was about twelve-years-old  laying there in the back seat with a pillow under my head looking up at the clouds.  I even made up a song about the clouds that I remember to this day. (My very first poem.)

I'd like to be a cloud up in the sky when I die
So I can look down and see the world all around.
And as I go by a certain house
I'll look in the winda
At my dear Linda
My lova Linda dear.

Scott, age 70
Soon we would be there and I could watch my grandfather pump gasoline, and see the fumes spiral upward in the hot Florida sun.  I would also visit with him in the garage and watch him work with his strong hands covered in grease.  When it was time for lunch, my grandfather would go over and pick up the small blue glazed tin bowl that sat on a wooden shelf between the two very large doors.  He would then go to the rain barrel that sat just outside to fill it and then returned to wash his hands.  This is the second smell I fell in love with, lifebuoy soap.

To this day, these two smells always bring back the happy memories of being with family that I loved so dearly.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday - "Prism"

I have been researching my ancestry since 2004.  It is amazing how much I have come to know them and yes, love them.  Many of my ancestors were writers and poets.  My 2nd great grandfather, Russell Cardey, a man of great faith wrote poems to express his religious beliefs.  My great grandfather, William Russell Roesch started a newspaper writing many articles on every topic and even a little poetry.  His son, and my grandfather, William Phillip Roesch also wrote articles for the newspaper. Later, another newspaper carried his tongue and cheek, sometimes humorous column titled, "Observations By An Observing Observer".  I will share some of their works another day.

The realization that perhaps I might have inherited just a little of their writing skills genes gives me great joy.  It validates that I am indeed a part of all who came before me. Previous poems I have shared with you are, "Reflections", "Perplexed" and  "Epitaph Nevermore."  I hope you enjoy "Prism".

By Kathryn Smith Lockhard

I have a secret prism
that keeps my life aglow.
I need not see my prism
for it to bring me joy.

My prism shines a deep deep blue
that warms me through and through.
Quiet shades of green reveal
peace and solitude.

My eyes dance with laughter
when my prism beams of pink.
A color unbeknownst to me
is my favorite one I think.

White it overwhelms me
with passion and desire.
A yearning swells within me
and rages as a fire.

My prism now transforms to gold.
Life is a miracle I am told.
How wonderful the life I lead,
my loving you is all I need.

My prism once was naught,
but now shall always be.
I have a secret prism,
that's known to  only me.

Workday Wednesday - Moonshine Buster

It was after the great depression that the grandfather I never knew, William Phillip Roesch (1893-1960) known as Bill became a county police officer.  During this period he drove a motorcycle and would give his daughter Elsie (my mother) rides in the sidecar.

During prohibition, there was little enforcement of an unpopular federal law to shut down moonshine operations.  But, as soon as a tax was to be collected on whisky, enforcement became more profitable for the local governments.

Shutting down Moonshine Operation

Bill eventually became a sheriff's deputy and in that capacity closing down moonshine operations was one of the many duties he performed.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mappy Monday - Where Are You Mr. Jones?

Samuel Jones, Jr., a farmer, was born in Bridgewater, Ma on March 25, 1823.  He was the son of Samuel Jones and Abigail (Nabby) Benson.  On September 16, 1862 he enlisted to serve in the Civil War.   He joined Company K 3rd Massachusetts Infantry in Middleboro to serve for a period of nine months.  He was sent to Camp Joe Hooker in Lakeville, MA, then mustered into service on 23rd of September 1862.

Samuel was sent to Fort Totten in Newbern, North Carolina to maintain control of the area.  The fort was built in 1862 after occupation of the city. The fort would help the soldiers gain control of North Carolina’s sounds, coast, and the Neuse River. The strategy gave the Union a strong base to launch further attacks into the state. The plan proved successful and the Union held control of the sounds and coast until the end of the War. 

Samuel became ill and was transported to the Foster General Hospital in Newbern where he died of disease on May 26, 1863, just 30 days before his tour of duty was to end. I found his gravestone in Harlow Cemetery on Cherry Street in Bridgewater, MA resting beside his parents and siblings.  Or was he?

Today, August 15, 2011, I discovered an article in the Middleboro Gazette dated June 20, 1863, page 2:  "The company (k 3rd infantry) speaks in terms of the highest comendation of Mr. Jones who was strictly temperate, a highly agreeable companion, and a brave man.  His body was buried in the Newbern National Cemetery. Every grave is marked with a marble headstone engraved with the name of the soldier.

