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

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Those Places Thursday - Forgotten & Abandoned

While traveling to Florida this past March, I took these pictures of life gone-by.  They served their purpose, yet won't let go and succumb to the earth.  I can't help but wonder what secrets they hold. Perhaps we could use our imagination to what may have taken place and why these structures were abandoned and left to die. The pictures were taken between North Carolina and Florida.

The Vulture on the Roof tells it all.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pioneer John Carroll Houston III

John Carroll Houston III was an Indian scout during the Third Seminole War.  It was in the late 1850's when this pioneer arrived in a wooded area he named Arlington, later changed Eau Gallie, Florida with a company of soldiers on an Indian hunt when the territory was just a wilderness.  He fell in love the the area and decided this was where he wanted to build his home and live. 

John Carroll Houston 1813-1885
my great great grandfather
When the Second Seminole War ended in 1842, Congress passed the Arms Occupation Act.  It gave settlers the opportunity to earn title to 160 acres by building a house, living on the land for five years and cultivating five acres.  Further, that they would have to take up arms to protect themselves from the Indians that remained in Florida.  

Houston returned to Enterprise, Florida and obtained a soldier's land grant for 160 acres.  He returned to Eau Gallie, built his home with the aid of the 10 slaves his father had given him, and with his oldest sons, it took nearly a year to build the first hickory log cabin for his family and quarters for his slaves.  Finally, on October 5, 1860, this pioneer returned to Enterprise for his family.  It took three weeks to drive the covered wagons hauled by oxen and the herd of cattle and horses. Houston, after homesteading for two years, was deeded an additional 80 acres of land by Abraham Lincoln for his services as an Indian Scout.  This 80 acres of land he would divide among his daughters for their dowry.

Slaves Quarters

Ten months after Ada Houston and William Roesch married in January, 1885, Ada's father, John C. Houston, died leaving 160 acres.  William filed a claim for this tract of land that the act of Congress had officially approved for Houston back on May 20, 1862, some 23 years earlier and proceeded to build two homes.  However, a dispute arose and construction came to a halt until the government land authorities settled the case. 

Although William claimed ownership to the land, the official document was not signed by President Grover Cleveland, and dated until the fifth day of February 1896, almost 11 years after Houston's death.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Military Monday - Wartime Duty for Florence

In 1943, my grandmother, Florence Sterling Roesch Hilligoss, performed her military duty by becoming a volunteer of the Aircraft Warning Service of the U.S. Army during World War II,

The entire family took their turns operating a 24-hour plane spotting station.  These stations were placed in various locations throughout the state.  When a plane was within sight, or hearing distance, they would call in to a central location and report the direction, speed, altitude and number of engines.  That way, the government kept track of any unauthorized planes.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Robert Franklin Smith, The Rest of My Dad's Story

In June of 2000, Robert was invited to attend a special graduation ceremony. Here is a picture of Bob in his cap and gown with his daughter Kathryn during "The Greatest Generation, Operation Recognition" program in which World War II veterans are awarded High School Diplomas they never got a chance to receive because they went off to war.

Also, pictured in The Enterprise newspaper dated Weds., May 31, 2000 is a picture of Bob signing a copy of Tom Brokaw's book "The Greatest Generation being held by Robert McKean, the state coordinator the the Operation Recognition progam.

Bob received a certificate of recognition for the sacrifices he made for serving in World War II, along with a copy of NBC news achor Tom Brokaw's best-selling book, "The Greatest Generation." The news article states how Smith served in World War II and in the Korean War as a Navy petty officer first class.

Bob, along with other veterans, were honored by the town fathers.

The medals Bob recevied
Asiatic Pacific
Good Conduct
American Campaign
Rest In Peace dad, love you.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Madness Monday - Lunatic Asylum, Illenau

Rosina Jehle 1821-1893
 My great great grandmother, Magdalena Jehle Roesch had a sister Rosina Jehle who was a talented seamstress and dressmaker.  She married Georg Ross who was a saddler-shoemaker and dressmaker.  They had six children.

