Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday - Lessons of Fear

Rumors run rampant out of fear and that is exactly what happened when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Innocent people can and do get hurt and not just from bombs.

OHI FAMILY FARM CIRCA 1941

Edward Minour Ohi, a Japanese family had a farm in Eau Gallie, Fl, and was a neighbor of my great grandfather, William R Roesch. The Ohi's were a quiet  family raising their children and working to make a living like every other American family. They grew beans and other vegetables taking their harvest to market to sell.  You can see the family relaxing on their front porch.  Little did they know that fear was about to change their lives so dramatically.

It was rumored that Ohi would write messages on his roof for the Japanese enemy war planes to see giving them an advantage to win the war; which was far from the truth. It was also rumored that their oldest daughter managed to get out of America and back to Japan. 

The family was wrongly imprisoned like so many others only to be released after the war. The Ohi family were guilty only out of the fear of a nation's imagination.  The lesson here is to not let fear get the best of you in any situation, that's when mistakes are made and people get hurt; possibly you.

In March of 1915, the 1st Annual Brevard County Fair was held in Eau Gallie.  Edward M. Ohi won 1st place for the Best Vegetable Collection.

Mr. Ohi ran this ad in the Eau Gallie Record:
Ruby King Peppers $3 per 1000
Florida High Bush Egg Plant $5 per 1000
Livingston Globe Tomatoes $3 per 1000

You may also wish to read a related story:  Matrilineal Monday - Ada Voted Yes


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blacksheep Sunday - A tale of Two Wives

 Thomas Pierce was superior to his brother Isaac.  Isaac was apparently much the slimmest link in the genealogical chain from Isaac, through the oldest sons down to the present time.  Both brothers married into the Booth family, but scarcely if ever were two women more dissimilar.  Isaac marrying a woman decidedly his superior, and Thomas one as much below his station.  Isaac's wife Judith  was a most industrious, enterprising, neat and tidy person, not stingy or mean but economical, and as a result adding thrift to the affairs of her family.  

Thomas' wife Naomi, became the synonym of laxness, laziness and utter worthlessness.  She was always complaining, sick, sick, always sick, too feeble to attend to a house-keeper's legitimate cries, too feeble to cook, and indeed too feeble to get out of bed till it was cooked and fully prepared for eating.  When she came to the table, she astonished all beholders with her gluttony." 
"The mulish Isaac Pierce Jr through the assistance of his model wife, made his life a success.  His more intelligent brother Thomas incapable of resisting the downward and distructive tendency in his, encumbered and ever discouraged as he was by this burden of Naomi like a mill-stone about his neck."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Surname Saturday - Edson The Goodman

Samuel Edson born on in 1613 in Fillongley, Warwickshire, England.  He was well educated, and learned the skill of agriculture from his father.  The opportunity to buy a large enough parcel of land was non existent, so he became interested in  n migrating to America .  So on March 1, 1639 in married the woman he had been dating, Susanna Orcutt.  In May they set sail for America landing in Salem, Massachusetts mid July of that year where they were greeted by friends. He was granted a parcel of land that July, and later purchased another 25 acres where he built his home eventually owning 63 acres.  

It is unknown why Samuel chose to leave Salem, but possible reasons include the strictness of the Puritans and that he had better opportunities to demonstrate his good character and leadership. Regardless of his reasons, he was living at the Dixbury Plantation in 1651. 

In 1666, Samuel was appointed by the Court to the Council of War and remained in that office until the end of King Philips' War in 1676. He was appointed to distribute Bridgewater's shares for the Irish contributions for the distress to the Indian wars.  He  received a deed of conveyance from Chief Pomonoho of the Titicut purchase, "in and for the use of the townsmen of Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

Edson was one of the fifty-four proprietors of Bridgewater. Edson built the first corn mill in 1662.  Today you can still see the grinding mills located in a park in West Bridgewater .   

 Samuel Edson was no ordinary man; he was an active, laborious, and influential. He was said to be of a large, athletic frame, of ordinary weight, and of a robust constitution. He had moral character, and was well-respected in the community. He would listen, rather than debate and so was given the distinguished title of Goodman.  He was instrumental in founding and building the Episcopal Church.

He died on July 19, 1692 in West Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. He was buried on July 20, 1692 in the Old Church Yard in West Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.  








Thursday, March 15, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - Eau Gallie Woman's Club

Eau Gallie, Florida was a close knit community.  Women of social prominence had their own association, the Eau Gallie Women's Club.  The purpose was for "The Betterment of Our Town" and their motto was "Not For Ourselves Alone".  The club founded its first library for the town.