I now understand that many soldiers that died fighting in the Civil War were never returned home to their loved ones.  Samuel was one of many who never came home, but his family who erected a stone in his memory loved him.
The commonwealth errected a monument in 1908 in memory of Massachusetts’s soldiers and sailors who died in North Carolina during the Civil War.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Arthur Ross

"Death Announcement"

Relatives, friends and acquaintances, we make the painful message that our beloved only son Arthur Ross died this morning at half-past two, after suffering a long and severe illness, at the age of 21 years and went to God.

The deep mourning family of August Ross, Achern (Germany) 7 December 1898. The funeral will take place Thursday, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Follow Friday - The Old Pineapple Inn

If you are looking for a unique vacation, one with history behind it, then this historic Bed and Breakfast in Eau Gallie, Florida known as The Old Pineapple Inn is just the place for you.  http://www.oldpineappleinn.com/rooms.html

This beautiful Victorian home that sits on Pineapple Avenue was once owned by William H. Gleason, former Lieutenant Governor of Florida.  He was born in New York in 1829. He was interested in banking, law and politics and was a member of the Skull and Bones Society at Yale.  In 1855 he moved to Eau Claire, Wisconsin and opened a bank, then moved into sales during the Civil War.

The issue of slavery was an interest of Gleason, and having made a name for himself in this cause, he was appointed a special agent of the Freeman's Bureau in 1865. His mission was to scout the Florida peninsula as a possible site for a Negro colony.  The idea of colonization did not appeal to Gleason. His recommendation against a Negro colony in Florida garnered local political support in future years.

There is a lot to see in this little historic community that sits along the edge of the Indian River. The area is one my favorite places for this is where my great grandfather, William Roesch, ventured to when he left Potosi, Wisconsin.  Here he lived and became the first Mayor of this wonderful town.  Gleason and my grandfather had more than a professional connection. (More about his life story another day) 

It is important to note here that it was in 1969 that the City of Melbourne and Eau Gallie citizens voted for unification of their towns.  So there is no longer an Eau Gallie; it is all Melbourne, The Harbour City.  Here you will still find citizens that take pride in their community of Eau Gallie and will call it that until the day they die.  Still today, everywhere you look, the name is still seen on signs, buildings and churches.  The town is loved by all who know her or live there.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Herman Roesch - A Union Soldier's Life

Herman Roesch was born in Baden, Germany.  He came to America with his family in 1857 settling in Potosi, Wisconsin.  On October 15, 1864 Herman enlisted in Company A, 12th Infantry Regiment Wisconsin called The Marching Twelfth.  He was one of four brothers who served as a Union soldier during the Civil War.  Herman was in the March from Atlanta to the Sea and attended the Grand Review.

On July 16, 1865 he mustered out in Louisville, Kentucky.  He married at the age of 50 for the first time.  Although Herman was raised a Methodist, he practiced the Catholic religion, the faith of his wife.

In 1910 at the age of 65 he entered the United States National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers suffering from asthma and bronchitis.  The facility was initially for Civil War Veterans, but later accepted vets from the War of 1812 and then WWI.  In 1930 the name was changed to the Veterans Administration Hospital to serve all Veterans.  Herman was described as being five feet five inches tall, gray eyes and gray hair, a farmer by trade. 

Nine years later on August 23, 1919  at the age of 74, Herman died of renal failure.   He was collecting a pension of $32 a month at the time of his death.  His personal effects totaled $590.25.  He bequeathed his money to his youngest brother, John Albert Roesch who was living in Potosi, Wisconsin with his wife, Susan Taylor son Lake and daughter Iona.  Herman was buried in the Danville National Cemetery in Danville, Illinois.

Herman's final resting place, Section 10 Site 2760


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wisdom Wednesday - Footprints In The Sand

Footprints were left behind everywhere, in the sand, on the rocks, near the clear blue water's edge.  If I blink, I fear I might miss seeing a fleeting memory rushing by at lightning bolt speed.  Look closely under the surface, much like an archaeologist mining for traces of history, a fragment of bone.  Who are these spirits that taunt me?  I keep digging deeper and faster yet to find my way home.

I close my eyes and feel the wind tousle my hair as it wraps its arms around me and I am left with all my senses to wonder.  Who were these people that made willing sacrifices through the centuries as they fought wars, built communities, endured the loss of love ones, suffered wounded hearts and broken marriages?  Shrouded in mystery, trails were left to disclose who they were, where they came from, and the purpose of their being.