Together they worked at a renowned lunatic asylum, Illenau.  The asylum, located in Achern, Germany, opened in 1842 and was known to have great success with the healing of many.

Often, groups would take excursions to various recreation areas.  Trips were made to Mummelsee, a 55-foot deep lake considered to be of holy water.  It laid serenely snuggled at the foot of Hornisgrinde, the highest mountain at 3,820 feet, in the northern Black Forest of Germany.  It was believed the lake was inhabited by Nix, a mythical spirit that had the ability perform a metamorphosis of sorts by altering the body and mind, taking it to a better place.

Georg Ross 1814-1904
 Life was very hard for Rosina and Georg.  it was one filled with strict customs within the institution.  It was demanded that the rules of exhibiting sacrifice, service, eagerness and conscientiousness  must prevail.  Punishment would immediately follow any lack of discipline by any personnel.  The focus of the institution was entirely on the care of their patients.  Despite all this, Rosina and Georg were glad to submit to the regulations because of the enticement of great pay and the provision of a dwelling. 

Rosina Jehle, husband Georg and three sons,
lft to rt: Eduard b 1847, Otto b 1849 and August b 1852

Sunday's Obituary - Taken Prisoner

  My great uncle, John Carroll Houston IV, was born on April 3, 1842 in Mayport, Florida.  He was the brother of my great grandmother Ada Louise Houston Roesch.  

Gravestone of J.C. Houston,
Eau Gallie Cemetery
At the outbreak of the Seminole Indian War in 1857, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a scout at the age of 16.  He served for two years then with his father moved to Eau Gallie, Florida, and together built a log home for the family. 

From 1860 to 1865, at the outbreak of the Civil War, John began to operate boats on the Indian River in the interest of the Confederacy.  In fact, he was the first man to navigate this river and became known as Captain John.  He made several successful trips to Nassau, British West Indies transporting provisions.  He was captured, taken prisoner and kept at sea for three months.  At the end of the Civil War, Captain John was paroled at Key West.

"He worked his way up on the island until he reached what was then called the Town of Miami.  He got an old hunter to ferry him across the river onto the peninsula.  The Captain, armed only with a small hatchet, made his way toward Eau Gallie.  The journey back was fraught with danger as he was encountered at frequent intervals with panther and other wild animals.  When he reached Jupiter, he found a dilapidated old boat and with his hatchet and an old saw blade that was lying nearby the built a small boat and paddle and headed home up the river."  (February 25, 1916 Eau Gallie Record, obituary written by my great grandfather, William R. Roesch, Capt. Houston Called After A Long Illness.)

His parents thought their son was surely dead.  But, one night at midnight his father awoke to the call of a "cow-holler".  He jumped out of bed yelling to his wife that their son was home because no one else could holler like that.  John ran to the river to joyfully welcome his son home.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Funeral Card Friday - Pastor Russell

Russell Sterling Roesch was born on January 16, 1935 in Eau Gallie, Florida.  He graduated from Cocoa High School where he was involved in baseball and football.  He went to work as a part-time news correspondent for the Miami Herald writing sports.  He was so talented that the paper wanted him full-time.  But that would mean moving to Miami and that was just out of the question, too far from family. 

He married Ola Kathryn Watts, known as Kathy, the daughter of an American Baptist Minister in 1954.

Russell became a mechanic at the Wienberg-Schumaker Gulf Oil Station in downtown Cocoa, Florida.  But the oil crises in the mid 1970's forced the business to close.  It was while he was working at the garage that Russell believes he received his calling and in 1971 he was ordained and assigned as pastor to the American Baptist Church.

During Russell's preaching years, he reopened Sterling's Garage that his step-father Scott owned and operated prior to his death. Scott was the only father he knew and called him dad.  In 1997 Russell retired the garage business, never to reopen again, but continued preaching until his sudden illness and death.

A year before he died, he gave me the treasured family Bible, that my great grandmother Ada gave to her husband, William Roesch in 1904. 
See story Church Record Sunday - Faith and Family.