Programs consisted of, but were not limited to, a "Child Welfare Tea", "Americanism", "Sculpture", "Japanese Art", and "Crime Prevention".  The meetings were held the second Tuesday of each month promptly at 3:00 in the afternoon in the home of whoever was hostess.

My grandmother, Florence Roesch was named press chairman of the club, a natural choice whereas her husband was the owner, editor and writer of the Eau Gallie Record.  My great grandmother, Ada Louise Houston Roesch and my grandfather's first wife, Nellie Roesch, were listed in memoriam

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Tether The Oxen

 Sugar Cane Wheel Press Abt 1800, the oxen would turn the wheel
On the property of John Carroll Houston, my 2nd gr grandfather

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Travel Tuesday - The Mayor's Pick-Up Truck

In 1908 William Russell Roesch, my great grandfather, built a new farmhouse five miles west of his Highland Avenue home in Eau Gallie, Florida.  He named the street leading to his home Aurora Road. The name came from Aurora, Illinois, "The City of Lights". it was one of the first cities in the United States to implement an all-electric street lighting system in 1881 and it made quite the impression on the Judge when he saw it for the first time.  (William was called Judge because he was the Mayor of Eau Gallie.)

His new home was a modest three bedroom home painted white with a porch across the front.  It had a white picket fence with a gate that opened and shut with a latch.  Once inside the gate, a dirt driveway led directly to a one car garage. William was one of a very few people at this time to own a vehicle, a wooden platform truck with wood paneling that he always parked inside the garage.

The roads were dusty dry sand and hub deep.  High clearance vehicles were needed on account of the grass ridge in the middle.  The roads were impassable for most vehicles.  Oil pans and axles were destroyed on the Model T.

Behind the house and behind the garage lay the land for farming.  He had chickens and two cows.  He grew squash, cucumbers, green beans, tomatoes, peanuts and watermelon.  There were also citrus trees of oranges, tangerines and grapefruit.

Every year he would set up a long table on the right side yard and load it up with freshly picked watermelon for family, friends and neighbor to enjoy a big juicy feast.

He would use his truck to take his produce to market, and every week he delivered a variety of produce to his daughter's home.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sidney Maxell - Cartoons Are For Adults Too

The Maxell family
Sidney is holding his daughter, Heather
Sidney 1922-1933
Sidney Maxell, my husband's first cousin once removed, was from the great state of Maine.  Sidney was 5 feet, 10 inches according to steamship records, served on liberty ships during WWII, including two that he had designed/built.  He was art director from 1956-1963 for WCSH-TV and developed the Channel 6 Bear, the station's logo. 


 He developed the first computer animation commercial for Country Kitchen Bakery.  He began his cartooning career at the Guy Gannett Publishing Co. and in 1963 formed the Brown and Maxell Advertising Agency, developing the Tidy Coon logo for the state of Maine and Penelope the Purple Cow and Keen Eye for the Maine Hunting Safety Program.  He was honored by President Eisenhower for his political cartoons, and three are on display in the Margaret Chase Smith Library which is located on 15 picturesque acres in Skowhegan, Maine, on the banks of the Kennebec River, located at the Northwoods University.


We called the Library in advance of our visit to let them know why and when we would arrive.  They greeted us warmly and had collected and copied many items of Sidney's along with books they graciously gave us. This is one of the cartoons they provided.  It was when the republican party was trying to woo Margaret Chase to be Eisenhower's running mate. But she decided to stick to her knitting, another words, her work in the Senate for the state of Maine. 



He wrote a letter, that was Sidney's response to a request from the Margaret Chase Smith Library to release his works to the Washington DC Capitol Visitors Center. Less than 9 months after Sidney wrote that letter he died of cancer.






Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Tragic Ending

It came as a complete surprise and somewhat of a shock to discover that my great grandfather, Emond Lewis Sterling had a brother named Arthur.  He was born on February 25, 1885 in Olean, New York   I discovered this while searching through census records.  We knew he had a sister, Ermina, who was called Mina.  My mother said her grandfather never mentioned a brother Arthur.

Image DetailSometimes family member names aren't mentioned for many reasons. This certainly sparked my imagination. I wondered, did he die,or do something wrong?  I found him living with his mother in the 1910 census, no wife was present, but he had a daughter, Mildred.  Where was Arthur's wife?  Did she die?  If so, it appears he remarried. I'm still looking for the name of Mildred's mother.

Now I know that Arthur's name was too painful for my great grandfather to mention.  He died tragically in 1933 at the age of 48.