The remnants left behind are the time-traveler tourists, searching for their place in history.  Time doesn't stand still and tomorrow won't wait.  A sigh, a blink, a wish upon a star and a century is gone.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Farmer King and His Oxen

Beneath the seven foot high stone is my great grandmother, Mary Catherine Wilber, her second husband, Gilbert King, her mother and my 2nd great grandmother, Ellen (known as Nellie) Sullivan, her son Gilbert Jr. and his wife Frances, and Mary Catherine's son from her first marriage, Thomas Pierce.

Also resting nearby is Mary Catherine's first husband, Carl Z. Pierce, her two daughters, Mary Ann and Maude, her sister Nellie and her twin granddaughters. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Come Catch A Few

Post card my second great grandfather, Philip Roesch sent to his youngest brother in Feb. 1915 who was weathering the winter cold back in Wisconsin.  He is pictured here with his son Clyde.  They both purchased winter homes, known as Roesch Cottages, in sunny Eau Gallie, Florida from Philips oldest son and my great grandfather William Russell Roesch. They all loved fishing the Indian River. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - Roy Roesch

It was early evening on the 30th of July 1895.  Roy attended the young people's summer camp.  Roy had on his bathing suit and was in the company of Mr. Kolb, the principal of the Potosi High School.  They concluded they would swim across the deep channel.  The principal swam off and into the deep water.  Roy went boldly  to near the center of the dam and jumped in where the water proved to be twenty feet deep or more. 

Roy, not the strongest of swimmers, cried out for help as he kept slipping under the water.  Mr. Kolb was nearly within reach when Roy went under for the last time.

In one brief hour, he who had been the life and soul of the camp, the joy and pride of all hearts, a most exemplary young man in town was laying there before them.  Roy was dead at the age of 18 years, 11 months and 12 days.

At four o'clock in the morning the body was conveyed to the desolate home of his heart-broken parents, Philip and Helen Roesch.  The family and friends that accompanied the remains to the grave was the largest ever seen in recent times.  Appropriate remarks were made at the gravesite and there was singing by the church choir of which Roy was a member.

A young man in the strength and beauty of his days had fallen among them, a life full of promise and usefulness had been extinguished, and a deep sorrow fell upon the people.  Peace to his quiet slumber and gently distill the dews in heaven over his early grave.

British Hollow School
 Roy graduated with much honor from the Potosi High School in 1893.  The next fall and winter he attended the Normal School (Valparaiso University) at Valparaiso, Indiana, and the next winter taught and was principal of the British Hollow School.  He was retained for the ensuing year for the same position at the time of his death.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sherman's Boys In Blue

Philip and his wife Helen
wearing their medals
 This poem was written by my 2nd great-grandfather, Philip Roesch.  He was born in Baden, Germany and sailed to America on the William Nelson at the age of 14 with his parents and siblings.  He celebrated his 15th birthday in the middle of the ocean.  They settled in Potosi, Wisconsin.

In 1862 he enlisted as a Union soldier to serve in the Civil War. Three of his brothers also joined.  Philip kept a diary of his three years of service.  This diary, handwritten in German, was translated and published in Midland, Michigan, by R. K. Long in 1979.  The original and the translated version are in the Library of Congress. When he returned from the war, he married his sweetheart, Helen Cardey. She worked for the Women's Relief Corp of the Grand Army of the Republic while waiting for Philip to return home. They both received medals for their service. 

I feel privileged to share his poem with you.

Sherman's Boys In Blue
by Philip Roesch

T'was the twenty-second of July in eighteen sixty-four,
that round the doomed Atlanta our cannon loud did roar.
Our drums did beat to arms, and our bugles wildly blew,
the soldiers fixed their bayonets for the signal well they knew.

The Rebels rapidly advanced and soon came full in view
with musket, sabre and the lance before our boys in blue.
Still forward came the charging host, their courage well we knew.
We met them as the rocky coast meets the troubled ocean blue.

Our Sherman brave was in command with lips compressed he stood,
And Logan boldly meeting there the rushing charge of Hood.
Oh! What a charge--the crash the yells that rent the air!
Let other pens describe the scene, but your humble band was there.