The last time I saw my uncle Russell was in the hospital, April 26, 2009.  My husband and I were there for over an hour and had a wonderful visit.  He was talking and laughing and asking all sorts of questions about "Forever Laced", the book I was writing.  He also gave his permission and blessings to write about him and the family.  He said, "I trust and believe in you". He was feeling positive and felt he would be home soon.  I kissed him goodbye and told him "I will see you again before I leave for home in Massachusetts early morning on the 30th".  Sadly, that was not to be.  It broke my heart.

Russell and Kathy
Russell is the Manager of this Junior Baseball team
Russell, top row, far right. (1951)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Lost Love"

I enjoyed writing "Forever Laced" and hope to finish the fiction I am working on.  But I also enjoy writing poetry, just as several of my ancestors did.  Perhaps I inherited the writing gene, I hope so. I'd like to share another poem with you.  I hope you enjoy it.

                                                                        "Lost Love"
by kathryn smith lockhard

If life had given me the right
to solely love you day and night,
I'd do my best in every way
to bring you happiness every day.
To share with you daily pleasures
that builds a life of happy treasures.

To be so close and yet apart,
twists and turns my paining heart.
I feel as if a fading rose,
our love on hold unable to grow.
It should mature with patience and time,
with sharing and giving that creates loves rhyme.

Promise me promises of days to be
when life can be just you and me.
Whisper words of future hope
so I can learn to live and cope.
I naught the right to dream such dreams;
life can be so cruel it seems.

We learn acceptance of cards life dealt;
to understand our feelings felt.
Be grateful in each other we found
love fulfilled with fantasies abound.
Tis hard to know of love so sweet,
is one I'll never know to keep.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Little Girl Lost Has Been Found

On July 2, 2011 I told you the story of my great-great grandmother, Mary Ann Besse.  At the age of 14 and 8 mos. she married a gentleman by the name of Andrew Thomas on September 29, 1859.  On August 16, 1860 they had a little girl, Joanna B., named after Andrew's deceased mother.
 Little Girl Lost

At the onset of the Civil War, Andrew joined the ranks of the 4th Massachusetts Infantry as a Union soldier for a period of nine months on September 19, 1862.  He was only two days shy from completing his nine months of service and returning home to his family when he died from his wounds.  Most likely Andrew was buried in Louisiana, as many soldiers were buried in a cemetery where they died.

By the year 1865 when Mary Ann remarried to Thomas W. Pierce, little Joanna B. Thomas was nowhere to be found.  I traveled to New Bedford, Fall River, Middleboro, Halifax, Accushnet, Taunton and Mattaposett where I knew Mary Ann had lived, had family, or researching in town halls, etc. looking for my little girl lost.  Was she given up for adoption, did she die, or did she live to marry.  Then I thought that just maybe if Joanna died I might find Joanna buried in the Centre Cemetery in Wareham, MA where Mary Ann's parents were interred.  I discovered tonight that this cemetery has a listing on the Internet.

This Little Girl Lost, Joanna B. Thomas, my great aunt, is now the Little Girl Found.  She died of croup. Her stone reads across the top, Joanna B.  The front of the stone reads: 

Dau. of Andrew &
Mary A. Thomas
Died Jan. 16, 1864
Aged 3 yrs. 5 mos.

Sentimental Sunday - Robert Franklin Smith - Nickname, A Right of Passage

Robert (Papa) Smith holding Ava Grace
My father was known as papa to his 14 grandchildren and great papa to his 10 great grandchildren.  The name papa was assigned to him by his first grandchild who could not pronounce the word grandpa.

Dad adorded them all, especially holding the babies.  When they were about two months old, dad would hold a piece of a Hershey candy bar between his fingers and touch their lips with the chocolate. He would just laugh watching their little faces as they reacted with excitement with the sweet taste. By the time the candy was gone it was all over their litte chin and cheeks.   But, if the toddler's mother would dare give them a cracker he would cringe in fear they would choke.