Taken from the Olean Times-Herald March 25, 1933
 For Accident Victim
Held At Portville
Portville. March 25 —Funeral
services for Arthur Sterling. Buffalo,
who died Sunday in the Buffalo
City Hospital from injuries
received in an auto accident, were
held this afternoon at two o'clock
from the home of his sister,
Mr. and Mrs. Everett Eldridge, Brooklyn Street.
The Rev. George F. Loehr. pastor
of the Presbyterian Church,
officiated. Burial was in Main Settlement Cemetery.
Mrs. Sterling was also injured in the accident which happened
Thursday in Buffalo. She is a patient in the City Hospital.
Surviving, besides his wife, are
a daughter, Mildred Austin, of Eldred, Pa, sister,
 Mrs. Ermina Eldridge of Portville, NY, a
brother, Emond Sterling, of Eau Gallie, Fla.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fearless Females - Aunt Sue


Susan M. Stewart Seawright was born in Eau Gallie, Florida June 15, 1896.   She was the daughter of my great aunt, Isabel Margaret Houston Stewart, Known as Belle.  Belle was a sister of Ada Houston Roesch, my great grandmother. Susan was lovingly called Aunt Sue by just about everyone who knew her.

She founded the Eau Gallie Women's club, and was a lifetime member.  She served as a board member of St. Paul's Methodists Church, member of Democratic Women's Club of South Brevard County and the Harbour City Garden Club.

She was a school teacher, and a member of the Order of Eastern Star.  She was a life member of the PTA and belonged to the American Legion Auxiliary.  She was also a member of the Volunteer Firemen's Auxiliary and actively involved in many other organizations.

Aunt Sue passed away on October 6, 1975 and is buried beside her husband James, known as Pappy, in the Eau Gallie Cemetery, Eau Gallie, Florida.  She was a remarkable woman of her time.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wednesday's Child - Florence E Smith


Florence E. Smith, my gr gr Aunt, is the daughter of my 2nd great grandparents.  She drowned when she fell off Bradbury Bridge, in Biddeford, Maine at the age of 7. 
She is buried at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Hollis, Maine.
She was found there beside her parents, William G Smith and Druzillah J. Gray. 

Wordless Wednesday - Beach Beauties

Left to right:  Ada, Julia, Lena and Clyde Roesch
 Circa 1910

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fearless Females - History In The Making

Passing on family names gives one a feeling of belonging, a sense of history and pride.  This picture is of my three sisters and me.  I happen to be the first born, about age 13 here.  I remember the dress, lavender and white.  A new dress my mother purchased for a junior high dance I went to.


My younger siblings never let me forget that I am the oldest for they make the announcement whenever we meet someone new, "She's the oldest".    We were always known as the Smith Girls, definition:  good girls, nice girls, and polite girls, never in trouble girls.  

Mom always told us not once but many times, be a lady and always smile. We were and her pride and joy.


Left to right:
Kathryn, Robin, Janine and Sharon
My middle name is Marie.  I was named for my paternal grandmother.  Her name was Mary, but so was her mother and grandmother, so she was always called Marie.

Sitting in my lap is my baby sister.  Her first name is Robin.  It was rather apparent at this juncture that my dad, Robert, would never see a son, she was named for him.  (Her middle name, Doreen, suggested by my sister sitting on my right, came from the Disney TV show " The Mouseketeers". I guess you could call this a little piece of history, lol)

This sister, Janine, has the middle name of Lovina.  She never particularly liked it, but it comes from a special lady, our maternal great grandmother, Elsie Lovina.

My sister Sharon with the nautical blouse on received our maternal grandmother's middle name, Eloise.  Our grandmother actually had two middle names, Eloise and Helen.

So there you have it, History In The Making.  Hopefully this will help our descendants follow and find their lineage.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fearless Females - Mystery Mary


Mary Virginia Hall, my 2nd great grandmother was born on Feb 19, 1823 on Talbot Island, Florida.  She married John Carroll Houston on on September 22, 1836. Hall is listed as her maiden name.  To the best of my knowledge, they had ten children.

John built a new home in Eau Gallie, Florida for her and his children.   It took one year to complete this home and then he returned to Enterprise for his family.   It took three weeks to drive the covered wagons hauled by oxen and their herd of cattle to Eau Gallie.   Mary was indeed a pioneer woman.

 Their nearest post office and store was 90 miles away.  They raised all of their own supplies, corn, potatoes and beans, the river furnished them with fish, and deer, bear and turkeys were to be had in any quantity almost in their dooryard.  Mary had to weave all the cloth she needed by hand.

I am fortunate to have a copy of letter that was written to her by her sister.  However, it does not reveal any personal information about her.

I descend from her daughter Ada Louise, who married William Russell Roesch.  When I pulled Ada's death certificate it listed her mother as Mary Virginia Murray.  Both names, Hall and Murray are used interchangeably when researching Mary.  It is a mystery that I wish to have unraveled by me or her other descendants looking for the answers.
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