The baffled Rebels did retreat, and from the strife withdrew,
and falling back, they left the field to Sherman's "boys in blue".
And, now long life to Sherman, and  all his boys so true.
who held aloft the stars and stripes and wore the suit of blue.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Funeral Card Friday - A Union Soldier

My great great Grandfather, Philip Roesch served three years (1862-1865) in the Civil War.  This Union solder was born on May 1, 1842 in Baden, Germany.  He sailed to Amercia with his family in 1857 at the age of 14.  He died in Potosi, Wisconsin on March 18, 1940 two months shy of 98th birthday. Surviving his death were two sons, three daughters, eight grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.  He was buried in the British Hollow Cemetery where miltary rights were held.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


My uncle, Philip Osborne Roesch, was born to William Phillip Roesch and Nellie Edith Osborne on September 17, 1917 in Eau Gallie, Florida. He grew into a young adult and was good friends with Buzz, the son of Dr. W. J. Creel.   

Their personalities were very similar and they enjoyed doing many of the same things, especially when it came to tinkering.  Boys will be boys and they loved dismantling just about anything and everything and then figuring out how to put it back together again.  It was especially invigorating when they got it right and it worked.  Phil was especially intrigued with radios. 

So it wasn't entirely surprising when the day came that they started a radio and appliance repair business.  Most jobs were to fix small appliances such as radios and toasters.  Larger appliances always called for a trip to the customers home.

One day such a request was received and they went out on a service call to  repair a refrigerator.  The methyl chloride somehow escaped and sprayed into the eyes of Buzz.  Horrified, Phil rushed his best friend to his father's medical office.  Every conceivable treatment was exhausted, but this unfortunate accident left Buzz blind.  Read:  Thankful Thursday - One of God's Chosen People

Phil struggled to come to terms with what happened to his best friend, but he was inconsolable.  He grieved over this incident the rest of his life.

Buzz Creel Story

Kathryn, as Dr. Creels grandson this photo was to say the least a pleasant surprise. The story of Buzz while quite sad is also quite heroic. When he was 19 he was working on a refrigerator and came in contact with the coolant and was blinded. During the depression he reckoned the only place a blind man might find work was New York City. He moved there and became a dark room technician developing film. Long story shortened he married and spent his life there with my aunt Rose and they actually did very well. The real tragedy is he was mugged near his home and never really recovered and died shortly thereafter. I have never hesitated to brag on his courage and character and wish I could have been half the man he was.
Mark Allen

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Rest In Peace

I love you all, rest in peace
  The search for my maternal Roesch family had one more story to tell.  The call of find me could not be silenced.  There would be no resting until their burial sites were found. 

Missing were my great grandparents, William Russell Roesch (1866-1941) and Ada Louise Houston, (1857-1924) my Aunt Lena, (1876-1942) her husband Clarence (1861-1928) and Nellie Edith Osborne, (1892-1924)  the first wife of my grandfather, William Phillip Roesch, (1893-1960) who died so young leaving a little six-year-old son.

My search began in the the Cocoa and Titusville, Florida libraries, going through reels of old newspapers on microfilm.  Long arduous hours were spent when finally one by one obituaries were found.  The articles gave clues as to where they died, family members, pallbearers if any, in what church the services were held and perhaps the city or town where they were laid to rest.  One helpful clue was uncovering the name of the funeral parlor that serviced the family, still in business since 1915.

A visit was made to the funeral home to request a search for the five names of my family.  A week later the call came, yes, their records proved that William and his step-daughter Lena were indeed interred in the Eau Gallie, Florida Cemetery.  Unfortunately, the years that would have included the other three were missing.

Death certificates were obtained in the hope of finding additional information.  If William is there then his wife Ada must certainly be there.  And, if Lena is there wouldn't her husband Clarence also be there?
The last would be Nellie who tragically died so young, the first loved Roesch in Eau Gallie to die; of course, Nellie surely must be there too.  And there it was on their death certificates, place of burial, Eau Gallie.

Here I was at the end of a fascinating journey, not only discovering a remarkable history, but receiving the wonderful gift of knowing my ancestors.  It changed me in ways that I never expected; it gave me a sense of honor of being part of something unique.  It led me to write their story, "Forever Laced".

The realization that because they had no marker erroneously gave the impression they never existed and somehow they didn't matter.  They did indeed exist and they lived their lives the very best they could, sometimes under very difficult and painful situations.  They contributed during their lifetimes by shaping their communities and forming the future based on the ideals they taught their children.  I had been blessed with a special opportunity to validate and memorialize their honorable live.

A granite stone was placed in front of the gravestone of William Phillip Roesch, my grandfather.  You are no longer lost, rest in peace.
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