Dad would give most babies a nickname shortly after birth.  Parents never asked, just eagerly waited to hear the name he would assign.  He never announced it, only said the name in passing when speaking to his grandchild, or asking about them.  It was then that you smiled and knew all was right with the world.  It became one of importance, a right of passage.  

Here is a sampling of the names Papa gave in love: Sweetie, Little Bob, Kimipoo, Buddy, Little Girl, Tykie, Pebbles, Dunkie, Twinks, Little Man and Little Lady.

Papa's face would always light up with such joy and his eyes would always sparkle with such great love when his family was present.  There was never any question that indeed you were loved by this gentle and caring man.  He taught us that family was the most important thing in the world.  That lesson has not been forgotten by any of us.  We all truly loved this man who left us in 2008, but, we all still feel his love today.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sweet Innocence - Laughter and Love

When Philip Roesch returned from the Civil War, he married his sweetheart, Helen J. Cardey on July 8, 1866. Seventeen years later, their family was complete with seven children. They were called Pa and Ma. The two youngest children were Clyde, born in 1881 and then two years later, Bertha in 1883.
 Playtime on the farm was at times exciting, and at times downright dangerous.  Bertha shares with us stories of her childhood and the mischief she and her brother Clyde experienced.  Here are three of those stories.

Left to right:  Penny, Clyde and Bertha

"While Clyde and I were playing in the hayloft one day, our little dog Penny climbed the 10-foot ladder trying to reach us.  Clyde laid down on his stomach and reached for our dog, pulling him the rest of way.  But, in our excitement, we leaned against the large sliding door and pushed it off the track.  It went down with a loud crash.  Our father couldn't see how we were able to push it off without falling with it for which he was very thankful."

"One day after a heavy rain Clyde and I thought it would be fun to go boat riding.  There was an old horse trough our father used to feed his horses when they were in the pasture.  It was about six feet long and 14 inches high, made of oak and heavy as lead.  It sat on top of a small hill, but, by tugging and pushing, we got it down to a small stream.  Clyde got in and I pushed him off, but the 'trough turned turtle with Clyde under it'.  Soon he came out and said, 'We'll have to stay down here until I get dried out so Ma won't know what happened.'  It was several days before our father discovered our boat."

 "Clyde, eight, decided to make a bicycle using two barrel heads for wheels.  He worked in the old shop all day and finally I decided to go out and see if it was all set to ride yet.  But, I fell down and started to cry.  Mother came hurrying along to see what was the matter and Clyde said, 'She was swearing, that's why she got hurt!'  I answered back, I was not!  I was singing Jesus Christ, the Son of God".

Bertha Mae Roesch was Valedictorian class of 1902 in Potosi High School, Potosi, Wisconsin.
Bertha Mae Roesch born 1883

Clyde Earl Roesch born 1881

Funeral Card Friday - Pioneer William Russell Roesch

My great grandfather, Mayor William Russell Roesch.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Thankful Thursday - One of God's Chosen People

Dr. Creel
Dr. William Jackson Creel was the first resident physician to stay longer than two years, arriving in Eau Gallie in 1910.  He lived on Highland Avenue with his wife and two sons and daughters.  He would arrive at his patients' homes in any way that he could.  Sometimes he would arrive by horse and buggy and other times by bicycle.

In one summer he delivered 35 babies for a total of $38.  Bartering became common practice during the depression.  The good doctor would accept eggs, pies, lawn work and other items offered as payment for his services.  He practiced medicine for 54 years.  Everyone respected and trust Dr. Creel.  He was referred to as one of God's chosen people and the town named the new causeway spanning the Indian River for him.

Baby Shower for Phillip
1st row: Ada L Houston Roesch, Julia Keehner Roesch,
and Eva Lena Roesch
Top row:  unk, unk, unk, (suspected sisters of Ada)
gr grandparents, Helen J Cardey Roesch, Philip Roesch,
Nellie Osborne Roesch holding
son Phillip, and grandfather, Wm R Roesch
My grandfather, William Phillip Roesch and his first wife, Nellie had a son, my Uncle, Phillip Osborn Roesch, born on September 27, 1917.  Dr. Creel along with his nurse, Beulah Houston delivered him.  A baby shower was given with all family member in attendance.  Pictures were taken to mark the special event along with a list of gifts and whom they were from.  Sadly, Nellie died when Phillip was seven years old.

You may wish to read: inconsolable.html

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day - Talk About Fatigue!

In the beginning when researching my ancestors, I didn't pay too much attention to the mundane, every day work that needed to be done.  I was more interested in the personal stories of family, military and special talents that made them real to me.  Then I realized it was interesting to note how they lived their lives every day and how hard they worked just for survival, never mind earning a dollar. 

Imagine living in the wilderness of early Florida.  The air black with mosquitoes as you worked to build a home for your family.  Imagine if you wanted to eat you had to plant a garden and wait until harvest before you could enjoy the fruit of your labor.  Imagine the wild animals that lurked about, the panther, bears, snakes and alligators.  Talk about worrying over your children's safety.  Imagine hunting for meat to put on the table, turkey, wild boar, deer and fish.  And let us not forget the cows for milking, chickens for eggs and plucking for dinner and the oxen for plowing.  Imagine having to create your own family cemetery to bury your loved ones.  Chopping the wood for the fireplace for cooking and keeping warm in the winter.

If you wanted cloth you had to weave it by hand.  How else could you make clothing for the family.  Churning the butter, making the stew, making the broom so to sweep the floors. Pick the corn and collect the eggs. Then it gets dark early in the winter and days are shorter to do your work. There were no modern day conveniences, washing machines, toasters, ovens or dishwashers. Have you ever used an outhouse? Just try losing your electricity for a week and see how well you can survive.  All I can say is thank goodness I had a generator when Hurricane Irene took our power away. 

I took note of how my ancestors had more than one business.  One was never enough to make a decent wage because the population wasn't large enough to buy your wares. So you needed additional services that would draw the same customers.  So you grew fruit trees and watermellon and vegetables to sell.  You had a fence company, because people needed to keep their animals contained.  Then you built homes to sell to newcomers in town, or you offered painting services.  You really had to be an entrepreneur.   

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sunday's Obituary - William Phillip Roesch

1893 - 1960
I am somewhat mystified at my grandfather's obituary. (The grandfather I never knew.)  It is short and sweet and omits so much of who he was and what he did.
It doesn't mention that he was a newspaper writer, editor, columnist, insurance agent, and bookkeeper to name a few.

You might want to read: Workday Monday - Moonshine Buster

Military Monday - WWII War Effort Donation

He was actually married four times.  His first wife Nellie died leaving a six-year-old son.
His second wife, Florence, became my grandmother.  They divorced after 10 years of marriage and two children.
His third marriage to Gertrude was very short lived.
His fourth marriage to Marjorie produced one child.  It was a long and happy marriage that lasted until his death.

Master Mason

Young, Happy, Sucessful

I said I would share some of his tongue and cheek one-liners that he wrote while working at the Sentinel. I hope you enjoy them. His column was called:

Observations, By An Observing Observer.

 "An ordinary toad can flick its tongue out three inches and catch a fly-an ordinary woman can flick her tongue and spoil a reputation miles away''.
 "It takes a real strong man to lift a mortgage these days".
  "A real cautious man can usually be identified as such at a glance-he wears suspenders and a belt-and never takes a chance".
 "In view of the fact that gasoline and liquor won't mix without causing trouble this column suggests that the Eighteenth Amendment be enforced".
 "In order to dress all a woman has to do is step-in slip-on and sing out "lets go".
 "The ordinary flapper has a way of describing people and things that leaves very little to doubt her meaning-sidewalk loafers are called "leg gazers" in the dialect of the day".
 "Of all things that have changed during the past ten years, the "parlor joke" has gone the farthest".
Depression Era - Hungry
No Rain - Crops Died

An Older Bill as Sheriff

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